Facing Women in the East by Richard J. Mammana, Jr.

Facing Women in the East

Women and the Priesthood
edited by Thomas Hopko
Crestwood, New York: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1999
(260 pages; $13.95, paper)

reviewed by Richard J. Mammana, Jr.

The declaration of an unofficial meeting of Orthodox and Old Catholic theologians in 1996 that “there are no binding dogmatic reasons present against the admission of women to priestly service”1 caused eyebrows to rise throughout the ecclesiastical world. Were the Orthodox changing their minds? While the Bild Christi und Geschlecht conferences (in Poland and Switzerland) at which that statement was drawn up were not official and did not offer any directive to the respective communions to begin the ordination of women, the words rang oddly in Orthodox Christian ears. The conference’s deliberations (which run to some 281 pages, and are still not published in English), include 14 essays on “The Image of Christ and Gender.” They are at odds on some points with the commonly accepted teachings of Orthodoxy on the matters they address.

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