Church Times: ‘Chaos’ warning as rumours fly after Bishops’ meeting

Posted by Kendall Harmon

CAMPAIGNERS who are opposed to women bishops warned of financial chaos and a mass walk-out, if rumours prove to be true that the Church of England House of Bishops voted last week to consecrate women bishops without making acceptable provision for those who object.

Margaret Brown, the chairman of the Third Province Movement, said on Wednesday that the Bishops appeared to be ready to break the promise made by the General Synod that objectors would have “an honoured place” in the Church. It would be unchristian to leave them out in the cold, she said.

“There are 900 parishes, of various shades of churchmanship, who are opposed to women in the episcopate, and they are a force to be reckoned with. There could be very serious consequences if the reports turn out to be true,” Mrs Brown said. There would be “vast legal costs”, as parishes struggled with questions about property while seeking to leave the Church of England.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)

58 Comments
Posted May 30, 2008 at 8:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Br. Michael wrote:

Bishops breaking a solumn promise!?  I am shocked, shocked!  While I support WO on Biblical and thrological grounds, to force it on others who can make a ligitmate Biblical and theological argument the other way, is simply wrong and agenda driven.  Some people cannot and will not accept WO and they should not be forced to do so.  They must be given space and their theological position respected otherwise the proponents of WO are no different from the LGBT lobby that wants its own way all all costs.

May 30, 8:40 am | [comment link]
2. rlw6 wrote:

One thing that is always missing in the discussion is “how is this going to help the mission of the Church to bring people to Christ” and How these new inovations have helped to increase the membership of the Church.  I can’t help but believe that when the Facts and not Feelings are put forth a better decision could be reached.

May 30, 8:49 am | [comment link]
3. billqs wrote:

I imagine property disputes in the COE if they occur would be quite different than over here.  IIRC, most churches are titled in the name of the rector, not even the parish, diocese or COE.  Could make for interesting times.

May 30, 8:54 am | [comment link]
4. Grandmother wrote:

Welcome to our world!  COE

Gloria in SC

May 30, 9:38 am | [comment link]
5. francis wrote:

Yes, join the now great Anglican prophetic tradition of crucifying the weaker members to advance justice and reconciliation.

May 30, 9:47 am | [comment link]
6. Alice Linsley wrote:

Is the Anglican Communion totally committed to self-destruction?

May 30, 10:35 am | [comment link]
7. John Wilkins wrote:

I wonder what the queen thinks of having women be spiritual leaders.  Isn’t the governor of the church a spiritual position in itself? 

Or is it something about pointy hats that isn’t becoming upon a woman’s head?

May 30, 11:44 am | [comment link]
8. drummie wrote:

I have to agree with rlw6 in post #2, what will this do FOR the church?  I also have to question the logic from Br. Michael in #1.  I understand the trying to be fair to everyone, but isn’t that what has led to the problems facing the communion now?  Women’s ordination came about because a few decided to fly in the face of the canons and rules of the church in the US and a renegade bishop “ordained” them.  The bishop should have been kicked out of the church and the “priests” never recognized.  This is the same thing that has happened with the GLBT movement as well.  Both have stemmed from a “social justice” format that has twisted theology into something post christian.  Either the church had it wrong for close to two thousand years, or the reformers have it wrong now.  Up until recent times, things seem to have worked quite well, so why fix something that was not broken?  Look at the mess since these “fixes”.

May 30, 11:50 am | [comment link]
9. The_Archer_of_the_Forest wrote:

I imagine this is just a rumor. I can’t imagine the House of Bishops forcibly pushing this on people knowing full well there will be a gag reflex from some.

But then again, I didn’t think this would happen with Bishop Robinson and the US House of Bishops either.

May 30, 12:00 pm | [comment link]
10. Irenaeus wrote:

Remarkable to have a historic vote last week and not tell people.

All the more remarkable to have a historic vote last week and not have it leak until now. Three can keep a secret if two are dead.

