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https://www.praytellblog.com/index....the-ministries-of-lectorate-and-acolyte/

Earlier today, Pope Francis released a motu proprio opening the liturgical ministries of Lectorate and Acolyte to women. The above link is for the letter of Pope Francis to Cardinal Ladaria explaining the theological reasoning behind the decision.

I personally think this is a good idea at least for the Latin Church. You could imagine the leader of altar servers or readers during the liturgy being installed in these ministries. I would imagine the installation would entail training and responsibilities that should ennoble the quality of the liturgical celebrations.

I am also posting a link from another Praytell post (Praytell is a liturgical blog that is a hybrid Catholic- Mainline Sensibilities. It will usually either take the liberal end of acceptable orthodox practice or goes beyond those borders, at least IMHO, but it is also a gold mine of information. Especially from contributors Deacon Frederick Bauerschmidt, Fr. Neil Xavier O’Donoghue, and a frequent commenter who goes by the name of Karl Liam Saur).

https://www.praytellblog.com/index.php/2019/08/01/female-altar-servers-acolytes-east-and-west/

The post has some pictures of female altar servers vested in Syria.

For the most part I know that Orthodox jurisdictions in the U.S. and most Eastern Rite jurisdictions will frown upon this, so this is more of a theoretical question. Would admitting women to the "minor orders" so to speak but a fruitful practice in the U.S.?

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Women have been performing the duties of these ministries since the 60s without formal installation, blessing, or recognition. Given that some Orthodox jurisdictions have resumed ordaining deaconesses and the Antiochian Orthodox and Chaldean Catholics have blessed women readers I don’t see an issue.


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My friends,

I do see an issue. I do not know the basis of the Orthodox "ordaining" of deaconesses, but to me, this is one more blurred line of this Pontificate, one more nuanced, well crafted statement to sell a bill of goods to the rest of us. I don't know where you folks live, but here in my diocese, women have overrun the sanctuary and the chancery. This move, IMHO, has more of the sense of rupture than continuity as it seeks to politically correct the Church according to the spirit of the age, which I thought we were supposed to resist, not embrace. This current move by Rome's religious executive order, the Moto Proprio, is no reason for a leap in logic to the ordination of women at any level. However, how can one not believe that it is not in the offing when this Pontificate thinks nothing of changing the catechism to suit its modern sensibilities and now that of Canon Law. Forgive me for being so negative, but I have had it. The scriptures state that the Apostle Paul did not allow a woman to teach or usurp authority over a man (1Tim 2:12). It is not a matter of authority perhaps in other cultures as it is here in the States, for here we are fighting for the stability of the Faith once handed down, thanks to a reticent and demur hierarchy that lacks the courage to restrict a certain politician's reception of the Eucharist, who will turn right around and seek the "equal right" for the murder of the unborn. I am giving serious thought to leaving the Catholic Church at this point. I am tired of being captive to the specious theological notions of men justified by philosophical reasoning and concept twisting to serve a predetermined purpose and outcome. Forgive me my friends, I cannot do this any longer....the Western Church should never complain that there is a priest shortage, for who in their right mind want to become one when masculinity becomes subordinate to femininity and certain male anatomical parts are encouraged to be left at narthex door. Jesus was the God/MAN. The Apostles were MEN. The deacons were MEN (assisted by deaconesses, most likely their wives). I cannot be part of this church of innovation any longer. Like an abused wife, I find myself making excuses for my husband's bad behaviour, all the while sporting a black eye, fat lip and bruises all over.

There is an old saying " In my house, I do what I please, when I please...so long as its ok with my wife!" (I am married 40 years, my wife is a saint to put up with the likes of me...lol) The Roman Catholic Church, given its penchant for Gospel innovation and political correctness spawned by the embracing of the spirit of the age, may be headed in this direction.

I want out. Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me....

s.o.d.

