[ditty_news_ticker id="27897"] Archons Establish New Engagement Committee: Women In Orthodoxy - Orthodox Christian Laity

Archons Establish New Engagement Committee: Women In Orthodoxy


Source: Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate

Dr. Anthony J. Limberakis, National Commander of the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, has established a new Archon Engagement Committee: Women In Orthodoxy. This much-needed new committee is designed to foster the full inclusion of women in the life of the Church.

Dr. Limberakis explained: “At this point in the life of our Church and Omogeneia, it is imperative that we support the greater participation of women in the life of the Church. The WORD was established by our Lord and Savior and evangelized by the Four Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, but the very first Evangelists were the Myrrh-bearing Women. The Myrrh-bearing Women were the very FIRST to witness the empty tomb and were instructed by the risen Lord to bring the joyful news to the Apostles. That voice of the very first Evangelists, transmitted through the millennia, needs to be heard today from the countless Orthodox women who are the backbone of every parish in America. Consonant with the encouragement of the Exarch, His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, and the official policy of the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, this new Archon Engagement Committee Women in Orthodoxy is designed to foster that greater participation and is open to Archons and non-Archons, women and men.

Dr Cary LimberakisChairing the new Engagement Committee will be Archon Cary J. Limberakis, D.M.D. Archon Dr. Cary is Regional Commander of the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Greater Philadelphia Region. In March 2019, Archon Dr. Cary spearheaded an Archon Symposium entitled: “Reviving the Female Diaconate in the Orthodox Church: Has the Time Come?” Dr. Cary Limberakis also serves on the Advisory Board to the Saint Phoebe Center for the Deaconess. He was invested as an Archon on October 10, 2004 and conferred with the offikion Aktouarios.

Dr. ProdroumouAlso serving on the new Engagement Committee as Vice Chair will be Dr. Elizabeth H. Prodromou, who is a Visiting Professor in the International Studies Program at Boston College. A member of the delegation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate at the Holy and Great Council of Crete, Dr. Prodromou also serves on the Advisory Board of the Saint Phoebe Center for the Deaconess, and is an Advisory Board Member of the FoRB Women’s Alliance, a global community of religious freedom and human rights advocates dedicated to advancing freedom of religion for women.

In November 2022, His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America welcomed Archon Dr. Cary Limberakis, along with Archon George E. Demacopoulos, PhD; Carrie Frederick Frost, PhD; and Kyra P. Limberakis, MTS, to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese for an illuminating and wide-ranging discussion on expanding the participation of women in the Church. They discussed the theology and historical existence of deaconesses in Orthodoxy, as well as the importance of further developing the role of women and girls in the life of the contemporary Church. His Eminence expressed his hope that educational programming like the Archons’ 2019 symposium on the Female Diaconate would continue across the country. This new Engagement Committee will facilitate such programming.

The Archon Engagement Committee on Women In Orthodoxy is open for Archons and non-Archons, women and men. To join the engagement committee, click here.

The mission of the Archon Engagement Committees, which are now eleven in number, is to provide meaningful opportunities for all Archons to participate in the active and ongoing defense of the Ecumenical Patriarchate across a wide range of fields. Divided into several, subject matter specific subcommittees, the Archon Engagement Committees are designed to encourage participating Archons to develop original initiatives for consideration of inclusion in the national policy of the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.



  1. George D. Karcazes on

    Those familiar with Orthodox Christian Laity’s 35+ year educational and advocacy ministry to the Church in North America welcome this new committee from the Archons.

    In its 1993 book, Project for Orthodox Renewal [available on this website], OCL stated: “From ancient times, the life of the Church has been enriched by the dedication, work, love and courage of the faithful women of the Church. However, women have often faced obstacles to their participation and spiritual growth in the Church. OCL strongly supports the elimination of all such barriers to the full participation of women in the life of the Church.”

    OCL then went on to recommend, among other things that “… the diaconate of women should be re-instituted in our Church..”

    One of the seven studies in the book was “Orthodox Women and Our Church” by Eva Topping, of blessed memory (pp.63-89). Members of this new Archon committee may wish to add to their study of Women in Orthodoxy by referring to OCL’s book, on the 30th anniversary of its publication.

    [A closing note: The Archons surely know that ethnocentrism has been condemned by the Church. When will they and others in the Greek Archdiocese stop using the racist term “Omogenia”?]

    • A church was never meant to be an homogenia. The term, offer used by Elpi, demonstrates the exclusivity of the GOA. My wife is not Greek and about half of the people in my parish are not Greek-they cannot be part of or qualify as members of an homogenia . Our Lord commissioned the church to go to all nations and as St Paul stated -in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek nor male nor female. In many ways the GOA is more like a Greek club that does church services and hosts festivals than it is the Body of Christ.

  2. If the Archons are really serious about “Protecting the Future of Faith” in America and the rest of the world, they would get on board with a united, canonical, local, Autocephalous Orthodox Church in North America.

    They need to stop telling the Patriarch what he wants to hear and tell him what he needs to hear.

    A united, growing, canonical Orthodox Church in America would be far more able to protect the future of the Orthodox faith here and abroad.

    Fourteen struggling, overlapping, uncanonical, ethnic jurisdictions reporting to and under the control of synods in Istanbul, Antioch, Belgrade, Moscow, Budapest, and Sofia have proven that they cannot protect, let alone grown the Faith.

    The Archons are well-intentioned but their blind obedience to the Patriarch and Patriarchate in Turkey and attachment to modern Greek language and culture undermines any claim to ecumenism and universality.
    While it is good PR for Patriarch Bartholomew to rebrand himself as the “Green” Patriarch, he is in fact, as the late Steven Runciman concluded in The Great Church in Captivity, just the “Greek” Omogeneia Patriarch.

    • Peter Ray Millman on

      Hi Cato the Elder,
      Great points on your part. Unfortunately, the Ecumenical Patriarch is very formidable on the world stage, having won many prestigious awards. Personally, I’m not impressed. Let’s face it; he’s a tool of the US State Department. In order for him to have street cred with me, he would have to win the Nobel Peace Prize, at the least. Without US support, he would not enjoy anywhere near the prestige he does worldwide. Think about this: the Ecumenical Patriarch must be a citizen of the Republic of Turkey – the descendants of the notorious Ottoman Turks who committed genocide against the Armenians and Greeks. It’s called a deal with the devil. The US is the world’s oldest democracy, and the greatest superpower in all of history. For those two reasons alone, we should have our own autocephalous church in America. Statistics have shown that Christianity is on a precipitous decline in America. I may be wrong, but I would think if all the members of the Greek Orthodox Church would withdraw all financial support to the Archdiocese, the power of the EP would be broken. Greed, and the praises of men are very difficult idols to overcome. Why doesn’t the EP get down on his knees, pray and seek God’s will instead of his own…That’s my two cents which is probably worth two cents. Thank you!!

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