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Women deacons in the Orthodox Church. Called to holiness and ministry

Women deacons in the Orthodox Church

Called to holiness and ministry

by Dr. Kiriaki Karidoyanes FitzGerald

To contact the author, email to: diaconia@netscape.net.

Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 1998; ISBN 1-885652-22-4 (pbk.)

cover page of the book

This is a wonderful book, academically reliable as well as spiritually profound. It provides many data on the history of women deacons and discusses the issue of their sacramental ordination. Written from an Orthodox point of view, it is eminently ‘Catholic’ in its feel. It is the best book on women deacons I have seen.

TABLE OF CONTENTS (with some of my comments)

* Letter from His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

* Preface

* Prologue by Evangelos Theodorou

Prof. Theodorou is the pioneer theologian who from the 1930s declared that women deacons had been validly ordained.

Chapter 1. Early Development

Traces the earliest history of women deacons in Scripture and writings of the Early Fathers.

Chapter 2. The Identity of the Deaconess

Reconstructs the tasks of the woman deacon as found in the Didascalia and the Apostolic Constitutions.

Chapter 3. The Witness of the Women Deacon Saints

Describes the work and life of the woman deacon as it becomes evident from hagiographical testimony. Unique and absorbing data!

Chapter 4. The Charism of Women Deacons: The Apostolic Constitutions Rite

An analysis of the earliest extant ordination rite, the rite found in the Didascalia, compared to sayings from contemporary Fathers of the Church.

Chapter 5. The Charism of Women Deacons: The Byzantine Ordination Rite

A detailed theological and liturgical assessment of the ordination rite used for 6 centuries by the universal Church.

Chapter 6. The Ordination Issue

A report on the two opposing views of prominent Orthodox theologians: Prof. John Karmiris who maintains that women deacons were merely ‘installed’ and Prof. Evangelos Theodorou who maintains they were sacramentally ordained. The reasons why the author believes Theodorou is right. A chapter with wonderfully perceptive discernment.

Chapter 7. The Decline of the Order

A description of the many factors that may have contributed to the decline of women deacons in the West and the East.

Chapter 8. Towards the Restoration of the Order of Women Deacons

The history of the re-discovery of women deacons by both theologians and Church leaders in the Orthodox Church.

Chapter 9. Women Deacons: Ecclesial Memory or Spiritual Opportunity?

A plea to restore women's diaconate fully, for the sake of Christ's Church.

* A Concluding Commentary

* Appendix A. A Partial list of Women Deacon Saints

Very interesting! Twenty-two Women Deacon Saints listed by name.

* Appendix B. The Byzantine Ordination Rite of the Deaconess

* Appendix C. Excerpts from The Place of Woman in the Orthodox Church and the Question of the Ordination of Women

Texts from the Inter-Orthodox Theological Consultation, Rhodes 1988.

* Appendix D. Discerning the ‘Signs of the Times’ Women in the Life of the Orthodox Church, Damascus 1996

* Appendix E. Discerning the ‘Signs of the Times’ Women in the Life of the Orthodox Church, Istanbul 1997

The book can be ordered from:

Holy Cross Orthodox Press,
50 Goddard Avenue,
Brookline, MA 02445,
Tel.: +1 - 617 - 731 3500.
Email: hcbks@hchc.edu.
ISBN 1-885652-22-4 (pbk.)
Price $ 14.94.

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.

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