May 30, 12:15 pm | [comment link]
11. wamark wrote:

On every level the ordination of women has been an unmitigated disaster for mainline protestant churches including TEC.  It defies scripture, tradition and reason.  If the church is a family, and it is, women as head of household…standing at the table leading the family instead of father…is the endorsement of an inherently dysfunctional family system.  Men in the last three decades have fled mainline churches and sociologists describes these same churches as pink collar ghettos.  Men have enough trouble with church but when it is so totally feminized it is a disaster for men, for women and their families.  Not one mainline denomination has flourished in the wake this inordinate studipidity and rejection of ancient wisdom.  The ancient wisdom was right not just because it was scriptural but because it understood the deeper sexual dynamic that improperly used (i.e. WO) would unravel any family organization.  Joyce Little’s book, Church and the Culture Wars, is outstanding on this subject.  In the wake of scriptures rejection to justify WO every other current apostasy and heresy has followed.  Those who claim WO is successful are either blind or stupid or both.

May 30, 12:25 pm | [comment link]
12. azusa wrote:

#7: ‘Isn’t the governor of the church a spiritual position in itself?’
No. It’s simple Constantinianism: the head of state is the supreme governor of the Church. The POTUS is the supreme governor of Tec in the United States. 

‘Or is it something about pointy hats that isn’t becoming upon a woman’s head?’
Only if they have pointy heads. Proverbs 26.5.

May 30, 12:30 pm | [comment link]
13. evan miller wrote:

#11
I’m with you 100%.  It has been an unmitigated disaster all round.

May 30, 12:48 pm | [comment link]
14. Jeremy Bonner wrote:

#11

The uncomfortable truth, though, is that to be consistent you must hold my Bishop (Bob Duncan) to that standard. A little confusing having someone who stresses his Anglo Catholic upbringing being a proponent of women’s ordination, but that’s the way it is. And what’s to be done about Uganda and Kenya? Is that blind stupidity?

May 30, 1:10 pm | [comment link]
15. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

Well, off we all sneaked to Market Drayton [god-help-us] for our ‘in camera’ meeting[Mum’s the word!].  Things didn’t quite go according to plan as our great leader was talked down by the usual suspects who have decided that the time is right with him weakened for a putsch.

Unfortunately someone[you know who your are] with some sympathies with the A-C neanderthals decided to spill the beans.

What to do?  People have been making some most uncharitable, not to say hurtful things about us.  Let’s all pretend that we are most put out that our secret meeting reports are merely rumour.  Here is the latest report from a friendly source:

On Tuesday, however, a Church of England spokesman refused to confirm whether the Bishops wanted a simple “code of conduct” for objectors, in order to keep the legislation to a minimum, and had rejected the idea of a third province. He also declined to comment on whether they wanted to end the right of parishes to opt out of the ministry of women priests.


“The House of Bishops had a full discussion of the Manchester report [News, 2 May], and agreed that the options in the report should be debated by the Synod in July. The House agreed a motion to act as a starting point for the Synod debate. The wording of this will be issued with the other Synod papers next month,” the spokesman said.


The Archbishops of Canterbury and York would set out in a covering note “the considerations [the House of Bishops] believes that the Synod will need to weigh in coming to a decision”.

Excellent - we call it the Doctrine of Implausible Deniability!

May 30, 1:14 pm | [comment link]
16. azusa wrote:

THe confusion lies with Bob Duncan. Women’s ministry is fine when shared with one’s husband, on the NT model of Priscilla and Aquila.
Those who know about Uganda and Kenya could tell us how it works there. I suspect it’s a cultural adaptation to working among women, but I don’t know. If Stephen Noll reads this, maybe he could comment?

May 30, 1:15 pm | [comment link]
17. Br. Michael wrote:

8, the logic is that I do not think that it is prohibited by Scripture.  I think it is a matter of Church governance and tradition.  Those things may be changed.  I know most here disagree with that, but Scripture simply does not set up the modern Church structure.  I think a good argument, based on Scripture, could be made for doing away with the presbyters.  Why? Because they are not mentoned in the NT.  It speaks of apostles, bishops and deacons.  Why do the Roman and Orthodox Churches insist on celebacy for bishops when the NT clearly allows it in the case of bishops?  And we have the heads of house churches some of whom were women.  We do not know the precise role of those house church leaders played.  Did they have a liturgical role?  Did they preside at the meal? 

I really do wish that Paul had written a letter setting out in detail the organization of the Church.  “There shall be three orders of clergy: bishops, presbyters and deacons all of whome shall be male.  And God really means it!”, but he didn’t.

I completely agree with you as to how it was done.  It was accomplished through lawlessness and power and it established the technique and method which the GLBT is using.  And WO should not be forced on any one.  It should be a “may” and not a “must”.

