an information resource
for orthodox Anglicans

Statistics show parishes opposed to women priests

October 29th, 2010 Jill Posted in Ordination Of Women Comments Off

By Ed Beavan, Church Times

THE Church of England this week published for the first time figures showing the number of parishes declared to be opposed to the ordina­tion of women as priests.

The statistics, which are based on data collected on 1 January this year, reveal that there are 802 parishes under Resolution A (6.2 per cent of all parishes); 966 where Resolution B applies (7.5 per cent); and 363 par­ishes where a petition for extended epis­copal ministry applies (2.8 per cent).

Compared with the year 2000, there has been a 4.1-per-cent de­crease in the number of Resolution A par­ishes, a 1.4-per-cent drop in Res­olu­­­tion B parishes, and a 22.6-per-cent in­crease in the number of par­ishes where a petition for extended epis­copal ministry applies.

Read here

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Anglican clergywoman to greet Pope Benedict during visit to Britain

September 8th, 2010 Jill Posted in Ordination Of Women, Pope Benedict Comments Off

By Riazat Butt, Guardian

Pope Benedict's arrival in Britain breaks new ground on many levels, with a state welcome from the Queen and the beatification of Cardinal Henry Newman. But buried in the itinerary is another and, some would say, more piquant landmark.

Next Friday, the pope will meet the Rev Jane Hedges, canon steward of Westminster Abbey and a campaigner for women bishops in the Church of England. It will be the first time the head of the Vatican, which earlier this year declared female ordination a "crime against the faith", shakes hands with a clergywoman.

Their meeting will act as a reminder of the differences and difficulties between the Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic church. The abbey team is aware of the many historic aspects to the visit.

Read here

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

God no longer male, Scottish Episcopal Church rules

September 6th, 2010 Jill Posted in Feminism, Liturgy, Ordination Of Women Comments Off

From The Telegraph

A new order of service produced by the Scottish Episcopal Church has caused controversy by removing masculine references to God.

The new form of worship, which removes words such as "Lord, he, his, him" and "mankind" from services, has been written by the church in an attempt to acknowledge that God is "beyond human gender".

Episcopalian bishops have approved the introduction of more "inclusive" language, which deliberately removes references suggesting that God is of male gender.

Traditionalists have criticised the changes on the grounds that they smack of political correctness and because they believe they are not consistent with the teachings of the Bible. The alterations have been made to provide an alternative to the established 1982 Liturgy, which, like the Bible, refers to God as a man.

The new order of service, which can be used by priests if they have difficulties with a male God, has been produced by the church's Liturgy Committee in consultation with the Faith & Order Board of General Synod and the College of Bishops.

The controversial changes were discussed at the church's General Synod recently. The minutes of the synod reveal that female priests had asked why God was still referred to as a man.

Read here

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

When compromise trumps apostolic tradition

September 3rd, 2010 Jill Posted in Arcic, Ordination Of Women Comments Off

By George Weigel, Catholic Herald Star

Pope Benedict XVI’s pastoral visit to Great Britain next month will unfold along a pilgrim’s path metaphorically strewn with landmines. Headline-grabbing new atheists like Richard Dawkins, along with their allies in the international plaintiff’s bar, may try to have the pontiff arrested as an enabler of child abuse. More subtly, but just as falsely, homosexual activists and their allies will portray John Henry Newman, whom the Pope will beatify, as the patron saint of gay liberation. No challenge facing Benedict in Britain, however, will be greater than the challenge of re-framing the Anglican-Catholic ecumenical dialogue, which is on the verge of de facto extinction.

The death of that once-promising dialogue would have been unimaginable 40 years ago. Then, in the aftermath of Vatican II, it seemed possible that Canterbury and Rome might be reconciled, with full ecclesiastical communion restored. That great hope began to run aground in the mid-1980s, when the Church of England faced the question of whether it could call women to holy orders (a practice already under way in other member communities of the worldwide Anglican Communion). As I discovered when researching the biography of Pope John Paul II, a theological Rubicon seems to have been crossed in a 1984-86 exchange of letters among Dr. Robert Runcie, the Anglican primate, Cardinal Johannes Willebrands, the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and the pope.

