Teheran (Agenzia Fides) - Twenty-four year old Ani-Kristi Manvelian, an anesthesiologist by profession, was ordained as deaconess in the Cathedral of St. Gregory the Illuminator of Tehran last September by Archbishop Sebouh Sarkissian, the Primate of the Armenian apostolic Archdiocese of Teheran.
Ani-Kristi Manvelian - reports the blog oxbridgepartners.com - is a lay person and does not belong to any female monastic congregation. Her ordination took place while the Armenian Apostolic Church has yet to formally restore the office of female diaconate. "What I have done is in conformity with the Tradition of the Church and nothing else", said Archbishop Sarkissian, whose archdiocese falls under the jurisdiction of the Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia of the Armenians. The Archbishop also stated that his decision was to "revitalise the participation of women also in our church’s liturgical life".
Among the Eastern Churches, also the Synod of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria in Egypt, in November 2016 (see Fides 19/11/2016) had decided to restore the institute of female deacons, and had appointed a commission of Bishops "for a thorough examination of the matter".
The discussion on the possibility of restoring female deacons and on the potential role of female deacons in the pastoral activities and missionary animation has been open for some time within the Chalcedon Orthodoxy theological institutions. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 15/1/2018)