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Sunday, 15 April 2018

Another bite of the apple?


Pope Francis has repeatedly pushed for greater roles for women in the church, but maintains that
 priesthood is for men only.  (ANDREW MEDICHINI / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE PHOTO)

There have been a number of reports recently about the ordination of women in the Roman Catholic Church. From The Star, for example: "The Vatican’s commission of Latin American church leaders is demanding greater decision-making opportunities for women in the church and proposing that Pope Francis call a special meeting of the world’s bishops to discuss women."

"The Pontifical Commission for Latin America said after its recent plenary that the church needs a radical “change of mentality” in the way it views and treats half of humanity. It was published in Thursday’s Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano.

"The commission members — 22 Latin American cardinals and bishops, plus 15 women who joined the panel for the meeting — said it was both possible and “urgent” to increase opportunities for women at the parish, diocesan and Vatican level.

" 'This opening isn’t a concession to cultural or media pressure, but the result of a realization that the lack of women in decision-making roles is a defect, an ecclesiological gap and the negative effect of a clerical and macho conception,' the communique said.

"They warned that if the church doesn’t fix the problem soon, women will simply leave." Full text here.

Also, from Life Site: "Recent comments from Viennese prelate Christoph Cdl. Schönborn, apparently supportive of ordaining women, are opposed, I suggest, to at least three fundamental ecclesiological values but they have occasioned, as far I have seen, no correction whatsoever from Church leadership, and thus seem to be a chilling illustration of the erosion of order in the Church." Read the response here.

What many Anglicans liked about the Anglican Church was that it was both catholic and reformed, retaining the creeds and threefold ministry of the deacon, priest and bishop. But further reforming has plagued the Anglican Communion. In adapting to local circumstances, provinces in the US and here in the UK have allowed political activism to over-rule scripture and tradition.

In Wales a political fix saw the first woman bishop appointed to the diocese of St Davids followed by a second appointment by the bench of bishops to the diocese of Llandaff. The consequence has been a shift to gender politics. Sexuality has replaced spirituality while gender equality is the new mission.

None of this need have happened. Generally, the sort of women who agitated to become deacons saw the move as a stepping-stone. After their objective was achieved it was claimed to be unfair that women deacons were not allowed to be priests. After they were admitted to the priesthood it was the stained glass ceiling. Allowing them to be elected as bishops was now the "only logical step" said arch-schemer Barry Morgan. The stained glass was shattered along with Anglicanism. The results are clear for all to see. 

To claim that 'if the church doesn’t fix the problem soon, women will simply leave' is absurd. Many women have left the Anglican Church because of the changes, not because they are sexist but because the church has become secularised.

15 comments:

  1. The type of wimmin who would leave are just the one's we'd be well rid of.

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    1. Except they are now wearing dog collars and mitres.

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    2. "Dog collars"? It's the ring of confidence, my dear.

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    3. Providing (or increasing) "decision-making opportunities for women in the church" is not the same as admitting them to Holy Orders.

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    4. Surely the term 'dog collar' is sexist?

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    5. Inevitable, 'Evangelical Ed.

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  2. DMP, Women whose vocation that has followed through to formation and Holy Orders, have trod a road of many pothole and subsequently,ambiguous diversion sign. But they are for some welcomed as a breath of fresh air. While for others an anathema. But, here we are, the Church of the 21st Century.
    Similar journeys have been travelled by homosexual men (I so hate this LGBTQ ETC ETC). Who equally have found it difficult to find a bishop who would ordain them. Then following either a silent lifestyle, or, celibacy. But, most being a living example of faith and spiritual care in the parishes, I can think of many, as im sure others can too.
    However, I digress, ordained women to have a place, for some quite rightly stated there is an element of political posturing and questions can be asked when such activity clouds spirituality.
    Other Churches (not necessarily Anglican), have had women in ordained roles for many decades. We can learn from these lessons not dissimilar to the flow of our own experiences. Therefore, ironing out the creases, becomes a paradigm for CinW.
    Some of the women bishops/moderators currently in leadership have proved effective in there roles. There are male bishops, who are ineffective and happy to meddle in pseudo political engagement, with consequences that call the Church into question.
    So have we really got an argument? Has Roman Catholic leadership begun to embrace, or cause for some, its dis,grace in considering ordaining women.
    There are indeed two choices open to all. Leave the Church or, embrace candidly ordain women and speak out on good, bad and indifferent concerns.
    In Wales we have two women bishops, both have if we follow the premise that the Holy Spirit led the electoral colleges, therefore, what God has called and ordained, is a mystery we may find hard to swallow, but nevertheless, can we really question His will? However like our male bishops and priests, they are fallible human beings,who equally make mistakes and so we should question, debate and disagree. If we a spiritual people, we allow God to be the umpire in doing so, we come against the pure intangible core of Him, in which He through the Word simply tell us: "Im mysterious, deal with it"! DMP.

