Women, the priesthood and the episcopate

Thinking Anglicans links to a couple of posts about the ongoing debate over the consecration of women as bishops in the Church of England. Although ordination of women as priests has been possible since the early 90s, there are no women bishops in the Church of England, and in order to make that possible, legislation has to be passed by General Synod. There continues to be controversy as Anglicans from the Evangelical wing and from the Anglo-Catholic wing resist the move. Most commentators think the Pope’s overtures to Anglo-Catholics last fall had more to do with the debate over women bishops in the CoE than with the larger debate in Anglicanism over sexuality.

Thinking Anglicans also points to an essay decrying women’s ordination in the Church of Australia.

While all this is going on, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Katharine Jefforts Schori, has been visiting the United Kingdom, speaking to the gathering of the Scottish Episcopal Church, and preaching at Southwark Cathedral.

Mark Harris argues that the Archbishop of Canterbury’s sanctions of the Episcopal Church have more to do with the fact that we have a female Presiding Bishop than with our actions concerning sexuality. He also hints that the ABC began his current campaign by asking ++Katharine to step down from her position on the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion.

All of this is especially interesting in light of today’s gospel reading in which Luke makes clear that there were women disciples, following Jesus, and ministering to him.

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