St. Mary and St. Joseph Coptic Orthodox Church

CI09 Church and women ordination as priests

The church respects women.  Saint Mary the mother of the Lord Jesus is considered to be more honourable than all the male saints. Even more the angels.  The Bible portrays great women who occupied high positions, such as Deborah. She was a judge, a prophetess and an inspiration to many (Judges 4:1-5:31). The Lord Jesus had many holy women among His followers (see Lk 8:1-3; Acts 1:14).

Women in the Orthodox church can be spiritual leaders for other women and Sunday School teachers. They can assume leadership positions as board members.   They can participate in women ministries, Senior services, Choir, social services and a lot more.

However, ordaining women as clergy is a different matter all together. This matter is already been decided by God and we have no authority to change that. The Lord Jesus chose only men to be His twelve disciples, and seventy apostles. When the Lord breathed into the face of the apostles and told them to receive the Holy Spirit and ordained them as priests, He only ordained men. The disciples did the same when they chose the seven deacons. They also chose men to be their coworkers, successors and assistants in the ordained ministry (see Mt. 10:1-4; Acts 1:15-26; 6:1-6). The Orthodox church is committed to the choice made by the Lord himself and His holy apostles.

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