Thursday, November 17, 2016

Potentially Alarming News from Alexandria

The Patriarchate of Alexandria is to "restore the female diaconate." What does this mean? Are we discussing the return of the "deaconess" (an obsolete and purely lay office) or is this an attempt to promote heresy via the pseudo-ordination of women to one of the three ranks of Holy Orders?

HT: Dr. Tighe

7 comments:

alienus dilectus said...

This should be read in context with official news coming from the Patriarchate itself: http://patriarchateofalexandria.com/index.php?module=news&action=details&id=1204

Interesting to note the missionary aspect of all this. Deaconesses would be used in a missionary context... this seems fitting. I could see great benefit for women working in this way in a traditional, non-Western African societies.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

I have virtually no Greek and my translator produced incomprehensible gibberish. My question remains, what is the patriarchate doing here?

alienus dilectus said...

I think we'll just have to wait and see. For what it's worth, Pope Shenouda (in the early 1990s?) restored deaconesses to the Coptic Church. For them, the office is more or less that of the post-Vatican II consecrated virgins of the Roman Church. I think we Americans jump the gun on these sorts of topics.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

Sadly we live in an age when modernism, of which female ordination is one manifestation, is rampant. And there are those who have been very aggressively trying to introduce this heresy into the Orthodox Church. I don't think this an ethnic issue. I think this is a threat that crosses national and ethnic lines and touches on the integrity of the Faith.

alienus dilectus said...

I hear you, John; however, the only "news" out there is a single line of Greek text. Nothing more. Yet.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

Fair enough. I'm not shouting "Anaxios!" (yet). But clarification is needed.

William Tighe said...

"Pope Shenouda (in the early 1990s?) restored deaconesses to the Coptic Church. For them, the office is more or less that of the post-Vatican II consecrated virgins of the Roman Church."

That is my understanding. However, I have read that the Armenian Church (or some of its dioceses) have restored "deaconesses" ("restoring" an office which, according to Martimort, was unknown to the Armenian Chrch before the 4th/5th century) - and then allowed such "deaconesses" to carry out the same liturgical role as (male) deacons in the Armenian Divine Liturgy. I haven't been able to confirm this, though.