Friday, January 27, 2006
To my dear Lady the Reverend and God-Loved, Deacon, Olympias
Did you know that this was how St. John Chrysostom addressed his close friend and confidant, St Olympia? Here is a well researched book by Dr. Kyriaki Karidoyanes FitzGerald entitled
Women Deacons in the Orthodox Church Called to Holiness and Ministry It is edited by Father Thomas Hopko.
St Nina's Quaterly has a great review
written by Deborah Belonick Associate Editor for St Vladimir's Seminary Press
Any mention of Women Deacons is charged with varied, but immediate reaction:
"Yes!!! This ministry needs to return"...."Oh no...once they get to be deacons what is keeping them from being priests??"..."Shush"..."That is feminist retoric"..."Why can't women's ministry be ordained?"...
I think it is important to ask why we have these strong emotional reactions and are they based on any facts or research or knowledge of the historical role of Diaconess or are they based on our assumptions and what was debated with our friends?
On a related theme, there are many incredible orthodox women of past and of present. Some are saints, but most are just women trying to live out their life in Christ. Over the next while I think I will post about some of the wonderful women and resources for women and books written by Orthodox women.