Past "Ordination" Of Women Had Different Purpose

By JAMES LIKOUDIS


Mr. Likoudis writes to "Letter to the Editor" of the Star-Gazette of Elmira NY, contraddicting biased and questionable historical assertions published in the Opinion Column by that newspaper in its April 28, 2005' edition concerning the issues of contraception and women's ordination.  Mr. Likoudis' letter appeared in the Star-Gazette, issue of May 15, 2005



May 15, 2005

Letter to the Editor
Star-Gazette
P.O. Box 285
Elmira, NY 14902

Dear Editor,

Joseph Hovsop's April 28 [comments in the Opinion Column] claims that the Catholic Church has in the past sanctioned the practice of contraception and the ordination of female deacons. There is no historical evidence for either assertion.

From the early Fathers of the Church, such as St. Augustine to St. Thomas Aquinas to Pius XI to Paul VI's "Humanae Vitae", there is remarkable doctrinal continuity regarding the sin of contraception. Vatican II [Council] regarded the Church's teaching on the subject as irreversible.

As to the claim of female deacons having been ordained, modern studies by Catholic and Eastern Orthodox scholars have shown that there was a liturgical rite for "ordaining" deaconesses, but such deaconesses were not sacramentally ordained to the third degree of Holy Orders. In other words, the "deaconess" in the early Church was not the clerical equivalent of the male deacon.

The continuing agitation for the sacramental ordination of female deacons and priests evident in the Diocese of Rochester is simply a sorry reflection of radical feminism's success in duping Cafeteria Catholics with historical misinformation.

Sincerely yours,
— James Likoudis,
Montour Falls, NY 14865




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