May 30, 1:16 pm | [comment link]
18. Cennydd wrote:

This entire issue illustrates the fact that it is women who are hell-bent on “shattering the glass ceiling” in the professions.  I applaud women who have entered every profession and competed with men; every profession except one:  the Christian Ministry, and in particular, Anglican Holy Orders.  The result has been disaster…..the facts speak for themselves.

May 30, 1:23 pm | [comment link]
19. evan miller wrote:

#14
Jeremy,
I am in a Ugandan church and, yes, I think they are wrong in ordaining women.

May 30, 1:24 pm | [comment link]
20. writingmom15143 wrote:

#14…I think the uncomfortable truth in this situation is the discomfort of people who don’t want to accept the truth.  I live in
Bishop Duncan’s diocese as well and have found him to be neither
blind nor stupid. Bishop Duncan is working to keep us fully rooted in Scripture AND he is a supporter of WO.  That’s the truth.

May 30, 1:42 pm | [comment link]
21. Jeremy Bonner wrote:

And in a sense, writingmon, evan (#19) demonstrates the problem we all face - in the UK, the US or the Global South - whether conservative and pro-WO or conservative and anti-WO. Why do I get this sinking feeling that Common Cause will continue to be a case of the triumph of hope over experience?

May 30, 1:58 pm | [comment link]
22. Cennydd wrote:

I think it’s a well-known fact that Bishop Schofield will not ordain women to the priesthood, but he believes that there is biblical precedence for ordaining them deacons.  Who am I to challenge this belief? 

I believe that some day soon, this issue will be hashed out, and we’ll get on with the business of Christ and His Church in a new Anglican province.

May 30, 2:29 pm | [comment link]
23. writingmom15143 wrote:

#22…Do you know why Bishop Schofield feels that ordination to the diaconate is fine for women but ordination to the priesthood is not?

May 30, 2:37 pm | [comment link]
24. Alice Linsley wrote:

The very fact that women priests and bishops cause division in the Church tells us that it is not to be done. Just as the ordination of non-celibate homosexuals causes division. Again, because it ought not to be done.

There is no question that women have ministry roles in the Church. They are not exempt from ministry. Women served our Lord in His earthly ministry, staying with Him at the Cross, and the first at the empty Tomb. Priscilla, at great personal risk, carried St. Paul’s epistle to the Romans. Lydia was the first European converted by St. Paul. Dorcus was raised from the dead, the female counterpart to Lazarus. Mary and Martha loved Him dearly. The list goes on and on if you include the saints! Unfortunately the Church has failed to uphold these female models and feminists have insisted that the priesthood is about equal rights.

Someone above has said that ordination is a matter of Church order.  That’s true. Catholic orders were broken in the making of women “priests” and this opened the way for the ordination of non-celibate homosexuals.  More significant is the question of why church order prohibits women being priests and the answer to that is found in the nature of the priesthood.

The Apostles and Church Fathers knew only an all male sacerdotal priesthood. This is one of the most ancient of religious institutions and it points to Jesus Christ. This attack on the integrity of the male priesthood is really an attack on Christology, intended to confuse and distract. 

Conservatives are divided over this because some are influenced more by culture than by a proper consistent reading of the Bible. In East Africa women are ordained because the Anglicans there are heirs of the East African Revival, very Protestant in nature.  Protestants have never understood the priesthood.

I recommend these essays:
http://jandyongenesis.blogspot.com/2007/08/primeval-origins-of-priesthood.html
http://jandyongenesis.blogspot.com/2007/09/males-as-spiritual-leaders-two-patterns.html
http://jandyongenesis.blogspot.com/2007/08/priesthood-and-genesis.html
http://jandyongenesis.blogspot.com/2007/08/shamanic-practice-and-priesthood.html

May 30, 2:47 pm | [comment link]
25. CanaAnglican wrote:

11.  Dear Wamark,
Wow! Let me just say this: On every level the ordination of men has been an unmitigated disaster for mainline protestant churches including TEC.  It defies scripture, tradition and reason.  Yes, that is right there is no call in the N.T. for men to be ordained priests.  The book of Hebrews sets forth Jesus as the only high priest in the order of Melchizedek, and contrasts Him to the priests of Aaron who are no longer necessary.

So, I agree with you, on every level of ordination there have been women who have messed up big-time.  I hope you will agree with me that on every level of ordination there have been men who have messed up even more big-time.

