A Question (Finally) Answered
Dan Trabue the other day asked about the basis, in Scripture and Tradition, regarding the reason for having the priest (and Bishop) always being male in the Eastern Orthodox tradition. For in Orthodoxy, much of what women are just now being allowed to do, has always been permitted in the Orthodox church. Woman are not ordained to the priesthood or episcopate, however can be ordained Reader or Deacon. Women can preach (give a homily), teach, serve the sick and infirm, join monastic orders and so on.
The reason they cannot serve at the altar is that the Bishop (and the Priest in his absence stands in for the Bishop) serves for the Church and his diocese as an Icon of Christ … and Christ was male. Icon and iconography was defended in detail by the 7th (and last) Ecumenical council. The idea of icon is a somewhat more complicated one than can be covered in one blog (very short) post but … hopefully that sheds some light on the matter.
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