Why Women Were Never Priests

Alice C. Linsley

Alice C. Linsley

Source: Preachers Institute | Alice C. Linsley

From Preachers Institute: A convert to Orthodoxy from the Episcopal Church, Ms. Linsley renounced her priestly office in March 2004. She left the Episcopal ministry on the Sunday that Gene Robinson was consecrated and has not entered an Episcopal church since. After years of studying the question of women priests she is persuaded that this innovation is the root cause of the schism within Anglicanism. She is also the author of the excellent blog: Just Genesis.

The Messianic priesthood of Jesus Christ is the true and single Form[1] of the Priesthood. Every priest, either living before Christ or after Christ’s appearing, stands as a sign to this one priesthood. The priesthood is unique (not to be confused with the office of shaman) and it is impossible to change it in any essential way.

All attempts to change the priesthood, such as developed out of Protestant theology or the ordination of women, corrupt the sign so that it no longer points to Messiah. The Church itself has no authority to change the ontological pattern since the Priesthood existed before the Church and was not established by the Apostles.

The first priest mentioned in the Bible is Melchizedek who lived during the time of Abraham. The author of Hebrews tells us that Melchizedek is a type pointing to Jesus as the true Form/Priest:

“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” (Hebrews 6:13-20)

Melchizedek represents the Messianic priesthood, but he doesn’t represent the beginning of the priesthood. Cain and Abel acted as priests when they offered sacrifices in Genesis 4. This means that the priesthood was not established by the Apostles, it existed long before them. According to Saint John Chrysostom, a Church Father, the priesthood “is ranked among heavenly ordinances. And this is only right, for no man, no angel, no archangel, no other created power, but the Paraclete himself ordained this succession…”.[2]

If the Apostles are not the source of the Christian priesthood, what is the source? It can only be the eternal Christ, who is the eternal Form/Priest. Through Jesus Christ the eternal truth signified by the Priesthood comes into focus. He alone is Priest, fulfilling atonement through His own shed blood. The Priesthood therefore, is necessarily tied to the Blood of Jesus Christ. Where people deny the saving nature of Jesus’ Blood there can be no true Priesthood. A priest who denies the necessity of repentance and trust in Jesus’ Blood as the means of forgiveness, is a false priest.

What can we say about the Priesthood?

First, we can say that the priesthood is verifiably one of the oldest religious offices in the world, traced back to at least 7000 B.C. It emerges out of the Afro-Asiatic civilization which, at its peak, extended from the Atlantic coast of modern Nigeria to the Indus River Valley. The Brahmanas (Hindu Priest Manuals) [3] express the richness of this institution. The “priest” offered sacrifice at fire altars which they constructed according to geometry and at the proper seasons which they determined through astronomy. The Vedas also reveal the danger of a priestly order that becomes too powerful and self-serving, as happened also with the priests of Jesus’ time. When the True Priest appeared among them, they were unable to recognize Him because their understanding of the office of the Priest had become corrupted.

The priest emerges out of primeval perceptions of blood as the substance of life, purity and righteousness. We are able to verify that this conception is very old because it has a wide linguistic dispersion.[4] The Hebrew root “thr” = to be pure, corresponds to the Hausa/Hahm (West Africa) “toro” = clean, and to the Tamil (India) “tiru” = holy. All are related to the proto-Dravidian (Pakistan) “tor” = blood. These cognates point to an ancient priesthood for which purity, holiness and blood are related concepts.

From the dawn of time humans recognized that life is in the blood. They saw offspring born of water and the blood. They knew that the loss of blood could bring death. Killing animals in the hunt also meant life for the community. They sought ways to ensure that their dead entered life beyond the grave, especially their rulers who could intercede for them before the Deity.