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Originally Posted by son of the desert
I do see an issue...I am giving serious thought to leaving the Catholic Church at this point.
For a resolution of your understandable spiritual turmoil and journey I offer my prayers. As a matter of theology, however, and faith, there is one and only One Church, and in leaving a church, that very act is the most tangible way of professing that it is NOT the One Church. Seeking and finding in faith that One Church "without which there is no salvation" is essential; and that One Church is not, as some would have it, the oxymoron of a communion of churches that are not in communion. For consideration, I have found encouragement and guidance and witness in the words of Newman, who did face and then had to resolve the issues of his time: “Ten thousand difficulties do not make one doubt, as I understand the subject; difficulty and doubt are incommensurate.” (John Henry Newman, Apologia Pro Vita Sua, Ch. 5). And as perspective, consider what that One True Church was going through on the fundamental doctrinal issue of Who is God when, as St. Jerome wrote, The whole world groaned, and was astonished to find itself Arian. (Ingemuit totus orbis, et Arianum se esse miratus est. PL23:181C) And now it is said that It seems we are in a Crisis in the Church.

Originally Posted by son of the desert
Jesus was the God/MAN.
Here, you've got it wrong if MAN is designating male/maleness rather than a human being. This is the flip side of the present translation of the creed in the BBC where "men" was dropped. I've written before:
Originally Posted by ajk
That is, the phrase reads: "Who for us MEN (anthropous) and for our salvation came down out of the heavens and was enfleshed out of the Holy Spirit and Mary the Virgin and BECAME MAN (enanthropesanta). Thus we profess in the creed that Jesus, who consistently referred to Himself as the *Son of MAN*, "for us MEN...BECAME MAN."
link

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Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
Women have been performing the duties of these ministries since the 60s without formal installation, blessing, or recognition. Given that some Orthodox jurisdictions have resumed ordaining deaconesses and the Antiochian Orthodox and Chaldean Catholics have blessed women readers I don’t see an issue.
Exactly. And also,consider it in proportion to women as Extraordinary Ministers of the EUCHARIIST in the western church. Who blinks an eye? There the deacon in an Ordinary Minister of the Eucharist. In the East the deacon is the Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist. And that role of giving is one of the four essential elements -- taking, giving thanks / blessing, breaking and giving -- priestly and sacrificial, of the solemn command "Do this in remembrance of me." (Luk 22:19 RSV)

Also the West eliminated tonsure along with the minor orders. In the East clerical tonsure precedes candlebearer (cantor), reader, subdeacon, and the major orders.

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Thank you ajk,

I appreciate and accept your prayers my friend. I will also think about what you said. However my initial reaction is that I would never leave the Church, perhaps Roman Catholicism, but never the Church. Why? Is there no salvation outside of the Church? Of course there isn't, for it the Presence of Jesus in the sacraments that makes it a grave sin to leave. The Church allows reception of the sacraments at Orthodox churches in times of emergency when there are non available. So, the idea of the Church according to the Church must be a tad wider, for why would She allow her children sacramental sustenance in the Orthodox world, albeit in an emergency if they were not part of the Church the sacraments valid?. Even the Protestant churches are part of the Church though "imperfectly". IF I go anywhere I would head east to the Orthodox. Also, I am with you regarding the creedal reference to the humanity of Jesus via "...for us men...etc". But Jesus was also a biological male when He did so was He not? Allow me some facetiousness, perhaps God should have waited to send His son in the year 2020 where equality of the sexes was a fundamental world value instead of sending him into a patristic culture and time. Scripture does say that "at the right time, God sent His Son into the world..." (Gal 4:4). Jesus was a MAN. If this idea is not salvaged from the realm of religious, modernistic ideology, we will wind up calling the Most Holy Trinity, "in the Name of the Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier" banishing all reference to the revelation of God as Father, a male term though of course he is not a biological male, diminishing the fact that Christ is the Son of God, another male term though He was a biological male and calling the Holy Spirit "her", when Jesus explicitly call Him "He" in John 16:8. Should this be the case, it's no wonder that a recent prayer, not sure where, was ended with "amen and awomen". We are treading dangerous ground. Regardless, I appreciate your prayers and what you have to say.

s.o.d.

