Site Last Modified: Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Male Priesthood

Elaboration on "Supporting Facts" in Tenets of Faith,  Article 16:

Christ God knew exactly what he wanted for the Christian Church. As he said, "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets: I did not come to destroy, but to fulfill." Matthew 5:17  Even in the Jewish faith only men were called to the ministry of God, and only men entered the holy of holies.

Christ set an example by calling unto himself twelve men; although there were many women of great morals and sincerity who were his followers, He chose only men as His Disciples. Certainly He, as God, knew that he would be setting an example to be followed for all time. Even Mary Magdalene, who is referred to as "Equal to the Apostles", was not chosen by Him who is the Head of the Church.

In addition, apostolic writings and tradition confirm this:

  1. Apostolic Church Order (2nd Century) "When the Master prayed over the bread and cup and blessed them saying, "This is My Body and Blood,' He did not allow women to stand with us."
  2. Nomocanon (Canon Law of St Photius, 9th Century) "A woman does not become a [priest or a] priestess."
  3. Panarion of St Epiphanius (4th Century) "The Church [has] never appointed women presbyters or priests."
  4. Apostolic Constiutions (c. A.D. 375) "The appointment of women priests to stand before goddesses is a delusion of Hellenic godlessness and not a decree of Christ."
  5. Tertullian (Treatise on the Veining of Virgins, 3rd Century) "Neither may she... offer [the Eucharistic Sacrifice, nor claim for herself any function proper to a man, least of all the sacerdotal [priestly] office."
  6. Alphabetical Syntagma by Matthew Blastares (14th Century) "Deaconesses are forbidden to cense before the all-pure Mysteries, or to take in their hands the sacramental fans, which is the deacon's function."
  7. Bishop Kallistos Timothy (Ware) "The ordination of women as priests is excluded precisely because it conflicts with the living continuity [of the Church]."

It is obvious based on these facts alone that since women were not even allowed the small tasks of censing and fanning in the churches it is certain that they were not then, or not now, allowed to serve as a deacon or priest. When it is said that this is our {women} right, let us not forget that all ecclesial rights belong to Christ God. It is his Church and he gave the law. We have no right to pick or chose according to whim or human desire. To do otherwise separates us from what was intended by Christ God. This is why true Orthodox Christians do not accept women serving in the holy ministry. Churches that allow this are not keeping with the example set forth by Christ God to whom we all owe complete obedience in faith.


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