December 11, 2014 (Source: http://www.saintcatherinesvision.com)
As previously reported on NFTU, there has been a growing movement among the modernist-ecumenist World ‘Orthodox’ to endorse “women’s ordination”. The movement has gained some ground in various modernist-ecumenists jurisdictions, such as the OCA and Antiochans. In both groups (and others), women have already been ordained readers, and thus, affirmed to have ‘the first degree of the priesthood’. In the pdf file posted by the feminist group (which group has the support of the so-called ‘Assembly of Canonical Bishops’), it is claimed that women deacons have a participation in the ‘priesthood’. While it states that this does not mean they have any aspiration to be presbyters and bishops, the actions taken by these feminist groups and their supporters belie this statement.
While there was, in some limited places, an order of deaconess, it was not connected to the Priesthood, nor did it have true Levitical functions (i.e., sacrificial functions associated with the Deacon). In the ancient West, in fact, there was no laying on of hands for deaconess. In the few places in the East where it was observed, the Deaconess was never ordained reader or sub-deacon first. Why? Because they did not share in the ‘degrees of the Priesthood’ (as the service for reader states). However, the great triumph for the feminists in the modernist-ecumenist groups has not been convincing the allowance of women deacons; but, it has been the allowance of women readers. Once it is acknowledged that they can hold the first degree of the priesthood, then the other degrees cannot be theoretically withheld, according to their logic. Thus, the call for the rejuvenation of women deacons, coupled as it is with women readers and women sub-deacons, is something entirely different than the ancient women deacons (whose only role was to assist in baptism of naked women, and run charitable organizations).
The group endorsed by the World ‘Orthodox’, called “St. Catherine’s Vision”, states:
“A Call for the Rejuvenation of the Ministry of the Ordained Deaconess” has been published by St. Catherine’s Vision, an international, Pan-Orthodox fellowship of Orthodox women theologians and other lay servant-leaders.
The document is addressed to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the Secretariat of the Great and Holy Council. It is being widely distributed for prayerful reflection by hierarchs, clergy and laity.”
It seems they wish to place this matter on the agenda of the false ‘Pan-Orthodox Council’ to be held in 2016 by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. In the United States and abroad, the World ‘Orthodox’ are seemingly degenerating into fights over women’s ordination, the acceptability of homosexuality, abortion, anticipation of union with Rome, and several other issue. The True Orthodox Christians, who began to separate from the official ‘World Orthodox’ bodies beginning in the 1920s, do not accept the allowance of debate or promotion of such ideas, and are thus distinct churches refusing to be in communion with the liberal Patriarchates.