Ordination of Women

Ordination of women to the priesthood and episcopate is not much of a live issue in the Orthodox Church. I consider myself to have feminist leanings, and I don’t see it being talked about except by one or two (lay) women theologians in very recent work.

On the other hand, the Orthodox Church has ordained women to the diaconate continuously since the first decades of the Church (see Romans 16:1), just not alot of them and they’re pretty low-key. And some Jurisdictions also have women Readers, who chant the Epistle and Psalm in the Liturgy and may lead Readers’ Services in the absence of a priest. A bishop tonsures a person to be a Reader, ie, cuts a lock of their hair.

Generally, the controversies that rock Catholic and Protestant churches are pretty much not going on here. Maybe Orthodox people tend to be more conservative generally speaking, or maybe there’s more to it, a different way of approaching Christianity and theology, not conflictual. Maybe Orthodox laity don’t rebel against their hierarchy so much because their hierarchy have been more reasonable. I don’t know. It would make an interesting study!

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