Orthodox England

Excerpt from: Volume 4 Issue 1 Date 1st September 2000

I have read that the Roman Catholic Church declared that women have no souls. Is there any truth in this?
K. D., Paris

The origin of this vicious piece of anticlericalism is to be found in the French Great Encyclopædia of the 18th century. This was composed by such eminent freemasons and atheists as Diderot and Voltaire, the fathers of the French Revolution, which cost two million lives in the most barbaric piece of bloodletting ever seen in Europe up until that time. They based their absurd claim that 'the Church believed that women have no souls' on a comment in The History of the Franks written by the Orthodox historian, St Gregory of Tours in the sixth century. St Gregory records how at the Council of Macon in 486 (at which he himself was not present) one of the bishops present pointed out a grammatical error in a text. Namely, this was that the Latin word vir (man) should not be used in the same way as homo (human being), since the former could only be applied to males, whereas the latter could be applied to either sex. From this minor event (which was not even included in the canons of that local council), the 'great men' of the so-called 'Enlightenment' constructed their anti-clerical fable. But how could anyone have ever believed it? So, the Church believed that women had no souls, that they were animals? So why did the Church honour the Mother of God? Why did the Church honour St Catherine, St Barbara, St Genevieve, St Audrey, St Hilda, St Edith and a host of other woman-saints, if they had no souls? What nonsense! In reality it was the neo-pagan law-codes of the Renaissance, the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution which made women into slaves, not the piety of Orthodox Christianity, East or West.

How do you explain the increasing frequency of UFOs spotted in the skies?
L. G., York

I suppose some might reply that this is simply because in Western countries the skies are now so full of aeroplanes, weather balloons, satellites and falling space debris that there are bound to be many sightings of unidentified objects. After all, most of these sightings have taken place since the Second World War and in Western countries, since when the skies have indeed been filled with such objects. Equally, it might be suggested that sightings elsewhere, or before the skies became so full of manmade flying objects, can be explained by shooting stars, meteors etc.
However, let us also refer to the New Testament. Here, especially in the Book of Revelation (Chapter 12, for example) there are many clear references to sightings in the skies, the realm of demons, in the last times, and these provide my answer to your question: 'And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven' (Luke 21, 11).

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(c) Orthodox England - Published within the English Deanery of the Church Outside Russia: with the blessing of the Very Reverend Mark, Archbishop of Great Britain and Ireland.