11 January 2007

More Wisdom Of Frederica.

Another email from Frederica Mathewes-Green (subscribe yourself - frederica.com) this time with an article just published as part of a BeliefNet syposium on the subject of women as preachers:

Controversy over the ordination of woman has plagued many denominations, but it hasn't raised similar furor in the Orthodox Church. This is thanks to our way of approaching such issues: if the early church kept unbroken consensus on a matter, we will continue it. Consensus is not obvious in every issue, but it is here. For 20 centuries stretching backward, there have been no women priests.

There were plenty of women *preachers*, however. I've preached at worship services in Orthodox churches, myself.

We have some semantic confusion here, because many things Protestants consider restricted to clergy are done by Orthodox laity. We have women saints who were missionary evangelists, church-planters, teachers, healers, preachers, apologists, spiritual mothers, counselors, miracle-workers, martyrs, iconographers, hymnographers, and theologians. Holy women do virtually everything men do, except stand at the altar. That leaves them rest of the world, which is where most of God's work gets done.



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