This is all good in many ways but I think that the language used is unhelpful. Primarily, if women priests are now able to administer the Lord's Supper at Blackburn Cathedral, it isn't that they have 'won a victory over Balckburn Cathedral'. I am sure that this is not how they would have described it. Why does the media always employ the rhetoric of conquest and defeat or victory? These women have had their theological convictions recognised. I am pretty sure that they are Christ-like enough to also love the brothers and sisters in Christ who do not feel as though they should be administering the eucharist, they should certainly feel this more than the emotions of victory.
That the Blackburn Cathedral clerical hierarchy listened to the voices of the people it serves is a sign that they are listening and that they can also recognise their place in a Church which recognises two integrities and that sometimes we must wait for one another and sacrifice our own feelings for the sake of the gospel, something which Dr Penfold had done for many years.
I do not think that their behaviour before their apology was discriminatory and offensive. This is the language of the world and misses the whole point of the debate. The reason why women are able to administer the eucharist is not to do with our human rights or the latest anti-discrimination policy, it is because a woman is called by God, as many have been throughout Biblical times and history, to preach and teach the Bible, to shepherd the flock and to share in celebrating Holy Communion. She simply follows in the footsteps of Junia, Mary, Lydia, Euodia, Syntyche and Priscilla and many more, more recently known to us. A woman administering the eucharist, like a man is but the vessel in which lives the Holy Spirit and Holy Communion is everything to do with Jesus and not the person who passes you the bread and wine. Afterall, as that most famous of article number 26 declares:
...they do not ... in their own name, but in Christ's, ...minister by his commission and authority, we may use their Ministry, both in hearing the Word of God, and in receiving the Sacraments. Neither is the effect of Christ's ordinance taken away ... nor the grace of God's gifts diminished from such as by faith, and rightly, do receive the Sacraments ministered unto them; which be effectual, because of Christ's institution and promise
At the end of the article it is thought that deep divisions will continue but perhaps there might be more of a chance for reconciliation if we changed the language that we use.