To look at the positive side, there so many wonderful, ordained men and women bearing forth Christ to the world, that I don’t even know where to start counting.  Forty percent of Paul’s colleagues in spreading the gospel were women, and that was in a time of no sense of equal education or standing for women.  Many scriptures, provided you read them in the Greek that Paul wrote them in, support W.O. as deacons and overseers.  Let’s focus on the mission at hand, just the way Paul did. —Stan

May 30, 3:25 pm | [comment link]
26. Brian from T19 wrote:

I used to favor setting up exceptions for people who object to one thing or another, but now I am not so sure.  My mind isn’t fully made up.  My thinking now is that making accommodations doesn’t really do anyone any favors.  If you are truly called to not be under the leadership of a woman then there are alternatives-the RC and Orthodox Churches to name just 2.  Is it fair to say that one thing is right for one person but not right for another?  It reduces faith to a series of preferences - like going to a McDonald’s and choosing the things you like.  That’s just my thinking today - we’ll see tomorrow wink

May 30, 3:27 pm | [comment link]
27. evan miller wrote:

#25
Your are wrong to say that ordination of men defies scripture, tradition and reason.  It does not oppose Scripture and it is certainly supported by tradition and reason.  And, no, I wouldn’t agree that men have messed up at every level of ordination more than women.  In the 32 years since WO has afflicted us, I’ll wager the mischief done has been far greater than done by the male priesthood in a similar timeframe.  Of course, it was male priests and bishops who allowed this to happen.

May 30, 3:34 pm | [comment link]
28. writingmom15143 wrote:

Alice…I would suggest that there are a number of things that conservative people (probably most of those who follow this blog) allow to cause division in the church besides women’s ordination.

—The 1928 v. the 1979 prayer book caused division among people in the church, so should we not allow the prayer book?
—The 1940-something v. the 1982 hymnal caused division among
people in the church, so should we not allow hymnals?
—Guitars v. organs caused division among people in the church, so should we not allow music?
—Contemporary v. traditional worship services caused division among
people in the church, so should we not allow the liturgy?
—Priests facing the altar v. priests facing the congregation caused division among people in the church, so should we not allow altars?
—Wine v. grape juice caused division among people in the church. so
should we not allow wine?
—Communion wafers v. homemade bread caused division among people in the church, so should we not allow bread?
—Once-a-month Sunday Eucharist with Morning Prayer the other weeks v. Sunday Eucharist every week caused division among people in the church, so should we not allow Eucharist?
—Praying silently v. praying out loud caused division among people in the church, so should we not allow prayer?

People and their personal issues cause division.  And I believe that all of these (including WO) are people’s issues.  My question is…
Are they God’s issues as well?

May 30, 3:35 pm | [comment link]
29. CanaAnglican wrote:

24. Alice,
Should we discuss Phoebe?  She is the only person in the Bible to be mentioned by name and with direct reference as being a deacon.  Paul indicates that she was first among equals and apparently to be give all due support in her role.  Paul establishes her “at the front”.  Clearly she was a leader.

23. Writingmom,
Does this help clarify why +Schofield might feel it in order to permit those women called to be deacons to be ordained as deacons?

Best regards to both,—Stan

May 30, 3:36 pm | [comment link]
30. writingmom15143 wrote:

Stan…Thank you.

May 30, 3:40 pm | [comment link]
31. evan miller wrote:

#28
They are the Church’s issues.  Virtually all of those you listed are cases where innovations were enacted that caused division.  They would have done far better to have left well enough alone.  It wasn’t broken and wasn’t in need of fixing.

May 30, 3:44 pm | [comment link]
32. CanaAnglican wrote:

27.  Evan,
I give you the inquisition, the indulgences, Calvin having Servetus burned at the stake, and all the rest of Foxe’s ‘Book of Martyrs’.  These examples are 99% male driven and 100% destructive to the spread of the gospel.  If you want just to look at the recent 30-year period we might wish to examine paedophlia and the priesthood.  I don’t believe women caused a lot of that set-back to the gospel.  Could be a couple of well-placed women bishops would have made a difference in protecting the children.  Do any of us have any idea how many people have isolated themselves from anything to do with any church due to that fiasco?  I am really serious in wishing to know an answer.

May 30, 3:52 pm | [comment link]
33. CanaAnglican wrote:

27. Evan,
Forgot to ask:  Do you have a scripture for ordaining men as priests? —Stan

May 30, 3:54 pm | [comment link]
34. evan miller wrote:

Stan,
As I said earlier, it is not called for in Scripture but is certainly is supported by tradition and reason and is in no way repugnant to Scripture.

