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The Fundamental Principles and main Characteristics of the Orthodox Church

The Question of the Priesthood of Women (part 1)

The Question of the Priesthood of Women (part 2)

The Orthodox Church as seen by the Roman Church

Neohellenic Theology at the Crossroads

Incarnation and Salvation - an ecclesiological approach

The Reciprocal Relation between doctrinal and historical factors in the Separation of the Oriental Churches from the Ancient Catholic Church

Chalcedonians and Monophysites after Chalcedon

The Ebionites as Depicted in the Pseudo-Clementine Novel

Byzantium, Iconoclasm and the Monks

Uniatism: A Problem in the Dialogue Between
the Orthodox and Roman Catholics

The reply of saint photios to the structure and logical dynamics of the filioque

T he Question of the P riesthood of Women (part 2)

Vlassios Phidas, Theologia ΞΣΤ΄, 1995, p. 240- 274

...

7. The Christocentric Character of the Priesthood and the Pneuma-tocentric character of the Woman's role in the Church

Through this most specific relation of the Theotokos to the Holy Spirit the Virgin Mary was able to become a temple of God and a type of the Church as the Mother of Jesus Christ, because the motherhood of the Theotokos and the motherhood of the Church are activated through the operation of the Holy Spirit. Indeed, the Church, like the Virgin Mary, receives the descent of the Holy Spirit, begets Christ and brings into the renewed world the new offspring of the new humanity which is in Christ. It is obvious, then, that in the plan of the divine economy in Christ, the role of the woman was tied more directly to the more specific mission and not to the hypostatic peculiarity of the person of the Holy Spirit in the divine Trinity, because through his creative operation in the Virgin Mary, on the one hand the bond of Eve was loosened and on the other hand the necessary power to give birth was supplied to her for the birth of the new Adam, God's Son and Logos who became a human being.The above Pneumatocentric understanding of the woman's role in the plan of the divine economy, fulfilled through the act of the Virgin Mary at the incarnation of God's Logos, formed the Church's consciousness as to the woman's role in the Church, because in the Church the mission of the Spirit and the mission of the Son is extended and the Paschal Mystery of Christ together with the Mystery of Pentecost is actualized by the good will of God the Father as an indissoluble internal unity and synergy. The Pneumatocentric role of the woman, according to the recycling from Mary to Eve, is extended into the Church's era, in the same way as the Adam-Christ typological relation is extended into it.

This becomes clearer, when it is more fully realized that the Church's era is the eighth day (ὀγδόη ἡμέρα ) of creation in the whole plan of the divine economy. Hence, while the Adam-Christ Christocentric iconic typology befits the man, the Pneumatocentric functional typology befits the woman, as it were, as this was sealed upon the person of the Virgin Mary, who became through the creative operation of the Spirit upon her the one who is full of grace (κεχαριτωμένη ) and the prototype of the charismatic persons par excellence.

As it is well known, the sacramental priesthood in the Church is the priesthood of the great and only High-priest, Jesus Christ, through whom it is referred to God the Father, and hence, the bearer of the fullness of the priestly authority, i.e. the Bishop, is the icon of Christ who is placed in the Church as a type of him, exercising this authority in the name and in the place of Jesus Christ, the only High-priest. In an analogous manner the charisms in the Church, having as a source the saving work of Christ, have reference to the Holy Spirit and are operated through his power in the body of the Church. The Christocentric iconic typology which befits the man, putting forth the bearer of the priestly authority as an icon, a type and representative of Christ, allows only men to participate in the priesthood of Christ, who recapitulated in himself the old Adam. The Pneumatocentric functional typology which .befits the woman, putting forth the creative operation of the Holy Spirit in the person of the Virgin Mary for the incarnation of God ' s Logos, assigns to the woman the role of an exceptional bearer of the special charisms which are supplied by him.