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Originally Posted by son of the desert
The Church allows reception of the sacraments at Orthodox churches in times of emergency when there are non available. So, the idea of the Church according to the Church must be a tad wider, for why would She allow her children sacramental sustenance in the Orthodox world, albeit in an emergency if they were not part of the Church the sacraments valid? ... IF I go anywhere I would head east to the Orthodox.
Special situations are not the norm and the ecclesiology proper to the faith, of both Catholic and Orthodox beliefs, is not based on exceptions. See for instance, Receiving Communion. And it is very much non-reciprocal. I often say, do the experiment. Go to an Orthodox church and tell the priest you are a Catholic and want to receive Communion. What's his response?

Originally Posted by son of the desert
Also, I am with you regarding the creedal reference to the humanity of Jesus via "...for us men...etc". But Jesus was also a biological male when He did so was He not?
Jesus was a male but the Creed is not stating that. To construe in any way "for us Men .... He became Man" as a statement of His being male is a gross misrepresentation that feeds a feminist driven agenda.

Originally Posted by son of the desert
Allow me some facetiousness, perhaps God should have waited to send His son in the year 2020 where equality of the sexes was a fundamental world value instead of sending him into a patristic culture and time. Scripture does say that "at the right time, God sent His Son into the world..." (Gal 4:4). Jesus was a MAN. If this idea is not salvaged from the realm of religious, modernistic ideology, we will wind up calling the Most Holy Trinity, "in the Name of the Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier" banishing all reference to the revelation of God as Father, a male term though of course he is not a biological male, diminishing the fact that Christ is the Son of God, another male term though He was a biological male and calling the Holy Spirit "her", when Jesus explicitly call Him "He" in John 16:8. Should this be the case,

Yes, to argue " Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier" as a needed replacement for Father-Son-Holy Spirit is an affront to Scripture; to do so to achieve gender neutrality is heretical ranging in degree from ignorance to blasphemy. This should be seen as wrong not because Jesus of Nazareth was a male, but because it is reading back into the Trinitarian Names the limitations of gender and purporting to correct the wording of revelation. The sexual dichotomy in nature is self-evident even though some elements of our present culture are confused about that. The words of revelation in Scripture are to inform our theological understanding of son and man. Theology establishes the vocabulary that comes from God (revealing Himself) to Mankind, and not vice versa, the projection of human concepts back to God. Geoffrey Wainwright, Worship With One Accord (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), 245, in reference to G. Florovsky, writes: “The Word incarnate can define language. In this context, “Father” and “Son” mean who the first two persons of the Trinity are and what the relation between them is. It is the divine ontology that sets the meaning of the terms.”

With that understanding, reading Gal 4:4-7: God sent forth his Son ( υἱὸν; Gal 4:4 RSV)... that we might receive adoption as sons (υἱοθεσίαν;Gal 4:5 RSV)... you are sons, (υἱοί ;Gal 4:6 RSV). Sons here is inclusive of persons male and female who remain as such; there is no Daughter in the Trinity and no daughters only the Son and "sons in the Son" (“Filli in Filio”: Emil Mersch, The Theology of the Mystical Body, 325). Contrast the loss in meaning and theology of NAB's, So you are ...a child, (Gal 4:7 NAB) thus, God sent forth His Son that you might become a CHILD(?). Absurd. God sent forth His Son that you (male and female and remaining as such in the flesh for eternity) might become a son.

