5.12.08

I'm unconvinced too by the 'ecumenical' card

I remember being asked over at John Richardson's site whether women should stop seeking consecration for the sake of unity, both inside and outside the Anglican Church.sked this at the time I was commenting on the June 08 Synod decision to appoint women to the episcopate. I replied that on the contrary, by not carrying out God's calling on their lives, women would be being disobedient and that also by barring women, we are in effect inhibiting the gospel's impact on half of God's created order.

I remember also last June and more recently reading about how the ordination/consecration of women might 'freeze' our ever cooling relationship with Rome but surely this is of unsound logic and the Revd Mark Letters writes on this topic in The Church times, this week.

He points out accurately that the Roman Catholic Church, in principle, doesn't recognise male or female Anglican priests, thus weakening any argument that female consecration threatens ecumenism.

"I think there are much more prosaic reasons than “ecumenical considerations” which explain why an elderly exclusively male leadership in Roman Catholic, Orthodox, or Anglican churches might find it hard to open up to a world in which women are their equals."


He doesn't go on to say what these prosaic reasons are but we can judge happily from his tone, where he stands on the issue.

The Revd Manon Ceridwen Parry writes about how in dioceses where there are objections to female priests and bishops there is a,

knock-on effect on the mission of the Church as women, lay and ordained, let alone women outside the Church, [who] wonder whether there is, in fact, a place for them at the table at all...

and Christina Rees, in her usual clear, loving, yet assertive style, calls on the Bishop of Chichester, who will not 'commission a suffragan bishop who would ordain women to the priesthood' to 'think again'.

'We also ask why it has been possible for the Bishops of London and Blackburn to commission suffragan bishops who ordain women to the priesthood, but not the Bishop of Chichester? The Bishop wrote that he “would expect any future area bishop to be willing to license and institute or collate incumbents, regardless of gender”. We fail to see the logic in the Bishop saying this, and at the same time stating that he would not commission such a bishop to ordain women to the priesthood. We have serious concerns that the eventual outworking of the Bishop’s proposed policy would be to create a diocese which is cut off from the rest of the Church and which would be virtually a separate church. For the sake of the mission of the national Church in Chichester diocese, as well as for the sake of its many faithful clergy and lay people who support the ordination of women to the priesthood, we would ask the Bishop to think again.'


Well said, all three!

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A little background reading on the two theological integrities in the Church of England regarding women in ministry.