Read here

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

“Ordain women,” London bus ads will urge Pope

August 26th, 2010 Jill Posted in Ordination Of Women, Pope Benedict Comments Off

By Avril Ormsby, Reuters

Pope Benedict will be confronted by posters on London's famous red buses during his trip to the British capital next month which will call for the ordination of women priests.

Protests are planned throughout his four-day trip to England and Scotland, the first papal visit since John Paul II's pastoral visit in 1982 and the first-ever official papal visit to Britain.
One group of women, Catholic Women's Ordination (CWO), will have its message plastered on the side of the buses as they travel along key routes, including past Westminster Hall, at the Palace of Westminster, where the pope is set to deliver a speech to Britain's civic society on September 17.
The group has paid 15,000 pounds ($23,130) for 15 buses to carry the message "Pope Benedict – Ordain Women Now!" for a month.
Read here
AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Two Distinct Universes, Catholic and Anglican

August 26th, 2010 Jill Posted in Arcic, Ordination Of Women Comments Off

By David Mills, First Things

In Compromise Trumps Apostolic Tradition, George Weigel examines the collapse, through the Anglican insistence on innovating in ways contradictory to the Apostolic tradition, of the “once-promising dialogue” between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion. “As I discovered when researching the biography of Pope John Paul II,” he writes in today’s second “On the Square” article,
a theological Rubicon seems to have been crossed in a 1984-86 exchange of letters among Dr. Robert Runcie, the Anglican primate, Cardinal Johannes Willebrands, the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and the Pope. . . .
Dr. Runcie’s attempt to explain why the Church of England believed it could proceed to the ordination of women demonstrated that Anglicanism and Catholicism were living in two distinct universes of discourse, one theological, the other sociological. For Runcie advanced no theological arguments as to why apostolic tradition could be understood to authorize the innovation he and many of his Anglican colleagues proposed; rather, he cited the expanding roles of women in society as the crucial issue. Sociological trends, Runcie’s letter implied, trumped apostolic tradition—which was not, of course, something the Catholic Church could accept.
AddThis Social Bookmark Button

London buses to carry female ordination advert during pope’s visit

July 23rd, 2010 Jill Posted in Ordination Of Women, Pope Benedict Comments Off

By Riazat Butt, Guardian

Catholic group's initiative will see the slogan 'Pope Benedict Ordain Women Now' appear on 10 buses throughout September

In a move designed to coincide with the pope's visit to Britain in September, London buses are to carry posters calling for the ordination of women.
The initiative, from the UK group Catholic Women's Ordination (CWO), will see buses carrying the slogan "Pope Benedict Ordain Women Now".
According to the weekly Catholic magazine the Tablet, CWO has paid about £10,000 for the posters to appear on 10 buses for a month from August 30.
The pope will be in the UK from September 16, spending two days in the capital, and the posters will appear on routes that go past Westminster Cathedral and Westminster Hall. Both venues feature on the papal itinerary.
Last Thursday the Vatican issued sweeping changes to its laws on sexual abuse, extending the period in which charges can be filed against priests in church courts and broadening the use of fast-track procedures to defrock them. But while the document dealt mostly with paedophilia, it also stated that the "attempted ordination of a woman" to the priesthood was one of the most serious crimes in church law.
Read here
AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Hard to Believe? Biblical Authority and Evangelical Feminism

July 16th, 2010 Jill Posted in Ordination Of Women, Theology Comments Off

Albert MohlerBy Albert Mohler

Anne Eggebroten visited Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, and what she found there shocked her. As a matter of fact, she was so shocked that she wrote about that experience in the July 2010 edition of Sojourners magazine. Readers of her article are likely to experience a shock of their own — they will be shocked that Eggebroten could actually have been surprised by what she found there.