This is why peoples around the world covered their dead rulers in red ochre dust as early as 80,000 years ago.[5] This red dust is a sign pointing to the Pleromic Blood of Jesus.[6]

God planted eternity in our hearts so we innately know that Christ’s Blood is not only redemptive, but also the source of our life. This is what St. Paul calls “the mystery of Christ”. As his second missionary journey, Paul preached that,

“in Him [Jesus Christ] we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28)

He also wrote:

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times, He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth.” (Ephesians 1:7-10)

These words follow Paul’s explanation of the saving work of Jesus Christ in Ephesians:

But now in Christ Jesus, you that used to be so far apart from us have been brought very close, by the blood of Christ. For He is peace between us, and has made the two into one and broken down the barrier which used to keep them apart, actually destroying in His own person the hostility caused by the rules and decrees of the Law. This was to create one single man in Himself out of the two of them and by restoring peace through the Cross, to unite them both in a single body and reconcile them with God. In His own person He killed the hostility… Through Him, both of us have in one Spirit our way to come to the Father. (Eph. 2:13-14)

Second, we know that the priest functions to mitigate blood guilt. Anthropologists have noted that there is considerable anxiety about shed blood among primitive peoples.[7] Among the Afro-Asiatics, the priesthood served to relieve blood guilt and anxiety and to perform rites of purity. The priest addresses impurities by seeking purification through blood sacrifice. He also addresses anxiety about shed blood through blood sacrifice.

Third, we know that no woman served as a priest in any official capacity. Women didn’t enter the area of the altar where blood was offered in animal sacrifice. We know this because the Afro-Asiatics, from whom we received the priestly office, believed that the blood shed by men and women were never to mix or even be in the same place. Sacred law prohibited the blood shed in killing (male) and the blood shed in giving life (female) to share the same space.

This binary worldview supports clear distinction between life and death.

The same distinction of life-taking and life-giving is behind the law that forbids boiling a young goat in its mother’s milk (Deut. 14:21).

The only Christian denomination to have women priests is the Episcopal Church. Not surprisingly, the Episcopal Church also has a Seminary President, Katharine Ragsdale, who recently stated in a sermon:

Let me hear you say it:

Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done.
Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done.
Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done.[8]

Women Leaders in the Church are Never Priests

In this essay we have discussed the origins and nature of the priesthood. Holy Tradition and Scripture reveal numerous women in positions of leadership; Deborah and Huldah among them. Daughters of priests are remembered as great women also, Asenath and Zipporah among them. However not a single women can be identified as a priest in Holy Tradition or the Bible. It is clear then that women have never been priests and that the nature of the priesthood from the beginning has been such that it pertains only to men.

So called “priestesses” of ancient Greece were not priests at all. They were seers who pronounced oracles in a trace state, like shamans. Likewise, Shinto “priests” are also shamans as they deal with the spirits. Use of the term “priest” in both cases reveals ignorance about the different worldviews of priests and shamans [8], an ignorance (or bias?) that pervades 20th century academia.

God has not changed the office of the priesthood. It survives in Christian communities that preserve catholic Holy Tradition. [9] When the priesthood is held high and priests live above contamination, the world is drawn to Jesus Christ. This happens because there is only one Priesthood: the Messianic Priesthood. There is only one Priest: Jesus Christ, and there is only one Blood, Christ’s pleromic blood which is the life of the world. St. Paul expresses it this way:

“There is one Body, one Spirit, just as one hope is the goal of your calling by God. There is one Lord, one Faith, one baptism, and one God and father of all, over all, through all and within all.” (Eph. 4:4-5)

As C.S. Lewis has written:

“With the Church, we are farther in: for there we are dealing with male and female not merely as facts of nature but as the live and awful shadows of realities utterly beyond our control and largely beyond our direct knowledge. Or rather, we are not dealing with them but (as we shall soon learn if we meddle) they are dealing with us.” (From C.S. Lewis’ “Priestesses in the Church?”)


1. Plato taught that there is but one true Form of all observable entities and this Form exists in eternity (outside of time and space). Species of natural objects observed in the world are merely reflections of their true Forms. We know what trees are because one Form/Tree exists, which our souls intuitively recognize.

2. St. John Chrysostom, On the Priesthood, St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press (1977), p. 70.

3. The Brahamas are Vedic texts that provide instruction for Hindu priests. These texts give detailed instructions about sacrifices offered at altars of fire. They also make it evident that the Priest is a close associate of the King and the King relies heavily upon the Priests’ services. This is evident in the Priest-King relationship that we find n the Old Testament. For more on this, see Bujor Avari’s book India: The Ancient Past, pp. 77-79.

