Greek Orthodoxy and male priests/bishops

Glad I could help! I spent some years with the very conservative Old Calendarist Greek Orthodox (who are nothing like the New Calendar reformed Greeks) and who MOST closely resemble the practices of Christianity in the first 500 years of the early Church. Most people don’t know about their view of priests vs. bishops. For them, a priest is like a PROXY for the Bishop. A priest cannot celebrate a liturgy without being under some Bishop. The priest must have chrisom oil consecrated by that Bishop (for baptisms) and a special ornate cloth with a piece of martyr’s relic sewn in the hem upon which to celebrate the liturgy (mass). A married man CAN be ordained to the priesthood BUT both he and his wife MUST have been virgins at marriage. A man who marries a widow cannot be ordained. If the wife dies (at least in ancient times) the priest was expected to enter a monastery. BISHOPS on the other hand MUST be monastics and can never be married. So for the early Greek Church, monastic asceticism was the source of everything. One males may be consecrated bishops or ordained priests FOR THE SIMPLE reason that all of the Old Testament has fore-shadowings of the male animal as the sacrifice. When Abraham is about to sacrifice his son and an angel shows him a ram (male sheep) to sacrifice instead of the son, that ram is caught in a thorn bush BY HIS HORNS (antlers) and not by his fleece. If he were caught by his fleece he would be BLEMISHED and the idea is to sacrifice an UNBLEMISHED first born MALE. These are all symbols of Christ who is blameless, without sin, celebate, etc. A man who has lost a finger or toe (and is physically blemished) may NOT be ordained a priest or consecrated a bishop. After ordination/consecration if he becomes mutilated he may remain as priest/bishop. The other big deal is Psalm 1:1 which in the Greek Septuagint says “Makarios ANER” blessed is that one MALE who had never sat in the seat of the pestilent…etc etc etc (i.e. without sin, unblemished)… the verse which says “and studies the law night and day” also indicates male gender because women did not study in those days. So the priest/bishop must be male… for the same reason that the Greeks MUST use LEAVENED BREAD (in Greek ARTOS, because unleavened would be AZYMOS) AND also WINE (NOT grape juice)… this is why one cannot decide to have the eucharist with pepsi and jiffy peanut butter… then during the liturgy, symbolically, everything is reenacted from genesis LET THERE BE LIGHT to the annunciations, incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection, etc.

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