In “The Persistence of Patriarchy,” Eggebroten writes about “the wide reach” of complementarian views of manhood and womanhood among conservative Christians. Her article is subtitled: “Hard to believe, but some churches are still teaching about male headship.” Hard to believe?

Can anyone really be surprised that this is so? In some sense, it might be surprising to the generally liberal readership of Sojourners, but it can hardly be surprising to anyone with the slightest attachment to evangelical Christianity. Nevertheless, Anne Eggebroten’s article represents what I call a “National Geographic moment” — an example of someone discovering the obvious and thinking it exotic and strange. It is like a reporter returning from travel to far country to explain the strange tribe of people she found there — evangelical Christians believing what the Christian church has for 2,000 years believed the Bible to teach and require. So . . . what is so exotic?

Read here

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Olympic golden girl Tessa Sanderson refuses to be married by a woman priest

June 13th, 2010 Jill Posted in Church of England, Ordination Of Women Comments Off

By Jonathan Petrie, Mailonline

Olympic star Tessa Sanderson has ­reopened the debate over female priests by refusing to allow a woman to conduct her wedding at St Paul’s Cathedral.

Her marriage last month to fellow ­Olympic competitor Densign White was a glamorous affair, with photographs of the couple’s big day spread across three pages of Hello! magazine.

They showed a smiling Miss Sanderson posing in front of the cathedral in her white dress and tiara, cutting a four-tiered wedding cake, and dancing with some of her 250 guests, including Olympic decathlete Daley Thompson.

The 54-year-old javelin thrower was also photographed with three of her nine bridesmaids, including former Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes, the current 400 metres Olympic champion Christine Ohuruogu and former swimming star Sharron Davies.
Guests have revealed, however, that there was a last-minute hitch over which priest would conduct the service at St Paul’s, where Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer married in 1981.

Although the Rev Andrew Hammond was due to marry the couple, he was ­unable to get to the service after becoming stranded in Asia during the volcanic ash cloud crisis.

Cathedral staff told the pair they had found a female priest to replace Mr Hammond but were surprised when Miss Sanderson, the first British black woman to win an Olympic gold, turned down their offer.

Read here

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Men don’t want to sing ‘love songs to a man’ while the ‘vicar wears a dress’

January 26th, 2010 Quentin Posted in Ordination Of Women Comments Off

`Ruth Gledhill'       `The Times'
Christian Vision for Men,  a charity trying to make church attractive to men, is claiming the church has lost 49 per cent of all males under the age of 30 in the last 20 years due to services becoming too feminine. They have toured dioceses across Britain encouraging vicars to erect big screens above the pulpit during this summer’s football World Cup in South Africa and to serve beer during games.
See Video 
Read More
AddThis Social Bookmark Button

A note on women as bishops in the Church of England

January 17th, 2010 Jill Posted in Church of England, Ordination Of Women, Women Bishops Comments Off

From Clayboy

…“when did we get into farce”? I’m afraid the answer is lost in the mists of time, but as good a point as any would be the perversely back-to-front way the synod began all this in the seventies, debating that there were “no theological objections” to the ordination of women, rather than making the theological case for it.

That meant that everyone could conveniently forget that there were several quite incompatible theologies of ordination running round the church, and some muddles in the middle that couldn’t really be called theology at all. It is hardly surprising that people don’t agree whether women can be ordained when they don’t agree on what ordination is, how theological arguments are either grounded or developed, or how men and women relate to each other.

The years since have seen positions at the far edges of the debate harden, and the majority hope that once women had been priested the nasty nay-sayers would slowly melt into gentle agreement has been shown up as the folly it always was.

The initial working party failed to present any clear agreed way forward, the Synod laid down a couple of more or less incompatible markers for what it wanted the Revision Committee to do, and now everybody is expressing surprise and disappointment that no magic way of squaring the circle has yet emerged, while still accusing “the other side” of being the problem, whichever side one is on.