This consciousness of the Church, confirmed by the models of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary, was imprinted upon the ab initio unanimous and theologically consistent ecclesiastical practice, through which Christ ' s priesthood is assigned to the man, whereas the specialcharisms of the Holy Spirit befit the woman. The Didascalia Apostolorum, a third century composition which has survived in a Syriac translation, has transcribed this consciousness of the Church in a characteristic manner: Hie locum Dei sequens sicuti Deus honoretur a vobis, quoniam episcopus in typum Dei praesedet vobis. Diaconus autem in typum Christi abstat; ergo deligatur a vobis. Diaconissa vero in typum Sancti Spiritus honoretur a vobis. Presbyteri etiam in typum apostolorum spectentur a vobis. The putting forth of the Bishop as a type of God, facilitated the typological parallelism of the deacon as a type of Christ and of the deaconess as a type of the Holy Spirit. Yet, the Christ-Priesthood iconic typology is certainly different from the Holy Spirit- Deaconess typology, which is purely functional, because it has a clear reference to the incarnation of God ' s Son and Logos. In other words the typological relation of the woman with the third person of the Holy Trinity is not particularly self-sufficient, as it is generally claimed by the Russian theologisers, but is a functional relation and is referred to the Mystery of the divine economy which is in Christ.

The typological distinction between a deacon and a deaconess (Christ-Holy Spirit) is further strengthened by the verbs which are used respectively, because, whereas in the case of the deacon the verb specifies an organic relation to the body of the local Church (abstat = παρίσταται = stands before), in the case of the deaconess it specifes an assignment of honour (honoretur = τιμᾶται = is honoured).

This distinction is clearer in the related text of the ApostolicConstitutions, which represents a fuller development of the typology of the Didascalia. In this text the Bishop is put forth as the earthly God after God. As for the deacon he should stand before him as Christ to the Father and should minister to him in everything blamelessly, as Christ, doing nothing of himself, but always doing whatever is pleasing to the Father. As for the deaconess let her he honoured among you as a type of the Holy Spirit, saying or doing nothing without the deacon, just as neither the Paraclete says or does anything of himself, but, glorifying Christ, waits upon his will. As for the presbyters they should be considered among you as types of the apostles (47) .

Through this text clarifications are provided for understanding the functional typological relation of the woman to the Holy Spirit with reference to the mystery of Christ. Therefore, the Christ-Priesthood iconic typology distinguishes and specifies the relation of the woman to the priesthood in absolute analogy to the relation of the distinct economy of the Son and the Holy Spirit. The iconic Christocentric typology of the priesthood and the functional Pneumatocentric typology of the special charisms are denoted respectively by the function of the deacon and the deaconess in the body of the Church as a clear extension of the particular function of the man and the woman in the plan of the divine economy between the promise and the fulfilment of the promise in Christ.

It is in this framework of the particular roles of the man and the woman in the plan of the divine economy, that one can understand more fully on the one hand the models of the Lord and the Theotokos, and on the other hand the whole Pauline teaching concerning the woman and her relation to the man as his glory in the operation of the body of the Church. It is very typical that in the text of the Apostolic Constitutions the relation of the deaconess, who is honoured as a type of the Holy Spirit, to the deacon, who stands as a type of Christ, is described by way of reference to the Pauline teaching concerning the relation of the man to the woman, since the deaconess should be honoured in the Church saying or doing nothing without the deacon, just as neither the Paraclete says or does anything of himself, but, glorifying Christ, waits upon his will.

This functional Pneumatocentric perspective in the understanding of the role of the woman in the Church obviously attributes a deeper theological content to the whole teaching of apostle Paul concerning the woman, which should not be interpreted, as is usual, by strictly non-theological criteria, as for example, by reference to the woman's social position in New Testament times, etc. The question concerning the role of the woman in the plan of the divine economy was equally fundamental as the question concerning the corresponding role of the man. Therefore, it could not be relativised either in the apostolic ker-ygma or in the consciousness of the Church. Besides, the exemplars of the Lord and of the Theotokos constitute absolute criteria of continuous affirmation of the apostolic tradition on the subject of integrity, and thus the ecclesiastical practice, which was consistent with it, unanimously related the priesthood which derives from the work of Christ to men and the special charisms which are derived from the work of the Holy Spirit particularly to women.

