The Restoration of the Female Diaconate

The question of the role of women in the Orthodox Christian Church is, not surprisingly, a matter of discussion at the present time.  As unfortunately is the case with much in both secular and churchly life, such discussion is often bedevilled and befogged by emotion, misinformation and much else that is inimical to a sober consideration.  In fact, the question is not new at all.  What is new is, on the one hand, the wholly proper secular concern over the treatment and role of women in the workplace and in society at large – something in which Christianity has much to contribute – and, on the other hand, the more particular question of the proper recognition within the Church of the way in which ministry and ministries are seen and evidenced in a way that makes the fullest use of the talents, grace and mission given to each one of us in the Holy Spirit as equally baptized and equally adopted sons and daughters of God, remade equally in his redeemed image and likeness.  This question has prompted an interesting discussion in the online article (link below) in the context of the decision by the Patriarchate of Alexandria to restore the female diaconate.  I say interesting, not least because of the calibre of the theologians contributing to the discussion.

 

Reader Anthony

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