4. Anthropologists have discovered that the wider the dispersion of a culture trait the older the trait.

5. Sophisticated mining operations in the Lebombo Mountains of southern Africa reveal that thousands of workers were extracting red ochre which was ground into powder and used in the burial of nobles in places as distant as Wales, Czechoslovakia and Australia. Anthropologists agree that this red powder symbolized blood and its use in burial represented hope for the renewal of life.

6. “Pleroma” means the fullness or totality of all things. Blood symbolizes life. Since the Blood of Jesus works to bring life both in time and in eternity, the Blood of Jesus is perceived to be the original source of life and the means of eternal life.

7. This has been discussed in many of the great monographs: Benedict’s Patterns of Culture, Lévi-Strauss’ The Raw and the Cooked, and Turnbull’s The Forest People.

8. Read the full report on President Ragsdale here: http://www.virtueonline.org/portal/modules/news/article.php?storyid=10231

9. To read about the difference between the worldview of the Priest and the Shaman, go here: http://jandyongenesis.blogspot.com/2007/08/shamanic-practice-and-priesthood.html

10. To read more about Holy Tradition surrounding the Messianic Priesthood, go here.


© 2010, Preachers Institute. All rights reserved.


  1. American Housewife says

    Years ago, I too was an Episcopalian but women Priestesses never sat well with me. When asked, my answer was always “when I meet a woman who has gone into the Priesthood for the right reasons, then maybe I would support it”. By that, I meant that every woman Priestess I met was always about womens rights, abortion rights, not having to bring casseroles to the Sunday potluck anymore ( and yes, I did hear that as a reason and yes, she was serious), and …..here’s my favorite, to minister to women because only a woman knows how to really minister to other women. It was never about preaching Christ.

    • Brian Daniels says

      Very well said – the influx of women priests is what drove me out of the Episcopal Church. I was in high school at the time – like all madness, though, there was no stopping the women ordainers… Bishop Burt of Ohio was my bishop and was indifferent to the concerns I wrote to him and spoke to him about. He was at Church one time and in a one-to-one conversation with me was dismissive as if I didn’t know what I was talking about.

      • Fr. Johannes Jacobse says

        One a church becomes feminized, it invariably becomes homosexualized, and then it collapses.

        • James Bradshaw says

          What constitutes “feminization”? Most priests I grew up with were good, charitable men, and they were balanced personalities: strong but compassionate and understanding. When people complain about “feminization”, I’m wondering if they’d prefer a priesthood filled with UFC fighter-type personalities.

          In terms of churches “collapsing”, church attendance is declining across the board for both conservative and liberal denominations. Truth isn’t a popularity contest, anyhow. Islam is gaining popularity because folks in many regions seem to need its austerity and rigid orthodoxy. It doesn’t make any of it true, though.

  2. Christianity has been existing for more than 2,000 years. The Christian Church has not had women priests throughout its history, except for a few Protestant denominations. But we must keep in mind that Protestantism did not come into being until 1517 when the Reformation began. At the same time, allowing women to be priests has resulted in the loss of tens of thousands of Anglican (Episcopal in America) worshipers. In fact, allowing women to be priests in the Anglican Church is so contrary to true Christian doctrine — and consequently has disappointed so many Anglicans — that Pope Benedict XVI eased the process by which Anglicans can convert to Catholicism in 2009.

    On the other hand, the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches — which divided Christianity into these two divisions during the Great Schism of 1054 — still do not allow women to be priests to this very day. Moreover, based on the above all-inclusive article, it appears that the Orthodox and Catholic Christian Churches will NEVER allow women to be priests!

  3. Is the women’s ordination movement in the Orthodox Church collapsing? I think it is especially in America. There are about half a dozen women or so who purport themselves to be active on this matter but that’s about it really. While these folks may have spent much time and money on their theological education there is no evidence their ideas are gaining any acceptance. They may attend WCC consultations and get to speak at the occasional offbeat ecumenical conference however they have no real influence. Their own media tools have gone silent. It looks like St. Nina quarterly is not publishing much of anything in recent years and the Orthodox Women’s network appears to be dormant with no activity since 2006.

