|Commissioning the Twelve Apostles depicted by Domenico Ghirlandaio, 1481. Wikipedia|
The Twelve Apostles
13 And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him. 14 And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach 15 and have authority to cast out demons. 16 He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); 17 James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder); 18 Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Cananaean, 19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. Mark 3:13-19
To suggest that Jesus was a man constrained by the customs of the day ignores the reality that Jesus rose from the dead and that He called to him those whom he desired, consciously choosing the Twelve including the one who betrayed him.
Now, "1,000 years on, girls sing at Canterbury Cathedral" is being trumpeted around the world as if to suggest that the heart of the Anglican communion has finally caught up with the real world: Canterbury is not the first British cathedral to set up a girls' choir, but as the mother church of the 80 million-strong Anglican Communion — one struggling to define the role of women in its ranks — its move has special resonance. It is understandable that the difference between girls singing in the choir and a woman standing at the altar in the person of Christ would be lost on those constructing media reports but for practicing Anglicans who recite the Nicene Creed the difference should be obvious.
Let us be clear about this. Only a minority in the Anglican Communion is 'struggling to define the role of women in its ranks' and it is a shame that what is undoubtedly a valued opportunity for these girls should be represented as part of 'the struggle'. In reality it has nothing to do with the role of women in general but the role of a vociferous, power-seeking minority who persuaded others to depart from the centrality of the Gospel and define their own rules to adapt the priesthood to their own liking. I wonder what their response was today to 'The Gospel of the Lord'?