Thread: Priestly genitalia [Ordination of Women] Board: Dead Horses / Ship of Fools.


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Posted by Dyfrig (# 15) on :
 
"A real woman," said a (male) speaker at a Forward in Faith* rally some months ago, "knows that a woman cannot be a priest."

(*the organisation of Catholics within the Church of England opposed to women's ordination.)

Not a new idea, of course - John Chrysostom in the fourth century said there were some things women couldn't do.

Unhelpfully, neither elaborated on this - so we don't know the reasoning behidn these conclusions.

So, what arguments are there against the priesting of women? What reasons do opponents give?

I'll start with one that was offered to me in all seriousness: there were no women at the Last Supper.

(Of course, logically, this means that no woman should ever receive communion or be in the room, let alone celebrate it. But I only thought of this after I'd got home.)

[ 27. May 2012, 17:40: Message edited by: Louise ]
 
Posted by Freddy (# 365) on :
 
Doesn't this belong in hell?

Oh well. The arguments are fairly simple, and though scorned by most people nowadays, are deeply held by others. They are, as I understand them:

1. Jesus was male, and so, according to this argument, His representatives in the church should be.

2. Jesus chose only male disciples, despite the fact that many women followed Him also, who were both highly regarded by Him and privy to things that the men were not (i.e. His first appearance after His resurrection was to women.)

3. Paul was vehement in his opposition to females teaching doctrine: "Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak...for it is shameful for women to speak in church" (I Cor. 14.34). Also, "I do not permit a woman to teach or have authority over a man but to be in silence" (I Timothy 2.11).

4. Numerous non-Biblically based arguments are made by various authors, such as Leon Podles in "The Church Impotent: The Feminization of Christianity." The gist of these arguments, as I understand them, is that as women are accepted as priests in denominations, the men depart or their point of view is excluded, and the churches decline in various ways. I don't know what the evidence for this is.

Probably there are other arguments, but these are the ones I have heard. The absence of women at the Last Supper is not one that I have ever run across, although it would follow from reason two above.
 


Posted by pagan flower (# 867) on :
 
just a thought - re last supper type things - if no women, who did the cooking and washing up??
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
The last one I heard was that since men are supposed to be the heads of households, so also should men be leaders of churches.

This view was qualified by the "practical" idea that if you can't find a qualified man, then it's okay to have a woman be the minister.

To me it boils down to very simple questions: does God call women to be ordained or not? Does God give the gifts of preaching and teaching to women or not?
 


Posted by ptarmigan (# 138) on :
 
Rather weak arguments Freddy.

1 & 2: Jesus and his disciples were also Jewish, brown skinned, Aramaic speakers born before the invetion of the motor car, but do we require that of priests?

3: So what denomination reqires women to be silent in church? I.e. no praying out loud, not even the lord's prayer, no singing of hymns etc etc. We're all liberals at heart by that standard.

4: Is there any evidence that churches with women in ministerial roles are declining faster than those without? I imagine not, just rhetoric.

Must try harder.

Pt
 


Posted by BigAL (# 750) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ptarmigan:
3: So what denomination reqires women to be silent in church? I.e. no praying out loud, not even the lord's prayer, no singing of hymns etc etc

Some Brethren Churches ........ singing is not a problem ... but women do not speak by themselves. They have to wear hats too!!

Alex
 


Posted by Dyfrig (# 15) on :
 
"Doesn't this belong in hell?"

It was posted here quite deliberately so that we could discuss this without degenerating into name-calling and also, whilst I'm pretty familiar with the Protestant arguments against it, I would be very interested in the more, I suppose, "Catholic" (in the church order sort of sense) arguments onthe other side of the church, because in a sense those are much more theologically nuanced than the usual "the Bible says" dogma that I'm used io from my experience of British Fundamentalism.

It seems to me that a false divide is being set up in order in the Catholic churches to not have to think about ordaining women.

It is false, because it contradicts the very point that the Nicene-Chalcedonian church kept banging away at: that the second person of the Trinity, tho' fully God, was also fully human. "What he did not assume, he did not save" went the old adage, to ram home the point that Jesus was fully human.

In the literature of the parts of the Church that pride themselves in their oh-so-radical anti-PC-ness, much effort is spent labouring the point that "Man" means man and woman, therefore it is an "inclusive" term.

Yet, when it comes to the theory that the priest represents Christ at the Eucharist (a very high view, I admit) it's not the "Man-ness of Jesus (in the wider sense) that is drawn upon to justify the position, but rather his "man"-ness, his malenss. Viz. "Jesus was a man, so only men can be priests".

This strikes me as a reasonably impossible position to hold - either you believe Jesus was fully "human", sharing the characteristics common to all 6billion of us, regardless of gender, and thus can be represented at the Eucharist (if representation is required at all) by any Human - alternatively you must believe that only a man can represent Jesus, suggesting that the God-Man* (*wider sense) must have an essential, ontological element of maleness in him, which therefore requires there to be a difference in the humanity of mene and women.

And the consequence of that is to say that women can't be saved!
 


Posted by Astro (# 84) on :
 
I liked George Carey's statement when the issue os women priest was being considered by the CoE, along the lines that the Holy Spirit and his gifts were poured out on women as well as men at Pentecost.

You have to put things into the context of the first century, it would have been difficult for women to travel around freely with Jesus as the Apsotles did. Jesus did not call any slaves to be his Apostles probably for a similar reason, in fact the apsotles were generally middle class (e.g. small business men who owned their own fishing business that employed other, and tax collectors etc.) who could travel around with him.

Given his teaching on not withholding support from your family by saying that the money is dedicated to God I doubt that he would have called anyone with family responsibilities, so that rules out most first century palestinian women.
 


Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
Of course if you stetch the already unreasonable position of "Jesus was a man, so only men can be priests" to it's logical conclusion Jesus was a Jew so only Jews can be priests. That's one way of making sure the Church doesn't have any priests.

Alan
 


Posted by The Happy Coot (# 220) on :
 
I believe another objection is that women menstruate (making the sanctuary unclean). Eg. In the greek orthodox church women are asked not to bake the prosforon during their periods.
 
Posted by Stowaway (# 139) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Dyfrig:
"A real woman," said a (male) speaker at a Forward in Faith* rally some months ago, "knows that a woman cannot be a priest."

Did you hear that, all you women! If you want to be priests, you can't be real women!

....

so you can be priests!

Seriously

We are a royal priesthood.

All of us.
 


Posted by babybear (# 34) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Stowaway:
Did you hear that, all you women! If you want to be priests, you can't be real women!

I'd rather be a priest than a 'real woman'.

I have a womb, breasts, two children whom I have breastfed. For me those are enough to confirm to me that I am a woman. Maybe at some stage I may eventual become real.

bb
 


Posted by Fr. Gregory (# 310) on :
 
I am definitely not getting involved in this but I can't resist replying to this from Ruth ...

"To me it boils down to very simple questions: does God call women to be ordained or not? Does God give the gifts of preaching and teaching to women or not?"

GH: The gifts of preaching and teaching do not maketh a priest ... a minister perhaps which ALL are called to be (in the sense of the universal priesthood of all believers). So in the Orthodox Church the PREACHER and TEACHER St. Nina was instrumental in the conversion of the Georgian court to Christ and therafter the evangelisation of Georgia .... the earliest Christian kingdom. She is called (and venerated) in the Orthodox Church as "equal-to-the-apostles." She was not a priest.
 


Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
Well, for me it's that the Church didn't ordain women as priests for nearly two millennia, even though Jesus and the early Church let Gentiles in (and become priests as well!), overturned a host of other cultural norms and so forth, and even St. Paul -- the man who said that "male or female, all are one in Christ Jesus," a line often used as justification for female priests -- also said he would not allow a woman to speak in church. So whatever Paul had in mind (apart from the question of respecting his letters as authoritative), it seems that he could view all of us, male and female, as "one in Christ Jesus" while not believing in men and women as having the same roles or functions in the Church.

So, for me, it comes down to Christian tradition and that I have yet to see any argument convince me that we should overturn that.

(Doctrinally, so everyone knows where I am coming from, I am an Anglo-Catholic; at least here in the US I would be considered so. I'm not wholly sure if that word means the same over in the UK though. It's not a matter of "style of service" as it is my theology, i.e. not "High Church" with emphasis on candles so much as doctrines... pretty much taking C.S. Lewis as my modern teacher with a dash of Chesterton would be a good way of summing up)
 


Posted by Pyx_e (# 57) on :
 
the main stay of the "catholic" argument is that the roman church has not agreed to this / adopted this theology. until the pope says so we should not does not strike me as an idea that holds water but....

P


( LOL @ f***ing Man Utd )
 


Posted by Manx Taffy (# 301) on :
 
Laying my cards on the table, i am an Agnglican with generally a catholic theology. But the issue of the ordination of women is the one area where I struggle to uphold a traditional catholic view point.

The only arguements against ordination of women that hold any water for me are the point of tradition put forward above and in the Anglican communion the effect on unity within the communion and the major set back to progress in relationships with the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches which I value greatly.

Tradition does however evolve and I cannot oppose the movement towards the ordination of women but I don't think the time was quite right in the Anglican communion. It is not an issue that I am confronted with personally because in our diocese ordained women are not licensed to practise.
 


Posted by IanB (# 38) on :
 
Hmmm - I wish I had the confidence to say that I knew the answers. All I will say (and this is not directed at anybody here) that this subject seems to bring out the most stunning crop of badly-argued, preconceived ideas around. On all sides. Let's hope something else transpires here.


However, just to point out that the terms of the debate can (as ever) be skewed by the way in which it is framed. e.g. CAN women be priests? What about the question SHOULD women be priests? And the point Dyfrig raises about the doctrine of the priest being in "persona Christi" - well, I suppose in a general sense there is something in that, but is the priest not also leading or representing the people before God? It seems to me that ALL these questions - and many, many more - need to be examined.

Speaking as an Anglican now (sorry, but it has to be confessed at some stage), I have been upset by the poverty of the arguments used in this debate in my own Church. If there truly may be an underlying difference (see the thread started by Fr. Gregory) should we not understand what those differences may or may not be first? Right now so much seems to hinge on "civil rights" and "equal opportunities" language. What "rights" exactly do we have before God?

Lest this be misconstrued, I have argued since well before the priesting of women in the CofE that this was a subject that must be grasped seriously. I remain a possibilist, despite the depressing lack of answers to most of these questions.

Just one final point - I know Dyfrig's title to this thread is intended to be taken light-heartedly, but I distinctly remember there was one canon of one of the great Councils (Nicaea?) that addresses the issue of eunuchs in the priesthood. I seem to recall that the fathers thought it was OK if you had been snipped involuntarily, but that voluntary castration barred you from the priesthood. If so, they clearly thought that genitalia were unimportant, but perhaps a manifestation of something else. What?

All questions today I'm afraid.

Ian
 


Posted by Fiddleback (# 395) on :
 
3: So what denomination reqires women to be silent in church? I.e. no praying out loud, not even the lord's prayer, no singing of hymns etc etc. We're all liberals at heart by that standard.[QUOTE]

From all accounts the Anglican Church in the Diocese of Sydney would come very close to this view. The proposals made by its Synod for lay presidency would mean that anyone, ordained or not, would be able to preside at Holy Communion providing that he had a viable set of male gonads. If not, wear a hat and keep stumm.
 


Posted by Dyfrig (# 15) on :
 
What about the question SHOULD women be priests?

Fair comment - but let's start even more basic than that: should anyone be priested, and if so, why?

Is the priest not also leading or representing the people before God?

Again, a valid point - so who should represent a group of people before God?

Speaking as an Anglican now (sorry, but it has to be confessed at some stage),

You have my sincerest sympathies.

Right now so much seems to hinge on "civil rights" and "equal opportunities" language. What "rights" exactly do we have before God?

But this is not new - Paul propounded his apostleship on the basis that he had the right given to him by God. And the question of the "right" to serve God is as much one that men have to answer as women. There is no male and female in Christ - period. To apply one standard to women and another to men needs a basis in sound reflection, the various traditions, theology, reason and the teachings of Christ.

All questions today I'm afraid.

You just can't get the staff these days.
 


Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
 
father greg said:

quote:
: The gifts of preaching and teaching do not maketh a priest ... a minister perhaps which
ALL are called to be (in the sense of the universal priesthood of all believers).

coming from a methodist background, i find this impossible to understand. what, exactly, do you hold the difference to be between a minister and a priest? far as i've ever been able to tell, its a difference in name only.
 


Posted by Manx Taffy (# 301) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by nicolemrw:
father greg said:

coming from a methodist background, i find this impossible to understand. what, exactly, do you hold the difference to be between a minister and a priest? far as i've ever been able to tell, its a difference in name only.


Which is why I think it is not yet the time for the Anglican and Methodist churches to consider re-unification as we have different understanding as to the priestly role of ordained ministers.
 


Posted by sacredthree (# 46) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Stowaway:

We are a royal priesthood.

All of us.


We are a royal Priesthood, and we were chosen before the foundation of the world. It is corporate, not individual, and refers to the church. Therefore the Church ordains Priests to represent our collective Priesthood.

The main argument that I see from a catholic point of view is this;

"Women cannot represent Christ"

I find this highly suspect theologically, because I refuse to believe that the risen Christ is Male or Female.

I like Manx am an Anglo-Catholic very much in favor of woman Priests, and many of the best Anglo-Catholic priests I know are in women
 


Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
 
manx taffy quoted my post and then said:

quote:
Which is why I think it is not yet the time for the Anglican and Methodist churches to
consider re-unification as we have different understanding as to the priestly role of ordained
ministers.

well manx, instead of being snide and dismissive, you might try answering my question.
 


Posted by Fr. Gregory (# 310) on :
 
Dear "sacred three"

QUOTE: "I find this highly suspect theologically, because I refuse to believe that the risen Christ is Male or Female."

So, when the Risen Christ appeared to St. Thomas and asked him to touch the wounds s/he was androgynous yes? Will that be with or without breasts please?

Then of course we have the old neo-Nestorian schizo-christ ... a new variation indeed!

Dear Nicole

The difference between minister and priest? As a Catholic or Orthodox Christian understands it the difference lies in the sacramental representation of Christ as High Priest, (although, technically, pace St. Ignatius of Antioch this is, strictly, the bishop).

This is a sacrificial reference in relation to the Eucharist, NOT that the priest sacrifices Christ afresh but that he is the vehicle for the once for all offering of Christ of Himself to the people re-presented in each celebration and sealed in the reception of Holy Communion. In the Protestant Churches, ministers (lay or ordained) do not have this persona or function.

I am not going to get into the iconic argument here concerning women and the priesthood. My aim, simply, is to distinguish minister and priest according to our understanding. (I say "our" but actually most Protestant Christians used to make these distinctions. Insofar as many now do not, this reveals the deference with which many Catholics (not Orthodox) have articulated these things, (or, usually, not), so as to not offend. The impression has been given, therefore, (wrongly), that there is no distinction to be made.
 


Posted by Gill (# 102) on :
 
Oh, for GOODNESS' sake! It wasn't church practice for the priest to have a car for 2000 years, either!

Derrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!
 


Posted by Dyfrig (# 15) on :
 
Eddy-baby, I don't think you can say that the risen Christ is neither male nor female -because the risen Christ has to be the raised Jesus.
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
*shrug* This is a point which has been consistently held by the Church -- and by the Anglican, Eastern and Roman Catholic/Orthodox end of the spectrum -- for two millennia. It wasn't devised at the last minute, or discarded early on.

If the greatests saints were OK with this for centuries upon centuries, then I am at least a tad uncomfortable gainsaying them in a matter as serious as this. It's not a question about science or technology, but on whether in spiritual matters I trust the people who told us about Jesus in the first place. I'm also not saying (have not yet been convinced of this either as many arguments seem to me to be knee-jerk from the other side) that a woman could not be a priest -- I am simply unconvinced that the women in question are in fact priests. I might be convinced someday; it would make things easier in some ways for me, but I must not let myself be convinced for the wrong reasons.

And the question is also a valid one: Even if women should not be ordained as priests, are the ones who have been in fact priests anyway whether anyone likes it or not? I.e., once the bishop has laid hands on them, mistake or not, has the mystical transformation taken effect? Can and should are two different things.

And yes, for me, this has nothing to do with women being excellent teachers, preachers, or saints for that matter -- and everything to do with the sacramental nature of the priesthood. Many male priests and even bishops will be, I am sorry to say I believe, in Hell in the end; many who have been ordained, I believe truly so, have been apostate or worse, or even preach horribly false doctrines from the pulpit or higher. I have also known at least one very faithful woman who has done many good, even seems to have gifts of healing, and while I am not convinced of her priesthood, I am most definitely convinced of her ministry.
 


Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ChastMastr:
It's not a question about science or technology, but on whether in spiritual matters I trust the people who told us about Jesus in the first place.

The people who gave witness to the risen Christ in the first place were women. Paul speaks of women as co-workers. I know Fr. Greg will be all over this as the usual Protestant desire to freeze Christianity at the early-church development, but I don't buy the tradition argument for this one, for one simple reason. The churches that perpetuated this tradition over centuries also supported the mis-treatment and subjugation of women over these same centuries. I don't trust them.
 


Posted by Manx Taffy (# 301) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by nicolemrw:
manx taffy quoted my post and then said:

well manx, instead of being snide and dismissive, you might try answering my question.


Nicole - yes sorry
re-reading my reply is does come across like that. I was rushing to leave work.

I did not mean to be dismissive but I must admit I was taken aback. Given time I would have clumsily described the difference as Fr Gregory so accurately described them.

I also did not mean to be snide. I would love to see more church unity but I think if fundamental differences such as our view on the role of ordained ministers are brushed under the carpet then this will lead infact to old wounds being re-opened wide again under a veil of unity. Better to accept our differences and concentrate on those areas where we can have unity such as non-sacremental worship and social action.

Sorry again.
 


Posted by Dyfrig (# 15) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Stowaway:
We are a royal priesthood.

All of us.


Yet, the Church has never been very good at this concept - parts of Orthodoxy have regarded monasticism as Christianity par excellence (thankfully Symoen the New Theologian told people where to get off on that one); there has always been this "prists and other ministers are better than the rest" attitude. Even the second collect for Good Friday in the BCP has the implied suggestion that the Church is actually those in formal vocations and ministry.

Pagan flower - as they were all men, the washing up after the Last Supper is still lying there in a pile. They were going to eat the leftovers for breakfast on the Friday morning, but never got round to it. Their mum is coming around later to sort them out. (interestingly, the gnostic Gospel of Simon the Zealot has James the brother of John sneaking a last swig from a beer can as they leave, only to find out that someone (Jude or Thaddaeus probably) had stuck a fag but into it. Eugh.
 


Posted by Tubbs (# 440) on :
 
quote:
3. Paul was vehement in his opposition to females teaching doctrine: "Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak...for it is shameful for women to speak in church" (I Cor. 14.34). Also, "I do not permit a woman to teach or have authority over a man but to be in silence" (I Timothy 2.11).

But don’t you have to put that in context?! At the time of writing I Cor 14:34, many women would not be used to being at the Temple or being spoken to about matters of faith. A popular proverb at the time was, “Better the Torah be burnt than given to a woman”. So many women wouldn’t have a clue what was going on and would ask the person next to them – causing a disruption. What Paul’s basically saying is that “If you’re not sure what’s going on then wait until you get home or to the end of the service” before asking your questions!!!!!

And 1 Tim 2.11 needs to be put into a similar context. If you read between the lines of the Bible, there were many women in the Church who were householders and did have authority – such as Pheobe the Deacon etc. But these were the exception rather than the rule. Again, Paul is saying that as a rule of thumb, if you have two candidates for the same job and one is a man and one is a woman, then unless you know the woman very well, then the job should be given to the man. This is because you could assume that the man would have a basic level of education and understanding which you couldn’t assume for the woman unless she was known … The Early Church would have withered and died without the support and leadership of powerful, educated women.

These writings need to be put into the context of Jesus’ treatment of women – he valued them, encouraged them to use their gifts for service and servant-hood etc. The Reserection [can’t spell today!] was first revealed to a woman – in a time when a woman’s word was worthless. I suspect that he would be horrified by some of the institutionalised sexism within the church. When I was a newbie Christian I was informed [quite seriously] by one of the church elders that “men were made to manage and women were made to make the tea”. This in a denomination that has permitted the ordination of women since 1921! He seemed completely oblivious to the fact that women were managing the day to day life of the church – they just weren’t preaching! The secretary, the Sunday school teachers and youth leaders, the catering people, the music leader and several band members, a few deacons, some missionaries etc – were all women and if they stopped managing and making the tea then the Church would have ground to a halt in a few days! Every so often I feel extremely evil and wish that we women would down tools in the Church for a week or so. That would show ‘em.

God pours out his blessings and gifts on men and women and commands us to exercise them in the appropriate context! To tell someone that they can’t exercise a God given gift because of their sex is just pants! [But the appropriate context thing also kicks in as it would be inappropriate for a woman to exercise the gift of priesthood in an Anglo Catholic church due to their specific beliefs about communion and the role of the priest as representing Christ]

Tubbs
 


Posted by Stowaway (# 139) on :
 
So this is really a niche debate for high churches isn't it?

My statement about the priesthood of all believers is not so much refuted as dismissed with "we accept that but we ordain priests anyway". And I can't appeal to the Bible because you (or some of you) accept the Bible plus tradition, which is a circular argument. "We do it this way because we always do it this way. The fact that the NT has pretty clear statements about priesthood is ignored.

Gregory's statements here are interesting. The possesion and use of gifts does not constitute priesthood, he seems to say, whereas it certainly does in the sense of the believer's priesthood. Interestingly, the example he uses is of teacher, thereby weakening the use of Paul as a subsidiary argument against women priests. (The primary argument being the representation of Christ at the altar)

The biblical church leader office of elder does not seem to be what you are talking about either. This is more of an administrative role with mundane skills.

So the high church priestly role is one of representing Christ at an altar in the breaking of bread (or whatever you want to call it). Leaving aside the fact that to identify a single person in the congregation to represent Christ is an insult to the body of Christ, it is clear that you would need someone who most clearly is able to represent Christ.

A Jewish man in his early thirties.

Who would you choose if you had the choice of:

A middle-eastern woman in her early thirties.
An old caucasian man.

It's a bit like, who gets to play Santa Claus!

Unless, of course, it isn't, and the argument is really there to mask an uglier agenda.

If this is all about representing Christ, then we need the whole church up there.
 


Posted by BarbaraG (# 399) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by babybear:

I have a womb, breasts, two children whom I have breastfed. For me those are enough to confirm to me that I am a woman.
bb

I have the womb and the breasts, but haven't used either of them in the bearing or feeding of children. Does this make me less of woman?

I'm sure you didn't mean that, bb.

BarbaraG
 


Posted by Ian Metcalfe (# 79) on :
 
It's fascinating that the Catholic Church, which is the staunch defender of the male priesthood, is also the promoter of Mary as the flower of women (although, maybe the latter is just an attempt at balancing the former?) and has communities made up solely of women - who, I understand, are some of the most vociferous fighters for inclusive language in liturgy and Bible translation.

Somebody said before about if there aren't any men maybe then it's OK to have women - what does this say about the failure of God's provision - like when Deborah was chosen as a Judge, there was not ONE faithful man in the whole nation of Israel?

In all this discussion of the importance of who presides over communion, isn't it worth bearing in mind that other than when Jesus first gave bread and wine saying "Do this in remembrance of me" (ie. eat the bread and drink the wine - no mention of how and who by it is to be served), the Bible never tells us who actually administered communion, only who shared in taking it (and who should not take it, etc etc).

Is it the bread and the wine that's important (and what that commemorates), or the person standing at the altar?

Ian
 


Posted by Tubbs (# 440) on :
 
That’s not what I said …

quote:
So this is really a niche debate for high churches isn't it?

High Church Anglicans have specific beliefs about the role of the Priest as representing Christ in Communion – yes! And although I may disagree with them, I feel it’s important to respect them. So if I ever got a call to ministry [please God nooooooooooooooo! ] then I wouldn’t expect to exercise it there.

Tubbs
 


Posted by IanB (# 38) on :
 
Stowaway wrote -
quote:
So this is really a niche debate for high churches isn't it?

I hope not. I'm sure you are probably aware of much of what follows, but just for the avoidance of misunderstanding I'll say it anyway.

The word "priest" in English is derived from the the old French "Prestre", which ultimately comes from the Greek "Presbyteros". Usually translated as elder, this word also means "senior, advanced in years, father..." according to my koine Greek lexicon. Peter's reference to "the priesthood of all believers" (1 Pe 2) does not refer to presbyteroi but to hierateuma. We have no word for sacrificing "priests" in English - although the word persists in derivatives like "Hieratic" - so we use "priest" instead, to much confusion, especially here when we are claiming some sort of common typology.

"The priesthood of all believers" is a Jewish concept related to the passover sacrifice. As every household was obliged to sacrifice on the same occasion, the act was delegated to the head of the household, who returned from the temple with the animal for the passover supper. The entire family participated and were dressed similarly for the occasion - this was the "priesthood of all believers". The head of the household would start the family liturgy of remembrance with the words "Why is this night, of all nights..." - note the present tense. His job was to "represent" (=re-present) the original occasion in the present, so that the entire family could "re-member" it. It was as real as the original exodus.

Please re-read 1 Peter 2. You will see that the entire imagery relates to the temple and to sacrifice, whose meaning has now been burst open for us in Jesus. But it only has meaning in this context. It never ceases to amaze me how often this phrase is trotted out by those who go on to deny any sort of sacrificial meaning to the eucharist. The whole purpose of a hierateuma was to offer sacrifices.

You also wrote -

quote:
If this is all about representing Christ, then we need the whole church up there.

The whole church is up there. Why do you think it is so frequently said that the most important word in the eucharistic liturgy is the amen at the end of the main eucharistic prayer?

Speaking frankly, if you are to ignore the OT typological implications and make it mean anything you want it to mean, then I doubt if much further debate is possible. If you think a minister is someone else (we are all called to minister) then I'm not surprised that disagreements about this subject will never be settled. In fact I sympathise in a way - any attempt to inhibit the ministry of women is sinful.

Ian
 


Posted by Stowaway (# 139) on :
 
All of which does nothing to weaken my case. In fact it strengthens it! Thanks for that IanB!

So, priest is really New Testament elder is it? And it is the believer's priesthood that is of the Old Testament sacrificial type?

Thank you and good night.

I don't think much of the priesthood of all believers being only the heads of the fathers' households.

I thought that the point of a sacrament was to embody a spiritual truth. To have a guy at the front say something, and the people say "amen" is not a good dramatic representation of the priesthood of all believers. It says the opposite.

Which is probably the answer to your question

quote:
Why do you think it is so frequently said that the most important word in the eucharistic liturgy is the amen at the end of the main eucharistic prayer?

And, to get back to the point, there were woman elders in the early church, weren't there?
 


Posted by ptarmigan (# 138) on :
 
Whatever St Paul said about women was referring to the women of his day; generally poor, uneducated, lacking contraception, treated as second class citizens by all, and ritually unclean at certain times of the month.