The Church's consciousness concerning the distinct roles of theman and the woman in the plan of the divine economy also specified by analogy the distinction of their role in the new humanity in Christ. Thus the supreme functional Pneumatocentric typology offsets the equal participation of the woman in the priesthood of Christ, which befits man according to the iconic Chrstocentric typology. These typological references, however, are certainly, as we saw, not simple theoretical correlations, but reflect real functional distinctions in the plan of the divine economy and have, therefore, a direct reference to this inner relation between Christology and Pneumatology.

Indeed, in the historical life of the Church on the one hand the maintenance through the unity of the divine economy of the revealed distinction of the roles of the Logos of God and of the Holy Spirit results in the clear distinction of the roles of the man and the woman in the operation of the body of the Church; and on the other hand, every misunderstanding, or overturning of this distinction, or of the inner unity in Christ, results in a confusion, not only of the roles of the man and the woman, but also of the relation of Christology to Pneumatology in the operation of the theanthropic organic constitution of the Church.

Thus, the unbalanced overstress on Pneumatology at the expense of Christology of the Montanists and the Kollyridians resulted not only in the disincarnation of the institution of the Church by means of a projection of the eschatological perspective of the impending descent of the spiritual Jerusalem, but also in the complete weakening of the soteriological significance of the inner relation of Christology to Pneumatology through the weakening of the sacramental experience. Under the prism of this one-sided Pneumatocentric understanding of the Church, through which the Chrstocentric ontology of the Church evaporates and becomes transferred to monosemantic eschatological expectations, over-stress is placed upon the importance of exceptional charisms of the Holy Spirit against the Priestly authority which has a purely Christocentric character; hence, the projection by the Montanists of the absolute superiority of the charismatic class over the priesthood in the Church. In the last analysis, the reverse or even overturning of the relation of Pneumatology to Christology by the Montanists, naturally resulted in both the weakening of the Christocentric ontology of the Church and of the Christocentric character of the priesthood, and also the overstressing of the special charisms of the Holy Spirit and of the role of the charismatic class in the accomplishment and operation of the whole mystery of the Church.

Under this spectrum the woman's participation in the peculiarcharismatic priesthood of the Montanists was a natural outcome not only of their hypertrophic Pneumatology and, by extension, of their erroneous Ecclesiology, but also of the traditional special relation of the woman to the particular charisms of the Holy Spirit (cf. the prophetic charism of Philip's daughters, etc.). Yet, even through the above side effects of the one-sided development of Pneumatology at the expense of Christology we find that our own positions are confirmed with regard to both the peculiar relation of the role of the woman to the more particular economy of the Holy Spirit in the plan of the divine economy, and the specific significance of this peculiar relation for the understanding of the place of the woman in the Church and especially of her relation to the priesthood of Christ.

 

8. The Institution of Deaconesses

It was under this functional Pneumatocentric perspective of the role of the woman that the operation of many special orders of charismatic women (prophetesses, deaconesses, widows, virgins, etc.) were always understood in the Church.The institution of the deaconesses, however, is of particular significance for our present subject-matter, mainly because of the type of the ordination which is performed for the consecration of deaconesses to this particular ecclesiastical ministration (48).

The Pneumatocentric understanding of the role of the deaconesses is explicitly put forth, as we saw, in the Didascalia Apostolorum and in the Apostolic Constitutions; hence, deaconesses are seen by the ecclesiastical tradition as exercising a function of the charismatics in the wider spiritual mission of the Church. Any tendency to understand the ministration of the deaconesses as a real priestly relation to the sacrament of priesthood is excluded not only by the severe prohibition of their perfomance of priestly duties, but also by the explicit exclusion of any possibility for them of promotion through canonical sacramental ordination to the degree of presbyter. The sacrament of priesthood includes and presupposes the possibility of canonical promotion to the three degrees of the priesthood. If the «ordination» of deaconesses constituted an entry into the priesthood, then their exclusion from promotion to the other degrees of the priesthood would be unthinkable.