May 30, 3:57 pm | [comment link]
35. CanaAnglican wrote:

Evan,
I certainly agree with your post 34, and feel very blessed to have two fine priests in our Anglican church in Virginia.  I hope to be as orthodox a Christian as possible for any human to be.  I have little skill in languages, but as I try to parse through the writings of Paul in Greek with the help of an interlinear, I am always stopped short by the example he makes of Phoebe.  Further, his writings in Timothy are open to much more gender-neutral interpretation than have been given in the translations of 1611 and later. —Stan

May 30, 4:14 pm | [comment link]
36. Larry Morse wrote:

A good rule still is,:If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it,” and WO violates that rule. There is this simple fact: in the ordination process, nothing was broken, unless you argue that it is an issue of civil rights, even t hough we know that this cause cannot be applied to this condition. What happens when you under take to improve that which is working well? The functional system is disassembled and it is commonly replaced with another which cannot improve on what is already complete. I can think of no improvement which was not caused by a system that was not working well, and even then, think how often t he cost of the improvement is greater than the gain. I understand that medicine is a good example of genuine improvement, but consider the automobile and electronic communication. Alas for mankind. WO was unnecessary, and nothing was gained. it is a wise observation, don’t throw away what you have unless you can replace it with something of equal value.  LM

May 30, 4:44 pm | [comment link]
37. Larry Morse wrote:

Cana, consider Schori. Has she replaced an inferior male with her superior performance? Would women have stopped the pedophilia in the RC church? Or would the church have drawn lesbians for t he same reason that it draws homosexuals? Have you considered this?

    At last women are not likely to commit the precise same errors as men because they are fundamentally different, but do you doubt for one minute that, given power, t hey would have produced a set equally as bad but conformed to their nature? Are women less prone to sin than men? Please. If there is a nature for men and one for women, t here is also human nature, alas for us all. LM

May 30, 4:51 pm | [comment link]
38. Alice Linsley wrote:

The whole structure of the Bible points to the priesthood as male.  Not a single female priest is found in Scripture.  Phoebe, as a deaconess, did not serve in a liturgical role.

The priesthood has to do with blood and points to the Blood of the Lamb, the Blood of Jesus that cleanses us from every stain. Among the Afro-Asiatic people (who give us the Bible) there were 2 kinds of life-giving blood, one associated with females and the other associated with the ruling Father and priests.  The first blood is the blood shed in birthing.  Men were not to be present in the birthing hut.  The second blood is that shed in animal sacrifice. Women were not to be present at the altar.

This male-female division is consistent with the entire binary framework of the Bible. This binary framework also makes it clear that homosexual behavior is outside the boundaries of God’s good.

May 30, 4:56 pm | [comment link]
39. Anglican Paplist wrote:

When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.
[21] Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.”
[22] And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
[23] If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

Ordination. Male. Jesus was God. If he had wanted/needed a female apostle he would have made one, culture be damned. Besides, God has not steered billions of RC ‘s, Orthodox and, yes, even Southern Baptists wrong for two thousand years. Between justice and obedience may I suggest obedience may be the more important of the two in this life. And don’t start turning over stones thinking Mary Magdalene is going to spring out chausabled and epiclesis-ready. Didn’t happen.
God bless,
AP+

May 30, 5:06 pm | [comment link]
40. writingmom15143 wrote:

32…Thank for asking an important, but difficult, question.  I can share what I know personally.  I do a good deal of speaking/workshop leading as well as inner healing prayer with those whose lives have been devastated by sexual abuse.  There are 2 statements that I have heard many times from those trying to heal.
1.  Why did God allow these things to happen to me? 
2.  There’s nowhere I can go to be safe…not even the church.

So many try anything else, besides God, to mend their brokenness…
To ease their pain…And they desperately want someone to understand what it feels like to live everyday with the memories of what had happened to them.

So, for many, it is inconceivable for them to believe that the God
they feel turned His back on them, is the answer for their deep grief and shame…And it is even more inconcievable for them to grasp that it is God’s power of forgiveness that will set them free.

Each time I speak, each time I lead a workshop or facilitate a small group, God allows me to stand on the strength of his love and his healing that brought me from the hell of childhood sexual abuse to
a healing ministry for those who lived that same hell.  And I always,
always talk about the power of God’s forgiveness.