Drawing theological conclusions about intended gender from words/languages that have grammatical gender can be tricky, especially for English speakers where such words are not gender-inflected. The word υἱοθεσίαν in Gal 4:5 previously mentioned, for instance, is feminine gender but is formed from υἱός (huios, masc,. son) and θέσις (thesis,fem.,adopt). Taking a closer look at the example above:
Originally Posted by son of the desert
... calling the Holy Spirit "her", when Jesus explicitly call Him "He" in John 16:8

John 16:8 has: καὶ (kai; and) ἐλθὼν (coming; a participle masculine singular) ἐκεῖνος (that-one;pronoun demonstrative masculine singular) ἐλέγξει (elenksei; reprove/convict; verb indicative future active 3rd person singular)

A literal rendering is: and the one-coming (masculine) that-one (masculine) will reprove/convict

So that-one coming is masculine grammatical gender but why? Who is the "that-one coming"? Going back one verse, it is referring to ὁ παράκλητος (ho paraklētos;the comforter/counselor/advocate/paraclete,noun masculine singular) ... αὐτὸν (auton; him, pronoun personal masculine singular) (Joh 16:7 BGT) So the masculine in John 16:8 in the original Greek is grammatically necessary to agree with the masculine ὁ παράκλητος (paraklētos) as is also the reason for Him (αὐτὸν auton) at the end of the verse. Had the word been Spirit, πνεῦμα (pneuma; neuter), then neuter forms would have been used.

A feminine example that is quite striking is in the Divine Liturgy, the hymn (taken from Pentecost Vespers) We have seen the true light... we worship the undivided Trinity... In Greek, the Trinity is just the Three, ἡ τριάς which is feminine gender. In the hymn it is in the accusative, Τριάδα so: ἀδιαίρετον (undivided) Τριάδα (Three) προσκυνοῦντες (we worshiping), αὕτη (SHE!) γὰρ (~for) ἡμᾶς (us) ἔσωσεν (has saved). Literally: (we) worshiping the Three for She has saved us. But it's not a case for the Trinity being feminine. The BCC translations get around this conundrum by just repeating the referenced noun: we worship the undivided Trinity, for the Trinity has saved us.


Originally Posted by son of the desert
it's no wonder that a recent prayer, not sure where, was ended with "amen and awomen". We are treading dangerous ground. Regardless, I appreciate your prayers and what you have to say.
Unfortunate, uninformed and sadly misleading. ‘Amen and awoman’: Congressman receives backlash for opening prayer. I think a clarification is needed for the report in the link. At the end it says "Rep. Cleaver is a United Methodist paster," that is, a United Methodist who pastes. Rather he is a United Methodist Pastor.

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1) I personally have no problems with women serving as lectors or at the altar. I think I had in the back of my mind this article from Ancient Faith Blogs and the reaction from son of the desert.
https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/nootherfoundation/altar-girls/

It does appear that many people who advocate for greater female inclusion in "lesser ministries" (for lack of a better all encompassing term) do have their sights on priesthood and the episcopacy. Since the Church teaching is that the these orders are irrevocably reserved to men (which I also believe), allowing admittance to these orders can be interpreted as giving "false hope" to those who want women priests or just "throwing them a bone."

Perhaps we can have greater institutionalization of lay (particularly women) in the governance of the Church. It is certainly possible to have finances of an eparchy/diocese or parish administered by lay people, with the Bishop/pastor having veto power only when doctrine/dogma is violated for example. Similar arrangements could be made in terms of priest assignments and seminary training.

2) S.O.D. One has a strict duty to follows one conscience in seeking the truth. But you should give careful weight to arguments about how the papal magisterium of Pope Francis is within the Apostolic tradition. And I would heartily recommend this prayer by John Henry Newman:

O MY God, I confess that Thou canst enlighten my darkness. I confess that Thou alone canst. I wish my darkness to be enlightened. I do not know whether Thou wilt: but that Thou canst and that I wish, are sufficient reasons for me to ask, what Thou at least hast not forbidden my asking. I hereby promise that by Thy grace which I am asking, I will embrace whatever I at length feel certain is the truth, if ever I come to be certain. And by Thy grace I will guard against all self-deceit which may lead me to take what nature would have, rather than what reason approves.