    There may be a squeaky wheel or two out there but the number of women who are activists in the cause of women’s ordination for the Orthodox Church in the USA can just fill your average mini-van. These folks remind me of hanging out with your crazy aunt at your family re-union. They just talk and talk but in the end the vast majority of Orthodox Americans have politely tuned out and are moving on.

    • Harry Coin says

      The movement that never was continues as the same level– if you look hard for it you will find it. Those who want to be female clergy have all got much better funded and organized churches to do that than our ethnic enclaves. Much like those who want to pay distant authority figures….

  4. American Housewife says

    Andrew, I believe, hope and pray that you are right about the women’s ordination movement collapsing.

    Several years ago, a friend and I attended a women’s conference at the Antiochian Village in Pennsylvania. I went to this conference to see how strong this movement was and my friend went with me to make sure that I didn’t get into any trouble. Sure enough, the main speaker gave her speech sitting on a chair, denoucing all “-ism’s” (except feminism) and twirling an oak leaf. ( For those of you who do not know much about paganism/wiccanism, the oak leaf is very significant.) She kept the priest waiting for 45 minutes while she droned on…. and then I heard my “favorite” reason given for why women should be ordained to the diaconate (see my earlier posting). At that point I wanted to run, but I still needed to attend the session on women’s ordination to the diaconate. It was a different woman who gave this speech and after 30 minutes of nonsensical edu-babble, she finally made this statement; “until the church has women Deacons behind the altar, we will not have the fullness of the Faith”. After my friend restrained me, I turned to look at the two Priest who were sitting two rows behind me. I made gestures asking them if they were going to respond to this heretical statement, but they ignored me. Later that night this woman was given Holy Communion. My friend and I left the conference, shook the dust from our shoes and prayed, “Lord have mercy”.

    • Fr. Johannes Jacobse says

      Stuff like this, especially statements like “until the church has women Deacons behind the altar, we will not have the fullness of the Faith” have to be challenged as soon as they are made. It is mindless nonsense of course, but you can’t let it stand.

    • Eliot Ryan says

      Only a man can be ordained as a deacon, priest or bishop because Jesus chose only men to be His disciples and apostles. God made that choice and obedience to God a great virtue.
      Feminism rejects any qualitative distinction between man and woman. Militant feminism condemns the traditional Christian faith as ‘male-dominated’ and demands equality between man and women when it comes to clerical functions.

      Those ignorant of the Tradition regarding female clergy are pleading for women deacons, based on the fact that the early Church had such. They ignore the fact the function of a women deacon was never the same as that of a male deacon. Women deacons were employed at female baptisms and in carying for sick women and orphans. They never served in the Liturgy.

      The Orthodox Church venerates many women saints but, from what I know, none of them asked for clerical functions.

  5. American Housewife, The operative word here is several years ago. Has there been much since then? Yes there have been a crazy article here and there but for the most part this crowd is not producing much of anything. The most they are doing is paying their own way to various WCC consultations around the world and congratulating themselves on being angry PhDs

    From my personal experience I can tell you one thing. When you find yourself amidst such talk again. Challenge them. I find when you challenge these folks calmly and rationally they fold fairly quickly especially if challenged by a well informed woman.

  6. Scratch the surface of the women’s ordination activists in the Orthodox Church and 99% of the time you will find they also hold many other beliefs that are outside the boundaries of Orthodox Christian Tradition. I think part of the reason for their movement slowly collapsing is that many of the more reasonable women who used to attend these conferences and such found out how extremist these women activists are.

  7. Michael Bauman says

    Andrew, one cannot hold to women’s ordination and to any traditional Christianity. Women’s ordination always devolves into some form of paganism and from priesthood to shamanism. Women’s ordination is antithetical in every way to the salvific work of Jesus Christ in the earth.

    The only reason I’ve ever heard as a reason for women’s ordination is to give women the power/authority/position they rightly deserve (thus the no more bringing a dish for the pot luck). The reason is clothed in a lot of other things but fundamentally, they want the power to do what they want to do.

  8. Scott Pennington says

    I was an Episcopalian, then “Anglican” (we avoided the “e” word) in two of the “continuing Anglican” jurisdictions, both Anglo-Catholic. In the end, I decided that such a small group (regardless of their catholicity in other areas) which endorsed the branch theory left a lot to be desired when compared with the self-understanding of the Church from the first millenium. I still respect them though (i.e., the high-church Continuing Anglicans).