My friends…There is no brokenness in your lives that is beyond God’s
healing…No piece of you so shattered that it is beyond God’s repair…And nothing that you have done…or that has been done to
you…is beyond God’s forgiveness.
                                          —Debbie

May 30, 5:09 pm | [comment link]
41. billqs wrote:

I guess there was no way this thread could not get sidetracked into the subject of WO in general, but what about getting back to the article at hand?  Flying Bishops has been touted as a productive way to keep the disparate groups of Anglicans together, by providing an honorable space for those who could not abide WO.  And, in general it seems to have worked.

It is quite telling then that the COE HOB has apparently jettisoned this compromise.  Are the Broad Church, Open Evangicals and Affirming Catholics so much in the ascendancy that they no longer feel the need to provide a safe place to worship for Anglo Catholics?

Perhaps the Mother Church is not that far behind TEC after all.  That’s a real shame.

May 30, 5:17 pm | [comment link]
42. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

#41 In all the angst in the Communion, seeing the utter intolerance in TEC, we have comforted ourselves that there is another way, an English tolerant way to acknowledge the worth of fellow Anglicans who may differ from us.  Flying bishops and the promises we made were an example of that.  We asked why TEC had to be so combative, so persecuting, so unwilling to make provisions such as we had.  We asked why TEC could not be reasonable - Like us.

Not any longer apparently.

May 30, 6:23 pm | [comment link]
43. CanaAnglican wrote:

37.  Larry,
Per your post:
1. Cana, consider Schori. Has she replaced an inferior male with her superior performance?

Schori has been a terrible failure for the church.  I never said women will not fail.  My point was that there have been many men who have also failed terribly.  Quickly coming to mind are Pike, Spong (Sprong?), Williams, Bruno, and Chaney.  You must not generalize from one specific. 
—-
2. Would women have stopped the pedophilia in the RC church? Or would the church have drawn lesbians for t he same reason that it draws homosexuals? Have you considered this?

We will never know, as there were no women bishops to take strong action.  My guess is the situation would have been more favorably resolved with some defrockings that were so rapid that some ex-priests would still be spinning.
—-
3.  At last women are not likely to commit the precise same errors as men because they are fundamentally different, but do you doubt for one minute that, given power, t hey would have produced a set equally as bad but conformed to their nature? Are women less prone to sin than men?

Of course they are not less prone to sin—probably not more prone either.  Men and women can all get into enough trouble to require a Savior who surpasses mortal understanding.

Best wishes,—Stan

May 30, 7:33 pm | [comment link]
44. Brian from T19 wrote:

If he had wanted/needed a female apostle he would have made one,

He did Anglican Paplist - Junia

Greet Andronicus and Junia,* my relatives* who were in prison with me; they are prominent among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was. - Romans 16:7 (NRSV)

May 30, 8:51 pm | [comment link]
45. Dr. William Tighe wrote:

“Episemoi en tois apostolois” is much more likely to mean “well-known among (to) the apostles” than “well-known apostles”—cf.

http://trushare.com/70MAR01/MR01JUNI.htm

May 30, 11:37 pm | [comment link]
46. Brian from T19 wrote:

Dr. Tighe

Despite the theologically sound “oops-a-daisy” argument provided in your link, I’ll stick with the actual scholars who translated the NRSV.

It is a serious intellectual flaw to try and dismiss the evidence of female leadership-deacons, priests and even bishops.  They existed.  The larger question is why the Church decided to change the priesthood to an all-male priesthood.  Perhaps it was a legitimate ‘correcting’ of past mistakes or there was another less noble reason.  But to argue that the Church did not have female leadership is simply intellectually dishonest and distracts from the conversation.

May 31, 8:56 am | [comment link]
47. Dr. William Tighe wrote:

“It is a serious intellectual flaw to try and dismiss the evidence of female leadership-deacons, priests and even bishops.  They existed.”

Sez you.  Please give me their names and who ordained them—and please don’t try to palm off Gnostic and Montanist female hierophants as though they say anything about the practice of Catholic Christianity.