The Apostolic Constitutions link the mission of the deaconesses to the accommodation of special needs in the performance of the whole spiritual work of the Church, for we are in need of a deaconess for the many needs of a woman. And first of all in the case of the illumination of women the deacon shall only anoint their forehead with the holy oil, and after him the deaconess shall anoint them; for there is no need for women to be seen by men (49) . Thus, they admonish to proceed to the ministerial appointment (προχείρισιν ) of deaconesses for the ministration of women. And so, when in the case of some houses you cannot send a man deacon to women on account of the unbelievers, you shall then send a woman deaconess on account of the minds of the corrupted ones (50) .

The duties of the deaconesses within and outside the naves varied; everything, however, as it is known, was related to meeting special needs (51). Epiphanius observes in a synopsis of the institution of the deaconesses in the ecclesiastical consciousness, that this institution was necessary on account of the modesty of the female gender, or for the time of the bath (= baptism), or for attending to a suffering of pain and when there is a need to undress the body of a female, so that it may not be seen by men who perform priestly functions, but by a deaconess, who is to take care of what is commanded by the priest at a time when a woman is in need and on the occasion of the nakedness of her body (52) .

The ministration of the deaconess was certainly related to the ministry of the deacon, since, being honoured as a type of the Holy Spirit, she had to relate her work to the deacon, who was standing by as a type of Christ, doing or saying nothing without the deacon, just as neither the Paraclete says or does anything of himself, but, glorifying Christ, waits upon his wil l (53). T hus, the deaconess, being classed according to her office in the Apostolic Constitutions among the so-called lower clergy (sub-deacons, readers, cantors), does not partake equally with the deacon in the distribution of the blessings (54) ; like the rest of the lower clergy, she does not have the right to excommunicate (ἀφορίζειν ) (55), as the deacon has, because these are servants of the deacons; she cannot bless or do any of those acts which presbyters or deacons do, because it is not permissible to anyone to do the work of a deacon, namely, to anyone from among the lower clergy (56); and more generally she is obliged to be confined to the strict duties specified during her ministerial appointment.

It is self-evident that this is the case of an important institution of the charismatic order, which has no special connection with the sacrament of priesthood. Thus, St Epiphanius records this ecclesiastical consciousness, stressing that as regards the ordination of women, since the office of keeping good order and ecclesiastical lawfulness was well secured with good understanding and by the measure of canons, only of deaconesses was there any need in the ecclesiastical office, and mention was also made of widows, the most advanced in age of whom he ordered to be called presbytises (= elder ladies) but not presbyteresses or priestesses, because the order of deaconesses was instituted not for priestly functions, nor for allowing anything of the sort (57) . It is in this light that Canon 11 of the Synod of Laodicea (4th century) should be interpreted, concerning the matter that the so-called presbytises, i.e. those who have the privilege to take the first seats, should not be made leaders in the Church (58) .

The ecclesiastical lawfulness, well secured by a measure of canons, instituted the order of deaconesses as a distinguished order of charismatic women, endowed with special charisms of the Holy Spirit and offering ministrations in the Church as a type of the Holy Spirit, i.e. according to the type of the operation of the Holy Spirit in relation to the economy of Christ; and hence it never linked deaconesses to the sacramental priesthood and never accepted their identification with the degree of the deacon, although neither were the deacons in the ecclesiastical order entrusted with the performance of any sacrament, but only with serving what was performed (59) . In this light the institution of the deaconesses belongs to the special orders of the charismatic women instituted by the Church (prophetesses, widows, virgins, etc), while their ministerial appointment (προχείρισις) in the specific ministry was done by some sort of ordination (χειροτονία ), i.e. laying on of hands (χειροθεσία), which corresponded to the special content of the ministry assigned to them and which could not be seen as comparable in content with the canonical sacramental ordination of the deacon.

