Friday, March 10, 2017

Patriarch of Alexandria Allows Women Deacons; Kyriaki FitzGerald's Elated Dream Becomes Real

Kyriaki Karidoyanes FitzGerald was an 18-year-old theology student when a priest at Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School in Brookline, Massachusetts thrust a book into her hands. To her surprise, it was on ancient female deacons, the Religion News website reports today (March 10, 2017).

"The priest told me, 'You're going to translate these (books),'" FitzGerald recalled of the volumes by a prominent Orthodox theologian who studied the history of ordained women.

FitzGerald -- now a professor at Holy Cross -- has carved a niche studying the role of women deacons in particular and has worked for nearly 40 years for the right of women to be ordained.

That prospect is now a giant step closer to reality, since the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria and all Africa followed up on his 2016 decision to reintroduce women deacons and last month appointed six nuns to be subdeaconesses within the church.

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