May 31, 9:02 am | [comment link]
48. Larry Morse wrote:

#43. I did not cite Schori as a universal case, merely a case to make a point, for she has done as much damage - maybe more - than the dreadful men you have cited. My real point was and still is, give women power and they will abuse it generously, but in ways consistent with their own nature. They will Delilah-cize their potential for damge, not Samson it. And what is Schori doing now, as the feminists have done, if not cutting off Samson’s hair to leave him weak and helpless? The old story always bears new and bitter fruit with every retelling. Larry

May 31, 9:15 am | [comment link]
49. Alice Linsley wrote:

Thank you, Dr. Tighe. 

From the beginning the Orthodox have acknowledged some women as “equal to the Apostles.” An example is Photini, the Samaritan woman who met Jesus at the well.  She was not a priest however.

May 31, 11:13 am | [comment link]
50. Ross wrote:

#24 Alice Linsley says:

The very fact that women priests and bishops cause division in the Church tells us that it is not to be done.

That strikes me as a very shaky argument.  Surely you could argue with just as much validity:

The very fact that insisting upon the divinity of Christ causes division in the Church tells us that it is not to be done.

...and conclude thereby that the council of Nicea was fatally misguided?

May 31, 4:28 pm | [comment link]
51. Alice Linsley wrote:

Ross, you misrepresent what I said.  I linked the innovation of women priests (only Anglicans have them) with the innovation of ordaining non-celibate homosexuals. The first innovation broke the back of catholic orders and made the second innovation possible.  It is not a coincidence that the first female to be “canonically” priested was a lesbian. As Louie Crew explains “In January of 1977, the first month women could be “legally” ordained, the Rt. Rev. Paul Moore, Jr., Bishop of New York, ordained to the priesthood Ellen Marie Barrett, who had served as Integrity’s first co-president.”

May 31, 4:55 pm | [comment link]
52. Ross wrote:

#51, my apologies, it was not my intention to misrepresent.

But reading your original post again, it still sounds to me as though you were making a blanket statement that we can recognize “things that are not to be done” on the grounds that they are “things that divide the Church,” and citing WO as an example of such a thing.  You did indeed go on to link WO to the ordination of non-celibate homosexuals, but I understood that to be, as it were, step two of your argument; I was focusing on step one.

In any case, this is somewhat tangential both to the main thrust of the WO argument, and to the article at hand; so I won’t pursue the point.

May 31, 5:22 pm | [comment link]
53. CanaAnglican wrote:

# 48. Larry,
So then we conclude that owing to this awful PB we should never again have women in leadership.  Then likewise with all the terrible men we have had as leaders, we really should never again permit male leaders.  Virtually every man cited in the scripture is seriously flawed, starting with Adam and then Cain.  Even Moses himself was not allowed into the Promised Land.  Let’s not even talk about Aaron allowing the casting of a golden calf.  It goes on and on right down to today.  OK, so there really is “none righteous, no not one.”  What are we going to do, continue with just half the talent pool available?

You cite Delilah.  She certainly is not an example of a woman following the leadership of the Lord.  She was not a Jew (and of course not a Christian).  For crying out loud she was a PHILISTINE.  I would never say we should turn any leadership position over to a heathen woman—rather to men and women who are seriously called by God to carry out His work!

Some women are called by God to lead.  Of course I have to give you the example of Deborah.  Of twelve judges, she was the only woman, and what a great judge she was, yet ever humble and giving God the credit for the victories.

So now, if we wish to base our conclusions on specific cases of individual people we will be lead to conclusions which are as ridiculous as the following one:

  +  All the bad judges were men
  +  The only woman judge was good
  +  Therefore we would be wise to select only women as our leaders.

The point is we need to seek God’s will and accept whoever He guides to be our leaders.

Best wishes, —Stan

May 31, 7:06 pm | [comment link]
54. Alice Linsley wrote:

The issue isn’t women in leadership.  There are many examples, bliblical and in history to show that women can be good leaders.  The issue is women as priests and therefore as bishops.  There is no historical precedent for this.  I was a priest in TEC for almost 18 years.  This is a personal issue for me.  After 3+ years of study, I’m convinced that women priests represent a error in understanding Christ, the Church, and God’s design in creation.

May 31, 7:54 pm | [comment link]
55. Brian from T19 wrote:

The issue is women as priests and therefore as bishops.  There is no historical precedent for this.

Alice, this simply is not true.  This lie has been spread widely, especially in the academia of the Orthodox Church, and is believed by many.  Here are a few examples:

-Giorgio Otranto, an Italian professor of church history, has shown through papal letters and inscriptions that women participated in the Catholic priesthood for the first thousand years of the church’s history.