 

Conclusions

On the basis of the above exposition one could draw the following conclusions on the subject under discussion:

I. The issue of the relation of woman to the priesthood, which specifies the related issue of the possibility of the ordination of women, has always been a fundamental theological and ecclesiological one, because it was realized as such in the life and consciousness of the Church and was also de facto typified in the specific canonical act, without any particular reference to the underlying theological structure, or to the ecclesiological consequences which followed it. The models of the Lord, the Theotokos and the Apostles constituted the sufficient defence both of the Pauline teaching concerning the man-woman relation in the new reality in Christ, and the particular apostolic tradition and practice on this matter. Thus, the deeper theological underlying structure of the unanimous ecclesiastical consciousness remained overcast in the patristic and canonical tradition of the Church. The present study has sought to uncover this theological underlying structure in order to show more fully this theological foundation of the Church's consciousness and act concerning the issue of the priesthood of women.

II. The ontological identity and the equality of honour of male and female according to the order of creation, whereby not only the man but also the woman were created in the image and likeness of the Creator, enjoy a determinate significance for the theological approach to the issue of the priesthood of women. Thus, according to the order of creation the woman is not only an icon of an icon (image of an image) of God, but also an icon of God equally with man. Hence, the distinctions of the Pauline teaching, which view man as God's icon and head and the woman as man's glory and body, cannot be traced to the order of creation. These distinctions are mainly understood according to the logos of the divive economy since it was to this logic that through the fall of the protoplasts the logic of creation was subject.Consequently, it was through the fall that on the one hand the order of creation was overturned and on the other hand the prelasparian relations of man and woman were altered. The alteration of these relations caused a certain ordering not in the sharing of the responsibility for the fall to the detriment of the woman - since the sharing of the responsibility for the fall was common to both the man and the woman - but in the particularization of the ministerial roles of the man and the woman in the whole plan of the divine economy which is in Christ. Hence, through the particularization of the ministerial roles of the man and the woman their relations to each other were specified as being those of head and body, or icon and glory.

The ministerial role of the woman was related to the loosening of the bond of Eve's disobedience, without which the incarnation of the Son and Logos of God and the recapitulation of the old Adam in Christ would have been impossible, since Eve became through disobeying the cause of death for herself and for the whole of humanity. The loosening of the bond of Eve's disobedience was accomplished through the obedience of the Virgin Mary, who became through her obeying the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole of humanity. It is apparent that while Eve represents the old humanity, Mary represents the transfiguration of that old humanity through the birth of the new humanity in Christ. Thus, while the case of man is related more to the recycling « ἀνακύκλησις » from the new to the old Adam, the ministerial role of the woman is related to the recycling from Mary to Eve, because there was no other way for loosening what had been tied (through Eve's disobedience).

The particularity of the ministerial roles of the man and the woman in the plan of the divine economy, in which everything comes to pass from the Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit, was correlated to the distinction in it of the mission of the Son from the mission of the Holy Spirit, which was understood in terms of the promise and the fulfilment of the promise in Christ. Thus, while the Son and Logos of God had to recapitulate in himself the old Adam, the Holy Spirit had to prepare and make possible the incarnation from the Virgin Mary, which did indeed take place from the Holy Spirit and from Mary the Virgin.

The particularity of the mission of the Holy Spirit in comparison to the mission of the Son for the recycling from Mary to Eve was fulfilled through the creative descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Virgin Mary, whereby the synergy of the Son and the Spirit for theredemption of the human race was achieved, as it is highlighted in the patristic tradition.

