Thursday, April 13, 2017

St. Vlad's pushing for female diaconate

Most of the talks given or articles written presuppose that a "rejuvenation" of the female diaconate should happen. I don't think that such a direction has enough backing to warrant it nor do I think there is discernible agreement to what such a thing would even look like. Additionally, many people see this as baby steps towards a female priesthood. Whether such worries are warranted I can't say, but conferences with names like “Renewing the Male and Female Diaconate in the Orthodox Church” seem less like dipping a toe into foreign waters and more like buying beachfront property site unseen.


(SVOTS) - This Pan-Orthodox Conference—dedicated to examining diaconal ministry in the Orthodox Church—will include among its presenters one trustee, two professors, and two alumni from St Vladimir’s Seminary. In four sessions, participants will hear a variety of presentations on: (1) the present state of the diaconate; (2) ways men and women are engaged in diaconal ministry today; (3) opportunities to engage with both clergy and faithful on the rejuvenation of the male and female diaconate; and (4) current challenges and future possibilities of the diaconate for the building up of the body of Christ. For more information visit the St. Phoebe Center website, or download a flyer...
Complete article here.

10 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. Fr Gregory,

      I don't think your post came out as intended. Did you mean to say:

      "This will not end well for anyone", or something similar?

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    2. Sorry. This will not end well for anyone.

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  2. Why are you so negative? There have been multiple Pan-Orthodox Conferences or consultations since 1976 with hierarchy and theologians participating all recommending the revival of the ordination of deaconesses.

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    1. Because much of the discourse on this is an agenda that is being backfilled with scholarship that fits the desired goal. That's not how things should be done.

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    2. So is it wrong that scholarship fits their goal? Or should they take the contrary action to scholarship results? How things should be done?

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    3. Gather data. Put data in context. Find points of contention and resolve which are more instructive or in keeping with tradition. Put before scholars, clergy, and people. Discuss for a number of years. If there's a compelling reason to do something different, find consensus and move forward carefully.

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  3. It is highly unlikely that deaconesses served the same role as the deacon does today. More likely, they assisted in baptisms. Anyone witnessing a Greek Baptism where the person to be baptised is heavily anointed with oil prior to being immersed, can understand why this could problematic for many clergy.

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  4. The rhetoric can be a bit heavy, but this essay is a beginning (but only a beginning) of the examination of the secularization behind conferences like this:

    http://www.aoiusa.org/three-trojan-horses-insider-attempts-to-disorient-the-orthodox/

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