    I have read Ms. Lindsey’s articles on Virtue Online. It is nice to see someone come out of Episcopalianism for reasons that aren’t so shallow as, “I don’t like women priests.” or “I don’t like gays.” It’s not about liking, it’s about Tradition.

    Once I considered Roman Catholicism. The first parish I visited was fairly modernist in its sensibilities. I was talking with a nun in her office. No habit, street clothes. She told me of the baptism that was going to happen in a week or two. A gay couple was coming to have “their child”, (actually the biological child of one of them) baptized. I’m glad the little fellow got baptized, but . . .

    We started talking about her attitudes toward this or that traditional teaching and modern innovation. At some point, having heard more than I ever wanted to know, I asked her, “Wouldn’t you be more happy in the Episcopal Church?”. She laughed and replied that she was going to stick around and work for change from within.

    C’est la guerre.

  9. David the Hobbit says

    Has anyone noticed that, at least in the Catholic Church, most of the womens’ ordination advocates are old geezers and bitties? Seriously…the blue haired birkenstock set. Well, guess what? They are slowly but surely dying off. There are now new women’s religious orders that are habit wearing, very traditional, and NOT into ordination for women. Honestly, concerning the Orthodox churches…I’ve only met maybe four women who advocated priesthood for their gender and…they were openly mocked by other Orthodox women.

  10. Women priests is a seriously dangerous innovation. It distorts the image of Christ as High Priest and it opens the way for disturbed thinking. Here is another example: http://jandyongenesis.blogspot.com/2011/05/passing-conversation-with-priestess.html

    • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says

      Alice, thank you for your interesting post, and for your work generally. Yours is a powerful witness against the error of our age.

      I’m wondering, though: Is it all about the blood? What do you make of the headship of the man? You seem to accept that manhood and womanhood make no difference for any other role in society or the Church, just the role of priest. That’s a barely less feminist position than the Episcopalian extreme.

      Secondly, what would you say to the obvious counter-argument that the sacrifice Christian priests now offer is a “bloodless sacrifice”? That would seem to do away with any concern for blood, especially among the young whom we are trying raise in the faith, yet who are challenged by the world to believe something else. The world tells them there’s no difference between men and women; if we also tell them that, yet make an exception for the priesthood on account of this blood thing, I know a lot of them are going to say, “Huh? You gotta be kidding.”

  11. As a biblical anthropologist, I am concerned with understanding the cultural context of the biblical material, especially at the oldest, pre-Abrahamic layers. The matter of blood and blood guilt was a universal concern of primitive societies, and we can safely assume that this is the basis for the emergence of the office of priest/mediator by whom the blood of an animal was shed as an act of atonement. However, there is more involved here. Among primitive peoples, there must be an accounting for all shed blood and this stands behind the Levitical concerns about the woman’s monthly flow. The oldest layers of the biblical material reveal a binary worldview when it comes to blood, circumcision and gender. This is not a popular idea with feminists and this binary framework of the Bible undercuts their rationale and insistence that men should not be allowed their natural superior status in creation. You can imagine that I am not very popular with feminists.


    The evisceration of the binary worldview of the Bible renders as meaningless the kenotic event of Jesus Christ.

    I assure you this view is far from the Episcopal Church’s politically correct stance on gender. And yes – “Huh? You gotta be kidding.” – is the usual response even from people who say that they believe the Bible.

    • Alice, have you studied life expectancy data across the ages?

      I remember reading about Mormon history in the USA, migrations west and so on. Then it happened I had to drive across the country several times in each direction through pretty much the same patch of countryside. You head west from the lush plains, the ground gets higher and drier, forage gets harder and harder, seasons more extreme. You get to western Wyoming and its the high plains, passable but not easy living when transport is hard. Then it’s eastern Utah and the Wasach pass, full of water, trees, and its a green oasis coming down to the west. Then… it’s the great Salt lake and plain, hundreds of miles of mud flats with next to nothing and then eastern Nevada where it’s dry scrub.

      You can about imagine… a revelation. “We’re stopping here!! This is it!! A sign from on high!” Well it was also good sense.