One of the most amazing thing that St Paul did say was "Let the women learn". Education open to women as well as men???? On an equal basis???? Subversive or what? What would people have thought?

Only certain of us with a particular agenda focus on the next few words: "in silence and submission". Maybe that was the model of learning which was practiced at the time.

St Paul was a man of his time. He couldn't imagine things which hadn't yet been invented.

He had never seen a motor car and it would be folly for us to try to work out a transport policy by seeing what the bible has to say about horses and chariots.

The modern woman, with access to education, contraception, money, employment and the vote is unknown to the bible writers and completely outside what they could imagine.

They have no more to say about the role of a woman in 21st century than they do about the role of the motor car in the 21st century.

Pt

P.S. I suppose I could have said all that in 2 words: "Please contextualise".
 


Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
 
manx taffy, ok, i do accept your appology, but you still haven't answered my question.

neither have you, father greg.

let me put it another way.

what does a priest do that my minister does not?

certainly my minister administers the sacrements. so whats your point? wheres the difference?
 


Posted by IanB (# 38) on :
 
Stowaway wrote:
quote:
So, priest is really New Testament elder is it?

As a fellow Scot you should have remembered that presbyter is but priest writ large. Just check any dictionary.

Also -

quote:
I don't think much of the priesthood of all believers being only the heads of the fathers' households.

I didn't say that - quite the opposite in fact. The priesthood covered ALL believers - all members of the family. I was pointing out the ceremonial background. Please re-read my posting where I said The entire family participated and were dressed similarly for the occasion - this was the "priesthood of all believers".

Likewise you wrote -

quote:
And it is the believer's priesthood that is of the Old Testament sacrificial type?


In a sense yes, but only insofar as the only sacrifice now is the full, final and sufficient sacrifice of Jesus himself, which we "re-member". The purpose was described by the early church (and still is so described) as an anamnesis - a Jewish concept which the passover supper was designed to ensure.


quote:
To have a guy at the front say something, and the people say "amen" is not a good dramatic representation of the priesthood of all believers. It says the opposite.

You'll need to unpack your reasoning on that one a bit more - if we are in agreement, is it not fitting that someone leads us and that we signal our willing assent? Always remembering that this is servant leadership we are talking about here. I doubt that you are pointing towards some anarchistic free-for-all, but I don't understand what you are proposing.

quote:
And, to get back to the point, there were woman elders in the early church, weren't there?

Were there? The word presbyteroi is used in the gospels of the sanhedrin. The evidence of it materialising in the early church is at the "second stage" - when the apostolic ministry was nearing its end, as evidenced in the pastorals and later Pauline works. At this stage it seems to be synonymous with oversight. There were many women involved in teaching, prophesying, indeed in church planting. Were any of them presbyters? Evidence please. Please note that I am not regarding this as a "killer argument" - I'm open to persuasion either way.

Let me go back to an earlier posting of yours, where you said -

quote:
It's a bit like, who gets to play Santa Claus!

Unless, of course, it isn't, and the argument is really there to mask an uglier agenda.


Two choices offered. The correct answer being, perhaps c), neither of the above. But never mind that for now. What is this "uglier agenda" that all who have the temerity to disagree with you are constrained to be following? Perhaps you might care to share with us your own agenda - then we can discuss how ugly that might be by comparison. I was under the impression that purgatory was for the debate of these points. If you wish to disagree with me on any posting, fine - state your reasons, adducing whatever support you see fit. But your last post failed signally to do that. I was trying to give some reasons as to why this Christian, at least, agreed with another poster who pointed out why we do believe in the priesthood of all believers, and how that is not a problem for us, as you seem to think it ought to be.

If these matters are relevant then perhaps they might point us towards an answer. I don't claim to know that answer (see an earlier posting of mine). We need debate, not just assertions.

Ian
 


Posted by Moo (# 107) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ian Metcalfe:
Somebody said before about if there aren't any men maybe then it's OK to have women - what does this say about the failure of God's provision - like when Deborah was chosen as a Judge, there was not ONE faithful man in the whole nation of Israel?

I have been very interested in the story of Deborah for years and have wondered how she came to be a Judge.

I have never heard that at that time there was not ONE faithful man in the whole of Israel. What is your source for this? It's not in the chapter of Judges that tells about Deborah.

Moo
 


Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
The people who gave witness to the risen Christ in the first place were women. Paul speaks of women as co-workers. I know Fr. Greg will be all over this as the usual Protestant desire to freeze Christianity at the early-church development, but I don't buy the tradition argument for this one, for one simple reason. The churches that perpetuated this tradition over centuries also supported the mis-treatment and subjugation of women over these same centuries. I don't trust them.

Then I suppose we must simply disagree, as for me, the hierarchical roles of husbands and wives (which is what I take your statement about "subjugation" to mean) is informed by Christian tradition as well. I also emphasize that I am coming from traditions which treat -- by some more Protestant standards than my own -- things like Communion and the like as practically "magical," devotions to canonized saints as appropriate (in ways some Protestants consider idolatrous), and so forth. For me, it really matters that the man who applies oil -- blessed by a bishop -- in the sign of the cross on my forehead when I am ill -- be a priest in what I believe to be valid Apostolic Succession -- which for me is pretty much limited to the Anglican, Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches, and a few very small Lutheran-related ones which are in (I believe) Estonia and Latvia.

This does not at all mean that I think that sincere believers in other churches are not "real" Christians, or even that God cannot bless them in any number of ways, but I wanted to make my position clear: It's not just about the nature of women, it's about the nature of the priesthood as we in the Catholic churches understand the concept. It has more to do with the nature of Sacrament (one must have bread or wine to consecrate Communion, one must have water for Baptism, and as I understand it one must have a man for Holy Orders) than the nature of ministry -- to which we are all called.

And as I said, if someone has an argument which convinces me, then I'm prepared to hear it -- but thus far all of the ones I have heard -- thus far -- have been of (1) a modern political nature and/or (2) a kind which doesn't take into account Christian tradition in general; I cannot at all believe that our greatest saints -- for two thousand years -- have been consistently and horribly wrong on such a matter as this, not a technological or scientific matter but a moral one. It is not as if the Pope, the Eastern Patriarch, and the Archbishop of Canterbury all received visions telling them that "a new era has dawned and thou shalt ordain women to the priesthood; it was right to withhold this in the past, but now the corner has been turned." It seems to me more that, in a highly political era of gender study, much of which is not particularly Christian in its philosophical assumptions, people are often treating ordination to the priesthood as if it were a legal right, in the same way as considering women for any other part of the "work force." But for people like me, it is not at all the same kind of thing as getting a job in an office or even in the military; it has to do with everything from masculine and feminine symbolism, which for many of us is not at all merely a function of human society, but grand poles on a metaphysical level -- that being men and women has much more to it than physical "plumbing" and even has spiritual ramifications, though we do not understand all of them (and probably won't here on Earth no matter how long we try). We see God as masculine and creation (including all men and women) as feminine; Christ as Bridegroom and Church as Bride. There is much more to it than this, but in some ways I freely admit -- even proclaim -- that my view of this philosophically has more in common with the ancient Pagans (Sky-Father, Earth-Mother) than with many modern non-sacramentalist Christians. (But then for me, believing that Jesus' death was a mystical sacrifice -- the deepest magic we know of -- puts me more in tune with ancient Jews and Pagans than it does with some modern bishops in my own church (Episcopal in USA) who aren't even convinced He rose again from the dead.)

Yes, I suppose this makes me look like a rude barbarian from some lost tribe. But then I participate in ritual cannibalism every week as part of my religion, and am quite up front about my view of its being that -- or rather that it is the Reality behind fallen human impulses toward same... Macrocosm and microcosm, etc.

The previous, which with bits of humour at times, was all quite serious. Yes, I am very strange...

David
 


Posted by Fr. Gregory (# 310) on :
 
The word (minister, priest, presbyter, pastor) doesn't matter Nicole. All (well most) celebrate / preside the Sacraments. The distinction Orthodox and Catholics make between (say) minister and priest has to do with the the clergyperson's (yuk word!) persona and relationship to the eucharistic sacrifice ... or as we say "the unbloody offering." Protestant ministers just simply do not do this. The iconic (representational) arguments just do not apply in this context.

Of course, people come back at me then and say "shouldn't you be Jewish and circumcised?" Of course not! But my interrogators have a view of gender and sexuality as a mere adornment, a human institution almost ... not the definitive (and differing) ways of being human. (See my thread on "plumbing")
 


Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
 
father greg, honestly, i don't think your doing this dliberatly, but you are starting to really frustrate me. you say:

quote:
The
distinction Orthodox and Catholics make between (say) minister
and priest has to do with the the clergyperson's (yuk word!)
persona and relationship to the eucharistic sacrifice ...

well, what does it have to do with the clergypersons persona? what exactly are you saying here? what relationship does a priest have that a minister does not have? are you talking about transubstantiation? or what?

i honestly don't think your trying to be evasive, i think we have some miscommunication problem, but your confusing me more than ever.

you have said that a woman can be a minister but not a priest. what exactly does a priest do that a minister doesn't that a woman can't do?
 


Posted by Tubbs (# 440) on :
 
I have a headache! Can someone explains some of this using simple words and short sentences Thank you!

Tubbs

Back on Monday ....!
 


Posted by angloid (# 159) on :
 
Tubbs - don't work too hard. You said
quote:
[But the appropriate context thing also kicks in as it would be inappropriate for a woman to exercise the gift of priesthood in an Anglo Catholic church due to their specific beliefs about communion and the role of the priest as representing Christ]

before everybody else who wasn't (was?) at work chipped in with the rest of the debate.
I wanted to say 'Huh???'
Some of the best women priests are anglo-catholics - and why can't a woman represent Christ?
 
Posted by Bob R (# 322) on :
 
Methinks you are all asking (and ansewring) the wrong question.

The real question is should there be any priests?

My recollection of the book of Hebrews throws significant doubt on the practices of the Catholic and Anglo-Catholic communions in this respect. My understanding is that the priestly office is abolished by Christ's once for all sacrifice.

So the question as to whether women should be priests does not arise, men should not be priests either.
 


Posted by Stowaway (# 139) on :
 
IanB,

Forget the scottish bit. I am a yorkshire lad and have not set foot in any of the large denominations since moving north of the border ten years ago. Assume I know the bible and have visited most types of denomination. I know little high church theology, but have spent enough time in high church to have a sense of the psychological dynamic.

Therefore I am taking my definitions from the Bible, which does not speak of elder (single) in relation to church and does not isolate the breaking of bread as a boss-man function. Instead it happened from house to house (acts) and with a lot of congregational initiative (corinthians).

I see what you meant about the priesthood of all believers. However, it seems that you have levels of priests (a heirarchy): the priest initiator and the priest spectator.

OK, I am happy about the sacrifice type, though you could have mentioned the sacrifice of praise - equivalent perhaps to the wave offering. Except that I can see why you could not mention it - because it is up to the whole church to offer that sacrifice.

quote:
You'll need to unpack your reasoning on that one a bit more - if we are in agreement, is it not fitting that someone leads us and that we signal our willing assent?

Well, let's say that you wanted to do a play about community. You would not present a picture of people locked in individual cells. The sacramental sharing of bread and wine portays a very strong subtext. The priest "has it", he is the lonely "set apart" source who is a conduit of the grace released in communion. He is the giver. The congregation receive.

The point about servant leadership is welcome, but a bit like locking the stable door after the horse has bolted. Priesthood is a power relationship because the weekly (daily) drama proves it. This criticism also applies to those churches that elevate the pulpit.

quote:
I doubt that you are pointing towards some anarchistic free-for-all

Don't bet on it, but thanks for what you perceive to be cutting me some slack.

But I didn't think we were talking about directional leadership here.

I thought we were talking about administering the eucharist.

Which is it?

And I suppose this is what I mean by something uglier. A line of argument is proposed, regarding the need to have a man to represent Christ at the Lord's supper. And the next minute we have slipped to who can run the church.

quote:
I don't understand what you are proposing.

Well, how about other dramas. A small child breaks a loaf of bread and presents it to kneeling worshippers. A beautiful picture full of resonance. Your picture of families gathered to share together, perhaps with singles welcomed into the families. A proper meal with a bread and wine (possibly even cheese!) final course. A different person bringing their own representation of Christ eack week. Is that enough to be going on with?

quote:
I was under the impression that purgatory was for the debate of these points ... all who have the temerity to disagree with you

If anything I say makes you think I am saying "shut up", please ignore me and possibly let me know. I am developing the combatative style for my fights with Martin PC Not who is very robust. I think he must be rubbing off on me. I will try to be more restrained.

quote:
We need debate, not just assertions

Agreed. I put the point up expecting someone to fill in the gaps, because I am tired of long posts. So much for that idea. This site

Christian Thinktank - women in the early church

was mentioned in the last thread on women's ministry (by Steve, I think). Summary - there is evidence of female elders, deacons, bishops e.t.c. Please read.

See, I had to do all the work in the end anyway.
 


Posted by Fr. Gregory (# 310) on :
 
Nicole

I'm sorry about the theological short hand but I didn't realise that you didn't know that the Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox churches have different experiences of and beliefs concerning the Eucharist and this affects how each church understands the role and personhood of its ministers, priests, whatever.

I include personhood because what you are as a priest is just as important in our traditions as what you do, (which anyone can learn and execute as a mere task).

I'm not talking about transubstantiation.

When I refer to the iconic argument I do not mean the kind of representation of Christ that an ambassador might fulfil for the Queen, (a well know misunderstanding of this by Geoffrey Lampe). In this understanding of representation, the sex of the ambassador need bear no relationship to the sex of the monarch.

In the Catholic and Orthodox churches the priest stands-for-Christ in the celebration by way of participation in what Christ does through him. This participation requires congruence in those deep things of our humanity of which sex / gender is an example and Jewishness or circumcision is not.

That is why there is a male priesthood in these churches but a male and female ministry. You don't need to distinguish the terms (which are only words). We do.

It is not a matter of the person who preaches or teaches or leads, (no headship here). In our traditions this (teaching / preaching / leading) is not exhaustive or exclusive or definitive of what a priest is about. Being the icon of Christ at the Eucharist is what the priest is about. There is a lot more to it than that but that's the centre.

Of course, if someone does thing that gender or sexuality is a deep issue then this will make no sense at all .... which is why I started the other thread on "plumbing!"

Those who question whether we should have priests at all had better be consistent. You need (if this is the case) to ask whether we should have prophets or leaders either. Remember that Christ is priest, prophet and king. The Reformation never had much problem accepting that God had shared the last two minstries ... just the first one! (.... unless that is you're a Quaker).
 


Posted by Fr. Gregory (# 310) on :
 
from my last post ... typo, sorry!

"Of course, if someone does NOT THINK that gender or sexuality is a deep issue then this will make no sense at all .... which is why I started the other thread on "plumbing!"
 


Posted by Stowaway (# 139) on :
 
Gregory,

Very interesting, the last few posts. If the priesthood is not about power or leading it would certainly be less oppressive than some models (RC springs to mind). I confess my ignorance about your power setup. Are women really in positions of authority? Do you permit a woman to preach? Does the average orthodox woman feel oppressed. I suspect that even if the answers to both my previous questions is "yes", they would still be second class.

I like your logic about leadership (or at least kingship). Leader is an unbiblical term. It gathers together too many elements (The visionary, the decision maker, the organiser, the example, the exhorter).

Prophet as an office is the same. However, if you believe in guidance by gifting, the priesthood of all, and the distrubution of prophetic gifts as per the Bible, there's no problem.

Maybe you are right. It's Orthodox v Quakers. Either the church has developed as Christ wanted, or it has simply reintroduced practices fulfilled by the New Covenant.

If forced, I would go with the Quakers.
 


Posted by sacredthree (# 46) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Tubbs:
That’s not what I said …

High Church Anglicans have specific beliefs about the role of the Priest as representing Christ in Communion – yes! And although I may disagree with them, I feel it’s important to respect them. So if I ever got a call to ministry [please God nooooooooooooooo! ] then I wouldn’t expect to exercise it there.


Erm, what about all the woman anglo catholic priests? I dislike this blanket "all high church anglicans are anti woman priests" just because of Forward if Faith. It's like saying "All evangelicals are against women Priests" because of Reform.
 


Posted by Fr. Gregory (# 310) on :
 
Dear Stowaway

Quote:-

"Are women really in positions of authority? Do you permit a woman to preach? Does the average orthodox woman feel oppressed."

Yes, Yes, No.

No. 1 ... this has always been the case ... women Orthodox theologians, monastic superiors and evangelists have always existed and had authority over men .... even bishops in the case of monastics.

No. 2 ... admittedly this is rare but there is nothing in Orthodox theology or practice that forbids it in principle. Certainly there have been women preachers ... Sts. Mary Magdalene, Nina, Elizabeth the New Martyr (for a more up to date example).

No. 3 ... ask my wife!
 


Posted by IanB (# 38) on :
 
Just a quick one to say thanks, Stowaway, for the detailed response to my provocation! I'll try to respond but it may be a few days as I'm out a lot this weekend. Also thanks for the link. Will check that out.

Ian
 


Posted by angloid (# 159) on :
 
Stowaway wrote
quote:
But I didn't think we were talking about directional leadership here.
I thought we were talking about administering the eucharist.
Which is it?

Where we go wrong is in separating the two - the roles of pastor (a better term than 'directional leader') and leader of worship. The eucharist, at least in the catholic traditions, is the focal gathering of the people of God (how's that for a new bit of jargon? ) and so the one who presides is not just performing a functional task that anyone could do (like handing out hymn-books) but gathering together, in the name of Christ, the people of God. That is a pastoral task and hence the two functions should be linked in my opinion. Which is why I see - from a catholic perspective - every reason why women who - it is admitted on all sides - fulfil a pastoral role and do it very well - shouldn't be admitted to the priesthood.
 


Posted by AlastairW (# 445) on :
 
Hang on - can I just clarify (as an Anglcian clergyman) that the Church of England here as often tries to have a foot in both camps and ends up doing the theological splits.
But, as far as I'm concerned, when I'm standing at the communion table I am doing exactly what the new English Common Worship book says - I am "presiding". It's not me, I am simply the focus of the corproate worship of the two or three (or more!) gathered around in Christ's name to meet him in the symbols of bread and wine.
I am given authority to preside on everyone's behalf by my ordiantion.
Incidentally (a) this means I think I should also be able to delelgate this authority to preside to other church members, as I delegate the authority to preach.
And (b) I know from experience that working with a female colleague and taking turns at presiding enhances the worship, and makes a visual and practical statement about the onenes in Christ Paul teaches in Galatians 3:28.
Oh yes, and to go back to an earlier query, there is no difference between "priest" and "minister" - just two different wrods for the same thing!
 
Posted by ptarmigan (# 138) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by sacredthree:
Erm, what about all the woman anglo catholic priests? I dislike this blanket "all high church anglicans are anti woman priests" just because of Forward if Faith. It's like saying "All evangelicals are against women Priests" because of Reform.


In the C of E, the opponents come from two small opposite and extreme wings of Evangelicalism and High-churchism. Most people are in favour, and they are a growing majority.

Generally even the most stalwart opponents of the principle of women priests gradually mellow if they have any contact with actual women priests. Hence the ostrich mentality of F in F.

Theology is influenced by experience.

Can anyone imagine a person born in this century growing up to think that women can't be priests? Let's get real folks.
 


Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
ChastMastr: by "subjugation" I did not mean male headship as Paul discusses it. I meant the Church's disgraceful record of encouraging men to view women as enticements to sin, the medieval antifeminist tradition which reinforced priestly celibacy primarily by describing women as evil, the fact that the Church has historically viewed and treated women as second-class human beings. For too long the Church looked the other way, or even gave approval, when men beat their wives -- this alone for me is enough to discredit tradition as a guide in the matter at hand.
 
Posted by Pyx_e (# 57) on :
 
with all due respect alistairw, in my opinion there is a HUGE difference between minister and priest. maybe a idea for another thread but you cant just toss that in and have it unchallenged.

it is part of this stretching the C of E goes through that trinity theological college in bristol trains christian ministers, most of whom go on to be ordained deacon and priest ( and because of the blind spots in their training have no idea what it means to be a priest as opposed to a minister), go look at their web site.

sigh it points to a difference in theological approach that is fairly obvious and for you to suggest that their isnt a difference is either niave or silly.


P
 


Posted by Dyfrig (# 15) on :
 
erm, pyx_e, me old fruit - have you been reading a lot of Don Marquis recently?

I think we have to be clear here - all traditions have differences on the issue of women in the priesthood. It's not an issue of labels - the only group that could possibly deemed to be unanimous on it within, say, the CofE, are that amorphous centre-less blob called "Liberals".

Anglo-Catholicism is not uniform on this - cp. the difference between FiF and Affirming Catholicism. On my first visit to my Anglo-Catholic Parish Church I was preched at by a woman, deaconed to by another woman, and had a woman as my representative presiding at the Eucharist.

Evangelicals are split on this issue - you have the likes of REFORM, who on the one hand despise most AC-ism, but have entered into a marriage of convenience with them on this point. It should be noted that it was the 2-1 split within the Evangelical constituency in favour of women that swung the '92 vote.

Roman Catholicism has its voices - Dr Lavinia Byrne being a notable one. And Elisabeth Behr-Sigel has written on this subject from an Orthodox point of view (I understand - from Kallistos Ware's [see the MW report on the Orthodox service in Oxford] "The Orthodox Church" that the last Patriarch of Alexandria had floated the idea as well).

However, the two "sides" - Catholic and Evangelical - argue from different positions. The Evangelical attitude is based on reading Paul as applicable today. The Catholic/Orthodox teaching, however, is more theologically nuanced - and Gregory summarises it as follows:

This participation requires congruence in those deep things of our humanity of which sex / gender is an example and Jewishness or circumcision is not.

That is why there is a male priesthood in these churches but a male and female ministry

I refer to my long and tedious post on the "plumbing" thread as to my view of this argument. Suffice it to say here that this approach requires a reading of the Nicene phrase, "he came down from heaven and was made man" as emphasising being made "a man" rather than "human".
 


Posted by Gill (# 102) on :
 
quote:
The congregations of naughty men have sought after my soul

Wey hey! Lead me to 'em!
 


Posted by Dyfrig (# 15) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Gill:
Wey hey! Lead me to 'em!

Shame on you, Ms Ashton! How dare mock the great words of Coverdale! When we consider what he has achieved - giving us the English Psalter AND have a successful second career in Deep Purple, with whom he had such hits as --.....Oh hang, that's David Coverdale, isn't it? Doh!
 


Posted by Gill (# 102) on :
 
I wasn't mocking, I was agreeing!

ROFLMAO
 


Posted by Hogspawn (# 924) on :
 
I am man, a believing catholicy anglican, but not a priest. What's the difference between a priest and me? Sorry to ask the disingenuous question. I just wonder how many different answers there are to this.
 
Posted by Fr. Gregory (# 310) on :
 
Dear Alistair W

Speaking as a former "Anglican clergyman" let me assure you that a great section of the CofE simply tolerates the use of "President" in Common Worship (from its precursor the ASB). The eucharistic theology of the "meeting chairperson" is a dated 80's thing and not catholic eucharistic theology at all. In you tradition "minister" and "priest" may be synonymous but in others they are not.

To the Catholic Anglican layman who wants to know the difference between himself and a priest ... as to sin, no difference. As to role as a Christian minister (both of you) the priest is charged with a charism and an office that have not (as yet) been recognised in yourself. You undoubtedly will have charisms and offices which he has not as well. Together you make a great team ... the body of Christ.
 


Posted by Stowaway (# 139) on :
 
OK, I'm confused again. Priest is not minister.

Since neither of these are New Testament terms, can anyone give me a statement on how these terms are supposed to relate to elder, overseer, deacon and pastor (apostle, prophet and evangelist too if you want)?

Also, can anyone give me a New Testament explanation for this? Since priest in the New Testament only refers to the whole church, how is priest so unique in these churches?
 


Posted by Pyx_e (# 57) on :
 
dyfrig , on this board i ougth to read don quixote

also i have no wish to divert this thread away from is discussion on "bits that do or dont make a difference" , is anyone is serious about discussinf the priest/minister thing than start a thread. but PLEASE dont us the " its not in the bible so it cant be right " argument . that is niave, silly and boring ALL at the same time. perhaps we should start a thread of "things not in the bible that we chriatians use every day" the list is endless and most have helped us get on with loving God.

P
 


Posted by Gill (# 102) on :
 
Angloid, your point is obviously self-evident to you, but please can you explain why being a woman would preclude someone from preforming pastoral tasks ("Bringing together the people of God")?

As a woman, the last 20 years of my life have been spent pastoring! Family, school, even groups at Uni who naturally sort of fell into place under me.(!) It seems to me that relationally women are well-equipped to be pastors. PLUS they don't have willies telling them what to think all the time! (Unless there are some on the PCC of course...)

Hey Father G - there's one for the other thread - women tend to relate better. Is that admissible?
 


Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
Aha, thanks Ruth! Yes, things got rough but I think later on -- in the Middle Ages (which is a period I love in some ways but not in others -- like the Renaissance, etc.) some things were not as good as in, say, the so-called Dark Ages. But I'm not talking about a comparatively recent period of tradition, or limited to one part of Europe; I'm talking about two thousand years in the Catholic Church Universal, i.e. the churches which I believe to have "valid" Apostolic Succession, the Roman, Eastern and Anglican. I don't at all agree with the rather strange (and to me heretical) notions of women as more evil than men, etc., which became popular later on, and were not universal in the Church.

I should point out here, at the risk of offending my more Protestant brethren, that from my point of view the clergy of all non-Catholic (in this sense) Christian denominations are not "priests" in the sense I mean here at all, whatever their sex. (But then in the sense I mean, many of them would say, "Good!" as they'd think I'm calling them idolaters or magicians due to my view of Communion and the Sacraments in general.) We are all still brothers and sisters regardless, and I trust that Jesus will reconcile us all in the end later -- I'm just pointing this out because for me the issue is not whether a woman can do what a Baptist minister does -- it has to do with things Baptist ministers do not do at all (for them, the bread and wine/juice are only symbolic and such). It's whether she can be truly consecrated priest.

David
Probably looking loonier/more schismatic than ever now
 


Posted by Dyfrig (# 15) on :
 
[Waves finger] Ah-ah-ah, pye_e babes:

PLEASE dont us the " its not in the bible so it cant be right " argument . that is niave, silly and boring ALL at the same time

I have already had to give Gregory a smack for this line of arguing (see Councils thread). Just because you find something desperately dull doesn't make it right or wrong. Our entertainment value to you is not a measure of truth. I would respectfully point out to you that any appeal to "Tradition" must, be defintion, take the Scriptural part of that Tradition deadly seriously, as it's as much part of that organic process as anything else.

Now, you have a choice. Either:

(a) justify your threefold condemnation of a significant section of the readership of this board, with quotations and illustrations of why the written testimony of Peter, Paul, James, John, Jude, and the Evangelists should not be appealed to in this discussion (and we shall say no more about it) or

(b) I shall have to put you over my knee.
 