3) ajk, I agree that "anthropous" refers to human beings primarily in the Creed. However, I would the prefer the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh to translate that section of the creed as either "for us human beings" or "for us men". I don't like the dropped word there. In my mind it also raises a greater risk of the this section being misunderstood as only referring to the congregation present. Though the misunderstanding is still possible as other translation could be interpreted as "for us human beings/men (here present)".

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"I think, with never-ending gratitude, that the young women of today do not and can never know at what price their right to free speech and to speak at all in public has been earned."

Lucy Stone

You might recall the southern plantation owners used the letters of St. Paul to justify slavery.

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Christ is Born!!

I think the whole thing is a big deal about nothing. In the early 1980s both men and women were "instituted" as lectors. There was a simple blessing and introduction to the congregation. When Rome sent down a statement that women could not be so instituted but men could, our pastor sated he would institute no one. Lectors would be trained and scheduled with no fanfare. It's been that way ever since.

I have been in charge of training the lectors in my parish in the speech art of proclamation--distinct from a reading--since 1983. I see no difference as long as the person has the "instrument" to proclaim over the fire whistle that interrupts us or the sound system that conks out periodically.

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Well. ultimately, it is a disciplinary issue of the ordinary form of the Roman Catholic Church and develop over time. For the ever growing extraordinary form Roman Catholic communities, this is a non-issue, as they still have all of the minor orders.

I am a member of the Eparchy of Stamford but am the Trustee and acting subdeacon in a parish in the Eparchy of Passaic. I have seen women readers, but generally, they do not read when there is a serving male subdeacon or reader available. What I mean, is that there is with father behind the iconostasis a subdeacon or reader serving the divine liturgy as opposed to a member of the congregation that subdeacon/reader will usually chant the epistle. But, where there are no subdeacons or readers, I have observed women in our churches be blessed tor read.

In the end, for me it is what Father will allow within the bounds permitted by Bishop Paul or Bishop Kurt.

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I don't believe that the 'extraordinary" form has all the minor orders. The Latins suppressed the order of subdeacon decades ago. The only provision I am aware of is that tonsured lectors or acolytes may serve as subdeacons.

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Christ is in our midst!!

Father Roman bless,

You are correct. Two of the four former minor orders were suppressed, as well as the order of subdeacon. Lector and Acolyte are still conferred in seminaries.

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Quote
... the offices of porter, reader, exorcist, and acolyte were called minor orders in the Latin Church in relation to the subdiaconate, diaconate, and priesthood, which were called major orders.
Ministeria Quaedam Pope Paul VI Apostolic Letter given Motu Proprio: On first tonsure, minor orders, and the subdiaconate

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Economos Romanos and Theophan,

The Extraordinary Form Latin Communities follows the liturgical rules of that were in effect in the Roman Church in 1962 in regards to the form of sacraments and order. So, Ministeria Quaedam does not apply to the extraordinary form orders and societies per Summorum Pontificum of 2007.

Here is a link to the Fraternity of St. Peter in their seminary in Nebraska ordaining 9 men to the subdiaconate:

https://fssp.com/seven-2-ordained-to-subdiaconate/

Because there was confusion over this issue and other, the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei issued the instruction Universae Ecclesiae of 30 April 2011, feast, which stated:

30. As regards tonsure, minor orders and the subdiaconate, the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum does not introduce any change in the discipline of the Code of Canon Law of 1983; consequently, in Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life which are under the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, one who has made solemn profession or who has been definitively incorporated into a clerical institute of apostolic life, becomes incardinated as a cleric in the institute or society upon ordination to the diaconate, in accordance with canon 266 § 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

31. Only in Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life which are under the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, and in those which use the liturgical books of the forma extraordinaria, is the use of the Pontificale Romanum of 1962 for the conferral of minor and major orders permitted.

SO, all of the old Latin Minor orders are allowed for the traditional societies, but they are not clerics until ordained to the Diaconate.


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