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Female Priests
14-04-2010, 07:09 PM,
I'm about to head out. It's my 21st Wedding Anniversary - do pray for Janet and I.

About this topic. It seems to me that Orthodoxy asks us to look beyond abilities to vocation. There are many people who have become priests and bishops over the centuries because they have great talents in terms of organisational ability, public speaking, leadership etc etc, but they make poor priests because they do not have the spiritual grace which is required.

On the other hand there are priests and bishops who shrink from public attention, do not speak impressively, even stumble over the liturgy, but whose words are filled with light and life, whose prayers being miracles, and who spend their days bearing their flock in intercessory prayer.

For myself I have had to learn that God does not need my skills and abilities, such as they are. Indeed unlike others who may be fooled by my public persona, he knows who I really am. Yet he still chooses to use me - not when I decide to do His work for Him, but when I realise that I can do nothing at all, nor even make a beginning, without receiving everything from Him.

What does this have to do with women priests? Well, it seems to me, and this is not any attempt at a definite answer, just a rough idea where I am thinking at present, that the priesthood is a matter of male vocation, and not female vocation. And that natural ability is not the deciding factor. Indeed most males, even those with great natural skills and abilities, will not be priests, and are not called to this vocation. And there are those who have this vocation and fail to fulfill it, and there are those who have the vocation and fulfill it properly - such as Abba Seraphim and Father Simon in our own community.

Being a priest is not a matter of being a manager, or holding a management position in the Church. Indeed my own Father Michael, who is a good example of a true priest and spiritual father, left all the organising to Subdeacon Michael and I. This is as it should be. There is plenty of scope for natural skills and ability to be used in the Church but these are not the same as the vocation to the priesthood. Indeed the priesthood is a very narrow calling, and one of the chief ends of the particular priesthood is to enable and facilitate the priesthood of all believers.

So I am not sure at all that there is a male priesthood because there always has been. Rather I do think that I tend to think that there is a vocation to the priesthood which is given to a few men, just as their are vocations to other forms of ministry and service, and that these vocations are not the same as skill and ability, and indeed that sometimes skills and abilities stand in the way of finding vocation and calling.

Father Peter

Messages In This Thread
Female Priests - trespaser5 - 11-04-2010, 05:51 PM
RE: Female Priests - Cerys Brangwyn - 24-03-2014, 09:05 AM
[] - John Charmley - 11-04-2010, 06:14 PM
[] - trespaser5 - 14-04-2010, 04:43 PM
[] - admin - 14-04-2010, 07:09 PM
[] - John Charmley - 14-04-2010, 09:24 PM
[] - admin - 15-04-2010, 07:51 AM
[] - Fr Gregory - 15-04-2010, 08:43 AM
[] - admin - 15-04-2010, 09:02 AM
[] - Fr Gregory - 15-04-2010, 10:22 AM
[] - John Charmley - 15-04-2010, 02:47 PM
female priests - kirk yacoub - 17-04-2010, 09:29 AM
[] - Antony-Paul - 17-04-2010, 03:00 PM
[] - John Charmley - 17-04-2010, 03:18 PM
[] - Antony-Paul - 17-04-2010, 03:40 PM
[] - John Charmley - 17-04-2010, 08:39 PM
[] - DanielM - 18-04-2010, 02:09 PM
[] - John Charmley - 18-04-2010, 04:46 PM
ADDENDUM - John Charmley - 03-05-2010, 09:09 PM
[] - vrc - 07-05-2010, 09:33 PM
Female priests - kirk yacoub - 08-05-2010, 09:26 AM
[] - John Charmley - 08-05-2010, 01:34 PM
[] - DanielM - 25-05-2010, 09:26 PM
[] - Fr Simon - 26-05-2010, 10:16 AM
[] - John Charmley - 29-05-2010, 11:34 AM

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