Ordination of Women

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Women have always had a distinct position in the Church that does not require Holy Orders.

Arguments for

Advocates for changing this position argue that the essential icon image of Christ is his humanness, not his maleness. God became man to show that both men and women could be saved and return to the divine image within them. Challengers also point out that Christ did not ordain his apostles. This was done at Pentecost by the Holy Spirit. Women were present at the time, and the Holy Spirit continues to descend on male and females alike. The Orthodox Church recognizes a number of women saints as Equal-to-the-Apostles, including the "apostle to the apostles," Mary Magdalene.

Arguments against

In Orthodoxy the all-male priesthood is not based on the idea that women can't represent Jesus; if replication of the specifics of the Incarnation is the goal, only a first-century Jew could come near that. In Orthodoxy, it's not Jesus, but the Father whom those serving at the altar represent, and whatever else a woman can be (and, in Orthodoxy, she can be anything else: choir director, lector, teacher, head of the parish council) she cannot be a Father. She can be a Mother, of course, and so there is a recognized and honored role for the priest's wife, with a title: Khouria (Arabic), Matushka (Russian), or Presbytera (Greek).Frederica Mathewes-Green in "Prologue: In the Passenger Seat" from her book Facing East: A Pilgrim's Journey Into the Mysteries of Orthodoxy

See also

External links