Monday, June 17, 2024

Go check out the Orthodox Studies Institute

They are putting out good stuff over there. Want to see a reasoned take on the female "diaoconate" or the current priest shortage? The OSI has got you.


  1. This is great didn't know they existed until the Fr Andrew Stephen Damick priest crises interview

  2. Dr. Mary Ford, in her essay, seems to have a particular talent for writing much and for without actually saying anything pertinent regarding the ordination of females as deacons.

    First of all, she almost entirely focuses her arguments against the St. Phoebe Center, which is not the church and bishop who has ordained a woman as deacon. It would be much more helpful if she would address that particular instance in Africa and examine it. Instead, she completely avoids it.

    Secondly, like others, she falls again for the "dread slippery slope" fallacy, writing such ridiculous things as "every deacon has the potential for being made a priest", which is simply not true. Female deacons in the Orthodox Church have never had the potential for being made a priest. The female diaconate has always been an end of the line ordination. There is no such thing as an ordained female priesthood or bishop in the Orthodox Church, and according to that tradition, there never will be. There are, however, female saints in the Orthodox Church who have been ordained deacons in the altar.

    Much of her essay seems to drone on about how ordination isn't really necessary to fulfill the mission of the church anyways. Surprisingly, that's a very Protestant kind of thing to say. Is it better for a woman to teach at an Orthodox seminary and not be ordained a deacon so that she may have the freedom to be a loose cannon? Hmm, I don't know. I think it would be better to be ordained a female deacon and be under the authority of the male bishop. I believe that an orderly female diaconate would be a much better response to the loose cannon of feminism, made obvious by women who refuse to wear head coverings in the Orthodox church.

    The Alexandrian Patriarchate concluded that the female diaconate was never abolished in Orthodox tradition. As such, there is nothing that specifically prevents a bishop from ordaining a woman as deacon. The relevant question would be if such ordination is needed.

    The Orthodox church does makes changes in order to stay the same. Sometimes those changes are in response to cultural changes. It has been noted by some that the female diaconate died out for the cultural reason that infant baptism had overtaken adult baptism. However, in many churches now, it is the opposite. In many churches adult baptism is now more common than infant baptism. Our culture has also become increasingly pagan, like the times of the early church.

    Feminism causes problems for the Orthodox church. It wants to say that women do not need to be under the authority of men. A female diaconate directly addresses this problem. All deacons, whether male or female, are necessarily under the authority of a male bishop. Without the blessing and actual presence of a bishop or priest, the deacon can only serve liturgically as a reader, only doing reader services. Any authority or liturgical capacity that a deacon has comes directly from the presence of the bishop and/or priest. As such, the ordination of women to the diaconate stands directly against the tenants of feminism.

    1. Some good and well-reasoned points - worth considering, Joseph!

  3. Joseph Lipper, you are wrong about Dr. Mary's essay. It was written before Met. Seraphim committed his massive, heretical inspired non-canonical action. So, big mistake here on your number one point. But you've made a number of other errors too. Dr. Mary and Dr. David, along with numerous other Theologians, scholars, clergy, and laity have spend over a decade debunking the lies perpetuated by the woman's ordainationists. SPC has become the most prominent during this time through thier own efforts and fund seeking. They are the main antagonizers globally now. That's why Dr. Carrie Frost, a white North Eastern American lady, can preplan to "be in Zimbabwe" with her daughter for the "event". SPC, under the explicit direction of Dr. Frost, has been encouraging this action, she's the architect. SPC under her direction "scholarshiped" Angelic. Frost also spearheaded the plan to create a "pilot program" to "test" deaconesses. This was all announced on SPC website, talked about by Frost, and even mentioned in the Ancient faith Documentary.
    Your second point is factually wrong. The lie that a Deaconess was ever a "female deacon" has been debunked for well over 30 years. SPC lied and said they didn't support women being deacons, but only a deaconess. The service used for Angelic was the service for the ordination of a Deacon. Done at the altar. She was then "vested" as a male deacon. Then, she "communed the faithful, men and women, holding the chalice and spoon herself." She even was directed to stand as a Deacon stand and take the litanies.
    In other words, Met. Seraphim turned Angelic into a man. This is especially offensive since Angelic is married and has children.
    A deaconess never functioned in the Liturgy as a man who is ordained as Deacon. SPC and Met. Seraphim did a horrific, scandalous thing unheard of in the church. Its a lie that women were ordained as deacons--never happened. The order of Deaconess (and the service) never indicated a ordination like priest, bishop, or deacon. The closest corollary with have is to subdeacon. However, the Deaconess was not instituted for service at the Liturgy, another major difference between it and subdeacons.
    Feminism, as Frost et al has weaponized it is a heresy. It only causes scandal and division.
    There are many who would have supported an authentic return of the Deaconess. SPC and the heretics have ruined that support and poisoned the well. Short of massive censure, public penance, and thorough repudiation of this feminist heresy, this will not be healed. A lot of us are clergy, we have lots of children. What do you think we are teaching our family and our parish? I can tell you, it ain't what Frost and her ilk are.

