Orthodox Church debate over women deacons moves one step closer to reality
Source: Religion News service
Above every Greek Orthodox church’s altar, Theotokos, or Mary the Mother of Jesus, symbolically watches over the congregation. The figure, with arms outstretched, welcomes visitors and parishioners alike at St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral near downtown Los Angeles. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons/Floyd B. Bariscale
(RNS) Kyriaki Karidoyanes FitzGerald was an 18-year-old theology student when a priest at Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School in Brookline, Mass., thrust a book into her hands. To her surprise, it was on ancient female deacons.
“The priest told me, ‘You’re going to translate these (books),’” FitzGerald recalled of the volumes by a prominent Orthodox theologian who studied the history of ordained women.
That prospect may now be a giant step closer to reality, since the Patriarch of Alexandria, who presides over the entire Orthodox Church in Africa, followed up on his 2016 decision to reintroduce women deacons and last month appointed six nuns to be subdeaconesses within the church.