In our editorial of April 20 entitled “Preliminary Thoughts on the Female Diaconate,” our two editors at the time stated the following points of agreement between us:
- We do not support the ordination of women to the priesthood or the episcopate.
- We fail to see how a restored female diaconate constitutes a slippery slope to a female presbyterate or episcopate. We have no apprehensions at all in this regard.
- Yet we do not wish to foreclose the discussion of a female presbyterate or episcopate, because one of two things will result: either we as the Church will come to a better understanding and articulation of why we do not ordain women priests and bishops, or we will conclude that no doctrinal reasons forbid it. (Cf. Acts 5:38-39.)
To the third point we might add that we may discern, as Church, that doctrinal reasons not only do not forbid it, but require it.
Arguments for and against the ordination of women are scattered around the internet on websites and blogs and in free-standing statements. Some of them have more widespread, and others more limited, exposure. For this reason Orthodoxy in Dialogue proposes to provide a space where all sides of the question can come together for respectful discussion among brothers and sisters.
In addition to our Submission Guidelines, please note the following for this series:
- Those both “for” and “against” the ordination of women are encouraged to submit an article. If you fear that writing for Orthodoxy in Dialogue somehow “validates” everything else that we publish, you deprive yourself of the opportunity to share your views with a rapidly growing global audience.
- We will adhere to a strict 1500-word maximum limit. Put time and effort into producing your very best writing.
- Disrespect for people who hold opposing views will not be tolerated.
- Avoid labeling your interlocutors as heretics, liberals, conservatives, fundamentalists, converts, etc. These serve no purpose but to shut down the conversation. If your argument cannot stand on its own merits without name-calling and pigeon-holing those with whom you disagree, perhaps it’s not a valid argument.
- We wish to see only articles that have not appeared elsewhere, not even on personal blogs. Starting fresh on a topic on which you have already written can be a revealing experience for you as you discover new insights within yourself.
- In principle this is an intra-Orthodox conversation. If you’re not Orthodox but feel that you have something to contribute, write to us first to discuss.
Articles on the nature of Tradition are also welcome in this series: how—for better or for worse—will our understanding of what Tradition is and isn’t influence the direction of our thinking on the ordination of women?
Orthodoxy in Dialogue seeks to promote the free exchange of ideas by offering a wide range of perspectives on an unlimited variety of topics. Our decision to publish implies neither our agreement nor disagreement with an author, in whole or in part.
A blessed Apostles Fast to our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world.
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