Posted by Nightlamp (# 266) on :
 
The modern theology of priesthood can really be owes its thanks to Cyprian (or not as the case maybe) 3rd Century church Father and Bishop.
He started to call the church elders (presbyters) Priests. In contrast to Augustine who remaining calling them Presbyters.

Bishops were really in hose days considered to be the first amongst equals since they were the overseers of the Elders nad generally elected from among the priests. so to me it is totally illogical to have female priests (presbyters) but not Bishops.

Cyprian started to tie OT theology of priesthood into presbyters (church eldership)and then being people of a different order and sacred in some way It fitted in very nicely with his theology of the eucharist.

He introduced the idea of the Bishop standing in the place of christ at the eucharist which later developed as the Priest (presbyter) standing in the place of the Bishop.

Why did he do this? partly because he was attempting to increase the authority of Bishops against heresy (isn't power the source of so many bad things)and to to avoid his presbyters being conscripted into the wars so he created a theology saying they were set aside and special and hence not eligible to being in the wars.


In the BCP minister and priest are considered to mean the same thing as is Presbyter and Priest in the ASB so to be in the anglican tradition to say they mean something different is at least odd.

I am not saying the modern doctrine of Priesthood is wrong simply that its origin is a tleast murky.
 


Posted by Pyx_e (# 57) on :
 
it is childish to say " it aint in the bible so i wont belive it" there is so much in the bible that we dont belive AND so much that is not in the bible that we do belive.

its in the bible but we ignore, slavery , women being silent, dress code , usery.

it aint in the bible but we use it, the trinity, the creeds ,the doctrines of the fall , redemtion and justification by faith.

resorting to this argument is often a bullying tactic, or an evading one. one claiming the unisalable high ground of supposed biblical authority and the other a un-thought out throw away to shut up someone who is annoying them.

the term priest is not found in the NT but we have had priests for 17 centuries ! also we know that the word was derived form the word presbyter which is in the NT. its silly.

the discussion should be about difference in roles between priest and minister , percieved and actual.


P
 


Posted by Dyfrig (# 15) on :
 
Thanks, pyx (which windmills are you tilting at in particular? )

If you look at URL=http://www.cired.org/faith/priest.html]this Assyrian Orthodox Church site[/URL] (the crowd gasps as Lewis finally manages to conquer URL links) you'll find an interesting and quite lucid explanation of why a "priest" is needed.

However, it doesn't explore the issue of why that priest has to be a man.
 


Posted by Dyfrig (# 15) on :
 
Hell, damn and bugger it!

Try again:

this Assyrian Orthodox Church site
 


Posted by Lyra (# 267) on :
 
Just come in on this, and I'm afraid I haven't had the time to read each post carefully.

But from a very subjective point of view - if God has a problem with women priests, he should stop calling us. Or does someone think this was all my idea? Because trust me, the cost of answering this call has been just about everything I had.

You can argue theology all you like. Me, I'm going to do that which is given me to do, and be what I am called by God to be. And as long as I'm following him, I can cope with everyone else arguing about the theory.
 


Posted by Tubbs (# 440) on :
 
quote:
Erm, what about all the woman anglo catholic priests? I dislike this blanket "all high church anglicans are anti woman priests" just because of Forward if Faith. It's like saying "All evangelicals are against women Priests" because of Reform.

Of the High Anglican Churches in walking distance from my house [about three!] all of them oppose women priests. When I asked one of the wardens why I was told it was because of their beliefs about communion. Given that these are my only encounters with HC I've assumed they're typical - sorry! When I was CofE I was low church

Tubbs
 


Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
 
father greg, you said:

quote:
In the Catholic and Orthodox churches the priest stands-for-Christ
in the celebration by way of participation in what Christ does
through him. This participation requires congruence in those deep
things of our humanity of which sex / gender is an example and
Jewishness or circumcision is not.

um, why? thats to say, why is sex/gender a bar to this relationship? i admit that there are some differences between male and female, though not so many or as important as you seem to feel, but why does that preclude this relationship?

i guess what i'm really asking is, what do males have that females don't that makes them fit to be preiests, from your point of view, and females not?

it seems like your arguing in circles. women can't be preiests because they are female, because females can't be preiests because they aren't male. but whats the reason? what is this essence of maleness that it requires to relate to god in the way a preiest does?

and if you can't define it, then why should i believe that it exists?
 


Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
Well, one argument some say has weight is this:

(1) God is masculine in relationship to His creation and to the Church; He is the Bridegroom and we are the Bride; He impregnates us, not we Him. Masculinity and femininity, as part of the order of the universe (and not merely in human culture, certainly not merely human constructions), exist to represent/symbolise/more? these two mystical poles of reality.

(2) The tradition of male-only priests (as well as other things) partly conveys this cosmic order on a sacramental level.

This does not prove that women should not be priests; there may be counter-arguments -- but this may be one aspect of this issue.
 


Posted by Fr. Gregory (# 310) on :
 
Dear Nicole

The maleness of Jesus is the issue here. Do you remember my comment about the two different kinds of representation:-

(1) Ambassador for the Queen .... the ambassador does not have to be female.
(2) Macbeth ... the role is better played by a male.

There are limitations of course in the second example .... in the Eucharist the priest does not "play" Jesus .... Jesus acts through him.

This is the essential difference between Protestant and Catholic/Orthodox eucharistic theology in relation to the priest.

The next question of course is:- "Did Jesus have to be male?" There are several possibilities:-

(1) No but according to God's plan, yes, because it was a defective culture.
(2) Yes because it was the divinely appointed culture.

Those who subscribe to (1) must admit of some limitation or constraint on the Christ event. Those who subscribe (2) insist on divine rectitude in essential matters .... the gender of Christ is not an inconsequential matter, they say.

How can we discern the right path:-

(a) Dismiss the question as irrelevant. Christ could have been male or female. He just happened to be male. Spin of the genetic coin. That, however, is essentially the same as (1) since it makes God's act mindless .... unless of course gender is completely irrelevant. It didn't seem to be completely irrelevant to Christ Himself of course as this revolutionary agent of God ... or rather God Himself would have made a better balanced choice for his disciples. So, would Jesus commit himself to something he knew to be wrong just to defer to cultural expectations? Jesus the Englishman? the arch-pragmatist? I don't think so. Hardly seems worth dying for does it?

(b) We could try and answer the question of course ... but the result is much the same if we assume that (1) it was important (2) God knew what He was doing.

Since we can assume that God did know what He was doing we are pushed to consider in what way gender might indeed be important and even determinative.

This is why the main action on this question lies on the other thread about "plumbing." I am going there now!
 


Posted by Stowaway (# 139) on :
 
1) If Jesus' masculinity was such an issue, would he not have exercised it? Instead, he gives an example to those who, in imitation of him, have made themselves eunuchs.

2) Those who are "Oh, so bored" with the scripture v tradition debate need to read their New Testament again and watch Jesus dismantling the traditions of the elders because THEY WERE WRONG!

Does 1700 years of tradition invalidate scripture if scripture is implacably opposed to something?
 


Posted by Nunc Dimittis (# 848) on :
 
A word in answer to Fr Fiddleback's statement re the Diocese of Sydney.

Women are not silent, in accord with St Paul's supposed dictums. They can sing, lead the music group, put overheads on the OH projector... Levels of forbidden-ness vary from place to place. At the Cathedral (until recently) a woman could preach, lead the prayers, and read lessons. Technically women may be ordained deacons in Sydney, which means they can technically marry people, and baptise, as well as preach or lead services of Morning or Evening prayer (or their equivalents).

They are not allowed at all to be priests.

However it does extend deeper in places where the Jensens hold most ferociously. Women there are not allowed to have any spoken part in leadership of services. Even at the Cathedral, the male clergy looked down on the women who did preach there, and the main liturgical action was performed by men.

The whole lay presidency thing was "suggested" as a "response" or "solution" to the ordination of women debate in the Diocese. "If we throw them a milksop they will go away." This comes from several misunderstandings:
1) "What those in favour of Women's Ordination want is to preside at Communion"
2) "lay presidency is a shortcut where we can say everyone can preside at the Eucharist, but then we can take away and ban all ministry of women in the Diocese"
3) "priesthood relates to an administrative function only. There is no sacramental importance to the role or title, all Christians (ie the Elect) being a priesthood, and there is nothing pertaining to the leading of services a "presbyter" does which could not be done by any other male in the congregation."

They take the authority thing of Paul very seriously - but as with many of their kind who are fundamentalist literalists, other things can be overlooked and ignored, eg head covering of women (surely an important issue if one takes everything Paul says as literal and binding on our time? How can one dismiss this as "not relevant to our time"? How is one to decide what is and is not relevant of the rest of Scripture?).

In other words, in regards to lay presidency and to women's ordination, the Diocese has missed the point entirely, probably deliberately, because lay presidency is designed to take the wind out of the sails of all who hold the "specialness of priesthood"...

now I am getting fit to start ranting in Hell. Maybe I should go vent off down there!
 


Posted by Fr. Gregory (# 310) on :
 
I resist being drawn on the differences between men and women side of the womens' ordination debate because I have usually found such arguments to be unhelpful. I start by saying (for example) that men judge distance better than women and women have superior linguistic ability than men and immediately we get a ding-dong between those who think that this is learned behaviour and those who think that it is an evolution thing tied up in our genes. I start off by saying that men's sexuality is different from womens and immediately we get a ding dong between those who see this as ingrained and those who think of it merely as a matter of practice and technique.

So, I want to flush out our feelings and beliefs on this one by asking a prior question. What is it really to be "man" ... to be "woman" ? I notice that this human ontology discomfits some contributors as much as much as ontology in another sphere ... christology. This is a fultural biase in Protestant cultures. We tend to ask:- "What is this for? How does it work?" ... rather than:- "What is this? What is it called to to be/become?"

I will now go a little further ...

The priest at the altar must "image" Jesus since He (Christ) is the celebrating High Priest. In Catholic/Orthodox Eucharistic theology the celebrating priest is not merely a "worship leader" or a representative of Christ in the sense that an ambassador represents the Head of State. In these last two examples the gender of the representative is incidental to He/She who is represented. In the Church, Christ acts through the priest who in ESSENTIAL matters (ie. not being Jewish or circumcised) must configure to Christ Himself.

I have tried to show that gender is an essential and not incidental aspect of our common humanity. I then went on to consider whether or not Christ could have been female. I think I showed that maleness was not incidental or accidental to the Incarnation. I then claimed that the burden of proof ... that God didn't know what He was doing or that 1st century Judaism was a defective culture for the Incarnation (by excluding women from certain functions sacred functions) or that Christ would have knowingly held back from the truth for pragmatic reasons ... this burden of proof falls on those who would ordain women to the priesthood, (and I don't mean Methodist ministers here, I mean priests).

Now, on the matter of WHY 1st century Judaism and Christ Himself did not admit women to certain sacred functions one has first to recognise that women did exercise certain ministerial functions that were to do with the Word, (analagous to Protestant conceptions of ministry ... not priesthood). So, there were women prophets (Anna), women preachers (Mary Magadalene), women religious / political leaders (Esther). In those sacred functions that have a sacramental and sacrificial quality about them though (eg. the Levitical priesthood) women were never admitted.

Now this is not just about menstruation or else post menopausal women might have been priests. It is about how in a sacramental-sacrificial system (which Protestants generally do not have) the priest images the divine action in and through him. The Jews were not blind to the fact that only God can deal with sin and the maleness of the priest that imaged this had everything to do with the fact that Israel had to be distinguished from her pagan neighbours who also had sacramental-sacrificial systems. In these, of course, fertility and not redemption was a primary theme. Not unsurprisingly this gave rise to a debased religiosity where divinity was naturalised and human sexuality divinised. Interestingly, in those sacramental-sacrificial Christian systems where the earth-feminine-mother has reasserted itself (see Rosemary Radford Ruether's "Women Church") the priesting of women (why do Christians resist the term "priestess"?) is part and parcel of a religious reconstruction in which the Universe is born out of the God-Womb or Cosmic Egg.

This radical feminist agenda literally creates a new religion where "God" is stripped of transcendence and Fox-like we equate spirituality with getting better acquainted with our sensuality (Sex 'n Dirt School).

Protestant Christians avoid this altogether by sticking to their non-sacramental non-sacrificial practice of ministry ... but this is not the same as priesthood where the Image, Presence and Action are controlling factors.

The key isue then is whether there is any virtue in the sacramental-sacrificial system? (NO! I hear all our Protestant brethren shout!) There IS because look what happens when you dump it! You get a cultus completely indifferent to gender which then conditions people to thinking of their own gender and sexuality as merely "plumbing" or an inconsequential aspect of their humanity. In arguing their case our Protestant brethren are really arguing backwards from their own conclusions. The difference with us Orthodox and Catholics is that SEX / GENDER MATTERS.

... which brings me finally to the key issue ...

in what sense(s) does sex / gender matter?

because:-

(1) As Ian has shown the only way to be human is to be man or woman
.... as to Ruth's example of chromosomal abnormalities .... exceptions make bad law.

(2) Mens' and womens' sexuality is different. It's not just a question of intercourse, it's to do with how we relate to each other.

(3) In religious symbolism the fertility component must be feminine and on the human side. To divinise it leads to idolatry and pagnism. That is why the role of Mary .... on the human side .... is so important in orthodox Christianity.

So the gentle goading about "tell us the disabling differences ... anything you can do we can do" ... misses the mark by a long way. There is nothing that a man could DO in priesthood or anything else that a woman couldn't DO as well if not better. Let's be clear about that. Arguments concerning female ordination from the Orthodox/Catholic side have nothing to do with function and everything to do with being man or woman, sexuality and imaging God as transcendent to the material realm.

I am sure that there will be a lot more to be said about this.

I have posted this on the "plumbing" thread because I have now brought these two threads together. They may or may not diverge again. I just didn't want the male / female issues to get lost (as they usually do) in equal opportunities.
 


Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Fr. Gregory:

The next question of course is:- "Did Jesus have to be male?" There are several possibilities:-

(1) No but according to God's plan, yes, because it was a defective culture.
(2) Yes because it was the divinely appointed culture.



Not to mention a Divinely appointed human biology. I believe human sex (and gender also) is, itself, symbolic. (But then I think you do too -- just wanted to chime in...)
 
Posted by Tubbs (# 440) on :
 
quote:
The key isue then is whether there is any virtue in the sacramental-sacrificial system? (NO! I hear all our Protestant brethren shout!) There IS because look what happens when you dump it! You get a cultus completely indifferent to gender which then conditions people to thinking of their own gender and sexuality as merely "plumbing" or an inconsequential aspect of their humanity. In arguing their case our Protestant brethren are really arguing backwards from their own conclusions. The difference with us Orthodox and Catholics is that SEX / GENDER MATTERS.

Excuse me!!! I would like to disagree with you on the following points:

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Tubbs
 


Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
I'd say the only reason there is "virtue" in the "sacramental-sacrificial system" is if it is true. If it is forbidden idolatry/sorcery, then chuck it. If it is ordained by God, then keep it. If it is a mix, try to understand what parts are wheat and what parts are chaff. We may have gained insights from all sorts of things, or been confused by all sorts of things, but that's a secondary issue to whether or not this view of the Sacraments is, or is not, correct to one degree or another. Maybe the view of women (one kind of Protestant might say) is the one good thing in a sea of lies; maybe the view of women (one kind of Catholic might say) is the only confused part in a truly Godly institution. But in any case I don't consider -- non-feminist though I am (in this case, anyway), sacramentalist though I am -- the view of women to be the main thing in our doctrine of sacraments.
 
Posted by angloid (# 159) on :
 
Gill: you take me to task for saying
quote:
Which is why I see - from a catholic perspective - every reason why women who - it is admitted on all sides - fulfil a pastoral role and do it very well - shouldn't be admitted to the priesthood.

and it's only now I realise what I said - the exact opposite of what I meant! I meant to say 'there is every reason why women...SHOULD be admitted to the priesthood.'
Hope that clarifies matters. Sorry about that. It's dangerous writing complicated sentences in these little boxes.
 
Posted by Amos (# 44) on :
 
Fr. Gregory--you refer to Christ's Jewishness as an inessential element of his particularity. Are you quite sure that this is so? How could He have been anything else?
Amos
 
Posted by Amos (# 44) on :
 
Apologies for double-posting. It also occurs to me that the logic of the argument for a male-only priesthood demands that communion be received only by females, since only a female can represent the essential femininity of the Bride.
Amos
 
Posted by angloid (# 159) on :
 
Fr Gregory
quote:
The priest at the altar must "image" Jesus since He (Christ) is the celebrating High Priest.

You present your case eloquently and well. I tend to agree with the above point. Except that I still can't see why a woman can't image Christ unless she can't either share in the full benefits of baptism. Call me a pragmatic and illogical anglican if you wish (I am , but if there was something intrinsically unnatural in a woman presiding at the altar, you'd think that witnessing it for the first time at least would be unnerving. My experience has been quite the opposite.
 
Posted by Pyx_e (# 57) on :
 
I am opposed to the ordination of women (because it is a devisive issue) BUT i am in favour ordaining everyone that God calls , male female or as in the bristol diocese , both , do you SERIOUSLEY think God gives a shit ?

Pyx_e

oh i feel better now
 


Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
 
ok, why is it that of all the human characteristics of jesus (after all, he was, in no particular order, jewish, "white" (as opposed to negro, not white in the sense of blond blue-eyed aryan...), a semite, either right-handed or left-handed (ever think of that one? maybe only lefties can be real priests), brown-haired (probably... but who knows, maybe he was prematurly bald!), circumsized, not to tall (in all likelyhood), and so on. of all those things, why is "male" the only one that is neccessary for someone to be in order to "image" him? indeed, since salvation is for all humanity, why is any specific charicteristic neccessary?
 
Posted by AlastairW (# 445) on :
 
Fr Gregory Says "The priest at the altar must image Jesus because he is the celebrating Great High Priest"
For me this sums up neatly why those churches which argue for priesthood are precisely wrong.
The whole point of the letter to the Hebrews is that, through his death and self offering in it, all systems of priestly sacrifice achieving limited forgiveness, and the sacrifical systems that went with them, have been fulfilled = completed = rendered irrelevant by the work of God in Jesus. He is the Great High Priest, who by his once and for all sacrifice of his historical death, has abrogated the whole human sacrificial system.
Therefore, to continue to want to claim a priesthood offering / renewing / repeating a sacrifice is to do precisely what many from a Jewish backrgound in the NT times wanted to do (CF Acts, Galatians) - reintroduce parts of the Old system / covenant into the New.
As Paul, Hebrews etc make clear you simply can't do this - God has made all thigns new in Christ. And one of the most basic ways in which he makes all things new is by providing direct access to himself for all in fulfilment of his own promises (ie by coming to us in his gift of the Spirit at Pentecost).
In the new Testametn context we are all the body of Christ, we are all the image of Christ (male and female, Gentile and Jew, slave and free).
TO go back on that, to reintrodcue a sacrificing priesthood, or any other special sub category or class within the Kingdom, is to undermine what God has done in Jesus.
And that, for me, however nicely worded the arguments, is final.
 
Posted by Fr. Gregory (# 310) on :
 
Dear Alastair

We do not believe in a sacrificing priesthood in the way you describe it. Nothing can add to the significance of what God in Christ did for all on the Cross. We do however believe that in the Eucharist all the benefits of Calvary are re-presented to the world, (1 Corinthians 11:26). The priest images this presentation and Christ through Him does it.

Dear Amos

I made a misleading comment. I was resisting the idea of the necessity of the priest being ethnically Jewish and circumcised in order to image Jesus the Jew. The mission to the Gentiles makes of Christ the Jew something more.

As to Communion being received only by females because the Church is the bride ... no that doesn't follow because the feminine imagery of the Church refers to the responsiveness of the human ... males included. Men and women alike both honour Lour Lady's "fiat."

Dear Angloid and Nicole

The continuing mismeeting of minds here is because there is a disagreement over the significance of gender / sexuality when compared with other features which are ephmerally human rather than systemically human. Gender / sexuality for us is not simply a matter of charism or roles but human identity. It's very difficult I think in the Protestant tradition to appreciate what a high value we place in the feminine in both Catholicism and Orthodoxy. That also doesn't help.
 


Posted by Gill (# 102) on :
 
I resist being drawn on the differences between men and women side of the womens' ordination debate because I have usually found such arguments to be unhelpful.

I'll BET you have! LOL

I think your last post is a semantic mish-mash to try to get out of the hole you've dug yourself into.

Systematically human? Okay - back to Nicole's list, then... baldness, etc.

I always thought the main thrust of the Gosepl was that Christ took on HUMANITY, not MALENESS.

Otherwise salvation would only be extended to men.

Therefore it should be possible for any human to image him. And I still haven't seen a convincing argument as to why women can't do so.
 


Posted by Gill (# 102) on :
 
Angloid - thanks! That explains it!
 
Posted by Hooker's Trick (# 89) on :
 
Well well. I always wonder if the arguments about the priesting of women are theological or sociological in nature? It would be refreshing if some people would get their heads out of their arses long enough to confront whether they are making sociological statements defended by theology or theological statements defended by sociology. Or just be honest enough to admit to doing both because the Church Militant is both sociological and theological.

Now, down to business.

ChastMastr. I'm sorry but the "we've been doing it this way for a long time so mustn't change" doesn't wash even for the Catholics amongst us. How about (male) priests being married? The church has changed its mind on that one a couple of times. Which way is right? How about the frequency with which we make our communion? Again, the church has changed its mind about that -- maybe we should go back to receiving in one kind only, or to receiving only two or three times per anum. Oh, and how about the supremacy of the bishop of Rome? We "Catholics" can't agree about that, and even the Roman church evolved in its doctrine of Papal supremacy and infallibility. Tradition evolves.

nicole. I think you're forgetting that people like Fr Gregory do not think that what your clergyperson does with bread and grape juice is a Sacrament at all. Does that help in your confusion? Actually, I think it's terribly amusing that Fr Gregory would argue with you about whether your Methodist minister could be a woman because by his understanding it doesn't make any difference since Methodists aren't priests and don't celebrate valid Eucharists anyway.

Fr Gregory: Why do all your posts seem to be long and eloquent ways of saying the same thing "this is true, this I know, because the Orthodox church told me so."?

A final thought.

What about transsexuals? What if a woman gets a sex-change operation and aquires all the appropriate equipment. Could s/he then be ordained priest? I hear some of you saying "certainly not". If it's not the willy that makes the difference, what is it and how do you know you've got it? Chromosomes, presumably. Awfully clever of God to write valid consecration in the genetic code, no?

HT

Oh -- by the way. For those of the Anglican persuasion. In 100 years this is going to be old news, and we'll be saying OF COURSE women should be ordained because we've been doing it for so long. 150 years ago you'd have been hard-pressed to find an Anglican church with candles on the altar. Odd how quickly we get used to "norms".
 


Posted by IanB (# 38) on :
 
Hooker's Trick wrote -
quote:
Oh -- by the way. For those of the Anglican persuasion. In 100 years this is going to be old news, and we'll be saying OF COURSE women should be ordained because we've been doing it for so long.

Yes - fully accepted that could be the case. Although I note that your argument depends on tradition It would be wrong to turn this into an Anglican thread, but such a focus is inevitable given the fact that of the churches that claim an ordained priestly ministry, it is the Anglicans and Old Catholics who have gone down this route.

However, what concerns me is an alternative scenario akin to what seems to have happened to the early Johannine Church. Judging by the J. epistles, a substantial number judged themselves guided only by their personal paraclete - obviously oblivious to claims that "that (i.e. the Gospel of J.) is not what it meant". Historically, what happened is that this group spiralled off into Marcionism & Gnosticism - and it seems to be agreed by Johannine historians such as Raymond Brown that this could well have been the main body in terms of numbers. The rest - the rump - hooked into the catholic church and became an important voice in mainstream thought.

I spend quite a bit of time listening to Anglican voices from all over the world - it seems to me that the new leadings of the Spirit (or is that with a lower-case "s"?) resemble this latter scenario far more than the first. Certainly as judged by the utterances of major figures in the US and Canadian churches. Australia and the UK being not that far behind. I suppose that in this case, "mainstream catholicism" would be replaced by Rome, Orthodoxy and the Evangelical mainstream.

But the real nightmare is this. If the ordination of women as priests is a good and proper thing, then if this auto-marginalisation of Anglicanism occurs, The Cause will assuredly sink with it. Who will suffer from this? Why, women of course - again. Gnostics, Marcionites, Collyridians - all had women priests, and quite a bit of the thinking of the early church in this area was tied up with the refutation of these heresies. That would happen again.

I would be interested in a more detailed analysis by HT (or anyone else obviously) as to why the first scenario seems so likely to you.

Thanks
Ian
 


Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Hooker's Trick:
ChastMastr. I'm sorry but the "we've been doing it this way for a long time so mustn't change" doesn't wash even for the Catholics amongst us. How about (male) priests being married? The church has changed its mind on that one a couple of times. Which way is right? How about the frequency with which we make our communion? Again, the church has changed its mind about that -- maybe we should go back to receiving in one kind only, or to receiving only two or three times per anum. Oh, and how about the supremacy of the bishop of Rome? We "Catholics" can't agree about that, and even the Roman church evolved in its doctrine of Papal supremacy and infallibility. Tradition evolves.
...
What about transsexuals?


quote:
How about (male) priests being married? The church has changed its mind on that one a couple of times. Which way is right?
When did the catholic church universal change its mind on that? The early church allowed it, the Eastern Orthodox never stopped allowing it, and the Roman Catholic church is the only one which has insisted on it.

quote:
How about the frequency with which we make our communion? Again, the church has changed its mind about that -- maybe we should go back to receiving in one kind only, or to receiving only two or three times per anum.
I'd say that's not a difference in theology but in practice, and often had to do with logistical and practical matters rather than belief in the nature of Communion itself.
quote:
Oh, and how about the supremacy of the bishop of Rome? We "Catholics" can't agree about that,
That's correct; but we do agree, or rather did till very very recently, on the issue of the ordination of women, which is my point. I consider those areas on which ... let's do it in reverse alphabetical this time (alas, my Eastern friends get stuck in the middle again) Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox and Anglicans all agree, or have agreed up till very recently ... to be doctrinally more important than our differences. (Even the RC and EO churches in recent times agreed that the filioque clause was not a real obstacle nor a genuine doctrinal difference, or so I have heard.)
quote:
I'm sorry but the "we've been doing it this way for a long time so mustn't change" doesn't wash even for the Catholics amongst us.
Well, it does "wash" for quite a few of us, actually; what do you mean to say here?

