FCA: what place is there in the Fellowship for women clergy and supporters of women’s ministry at every level of the church?

FCA appears unable to understand why, whilst having so much in common with its commitments, many Anglicans are unable to sign up to FCA.

FCA gives the impression that it is uniting in the face of certain aspects of the outworkings of the faith with which it disagrees. Many suspect one of these developments is ordained women's service. They seem to be a very political organisation and questions are being asked about just how schismatic they will be in practice even if their objective is for unity.

If you are wondering about the launch of FCA on the 6th July, it is worth reading this over at Fulcrum by Andrew Goddard.

Interestingly, Goddard wonders about the place for women in such an organisation. He writes:

FCA: what place is there in the Fellowship for women clergy and supporters of women’s ministry at every level of the church?

Here is where the claims to be a broad coalition and any parallels with Essentials Canada are currently hard to believe. Although it is claimed that women’s ordination is recognised as a “second-order” issue within FCA, many of those most associated with FCA are committed to “male headship” as clear biblical teaching and are firmly opposed to both women priests and women bishops. The concern is that one major factor in uniting those evangelicals and anglo-Catholics currently in FCA is apparently their shared opposition to these developments. Over half the speakers advertised for the launch - both anglo-Catholic and evangelical – are committed to the minority integrity but there is not a single ordained woman speaking (there is only one woman among the 12 speakers on the FCA brochure) or prominent in the Fellowship. The extent to which there can really be fundamental long-term harmony between Reform and Forward in Faith (given their major ecclesiological, liturgical and sacramental differences and the lay presidency sub-culture in parts of one constituency and the gay sub-culture in parts of the other) is a question that must be being asked within both those groupings but there is an even more important set of questions for most evangelicals: If the FCA is correct in its analysis that there is a need for a confessing fellowship in the Church of England because it could soon be headed down the perilous path of TEC, why do they appear so unconcerned that they are not viewed as a welcoming and nourishing place by the many orthodox women priests who share their opposition to such a development? Are evangelicals fully supportive of women’s ministry really as welcome in FCA as Anglo-Catholics opposed to it? Is it surprising - given its public face and most vocal supporters - that many looking in from the outside see FCA as a new alliance which will be resolute in opposing women bishops and create more places where ordained women and their gifts will not be welcome, no matter how orthodox and mission-minded the ordained women are?


Peter Carrell said...

Good question, Rachel.
However my advice to you is to live your life in the normal way and not get anxious about a speedy answer :)

Rachel Marszalek said...

Not my question, as such but Andrew Goddard's but nevertheless something I can't help but find interesting.

It doesn't affect me directly but there must be women wondering where it leaves them if their spouses or churches join FCA.


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