      About the same feeling heading east from Egypt into Israel. Departing folk from the west look a bit further and.. “We’re stopping here!! This is it!! A sign from on high”. Well it was also good sense.

      So look at the environment surrounding these theological verities. What do you see? Women dying in childbirth all over, they didn’t even have a common word for great-grandparent. People lost children and went to monasteries to retire and die within a few years because they had no other visible support and banded together. Anthropologically it is very very plain that to be clergy you had to be educated to some degree. At least be able to read, follow directions, basic mobility, vision. Now in those days that already put you way, way ahead of 90% of everyone. Educating women was not a serious anthropological from a energy return standpoint. Women died, took care of the youth in ways the men couldn’t. Books were rare. Female clergy wasn’t anything anyone had time for.

      Today? Nearly everyone in a parish is as literate as the priest, and many are more highly educated. Women live longer than men and are equally educated. Women can function everyday of the month with over the counter safe medications. The “Aha, here is were we must plant our flag” — driven by the means folk have of existing where they find themselves changes as the means for existing in the world has changed a great deal.

      So the challenge is to understand is the all male clergy the result of merely theologizing a demographic reality, or is there a transcendent requirement there? If there is a transcendent requirement there, somehow I doubt it would have its essential basis in the mundane of somatic plumbing cycles.

      P.S. I am not part of any lobby ‘for female clergy’. I do point out if we want to survive the reasons for what we do can’t be based in essential part on the physical limitations those living 2,000 years ago found themselves not in evidence today. Anyone with two eyes will note that it is not presently 100 AD, and if doing as we do depend on living as they did then we are a museum, not a church.

    • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says

      Alice, I’ve read several of your posts and find them also very interesting, but I still wonder how far beyond the priesthood you would carry the binary of male and female. Does it not also support the headship of the man generally? It would appear to do so.

      Speaking of binaries, I named and defined the binary relationship between the Father and the Son, as well as between the man and the woman, in my recent article entitled “The Problem with Hierarchy: Ordered Relations in God and Man” (St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly, 54, 2, 2010). You will find in my article some independent confirmation of your view. In the article, I also contrasted that natural relationship with the economical relationship we commonly recognize as hierarchical.

      In brief, a hierarchy is an order based on dissimilarity of nature, inequality of powers, subordination of wills, and mediation between persons. In contrast, an archy is an order based on similarity of nature, equality of powers, unity of will, and immediacy of persons — on account of the derivative relationship of the persons, one person being the source, the arche, of the other person.

      The Trinity is an archy because the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit share the same nature, are all equal, are of one will, and relate directly with each other without mediation, on account of the Father being the Arche of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Likewise, the man and the woman are naturally an archy, the woman being made from the man, of the same flesh and bone, originally equal and united in will, relating directly to each other and to God (not one through the other to God). This remains the way the man and the woman are supposed to relate, the way they should strive to relate, and the way they will relate in the next life.

      The fall, however, requires special measures to keep the man and the woman together, so God decrees a hierarchy, subjecting the woman to the man for the sake of unity, to bind together what has been torn apart until the sinews of love heal enough to hold on their own. This is the first of many subjections and also the slightest. All are necessary to keep many-willed man from contention and estrangement until they can learn to live together only archically.

      Female priests, as well as female presidents, are inconsistent with both the natural archy and the economical hierarchy, both of which assign headship to the man. Some people will, of course, say, “You gotta be kidding.” But the patristic argument against female priests was always based on the headship of the man, and my experience is that when you raise children in that tradition, they have no trouble accepting it because it is so plain in scripture and tradition.

  12. One of the gifts to me at baptism, is that I experience grace wherever it is present, and where it is not- I have a great sense of its absence. Having said that, when I was recently at the funeral, each time the female priest would bless us, using the same motion of fingers, that a male priest uses, the grace in the whole room would disappear. EVERY single time, the grace would just disappear, and not only that, a sense of darkness that was prevailing and disturbing would take the place of God’s grace. It was most distressing, and in a time when we especially needed comfort, since it was at a funeral. When our male (Orthodox) priest blesses us, the room is FLOODED with grace. So not only are these unfortunate women hurting the faith, but they are hurting the church, the people, and causing great spiritual harm. It is an abomination.


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