-Irenaeus states that the Valentinian Gnostic Marcus surrounded himself with women whom he allowed in his presence to consecrate chalices containing wine

-Firmilian of Cesarea, [in Asia Minor] in an epistle to Cyprian around 235, harshly condemns the activity of a woman who was attracting a large number of believers and who was baptizing and celebrating the Eucharist according to the ritual of the church.

-Epiphanius of Salamis similarly condemns seven other Montanists of Phrygia who permitted women access to the priesthood and to the episcopate.

-The presence of women presbyters in Bruttium at the end of the fifth century recalls an inscription that takes on renewed interest and significance as an historic documentation of women in the priesthood: B(onae) m(emoriae) s(acrum). Leta presbitera/vixit annos XL, menses VIII, dies VIIII/ quei (scil. cui) bene fecit maritus/ Precessit in pace pridie/idus Maias (“Sacred to her good memory Leta the Presbyter lived 40 years, 8 months, 9 days, for whom her husband set up this tomb. She preceded him in peace on the day before the Ides of May”). (see image below) (54) The epitaph refers to a presbyter Leta, having died at just over forty, for whom her husband had set up a tomb; this inscription comes from the catacomb of Tropea, a small town that has offered the most consistent epigraphical and monumental documentation of Paleochristian Bruttium.

-A second-century fresco depicting seven women at table with cups of wine and seven baskets of bread. A eucharistic banquet with women priests? A ninth-century church mosaic of a female with the word episcopa over her head. A woman bishop? Truth is in the eye of the beholder. If evidence is there looking back at us from the mosaics, frescoes, burial inscriptions and ancient texts, the truth of it has seldom registered with our male-run church. History’s winners have chosen to ignore it.

It may have been condemned by the Church proper, but women priests and bishops existed.

May 31, 9:10 pm | [comment link]
56. Alice Linsley wrote:

Brian, you make a good case in support of my point. Women “priests” are not consistent with the catholic understanding of the priesthood. Orthodox, Romans Catholics and Anglicans in the Continuum are in agreement on this.  Protestants don’t have the priesthood so it is a moot point for them.  That leaves only Anglicans… out on the limb.

“Presbytera” Leta was the priest’s wife.  All of these supposed examples have been refuted and rebutted repeatedly, but trot them out again, if you must.

May 31, 10:26 pm | [comment link]
57. Dr. William Tighe wrote:

Re: #55,

Brian proves that heretical, Gnostic and non-Catholic sects purported to “ordain” women to the priesthood.  Well, Land O’Goshen, they still do, but that only proves, now as then, that their claims to be “Catholic” are risibly absurd.

Beyond that, I may add the following:

(1) I am familiar with the work of Giorgio Otranto.  His work proves, at most, that a pope in the fifth century reprehended a bishop whom the pope had heard had tried to ordain a woman to the priesthood, describing the attempt as blasphemous and illicit.  We do not know whether what the pope had heard had really happened, nor, if it had, whether the bishop was a Catholic bishop, and not some sectarian hierophant.  But I am pleased in any event that the papacy, then as now, upheld the Catholic Faith against such sectarian enormities.  (Otranto’s other “data” is both vague and there is no evidence that it comes from Catholic sources.)

(2) With regard to:

“-A second-century fresco depicting seven women at table with cups of wine and seven baskets of bread. A eucharistic banquet with women priests? A ninth-century church mosaic of a female with the word episcopa over her head. A woman bishop? Truth is in the eye of the beholder. If evidence is there looking back at us from the mosaics, frescoes, burial inscriptions and ancient texts, the truth of it has seldom registered with our male-run church. History’s winners have chosen to ignore it.”

see: http://trushare.com/71APR01/AP01HIDD.htm

which delightfully explodes that nonsensical feminist fantasy.

May 31, 10:45 pm | [comment link]
58. Larry Morse wrote:

#53. You have missed my point again. I will say it once more and then quit. My point was that women priests would not be bad as male priests are, in all probability, because their abuse of power would arise from a woman’s nature, not a man’s, and Schori’s is a case in point, for she is abusing her power by using “love,” “nurture,” tolerance,” “forgiving,” - that is, the touchy-feely causality, instead of enforcing the Law, which is the common man’s point d’appui when he chooses to abuse his power.  LM

June 1, 12:26 am | [comment link]
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