Skip to comments.Church Fathers Against Women's Ordination
Posted on 04/01/2006 6:04:32 AM PST by sionnsar
Tertullian, in The Prescription of Heretics 41, says: "How wanton are the women of these heretics! they dare to teach, . to dispute, to carry out exorcisms, to undertake cures, it may be even to baptize." In his work On veiling virgins 9. 1:"It is not permissible for a woman to speak in church, nor may she teach, baptize, offer, or claim for herself any function proper to a man, and least of all the office of priest."
St. Irenaeus, Against Haereses 1. 31. 2 "After this he gave women mixed chalices and told them to give thanks in his presence. Then he took another chalice much larger than that on which the deceived woman gave thanks, and, pouring from the smaller... to the much later. . the larger chalice was filled from the smaller chalice and overflowed."
Firmilian, in Epistle 75. 1-5 to Cyprian, tells of a woman who went into an ecstasy and came out a prophetess. "That woman who first through marvels or deceptions of the demons did many things to deceive the faithful, among other things... she dared to do this, namely that by an impressive invocation she feigned she was sanctifying bread, and offering a sacrifice to the Lord."
Origen, in a Fragment of his commentary on 1 Cor 14:34 tells of the four daughters of Philip; who prophesied, yet they did not speak in the Churches. We do not find that in the Acts of the Apostles... . For it is shameful for a woman to speak in the church."
St. Epiphanius, Against Heresies 79. 304 wrote: "If women were ordained to be priests for God or to do anything canonical in the church, it should rather have been given to Mary... . She was not even entrusted with baptizing... Although there is an order of deaconesses in the church, yet they are not appointed to function as priests, or for any administration of this kind, but so that provision may be made for the propriety of the female sex [at nude baptisms]. Whence comes the recent myth? Whence comes the pride of women or rather, the woman's insanity?" In 49. 2-3 St. Epiphanius tells of the Cataphrygians, a heretical sect related to the Montanists. The Cataphrygians pretended that a woman named Quintillia or Priscilla had seen Christ visiting her in a dream at Pepuza, and sharing her bed. He took the appearance of a woman and was dressed in white."Among them women are bishops and priests and they say nothing makes a difference' For in Christ Jesus there is neither male nor female, '' [Gal. 3:"28]
St. John Chrysostom, in On the Priesthood 2. 2 points out that Jesus said "Feed my sheep" only to Peter. "Many of the subjects could easily do the things I have mentioned, not only men, but also women. But when there is question of the headship of the church... let the entire female sex retire." And in 3. 9 St. John wrote: "Divine law has excluded women from the sanctuary, but they try to thrust themselves into it."
St. Augustine, On heresies 27 also speaks of the Pepuzians mentioned by St. Epiphanius. "They give such principality to women that they even honor them with priesthood."
Biretta tip to David MacDonald.
For a note of levity, and in true synchronous fashion, I just received this email:
Top Ten Reasons Why Men Should Not Be Ordained
10. A man's place is in the army.
9. For men who have children, their duties might distract them from the responsibilities of being a parent.
8. Their physical build indicates that men are more suited to tasks such as chopping down trees and wrestling mountain lions. It would be "unnatural" for them to do other forms of work.
7. Man was created before woman. It is therefore obvious that man was a prototype. Thus, they represent an experiment, rather than the crowning achievement of creation.
6. Men are too emotional to be priests or pastors. This is easily demonstrated by their conduct at football games and watching basketball tournaments.
5. Some men are handsome; they will distract women worshipers.
4. To be ordained pastor is to nurture the congregation. But this is not a traditional male role. Rather, throughout history, women have been considered to be not only more skilled than men at nurturing, but also more frequently attracted to it. This makes them the obvious choice for ordination.
3. Men are overly prone to violence. No really manly man wants to settle disputes by any means other than by fighting about it. Thus, they would be poor role models, as well as being dangerously unstable in positions of leadership.
2. Men can still be involved in church activities, even without being ordained. They can sweep paths, repair the church roof, and maybe even lead the singing on Father's Day. By confining themselves to such traditional male roles, they can still be vitally important in the life of the Church.
1. In the New Testament account, the person who betrayed Jesus was a man. Thus, his lack of faith and ensuing punishment stands as a symbol of the subordinated position that all men should take.
Ping for later use
Sorry to disagree. I often disagree and am often sorry, but I do it anyway.
Bringing the issue of women's ordination into our problems with ECUSA marginalizes us and distracts from our (my) real issues.