Speaking as someone who entered Christianity from outside, and who had to pick a denomination, I wrestled long and hard over which one to stick with. Which one's theology I thought was most true. It ultimately came down to the RC and the Anglicans (knew little at the time about EO), and while I think our differences matter, and some things did develop, I am struck by the doctrinal consistency of the catholic end of the spectrum for two millennia. If something only developed in the last 500 years, I am much less sure of it than if it was in practice for the fist 500. (Indeed, this is one reason I'm an Anglican, ironically enough; no offence to my RC (and more Protestant) brethren (and sustern), but my readings of Eusebius and other early writers led me to conclude that Apostolic Succession, bishops/priests/deacons, validity of sacraments as sacraments and not merely symbols, etc. were all present from the beginning or jolly close to it -- but that the notion of the Bishop of Rome as earthly Head of the Church was not. There's more to it than that -- I think some of the Anglican doctrinal certainty on certain doctrinal matters (Trinity, etc.) with less absolutism on some others (e.g., we don't make a specific churchwide stand on the precise nature of Holy Communion; we believe it is a real sacrament but do not all subscribe to the Lutheran consubstantiation or the RC transubstantiation) certainly makes more sense to me (the Reason part of the three-legged stool (inc. Scripture and Christian Tradition) that is this complete breakfast) than many other things. But to get into everything I believe here (gone on too long already) would be inappropriate.

quote:
What about transsexuals?
Well, I'd say one important bit -- which is really a different issue -- is "does an operation and hormone treatments make someone really another sex or gender?" I do not see how it does, but this gets back into ontology and essence and so forth (in which DNA may very well be a relevant factor; the separate DNA is certainly an issue for some of us who wrestle with the abortion issue). It's not the possession of something crafted to look like a penis which makes someone a man or not.

And obviously I'm an essentialist rather than an existentialist in all of these matters...

Agh, running late to work now. Look, folks, despite our differences, we are all agreed that we are Christians and that we are trying to love Jesus and one another above all else, aren't we? Yes, I think these are important issues, but I think tempers are starting to run high here and on other gender-related threads, and I think that whoever is right -- and we should not stop arguing -- we need to recognize that the other side is sincere and trying to live out their faith as best they can, yes?

God bless,

David
 


Posted by Fr. Gregory (# 310) on :
 
Agreed David but I must reply on 2 non-related matters ...

Strange as though it may be to understand for other Christians and Christian traditions I find MY OWN way of believing congruent with what the Orthodox Church teaches. I honestly, freely, without constraint or obligation and joyously recognise that faith as my own ... poor benighted fellow that I am!

Speaking very simply let me cut through ther semantics ...

Men and women are different and equal.
Some differences make some functions and modes of being more appropriate to either sex.

I'm sorry that's so unacceptable or unfashionable but there it is.

I don't thing anything further can be achieved by this thread. I applaud David's sentiments. Let's get on with gospel.
 


Posted by Tubbs (# 440) on :
 
Agreed. But I’d like you to try and do a bit of empathy for me.

Imagine that you go to church and wish to serve the Lord according to your calling and giftings. Now imagine that you get told that you can’t do that because … you’re a woman. [Like we had any choice]. Imagine being told stuff in all seriousious by people in authority like “men were made to manage and women were made to make the tea”. Now imagine how p’eed off you feel. The message you get, even if that’s not what was intended, is that as a woman you’re God’s second best. Not good enough for this or that …

The reason that so many of us get angry is that we’re “as mad as hell and we’re not going to take it any more”.

Tubbs
 


Posted by Mouse (# 315) on :
 
Well said, AlistairW.

If Father, Son and Holy Spirit have consented to take up abode in me, I don't see why any human being needs to "image" that for me, nor to "administer" bread and wine in Eucharist/Communion. His presence consecrates and blesses me inwardly. And hopefully I learn to "image" that myself.

But then, if more people believed that there would be a lot of men looking for a new job.
 


Posted by Dyfrig (# 15) on :
 
Let's get on with gospel.

I wondered when someone was going pull that little corker and claim the moral high ground.

This is about that Gospel, Gregroy - whether our church structures, our underlying assumptions and our teachings truly embody the Gospel.
 


Posted by Dyfrig (# 15) on :
 

Given the totalitarian behaviour of our so-called “host”, RuthW, I am forced to put this here.

Some have questioned the meaning of my words to Karl (see ”Plumbing”). For their benefit I will set out below their meaning. Patristic scholars will notice that my ideas draw heavily uupon those of St Origami of Neurosthesia and St Stilettos the Pachyderm.

The words must be taken in their fuller, spiritual sense. When I say to Karl, “You are an angel”, I am equating him with the cherubim and the seraphim. I see him as pure mind, standing so close to God in worship that they reflect the uncreated light of God’s nature.

As mind, Karl has no need for carnality. But as the Logos is begotten of the Father, so too Karl/the angel begets pure thoughts. These are his babies.

I wish, with my whole being, to be impregnated by Karl’s mind and bear his thought-children! I then wish to clutch them to my bosom so that they can suckl- Cont. p.94
 


Posted by Karl (# 76) on :
 
????????????????????????????
 
Posted by Hooker's Trick (# 89) on :
 
Chastmastr (how does one pornounce that?)

I can't make head or tails of your argument. You say the catholic church universal hasn't changed its mind about the celibate priesthood and then demonstrate how Romans and Anglicans and Othodox understanding all differ. What are you saying?

Also, I'm always entertained when Anglicans talk about modern innovations and things that have been thought up in the last 500 years. Let's see -- does 1534 ring any bells? The Church of England as currently constituted is only 500 years old. Yes, yes, I know some catholics are going to tell me the Church of England after 1534 was the very same church that the blessed Augustine brought to England. But if so, it's a church that has undergone some rather significant changes in both practice and theology. Have a quick flick through the 39 articles. And then come to grips with the fact that without the Oxford Movement we wouldn't be sitting here talking about the Anglican Church as Catholic at all! And that's only 150 years old.

My point here is that it seems as though innovation is fine when it suits (when it's catholic) and abhorrent when it doesn't. It's clearly not the INNOVATION that's the problem, it's whether one likes it or not.

Ian -- I don't follow the drift of your argument. I guess I would say in breif that those 16th century Anglicans had to worry a little bit about what they were doing, but I think even the most hyper-orthodox reactionary would be hard-pressed to declare the Church of England a bunch of looney-fringe heretics.

HT
 


Posted by Dyfrig (# 15) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Karl:
????????????????????????????

I don't know why I bother sometimes.

In a hundred years time I will be recognised for the comic genius that I am, d'you hear? Oh well. Prophets not being honoured, etc.

[Exit LEWIS in despair at the youth of today...]
 


Posted by IanB (# 38) on :
 
HT wrote -
quote:
Ian -- I don't follow the drift of your argument. I guess I would say in breif that those 16th century Anglicans had to worry a little bit about what they were doing, but I think even the most hyper-orthodox reactionary would be hard-pressed to declare the Church of England a bunch of looney-fringe heretics.

Certainly not my desire to do that! I'm thinking of raccoon spirit guides, syncretism, reincarnation... that sort of thing. But this takes us away from the purpose of this thread so I won't pursue it here - elsewhere perhaps. My point related simply how the ordination of women to the priesthood gets mixed up with other issues in this context.

Ian
 


Posted by Dyfrig (# 15) on :
 
Hi Ian,

Odd how both you and Gregory have introduced the concept that the ordination of women is linked to syncretistic/pagan undercurrent. It reminds me of the "taint" argument put forward during the early 90s - that somehow women can "infect" the body and blood at the Eucharist - as if the Presence of God could be made dirty by the touch of a woman's hands. Not that the pride, arrogance, stupidity, ignorance or sin of a man could ever taint the Eucharist of course.....
 


Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
 
on the other thread, someone used a line about god impregnating creation.

excuse me? this seems theologically unsound. if something is impregnated by something else, that to me implies two seperate individuals. i was impregnated by my husband, and we are certainly seperate individuals. i hope no one is impliying that the creation exists seperatly from god... if so, where did it come from? now if this is simply a metaphor, then it seems to me that an equally appropriate one is god giving birth to creation, which is a female image.

though an even better one is god impregnating him/herself, which then gives us male and female as simply being two halves of the divine nature.

after all, you know, in nature, not everything is either male or female. some are both together (and i don't mean just plants!). some start as one and change later in llife.
 


Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
Originally posted by Hooker's Trick:
quote:
I can't make head or tails of your argument. You say the catholic church universal hasn't changed its mind about the celibate priesthood and then demonstrate how Romans and Anglicans and Othodox understanding all differ. What are you saying?


Sorry if my long parenthetical thingies made things unclear; what I was trying to say was
quote:
I consider those areas on which ... Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox and Anglicans all agree, or have agreed up till very recently ... to be doctrinally more important than our differences.

In other words, while we have differences regarding a celibate priesthood, we have all agreed that only men can be ordained to that priesthood, until very recently.
quote:
Also, I'm always entertained when Anglicans talk about modern innovations and things that have been thought up in the last 500 years. Let's see -- does 1534 ring any bells? The Church of England as currently constituted is only 500 years old.
As currently constituted, yes. But do we not claim valid Apostolic succession nonetheless, not as if we were a group of laymen who suddenly decided to "consecrate" ourselves. (There are other Anglican churches and probably others who have broken away from the Anglican Communion, but whose bishops' validity is not in doubt (so far as I am aware) on the grounds that they were in that Succession when they broke off; in one sense they only date back a few years, in another sense they can rightly claim to be in a direct line to the early Church.)
quote:
Yes, yes, I know some catholics are going to tell me the Church of England after 1534 was the very same church that the blessed Augustine brought to England.

Actually I'd say it's the very same church which dates back to Peter and Paul, as well as Augustine (both), Cuthbert, and the Popes and Patriarchs. It's rooted, I believe, in the same apostolic "tree," though with some roots stretching all over the place. The issue of proper succession is still important nonetheless; when the US broke away from England, for example, and the English bishops were "forbidden by law to consecrate anyone who would not take an oath of allegiance to the British Crown," (see link below) the church in the US had to find someone to consecrate Samuel Seabury, so in the words of this link, he "was consecrated to the Episcopate by the Bishop and the Bishop Coadjutor of Aberdeen and the Bishop of Ross and Caithness. He thus became part of the unbroken chain of bishops that links the Church today with the Church of the Apostles." Link: http://justus.anglican.org/resources/bio/282.html

Now one could argue, "Aha, the US church is even younger than the C of E," and in one sense that's true but in another we believe (and the C of E agrees) that we are indeed in proper succession there also.

(The complications we're now going through with the Lutheran Concordat make me very nervous about the future of the church in the US, at least as nervous as the whole female priesthood issue does if not more so; not sure how the Lutherans view it either...)

quote:
But if so, it's a church that has undergone some rather significant changes in both practice and theology. Have a quick flick through the 39 articles. And then come to grips with the fact that without the Oxford Movement we wouldn't be sitting here talking about the Anglican Church as Catholic at all! And that's only 150 years old.

Yes, and I think we have been brought back to some of our roots very well by it. But in no case did we break the succession, by my reckoning. We've had turbulent times over the years, but so have the others; Rome is no longer at all in favour of, say, Tetzel, and I have no idea what the EO's have been through.

In some ways I barely see 1534 as a real break; certainly not in our succession, though of course our Roman friends disagree with us on that. (I believe the Pope is truly the valid Bishop of Rome, just not that he is the earthly head of the Church, and that the RC church is indeed one of the "valid" ones in that sense. And therefore I don't see the Church in England as having any true break as such before, during or after the "Roman Catholic" period.)

quote:
My point here is that it seems as though innovation is fine when it suits (when it's catholic) and abhorrent when it doesn't. It's clearly not the INNOVATION that's the problem, it's whether one likes it or not.


No, it's whether we think it fits with Catholic Christian Tradition or not. Saying it's "whether one likes it or not" implies intellectual dishonesty, doesn't it? And I think we're all (on both sides) trying to be as honest as we can in this, aren't we?
quote:
Chastmastr (how does one pornounce that?)

"Chaste Master." But to explain all of that would take us into other territories not specifically related to women and the priesthood. (I had to spell it like that because when I got my AOL account, it limited me to ten characters, so I subtracted the E's.)

Once again I implore everyone to remember to love one another, and yes these are serious matters, but not worth -- nothing in the cosmos is worth -- our hating one another. And to my more Protestant brethren, I know we disagree about the whole "Apostolic Succession" thing, not to mention "priests" and "bishops," but I would hope you accept me despite what I am sure must look like a "snooty" and "idolatrous" doctrinal position to take...

Tempers are high, yes, especially on matters where one feels marginalized, but I think part of the point of this sort of debate is to show people where we come from and why. I'm not even convinced one person will be convinced the "other side" is right here; but perhaps the best that we can hope for and aim for is that each side will understand that the other isn't acting out of immoral motives and intellectual dishonesty.
 


Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by nicolemrw:
on the other thread, someone used a line about god impregnating creation.

excuse me? this seems theologically unsound. if something is impregnated by something else, that to me implies two seperate individuals. i was impregnated by my husband, and we are certainly seperate individuals. i hope no one is impliying that the creation exists seperatly from god... if so, where did it come from?


Not sure if I understand you correctly; I thought part of our basic theology was that all creation is indeed separate from God -- that He created it, I mean, out of nothing, not some sort of self-existent thing -- that the world was by no means a part of God as some Eastern religions teach.
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
OOPS! Said
quote:
But do we not claim valid Apostolic succession nonetheless, not as if we were a group of laymen who suddenly decided to "consecrate" ourselves.
when I meant to say
quote:
But do we not claim valid Apostolic succession nonetheless? Only not as if we were a group of laymen who suddenly decided to "consecrate" ourselves.

The point being we do claim such succession, but not in a "self-consecrating" way -- we claim it based on being validly consecrated by others, by having roots connected up properly.

All clear(er), I hope!
 


Posted by Dyfrig (# 15) on :
 
ChastMastr has a point Nicole - though creation exists because and "in" God, creation is not "God". Subtle but necessary distinction.
 
Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
 
no, no, i think your missing my point here. ok, he created it, how? by impregnating it? no, that implies it already exists. he created it out of himself? as in giving birth? thats more to the point.

so after creation exists, then maybe he can get all masculine and impregnate it, but since creations already been, um, created, whats the point?
 


Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by nicolemrw:
no, no, i think your missing my point here. ok, he created it, how? by impregnating it? no, that implies it already exists. he created it out of himself? as in giving birth? thats more to the point.

so after creation exists, then maybe he can get all masculine and impregnate it, but since creations already been, um, created, whats the point?



But we don't think He "created it out of Himself," as if He took some of Himself and split creation off, like an amoeba; we think He made it up like a writer.

As for the purpose of later "impregnation," I do not know, wholly; we are to bear "the fruit of the Spirit" ourselves, Mary gave birth to Jesus, the Creation "groaneth in travail waiting for the manifestation of the Sons of God," etc. Certainly it is because He loves us but I don't know what you mean...
 


Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
 
look, i'm not the one who came up with the "god impregnating the world" line in the first place. i'm just commenting on it. if you agree with me that it doesn't make sense, then we're in agreement.
 
Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
 
oh, and how is giving birth like an amoeba splitting? what a ghastly image. please don't impute things to me that i never implied.

as to god writing creation as a book, i thought we were supposed to be the children of god, not a bunch of his literary creations?
 


Posted by Hooker's Trick (# 89) on :
 
Chas Mas--

You said:

"In other words, while we have differences regarding a celibate priesthood, we have all agreed that only men can be ordained to that priesthood, until very recently."

I still don't understand. You privilege the masculine nature of the priesthood but you think it doesn't matter if they're married or not? Why is one position more "catholic" than the other?

And actually you seem to be saying that what makes a priest a priest is the laying on of hands in apostolic succession. All except women? So when the Bishop lays hands on a woman, she doesn't receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit (imagine the Holy Ghost saying -- Oh, gross! I detect a vagina!)?

And while we're talking about the Historic Episcopate -- doesn't that imply obedience to our bishops? Is the Archbishop of Canterbury WRONG about the ordination of women? Is the Bishop of Washington not a true priest because she's a woman? Perhaps you, like the vicar of the parish of the Ascension and St Agnes or the wanna-be vicar of Christ Church Accoceek do not recognise the Episcopal authority of our bishop? That doesn't seem very Catholic to me.

Oh -- and if the ordination of women is wrong, and all the bishops who do it are wrong, does that mean that the Holy Ghost has gone out of the Anglican Church?

HT
 


Posted by Fr. Gregory (# 310) on :
 
For those of you who have not read my last post on the closed thread "plumbing" ... here is why I am not contributing on this thread anymore. No condescending comments about not having any arguments please! I just think that there cannot be any meeting of minds on this kind of subject. I came to that conclusion once in the CofE. This thread has convinced me of it again. Too much personal investment at stake. If this thread proves anything, it is that gender DOES matter.

QUOTE FROM PLUMBING ...

I think we just have to agree to disagree. Some of us here feel that gender is incidental to being human ... some feel that it is essential to being human. For those who posit difference having male and female priests is essential because otherwise God and humans are not being properly represented, imaged or talked about / acted upon. Others feel that such differences do not compromise equality if certain functions or modes of being are reserved to either sex. Often we ALL (me included) use symbolic language to bolster an a priori position which has either sociological or personal references, or both. I don't see this one being solved through discourse. Let Gamaliel have the last word. I'm off this (and the other) thread now. Thanks.
 


Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by nicolemrw:
oh, and how is giving birth like an amoeba splitting? what a ghastly image. please don't impute things to me that i never implied.

as to god writing creation as a book, i thought we were supposed to be the children of god, not a bunch of his literary creations?


Okay! Glad to know I misunderstood you; but there are people who see the act of Creation in just that way -- Eastern religions, as I say, which teach that God is everything and everything is God, and that only when it comes back together in the state of Nirvana will things be well.

We become His children, don't we, through Jesus? I did not think we started out that way.
 


Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
 
chastmaster, uh.... no.

we are all gods children. always have been. how could it be otherwise?
 


Posted by Gill (# 102) on :
 
Is there any point continuing here if FG has taken the moral high ground AND decided further posting is superfluous?

(By the way, what DOES it mean when he puts GH before a reply?)
 


Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
My Little Rant

By David

Originally posted by Hooker's Trick:

quote:
"In other words, while we have differences regarding a celibate priesthood, we have all agreed that only men can be ordained to that priesthood, until very recently."

I still don't understand. You privilege the masculine nature of the priesthood but you think it doesn't matter if they're married or not? Why is one position more "catholic" than the other?



I don't "privilege" it; the Church has. And I didn't say one position was "more 'catholic'"; I said that I thought the areas in which we all agreed down through history (male priesthood) mattered more than areas in which we differ (celibate priesthood).
quote:
And actually you seem to be saying that what makes a priest a priest is the laying on of hands in apostolic succession.
As a required element, yes, just as water and a baptized person is for baptism. Is this not what all three churches teach?
quote:
All except women?
I'm not convinced of it yet, no. There is another position one could take, that whosoever gets hands laid on them in that way is gifted and burdened with priestly responsibility, power and authority, but that one should not do this to women. -- that it happens but that one should not do it. This is a position I never hear of, but a possible one to take.
But no, I am not yet convinced that The Church Was Wrong From The Beginning Till Now.

(Warning! Mild explosion next -- no malice to any person here intended -- but this is how all this makes me think and feel. It's more exasperation than anything else.)

Is that not the position one is expected to take? That's a lot of what stands in my way. (burst of frustration) I'm not about to tell the holiest saints, the ones who taught us all about Jesus in the first place, passed on, developed, and preserved the Christian faith, people far wiser and holier than I, that from Peter and Paul down to now, They Were All Just A Bunch Of Woman-Hating Twits. Why should the twentieth century, with its lack of faith, lack of good judgement, lack of wisdom, ultra-democratising notions of theology (we didn't elect God Creator and Ruler of All That Is, after all), have gotten this one bit right and say that everyone from the Apostles on down got it horribly, unjustly and immorally wrong?

(Explosion ended.)

quote:
imagine the Holy Ghost saying -- Oh, gross! I detect a vagina!
LOL! No, I don't think of it that way at all.
quote:
And while we're talking about the Historic Episcopate -- doesn't that imply obedience to our bishops? Is the Archbishop of Canterbury WRONG about the ordination of women?
I think that John Paul II is WRONG about being head of the earthly church; doesn't mean he's not a valid bishop. Being a bishop does not mean one is magically right about everything. There is obedience to our bishops (and priests); there is also deeper obedience to God. If a bishop, or my own bishop, ordered me to do something I believed to be immoral (and we know that there have been countless immoral clergy down through the centuries), then I would be duty-bound to refuse. Even the RC church, which is fairly keen on obedience (which I sometimes applaud and sometimes not), says that people must follow their consciences first and foremost -- which leads to some conflicts at times.
quote:
Is the Bishop of Washington not a true priest because she's a woman?
If my lack-of-being-convinced is correct, that would follow, yes.
quote:
Perhaps you, like the vicar of the parish of the Ascension and St Agnes or the wanna-be vicar of Christ Church Accoceek do not recognise the Episcopal authority of our bishop?
No idea who these people are, but that would also follow, yes. Happily I live in northern Virginia.
quote:
That doesn't seem very Catholic to me.

Well, it does put many of us in a bind; on the one hand we are not convinced of such things, on the other we believe in hierarchy, sometimes more than some clergy do! But who ever said doing what we believe was easy? Or even that solutions were easy -- or even forthcoming? Perhaps (from our point of view) we are a bunch of sheep baa-ing in a cluster, refusing to follow people we are not sure are shepherds, into territory we think may be the wrong way to go? If we are wrong, then show us why we should trust them, when TO US this sounds contrary to what all our old shepherds seemed to tell us -- if we are right, for instance if we are being urged into very avalanche-ridden territory, isn't huddling like that better than following people into the falling-rock zone?

(As a side note -- which ultimately is another issue -- it does not help when some of the advocates of women in the priesthood have basic theology which is vague at best and absolutely heretical at worst. Nor does it help when people on "my" side are arrogant and self-righteous. I find it disturbing, too, that we have had clergy for decades now -- Lewis wrote about this in the 1940s! -- who don't even believe Jesus died and rose again (physically, for real, not a legend, etc.) to save humanity from sin and death -- and yet people (my lot, that is, the ostensible traditionalists) get much more upset over something comparatively minor like women in the priesthood. Look at Bishop Spong -- the man doubts the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection and Lord knows what else -- and what do so many people on my "side" complain about? His stance on gay people! A serious issue, yes, but not the primary thing which makes us Christians in the first place! Which I notice they didn't raise nearly the same hue and cry over. As someone who came to Christianity from outside, this baffles and saddens me.

Sigh. So you can see, surely, that I am happy to stand united with someone -- even if I am not sure she's truly ordained in that way -- as a fellow Christian?

The Florida woman I mentioned before (very good minister, I am just not convinced of her priesthood) and I talked once about bad theology among clergy, and she did find it frustrating at times that often those whose basic doctrines she agreed with opposed her ordination, and those who favoured her ordination held beliefs she thought heretical.

quote:
Oh -- and if the ordination of women is wrong, and all the bishops who do it are wrong, does that mean that the Holy Ghost has gone out of the Anglican Church?

No more than it did during far worse things in history. Churches have done some terrible things in the past but I don't think it means the Holy Ghost just abandoned them (us). Some Popes, for instance, were quite bad at different times but that didn't make them stop being bishops. I know people who have left the ECUSA and I pondered joining them, but (1) in my opinion -- sorry if any of these people are reading this -- these groups have a terribly arrogant and un-Christian chip on their shoulders, and are focused on The Bad Things They Have Left Behind more than on moving on and loving God and their neighbours and (2) I do not think all is lost in the Episcopal Church. Right now I think my duty is to be obedient and do the best I can where I am. If I have to choose between (1) a denomination in which there is much genuine heresy from the pulpit (apart from female ordination -- I mean on the deeper issues), but in which if I look I can find a good church to go in range -- or (2) one which has impeccable theology, but not love and charity -- then I have to pick the first one. Obviously the best would be good theology and genuine charity.

I think doctrine is immensely important -- but one of those doctrines is that some things matter more. That doesn't mean the lesser ones don't matter at all.

Baa-ing out in a field somewhere,

David
 


Posted by Fr. Gregory (# 310) on :
 
Honest opinion Gill ... not superiority.

GH stands for Gregory Hallam, my name. Sorry.
 


Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by nicolemrw:
chastmaster, uh.... no.

we are all gods children. always have been. how could it be otherwise?



I thought we were adopted by God when we became Christians; being "born again" in faith and baptism, not merely born that way as such. Certainly not His children in the same way that Jesus is His Son; He is the Only-Begotten and all...
 
Posted by Gill (# 102) on :
 
okay...

To the irate poster above FG (or GH) - which is preferable THEOLOGICALLY - a woman preaching traditional Christianity, or a man preaching that the Resurrection never happened?

Serious question.

Is his heresy okay cos he's male?
 


Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
 
chastmaster, not quite sure what to say to that. if thats how you want to see things, go ahead. sort of hard on people who aren't christian though.

seems to me that the essence of the good news is that god loves everyone, and we are all his children. god loved everyone enough to come and die for us... the love was there before the death obviously. or else what would the point be?
 


Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Gill:
okay...

To the irate poster above FG (or GH) - which is preferable THEOLOGICALLY - a woman preaching traditional Christianity, or a man preaching that the Resurrection never happened?

Serious question.

Is his heresy okay cos he's male?



Heresy is never OK. A woman preaching traditional Christianity is fine by me. It's the issue of her priesthood which troubles me, and if that is the dilemma you present, I don't know quite how to answer; the woman's doctrines are preferable as doctrines, certainly.

Heck, if it comes to the point I'd say that many non-Christians show more charity than many Christians, including the clergy! I get on better in Wiccan chat rooms on AOL than in Christian ones most of the time.

If you mean "if I were presented with two churches, and only two, no other options available, and one had a female priest (like the one in Florida), and the other a male priest (but like Spong), which one would I go to?"

Oy Vey Maria! What a choice! Either (1) Go where the sermons will be crap but have Communion I'm sure of, (2) go where the sermons will be good but where I won't be sure of Communion, (3) not take Communion at all. I think I'd have to go for (1). Though I could perhaps take Communion at the Spong place and listen to sermons at the woman's church. Skipping Communion is not an option for me, I think...
 


Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by nicolemrw:
chastmaster, not quite sure what to say to that. if thats how you want to see things, go ahead. sort of hard on people who aren't christian though.

seems to me that the essence of the good news is that god loves everyone, and we are all his children. god loved everyone enough to come and die for us... the love was there before the death obviously. or else what would the point be?



It's not the way I want to see things. And I believe God loves all of us, Christian and non. I thought a sizable chunk of Jesus' dying was to make it possible for us to become God's children -- that He loves us whether we are or not.
 
Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
 
chastmaster, how can we not be his children if he created us and loves us?

thats not something that changed with the incarnation. thats the way its always been.
 


Posted by Dyfrig (# 15) on :
 
nicole - again, CM's is correct. There is an element of "adoption" as children of God. Read Romans.

And just in case you thought I was being overly nice to you, David , -

I'm not about to tell ... Peter and Paul down to now, They Were All Just A Bunch Of Woman-Hating Twits.

Erm, why not? Paul had to tell Peter to stop dithering so much and get his mind around the fact of the experience that Gentiles had had of God (this appears to be despite God telling Peter direct!). Respect your elders, CM, but don't forget you are as much a part of the communion of saints as they. Mary could have told her reprobate son to get out of her house and never come back to Galilee; Peter seems to have taken quite a few goes at grasping things; and I bet not even you go along with everything that Paul says about women
 


Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
Emphasising again *bleat bleat*...

We're all brothers and sisters in Christ.

