8.1.13

Ordain a lady!

I love getting my womenpriests.org updates. It resonates, as I am sure it does for many Anglican ordained women, as it probably resonates for many who have felt so on fire for something right and good but seen it frustrated.

Womenpriests.org explains itself thus: We are faithful Catholics who show why the exclusion of women from priesthood is wrong. We raise awareness and facilitate informed discussion about women's ordination. We promote the ordination of women as part of the life-giving mission Christ intended for his Church. We work for reform from the centre of the Church and within the parameters of canon law. We do not promote illegal ordinations. Our reasons are explained here.

They seem to express themselves modestly and yet are not without a little zeal. Marching on the Vatican got them into considerable trouble a while back. They would probably rather appreciate this video.

Paula Nesbitt, a Professor in Sociology of Religion, Episcopalian priest and academic researcher in gender disparities and sexual ethics believes that our Catholic sisters can learn lessons from the experiences of their Anglican sisters. She concludes in a paper she delivered at the Women's Ordination Conference that:

"What Roman Catholic women can learn from their clergy sisters in other denominations and traditions is that women risk becoming ordained handmaidens, laborers in the churchly vineyard, a badly needed secondary labor supply. The church structure may shift to accommodate them, but in ways that effectively may limit women's power or voice."

Paula asks,
"Once ordained, will Catholic women have realistic opportunities to become bishops, cardinals, or pope, without being co-opted in ways that continue to benefit those types of men who have traditionally held power and kept women and others on the margin?

 How might Catholic women priests keep the radical edge that has been such a gift to feminist religion and spirituality?

To not repeat these lessons depends upon being proactive, attentive, monitoring changes in how ministry is enacted in the church, and putting checks and balances in place to assure that women have opportunities to minister at the top as well as at the grassroots."

Time will tell....



(We should listen to St Paul, though - he is a good, egalitarian guy.)


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