Tag: Deaconesses

Let’s Make History: Ordain Deaconesses in the Orthodox Church Today
Women in the Church

Let’s Make History: Ordain Deaconesses in the Orthodox Church Today

March is Women’s History Month, when we particularly witness women’s vital roles in our past, including in the Orthodox Church. These stories deserve our attention and appreciation, but let’s not just look to the past, let’s also look to the future. Let’s make history.  Let’s make history by ordaining women as deaconesses in the Orthodox…

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Maria Spyropoulou, the Semi-Transparent Deaconess
Women in the Church

Maria Spyropoulou, the Semi-Transparent Deaconess

by Athanasios N. Papathanasiou | български | Română | Русский | Српски On January 17, 2022, a deaconess of the Orthodox Church was transferred to the jurisdiction of the Church Triumphant. Maria Spyropoulou, deaconess of the missionary Church of Korea, fell asleep after an 89-year journey to earth. Born February 6, 1933 in Greece, she…

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Deaconesses: An Orthodox Institution Untheologically Blocked
Women in the Church

Deaconesses: An Orthodox Institution Untheologically Blocked

At the initiative of the Center of Ecumenical, Missiological and Environmental Studies “Metropolitan Panteleimon Papageorgiou” (CEMES), an International Scientific Symposium on “Deaconesses. Past-Present-Future” was organized in Thessaloniki (1/31-2/2, 2020) at the International Hellenic University (IHU), to which its Inter-Orthodox English-speaking Post-graduate Program “Orthodox Ecumenical Theology” belongs. In addition to ΙΗU, 4 other institutions were registered…

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Catholic Objections to Women’s Altar Service: Barred from the Sacred
Women in the Church

Catholic Objections to Women’s Altar Service: Barred from the Sacred

The question of women deacons continues to be discussed in the Catholic Church, and questions about women are again in the news. Whether the discussion is about priestly celibacy or about ordaining women to the diaconate, the common denominator is that women are unclean. In the Roman Catholic Church, marriage is a diriment impediment for…

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Towards a Reasoned and Respectful Conversation About Deaconesses<span class='secondary-title'>St. Phoebe Center for the Deaconess Board</span>
Women in the Church

Towards a Reasoned and Respectful Conversation About DeaconessesSt. Phoebe Center for the Deaconess Board

The St. Phoebe Center for the Deaconess advocates for the reinstitution of the ordained order of deaconesses for the benefit of the Orthodox Church today. We also appreciate that this is a significant issue that prompts a range of opinions, and we consider it to be part of our work to promote empirically grounded conversation.[1]…

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Women’s Gifts and the Diaconate
Women in the Church

Women’s Gifts and the Diaconate

The reinstitution of the ordained female diaconate in the Orthodox Church today would result in a much-needed and transformative outpouring of women’s gifts into the Church and into the world. In order to appreciate the positive potential of the female diaconate, we must understand the absolute parity of women and men in the eyes of…

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Deaconesses and the Camel’s Nose
Theology, Women in the Church

Deaconesses and the Camel’s Nose

Opponents of women deacons in the Orthodox Church advance two principal arguments: the “natural and economical order of male and female”; and the conviction that women deacons will lead inexorably to a series of other unwanted changes in Orthodoxy. Advocates against the ordination of women to liturgical or even non-liturgical functions argue that there is…

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Women for the Church
Christian Practice, Liturgical Life, Women in the Church

Women for the Church

It is a very happy time for many Orthodox Christians across the globe since the order of the female sub-diaconate was re-installed in Alexandria, Egypt by Patriarch Theodore of the Greek Orthodox Church of all of Africa this past February 2017, where he ordained five women to the female diaconate (although without laying on of…

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A Dialogue on the Mission of St. Phoebe Center for the Deaconess
Women in the Church

A Dialogue on the Mission of St. Phoebe Center for the Deaconess

ελληνικά  |  ру́сский These essays are part of a series on the diaconate in the Orthodox Church derived from talks delivered at the St. Phoebe Center for the Deaconess “Renewing the Male and Female Diaconate in the Orthodox Church Conference” in Irvine, California in October 2017.   Diaconal Service in Church Administration and Governance I have…

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Two Views on the Female Diaconate
Women in the Church

Two Views on the Female Diaconate

Editors’ Note: In collaboration with the St. Phoebe Center for the Deaconess, we begin a short series of posts on the diaconate in the Orthodox Church derived from a Conference in Irvine, CA in October 2017. The following is a double post offering two very different views of the historicity and validity of the female diaconate. The Danger…

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The Revival of the Order of Deaconess by the Patriarchate of Alexandria
Women in the Church

The Revival of the Order of Deaconess by the Patriarchate of Alexandria

The Center of Ecumenical, Missiological and Environmental Studies “Metropolitan Panteleimon Papageorgiou” (CEMES) has recently published the Proceedings of its international conference on “Deaconesses, the Ordination of Women and Orthodox Theology”, both its English version and the Greek version. The book is dedicated to the Patriarch of Alexandria, for his decision to revive the order of Deaconesses,…

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Orthodoxy, African Deaconesses, and Missed Opportunities
Women in the Church

Orthodoxy, African Deaconesses, and Missed Opportunities

The headline from the official news agency of the Romanian Patriarchate read, “Patriarch Theodoros II of Alexandria performs first consecration of deaconesses.” There were mostly heartened and hopeful responses on my Facebook feed. I “liked” the page in the formal if shallow Facebook sense. As such news inevitably takes time to digest, those with keen…

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Shared Ministry and Divine Grace: Restoring the Diaconate in Orthodoxy
Liturgical Life, Women in the Church

Shared Ministry and Divine Grace: Restoring the Diaconate in Orthodoxy

The Orthodox world is buzzing with the recent news report on the ordination of deaconesses in the Patriarchate of Alexandria. To the best of our knowledge, the ordination occurred after the Divine Liturgy in the nave of the temple, and appears to resemble the rite used to ordain subdeacons. This rite includes the presentation of…

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Women Deacons in Africa; Not in America
Women in the Church

Women Deacons in Africa; Not in America

History was made on February 17, 2017 when five women were consecrated deaconesses in the Orthodox Church. For many of us, this is a welcome but shocking development. Speaking for myself, I expected the reintroduction of a female diaconate to occur in Greece, or elsewhere in Europe, or, even more likely, the United States; say,…

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Liturgical Life

Challenges for Restoring the Byzantine Female Diaconate for Present Times

Pope Francis’s recent call for a commission to explore the possibility of reinstating the female diaconate in the Catholic Church resonates with over a century of similar calls among leaders and laity of the Orthodox Church. These calls for restoring the female diaconate within the Eastern Orthodox Church have been supported by prominent theologians and…

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Public Orthodoxy seeks to promote conversation by providing a forum for diverse perspectives on contemporary issues related to Orthodox Christianity. The positions expressed in the articles on this website are solely the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors or the Orthodox Christian Studies Center.

Attribution

Public Orthodoxy is a publication of the Orthodox Christian Studies Center of Fordham University