Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Why An All Male Clergy?

 Why An All Male Clergy? 

There seems to be a general assumption, especially in Western culture today, that the church's insistence on a male priesthood is an obscure anomaly which endures only because we “the Church” have refused to change with the times. This is true particularly in Europe, but also here in the United States of America where we now have priestesses and bishopesses. In England for example, we now see the growing effort to rewrite the liturgy in order to refer to God as female. 

Let us be real! We must remember what we have received from the tradition of the Church (but also the Bible), that Christ made the decision to have an all male Priesthood, which, of course, was instituted the night before he died as the first bishops. These are only the “twelve”, gathered with him at the First Holy Eucharist (Luke 22: 20). 

Could Christ have selected a woman among the twelve? Most certainly! If you examine the culture at the time of Christ, clearly pagan religion of his day had priestesses, and it would have been entirely normal for him to choose women for this job. 

We remember that he had a number of excellent potential candidates from his own mother, to Mary Magdalene or the women of Bethany. Instead, he chose only men, continuing right to the end to exhort and train them all. From those twelve men a direct line of Apostolic Succession has given our Church the priests and bishops we have today.

Also, remember that there is NO SUCH THING AS A FEMALE PRIEST. It just doesn't exist in the language of the church, from the beginning. A female, even in pagan cultures (I personally know many around the world) or sects has always been referred to as a priestess. Yet, in denominations which practice female ordination, they insist on being called “priest”. Unfortunately, this means that THE CHURCH is no longer the BRIDE and CHRIST is no longer the BRIDEGROOM. The priest, celebrating the Sacraments is no longer doing so in the persona of “Jesus the Son”. Most denominations that have accepted the practice of ordaining women, have also begun a movement of taking ALL gender out of the liturgy. An example of this would be “Our Creator who Art in Heaven” (the preferred method of addressing God in many churches today).

We must also remember that an all male priesthood does not mean a reduction in the role of women in our Church. Women can serve in a variety of crucial posts including those of Warden or parish Administrator. A woman feeling called to a more pastoral role can serve in many other ways from deaconess to teacher. 

Peace and blessings!

Fr. Thierry

"For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay” (Habakkuk 2:3).

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Sacred Mysteries

We often hear the term “mysteries” given to certain Christian beliefs. In fact, Christians profess belief in five major “Sacred Mysteries”. In a day in which many are no longer “enduring sound doctrine” it is important that we know and understand what these are:

The Mystery of the Incarnation
The Mystery of the Incarnation is that Our Lord, the Only Begotten Son of God, came down from Heaven, was conceived by the Holy Ghost, and was born of the Virgin Mary. He became man without ceasing to be God, being “Perfect God of the Substance of the Father, and Perfect Man of the Substance of His mother.”

The Mystery of the Redemption
The mystery of the Redemption is that Our Lord Jesus Christ by His Passion and Death on the Cross, suffered and died as man, and saved and redeemed the world as God. By this “One oblation of Himself Once Offered, the Lord made the one full, perfect, and sufficient Sacrifice, Oblation, and Satisfaction for the sins of the whole world.” This is called the Sacrifice of the Cross or Calvary.

The Mystery of the Resurrection
The Mystery of the Resurrection is that on the third day, Our Lord, by His own Power as God, Rose again from the dead. His sacred body was the same as was Born and Crucified, but then with the properties of a risen body, that is, His Body could no longer suffer, could be anywhere at will, could pass through any substance, and was full of beauty and glory. Our Lord proved the reality of His Risen Body by sight, by touch, and by taking food. The Faith of the Church is Built on the Resurrection.

The Mystery of the Ascension

The Mystery of the Ascension is that on the fortieth day after the Resurrection, Our Lord, in the sight of His Apostles, Ascended into Heaven. He exalted His glorified human nature to the highest place of honor at the Right Hand of God.

The Mystery of the Trinity

The Mystery of the Trinity is that there is One, True and Only God. In this Unity there are three persons: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, of equal power, honor, and glory, for “the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God, and yet there are not three Gods, but one God.”

Peace and blessings!

Fr. Thierry 

"For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay” (Habakkuk 2:3).

Monday, June 1, 2015

Understanding the Holy Trinity

The word Trinity is not in the Bible. But we use lots of words that are not in the Bible to explain the truths the Bible reveals to us. The words “transcendent” and “Incarnation” are not in the Bible either, but both describe biblical truths about God. The Bible is the record of how God has revealed himself to man. Theological statements such as “God is Trinity” are the result of the church’s inspired reflection on that revelation.

In part, the Creed of St Athanasius states: “that we worship One God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; Neither confounding the Persons: nor dividing the Substance. For there is One Person of the Father, another of the Son; and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is all One: the Glory equal, the Majesty co-eternal”.

The Trinity must first be known as an experience before it can be understood as a doctrine.

This is precisely what Jesus tells us in the gospel (John 3:1-15). “Verily, verily I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” The word “see” in this verse does no mean merely to look at. It means to know, to understand. Without the gift of the Spirit, by which we are born again, we cannot know God or understand the nature of his kingdom.

The same point is made in Revelation 4. St. John saw an open door in heaven and a voice invited him to “Come up hither.” “Immediately” he was “in the Spirit” in the presence of God. Only through the Spirit was John able to ascend into the presence of God and see heavenly things.

We must first know the Father through the Son in the Spirit before we can understand that God is three persons who are united in one substance of being. We must be worshipers of God before we can be Bible scholars or theologians.

Peace and blessings!
Fr. Thierry 

"For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay”(Habakkuk 2:3).

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