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  3. The Electoral College infallibly led by the Holy Spirit and never by political manoeuvring or human manipulation? A huge, unanglican assumption!
    Bob

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  4. DMP, you misquote Scripture like a good Anglican, twisting it to your own aim, if only it were that simple! Where did God tell us that "I'm mysterious, deal with it"? He gives endless examples of His character and nature throughout the whole Bible, He also teaches us what is right and wrong throughout the Bible. Once we get into my right to do whatever I wish and not caring about other people who disagree, we may as well pack up our churches and stay in bed on a Sunday. The proof of the pudding of course is in the eating, and failing numbers speak louder than endless arguments..........
    We also know that many Bishops are chosen well before the electoral college and endless shenanigans go on to get the correct people on those colleges, I fear the Holy Spirit doesn't get a look in as He should.....

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  5. DPM I was not quoting scripture, but from theological arguments, Barth, Bultmann etc. No offense intended.

    If the college is that flawed, and the pre-college conclave a foregone conclusion on its outcome. Then the Church is in serious trouble. So the only thing to do is walk or stay and talk. Many walk as we know, those that talk need to focus, group and find a voice at a level that is heard.

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  6. DMP, the victors write the history books. Do you genuinely believe that any group that opposes the bishops' plans for a liberal Utopia is going to be given a platform where they are going to be heard? His Grace's presidential address at the recent Governing Body was a ramble to inform the dissenters to stop dissenting and climb aboard his bandwagon into airy-fairyland. I only hope and pray that the dissenters to the bishops' myopia will become a much larger group, and become even more dissenting.
    As for the Holy Spirit - he abandoned the Church in Wales years ago. The Electoral College is a blasphemy. They meet, celebrate the Eucharist, call down the Holy Spirit (who will be ignored anyway, so he doesn't bother showing up), and the electors do their own thing.
    We need to face reality. The wheel of the Church in Wales keeps spinning, but if you look more closely, the hamster died and decayed years ago. Someone needs to administer the coup de grace, and put it out of its misery.
    Seymour

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    1. "put it out of its misery" ?
      Yes, a good idea.
      In 2020 it'll be a century; how about 'we've tried this experiment for 100 years, and it simply hasn't worked' ?

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  7. DPM Thank you Seymour for your informed response to my comments. How unfortunate that this situation of liberalising the Church has gain momentum. You are right dissenting voices are indeed silenced. But are they going to put up, shut up, or ship out, I guess not on,all three counts. Therefore like any good dissenting movements, the one or two, need to group. Perhaps they already have done so?
    The GB of late was interesting the "climb on board" invitation from ++John, could have/may have been better challenged, but a small voice was there. The key at this stage is bettering the arguments and marshalling the troops. PP.

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    1. PP, I agree with you. The dissenters do need to group, but even then they have an uphill struggle. The rumour in our part of the Province is that the Bishop decides who will sit on Governing Body. Although elections are held each year, when the result is in, the Bishop tells the Clerical Secretary what the result will be. The actual vote is irrelevant. In other words, even if you are democratically elected to the GB, if your face doesn't fit and your thinking doesn't accord with that of the Bishop, then you will not be announced as elected, and some other crony will be announced as elected in your place. That is the corrupt state of the Church in Wales unfortunately. Those who think that we are governed by Christian principles are deluded; why should the bishops apply Christian principles when Stalinism works better. It is a good way to silence dissenting voices. If this happens in one diocese, I suspect it happens in other dioceses too. The bench sitters do not like to hear the word "No" too often.
      Just think back to the GB when the first vote on women bishops failed. Barry Morgan stood outside GB, and had a hissy fit in front of the world's media, blaming the House of Clergy for voting it down. At that point, the gloves were off. I suspect it has been from that point that the bishops have been filling GB with their sympathisers.
      One way round this corruption would be for the vote for GB members to be taken at Diocesan Conference, and the count made and the results announced at Diocesan Conference. What is more, the count should be made by lay and clerical tellers, who should then verify the accuracy of it. Since the bishop has to chair the Conference, s/he will not be able to meddle in the result.
      Seymour

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  8. You have given "corruption" a great deal of thought Seymour. Why not turn the clock back 22 years www.scandal-and-offence.com when His Darkness,Gamaliel of Margam, began His reign of terror and sleaze and thought he'd get away with it.

    Gross Indecency

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