Reading throuth this thread it occurred to me to ask how long have we had the debate within the Church. I cannot recall it being discussed in my youth. Women's religious ministry was well defined within the concept of the nun who emulated Saint Mary. If I am correct this whole can of worms dates from the days of womens liberation when the ladies (often with justification) complained about inequality of (inter alia) opportunity, although this was originally in secular life of course.
The extension of the equality argument into the Church has always seemed to me rather to miss the point. In general life terms there is no question in my mind that there is, or should be, complete equality in social and economic matters, whether we are speaking of women, men, race or even creed. However, the ordained ministry within the Church is not in this bracket at all. It was established by God, for His purposes and according to His rules, not ours. It is simply not up to mankind to try to contradict Him - we do so at our peril.
More helpful would be a deeper appreciation of the nature of ministry for each of us, and his thread has identified examples of this.
Another aspect of ministry would seem to be the concept of temporary, or short-term, vocations. From personal experience, it is clear that God can ask us to do things for a limited time, before moving us on to the next task. Perhaps a simple example might be the change that occurs once we retire and the children have left home. We are free from parental responsibilities and may well be asked to undertake other work for the Kingdom. We are not necessarily restricted to one vocation for life (other than our calling to work for God, of course), and indeed this is also true for ordained ministers. The work of the Bishop represents a change from the work of the Priest, God requiring an alteration when the priest becomes the Bishop. A change occurs when the Priest leaves the parish and becomes the theological intellectual in a college. Similarly, when accepting the Orthodox way after perhaps a lifetime elsewhere is also a change of vocation - God has a new job for the candidate.
How and why God calls women to serve Him is just as much a mystery as how and why He calls men. What He requires us to do is a decision only He can make. There are things that are clearly restricted to ladies, and it seems to me they should (and I am sure they do) rejoice in their especial gifts as women. What a privilege it must be to bring a child into the world for God - something no man could understand.
Ordination is essentially for the purpose of conducting the Sacred Mysteries. All the other jobs we thrust upon our ministers can and should be done by others. Social, administrative and managerial tasks can well be done by women as well as men. They can be theologians, teachers, canon lawyers, in fact anything except ordained ministers.
The decision to use men only for this task is God's, and God's alone, and those who are unhappy with this must reflect on who is in charge of this process. It is not for us to speculate upon His reasons, but to accept in holy humility that that is the way He wants things to be done.
With love and prayers,