This is an important issue to discuss (at least for us in the catholic/orthodox churches).

Loving one another is much more important, even when we disagree over bigger things than this.

These last two are not in contradiction with one another.

Bleat

Bleat

Bleat
 


Posted by Nancy Winningham (# 91) on :
 
I read something strange (or, it sounds strange to one of us poor, benighted Protestants, even those who used to be Episcopalian at one point):
quote:
It's very difficult I think in the Protestant tradition to appreciate what a high value we place in the feminine in both Catholicism and Orthodoxy. That also doesn't help.

--------------------

Yours in Christ

Fr. Gregory


What sort of "high value" do you place on the feminine? Why are females valuable? Is it because we are servants, who keep the buildings clean and the fair linens pressed, so that the males can do the real work of administering the sacraments? (Time saving appliances can be very "expensive," which is a possible synonym for "value.") Or because we pop out the babies that can be made into new bodies in the pews?

Because we are certainly not good enough, in these "traditions," to be doing the "highly valued" tasks.
 


Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
Re Dyfrig:

Well, because we're not talking about a lapse in Peter's judgement (which was corrected in Scripture also); we're talking about the doctrine of the whole church down till now, not only Peter and Paul but everyone. Some things in the Old and New Testaments do indeed confuse and at times even worry me (posted about Canaanite infants in another thread just today) but I have to work with what I have; I try to synthesise it all together as best I can, though the Church has done this for two millennia.

I'm not sure which bits you mean that Paul says, but I try to understand it as best I can.

And it's not some bit taken out of Scripture and perhaps out of context -- the people who taught us how to interpret and understand Scripture -- who came up with the Creeds, explicated the Trinity, and so forth -- are the ones, and their successors down till now -- seemed to believe this way. And if people holier and wiser than I (part of the Body of Christ though I am) who am I to gainsay them? These are the people who taught me -- or who taught the people who taught me -- about Jesus and His teachings in the first place... if 2000 years of different Christians from different places the world over have not seen fit to change this, despite female saints, despite the veneration of the Virgin Mary to heights some Protestants consider idolatry -- and yet still did not make women priests -- if St. Teresa of Avila was recognised as a Doctor of the Church in the RC church -- yet not as a priest... why, of all cultures and times, would we suddenly get this one thing right? The verses people use as reasons were certainly not unknown to the church, especially to the people teaching and exploring church doctrine; and in fact if anyone could explain what they mean, surely the people closest to the time and culture would better than we, 2000 years later? So why should we distrust their understanding? Why would the Apostles, and their successors, and THEIR successors, so on and on, get this bit horribly wrong for hundreds of generations... and all of a sudden we understand what Jesus "really meant"?

Baa...

 


Posted by Dyfrig (# 15) on :
 
I respect Gregory's desire to withdraw from this discussion at this point, therefore will not pursue much that I thought still needed to be said. Instead, merely some concluding thoughts on our conversation:

There, I'm done with this. ChastMastr, the floor is yours.
 


Posted by Dyfrig (# 15) on :
 
Doh! Cross-posting Hadn't realised you'd already taken it!

Definitely going now .....
 


Posted by IanB (# 38) on :
 
Dixit Dyfrig:
quote:
Odd how both you and Gregory have introduced the concept that the ordination of women is linked to syncretistic/pagan undercurrent. It reminds me of the "taint" argument put forward during the early 90s - that somehow women can "infect" the body and blood at the Eucharist - as if the Presence of God could be made dirty by the touch of a woman's hands. Not that the pride, arrogance, stupidity, ignorance or sin of a man could ever taint the Eucharist of course.....



Taint? Sounds more like Donatism to me - don't go there! But it wasn't me who introduced syncretism, pantheism et. al. - it was people like Michael Ingham, Bp. Swing, and, yes some feminist theologians - try Daphne Hampson, Sallie McFague, Carter Heyward... And what about Mary Daly (no males allowed in my lecture theatre!)? Did somebody mention taint?

BTW, I've been trying to find a way forward on this very topic for over a decade now, and whilst I cannot claim to be much closer to resolving it, the exchanges between Fr. Gregory and yourself were helpful, as well as those of others. However, this "taint" thing again - where did it come from? I keep hearing it (it figured largely in a recent series of pamphlets edited by Monica Furlong - if I recall Angela Tilby was the author of one(?)) - primarily to be held to ridicule. Yet whenever I speak to convinced "Forward-in-Faith" types they also consider it ridiculous. What's going on? It doesn't seem to figure in the thought-processes of anyone I have spoken to or read on this matter.

The reason I mentioned these things together is as follows. Take a deep breath.

From Schleiermacher onwards, the school of thought that we broadly call "liberal theology" has been categorised by the project of explaining God from our own experiential data. As against classical Christianity, which seeks to do the opposite. This is not to say that the liberal view on any point is necessarily wrong. Simply that it has forfeited the ability to tell, because it has (implicitly) abandoned the seriousness of what God's self-revelation, as mediated through the witness of his prophets and the apostolic witness, has said in the past. The "righteousness of God" (i.e. that God does the right thing, he is not capricious etc.) means nothing. If the ordination of women as priests arises from within this sort of milieu - as I believe accurately characterises the predominant view in the episcopal churches of Canada and the USA, it will likely be associated with theological liberalism. If liberalism cannot tell that syncretism et. al. is heretical, predominantly liberal denominations will ultimately suffer increasing ostracism from the others as heresies develop AND ARE NOT REJECTED. (Heresies can of course pop up anywhere). As I said, if the priesting of women is right and proper, they risk going under with the other stuff. And that is over and above any other thing, such as those matters Fr. Gregory mentioned - my own thoughts were elsewhere on this occasion.

As to HT's queries concerning current matters at Accokeek - I guess I would ask the same question - how will you know if it's right? Just for the record, the position of the Archbishop of Canterbury is that he firmly believes women should be priested, but that he may be wrong. The agreement of the entire communion - proposed by the Eames Commission and endorsed by the whole communion - is that until a common mind is developed, it is imperative that both views be respected. If Fr. Sam Edwards cannot be a priest at Accokeek because of his stated views on women priests, then what happens to your argument about obedience? Is ECUSA not disobedient?

Just asking of course...

Ian
 


Posted by IanB (# 38) on :
 
Oh, and Dyfrig, I agree with your views that it's too important to fudge. Others obviously agree with us. I have been told that I should get out of the Anglican communion, both explicitly and implicitly. Heaven only knows what it's like for those whose views are settled "con" this matter.

What should I do?

Seriously.

Ian
 


Posted by Marina (# 343) on :
 
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Gill:
PLUS they don't have willies telling them what to think all the time! QUOTE]

Perhaps that's part of the problem, that the men they would pastor do have "willies telling them to think all the time".
Aside from the theological arguments there's also a 'psychological' argument - that whether you like it or not, many men cannot cope in many ways with a woman priest.

BTW I'm a female Orthodox theologian, who is very active in the Church, does not feel at all oppressed and has no intention of becoming a priest! Besides, I'd have to grow a beard
 


Posted by Hooker's Trick (# 89) on :
 
Chas Mas: I still don't get it. You say that the things we share in common are more important than what divides -- but you pick and choose. Celibacy, Eucharistic theology, liturgy, sacramentalism all divide but these you overlook. Gender of the celebrant, tho, this ONE thing must remain the same. And since the CofE and ECUSA have begun ordaining women, does this slowly slide over to the side of things that are different but don't matter?

Also, you speak of telling the holiest of saints that they were wrong. Surely in some sense when Blessed Cranmer wrote the prayer book, and diverged from Roman practice, he was also, in a sense, telling the holy saints they were wrong?

In any case, if you truly believe in the Communion of Saints, then those holy saints are still with us in the church now.

It just seems to strange to me to say that some things are sacrosanct because we've done them a long time, and other things can be changed because they are incidental. And to claim all this in an ecclesiological environment which claims that Bishops have authority and that the Church is inspired by the Spirit.

Ian -- I obviously don't have a problem with the gender of the celebrant. Actually, I'm quite happy with lady vicars and bishops. If I *did* have a big problem with it, though, I doubt I could in conscience remain within a community so different from my personal faith. For what it's worth. However, I also think the Church has a better grasp on these matters than I do, and I'm tempted to aquiesce to the better judgement of the Church.

I'll try to think of an agenda the church could follow that would prompt me to leave it. Truthfully, it would have to be a grave enough matter that would convince me that the Holy Ghost had gone out of the church.

HT
 


Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Hooker's Trick:


quote:
Chas Mas: I still don't get it. You say that the things we share in common are more important than what divides -- but you pick and choose.
I am not "picking and choosing"; I am saying that the things that the three strains of traditional catholic orthodoxy has agreed upon are the most important things. How is this personally, as an individual, "picking and choosing"? It's not as if I'm saying, "Oh, I like that doctrine but not that one." If anything, by looking to the areas on which we have all agreed as more important, I am trying to avoid personally "picking and choosing." I am trying to learn from the traditional church.
quote:
Celibacy, Eucharistic theology, liturgy, sacramentalism all divide but these you overlook.
I'm not overlooking them; these are weighty matters, but I think the details of (say) whether Jesus is or is not present in Holy Communion in a deeper-than-symbolic way is more important than precisely how, isn't it? The details of how sacraments in general work are less important than our shared belief that they really exist, aren't they?
quote:
Gender of the celebrant, tho, this ONE thing must remain the same.
No, not this one thing; from all my references to concerns over positive heresy in the church and how in many ways I'd be on the same side of That Woman In Florida more than That Bishop I Keep Referring To, isn't it clear that it's by no means the only or even the most important thing? It's the topic I talk about here because that's the nature of the thread.
quote:
And since the CofE and ECUSA have begun ordaining women, does this slowly slide over to the side of things that are different but don't matter?
No, because as I said before this is based on the traditional doctrines of the church. Or do you mean, "If this situation continued for another two thousand years exactly as it is now?" I have no idea what the future holds, in that event; our church (Episcopal in the US) is being immensely vague about what it believes right now, up to and including accepting priests and bishops whose stated doctrines are mind-bogglingly heretical (if they don't believe in the Resurrection, or that Jesus died to save us from sin and death... what's the point? Why repeat a creed at the service which they overtly don't believe in?). I cannot imagine that the church will continue that line permanently, and I hope very much that these are some kind of temporary growing pains. It is traditional, "old-fashioned," barbarian, etc. call it what you like, Christianity to which I was converted. I am quite happy to participate in what some would consider ritual cannibalism every week -- and I think those people see something many people don't about how truly shocking it is. But I think "shocking" things like that are at the heart of reality itself, and unfortunately our period is having more and more trouble believing in such shocking or archaic things -- which may be why I get on better with some modern Pagans than with some modern Christians. Oy, rambling again...
quote:
Also, you speak of telling the holiest of saints that they were wrong. Surely in some sense when Blessed Cranmer wrote the prayer book, and diverged from Roman practice, he was also, in a sense, telling the holy saints they were wrong?
Perhaps; I thought he was trying to get us back to where the earliest ones were. I'm reminded of a long poem -- Pope? Dryden? -- in which the author told the story of three brothers, Peter, Jack and... someone. Their father gave them three coats and said to keep them in good shape but not to over-decorate them. Peter put too many on his and convinced the others to do the same; then Jack and the other one (John? It'll do) decided they'd put too much on, so they removed them -- but Jack ripped them off willy-nilly and tore the coat to shreds, while "John" very carefully and painstakingly removed the extra bits so as not to damage the coat. And of course the author meant that Peter was the RC church, Jack was the more Protestant stream, and "John" was the Anglican one. Cranmer was also not trying to be, say, a Calvinist. He was, if I understand the facts correctly, trying to bring things back in line with the earliest saints, or at least before (in his opinion, approved by the C of E) things diverged (Papacy and such). Obviously not all these saints agreed on everything -- but in the most essential matters, they do.

Can I ask you a question? What is your view of Scriptural authority and of Christian tradition? Because someone above (can't view their name in this window) talked about different views of theology in the first place and views of tradition, Scripture, etc. and this may -- or may not -- explain our different positions.

quote:
In any case, if you truly believe in the Communion of Saints, then those holy saints are still with us in the church now.
I agree! But do you mean that they are inspiring people to take positions opposite to their own on Earth? If so, how do we know which ones those are? Or do you mean something else?
quote:
It just seems to strange to me to say that some things are sacrosanct because we've done them a long time, and other things can be changed because they are incidental.
Then on what grounds do we believe anything at all? We believe the Bible to be inspired -- and that the inspired books are these, these and these but NOT those and those -- based on the wisdom and decisions of the early Church. Don't we? Don't we also look to Christian tradition to interpret Holy Scripture? There are denominations founded on doctrines which they claim to get out of the Bible, though we would say they are taking things out of context -- but that context itself -- even the notion that context matters -- is, itself, a tradition, isn't it? If we each had to devise our own theology out of whole cloth from scratch, we'd have hard going, wouldn't we? Or am I misunderstanding you? Because I would think the logical conclusion of not trusting tradition is that everything, every doctrine, is perpetually in question, from the Trinity on down. Not even the sacraments, but even issues such as the Nature of Christ himself, etc. Some people (say, the Jehovah's Witnesses) have radically different views of the Nature of Jesus which most Christians would call heretical, and they claim to get it out of the Bible. (Not to mention various early heresies the church struggled with early on.)
quote:
And to claim all this in an ecclesiological environment which claims that Bishops have authority and that the Church is inspired by the Spirit.
Yes. This is also part of our traditional theology. What do you mean exactly?
quote:
However, I also think the Church has a better grasp on these matters than I do, and I'm tempted to aquiesce to the better judgement of the Church.
What if they changed their minds, decided it had been a mistake, and went back to not ordaining women to the priesthood?
quote:
I'll try to think of an agenda the church could follow that would prompt me to leave it. Truthfully, it would have to be a grave enough matter that would convince me that the Holy Ghost had gone out of the church.
Which is why I have not left, though I have been tempted at times. I'd say that allowing bishops and priests to preach overtly non-Christian theology (e.g., against the Resurrection, etc.) would be a big warning sign, and I pray that things will improve...
 
Posted by gbuchanan (# 415) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ChastMastr:

Heresy is never OK. A woman preaching traditional Christianity is fine by me. It's the issue of her priesthood which troubles me, and if that is the dilemma you present, I don't know quite how to answer; the woman's doctrines are preferable as doctrines, certainly.

...but then for many, the idea of the "priesthood of all believers" bypasses the debate. Women can be believers, hence...

Coming from a rather "low" Anglican tradition, the division of roles through gender seem to fundamentally misapprehend discipleship...

The sad problem with this whole debate is, frankly, the abject appearance of selfishness of many on both sides.

Coming from a more inclusive (though distinctly in Church terms evangelical) background - refusing the free expression of conviction of others to satisfy ones own spiritual needs shows many undesirable traits. This is a two-edged sword I happen to strongly believe in.

In N.Ireland, there are plenty of people who like to say "no" to others - sadly in the church we all too often do the same. As it seems to me, this is a question of great personal significance to many, and inclusiveness of each calling is the only appropriate way forward - trying to say "yes" to each other instead.

Not an easy path, but Jesus' footsteps are not guaranteed to rubber-stamp our own convictions, nor to be unchallenging.
 


Posted by AlastairW (# 445) on :
 
Someone queried where the taint idea came from as everyone denies believing it.
Well, it was certainly strongly around certain very Anglo Catholic churches in the North Midlands at the height of the debate on the ordiantion of women in the 1980s. Ineed a female colleageu of mine visiting a church as a guest speaker in a debate about the ordination question was specifically instructed by the clergyman whose church the meeting happened to be at that she must not go into the pulpit or enter the Chancel area as the whole sanctuary would then have to be re-consecrated!
So there are certainly some around who believe this!

 
Posted by Gill (# 102) on :
 
*horrified*

Perhaps God has ALLOWED my three chin hairs to grow, to encourage me to become an Orthodox priest?

And I've been plucking them! Dear Lawd, forgive me!!
 


Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
ROTFL

Good one!

Perhaps my abruptly-turning-white hair (I'm 33!!) is a sign of... of... something!

Other than getting really really really old fast...
 


Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
quote:
...but then for many, the idea of the "priesthood of all believers" bypasses the debate. Women can be believers, hence...

This seems to play on an equivocation in the word "Priest." On the one hand there is "priest" as in "intermediary between God and man" -- of which there is only one, viz., Christ (cf. Hebrews). Then there is the priesthood of all believers. Then there is the presbytery, which (alas!) is called the 'priesthood' in English-speaking countries (The greeks still use the word "presbyter" -- not the Gk. word for "priest" which I don't remember just now).

Women are clearly part of the priesthood of all believers. This doesn't mean, however, prima facie, that they are in the presbytery.

Reader Alexis
 


Posted by Hooker's Trick (# 89) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ChastMastr:
I am saying that the things that the three strains of traditional catholic orthodoxy has agreed upon are the most important things. How is this personally, as an individual, "picking and choosing"?

First -- how about Swedish Lutherans? Do they get to be in the "catholic club"? They maintain Apostolic Succession.

This whole "what is agreed on is the most important thing" is a sticking point for me. Let's say the reformers in the 16th century HAD decided to ordain women in the Church of England? Would the Anglican Church still be Catholic even if it had had women priests for 500 years?

Well, of course it would, because of the 3-fold ministry and the historic episcopate.

I hear you saying "but they DIDN'T start ordaining women 500 years ago." Very well. But in 1534 and subsequent years the Church of England took on a very different aspect from the Roman church. It seems to me that you're saying the liturgy (which changed) is a detail but the gender of clergy (which stayed the same) isn't. In other words, the 16th century changes are all details, and everything that didn't change til now is not.

See I just don't get that.

When you say the three strains of catholic orthodoxy agree, I always read "agree now".

If the events of the 16th century were not enough to make the Anglican church heretical, how then are the events of the late 20th?

quote:
The details of how sacraments in general work are less important than our shared belief that they really exist, aren't they?

Except that this is a belief that we also share with Lutherans and Methodists.

Which raises another point. Our ordination of women might distance us from the "catholic" churches like Rome, but does it not align us with Apostolic churches (i.e. churches that believe themselves to be Apostolic whether or not they possess the Historic Episcopate)?

quote:
Why repeat a creed at the service which they overtly don't believe in?).

The Nicene Creed is not a statement of personal faith. It is a profession of corporate faith; "we believe". The Church believes. And in any case, it doesn't say anywhere that you have to sign up to the Creed to be an Anglican.

I personally don't believe in the filioque, but I say it anyway, because I worship in a church that theologically holds to the filioque.

quote:
Perhaps; I thought he [Blessed Cranmer] was trying to get us back to where the earliest ones were.

Now see, that sounds very Protestant to me.

quote:
I'm reminded of a long poem -- Pope? Dryden? -- in which the author told the story of three brothers, Peter, Jack and... someone.

Swift. You're thinking of TALE OF A TUB. The brothers are Peter (pope), Jack (John Calvin) and Martin (Martin Luther, the original protestant, who Swift considered to be the founder of the tradition in which Anglicanism exists. Swift was also a Dean in the Church of Ireland).

quote:
Can I ask you a question? What is your view of Scriptural authority and of Christian tradition?

Well, if my monicker isn't a dead give-away, I'm pretty much a scripture, reason, and tradition man.

quote:
[/QB]But do you mean that they [Holy Saints] are inspiring people to take positions opposite to their own on Earth?[/QB]

Are you saying you've never changed your mind? And that Holy Saints or the Holy Church can't either...?

quote:
Don't we also look to Christian tradition to interpret Holy Scripture?

But tradition isn't some static thing like a rule book you must consult. Tradition is the Authority by which the church as the Body of Christ interprets. Living God. Living Church.

quote:
Because I would think the logical conclusion of not trusting tradition is that everything, every doctrine, is perpetually in question, from the Trinity on down.

Now see, this is the same "baby and bathwater" question oen gets with Fundamentalists when discussing the inerrency of the Bible. Well, if "x" bit of the Bible isn't true, how do you know any of it is?

I don't have any problem questioning the Trinity. Question away. Questions make a strong faith stronger. Locking up Truth in a tabernacle and never letting anyone see it for fear of questioning it sounds like the paranoia of a weak or uncertain faith.

If all the little ducks aren't in a row the whole thing goes out the window, is that it?

quote:
Yes. This [episcopal authority] is also part of our traditional theology. What do you mean exactly?

What I mean exactly is that Bishops ordain women. In the ECUSA some bishops ARE women (mine is). Refusal to acknowledge or obey one's bishop strikes me as extremely un-episcopal, and untenably un-catholic.

It also is tantamount to saying "I am right about this issue and the Bishops and Church are wrong."

quote:
What if they changed their minds, decided it had been a mistake, and went back to not ordaining women to the priesthood?

Like tomorrow? While I think that would be extremely odd, and would look rather silly to backpeddle, I would accept it.

As Presiding Bishop Griswold said "schism is a worse sin than heresy."

HT

[UBB fixed]

[ 26 July 2001: Message edited by: Alan Cresswell ]
 


Posted by Carys (# 78) on :
 
Having just about managed to catch up on this thread, having been on the ship weekend and then being ill! And now I've found the other I've caught up on that too!

Just a few comments. Some of which may repeat things that other people have said to an extent.

On page 4 Father Gregory wrote

quote:
It is about how in a sacramental-sacrificial system (which Protestants generally do not have) the priest images the divine action in and through him. The Jews were not blind to the fact that only God can deal with sin and the maleness of the priest that imaged this had everything to do with the fact that Israel had to be distinguished from her pagan neighbours who also had sacramental-sacrificial systems. In these, of course, fertility and not redemption was a primary theme. Not unsurprisingly this gave rise to a debased religiosity where divinity was naturalised and human sexuality divinised. Interestingly, in those sacramental-sacrificial Christian systems where the earth-feminine-mother has reasserted itself (see Rosemary Radford Ruether's "Women Church") the priesting of women (why do Christians resist the term "priestess"?) is part and parcel of a religious reconstruction in which the Universe is born out of the God-Womb or Cosmic Egg.

The reason why Christians resist the term 'priestess' is because priestess would imply the sort of pagan fertility religion to which you refer. By refusing to use the term we are making the point that female Christian priests are not like that. They are PRIESTS not PRIESTESSES.

quote:
I have tried to show that gender is an essential and not incidental aspect of our common humanity. I then went on to consider whether or not Christ could have been female. I think I showed that maleness was not incidental or accidental to the Incarnation. I then claimed that the burden of proof ... that God didn't know what He was doing or that 1st century Judaism was a defective culture for the Incarnation (by excluding women from certain functions sacred functions) or that Christ would have knowingly held back from the truth for pragmatic reasons ... this burden of proof falls on those who would ordain women to the priesthood, (and I don't mean Methodist ministers here, I mean priests).

It is certainly true that he could not have been both male and female, and that in the culture into which he came, as male he was able to travel, speak etc which he would have had far more trouble doing as a woman. Therefore he came as a man when he became man. However, if you look at how he treated women, he did not treat them as second class citizens – he spoke to them; allowed them to sit at his feet and listen; appeared to them first after his resurrection. He challenged the cultural norms of his day – 1st century Jewish culture was not perfect even though it was the culture God had formed and nurtured and taught and led in preparation for the coming of the Messiah.

quote:
So Ruth, your gentle goading about "tell us the disabling differences ... anything you can do we can do ... misses the mark by a long way. There is nothing that a man could DO in priesthood or anything else that a woman couldn't DO as well if not better. Let's be clear about that. Arguments concerning female ordination from the Orthodox/Catholic side have nothing to do with function and everything to do with being man or woman, sexuality and imaging God as transcendent to the material realm.

So although a woman could do the job just as well she is debarred from doing the job just because she doesn’t have the magic Y chromosome? And you say that

quote:
at no point am I indicating inferiority to the female

I accept that you think you are not, but statements like the above do not come across like that to this female. I am less able to represent God because I’m a woman.

Chastmastr

quote:
(1) God is masculine in relationship to His creation and to the Church; He is the Bridegroom and we are the Bride; He impregnates us, not we Him. Masculinity and femininity, as part of the order of the universe (and not merely in human culture, certainly not merely human constructions), exist to represent/symbolise/more? these two mystical poles of reality.

And if the human race is feminine in relation to God then how the gender of the celebrant make a difference?

Carys
 


Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
Fools rush in where wiser men bow out gracefully. Let me have another stab at presenting the Orthodox understanding (at least as far as I am able, given what I have been taught and how well I remember it!).

What can a husband do that a wife can't, aside from sire children?

Answer: be a husband. A husband can do everything a wife does (except bear and suckle children), but he does these things as a man.

St. Paul tells us that marriage is somehow an image of the relationship between Christ and the Church. The church is the Bride of Christ. It is not the husband of Christ; Christ is not the bride.

When the presbyter (or bishop) stands between the altar table and the nave, he represents Christ qua* bridegroom. He "icons" Christ the Bridgegroom, as we say.**

Like so:

Christ:Church: :presbyter:congregation

Only a male can be a husband. It is a male thing. Thus, only a male can be a presbyter.

One reason God created us male and female, rather than making us unisex, was to teach us something about the relationship between himself and ourselves. The two are not interchangeable. Each has its own dignity and power and glory.

This does not mean that for us, women are inferior to men. You might just as well say that men are inferior to women because they cannot give birth or suckle children. Neither is correct.

Nor does it mean that men are more "in the image of God" than women are. Indeed God brought us all into being, and feeds us (do we believe it when we say "give us this day our daily bread"?), which are analagous in some ways to the roles of a mother, but that doesn't mean women are more "in the image of God" than men are. Neither is correct.

So I have been taught; so I believe.

Reader Alexis

*please forgive the philosophism; it's the easiest and most succinct way to say what I mean here.

**The icon of Christ as Bridegroom is one of suffering, not of exaltation or earthly power; "nymphios" (bridegroom) in the Orthodox Church indicates the one who suffers for his beloved, not the one who rules over or abuses his beloved:

[disabled smilies]

[ 27 July 2001: Message edited by: RuthW ]
 


Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
Oops. Forgot about the smilies. Grr.

Maybe one of the ship's elves can fix that for me; it should read:

Christ:Church::presbyter:congregation

(hope this works!)

Rdr. Alexis
 


Posted by Carys (# 78) on :
 
quote:
Christ:Church: Presbyter:congregation

Only a male can be a husband. It is a male thing. Thus, only a male can be a presbyter.


I still don't get this. I can cope with only a male can be a husband, but I don't get the thus. Maybe I'm being thick but I can't see the link. I recognise that this is in the context of the previous bit about Christ:Church and Presbyter:Congregation, but having just said that the whole church is feminine in relation to Christ, why should only the half that is masculine as humans be able to represent Christ when we none of us are equal to him. Sorry, I can't explain what I mean at all well.

You've set up a divide between Christ (Male) and Church (Female), and then taken 1 person out of the Church to represent Christ, and said that only the male part can take on that role, even though in comparison even human men are not Male like Christ.

Actually the problem here is that by setting up this Christ (Male): Church (Female) you are putting the Male as being better. It draws on ideas about the Male as dominant, Female as submissive, Male as sower, Female as Garden. If God is Male, then what are we women other than incomplete men? Where does female come from?