Read here

AddThis Social Bookmark Button


December 8th, 2009 Jill Posted in Ordination Of Women, Theology Comments Off

The Revd Rod ThomasBy Julian Mann, Special to VOL

What is Reform chairman Revd Rod Thomas' latest 'transgression' such that he has been accused in the Church Times of narrowing the Evangelical label? To argue that part-time non-residential theological training is not providing enough scope for biblical studies.

The concerns he voiced at the Reform National Conference in October that low-biblical-content, part-time training courses were preparing ordinands for 'ministries of irrelevance' provoked a letter to the Church Times from the Principal of the West of England Ministerial Training Course, Canon Michael Parsons. He accused Mr Thomas of peddling 'damaging nonsense'.

'I also would question whether biblical studies really figures so high in the clergy "I wish I had had more training in this" list. Both my past and current experience is that, when given an open choice, stipendiary clergy feel most in need of leadership training', he wrote (Letters, November 6^th ).

Rod Thomas responded in the Church Times (Letters, November 20^th ): 'Canon Parsons questions whether biblical studies are really so critical. If his vision of church leadership is primarily managerial, then perhaps they are not. But if you believe that a presbyter is primarily a "pastor teacher" (Ephesians 4.11), as most Evangelicals do, and as the Ordinal affirms, then no amount of "leadership training" is going to make up for deficiencies in preparing ordinands to teach the scriptures.

Read the rest of this entry »

AddThis Social Bookmark Button


December 7th, 2009 Jill Posted in Church of England, Ordination Of Women Comments Off

From Church Society

Most of these figures concern full-time stipendiary clergy, that is those who have been ordained as presbyter (priest) and deacon in the Church of England.

In the mid 1960s there were just over 15,400 ordained full-time clergy in the Church of England. In the mid 1970s this figure fell as the decision to require clergy to retire by the age of 70 worked its way through.

By the early 1990s the number of clergy was still falling at a rate of around 3/4 of one percent (about 100 clergy) per year.

In 1992 the Church of England took the decision to ordain women as presbyters (priests) and the first such were ordained in 1992. Whilst this led to an immediate influx of women clergy the number of men continued to fall.

The number of women being ordained has not compensated for the loss of men and and the overall decline in clergy numbers has continued and if anything accelerated since 1992.

Since 1992 the average decline in clergy numbers has been someting over 1% which is higher than the rate before 1992. This equates to about 120 clergy per year which means that on average each Diocese is having to accommodate having 2 or 3 fewer clergy every year.

Amongst male clergy the rate of decline is over 2% per year and the total fall since 1991 is nearly one third.

Read here

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Russian Orthodox threat to Lutheran Church:

December 3rd, 2009 Jill Posted in Ordination Of Women, Orthodoxy Comments Off

Archbishop HilarionBy George Conger, Religious Intelligence

The Russian Orthodox Church has threatened to suspend ecumenical relations with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Germany (EKD) in the wake of the election of Bishop Margot Kaessmann as its leader.

On Nov 11 the Russian newspaper Kommersant quoted the head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk as having said Moscow might suspend dialogue with the EKD as it did not recognize the validity of women ministers.

“We planned to celebrate the 50th anniversary of our dialogue with the Lutheran Church in Germany in late November or early December. The 50th anniversary of the dialogue will become the end of it,” Archbishop Hilarion said.

“We can develop the dialogue, but there raise lots of simple protocol questions. How will the Patriarch address her or meet with her?” the Russian Church representative said.

On Oct 28 the EKD elected Bishop Kaessmann of Hanover as its first female leader. The sole nominee to succeed Bishop Wolfgang Huber of Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Upper Lusatia as chairman of the EKD’s church council, Bishop Humber polled 132 out of 142 votes at the national synod meeting in Ulm.

