Friday, March 6, 2009

Women Priests

3rd Century

4th Century
East: Bishop St. Epiphanius of Salamis says in 377 [Panarion 79:3 in PG ],
It is true that in the Church there is an order of deaconesses, but not for being a priestess, nor for any kind of work of administration, but for the sake of the dignity of the female sex, either at the time of Baptism, or of examining the sick or suffering, so that the naked body of a female may not be seen by men administrating sacred rites, but by the deaconess.
East: Patriarch St. John Chrysostom the Great of Constantinople (Doctor & Holy Hierarch) says in 386 [On the Priesthood 2:2 in PG 48:633],
For those things which I have already mentioned might easily be performed by many even of those who are under authority, women as well as men; but when one is required to preside over the Church, and to be entrusted with the care of so many souls, the whole female sex must retire before the magnitude of the task, and the majority of men also...
The great Doctor and moral theologian adds in 3:9 of the same work, "Divine law has excluded women from the sanctuary, but they try to thrust themselves into it."

Ecumenical Councils
4th Century
1. Ecumenical Council of Nicaea I says in 325 [Canon 19],
Similarly, in regard to the deaconesses, as with all who are enrolled in the register, the same procedure is to be observed. We have made mention of the deaconesses, who have been enrolled in this position although, not having been in any way ordained, they are certainly to be numbered among the laity.
Local Councils

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