God is neither Male nor Female, but both are created in His (blast the English language! we need an asexual personal pronoun) image. Thus both reflect part of the Godness and so if we deny women the major role in the church then lose that part of the image of God which is expressed as female.

If Christ is essentially Male, how can he save women? If he can save women, why can't women represent him?

Traditionally male is regarded as including the female - so references to men include women as well etc. So men represent women, but women can't represent men. That implies that woman ain't equal. That woman are less than men. That's not what the Bible teaches (IMO), although it is a cultural assumption that has been confused with Christianity throughout much of Christian history.

Maybe this confusion is easier for us to see with Islam. In this day and age Islam is often perceived as being anti-women, with pratices such as FGM and the attitudes to women's education held by the Taliban for example. But from what I understand about Mohammed's (sp??) attitude is that he was for women being educated and indeed if you look at the medieval period Islamic countries had a far better record on women's education than did Christian ones. The cultural and religious attitudes have been mixed.

Sorry if this post comes across a bit strong, it's an issue that I feel passionately about. It goes into the depths of my identity.

Carys
 


Posted by Freddy (# 365) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Carys:
God is neither Male nor Female, but both are created in His (blast the English language! we need an asexual personal pronoun) image. Thus both reflect part of the Godness and so if we deny women the major role in the church then lose that part of the image of God which is expressed as female.

Are you taking into account the outer/inner argument? It may or may not be valid, but I haven't yet seen it on this thread.

The male is the outer part, the female is the heart and substance.

So God is always described in Scripture as male - Father, Son, etc. We can only see and comprehend the outer part - the substance being impossible for us to deal with or even to think about.

Femininity miraculously represents the inner, silent, and unknown qualities of God's love.

Therefore the outer aspects of religion - the words, the organizational leadership - are traditionally carried by males.

Religion itself, however, is female, and is depicted consistently that way in Scripture - as the daughter of Zion, the holy Jerusalem, the bride and wife of the Lamb.

We can certainly change our traditions, but these archetypes are fairly universal in human civilization, not to mention Christianity. It is hard to leave them out of the account, even in the name of fairness and equality.
 


Posted by Marina (# 343) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Gill:

Perhaps God has ALLOWED my three chin hairs to grow, to encourage me to become an Orthodox priest?

And I've been plucking them! Dear Lawd, forgive me!! [/QB]


Yep! Well, if you pluck them out then even more grow back --soon you'll have a really bushy beard, and before you know it we'll make you a Patriarch -- or would that be a Matriarch?
Whatever, you'll get to wear three crosses instead of one! And a mitre
(Interesting etymological point: the Greek word mitre is the same word used for womb (in modern Greek at least).
So there you have it, you don't need a 'mitre' as you've got one already!

Marina

 


Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
Sorry about that; maybe Erin can delete the previous post.

quote:
You've set up a divide between Christ (Male) and Church (Female)

Well, I didn't set this up, the New Testament did. Over and over again.

quote:
and then taken 1 person out of the Church to represent Christ, and said that only the male part can take on that role, even though in comparison even human men are not Male like Christ.

But men are male as compared to women; that's why the Christ:Church: resbyter:congregation is an ANALOGY. The Christ:Church relationship is a male/female relationship, described by the words "bridegroom" (or "husband") and "bride"; and since the Presbyter:congregation relationship is a model or icon of the former relationship, then it too must be a male/female relationship, and thus the presbyter is a husband, and husbands are male. I don't know how to make it any simpler than that.

quote:
Actually the problem here is that by setting up this Christ (Male): Church (Female) you are putting the Male as being better.

Again, I didn't set this up. This is part of the "faith that was given once to the saints" that has been handed down. Does it make the male "better"? Better at what? Ontologically better? What exactly does "ontologically better" mean? You seem to be making some sort of comparison which makes no sense to me. Christ is the head of the church; he is "better" inasmuch as he is uncreated and we are created; he is God in essence and we are not. Is this what you mean?

quote:
It draws on ideas about the Male as
dominant, Female as submissive, Male as sower, Female as Garden.

Does it? You're not talking about meaning any more but origin or history. I'm not at all sure how this is relevant, let alone provable/discoverable.

quote:
If God is Male, then what are we women other than incomplete men? Where does female come from?

God isn't Male. Christ is a husband in relation to the church, which is a bride. This is a relational thing. When you're not talking about his relationship to the church, Christ is male in the flesh, but in his Godhood he is neither male nor female.

We may end up having to agree to disagree on the "better" thing.

Reader Alexis

[previous post deleted at poster's request]

[ 28 July 2001: Message edited by: RuthW ]
 


Posted by Dyfrig (# 15) on :
 
[renaging on previous words mode ON]

I know I shouldn't do this, but what the hell....

Freddy - the imagery is not "always" male/female, God/Church. "Today you have become my son" - addressed to the male representative king of Israel; "I brought my son up out of Egypt", again about Israel. And so on and so forth...

Alex - is representing Christ the only part of the priest's role? The priest is also (as Orthodox writer Gillian Crow says) there at the head of the people, leading them.

Therefore (this is my point, not Crow's), by the reasoning that says only a man can image Christ as bridegroom, we should have an equivalent woman to represent the bride - which suggests:

- you need some sort of male and female double act during the service,
- at the very least the deacon should be a woman; or
- that you truly believe that a male priest is congruent enough to represent all the people, male and female, which somewhat undermines the need for congruence on the plane of representing Christ

[slopes off, knowing he'll bet dragged further and further in if he doesn't leave this instant...]
 


Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
Originally posted by Hooker's Trick:


quote:
First -- how about Swedish Lutherans? Do they get to be in the "catholic club"? They maintain Apostolic Succession.


I think so, yes. I think I got them mixed up with Estonian and Latvian ones -- or perhaps they are in addition to them.
quote:
This whole "what is agreed on is the most important thing" is a sticking point for me. Let's say the reformers in the 16th century HAD decided to ordain women in the Church of England? Would the Anglican Church still be Catholic even if it had had women priests for 500 years?


But they didn't. Which is my point. We could ask all sorts of questions about "what if the church decided X?" But if we believe the Holy Spirit has been guiding us all this time, that in a special way that Spirit inhabits the succession of clergy from the Apostles on down to now, then it's rather difficult to say "Well, they were all wrong from the very beginning."

From a more Protestant point of view -- say, the Baptists' -- the Church did go terribly wrong from very close to the beginning, and was only corrected a few hundred years back. But from a Catholic/Orthodox point of view, it's been at least mostly right all the way down to now. We disagree over whether or not the Pope is the head but we do agree on the nature and role of bishops, for example. And one of the things we have agreed on until very, very recently is the role of women with regard to the nature of the priesthood.

quote:
Well, of course it would, because of the 3-fold ministry and the historic episcopate.


But part of what's at issue here is "are women, when they go through that process, truly consecrated in that episcopate, and how does that affect Apostolic Succession in our church?" So I don't think it's as simple as that. From the "women can be priests/bishops" point of view, of course it follows, but not from the other one.

quote:
I hear you saying "but they DIDN'T start ordaining women 500 years ago."

Right!

quote:
But in 1534 and subsequent years the Church of England took on a very different aspect from the Roman church. It seems to me that you're saying the liturgy (which changed) is a detail but the gender of clergy (which stayed the same) isn't.

It's not as binary as that; I've been saying repeatedly that I believe the areas in which Anglican, Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic agree, and have agreed from the beginning, are more important than areas in which we disagree. I think liturgy matters; obviously we don't want anything false in it -- but of course the Roman and Eastern rites have been different in various ways for some time, and that doesn't trouble me.

I don't really see this as the same kind of thing, sorry.

quote:
In other words, the 16th century changes are all details, and everything that didn't change til now is not.

See I just don't get that.


I don't either, which is why I didn't say that. In fact, if a doctrine dates only from the 16th century I am less certain of it than one which dates back (and has been consistently held) from the 6th. I'm progressively more dubious about even more recent ones, say from the 17th or 18th centuries -- that is, if they were devised then rather than recovered. In many ways I like the Dark Ages more than the Middle, though I do love the Middle. The Renaissance had some wonderful things, too, but also some bad ones. I could go on but I thought I should mention this lest people think I'm only interested in the 1500s or such.

quote:
When you say the three strains of catholic orthodoxy agree, I always read "agree now".


Why?
quote:
If the events of the 16th century were not enough to make the Anglican church heretical, how then are the events of the late 20th?


Which heresies? Depends on which ones, I suppose.
quote:
"The details of how sacraments in general work are less important than our shared belief that they really exist, aren't they?" -- Except that this is a belief that we also share with Lutherans and Methodists.


Yes, and? Lutherans were in fact one of the groups I was thinking of; there is overlap with all sorts of churches on all sorts of issues. Lutherans believe in consubstantiation, RCs in transubstantiation, Anglicans don't define it as precisely, but we are all agreed that something really happens in more than just a symbolic way. We are also all agreed with regard to the Trinity, and with the Baptists and others as well, and so on.
quote:
Which raises another point. Our ordination of women might distance us from the "catholic" churches like Rome, but does it not align us with Apostolic churches (i.e. churches that believe themselves to be Apostolic whether or not they possess the Historic Episcopate)?


Your point being?
quote:
The Nicene Creed is not a statement of personal faith. It is a profession of corporate faith; "we believe". The Church believes. And in any case, it doesn't say anywhere that you have to sign up to the Creed to be an Anglican.


Um, actually, it's right there in the Confirmation Service and is even called our "Baptismal Covenant." (1979 BCP version: http://www.holycross-raleigh.org/bcp/416.html) It's called a "covenant" for a reason -- an agreement with God... It's also a statement of faith; if we don't believe it we shouldn't say it. I don't see how its being "corporate" lets us off from making statements we don't believe.

Part of the Ordination of a Priest (and Bishop) even specifically requires the candidate to say, "I solemnly declare that I
do believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments
to be the Word of God, and to contain all things necessary to
salvation; and I do solemnly engage to conform to the doctrine,
discipline, and worship of The Episcopal Church." (http://www.holycross-raleigh.org/bcp/526.html and http://www.holycross-raleigh.org/bcp/513.html) In Baptism, the celebrant and congregation say to the newly baptized specifically to "Confess the faith
of Christ crucified" and to "proclaim his resurrection" (http://www.holycross-raleigh.org/bcp/308.html) -- I suppose Spong believes that Jesus was crucified but if the man is denying the resurrection this is pretty basic stuff...

quote:
"Perhaps; I thought he [Blessed Cranmer] was trying to get us back to where the earliest ones were."
Now see, that sounds very Protestant to me.

... and?
It's not like I think, "Oooo, those naughty Protestants, how I hate them" or something. I think they had some things right and some wrong.
In a sense Anglicans are both Catholic (we maintain Apostolic Succession, the Sacraments, Bishops/Priests/Deacons) and Protestant (we have tried to be as close to what we understand the early Church to be like as we can; we just think that much of it was more Catholic than, say, the Baptists do).
quote:
Swift. You're thinking of TALE OF A TUB.

Bless you!
quote:
Are you saying you've never changed your mind? And that Holy Saints or the Holy Church can't either...?


Not sure what to say here; we seem to have very different views of what Christian Tradition means.
quote:
But tradition isn't some static thing like a rule book you must consult.

... no, it grew and developed while remaining true to itself for two thousand years.
quote:
Tradition is the Authority by which the church as the Body of Christ interprets. Living God. Living Church.


Yes, living. But this is not the same as switching gears abruptly all the time and throwing things out the window without warning.
quote:
Now see, this is the same "baby and bathwater" question oen gets with Fundamentalists when discussing the inerrency of the Bible.

And? They may have a point; but the traditions I understand we follow have different levels of meaning within the Bible also.
quote:
I don't have any problem questioning the Trinity.

As an individual or as far as changing the basic doctrines of Christianity? If I as an individual am wrestling with the doctrine, that is one thing, but we're talking about the faith of the Church. What about questioning the Resurrection? Would you be open to the Church letting go of that also?
quote:
Question away. Questions make a strong faith stronger.

But we do believe we have answers.
quote:
Locking up Truth in a tabernacle and never letting anyone see it for fear of questioning it sounds like the paranoia of a weak or uncertain faith.


But we do let people see it. That's why we have books on theology, apologists, catechisms, discussions, etc. It's not a secret what we believe.
quote:
If all the little ducks aren't in a row the whole thing goes out the window, is that it?

I have no idea what you mean here.
quote:
What I mean exactly is that Bishops ordain women. In the ECUSA some bishops ARE women (mine is).

Well, that's part of what's at issue here, isn't it?
quote:
Refusal to acknowledge or obey one's bishop strikes me as extremely un-episcopal, and untenably un-catholic.


But if her episcopacy is, in fact, in doubt, then obedience would also be un-catholic. And if we can question the Trinity (if not the Resurrection), can we not question her ordination?
quote:
It also is tantamount to saying "I am right about this issue and the Bishops and Church are wrong."


In this case, or in mine anyway, it is saying "the historic Church is consistent and right about all the other issues; why should it suddenly be wrong on this one? I cannot deny that I think it more likely to be right when the modern church disagrees with two thousand years of Christian belief and practice, so I am in doubt about the modern decision's rightness."
quote:
"What if they changed their minds, decided it had been a mistake, and went back to not ordaining women to the priesthood?"
Like tomorrow? While I think that would be extremely odd, and would look rather silly to backpeddle, I would accept it.


Why would "looking silly" and "being odd" be issues?
quote:
As Presiding Bishop Griswold said "schism is a worse sin than heresy."

I am not sure he is right or not; it may depend on the schism and on the heresy.
Right now our lack of willingness in the ECUSA to "enforce" dogma allows traditionalists like me to remain and to find churches within it whose theology seems (to us) sound; it also allows Spong to deny the Resurrection and Virgin Birth. If I were told "to remain in the ECUSA, you must agree to this revised Creed which says Jesus did NOT rise" or some such thing, then I would have to leave, schism or no schism, and I think that would be the right thing to do. (Technically if someone said that to remain, I had to accept something much more minor but which I have not been convinced of, ordination or otherwise, I'd have to leave as I can't just lie and say I believe it when I don't.)

I am still of course stuck with the "church A has lots of heresy but some orthodoxy and more love" and "church B is trying very hard to be orthodox in a self-righteous manner," and I am still in Church A.

Ah, rambling again... back to work for me...
Whoops, forgot:

Carys said:

quote:
And if the human race is feminine in relation to God then how the gender of the celebrant make a difference?


But once again I look to tradition and find no support for female priests, so here I am.

Back to proofreading!

[URL links fixed]

[ 27 July 2001: Message edited by: Alan Cresswell ]
 


Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
quote:
Therefore (this is my point, not Crow's), by the reasoning that says only a man can image Christ as bridegroom, we should have an equivalent woman to represent the bride - which suggests:

- you need some sort of male and female double act during the service,
- at the very least the deacon should be a woman; or
- that you truly believe that a male priest is congruent enough to represent all the people, male and female, which somewhat undermines the need for congruence on the plane of representing Christ


No, no, you're not getting it. The congregation represents the bride. That's why the last term in the analogy was "congregation". Don't you guys do those "A is to B as C is to D" things over there in Blighty? Ye gods, I remember enough of them from tests I took to flummox a Vegan snow leopard.

Reader Alexis
 


Posted by BarbaraB (# 781) on :
 
I'm going back to pick up a couple of points from about page two of this interesting, tho' rather long-winded, conversation.

Fr. Gregory explained that the priest is an "icon of Christ" which seemed kind of helpful in clarifying the role of the priest. But then we got into the mess over why a person representing Christ has to male (tho' he could be Jewish or bald etc.). Sorry Fr. G., many of us are losing you there. I can see a perfectly clear image of Christ in female form, just as we have all seen icons of a black Christ. If there is a distinction there, it escapes me.

Dyfrig pointed the whole discussion in a helpful direction by referring to the two possible readings of the Nicene line "he came down from Heaven and was made man". That's the choice, right there. Fr. G. says it means that Christ was A MAN, and nothing else. But IMHO it is clearly an indication that He was HUMAN. And ain't we all?

Obviously I can't agree that "gender is an essential". All that is essential for a person to serve as an icon of Christ in the sacraments is humanity -- and of course the call to this role, and an appropriately trained understanding.
 


Posted by Gill (# 102) on :
 

Yep! Well, if you pluck them out then even more grow back

Fortunately, I can assure you that ain't so!

Freddy, why do we have primitive carvings of fertility goddesses then? I know I am fairly ignorant of some of the finer points here but some of what you take as takens aren't. IMHO.
 


Posted by St Rumwald (# 964) on :
 
quote:
4: Is there any evidence that churches with women in ministerial roles are declining faster than those without? I imagine not, just rhetoric.

Erm, Methodists? Dying on their feet in the UK. And 'inclusive'language too.

Not causality of course, pure correlation, but this particular discussion never bends to reason on either side.
 


Posted by AlastairW (# 445) on :
 
Some of these posts are getting longer than a chapter in a theolgoical textbook!

Aroudn here severl chrcuehs led by women, ro in which men and womenn are clergy togtehr are actually breaking new ground.

And no-oine seems to have said "rubbish" to the wild generalsiation a few posts back that in the Old TEstament God is always male. What?! Amazingly, given the cultural context God is sometimes described using female imagery eg Isaiah 66: 13 (and many wake Jeruslem here as a periphrasis for God), Hosea 11: 3 - 4, and the whole Wisdom tradition in which Wisdom becomes in Greek Logos wich leads into the thought of John 1.
 


Posted by Freddy (# 365) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Gill:
Freddy, why do we have primitive carvings of fertility goddesses then?

Yes many religions have had, and even do have, goddesses as well as gods. The OT & NT, however, disapprove of all of it.

I'm not saying that the exclusive imagery of all religions worldwide is of a male god. Nor is the heart of religion exclusively female. I'm just saying that it tends that way worldwide, and is exclusively that way in Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Although granted, as Dyfrig pointed out, the female imagery is not as consistent.

But imagery doesn't prove anything one way of the other. It is an analogy, not a directive.

To echo the point St. Rumwold made above on the question:
Is there any evidence that churches with women in ministerial roles are declining faster than those without?

A source of information would be www.gallup.com - the Gallup Poll site for the United States. The relative declines and increases in membership of the major denominations over the past 50 years supports what he says. Again, no causality indicated, merely guilt by association. Still, the declines are dramatic, whatever the cause.
 


Posted by Dyfrig (# 15) on :
 
Space is big, I mean really big. You can't possibly imagine how mind-bogglingly huge it is. You might think it's a long way down the street to the chemist's, but that's peanuts to space. Listen-

Sorry, where was I?

Oh, yeah. Help me a little here, Alex. You said:The congregation represents the bride. That's why the last term in the analogy was "congregation".

So, accepting the analogy for now (it's not the only one in the NT, of course):

Christ=Bridegroom=Male, Church=Bride=Female,

Therefore we have one Male Priest to represent the first because you can't have a woman representing the Male element, and the Bridegroom is singular. And we have ... a large body of people of both sexes representing the Female element because...er...er... you can have a lot of people of different sexes represent the Female, singular Bride..... erm..... erm..... Do you see my problem in getting this?

You said as well: since the Presbyter:congregation relationship is a model or icon of the former relationship, then it too must be a male/female relationship, and thus the presbyter is a husband, and husbands are male....so by definition to complete the icon of this relationship you need to properly represent the wife. Is that achieved by a group of men and women together?

It's not that I object to symbolising things - it's the fact that the symbolism doesn't seem to work itself out fully into the whole Church.
 


Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
Dyfrig, I want to help you, but I'm afraid I'm going to run out of steam here.

In the A:B::C :D, both A and C are male, and both B and D are made up of persons of both genders.

B contains both men and women but is called "bride."

I admit we're holding "groom" to be male while allowing "bride" to be less gender-specific. I don't know what the answer to that conundrum is. I'm trying to parrot back what I've learned, but I haven't been at it all that long. I've only been Orthodox 4.5 years. Maybe there is no specific answer; maybe there is one and I haven't heard it yet. Can't help you any further along this route! Sorry!

I feel terrible! She feels worse!
We can hardly talk in verse!

---Salman Rushdie

As for what was mentioned earlier about women iconing Christ: yes I ahve seen black icons of Christ but they are (according to Orthodox iconology) heretical. The incarnate Christ was a male first century Palestinian Jew. This is the "scandal of particularity." He had a specific hair colour, a specific height and weight (at any given time, of course). He was not a generic human being, but a very specific one, existing at a specific time and place, with specifiable features (at least to those who witnessed His incarnate body first-hand).

Did he come as a man because the 1st century palestinian culture made it easier for men than for women to get around? Then why didn't he wait until the 20th century, when he could have come as a woman? Yet somehow we believe he chose the time and place of his incarnation. It wasn't an accident. Thus his being male wasn't an accident of time and culture, but something He intended.

Seems to me.

Reader Alexis

[smilies disabled]

[ 27 July 2001: Message edited by: Alan Cresswell ]
 


Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
doggone those stupid smilies!

Alex
 


Posted by Carys (# 78) on :
 
Mousethief, yes I know that the Bridegroom/Bride analogy is Biblical, however, analogies can be pushed to far and that is what I think is happening here.

quote:
But men are male as compared to women; that's why the Christ:Church: resbyter:congregation is an ANALOGY. The Christ:Church relationship is a male/female relationship, described by the words "bridegroom" (or "husband") and "bride"; and since the Presbyter:congregation relationship is a model or icon of the former relationship, then it too must be a male/female relationship, and thus the presbyter is a husband, and husbands are male. I don't know how to make it any simpler than that.

Thanks, you have explained the thus. I still don’t agree with it, but I do now follow the logic. As Dyfrig has stated on a number of occasions, the presbyter represents Christ to us AND us to Christ. Why is a male person able to represent the whole of humanity to Christ but a female person not able to represent Christ to us? This implies that male includes female but female does not include male. A view that I think is wrong humanity = male+female, we are equal, not a sub-set.

I do not think that this particular analogy is necessarily the best to describe the priest’s role. Yes there is the Bridegroom/Bride relationship of Christ and the Church but I do not think that that is the relationship which the Presbyter:Congregation relationship is mirroring. That is the Christ as High Priest relationship, and Christ as Victim, Christ on the Cross reconciling us to God.

It sets the priest up as being separate from the congregation – playing Christ, rather than being one of the congregation given a certain task by the congregation/Church.

There is a danger in relying to heavily on one analogy. Generally in trying to talk about God there are a number of analogies at work, as we try to understand what’s going on.

RE:Better. Better as in ‘more like Christ’ for one.

quote:
God isn't Male. Christ is a husband in relation to the church, which is a bride. This is a relational thing. When you're not talking about his relationship to the church, Christ is male in the flesh, but in his Godhood he is neither male nor female.

I’m glad you accept that God isn’t Male. So if we don’t accept that Presbyter:Congregation is mirroring Christ as Bridegroom in relation to the Church his Bride (as I don’t think I do), then what is there to stop women being priested? What is not assumed is not saved, so Christ in his humanness saved all of humanity, by denying woman that role aren’t you losing part of God’s image?


ChastMastr,

quote:
Carys said:
quote:

And if the human race is feminine in relation to God then how the gender of the celebrant make a difference?

But once again I look to tradition and find no support for female priests, so here I am.


Which doesn’t in fact address what I said (and you quoted). But anyway,

Tradition operates within the culture of the time. I suspect the issue of women priests has not been an issue in other centuries because of the role of women in society as a whole, but that role is changing and women are no longer regarded as some incomplete men, with no brains. We are educated, no longer chattels and are accepted (in theory at least) within the workplace, not told to shut up because we’re just illogical women. We are at last being treated as equals by men – something that Jesus did 2000 years ago. So why oh why is the Church lagging behind society in this rather than leading the way? The Bible acknowledges that men and women were created equally in the sight of God, so why does the Church insist on treating women as second class citizens?

I’m a strong-minded, intelligent, girl who 75% of the time forgets she female and just regards herself as human. Probably about 50% of my friends are male, I just relate to people as people not as some strange other species. But maybe I’m abnormal in that regard.

Carys
 


Posted by Carys (# 78) on :
 
I know this will probably be a follow on posting but I want to reply to something which was said while I was writing the last one!

quote:
Did he come as a man because the 1st century palestinian culture made it easier for men than for women to get around? Then why didn't he wait until the 20th century, when he could have come as a woman? Yet somehow we believe he chose the time and place of his incarnation. It wasn't an accident. Thus his being male wasn't an accident of time and culture, but something He intended.

Aah, but if he hadn't come would we now be in the position that we are. Would society have developed to what it is now without Christianity?

Also there was an interesting article in the Church Times today (which unfortunately isn’t on their website) about Fr Rob Esdaile, chaplain at Sussex University, whose appointment as theology tutor at the Venerable English College in Rome has been blocked by the Congregation for Education in Rome. In a letter to the Guardian in October 1999 he wrote, ‘The major issue which Catholicism has to face is not the ordination of women but the fact that official decision-making authority is reserved for male clerics. The best way of symbolising a real will to improve women's status would be the appointment of women cardinals (a theologically unproblematic step). But of course, that will be over the present pope's dead body - and therefore need not be far off.’

An interesting idea. Is it possible – what are cardinals? Do they have to be ordained?

I agree that the lack of women’s voices can be a problem. Men might think that they are not putting women down, when unconsciously they are.

Carys
 


Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
quote:
[qi]Carys said:[/qi]
Mousethief, yes I know that the Bridegroom/Bride analogy is Biblical, however, analogies can be pushed to far and that is what I think is happening here.

This may be the place where we have to agree to disagree.

quote:
Thanks, you have explained the thus. I still don’t agree with it, but I do now follow the logic.

Then I haven't lost all ability to communicate!

quote:
As Dyfrig has stated on a number of occasions, the presbyter represents Christ to us AND us to Christ. Why is a male person able to represent the whole of humanity to Christ but a female person not able to represent Christ to us? This implies that male includes female but female does not include male. A view that I think is wrong humanity = male+female, we are equal, not a sub-set.

I'm not sure I know how to explain this. I keep turning it over in my head but can't come up with words that come out right. Sorry!

quote:
I do not think that this particular analogy is necessarily the best to describe the priest’s role. Yes there is the Bridegroom/Bride relationship of Christ and the Church but I do not think that that is the relationship which the Presbyter:Congregation relationship is mirroring.

Whereas the O. Church does think this; we seem to be at an impasse here.

quote:
It sets the priest up as being separate from the congregation – playing Christ, rather than being one of the congregation given a certain task by the congregation/Church.

Only if you think of Christ as being separate from the Church, which we do not.

quote:
There is a danger in relying to heavily on one analogy. Generally in trying to talk about God there are a number of analogies at work, as we try to understand what’s going on.

As of course is the case here. Again I have to make the (lame, I know!) excuse that I am trying to present what I have been taught, and (a) I'm not a perfect student, and (b) I have only been taught a fraction of all there is to learn!

quote:
RE:Better. Better as in ‘more like Christ’ for one.

In that case I would say that neither gender is better simpliciter.

quote:
I’m glad you accept that God isn’t Male.