    1. "...Short of massive censure, public penance, and thorough repudiation of this feminist heresy, this will not be healed. A lot of us are clergy, we have lots of children. What do you think we are teaching our family and our parish? I can tell you, it ain't what Frost and her ilk are."

      I appreciate your response to Mr. Lipper Fr. Alexis, though I think it to be in vain (explained below). I learned from watching your session with Fr. Thomas Soroka a few months back that Fr. Alexander Atty (of blessed memory) was important to you. He was my parish priest in Louisville from 1999 till my wife and I moved out of state in 2004. Besides being my confessor, he was the closest thing to a "Spiritual Father" I have ever encountered in the NA Orthodox Church. One thing he would focus on was spiritual (and for that matter just plain psychological) delusion and how we need to overcome it with the tools classical (i.e. Orthodox, Apostolic, of the Fathers) Christianity provides us.

      So I ask you (hopefully in The Spirit, not merely confrontational) does it really matter what you and your fellow clergy are teaching in the parishes? You see, Carrie Frost and her co-religionists are in fact the majority *even within the average Orthodox parish*, and are in fact the future. They are, as even you and I are to a degree, Modern Men (anthropos). As men like Fr Thomas Hopko & Fr. Alexander Schmemann of blessed memory, C.S. Lewis, even Rod Dreher have all been trying to tell us, the secularization of (average, every Sunday going) Orthodox Christians and Christianity is happening *within* the parishes - it is not a mere tribulation coming from "the outside". To put it another way, they are bringing their true religion - the one they actually live "ontologically" - into their Christianity and it is their Christianity that is being re-formed in the image of 'The Cartesian Self', not the other way around. To put it in yet another (academic) way, the heresy of the moment is of theological anthropology - a certain and largely unconscious answer to "what is man (anthropos)" and that which flows from it "what is the sexual binary and how is it expressed in ecclesial/Christian life?"

      About seven years ago I took a class in seminary (UOC-USA) from Carrie Frost in pastoral theology. She actually is a skillful teacher (relatively speaking), but she is hardly *classically* Christian. She is a modernist through and through. Even though she has a Ph.D behind her name, her theology and philosophical depth is shallow and incoherent. If their is a centrally organizing theme in her thinking/writing/work, her theological anthropology would be best described as 'neo-Kantian' in that Rawlsian sense, but that is probably granting it too much credit as she is at the end of the day a bitter women with a Reformation size chip on her shoulder and a so far successful program.

      Yet, she in fact is typical and not atypical. Most "average" people standing in (Orthodox) church every Sunday are much more neo-Kantian then classically Christian, though they are almost entirely unconscious of this fact. In other words, Orthodox (or any other kind) Christianity is not surviving its contact with modernity as it and its people are being "swallowed up" by a way *being* (i.e. a *lived* theology) that leads exactly to the kind of righteous (in their eyes) reformation Carrie Frost is symbolic of.

      As you point out, the Church's canonical and ecclesial self correcting/healing mechanisms are not functional (for lots of reasons - some having to do with modernity and some not). There will be no "massive censure, public penance, and thorough repudiation of this feminist heresy" forthcoming. For example all Met. Saba offers is "questions", which will be the (spiritually and practically) impotent "synodal" reaction for the next 436 years...I am reminded of a few lines from a poem:

      " stampeded in panic-stricken herds, down tangled roads of thought, speech dies without the seal of action there..."

      to be continued...

    2. though I don't think so called "synodal" Orthodoxy is really "panicked", as it is too delusional about its own state to be anything like panicked.

      Soooo, Carrie Frost and her co-religionists (e.g. Mr. Joseph Lipper here) know what you and your fellow clergy are teaching, but for them it does not really matter - it is a mere "problem that will be overcome" with personal and intuitional energy. In this they are correct as the (anthropological) re-form-ation will happen within Orthodoxy just as it has everywhere else. It has all the weight of the last 500 years of history and culture with it, and has been utterly successful everywhere it has been tried. Indeed, Carrie is *counting* on you to keep teaching just as you are, to keep serving just as you are, to "keep on keeping on" just as you and all the clergy will, even as you will on the day (sooner then you want to think) your bishop ordains a women in your parish!

      Soooooooooo, will you continue to live (as a priest, as a father, as a man) in delusion doing the same thing (and expecting different results ;) ), or are you going to take a risk and do something different, something that actually offers a small measure of hope to the Faithful in the face of our moment, our heresy and present re-form-ation?

      St. George (Antiochian) parish in El Paso (for now ;)

  4. Dear Christopher (Jake),


    Also, God bless and keep you!