thetablet.co.uk - 'The reinstitution of the female diaconate does not constitute an innovation..but the revitalisation of a once functional ministry'

The Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria and all Africa is to reinstitute the ancient order of women deacons, in order to better serve the pastoral needs of the Patriarchate, which serves the entire continent of Africa.

The Patriarchate of Alexandria is currently meeting for its two-day synod, where participants led by Pope Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, are discussing “The very essential African issue: Ecclesiastical Marriage in African Affinity."

A group of nine prominent Greek Orthodox liturgists – who describe themselves as active and emeriti professors of liturgics and liturgical theology at various theological schools and seminaries in Greece and the US – has since issued a statement in support of the move.

“The reinstitution of the female diaconate does not constitute an innovation, as some would have us believe, but the revitalisation of a once functional, vibrant, and effectual ministry in order to provide the opportunity for qualified women to offer in our era their unique and specific gifts in the service of God’s people,” they write on their blog, Panorthodox Cemes.

The group point out that the restoration process requires that the role and functions of the deaconess be “identified, properly defined, and clearly stated”. They also suggest that the public attire and the method of assignment and removal of the deaconess must be addressed.

In May last year, Pope Francis told an international group of women and men religious that the Catholic Church needed women’s voices, input, and experiences.

Link to full article: http://www.thetablet.co.uk/news/7968/0/greek-orthodox-patriarch-of-alexandria-and-all-africa-will-reinstate-order-of-women-deacons


Teachings of Christ

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:43-44 ESV)

Exaltation of the Cross

Save Your people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritance; * grant victory to Your Church over her enemies * and protect Your commonwealth by Your Cross. (Troparion - Tone 1)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Willingly lifted up on the Cross, O Christ God, * bestow Your compassions upon the new commonwealth that bears Your name. * By your power grant joy to Your Church, * granting her victory over her enemies. * May she have your Cross as the weapon of peace * and the invincible ensign of victory. (Kontakion - Tone 4)

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross on September 14th.

Random Proverb

"My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights." (Proverbs 3:11,12 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The soul has followed Moses and the cloud, both of these serving as guides for those who would advance in virtue; Moses here represents the commandments of the Law; and the cloud that leads the way, its spiritual meaning. The soul has been purified by crossing the Sea; it has removed from itself and destroyed the enemy army. It has tasted of the waters of Marah, that is, of life deprived of all sinful pleasure; and this at first had seemed bitter and unpleasant to the taste but offered a sensation of sweetness to those who accepted the wood. Next it enjoyed the beauty of the palm trees of the gospel and the springs; it filled itself with the living water, that is, the rock. It took within itself the bread of heaven. It overwhelmed the foreign host - a victory due to the extended arms of the Lawgiver, which thus foreshadowed the mystery of the Cross. Only then can the soul go on to the contemplation of transcendent Being.

St. Gregory of Nyssa