Elected Bishop of Hanover in 1999, Bishop Kaessmann made headlines in 2007 when she filed for divorce from her husband of 26 years. However, her marital difficulties did not appear to play a role in the vote.



AddThis Social Bookmark Button


November 4th, 2009 Jill Posted in Ordination Of Women Comments Off

By David Phillips, Church Society

David Phillips explains why the acceptance of women ministers inevitably leads to acceptance of homosexual practice in the church.

My personal tutor at theological college was Michael Vasey. Michael was, I believe, opposed to the ordination of women as presbyters (priests). But when the General Synod voted in favour of this he is reported to have said that if the Church could do so despite the teaching of Scripture then it must follow that it could not object to homosexual practice. Accordingly in his book ‘Strangers and Friends’ published three years later he set out to argue from Scripture that the Church should change its mind.

In a similar vein in 2003 the then Bishop of Oxford, Richard Harries, argued in an article in the Daily Telegraph that “The Church has got it wrong in the past – there’s no doubt about it. I think you can take the view that, just as the Church eventually abolished slavery, so they ended up in favour of votes for women, so they voted for the ordination of women, and this is just one more
issue where the Church has got it wrong.” His argument was that the Church had got it wrong on homosexual conduct.

There are many who sincerely believe that it is right for the Church to ordain women as presbyters, and wrong for it to endorse homosexual practice. Although some have argued this distinction forcefully I am convinced that the acceptance of one almost inevitably leads to the acceptance of the other. Some will find this conclusion offensive but I find it rather obvious.

The same argument?

First then, are the cases different? Some argue that the ordination of women is a ‘second order’ issue because it concerns church order whilst sexual conduct is a ‘first order’ issue because it concerns salvation. I am far from comfortable with this distinction because I believe that the ordination of women as presbyters is contrary to Scripture and I am not willing to suggest that it is therefore unimportant or less important. Nevertheless, I do think many see the two issues as differing in degree. The distinction of first and second order is also not shared by those in favour of both. They see both as fundamental matters of justice and of the openness of the gospel. They therefore consider both to be first order issues and they are not going to rest having achieved one without achieving the other.

Some do argue the case as to why the Bible supports one and not the other, but I find the arguments badly lacking. I simply cannot see that the passages to which they plead actually support what they claim. For example some use the long list of women who are engaged in the Lord’s work in Scripture to claim that women should be involved in the Lord’s work, but none of these roles are as presbyters. The jump to say that they should be presbyters, when the Bible itself confines it to men is unwarranted.

Read the rest of this entry »

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

AMiA Christ Church Plano issues paper in support of women presbyters

September 8th, 2009 Jill Posted in Ordination Of Women Comments Off

From EV News

Christ Church, Plano, the largest church in the Anglican Mission in America (AMiA) has issued a paper outlining its support for women being ordained to the presbyterate.

This highlights a problem all along with ACNA (Anglican Communion in North America) in that they are an amalgam of parishes and organisations, including AMiA, some of whom are standing for Biblical teaching and some of whom appear to be willing to make some of the mistakes ECUSA made 30 years ago.

Click here for Christ Church, Plano website where ordination paper can be downloaded

Click here for PDF of the ordination paper

Read also:  Commentary from Stand Firm


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Women’s ordination: not all consequences were positive

August 29th, 2009 Jill Posted in Ordination Of Women Comments Off

By Alda Marsh Morgan, Episcopal Life Online

It is interesting to me, as a theologically educated lay woman and a former lay woman church worker, that the observations of the 35th anniversary of women’s ordination (see Episcopal Life Online story here) are positive. There was nothing from the critics of the action and, while there was acknowledgement that much remained to be done, nothing to suggest that not all the consequences of 1974 and 1976 were positive.

