CEBU City, Jan. 25, 2016 – Discussions on the role of women in the Roman Catholic Church are more open as compared to their Orthodox counterpart, says an Orthodox diplomat, who seeks more women empowerment in the the second largest Christian Church in the world.
Ambassador Tamara Grdzelidze of Georgia made this observation during her talk on the role of Women in the Church in one of the concurrent sessions of the 51st International Eucharistic Congress here in this city.
“Catholic women theologians participate in Church life more formally than women in the Orthodox Church, [they] represent the Church at various levels, are members of theological commissions, take part in dialogues and [some] also attended the recent Synod of the Catholic Church on the Family. From my point of view, I wish Orthodox women, could be as seriously taken by their Church, as the Catholic women are at present,” she expressed.
Differences and similarities
The Georgian ambassador to the Holy See and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta pointed out that the role of women has been more openly recognized in the Catholic Church than in the Orthodox Church in which she professes her faith.
Though faced with theological differences brought about by the 1054 schism, Grdzelidze says both Orthodox and Roman Catholics basically believe in the Trinity and in the marks of the Church: One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic.
“No one denies the importance of the later, post 1054 doctrinal development on either side when our Churches sadly broke apart, but the core of the Trinitarian and the Christological theology of both Churches is similar,” Tamara said.
The early Church shows a different picture on the role of women in Church life and the ambassador stressed that the women of today deserve to be believed in and are as capable as before.
Women’s role in the Church
Grdzelidze, who possesses a Ph. D. in Theology, says in Christ “both male and female become children of God and both are given the redemptive potency through the Eucharistic communion.”
She added that women cannot be reduced to the role of an “honorable company.”
“Nothing is revolutionary than in making women in the Orthodox Church an indissoluble part of the human response to God’s call for unity and spiritual advancement.” (Chrixy Paguirigan / CBCP News)