70th Anniversary of the Ordination of Women in the Czechoslovak Hussite Church

November 23-24, 2017

In 2017, the Czechoslovak Hussite Church (CHC) commemorates with gratitude the 70th anniversary of the priestly ordination of women. In 1947, CHC, apparently as one of the first churches in Europe, ordained two women with the same rights and duties as the male priests. In CHC, the sacrament of the Lord's Supper has been celebrated since the beginning in 1920 under both kinds also by the laity, according to the model of the medieval Hussites. This practice, which expresses the unity of priests and laymen before God, has also been supported by the equal status of men and women within church service, including sacramental service. At present, in addition to female preachers, catechists and pastoral assistants in the clerical position, there is about 50 % of female clergy with a priestly or deaconical ordination in CHC.

On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the priestly ordination of women in CHC, we cordially invite you to the international conference “Woman Ordained”, organized by the Hussite Theological Faculty of Charles University in cooperation with CHC on November 23-24, 2017 at the faculty. The aim of the conference is to evaluate the development of the ministry of female clergy and to discuss the importance of their service in today's society. Meeting of the clergy across generations and the accompanying program will take place on November 24-25, 2017.

The ceremonial worship service on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the women’s ordination will be held on November 25, 2017 at 9:30 am in the CHC Prague-Dejvice, where the first three patriarchs of the church are buried: Dr. Karel Farský, G. A. Procházka and Prof. Dr. František Kovář. The service will be presided by the Patriarch ThDr. Tomáš Butta together with Bishop Emeritus Mgr. Jana Silerová; dialogical sermons will be led by sisters-priests representing the younger and older generations, Mgr. Jaroslava Böhmová and Mgr. Erika Oubrechtová.

On the occasion of preceding anniversary of the women’s ordination in CHC, current Patriarch ThDr. Tomáš Butta wrote: “According to the theological understanding of the priesthood in our Church, the only and true priest is Jesus Christ himself, who brought the sacrifice once and for all. The whole community of believers as his body participates in his priestly ministry in this world. In Jesus Christ, there is no difference between man and woman, as it is expressed in the sacrament of baptism (Ga 3:26) and in the universal priesthood of believers (1 Pt 2:9; Rev 1:5-6). Similarly, the sacrament of the priestly ordination is, by the freedom of our faith, made possible for women so that they could faithfully serve Christ and people, according to their profession (vocation) and gifts (charismata). Our current Order of the Spiritual Service of 2005 explicitly states that the priestly service is transmitted by the Church to prepared, competent and confirmed brothers and sisters (Preamble, p. 5).”

For more information on the conference, please visit www.htkonference.cz or call us at +420 720 404 812.

For more information on the festive worship service, please contact us at external.affairs@ccsh.cz.

On the photo is one of the youngest female priests of the Czechoslovak Hussite Church, Martina Kopecká, who is also a member of WCC Governing Body as well as leader of ECHO WCC. 

 

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