III. The Holy Spirit, as the creative power of the ancient world, operates in the Virgin Mary the transfiguration of the old humanity through its purification, makes her a new place of the power of the Most High which oveshadows her and grants to her in a wondrous and creative manner the necessary birth-giving power (δύναμιν γεννητικήν ), so that she may become a first-fruits of our own Jump not seminally but creatively through the Holy Spirit. Thus, at the Annunciation the Virgin Mary became a recipient of the creative manifestation of the Holy Spirit, through whom the recycling from Mary to Eve was fulfilled and it came to pass that the first conjunction (i.e. that of Eve) was dissolved by the second, so that the new Adam who recapitulated all things in himself might become incarnate. Hence, the Annuciation of the Theotokos could be characterized as the supreme prefiguration of Pentecost.

IV. The special relation of the ministry of the Virgin Mary to the mission of the Holy Spirit for the dissolution of the bond of Eve's disobedience, made the Virgin the supreme recipient of the special charisms of the Holy Spirit, the one who is full of grace and the exceptional type of the charismatics (K εχαριτωμένη ). Thus, it was from the Virgin Mary and through the creative power of the Holy Spirit that the Son and Logos of God became incarnate, the Saviour of the world, whereby she was put forth as a type of the Church.

V. The traditional typological relation of the ministry of the motherhood of the Virgin Mary to the motherhood of the Church remains basically Pneumatocentric, because both the Virgin and the Church receive the Spirit, through whose operation Christ is born and the offspring of the new humanity, which is in Christ, are brought into the world. Yet, although the function of the Theotokos is initially Pneumatocentric, i.e. it is related in a more special way to the work of the Holy Spirit, the function of the Church is Christocentric, i.e. it is related in a more special way to the economy of Christ through the operation to the salvation which has been already accomplished in Christ.

VI. The particularity in the plan of the divine economy of the ministry of the Holy Spirit to the functional role which was fulfilled through the Virgin Mary is also extended to the Church's epoch.Thus, in the Church the priesthood of Christ, who recapitulated in himself the old Adam, befits the man, whereas the special charisms of the Holy Spirit, who operated creatively in the Virgin Mary for the dissolution of the bond of Eve and the incarnation of the Son and Logos of God, befit the woman, who is functioning within the body of the Church and is honoured as a type of the Holy Spirit.

VII. The Pneumatocentric typology of the woman is different from the Christocentric typology of the priesthood. Indeed, while the Christ-priesthood typology is iconic and presents the relation of the one and only High-priest to the bearers of the priesthood of Christ in the Church, the Spirit-woman typology does not refer, as it is claimed by certain Russian theologisers, to the relation of the third person of the Holy Trinity to the female, but to the functional relation of the special mission of the Holy Spirit to the distinctive role of the woman in the whole plan of the divine economy which is in Christ. Under this prism the Christocentric typology of priesthood is an iconic typology and has a reference to the mystery of Christ. Thus, in comparison to the iconic Christocentric priesthood of the priests in the Church, the Pneumatocentric function of the woman is analogous to the mission of the Holy Spirit and its operation has a direct reference to the mystery of Christ. Yet, just as the distinction of the roles of the Son and the Holy Spirit highlights their Synergy and doesnot alter their equality and common honour in the Church, so also the functional distinction of the roles of man and the woman does not remove their natural equality and common honour.

VIII. The consciousness of the Church, experiencing continuously and uninterruptedly the whole mystery of the divine economy in Christ, has preserved unchanged the content of the distinctive roles in it of the man and the woman and has stressed for obvious reasons the peculiarity of the relation of the man to the priesthood of Christ, and of the woman to the special charisms of the Holy Spirit for the secure realization and operation in the Spirit of the body of Christ in the history of salvation.

IX. Any overturing, altering or reversing of the distinctive roles of the man and the woman in the Church in accordance with the rationality of the divinge economy presupposes or entails a corresponding overturning, altering or reversing of the relation of Pneumatology to Christology in the Church. Thus, an overemphasis of Christology at the expense of Pneumatology entails a compression ofthe charisms of the Holy Spirit in the name of an autonomous hierocratic or clericalistic understanding of the structures of the Church, whilst an overemphasis on Pneumatology at the expense of Christology entails a weakening of the Christocentric ontology of the Church and by extension of the Christocentric character of priesthood in the name of one-sided charismatic understanding of the structures of the Church. It is in this light that one may understand the fact that the issue of the priesthood of women is inseparably connected with implicit or explicit diversifications from the common ecclesiological teaching of the Church of the first centuries and of the era of the Ecumenical Councils.

