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Sunday, January 27, 2013

St. Epiphanius of Cyprus: Female Priests



St. Epiphanius of Cyprus: If God had so arranged things that the priesthood would be entrusted to women and that they would exercise a canonical role in the Church, first of all, before any other woman in the New Testament, He would have granted the priesthood to Mary, who was so honored that she carried the universal King in her womb.
(Mary and the Fathers of the Church, The Blessed Virgin in Patristic Thought by Luigi Gambero pp. 127-128)

Dialogue Between a Montanist and an Orthodox ca. 4th cent.
We do not reject the prophecies of women. Blessed Mary prophesied when she said: “Henceforth all generations will call me blessed.” And, as you yourself say, Philip had daughters who prophesied and Mary, the sister of Aaron, prophesied. But we do not permit women to speak in the assemblies, nor to have authority over men, to the point of writing books in their own name: since, such is, indeed, the implication for them of praying with uncovered head…wasn’t Mary, the Mother of God, able to write books in her own name? To avoid dishonoring her head by placing herself above men, she did not do so. 
(The Gospel of Mary: Beyond a Gnostic and a Biblical Mary Magdelene by Esther A. de Boer pg. 94)

1. Epiphanius of Salamis (inter 310–320 – 403) was bishop of Salamis, Cyprus at the end of the 4th century. He is considered a saint and a Church Father by both the Eastern Orthodox and Catholic Churches. He gained a reputation as a strong defender of orthodoxy. He is best known for composing a very large compendium of the heresies up to his own time, full of quotations that are often the only surviving fragments of suppressed texts, and for instigating, with Tychon (Bishop of Amathus), a persecution against the non-Christians living on Cyprus, and the destruction of most of their temples

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