There were few of my church worker colleagues who wished to be ordained, once it became possible, not because they didn’t approve of women priests, but because we felt secure in our own vocation as theologically educated lay professionals. What we found offensive was the complete lack of respect for our own work and vocation on the part of the women who sought ordination and were committed to their own vocations as ordained ministers. Moreover, once ordination became available for women, most of us were no longer able to work in the church. The church’s clericalism saw to that.

Many of us felt pushed aside, unappreciated, and — to bring it all home — we had to scramble to find jobs in other sectors or had to fight to find paid work in the church and other ways to continue to express our own vocational calls in ministry. More than a few left the church altogether and even more were embittered or close to despair.

Years after all these events, I learned about a woman who had graduated from my training school (St. Margaret’s House, Berkeley, California) a number of years before me, and I invited her to speak at a seminary class on the history of women in the church. She refused at first, saying that that whole chapter in her life was so painful, she didn’t want to re-open it. She added, "No one would be interested anyway and I couldn’t bear to go through that again." I prevailed, however, and she was warmly received in what I hope was a healing experience for her.

Read the rest of this entry »

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

THE ISSUE THAT WON’T GO AWAY, A Postscript: The Problem of Theology

June 20th, 2009 Jill Posted in Ordination Of Women, Theology Comments Off

By Canon Gary L’Hommedieu, Virtueonline

In the Episcopal Church the "issue that won’t go away" is the ordination of women (WO). It might better be called "the gift that keeps on giving", because the precedent set in legislating new forms of ministry in the liberal churches has served as a basis for theological method in what is now a post-theological Christendom.


Western Christians no longer theologize. That is, they no longer expound a Sacred Deposit of axiomatic doctrines received as divine revelation. For a Christian community to do theology there must be some agreed basis for receiving a body of doctrine as revealed truth. The Roman Catholic Church has such an institutional basis for expounding doctrine, as do the Eastern Orthodox Churches.

Protestant churches have a basis for expressing doctrine only so long as the given church stays together. This is another way of saying that they have no basis for doctrine but only for theological speculation. "Church" here really refers to a collection of likeminded individuals. Doctrine is understood from the standpoint of the individual and his conscience.

It is not sufficient to invoke the Bible, because the Bible does not interpret itself. If it did, then the present divisions within the churches could only be thinkable as deliberate mischief. It is not altogether honest for Christians to claim the Bible as the operative authority in the church but remain silent as to how that authority is expressed. Protestants will not give credence to that word "tradition" or to any other term which givers shape to doctrine. It is important that their reading simply be "biblical".

When evangelicals claim the Bible as their authority, what they usually mean is "my reading of the Bible". Indeed, what else could they mean? When a conservative Bible scholar publishes a book with proof texts for the doctrine of the Trinity, thus proving it to be biblical, he is himself posing as the authority. This he would rather do than give credence to the Councils of Nicea and Constantinople. On the other hand, what would he say to the great heresiarchs who opposed the doctrine? Their arguments were also biblical.

The Anglican Churches in their discussion of the covenant may move into a framework where an appeal to doctrine would be possible and not merely a matter of habit–one which, as we have become painfully aware, can all too easily be broken and replaced by others. This is, no doubt, entirely the reason why some of the Anglican Provinces resist the covenant. Covenant means accountability.

The Episcopal Church pays lip service to "core doctrine" but this core is on display under glass. TEC threw out the doctrinal baby with the ecclesiastical bathwater in 1996 when Bishop Walter Righter was exonerated in an ecclesiastical trial on heresy charges in the ordination of an openly gay deacon. The majority opinion of the court was that the ordination violated no "core doctrine", as in the dogmas enshrined in the major creeds. The implicit doctrines of the Nicene Creed, for example–the Trinity, creation, incarnation, redemption, the Spirit’s inspiration of the prophets (i.e., canonical scriptures)–none of these were deemed relevant to the doctrine of human sexuality implicit in Righter’s action.

