History and Future of the Female Diaconate – A Paper Prepared for Archbishop Spyridon

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Source: Orthodox Christian Laity

April 11, 1997

During the December 2, 1996, Orthodox Christian Laity Executive Board Meeting with His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon, Timi Loomos Freshman was asked by His Eminence to prepare a paper on the Female Diaconate so that he could further study the issue. Mrs. Freshman has been in touch with Valerie Karras, Demetra Jacquet and Dr. Ellen Gvosdev as well as a network of faithful Orthodox Christian women in the Los Angeles area. Together they compiled research and articles on the subject. Mrs. Freshman coordinated and wrote this short paper on the topic. It is presented to His Eminence in Christian love so that those baptized into Christ feel united in His Church. The dynamics of Orthodox Christian life in our times and place contribute to the logic of restoring the ancient orders of the female and male diaconates. We are confident that the hierarchy and clergy will work together with laypersons so that the diaconate serves to reach out to our brothers and sisters in this land.

The positive role of women in the life of the Church can be strengthened by using our liturgical services to educate the faithful. The period of Lent when the Church offers us the services of the Akathestos Hymn is a perfect time to teach and reflect upon the meaning of the Theotokos and how Orthodox Christianity teaches that as the new Eve she brought a new consciousness to the world about the role of women in the life of the Church, family, and community. These services are a time to teach these understandings.

If we rely on the liturgical life of the Church and our tradition, the female diaconate as in the ancient Church can contribute to the spiritual renewal of our life and times.

We submit this study with the hope that it will bring Christ closer to all those who seek Him in love and understanding.

George Matsoukas, President
Orthodox Christian Laity

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4 Comments

  1. The female diaconate originated to take care of needs of the elderly females of the Church. Also, the elderly men. Bringing food, clothing, assistance and the Eucharist to shut-ins. Also, to be with them in their last hours. Today, we have social services and home nurses to do this work, however, the Church can also restart these programs with female deacons. The future would be just this.

  2. Women can’t serve in the altar at all. Hahaha what a bunch of nonsense. The Greek church is really in shambles promoting this feminist equality nonsense. Women are not equal to men in any capacity. They never will be. Women can’t be readers or serve in the altar. It is forbidden for a woman to go into the altar. Any church that has a woman “serving” is not a church I would ever attend. “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” – 1 Timothy 2:12

  3. So Chris, let me ask you this. Upon entering any Orthodox Church, we have Christ on one side of the Royal Doors. Who is on the other side? If the Virgin Mary, Theotokos, appeared in any Orthodox Church, would she be barred from the sanctuary? You see Chris, you have the wrong perspective of men & women in the Church and probably in general.

  4. Dear Nikolai,

    Can you give an updated account to the readers about the money handed by the CIA to the EP in Turkey?
    The misuse of 9/11 funds that went unknown and some to legal fees in clergy abuse, and those thingss you documented in the past, I am not finding. One wonders the presence of CIA chief today in Moscow? – same time EP at 9/11 site 11/2/2021.

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