Degradation of women has become one of the perilous signs of spiritual, moral and physical degradation of the contemporary society. As one philosopher observed: "a society is like its women".
The struggle for rights, women's rights in particular, has created a certain "climate" of our era. Particularly ugly is a feminist movement inspired by a feeling of hatred, dissoluteness and lust for power. This movement has assumed global proportions involving in its madness even countries most backward, as regards emancipation.
The struggle of feminists is unappeasable. It is a contemporary version of the struggle of the mythological Tantalus. Instead of giving life and love in accordance with their nature, feminists are fiercely striving for power, including power in the Church .
Modern day priestesses, gone mad with pride, blasphemously claim to be celebrating liturgy and offering sacraments. What an awful spectacle!
All this, contrary to the absolutely clear apostolic instruction: "For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; ... And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church" (1 Cor. 14, 33-35).
Have the God-inspired words of the chief Apostle become obsolete, or show disdain of women, as maintained by the vain champions for equal rights?! Did not the same Apostle say that : "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus" (Gal. 3, 28). With these amazingly simple words the Apostle refutes not only the wearisome squabbling regarding freedom, nationality and chosenness, but also explains the essence of true equality of men and women.
The Apostle's scrupulous attitude to women's conduct in church is caused not only by the well-known transgression of our original mother Eve who had plunged Adam, and subsequently the entire mankind, into the original sin, but also by specific observations of confusion caused, apparently, by women (1 Tim. 2, 14). The Apostle could not but take into account that by their nature women are more exposed to all kinds of influences, including deeply sinful and pernicious ones. This phenomenon forms the predominant topic of the entire world fiction; theatre and cinema productions also address this theme.
It is sufficient to turn to some most recent events in the sphere of ecumenical feminism, in order to understand the relevance of the Apostle's words expressed 2000 years ago.
In 1993, November 4-7, in the city of Minneapolis (USA) the notorious feminist "Re-imagining" conference took place, in order to deal with a part of the WCC program agreed upon in 1988 "Ecumenical Decade: Churches in Solidarity with Women". Although this conference in which more than 2000 women and several men took part, was not sponsored by the World Council of Churches, some of its most prominent members were amongst the conference's active participants.
Not being able to bring ourselves to cite the most loathsome blasphemies, particularly those regarding our Savior's Passion, and having asked the Lord's forgiveness, we consider it necessary to list only a few details of this feminist conference and some individual theses of the papers presented.
Thus, the blaspheming women-participants of the "Re-imagining" conference
- attempted to refute the doctrine of the Holy Trinity;
- made an effort to discredit the Holy Scriptures: "As women, we feel the need to search for values above those contained in the Bible", announced Aruna Ganadazon, a member of the WCC;
- worshipped the "divine Sophia" as the third hypostasis of the Holy Trinity;
- tried to present their teaching on Sophia as a new kind of Christology;
- stressed, as being of particular importance to women, the acknowledgment of the presence of feminine qualities in God's nature under the name of "Sophia";
- scoffed at the sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross (Prof. Dolores Williams of the "Union Theological Seminary" in the city of New York);
- performed new rites and the so-called "liturgy of honey and milk", during which the participants sang praise to their "sweet Sophia in whose image we were created" and with "passionate movements of their body" reminded the world of "its sweetness and sensuality";
- proclaimed sexual freedom, including freedom and equality of lesbians ("priestesses"-lesbians presented their papers and declarations).
At this point we shall quote the South Korean Presbyterian participant Chung Hyun Kyung of scandalous fame earned at the Seventh Assembly in Canberra. "The Christian Church" -- she announced -- "is too patriarchal (subordinate to men); therefore we have assembled here to destroy this patriarchal idolatry of Christianity". Speaking of her "Christianity", Chung described it as a synthesis of concepts of three goddesses: Kali of Hindu religion, Guan-in of Buddhists and the ancient Ino of Philippines!..
Regardless of the disgrace of the feminist conference "Re-imagining" which caused the storm of protests and was called neo-pagan, heretical and blasphemous, K. Raiser, the General Secretary of the WCC, defended it as "one of the most ecumenical meetings held in this country (USA) in a long while", and was pleased to note that all participants had "agreed on the need to open their horizons".
The WCC's positive appraisal of this conference manifested itself in the fact that one of its active participants and planner of its program, a Presbyterian Ann Lundy, who was dismissed after the conference from her rather high post in the USA as the result of indignation of her co-religionists Presbyterians, was nominated as deputy general secretary of the WCC, and subsequently appointed to the post.
Attacks of aggressive feminism upon Christianity, including Orthodox Christianity, make themselves felt in several countries. Theoretical basis for active attracting of women into the ranks of clergy and justification of their ordination are provided not only by the heterodox, but also by the ecumenical "Orthodox" Churches, particularly the Paris Institute of Theology (Sergievo Podvorie).
