Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

There are two visions here. One will always say, "Progress is inevitable. You are just slowing down something that is going to happen." The other side says, "This cannot happen. Stop the insanity." The problem is, as this story highlights, offense can take a thousand shots on goal. Defense only needs to let one ball in to set a precedent. And from the inside, always pointing to the precedent you just keep kicking until there is no defense left. This is the danger of economia as a Trojan horse. If it can be done once, in that thinking, it can be done a thousand times and without regard for the special circumstances involved.

Do not give into the idea that some progressive ideas are "inevitable." It's a false proposition that leads you to believe you must always be defensive and never be proactive. Do not let the lexicon get changed to allow terminology from the secular world to hold meaning here. If the pitchforks-and-torches folks are at the gates yelling "Let us in!" you have to be on the rampart giving the full-throated response of "No!" Silently hoping "the bishops" will take care of everything has no basis in the events of our recent history.

(Orthodox Times) - A priest of the Archdiocese of Athens – who for the first time in Greece selected two girls to be in the “service” of the Church by making them altar servers, as it has been the case for centuries with boys.

According to a report published by, the “scandalous” event took place in Saint Nikolaos Ragavas in Plaka and the priest, who was suspended, is the Protopresbyter Alexandros Karyotoglou.

The decision of the clergyman caused a backlash from conservative circles and, therefore, he was called to Saint Filothei, where he was informed that he could no longer officiate during the Divine Liturgy nor had the right to perform sacraments (Weddings, Baptisms, Confessions, etc.) until the 12-member Holy Synod discusses the matter and takes a decision.

The Punishment

The Holy Synod is expected to meet next week and no one knows whether Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens raises the issue for discussion and what his suggestion will be. However, as his associates point out: “The aim of the decision is to counsel the clergyman as there was no consultation with the members of the Archdiocese.”  “The priest did not receive any letter” but “he had a conversation with the Archbishop and the protosyncellus,” they added. And they concluded: “None of us can decide on their own.”

On the other hand, theologians stress that such arguments are pretexts…

Since 1982 the “female altar servers” in the Patriarchate of Antioch – Athens is hostage of fundamentalists

There are female altar servers since the early 1980s. It all started from the parish of St. Demetrius of Cologne, and the priest’s initiative was accompanied by a decision of the then Patriarch Ignatios of Antioch.

Since then, dozens of female altar servers in Europe and even in Damascus, the seat of the Patriarchate of Antioch, which was visited recently by Archbishop Ieronymos himself, are a common event.

“The indignation and denial of conservatives is hypocritical. Many women have long served in the Sanctuary: monasteries, institutions, summer camps and even parishes,” Protopresbyter Vassilios Thermos told to The clergyman, who is one of the country’s most important priests, added: ‘In the meantime, most metropolitans do not care about the essence.’

The reason behind the fact that they don’t want girls in the sanctuary is the war of the ‘narrow-minded’.

Our Church has become a hostage of the fundamentalists. Any punishment of Fr. Alexandros would deeply scandalize people who are qualitative thinkers, serious people and express serious concerns. We are already getting a taste of the reactions caused.

Unfortunately, many of our Metropolitans are unaware that this group of people exists. So, when it comes to deciding, they opt for their privacy and sacrifice serious seekers. Extremists make a fuss which is disproportionate to their number, that is there are not too many of them.

If the moderate ones would bombard the Synod with demands for change, then our Bishops would be surprised. We love our Synod and do not want its authority to be shaken.”


  1. Roman Catholic here. I strongly urge my Orthodox brothers and sisters to fight this with all you have. It's too late for the Roman Church on this issue, but it appears to be not too late for you. While there may be some reasons to allow female altar servers, on they whole, female altar servers are not a net benefit to the Church.

    1. The tradition of the Church is that women do not go behind the iconostasis without a compelling reason, which would be very rare. Some exceptions do exist, such as in women's monasteries for rather obvious and purely practical reasons. In theory, even men, if they are not at least a tonsured reader, are really not supposed to be in the altar area. As a matter of reality dictated by pragmatic necessity, lay men and boys are often blessed to serve on the altar in parish churches.

  2. May I share my own two cents on this important topic? It is at

  3. The priest has since been reinstated. I submit that reactions here are a tad alarmist. St. John Maximovič had girl acolytes more than half a century ago.
    My one concern about female acolytes is that girls are emotionally more changeable than boys. I saw my own daughter, a hung equestrienne, drop the horse fascination in a thrice with never a regret. I think girls are fine holding candles and fans in procession and I don’t see any reason they can’t begin and end their processions at the High Place. Neither male nor female servers are allowed to touch the Prestol anyhow so there is no confusion regarding some future role as priestly celebrant.