|Karen Bradley on her "ordination as a canon" Photo: Derby Telegraph|
I say 'alleges' based on the the general tone of Joey Severn's article in the Derby Telegraph (here) when Joey refers to Karen Bradley's "ordination as a canon back in 2012". Far be it from me to dispute the 'facts' but I find it somewhat irksome to read articles about life in the Church written by reporters with no clear understanding of the subject they are addressing, rather like a ballet critic reporting on a boxing bout. Here are a few gems from a very mixed up article - including the picture captions. The italics are mine.
"She was among the first women to be ordained in 1994, when being a woman in the Church was hugely controversial.... Women in the Church has been an issue that has divided the institution for decades."
And get this! "The first women ordinations took place at St Paul's Cathedral, in London. However, it was not without controversy. Members left and entire congregations changed their branch of Christianity because of their unwillingness to accept women.
It is not unusual for hacks to confuse the facts but clerics should know better than to misrepresent Holy Scripture as in this piece of self-justification:
"The Rev Jean Burgess, who leads St Alkmund's Church, in Derby, is the Dean of Women's Ministry. She sees the reasons behind the unwillingness ["to accept women"] as being ingrained in thousands of years of tradition. She said: 'The tradition in the Church states that Jesus chose men. The reality is that, in the New Testament, it is very clear that it only highlights 12 men but that there were women disciples in his party. It is argued that most of the people in the Bible are men leading churches, but Paul clearly talks about women leading churches. The Bible we use is a translation from Greek and Hebrew. Greek is a very diverse language and one word can mean a number of different things. It seems to me, as a woman, that those scriptures are mistranslated and misunderstood. For me, it is about being equal under God and serving him as best we can."
There is a world of difference between serving and self-serving. St Paul used to be held up as the arch-misogynist. Here he is used to justify the ordination of women.
The article continues with what seems to me to be an odd contradiction: "Despite that opposition, women now make up a third of the Church of England's clergy and approval may soon be given for women to have the opportunity to be ordained as bishops. But for all the column inches in the press that the issue has generated across the country, people outside the Church are still surprised to see a woman in a collar."
Women have won their battle to become accepted as vicars in the Church of England. Their constant complaining about alleged inequality brings the Church into disrepute as does trying to convince outsiders that opposition to the ordination of women is simple prejudice rather than a question of theology.