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Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria performs first consecration of deaconesses


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#1 Antonios

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 02:06 AM

Interesting development!

Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria performs first consecration of deaconesses

Published by Aurelian Iftimiu 22.02.2017
Link http://basilica.ro/e...of-deaconesses/

On the feast of the Saint and Great Martyr Theodore of Tyre, 17 February 2016, the day on which His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa celebrates his name day, a festive Divine Liturgy was celebrated at the Holy Church of St Nicholas, within the Missionary Centre of Kolwezi.

Together with the Alexandrian Primate concelebrated Their Eminences Nicephorus, Metropolitan of Kinshasa, Innocent, Metropolitan of Burundi and Rwanda, and the local Metropolitan Meletios of Katanga, accompanied by the Clergy of the Hy Metropolis.

As the official site of the Patriarchate reports, His Beatitude the Patriarch spoke during his homily about the Great Martyr St Theodoros, emphasising the confession of martyrdom before the persecutors of faith and his love for Jesus Christ.

At the end of the Divine Liturgy the Primate of the Alexandrian Throne consecrated the Catechist elder Theano, one of the first members of the Missionary staff in Kolwezi, to “Deaconess of the Missions” of the Holy Metropolis of Katanga and read the prayer for one entering the “ecclesiastic ministry” for three Nuns and two Catechists, in order for them to assist the missionary effort of the Holy Metropolis, particularly in the Sacraments of Baptisms of adults and marriages, as well as in the Catechetical department of the local Church...

more at link http://basilica.ro/e...of-deaconesses/

#2 Phoebe K.

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Posted 11 March 2017 - 01:38 PM

Theologically it is not a big thing to restore women to the sub deacoante and deaconate, after all the first minester called a deacon was St Phoebe.  Here is another artical on it from a more theological point of view

 

http://religionnews....ser-to-reality/

 

though technically the women are subdeacons as they were not ordained at the alter, Just splitting hairs rely.

 

I am shore a number of people will be after my current MPhil project on the origins and diversity of miner orders once I have written it, as I will cover women in miner orders.

 

Phoebe



#3 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 11 March 2017 - 06:10 PM

I should be very interested in that, Phoebe.



#4 Rdr Daniel (R.)

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 11:00 PM

My initial thoughts on this were mixed but generally positive, there is a greater need now for support in terms of catechising and baptising adults and women have an important role to play in this in terms of other women. Alexandria is conducting a great deal of missionary work and the Africans are generally far more sensible than us in the West and are less likely to be drawn into feminist ideology, as such Deaconess can serve the Church without certain odd ideas arising in the manner they could in the west. 

 

What I am increasingly concerned about, however, is how this is been misconstrued in the West. The role of the Deacon has changed over time and modern Deacons are not equivalent to ancient Deacons such as Saint Stephen whose primary function was the distribution to the poor. The modern Deacon's role is to lead the people in prayer during the litanies, read the Holy Gospel during the Divine Liturgy, offer up incense at certain times and generally to serve the Bishop or Priest in his duties in the Holy Altar. Likewise, the role is often, correctly or not, seen as a stepping stone to becoming a Priest. None of his applies in the case of Deaconesses.  Deaconesses are not female Deacons, they have no ministry to the men in the Church whereas a Deacon's ministry is universal, they have no right to lead the people in prayer nor to read the Holy Gospel, but are there to minister to the women especially in baptism. Indeed, the Apostolic Constitutions instruct them to stand at the door of the church rather than to minister at the Holy Altar. The cannons of the Church make it clear that this role is distinguished from that of a Deacon both by the age and unmarried (unless married to a clergymen) statues of the Deaconess and their generally being listed after the Readers and even the Psalmists. There seems to be a view amongst some that Deaconesses could assume the role of modern Deacons, or at a minimum either have a universal role in ministering (i.e. to men as well as to women) or at least contain the role of Readers in reading the Epistles or serving in the Holy Altar. Some looking at the Anglican communion even seem to view it as a stepping stone to ordaining women as Priestesses. None of this can be excepted by the Orthodox Church.

 

There is also the issue of revisionism creeping into the Church, if the role of the Deaconess is that vital why was it restricted largely to Antioch and Constantinople and why did it fall into disuse?  That is not to say it is of no use in the modern world, circumstances change and the influx of adult converts along with more dispersed communities mandates a response, but we must be careful not to overstate or universalise the need. Likewise we must avoid doing anything for reasons of complying with the modern world's view on men and women rather than for the needs of the Church. 

 

In Christ.

Daniel,



#5 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 11:12 AM

We may note that such ordination does not enable women to do any more than they may do without ordination; it simply confers a certain seal on their service. I doubt any of us here know enough about the circumstances of the Church in sub-Saharan Africa to know whether this measure fulfils a need there. If it does, then it is not in itself objectionable. The danger is that in the western world, this will be seized upon by modernists and ecumenists and used to argue for deaconesses to be ordained for liturgical roles, and more generally be used in argument for innovations.



#6 Phoebe K.

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 02:33 PM

There is a good deal of reseach showing that women deacons (the term deaconess did not exist in the Greek until the 4th century at the earlyist), showing that deacons of both genders severd their own gender and that women deacons were in the alter although they did not sever visibly the same as most male deacons.  Letergics was only a minor part of the deacons role and not even all male deacons in large cathrals would have been seen serving in the liturgy, we unforchantly foucos on that small aspect of the deacon and have lost sight of most of their work in the church.  

 

What the church needs is a revaluation of what a deacon is in light of the fathers writings, as we have lost sight of the ontological and iconographic reasons for a deacon.  The deacon is far more than a the person who sings and reads the Gospel, these are the letergical expression of the life of service which a deacon is supposed to live.  It will be a significant project to research this area of deacons as no one has yet tried to.






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