Women are priests now (and good ones - we've had two and they've both been better than the previous two, who were men)
It's an old argument and it's been defeated. The Episcopal Church will never go back. Of course, if you want the church to splinter and you want to go elsewhere, fine.
If you think there's a chance for the Church, then drop this antique issue, which I happen to think is wrong.
To equate women priests with immoral priests and bishops is ridiculous. I've been mad at the National Church for ten years. They won't come out against abortion but come out against the death penalty.
If we want a real cause, how about pushing for no abortion?
One day you are ordaining women, then abortion is a choice, and before you know it you have homosexual Bishops.
Just look at the ELCA, UMC, PC(USA) etc. Fortunately, the Southern Baptists were teetering on the edge of apostasy, blinked and backed away.
I agree with you, pretty much 100%. It's not a gender issue; it's a traditional vs. post-modernist, a leftist vs. middle of the road, etc. Leftist priests are leftist priests, regardless of gender.
However, if you haven't already, you will find that is not a particulary popular stance here.
Oh, I fully expect to be vilified.
Our current priest has told me sickening stories about how she has been treated by so-called Christians, including priests.
I cannot align myself with people who would behave that way, but neither do I like the liberal slant of the Episcopal church on a lot of political issues.
I understand that Bishop Jenkins, who has recently accepted a nomination for presiding Bishop, may be a good man who will genuinely try to bring the warring factions together.
He can't be any worse than Frank who totally capitulates and probably agrees with the militant left who, I think, actually want to drive conservatives out of the church.
My priest did not agree with the ordination of Gene Robinson; he's not just gay, he's lived a sinful lifestyle, he's proud of it, and besides that, he's a drunk.
In other words, a perfect Bishop for the left.
***Is it because you feel that while coming to a Biblical conclusion, your reading of their motivation does not agree with you? Or because they were Catholics?***
In this case they seem to be hostile to women. Being Catholic has nothing to do with it, in this case anyway. ;-)
***Or are you just making a general point about Scripture and Faith?***
Pretty much. No hidden agenda.
I'm not. However, I have advanced this viewpoint before and been royally screwed over, so that's why I expect it.
As far as being a copout, I don't get your point.
I think women priests are fine.
I don't think avowed practicing homosexuals who have cheated on their wives should be made bishops.
I don't think advocating abolishment of capital punishment while accepting abortion is fine.
I don't think taking an active liberal position against the war is fine.
To be a woman is not inherently sinful--that's stupid. There are many women who should never be made priests or bishops.
I don't think homosexuality is a sin, but I don't think it's an excuse for sinful behavior.
Who is 'us', anyway, altura?
The issue was raised by the revisionists, and was the original source of schism. The result (the APCK, the ACA, the APA and the ACC) derives from the 1977 deceit and the cowardly GC of that year. This has not acually gone away, nor are orthodox Anglicans 'bringing' it into the discussion. It was otherwise sensible ECUSAns who stopped fighting that battle who let the issue go into silence. For us, who were left by ECUSA, it has never gone away and it remains the original source of dispute.
Just so you know.
And there we have the reason why women pastors is just a stupid idea from every angle. If that's how much you care what Scripture says, simple honesty demands leaving Christianity altogether.
I'm sure lots of non-Levites would have been better than the priests Israel actually had much of the time. So what?
It's an old argument and it's been defeated. The Episcopal Church will never go back.
Monotheism is an old argument and it's been defeated. The elders of Israel already burn incense in adoration of images of creeping things in the Temple and they worship Tammuz and the Sun there.
The Temple will never go back? Then God will destroy the Temple.
Let me 'splain it to you.
A homosexual who is celibate is not engaging in sinful behavior.
A homosexual who is not promiscuous but committed to one partner...I can't find that sinful.
A homosexual who commits adultery on his wife, leaves his wife and family and takes up an affair with another man is sinful, but it would also be sinful if the affair was with another woman.
Because you don't see the humor in a humorous email? Perhaps too close to the truth?
If that's how much you care what Scripture says, simple honesty demands leaving Christianity altogether.
This is an odd statement. Care to explain what you mean?
Every point is a mocking inversion of an argument against female pastors, all of which the author obviously regards as risibly weak. That particular point was a direct attack on Scripture.
As I said then, if you think Scripture uses laughable arguments, open apostasy is just more honest than going on and doing Church of any kind -- which would still mean no women pastors.
(Just so I'm clear, let me clarify that I emphatically do believe that women should be priests, since I believe in the priesthood of the believer. The issue is positions of authority within the Household of Faith, which some would call the priesthood but I would call elderhood.)
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