See?! There is one area where we agree!!

quote:
So if we don’t accept that Presbyter:Congregation is mirroring Christ as Bridegroom in relation to the Church his Bride (as I don’t think I do), then what is there to stop women being priested?

There are of course other reasons. "The Apostles didn't do it" is a very powerful one with the Orthodox. If it's wrong to not ordain women, then it was wrong for the Apostles to not ordain women.

quote:
What is not assumed is not saved,

You've been reading our theologians!

quote:
so Christ in his humanness saved all of humanity, by denying woman that role aren’t you losing part of God’s image?

Don't see how this follows. God has denied men the ability to bear children, but that doesn't diminish God's image.

quote:
Tradition operates within the culture of the time. I suspect the issue of women priests has not been an issue in other centuries because of the role of women in society as a whole,

I think this is not entirely accurate. Women in the early church took on many roles that were downright scandalous to both the Greeks and the Jews. Yet not the presbytery. If avoiding scandal were really the issue, they wouldn't have been denied the presbytery either.

quote:
We are educated, no longer chattels and are accepted (in theory at least) within the workplace, not told to shut up because we’re just illogical women.

All of these things are excellent things.

quote:
We are at last being treated as equals by men – something that Jesus did 2000 years ago.

Yet he did not select any female apostles, nor leave instructions with his apostles to select female bishops. Was He a misogynist?

quote:
So why oh why is the Church lagging behind society in this rather than leading the way?

Maybe the church realizes that women and men aren't interchangeable, impersonal cogs, and realizes that gender really does encapsulate something about the nature of the mystery of God?

quote:
The Bible acknowledges that men and women were created equally in the sight of God,

And yet it says the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the Church. There's more than simple mathematical equality going on here.

quote:
so why does the Church insist on treating women as second class citizens?

I assume you are saying that not ordaining women to the presbytery is tantamount to treating them as second class citizens. We, of course, do not see it that way.

quote:
I’m a strong-minded, intelligent, girl who 75% of the time forgets she female and just regards herself as human. Probably about 50% of my friends are male, I just relate to people as people not as some strange other species. But maybe I’m abnormal in that regard.

This is impertinent, and you can tell me to mind my own business if you choose, but: Are you married? I can't imagine forgetting I'm male when I relate to my wife; nor do I believe that she forgets she's female in relating to me, even though we relate as equals in all areas. I never tell her what to do, and vice versa. This is something we worked out and talked about quite a bit before getting married, so I'm not just blowing smoke here.

quote:
God wants spiritual fruits
Not religious nuts

I love your sig, by the way!

foolish and sinful,
Reader Alexis
 


Posted by IanB (# 38) on :
 
Carys - I'm not RC but I think what is being said runs along the following lines -

1. Cardinals are the leading clerics in the Roman church (and I mean Roman as in Rome - they elect the bishop of Rome). In practice they are chosen worldwide but nevertheless still have a technical responsibilty to a particular church in Rome

2. Cardinals can be bishop-cardinals, priest-cardinals or deacon-cardinals. None of the latter at present I think.

3. Whilst Rome currently does not ordain women to the diaconate, it has done so in the past.

4. Therefore technically there exists a route (currently heavily overgrown) by which women could be involved in the topmost decision-making body of the church.

I think....

Ian
 


Posted by Dyfrig (# 15) on :
 
I think the Orthodox and Catholic* contributors to this thread are right in one thing. (*forgive me, I know this word describes both HT and CM - but I can’t think of another word. Help! What I mean is both Roman and Anglo-Catholic who do not accept that women’s ordination is the correct).

Anyway.

Where was I?…. oh yes, the Orthodox and Catholic (see above) contributors are correct in one thing: Tradition (with a butt-kicking capital T) is the prime argument against women’s ordination. It has been a consistent position since, as far as I can tell, the 4th century (I’ll explain this choice of date below).

So, let’s think about the issue from another angle for a minute, because as mousethief says, there’s a bit of an impasse going on here.

We know that certain things were done and said in the 1st century (we have the NT record - e.g. that bit in 2 Tim about women being save by childbirth, Paul’s rules about women speaking in church) - however, even in the more "Traditional" Churches, parts of Paul’s teaching is not considered all that binding (hats, speaking in church, long/short hair, etc).

We also know that Chrysostom was saying things in the 4th/5th centuries (for example that women are incapable of reason and wisdom - comments which suggest he wasn’t exactly the most informed or empathetic bloke on the planet). Those more familiar with the period will be able to answer this question - what does the literature between these two points tell us? Did the Church ever ask the question, "Should a woman be a priest?" in that intervening period?

The reason I ask this is because there are many questions which the bible record simply doesn’t address. That’s the failure of most Fundamentalism and Literalism - it asks of the Bible questions that it simply cannot answer because the writers - the Apostles, the Prophets, the Martyrs - never thought of asking the question, in the same way that Byzantium never had to face the grace/works argument because the question wasn't even asked east of Carthage.

Equally, there is much silence on various issues between the NT and the Settlement of 325-451 (which created the institution to which Orthodoxy is the legitimate heir - sorry, John Paul!)

Now, whilst we know that institutionally by around 400 the Church had a view on this issue, are we sure that the Tradition before this even bothered asking the question? Can we say for certain that the Apostles even considered the issue? We know Paul (or at least his stream in the Church) did so, but we don’t adhere totally to what he says on all things, so is there a way of seeing this as a remaining faithful to Tradition without necessarily damning all that has gone before us?

Let me give you examples of the way I’m thinking here - Peter, lovely Peter. Zealous, passionate Peter. Thick, pigheaded and often wrong Peter. Up to Acts 9 seems to have accepted the Jerusalem church’s position that Jewish people only could be Christians. Even after the vision of Acts 10, still seems to be struggling with this issue - cf. Paul’s account of the Council of Jerusalem (the First Ecumenical Council? ) in Galatians - he seems to have struggled quite a lot with the vision that Paul had of the Gentiles being part of the Church. But he (and James, it would appear) came round to Paul’s opinion. So we know that faithful ministers of the Gospel can legitimately change their mind on an issue - we have a typology of it, if you will. And it also suggests that the Church needs to be very careful with its pronouncements - after all, Jesus told Peter that what he bound on earth would be bound on heaven, so he really needs to take a lot of care when taking decisions!

Now, consider Paul - he went out, bursting with zeal to bring the Good News to the Gentiles. He declared that there was no Jew nor Greek in Christ - just people. He managed to work that bit out because he saw it with his own eyes.

And yet his own attitude to women and slaves does not quite match up to his own mark.

Though he said there was no slave or free, he never quite grasped the full implications of that - in fact, the West didn’t do so till about 1800 years later.

Equally, he made the statement "there is no male nor female in Christ", but doesn’t seem to have worked that out theologically (though having Pheobe as a Deacon and Junia as an Apostle suggests that his practice didn’t always match his theology.)

So, like Peter, we have in Paul a paradigm of setting a goal - there is no Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female - and yet not, in his own lifetime, managing to live up to that. Not because he was a particularly useless person, but rather because the question never arose.

For both Peter and Paul the immediate question was "Should Gentiles be accepted into the Church?" They concluded - after a divine vision, a blazing row and a lot of dithering on Peter’s part - that the answer was "yes".

Next comes the question of slavery. Paul has no real view on the institution itself, apart from one comment somewhere in the Pastoral Epistles (which may be deutero-Pauline) that slave traders were not exactly welcome. So, here we can see the Church having set itself a goal, but yet to have worked it out in its life. As previously said, the Western Church would take a long, long time to grasp this one.

So what of women? Did Peter and Paul even ask the question, "Should a woman be a priest?" Was it ever on the table? Can we say with any confidence "The Apostles didn’t allow it"? Or were there more pressing issues - impending martyrdom; the need to bring all these different "Christian" communities together; the threat from both Jewish and Roman authorities?

And if the question wasn’t even asked, do we have the resources and the ability, whilst still remaining faithful to Tradition, to come to the conclusion that women can be priests?

I shall leave you with the words of Gillian Crow, (in 1996, at least) Diocesan Secretary of the Russian Orthodox Church in the UK, and their rep. on the Council of Churches of Britain and Ireland*: "The place of women is another area in which tradition’s vision of the wholeness of the Church is waiting to be rediscovered. Orthodoxy does not have a good record for treating its members as ‘either male nor female’… The status quo has been accepted for the most part unthinkingly, in another confusing of Tradition with traditionalism, that blind lethargy of acceptance without any prayerful thought."

* from Gillian Crow’s article "The Orthodox Vision of Wholeness" in "Living Orthodoxy in the Modern World", Walker and Carras (eds.) SPCK London 1996. Emphasis mine. It should be noted that both Crow and Elisabeth Behr-Sigel, another writer on the issue of women’s ordination, both consider that the Orthodox must explore the issue from within its tradition, rather than having it foisted upon them from the outside.
 


Posted by Gill (# 102) on :
 
*Floundering in deep water*
Um... DO we "believe He chose the time and place of His Incarnation?"

I've been an Anglican for nearly 30 years, and I don't think I've ever heard that said. I know that we are told even Jesus doesn't know the time of His return...

Anyway, if all this rubbish is true, how come people think it's okay to ask Mary to pray for us? What is that, if it isn't standing in our place interceding? (Not that I do that. I don't like to bother the poor love after all she's had to go through.)
 


Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
quote:
DO we "believe He chose the time and place of His Incarnation?"

[qb]I've been an Anglican for nearly 30 years, and I don't think I've ever heard that said. [qb]


Really? Sorry. That's kinda part of the background in Orthodoxy. Our take on the verse "But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son," (Galatians 4:4a). "Fullness of time" means God chose when the time was right.

What is the Anglican gloss on this verse?

Reader Alexis
 


Posted by Gill (# 102) on :
 
Oooh I guess as an Anglican I'd have to say I haven't HEARD a gloss on this. Knowing Anglicanism, there are probably several...

I have always heard it preached as God the Father having knowledge which God the Son didn't. No doubt this is some mild form of heresy. Someone explain please...?
 


Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
quote:
I have always heard it preached as God the Father having knowledge which God the Son didn't. No doubt this is some mild form of heresy. Someone explain please...?

That will do for me. As long as one of the Persons of the Trinity knew the time, I don't much care which one. The point I was trying to make is that Christ became incarnate at a time of God's choosing, and therefore at the RIGHT time, and thus hope to knock some wind out of the sails of arguments about "well they couldn't do it then because of the culture, etc."

God picked which culture Christ would be born into. So any arguments from the nature of that culture that would require overhaul of Tradition (note the almighty CAPITAL "T") are suspect, at least to me and other likeminded Orthodox types.

Reader Alexis
 


Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
Oh, PS: when you pray for someone, you don't stand in their place interceding, you stand alongside them, interceding. Ditto for the saints who have passed on to glory. They are not priests, they are supplicants just like us. It's just that they don't have anything else to do all day, whereas we have jobs, kids, whatever to occupy our minds and detract us from praying. Thus the saints are able to pray a bit more than we, and this is one important reason to ask them for their prayers.

Or so I have been taught!

Reader Alexis
 


Posted by Gill (# 102) on :
 
Ah, this is where we part company. I was in a very Evo church which taught that this was talking to the dead, and to be avoided. But then, it WAS Tradition in our church... Guess that doesn't count, though.

Well I can come up with nothing more constructive than that all this simply ISN'T self-evident to a lot of Christians. 'Tradition' can't be appealed to unless there is a consensus on what it IS. To be REALLY honest, if this was in Hell, I'd say...

(but I shan't, cos it isn't!)
 


Posted by Gill (# 102) on :
 
(I mean, it was tradition to believe that it was praying to the dead. Sorry, it's late!)
 
Posted by Carys (# 78) on :
 
quote:
I'm not sure I know how to explain this. I keep turning it over in my head but can't come up with words that come out right. Sorry!

Glad I’m not the only one who has that problem! I’ve been struggling on this one too. It’s not just the words, there’s a lot behind them.

quote:
As of course is the case here. Again I have to make the (lame, I know!) excuse that I am trying to present what I have been taught, and (a) I'm not a perfect student, and (b) I have only been taught a fraction of all there is to learn!

And where does questioning the tradition come in this? I’ll only stick up for the party line if I’ve worked it through myself and agree with it. Blanket statements don’t wash with me. E.G. Saying ‘no sex before marriage’ on its own isn’t helpful, but I’d agree with it for a number of reasons, and because I’ve thought it through I’ll stick to it.

quote:
In that case I would say that neither gender is better simpliciter.

Sorry my latin’s failed me. Only done a semester. But I’d argue that by saying a man is better able to icon Christ you are implying that they are closer to Christ.

quote:
If it's wrong to not ordain women, then it was wrong for the Apostles to not ordain women.

Dyfrig’s answered this one. It maybe wasn’t a question then – and Paul’s statement about ‘no Jew, no Greek, no male, no female’ I think is pertinent here. We’ve already mentioned that Christ was a Jew but that we’ve ditched that entry qualification – although why hasn’t exactly been explained – Fr Greg helpful said ‘of course’ when asked if Christ’s Jewishness was pertinent, with no support. I can see why – because the early Church answered this question. It was perhaps the major theological point, do people have to become Jews before they can become Christians and it was answered with a resounding no. But Paul also said in Christ there is ‘no male, no female’ so in the light of that how can we continue to discriminate on those grounds while we no longer discriminate Jew/Greek within the church? Yes, it’s taken longer to be worked through, but that doesn’t mean we can say because it’s taken us this long we can’t change.

quote:
You've been reading our theologians!

No, but I’ve picked that one up somewhere! Must do more theological reading!

quote:
Don't see how this follows. God has denied men the ability to bear children, but that doesn't diminish God's image.

No, but that pertains to the earthly sphere and is part of what does differentiate between men and women and how men and women relate. What I’m talking about is how we relate to God. Surely we need both the male and the female working together to properly image God. (This is one of the places I struggle to express what I mean)

quote:
Yet he did not select any female apostles, nor leave instructions with his apostles to select female bishops. Was He a misogynist?

No – I’ve just said he wasn’t. But what about Mary Magdalen? Wasn’t she called ‘the apostle to the apostles’? Did he leave instructions with his apostles to select MALE bishops, for that matter? What about people like Phoebe and Junia, called an apostle (and I’ve seen arguments about whether Junia was female or male, in an attempt to avoid this one).

quote:
Maybe the church realizes that women and men aren't interchangeable, impersonal cogs, and realizes that gender really does encapsulate something about the nature of the mystery of God?

I recognise that there is perhaps a danger in feminist thinking which tries to make us androgenous. However gender encapsulating something about the nature of the mystery of God brings us back to my point about losing something if we exclude the female from the priesthood. We are losing that part of the mystery of God being represented fully within the Church. Although we can do the same jobs it doesn’t mean that we do them in exactly the same way (although often women who have succeeded have done so by trying to out men the men – see Margaret Thatcher, she was hardly a feminine woman.) but that by having both men and women doing a job you get the benefit of the two different approaches.

quote:
And yet it says the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the Church. There's more than simple mathematical equality going on here.

And that’s a bit I admit I struggle with. It needs the context of submitting to each other in love (or am I conflating to bits of Paul here?)

quote:
I assume you are saying that not ordaining women to the presbytery is tantamount to treating them as second class citizens. We, of course, do not see it that way.

No but then you and probably most at the top of Orthodoxy are men. To me it feels like I’m a second class citizen because like a black person under apartheid I am deny the chancing of doing (being) something because of an accident of genetics.

quote:
Are you married? I can't imagine forgetting I'm male when I relate to my wife; nor do I believe that she forgets she's female in relating to me, even though we relate as equals in all areas. I never tell her what to do, and vice versa. This is something we worked out and talked about quite a bit before getting married, so I'm not just blowing smoke here.

No, and I’ve not even been out with anyone! Although around 50% of my friends are male, I do not have a boyfriend! It’s never really been a priority with me. I get on with people, I don’t view blokes as being potential boyfriend fodder and get all shy or anything. I’ll admit that if I were in a relationship my perspective would probably change on this particular aspect at least!

quote:
I love your sig, by the way!

Thanks, got it off a poster. There are far too many religious nuts out there!

Re: Christ and his Culture. Yes, it was the fullness of time - God had spoken through the prophets and was now to speak through his Son, but that doesn't mean that every aspect of the culture was perfect. The religious (and I know that maybe this is a false dichotomy) understanding had been prepared, but it wasn't imperative in the same way for the culture to be completely perfect - and perhaps it needed Christ's coming to change the attitude to women. As I see the incarnation is the crux of history. It makes sense of history - prior and subsequent - and everything is seen by the light of it. If Christ could die for my as a woman, then he must, as man, contain everything which makes us human, even though he was not female. In fact maybe it makes sense that he was a bloke - Men have both X and Y Chromosomes - so he has both the male and the female - it was the X Chromosome he inherited from Male. And if he could die for me, then I can represent him.

Unfortunately I’m going to have to bow out of this thread for a while. I’m off to Taize tomorrow, and I haven’t packed yet! Not back ‘til a week Monday and then I’m off to the Eisteddfod pretty much straight away. Don’t know when I’ll get a chance to catch up on the ship!

Carys
 


Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Dyfrig:
And yet his own attitude to women and slaves does not quite match up to his own mark.

Though he said there was no slave or free, he never quite grasped the full implications of that - in fact, the West didn’t do so till about 1800 years later.



Well... um, I wouldn't really say that. He said there was no slave or free in Christ Jesus, as well as no difference between Jew, Greek, Barbarian, Scythian, and men and women, yet I don't think people would say, "Aha! If political boundaries, too, are ultimately irrelevant in Christ, then no countries on Earth should make any kind of distinction between their citizens and other citizens, so if China passes a new tax law, it applies to people in Texas, and that local ordinance in Brighton should be followed in Antarctica, and... " Yet believers in all those places are indeed our brothers and sisters.

Slavery as practiced in OT and NT times was not the (IMO) much more horrible thing it became in recent history (last few hundred years) any more than the kingship of Alfred the Great was like starving under the bubble-brained poster-child for cluelessness (and her clique) who said "The people have no bread? Let them eat cake" in France just before Bastille Day. The fact that the OT, and the NT, and most of Christian tradition, treat earthly hierarchy as a good thing rather than a bad one (all things being equal), preaching obedience to earthly rulers except when they command us to sin against God, is itself one thing which leads me to think our modern impulse toward revolution against hierarchy and toward democracy is not as good as people in America seem to think.

In other words, while I think freedom a good thing in many respects, I do not have any doctrinal objection to slavery in the abstract, though of course I do object to cruelty, treating people as subhuman, etc. which I do not think intrinsic to hierarchy. The form that we most remember in the US was a racially-based one, using concepts of race which did not seem to exist until historically recently.

I could ramble here but I wanted to comment on that. I think the kind of slavery we had in the US and in recent centuries was, or had become, truly horrible, but I do not see all slavery, or all hierarchy, as forbidden; instead we see St. Paul's command that slaves obey their masters as if they were obeying God, and masters to remember that they have a Master in Heaven. And that we are all slaves of Christ, having been set free from slavery to sin, bought with a price, etc.

But then perhaps my views on this will surprise no one...

David
 


Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
That will do for me. As long as one of the Persons of the Trinity knew the time, I don't much care which one. The point I was trying to make is that Christ became incarnate at a time of God's choosing, and therefore at the RIGHT time, and thus hope to knock some wind out of the sails of arguments about "well they couldn't do it then because of the culture, etc."

Yes, this is one of the reasons I've never been convinced of "this Christian doctrine (some aspects of the nature of the soul, usually) was not present in previous Jewish theology, though it was in Greek paganism, and therefore it must be false" -- why not say instead, "God picked the time and place for Christianity to grow up, and therefore He knew what true notions the Greeks had, so they could be more easily cultivated in the Church"?
 
Posted by Gill (# 102) on :
 
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
*Jumps up*
[B]WHAT?{/B]

*Shame-faced* Oh. Sorry... I must have nodded off...

I was having this WEIRD dream about priests...
 


Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Carys:
I’ll only stick up for the party line if I’ve worked it through myself and agree with it.

I used to be in this positikn for a very long time, from the doctrine of the Trinity on down, and it took me many years to come to the conclusion that (after doctrine after doctrine had been weighed, wrestled with, etc.) maybe -- for the most part -- Christian tradition, and tradition in general (see Lewis' book on ethics across cultures The Abolition of Man) was more likely to be right, and now consider it to be a First Principle -- just one I was personally blind to for a very long time. (Different cultures, I think, have different "blind spots" about various issues, and I think one of ours is the weight of tradition. Time for a slight but explanatory divergence...)

I take Christian tradition first of all, even over (GASP!) the Bible -- but necessarily so. I mean, why do we believe the Bible is true, whether inerrant or inspired or mostly true, whether symbolic or literal? Isn't it because that's what Christian tradition has taught us? Did the Bible drop out of the sky into the hands of the various Pagans who converted centuries ago? No, it was word of mouth from missionaries, wasn't it? And aren't there all sorts of cults who use the Bible but out of context? Wouldn't we say to them (as well as to each other in more minor ways when we disagree), "You're not reading this right?" Even the books of the Bible (which ones are canonical, I mean) are, themselves, a matter of What The Early Church Decided, and there is some disagreement there but we all agree that, say, the Gospel According to St. Thomas isn't one.

I became convinced that Jesus as understood by Christianity was, in fact, the Son of God. CS Lewis helped me tremendously in this. This, for me, is the centre of it all, the keystone that makes everything else make sense. (I say this because I've been asked before, "Well, why not believe in non-Christian Judaism instead? It's older!" The irony that by blood I am Jewish (mother's side) though not raised in its theology (I make a good matzoh-ball soup, though!) does not escape me, but I do not see any contradiction between that and following Y'shua Ha-Mashiach as the promised Messiah...)

If a Christian tradition has been consistently followed for, say, the first 1500 years, I am much more likely to think it certain than one which started in, say, 1000 AD. Much more so if it started in 1500 AD. One which started in 1700 AD even more. And so on. I'm a US citizen and I'm not even convinced that the American revolution was morally right! But (oh Irony!!) as England accepted the US as a valid country, and I do not believe in revolution as an acceptable Christian thing to do, I will be obedient to the nation in which I find myself a citizen as best I can until such time as, if ever, I emigrate elsewhere.

Now as far as the sciences are concerned, I think we have made some genuine discoveries, as well as some unwarranted philosophical conclusions based on those. (For example, think the evidence for biological evolution looks good, though various assumptions make this less of the "absolute fact" some people make it out to be, and since I accept the Bible as inspired by God, I have to wrestle that out. However, some of the earliest traditions (Lewis mentions St Jerome as an example; he says those chapters of Genesis are "in the manner of a popular poet") allow for (whether in addition to literalist interpretations or instead of them) symbolic, allegorical, anagogical etc. interpretations of Biblical books, and I find it interesting that those "days" seem to correspond to the most recent archaelogical conclusions about the order in which various creatures evolved... which for years I thought was odd because birds didn't fit -- till I read about James Hunter's quite recent conclusions that the dinosaurs became birds, and suddenly it did. But all this may change in future and I don't want to get sidetracked. In any case I'd say that perhaps the Adam/Eve story is the only way our minds can grasp some truth which is beyond our understanding apart from myth and symbol -- that there is something in the story which cannot be grasped by fallen human minds in a "literal" fashion, and this need not contradict the theory about Australopithecus. But moving on...

If Christian tradition does not give me a solid answer, or has divergent views which date back some time, I look at what I know about OT Jewish principles (which are often absorbed into Christian). Also for additional weight on some issues.

If this does not tell me -- and for more additional weight -- I look to the greater general human tradition, not recent but largely the old Pagans, primarily western but some eastern also. So for example, not only does Christianity teach that Pride is a sin, not only does Judaism teach that humility before God is wise, but the Greek pagans taught that hubris is a very bad thing.

(Including my temptation to be snooty toward the whole modern era, which is a terrible temptation to guard against for me. When one feels isolated but believes one is right, it can be perilously difficult not to wind up a ghastly, self-righteous crank. But I also have tradition to help there also; in a sense, finding that which is good in the present day is, itself, more in line with all of these traditions than merely worshipping tradition for its own sake and not being open to new things which do not contradict that tradition. But it's still hard sometimes and one reason I have not left for -- forgive me, ACA people if there are any reading this! -- a split-off group like the Anglican Church in America is that most of what I have seen from them seems like it would help me become even crankier than I already am. Also, the very traditions I revere so highly teach me that doctrine matters very much, but love matters much, much more.)

In matters of metaphysics as well as theology, I follow these principles; which leads to some odd conclusions which some Christians may be troubled by, even some who would be considered "old fashioned." For instance, I definitely believe that casting spells and attempting to predict the future is forbidden me; but I am not constrained to follow the (quite recent) attitude that many Christians have about the paranormal/supernatural. They take a mechanistic view of the universe and tack on God, angels and demons, with no room for anything else. But I do not see a reason to believe in this mechanistic view in the first place, which I think is not derived from genuine scientific experiments, but the modern philosophical assumptions which many of those scientists have held and the way they have expressed them.

In other words, the existence of everything from "the fair folk" to someone's great-aunt's second sight (not miraculous nor demonic, just unusual) to all sorts of things which do not strictly contradict Christian theology, and have even been held without religious contradiction at various times, are things which I am potentially open to. Some quite devout people have believed in fairies (I hope I don't have to explain I don't mean something funny or cute here) without thinking them demonic or outside of God's sphere, just different than us and very rare (and dangerous) to meet, and one of the early Christian writers (Lewis quoted him) said regarding such things that he didn't have a specific doctrine about their spiritual state. I know of no doctrine which forbids belief (or commands belief) in such things; I do know that I must not worship them -- if they exist in the first place. That's not the same as saying that (if they exist) they are demons in disguise (as some say about them, or even about modern "close encounters" some people claim to have with aliens). In the Middle Ages there were several theories (none of which was formally accepted by the Church as far as I know) about them ranging all over the place about their nature, spiritual status, etc. (I'd tend toward "beings not quite as purely spiritual as angels or demons but not quite mortal the way humans are, perhaps not relating to time the way we do, and which are probably very difficult to understand until we can do so safely and with clarity in Heaven when all unfallen and redeemed beings will be together with God in harmony and love"; I suppose, as we are to "preach the Gospel to every creature," it could make for some interesting meetings should they exist, but this goes into the "missionaries to aliens" thread elsewhere on Purgatory.) (Did I mention that while not necessarily depicted as evil, they're usually depicted as really dangerous to play with? Like wanting to pet a (created-by-God and non-immoral) tiger, perhaps... "ooo, look at the beautiful stripes! ... ouch!")

My, where was I? Ah yes. Some areas of ethics too -- Lewis points out (to the frustration of an economist friend of mine whom I am not sure is right) that the Christians in the Middle Ages, the Jews in the Old Testament, and the pagan Greeks all forbad usury, or loaning money at interest. (Aquinas said it violated justice to make X amount of money equal X + more amount of money -- like saying $20 = $30 and $30 = $40 and such.) I'd not be surprised at all if by ignoring this warning-sign, old-fashioned though it is, we have been getting into the inequity of wealth the world over that many people have. Politically, too, I have become more "liberal" than "conservative" (by US standards) because I look back and see that the government using taxes to feed the poor was usually regarded as a very, very good thing by most people, including most Christians, at most times, and therefore (to me) modern economic "pure free market" principles -- with no government help for the poor -- are on very shaky ground even though many "conservative Christians" here in the US believe in them.