X. The indisputable Christocentric character of the priesthood of Christ is obviously appropriate to the particularity of man's role in the operation of the body of the Church. Therefore, the Pneumatocentric character of the distinctive function of the woman in the whole plan of the divine economy excludes the woman from transcending the limits specified for her in the epoch of the Church, because the whole mystery of the divine economy from creation to the eschaton is constantly operating in it. Thus the Orthodox Church, insisting on the criteria of the long-lived ecclesiastical consciousness and of the patristic tradition, understood the role of the woman in the body of the Church according to the type of the Virgin Mary and hence she honoured the charismatic women as types of the Holy Spirit and instituted the operation of the charismatic orders of women in the wider spiritual work of the Church (deaconesses, prophetesses, widows, virgins, etc.).

XI. The appointment (προχείρισις ) of deaconesses in the ancient Church through a special type of ordination (xeiootovia) cannot be interpreted through the type of the canonical sacramental ordination, because it referred to a special laying on of hands (χειροτονία ) for the purpose of exercising a well-estabished ecclesiastical ministry. The well-established function of the deaconess was on the one hand strictly distinguished from the priestly authority and from the sacrament of the priesthood, and on the other hand it had reference to the ministry of the deacon, through whom alone the work of the deaconess had a reference to the ministry of the local ecclesiastical body. Thus, the type of ordination of the deaconess can be rightly understood not only through a simple comparison of the various types of ordination, but also through the expressed ecclesiastical consciousness concerning this in stitution and its function, according to which the appointment of deaconesses was identified with their consecration in the order of the charismatic women of the local Church.

XII. In the Orthodox Church, as also in the Roman Catholic Church, the relation of Christology to Pneumatology, expressed in the doctrine of the Christocentric ontology of the Church and of the Christocentric character of priesthood, on the one hand excludes the relation of the woman to the priesthood, but, on the other hand, favours the extensive development of the well-established orders of charismatic women for the fuller operation of the charisms of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Church. Thus in the Church, the priesthood of men as a type of Christ and the function of women as a type of the mission of the Holy Spirit highlight more fully not only the inner unity and synergy of the distinguished functions of the man and the woman in the mystery of the divine economy, but also the well-balanced appropriation of the Paschal mystery of Christ and the mystery of Pentecost in the mystery of the Church. The peculiarity of the roles of the man and the woman does not at all denote a superiority of the man or an abasement of the woman, just as the incarnation of the Son and Logos of God does not introduce a superiority of Him over the Holy Spirit in the equal honour of the relations of the persons of the Holy Trinity.

* A paper delivered at the Inter-Orthodox Consultation on «On the place of Women in the Orthodox Church» (Rhodes 1988).


NOTES

47. Constitutiones Apostolicae, ii, 57, 10.

48. Cf. especialy E. Theodo r ou, op. cit.

49. Constitutiones Apostolicae, iii, 16, 2.

50. Ibid., iii, 16, 1.

51. E. Theodorou, op. cit.

52. Epiphanius, «Adversus Haereses», 5, 9. PG 42:744.

53. Constitutiones Apostolicae, ii, 26:6.

54. Ibid., viii, 31, 2-3.

55. Ibid, viii, 28, 7-8.

56. Ibid, viii, 28, 5-6.

57. Epiphanius, «Adversus Haereses», 59. PG 42:744-745.

58. Cf. also N. Afanasieff, «Presbytides or female Presidents», Women and the Priesthood, New York 1983, 61ff.

59. Epiphanius, «Adversus Haereses», 59. PG 42:745.

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