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== Women's ordination ==
changing this position argue that the essential icon image of Christ is his humanness, not his maleness. God became humna to show that both men and women could be saved and return to the divine image within them. Challengers also point out that Christ did not ordain his apostles. This was done at Pentecost by the Holy Spirit. Women were present at the time, and the Holy Spirit continues to descend on male and females alike. The Orthodox Church recognizes a number of women saints as apostles, including the "apostle of apostles," Mary Magdalene.
The role of women has been limited in other ways also. Despite extensive participation by women in the first century as deacons, apostles, evangelists, and teachers, in the second century the church offically adopted policies that forbade women from preaching and teaching. However, they served as deaconesses from the first to the twelfth century, reading prayers for the sick. The Orthodox service book still contains the service for ordination of women to the diaconate.
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