Anthony Surozhsky, metropolitan of Russian Orthodox Church, one of few modern orthodox theologians who take part in discussion of the question of women church ministration, writes:
"We got used to give the woman a minor place in the society and in the church. We transform her social status into the basis for theological constructions that go back to the Third chapter of the Genesis. However, we must not forget about creation of the entire man (anthropos) who contains both male and female. And for his more perfect development, his two substances are to be divided, and as a result of this division Eve was born. God created Eve for Adam in order she will be his partner, not his subordinate.
So-called traditional churches refer to the fact that having been embodied in Christ, God declares about Himself as about a male creature. But they forget about the fact that He manifests all the human creature and not only his male part, "for what He did not take upon himself, He has not saved".
The Orthodox Churches point out humbleness as a main women virtue, giving as an example the humbleness of Mother of God. But Mother of God performed the true minister twice. First, when she born the Son for sacrifice to God. And second, when she renunciated and jointed to the Lord's and God's Son's Will. Russian Orthodox must comprehend in a new sense the women problem, her nature and her place affair of Redemption. At this moment the question of women church ministration is only brought up for discussion. For us, the Orthodox, this is the question of "outside". But it should become the question of "inside" for us.

In parish life the role of woman is vast and her word is decisive. These women become managers and book – keepers, they help priests to write theological books, organize Orthodox centers for children, they work in hospitals or prisons. Young women suppose their primary duty is to prepare themselves to be teachers, mothers, priest’s wives, members and presidents of parish councils, church finance officers, lawyers, ecologists, doctors, nurses and so on. They choose Marfa’s way. And only a small number of their academic sisters strive for a right to have Marfa’s way. The rituals, which they suppose to be archaic, outrage and wonder them. For example today in Russian Orthodox during the baptism only men are lead through the altar, but for women it is forbidden, the women mustn’t receive communion during the menstruation and six weeks after confinement, in church women must stay with cowered heads. Sometimes the questions of ordination of women and women’s deaconesses are discussed. It would seem the women solving these questions could appeal to the experience of the feminist movement. But this is the fact that the feminist movement doesn’t influence the Orthodox culture. It may be connected with the fact that one of the fundamental positions of Orthodox is to follow tradition. Any attempt of modernization of rituals arouse question ‘And are you Russian Orthodox, aren’t you?’. That’s why many intellectual women fulfill the rituals they suppose to be senseless but don’t propose to change them.

Before the going to the Synod, I visited the Foreign Affairs Department of Russian Orthodox Church and interviewed Margaret Nelubova. She is on of the few orthodox women who took part in women movement as a Russian orthodox delegate of European Women Ecumenical Forum. As she works in the Foreign Affairs Department of Russian Orthodox Church, she knows a lot of activists of feminist movement in church. She is a person who represents the official position of Russian Orthodox Church. I learned from her and I can designate in thesis why the Russian Orthodox do not delegate women to the Second European Synod.
The word "synod" is understood by Russian Orthodox Church only as "church council attended by delegated clergy". Unlike this interpretation, the First European Synod offered the project that did not suppose an obligatory delegation from church. Catholic women suggested as the agenda women ordination and women service. However, according to Russian Orthodox Church's position in ecumenical movement, Russian Orthodox Church is against women ordination, inclusive language of Bible, against intercommunion. Consequently, Russian Orthodox Church does not delegate women to the Synod because it does not accept the agenda of Synod.

In Russian Orthodox church there is a modernist movement which is called Preobrogenskoje Sodrugestvo. The head of one of its communities Semjon Zajdenberg says, that one of the main aims of this community is the reestablishing eucharist gathering. And the question of women ordination is supposed by men and women of this community as protestant question. This is very individualistic question: “Can I be in this place”. They suppose that in the context of Eucharistic church the question isn’t put on the level of right. In the context of Russian social life women ordination can destroy church, because a man won’t come to confession to woman priest, and neither a women comes. He thinks that nowadays there are a lot of unsolved questions in church, for example in service Church Slavonic language is used. And a lot of men don’t come to church cause they don’t understand the meaning of words. So even in so radical movement the question of women ordination isn’t actual for today. Today women come to church much oftener than men. But they don’t fight against Old Testament’s survivals, but they try to save men, which are already in the church. Alexandra Kolimagina, moscow co-editor-in-chief of the newspaper Kifa says that people learning the history of church understand that some rituals discriminate woman in church and they are alive only cause they were in the Old Testament. In this community a person is supposed to be “antropos” (not a female nor a mail). That is why women also take part in service and through this understanding the question of ritual as something external disappears. So we can conclude that the positions of these two persons shows the position of Russian Orthodox people about the role of women and the discrimination of women in church…


Обо мне

Моя творческая автобиография.Раннее детство мне посчастливилось провести в большой традиционной семье. Мой дед, полковник советских войск…

Арт вояж

Путешествия по антикварным рынкам с
М.Е. Перченко - вице-президентом ассоциации международных антикваров. Париж-Брюссель-Брюгге.