Ecumenical friendship in every way possible, promotes the dissolution of confessional borders, i.e. the destruction of the Church enclosure. "Orthodox" ecumenists become imbued with the delusions of the non-Orthodox and become accustomed to their sin. This is very clearly demonstrated by the evolution of the Moscow Patriarchate's attitude to the "priesthood" of women. The 1976 Epistle of the Holy Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate decidedly rejected the ecumenical proposal to permit the "priesthood" of women, arguing that in this respect, the Orthodox Church is obliged to follow the general Church tradition foreordained by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. The Epistle also stressed the fact that "Church history knew of no precedent of women celebrating Holy Sacraments" . The same Epistle pointed at the impossibility of joining the position of the Protestant majority which considers the "priesthood" of women, often expressing their attitude to this problem in secular terms foreign to Divine Revelation."
The increased frequency of ecumenical gatherings has become the cause of a "step-by-step apostasy" from the Holy Tradition right up to the above mentioned co-celebration of the "Orthodox hierarch" with the "priestesses" in Vancouver. And recently, another hierarch of the Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan Anthony (Blum) of Surozh, has dared to speak of a theoretical basis for admitting the priesthood of women and to state publicly that he sees no theological impediment for ordaining women . By accepting the challenging liberties of the WCC, "Orthodox" ecumenists show their disregard of the Apostolic succession, and in particular, the Sacrament of Priesthood.
In the Church, all members, both men and women, constitute the mysterious union of the Body of Christ. All are called to sainthood, to a general apostolic mission and to the Kingdom of Heaven. However, this does not mean that all are called to be priests. Our Lord Himself Who established the Church in His Divine wisdom envisaged the solution of this problem. Although there were also women among those close to Christ, not one of them was among the twelve Apostles. It is impossible to admit that this was a coincidence and that the Savior made a concession to the spirit of the time.
And yet, the Lord in no way belittled women as compared with His disciples. On the contrary, some women were particularly honored. Thus, Christ revealed His Divinity and preached salvation to a sinful woman from Samaria, the inhabitants of which were despised by Jews (John 4, 5-42). Following the Resurrection, the "wonderful accord" of all the evangelists (Mt. 28, 1-8; Mark 16, 1-10; Luke 24, 110; John 20, 1118) testifies to the fact that precisely women were honored to be the first to hear the Angel's tiding and to see the resurrected Christ. It was the will of Christ that they should partake of the mystery of Resurrection before the Apostles. The Holy women Myrrh-bearers were the first to see their Resurrected Teacher and to be imbued with the incredible truth of His appearance in the glorified Body, so that they might testify to this before the disciples of Christ as the latter "mourned and wept" (Mark 16,10)
The first hierarchs of the Church of Christ were the Holy Apostles, not women. The Chief Shepherd Jesus Christ Himself appointed them to tend to God's flock, to administer the Church, to celebrate the Holy Communion (Luke 22,18), to teach and to baptize (Mt. 28,19), to bind and to loose, to anoint and to heal (Mr. 6,13), etc. When ordaining deacons (Acts 6,6), presbyters (Acts 14,23; Tit. 1,5) and bishops (2 Tim. 1,6) they never ordained women. On the contrary, they instructed women to practice silence and godliness (1 Tim. 2,10-12), as directed by Apostle Paul: "Let your women keep silence in the churches" (1 Cor. 13,34).
These apostolic prescriptions with regard to women in no way speak of the notorious "backwardness", "misogynism" or "disregard" with which feminists and ecclesiastical liberals like to reproach the Holy Apostles. What a contrast to all this fuss, is the peaceful high esteem shown by the Holy Apostles to their sisters in Christ!
By involving a woman in the sphere of activity unusual for her, the cunning "defenders" of women's rights and freedom actually distract her from her God-intended service to the Christian community and the Church. And the lies about woman's "emancipation" in the spiritual sphere threaten to be revealed in the incomparably uglier and more painful forms than the already-revealed ugliness and morbidity of those in the secular sphere.
Enticing a woman by an imaginary freedom and new forbidden fruits, today's disciples of the ancient serpent undoubtedly pursue the same objective as their father -- Devil -- to utterly destroy a woman.
The all too-human ecumenical secular yardsticks and arguments contradict the timeless character of the Holy Scriptures. When forbidding women to teach in churches the Holy Apostles were guided by Divine reason, not the human one. The earthly philosophizing of ecumenical liberals, their speaking about the "backwardness" of Holy Apostles and "subjugation" of a woman by man, contradicts the entire tradition of the Church and her history which demonstrate reverence shown to women -- confessors of faith, martyrs and blessed ones who glorified God by their sainthood. Tsars, Patriarchs and Bishops and ordinary Orthodox Christians in all humility offer their prayers to the homeless wanderer and fool-for-Christ blessed Xenia of Petersburg and other holy women, martyrs and saints. One may cite hundreds of examples of reverence shown to holy women and thus easily refute the vain social, psychological and other arguments of ecumenists.
The most important argument against them is the example of the Mother of God, Her humility and modesty which She manifested in Her earthly life. The All-holy Virgin, who gave birth to Christ, lived a quiet unpretentious life, never teaching in a church, according to apostolic instructions.
The unprecedented innovation of ecclesiastical modernists who accept women as "priests" and even "bishops", pretends to, allegedly, restore women's rights, to emancipate them. However, Protestant promoters of women manage to combine their excessive exaltation of a woman in the spirit of modern feminism with a complete disregard for the God-chosen Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ. And this -- contrary to the prophecy of the Holy Spirit that all generations shall call Her blessed (Luke 1, 48).