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The Orthodox Churches and the history of women's inclusion in the ministries

The Orthodox Churches

We are still collecting information for this section!
Please, give us your ideas and suggestions!
We are especially looking for the history of women’s inclusion in the ministries!

Women Deacons

cover page of the bookWomen routinely received the diaconate ordination in the Eastern part of the Church until about the 10th century. The ordination rite, which is still contained in the official pontifical ritual, the so-called euchologia, has never been withdrawn. As Bishop Kallistos Ware has pointed out: “It has just slided into disuse.”

The diaconate ordination for women was truly sacramental.

Here are samples of the ancient ordination rites on our website:

Find here more information on Women deacons in the Orthodox Church, by Dr. Kyriaki Karidoyanes FitzGerald, Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 1998.

There are more than 20 Women Deacons in the Orthodox calendar of saints.

Other texts

Orthodox Women plead for reform!

We are proud to present a review of an important Orthodox publication: Orthodox Women Speak. Discerning the “Signs of the Times”.

We have acquired an important article by an Orthodox theologian. ‘Patristic elements towards a theological anthropology of woman as a human being and as woman in her difference from man’,, by Constantinos Yokarinis from Greece, lecture in Warsaw 1996.

A recent book giving the tradional Orthodox view on the ordination of women. Order of Creation/Order of Redemption by Michael Azkoul, 2007.



Wijngaards Institute for Catholic ResearchThis website is maintained by the Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research.

The Institute is known for issuing academic reports and statements on relevant issues in the Church. These have included scholars' declarations on the need of collegiality in the exercise of church authority, on the ethics of using contraceptives in marriage and the urgency of re-instating the sacramental diaconate of women.

Visit also our websites:Women Deacons, The Body is Sacred and Mystery and Beyond.

You are welcome to use our material. However: maintaining this site costs money. We are a Charity and work mainly with volunteers, but we find it difficult to pay our overheads.


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