Read the rest of this entry »

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

The Issue that won’t go away

June 16th, 2009 Jill Posted in Ordination Of Women, Theology Comments Off

By Canon Gary L’Hommedieu, Virtueonline


I began writing about Women’s Ordination (WO) as "the issue that won’t go away" when I noticed how it keeps coming up in discussions among the clergy. Many who are pro-WO see the issue as placing them among the "anointed", to use Thomas Sowell’s expression–that is, among the manifestly correct. The present leadership of the Episcopal Church see their Church’s stand on WO as certifying them among the architects of liberation now assuming their rightful role in managing the new world order.

Those who are opposed to or express misgivings about WO are rarely met with debate but rather with some form of ad hominem attack–either moralistic or emotionally charged rhetoric, if not outright incrimination. Such an uncivil reflex action suggests something unwholesome lurking beneath the surface of the WO issue on the part of its champions, who apparently are not as secure in their convictions as they would like to appear.

I rejected the theological arguments in favor of WO years ago when I found them to be un- and even anti-theological. At the time WO was sweeping through the churches as part of a cultural whirlwind. Very few of my colleagues are aware that I hold the position I do. I personally like and respect most of my female colleagues in Central Florida and throughout TEC. It pains me that on some level I am rejecting them personally and that they cannot help, at some level, taking my rejection personally.

I am speaking out on the subject now because, alas, I believe my position (which is certainly not mine alone) happens to be the truth. The church’s recent drift into wholesale revision largely rests on its accommodation of the method that led first to the acceptance of and then to the necessity for women priests. Other truths have been sacrificed in order to make space for this one, until now we have no basis for any positive doctrine. The present series of articles is an attempt to restate some fundamentals of doctrine.

I believe a positive case can be made for the male priesthood apart from joining a negative chorus against it. Furthermore, I believe this is a case whose time has come. My belief stands in contradiction to the assumption by liberals and conservatives alike that Jesus himself would have chosen female apostles if only he had truly been born in the fullness of time–namely, in our time, with our unobstructed view of all reality. Rather, I think a case can be made that the issue of male headship–the general category under which the priesthood falls–for the first time stands out as a doctrine apart from the cultural landscape of what are called "traditional societies".


I begin this second essay on "the issue that won’t go away" with a reference to the principle text taken in support of WO. I observe in the popular exegesis of this text the same nervous affirmation I have observed among WO advocates in both liberal and conservative camps.

Read here.

For Part 1 Read here


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Rochester Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali Responds to Historian’s article “Abusing the Fathers”

May 31st, 2009 Jill Posted in Apologetics, Arcic, Ordination Of Women Comments Off

By David Virtue, Virtueonline 31 May 2009

The following exchange of letters between the Bishop of Rochester, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Michael Nazir Ali, and a distinguished professor of History, Dr. William Tighe was passed to VOL. We believe it is of such importance as to post the two letters without comment or commentary.

Dear Prof Tighe,

Thank you for your email of 12 May. It was a pleasure to hear from you as I have often turned to your insightful article: Abusing the Fathers which has seemed to be exactly right as far as the Anglican Communion’s recent use of Nicea is concerned.

What you have read, I am afraid, may not have been wholly accurate. I know the Newman Society recorded the lecture and may have it available. I have been a member of ARCIC for many years and was involved in the writing of The Gift of Authority. I stand by this agreement and was speaking from that standpoint.

Naturally, when and if a new ecclesial situation is created by Anglican and Roman Catholics receiving papal primacy as set out in Gift, everything else will have to be re-evaluated in the light of such a development. The Church of England has said that the ordination of women must be open to reception by the Universal Church and is, in this sense, provisional. You may know that I chaired the commission which produced the so-called Rochester Report on women bishops. This report rehearsed many of the difficulties which are involved. We were also conscious of the response of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference which said, interalia, that Anglican Bishops could not, at the same time, claim to belong to a world-wide college of bishops and to change its nature unilaterally. I referred to this response in the General Synod itself.

Read the rest of this entry »

AddThis Social Bookmark Button