So if someone comes up to me and says, "what do you think about notion X?" I will first want to see what the Church has always said about it, if anything, what the Jews and Pagans have said, and try to learn from that rather than simply take what seems to me to be the "party line" of the present day. I don't always do this right but I think it is the right thing to do...

So some things I believe in, or am open to, seem strangely divergent from a modern, even a modern Christian point of view -- very traditionalist about one thing, seemingly very liberal or New-Agey on another, but I think my beliefs are consistent with themselves and with traditional views both within the church and across cultures. In some ways I think, very seriously, that the Medieval Church, the Jews, and the old Pagans (even some new ones!) have much more in common with each other than any do with the modern set of beliefs we have nowadays, even among many Christians (who may also be sincere and quite faithful -- I think Jesus accepts us from where we are, and will accept a modern person who can't imagine believing that interest on loans is a bad thing, or that fairies might exist, just as He accepted (I believe) people in the past who might be almost polytheistic in their limited understanding of God, and who assumed that torture was a perfectly acceptable way of treating prisoners because it's the "done thing" in their society. In the end, God will correct all our blind spots, whether from the twenty-first century or from the first. But we all have to use the vision we have and work from there...
 


Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
(All of which takes a very long way to say that if I'm not even convinced of the rightness of the US Revolution, or that fairies absolutely do not exist, or that banks doing things with interest are a right thing -- if I consider the last several hundred years of mainstream philosophy, certainly from the so-called "Age of Reason" on down at very least, to be perhaps dubious at best (though there may be some insights lurking in them, even so, which are not limited to their view of God, life, human nature, etc.) -- then I'm certainly not going to be convinced without a great deal of proof, in ways which I still have not seen because it seems predicated on the notion that all this tradition was simply wrong from the start on this matter, of the validity of the ordination of women to the priesthood, which my own church has only accepted for a (to me) paltry few decades. It applies to this notion but to many, many others, which make me (in US society) vastly stranger and more philosophically and politically "heretical" than most people here, who view even the pomp and ceremony of the British monarchy, even apart from any political power whatsoever, with deep suspicion at best, even as many are attracted to such things. (I know many Christians who are extremely politically conservative -- several have broken ties with me or have become distant, as far as I can tell from our discussions, because I believe in more liberal politics than they have. But I must follow what I believe is true...)

I'm not sure what else to say here but I thought if I didn't explain the principles I'm following we were going to go round and round and round without end. I think our disagreement may simply be on the nature and value of tradition itself, and as I am an admittedly extreme case, this might help clarify things.

Where should we go from here? Can I ask my fellow traditionalists if there is any case in which you could conceive yourself accepting female priests? Or the other side, if you could ever see yourself as deciding it was a mistake?

I'm willing to hear all arguments but given what I believe about the nature of tradition, the basic principles the "women should be priests" side are giving here are based on are things I'm not convinced of either, and the Scriptural verses people cite as evidence seem to me not have ever been interpreted that way till now.
 


Posted by St Rumwald (# 964) on :
 
One does rather wish William of Ockham and his razor were around! It's possible to argue this in greater and more arcane details butdoesn't it boil down (at least in the Anglican Church) to:

a) Bible

b) Tradition

c) Reason

In which case, one can say a) is equivocal, b) is more or less against and c) is more or less for.

Let women be priests, let people not have women priests.
 


Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
Well, I wouldn't say reason is more or less for; it depends on the data you feed into it. (I'd say, depending on those, it is equivocal.)
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
By the way, I've wanted to comment on this for a long time...

quote:
Originally posted by Dyfrig:
"A real woman," said a (male) speaker at a Forward in Faith* rally some months ago, "knows that a woman cannot be a priest."

Believing this doesn't permit people to be rude. It's precisely this kind of bullying that embarrasses me for more about my "side" and makes me stand firmer in the Episcopal Church rather than leaving for one of those other groups I mentioned. Ods bodkins, what else does he mean, are all the ones who disagree with him not "real" but pretend? Or perhaps they're men in disguise? (Which would neatly solve the problem, wouldn't it? Women who believe this way are not "real" women -- therefore are men -- and therefore are appropriate candidates for the priesthood, QED. (QED is Latin for "so there."))

Did I mention that a lot of these people also have no sense of humour? I'm not convinced of it, but I have enjoyed The Vicar of Dibley -- we have some episodes on videotape at the local library. I imagine the best we'd get out of some of the people I've known would be to sigh and look grim.
 


Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
Golly, ChastMastr, you said a lot of what I wanted to say without my even having to say it!

Radical departure from 2000 years of Christian tradition seems to imply (to me, anyway) that at some point along the line, the "true" practice was lost or subverted. Unfortunately we have no way of knowing how or when, but by the time the Church was free of persecution, the question of women priests was decided. Shall we open all questions the Church has decided in the past? Let's start with the canon of Scripture. Then the Trinity, and the divinity of Christ.

At some point you have to give up re-inventing Christianity, and just live it.

PS on the question of Junia the apostle -- can someone with a Greek NT say if the word "apostle" there is in the masculine or the feminine? Tx.

Rdr Alexis
 


Posted by Laura (# 10) on :
 
I'm intrigued by the assertion that slavery is not per se an evil. I'm not sure how meaningful the distinction is on a spiritual level between chattel slavery as practiced in the US and elsewhere and slavery in ancient Greece and Rome, or for the matter of that, in Europe. And much of the abolitionist sentiment in the United States was explicitly religious in nature.

Ah, but this is worth a thread all on its own...
 


Posted by Dyfrig (# 15) on :
 
Alexis asked:
can someone with a Greek NT say if the word "apostle" there is in the masculine or the feminine? Tx.

I can work out the letters, but I can't do the genders yet. As far as I can tell she is part of a group who are then described as "tous sun autois pantas halious". Any ideas?
 


Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
St. John Chrysostom says, concerning this verse, and Junias in particular: "Oh! how great is the devotion FilosoFia of this woman, that she should be even counted worthy of the appellation of apostle!"

Clearly at least SOME of the Fathers (or at least 1) believe "junias" refers to a woman.

And yet he feels no reason to ordain women as bishops.

A thought: perhaps Andronicus and Junia were a husband-and-wife team. Even today the Greeks call a presbyter's wife presbytera.

Rdr Alexis
 


Posted by Hooker's Trick (# 89) on :
 
Sorry to be so late getting back to this. Was out on the piss all weekend and not near a pc.


quote:
Originally posted by ChastMastr:
we seem to have very different views of what Christian Tradition means.

We certainly seem to.

I've come to the conclusion that anything more I say here wouldn't be very useful. I think we're just speaking at cross-purposes. But thanks for your very illuminating replies.

If it makes you feel any better, Bishop Jane looks silly in a mitre. But she looks very fetching in rochet & chimere.

HT

Oh -- Chas Mas, you should try the parish of the Ascension and St Agnes. I think you'd really appreciate what goes on there.
 


Posted by IanB (# 38) on :
 
HT wrote -
quote:
If it makes you feel any better, Bishop Jane looks silly in a mitre. But she looks very fetching in rochet & chimere.

There's irony in that, HT! Mitres were first originally worn by deaconesses I seem to recall.

Re: Junia(s) - it's actually a masculine noun but that means little - forget English ideas of gendered nouns. John Chrysostom should know the gender of the described person.

Ian
 


Posted by Hooker's Trick (# 89) on :
 
Ian --

Interesting in re: the deaconesses. The Catholic Encyclopedia makes no mention of this, explaining it thus:

"The pontifical mitre is of Roman origin: it is derived from a non-liturgical head-covering distinctive of the pope, the camelaucum, to which also the tiara is to be traced."

From a very interesting article in the Catholic Encyc.
 


Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Hooker's Trick:

Was out on the piss all weekend

What does that mean? This must be some sort of Brit-speak. Perhaps it shall rub off on me as well after I am here long enough!
quote:
But thanks for your very illuminating replies.

Golly. I was expecting everyone to say, ah, right! A total loon! Thanks!
quote:
If it makes you feel any better, Bishop Jane looks silly in a mitre. But she looks very fetching in rochet & chimere.

No idea what those are either!
quote:
you should try the parish of the Ascension and St Agnes. I think you'd really appreciate what goes on there.

Well, I appreciate the thought, but I live about a block from my own church here in Arlington and do rather like it.

David
desperately wanting to work in a pun about 'mitre maids'

[UBB fixed]

[ 31 July 2001: Message edited by: Alan Cresswell ]
 


Posted by Tony (# 318) on :
 
Dear ChastMastr,

The picturesque expression 'out on the piss'* indicates that the poster spent some time imbibing alcoholic beverages.

Incidentally, one (of many) British phrases for overindulgence of alcohol is 'getting wasted' which I believe has rather more serious overtones Stateside!

Hope this helps!

Tony

* As in: What is the difference between a pint of beer and a pea?

Answer: About twenty minutes!
 


Posted by Hooker's Trick (# 89) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ChastMastr:
[QUOTE]
Golly. I was expecting everyone to say, ah, right! A total loon! Thanks!

You said it, not I.

A rochet and chimere is choir dress for bishops. The long red number over the long surplice with puffy sleeves gathered at the wrist. The bishops of Virginia are generally photographed in them.

I know I said I was done, but I lied.

It strikes me that there are a few reasons oft-cited in objection to the priesting of women. Let's summarise:

1. Jesus was not a woman

2. It's never been done before

3. Women do not possess penises and without that essential body part cannot celebrate the Eucharist

4. I just don't like it

Now -- I don't really get #1, because most of us believe that the priest concelebrates with the people (hence the eastward facing -- we're all facing the same way), and not that the priest is doing some magic "for us".

Of course, if you DO believe that the priest is doing magic for us, makes sense.

#2. Church never changes. Well, that's unconvincing because it obviously DOES. Corollory to that one is "church can change some things but not any that I care about (see #4 below). Now, if your conception of the church is a body that jealously guards a static tradition and never changes, then again, makes sense.

#3. You really can't have #2 without #3, because presumably the church had a very good reason for having men-only priests. This one really confuses me. I've never been to a church where the priest celebrates with his little partner. His Honourable Member and Two Back Benchers. His crozier and... Well, you get the idea. Of course, no one really says you NEED to have a penis to celebrate. Sometimes people say men are just "different" irrespective of genitals. Or that it's chromosomes. Or that it's some special manly trait known only to God. This is the argument that men, because they are men but NOT because of anything biological or chemical or anatomical that MAKES them men, makes them uniquely designed to celebrate the Eucharist. Oh, and to pronounce absolution.
But since no one can really explain what that magic thing is that sets men apart, I am left with

#4. Women can't be priests because I don't like it.

No one wants to say that. Oh, it sounds so... self-centred, and maybe sexist. Much better to spout a load of bollocks (ha ha pun) about male-ness and Jesus's gender (some people spend WAAAAY too much time thinking about the genitals of Our Lord).

But really, honest, confession time. I would be SO much happier and would respect the opposite opinion SO much more if someone would just come out and say "I just don't like women priests. End of story."

HT
 


Posted by Laura (# 10) on :
 
Yes, but HT, if they said that, there'd be nowhere left to go with the thread.

I really think Chas would be enjoy a visit to Ascension/St. Agnes periodically for a dose of old-time Episcopal church. It's really a short trip from Arlington. As I recall, they almost didn't let the suffragan bishop in on her appointed rounds. Aren't they sort of officially "Anglo-Catholic"? actually?
 


Posted by Hooker's Trick (# 89) on :
 
The ladies at Ascension wear doilies on their heads and if any of them were young enough to be menstruating they would NOT even approach the sanctuary for fear of besmirching it.

The church of the Ascension is the only one in the DC area I can think of where birettas may reliably be seen.

HT
 


Posted by Dyfrig (# 15) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Hooker's Trick:
The church of the Ascension is the only one in the DC area I can think of where birettas may reliably be seen.

HT


You have armed priests in DC?
 


Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
Obviously, HT, if you think that the only thing distinctive about being male is having a penis, then the whole thing makes no sense.

Is there anybody who thinks that, however? If so, I pity them.

Rdr Alexis
 


Posted by Hooker's Trick (# 89) on :
 
Right, I forgot those other distinctly male things like having a superb sense of direction, being good at maths and science, speaking in monosyllables, fanatical devotion to football and being from Mars.

HT
 


Posted by Hooker's Trick (# 89) on :
 
Dyfrig -- of course we have armed priests. If they were priests without arms upon what would they hang their maniples.

It's those lady priests who are so disarming...
 


Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
At the risk of weirding people here out even more, I don't care if they're skyclad at Ascension; it's the theology and love which matters more to me, though I certainly loved the Cathedral in DC on my brief visit a few months back. (Ah, memories of the one in Durham and my chat with Cuthbert...)

You do pique my curiosity but I'm vaguely nervous as well... do you really think I'd like it, or do you think I'd be icked out at their attitude? I've been to an ACA church before...

It's not only doctrine, even; it's love also. Attitude. And if I have to choose between one and the other, God help me, love has to win. (Which is ironically one of the doctrines, ah paradox...)
 


Posted by Dyfrig (# 15) on :
 
CM said: It's not only doctrine, even; it's love also. Attitude. And if I have to choose between one and the other, God help me, love has to win.

I think this is possibly the problem that many have with the concept of Tradition as posited here. We know damn well that this thing called Tradition has been less than loving. This is not a denominational issue – A, RC, O, L, P, R the whole lot of us – have been.

But on the issue of women, there are some glaring deficiencies in the way the Fathers thought – Fathers who, on many issues, should be listened to and respected, but when it comes to women just have this enormous blind spot which undermines their credibility and puts into doubt their allegiance to the substance of the gospel.

I’ve already referred to Chrysostom. He was not alone in this (emphases mine)

Tertullian (the guy who coined the term “trinitas” and was the first to consider the Three as “persons”): And do you not know that you are Eve?… You are the devil’s gateway; you are she who first violated the forbidden tree and broke the law of God. It was you who coaxed around him whom the devil had not the force to attack. With what ease you shattered that image of God: man!

Clement of Alexandria: Nothing disgraceful is proper for man, who is endowed with reason; much less for woman, to whom it brings shame even to reflect of what nature she is

Chrysostom again: The woman taught once and ruined all…the sex is weak and fickle

And finally Augustine: The woman together with her own husband is the is the image of God…but when she is referred to separately…then she is not the image of God; but as regards the man alone, he is the image of God as fully and completely as when the woman too is joined with him

This demarcation between men and women is neither true in the sense that it follows from the relevation of God in Jesus Christ, nor is it loving, because it’s the product more of prejudice than real knowledge of what women are like. Odd how we accept the pronouncements of celibate men on what it’s like to be a woman – especially if you wish to argue that there is an ontological difference between them! These words of great men bring to mind the comment of the Apostle John in his first letter – how on earth can you say you love God, who you can’t see, when you demonstrably don’t love the people right in front of your face.

I think we need to ask what is the Tradition? Irenaeus, who is probably the only truly ecumenical Father, in whom East and West meet, and from whom we know most about how this concept emerged, regarded it as that which was handed down from the Apostles. This seems to point to the handing down of the story of God’s actions in jesus Christ. There was no developed Trinitarian doctrine, no elaborated ecclesiology, no filled out theories of how the Christians should relate to the State. Instead what we had was a basic core – the saving action of God through Israel had come to a climax in the person of Jesus, who is known to be God’s Anointed, the Christ. That’s your basic “Tradition”.

You then get the different streams in NT Christianity applying that. Peter and James start off with a Jewish Church, with a very “low” Christology. Paul goes off to the Gentiles. John becomes a little sectarian, but you can understand that in the context of the persecutions around 90 C.E. Mark writes a very different gospel, which as literature is very dark and unsettling. Matthew and Luke write books for different audiences. They all draw on the same Tradition, but they do different things with it, “working out their own salvation with fear and trembling”. Their practical outworking of the gospel story often differs, sometimes even contradicts, but always requires an application of the basic Tradition to the Now. It’s a slightly more sophisticated and mature version of WWJD, if you will – if Jesus said this, if Jesus did that, how does effect what we are saying and doing now?

The classic illustration of this “working out” is the doctrine of the Trinity. I’m not convinced that Mark or Peter would actually have seen it that way, but the cumulative effect of the revelation that God gave us led to an analysis which requires some sort of Trinitarian doctrine. The Divine Economy forms your Theology. However, we know that that process took at least 400 years. It didn’t fall out of the sky, but required argument, dialogue, punch ups and some very creative thinking. But that conclusion, if pushed to its extreme, would exclude the very evidence that brought it about – some of the Apostles would be very close to be being anathematised because they clearly weren’t that fully Trinitarian as the Church would later demand.

You can see these processes in the NT – although we don’t if Paul actually punched Peter – particularly over the question of the Gentile Christians. If you take Tradition to mean “what the Apostles did”, then to follow Peter would be difficult because he quite dramatically changed his mind on the fundamental nature of participation in the Church. To parallel the m/f ontology argument for a moment, Peter was convinced at one point in his life that a basic ontological qualification for being a Christian was to become Jewish first. However, both he (and presumably James) had to change their minds on this. So clearly “Tradition” isn’t just what the Apostles did, but rather the substance of why they did it – i.e. the working out of the consequences of God’s actions in Jesus and applying those consequences to the real world.

This is why we don’t follow those parts of, say, Paul’s letters we don’t like. CM, if you’re going to appeal to the fullness of Tradition as you define it, then logically you must insist that no woman speaks or has short hair. Otherwise there’s a fatal inconsistency in your approach. It should also be noted that Paul actually makes major cock-up in his argument about headship. He argues that a woman should submit to a man based on the order of creation - and yet anyone who's read Genesis will know that the submission of a woman to a man is a punishment from God and a consequence of the Fall, which leads one to think that, if Christ has restored us to relationship with God, such factors simply don't apply anymore. Maybe Paul was being subtly ironic - I don't know. I'll have to read him again.

Christianity is not a mediaeval RPG or dressing up and playing at Middle Ages – it is the outworking of the consequences of Jesus. Regarded as “the story about Jesus” rather than the Church’s activities, you can change things, no matter how old, if the application of that Tradition requires you to do so for the sake of truth and love. I sincerely believe that the anthropology required to sustain the Chalcedonian Definition of Jesus as fully human must, to remain internally consistent, move also towards the recognition that women can be priests too – otherwise you fall into the nonsense that the Fathers previously quoted did, which at its heart has the unbiblical and unChristian premise that a man is the image of God on his own, whilst women are only partial and must have a man around in order to be the image of God. The Catholic Church changed much purported tradition in 1963. The test of whether something "traditional" is "Tradition" is to ask whether it fits in with what we know about God revealed in Jesus Christ.
 


Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
Actually, I do wonder what to do with the passage on hair length; though as I've said, the guide I use here is "what the Anglican, Eastern and Roman churches have agreed on is the most central."

Mousethief, how does the O interpret that passage, anyway?

Yes, I disagree with some of the early Church writers in those matters you mention about Girls Being Icky; but I'm not aware of, say, the present Pope agreeing with them either. All this may be part of the reason all of Chrystostom's writings aren't canonical Scripture!

But yes, those passages about hair length and such -- in Scripture -- do trouble me at times. There are only a few passages in the NT which I think might be culturally limited, and if they are then how do we know which ones?

(And what does "long" mean here? 8 feet? 2 millimetres?)
 


Posted by Dyfrig (# 15) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ChastMastr:
(And what does "long" mean here? 8 feet? 2 millimetres?)

Size isn't important my friend
 


Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
A personal plea for understanding:

I do wonder, "what is left to say here that has not been?" I mean, it seems like both sides have stated their positions pretty much in depth. It seems to come down to different ideas about tradition (this includes Scripture for this purpose), especially whether or not it can truly contradict itself. Myself, as I do natter on, I go with "what the A, EO, and RC churches have agreed upon for the longest" -- which certainly does not assume that Gurlz Ar Ickee, and thus some of the Church Father's comments (which aren't considered Scripture anyway) are not canonical for me -- which also does include the changes Peter made in his understanding of things and the conclusions made by the "hammering-out" process we see in Acts and such -- but which does treat Old and New Testaments as solidly inspired, though I do not know if the precise nature of that inspiration has been codified. (I'm not sure it leaves room for it being simply wrong, as some people here argue Paul was in his views on women.)

I'm going to implore people to not keep assuming that someone who holds these views must be a nasty person; personally, saying this as someone who came to Christianity wholly from outside (by blood I am Jewish but was not raised even in that; if I were not a Christian I'd likely have become a sort of self-directed pagan, actually) and who has tried to understand his religion from scratch, going over every single doctrine painstakingly, until years later finally learned to trust that Christian Tradition was probably right on the matters he was not yet convinced of. I really think God's shown me a lot of mercy by helping convince me of some basic Christian teachings which the rest of you probably got in Sunday School or something, but it took years of waking up in the morning and worrying about Abraham and Isaac and what it implied about God's love if He could command something like that (say), what it meant about the Bible, etc. just to get the basics down. C.S. Lewis helped tremendously. When I first became a Christian, or started becoming one, I was hung up on major things like "did the death of Jesus on the cross really affect us? How??" (It made more sense to me later.) But I finally concluded, "If the source for all these doctrines has turned out to be right on every single one I've dug into and angsted over, maybe it's right on the others" -- and when I accepted that, at first tentatively, then other things began to fall into place a bit more. I've had to approach most things in life from the outside, and am following tradition -- and not only Christian tradition but the larger human tradition -- as best I can, as the guide which has proven the most reliable to me about life in general. It is Christianity and its traditions which taught me that the body was a good thing; before I became a Christian, I was horribly gnostic about that. ("Bodies? Just a vehicle to carry our minds till we're free of them at last..." Urgh.) It is Christian tradition which taught me ... well, the principles on which I'm much more politically liberal than some of my "conservative Christian" acquaintances, frankly. (Lots of examples snipped here; this is not the place for that.) It is Christian tradition which I try to pattern my life on, though God knows I fail an awful lot of the time. Some bits in the Bible I do not understand (hair length, Canaanite massacres -- see thread on nuclear weapons), but one has to use what one understands and work from there rather than say "Oh, this makes no sense to me, chuck out the Bible" -- as some ex-Christians I know have done. So I'm trying to work through it as best I can.

Have I mentioned that I'm not convinced of the validity of women's ordination to the priesthood? I try to choose my words carefully; in fact, I always say it that way because (based on references in the NT to "deaconesses" if I read that right) I am convinced of their ordination to the diaconate. I also say it that way because while I think the mystical symbolism of male and female is significant, and I do believe in the headship of the husband over the wife in marriage, NONE of the arguments often used by some of the... erm, shrill opponents to this have convinced me yet that a woman can never be a priest. I remain, simply, unconvinced that a woman can. That's not the same.

I've tried desperately to avoid being shrill or rude myself. There are arguments which have occurred to me that I do not wish to use because I think them unjust. I will mention the biggie just now but with the caveat that I do not think this is a real, solid argument -- the issue for me is not someone like below, it is whether a woman who has absolutely correct doctrine in all other ways can be ordained priest.

That said -- it does not help mattes that the people (male and female) who are most vocally -- or most audibly (media perception?) -- promoting ordination of women to the priesthood (OOWTTP for now?) are, in more significant doctrinal ways, absolute heretics. I don't mean people here on SoF; I mean Bishop Spong (the US poster child for heresy), who openly doesn't even believe Jesus rose from the dead. If I recall correctly, Barbara Harris also has pretty dubious theology, and many other people who are most frequently heard do as well.

I mean, surely you can see how it looks -- how it feels -- to many of us on "my" side of the fence. It looks like a lot of clergy, having disposed of the most central doctrines of Christianity, are now getting around to things like this. I'm trying to avoid arguments ad hominem. I don't consider Spong worth arguing with; the man is not even, as I understand him, a Christian in the first place. I'm trying to imagine a "best-case scenario," someone whose basic theology I think is right, rather than the ones who get noticed the most. Interviews I have read with various female clergy, when it comes to basics of the faith, tend to dishearten me. (The woman in Florida I mentioned is an exception, and thank God for her.) There really are people who want to bring a sort of feminist paganism -- in a real way -- into the church. Those are not the ones I'm thinking of. But it does make it more difficult for a lot of people to accept. If we saw some of these women saying things a bit more vocally about the saving power of Jesus -- about the dangers of Hell and the real joys of Heaven -- about the real basics of Christianity, whether Roman Catholic or Baptist, not only Anglican -- you'd likely have more people wrestling with this rather than dismissing it.

I mean, someone could say (I DON'T, but this is how it FEELS for some people who are not sticking just to the doctrinal issues, I believe), "Look. A bunch of maverick bishops in 1976 got together and ordained a bunch of women illegally, they got it shoved through, and the ones who push this most heavily have theology which is suspect at best -- it's a war, it's a war, we must dig in and put up barbed wire, aieee!" I'm trying to avoid that attitude. It makes people into cranks in un-Christian ways. I want to build bridges as best I can here...

Please tell me you can see how this must look to some people, people of good will who see the basics of the faith under attack -- in their own church by their own clergy -- and perhaps over-react by assuming this is Just One More Thing Spong Is Pushing?

(I know how it looks from the other side -- a bunch of self-righteous, arrogant fuddie-duddies who want to retain control. Sadly, yes, those are there too. I don't agree with their attitudes in the slightest and have been losing friends over that; one person I worry about and pray for often because I think his anger, fear and hatred of "liberals" is destroying him... and he has been a kind of bad example for me to avoid following. He wasn't always like that...)

But I can't just say "Oh, this side is often self-righteous so I must switch to the other" any more than I can say "Oh, this side has lots of heretics, therefore everything they say must be wrong." So I go by something which is not merely stuck in our own place and time, and try to see what I can across the centuries and across the churches whose theology I think most right overall... and that is why I am unconvinced of women's ordination to the priesthood at this time.

David
 


Posted by Dyfrig (# 15) on :
 
David,
I was very moved by your plea. I know exactly where you're coming - that's one of the reasons I started this thread: to actually hear what the substance of the "Catholic" arguments against W.O. were. Now, you know that I am unconvinced by those arguments and have wasted much time and bandwidth pontificating on the issue.

However, I think the theological issues behind this are far too fundamental to just say "agree to disagree". To me it was important to have dialogue on the theologically substantial parts of the issue, rather than just the slaning match of the sloganeers. Yours and others' contribution have helped me have a clearer picture of the arguments, and in a sense have reinforced me in mine - that theologically ther is no bar to the ordination of women. Indeed, by being faithful to the over-arching Tradition, I believe that women must be ordained so that the Church can truly express in its structures the gospel it purports to preach.

I care little for the ascendent liberals of ECUSA - however, in England the argument has been much more "orthodox". It is not led by pseudo-pagans and Resurrection-deniers. Rather, the women coming forward for ordination represent al traditions - liberal, evangelical and catholic, the latter two being very much concerned with a conservative view of scripture and/or tradition. Beither do I agree with oft-cited, but never substantiated, view that women's ordination has led to a decline in attandance. For the 50 years up to '92 the CofE was dying on its feet. That had nothing to do with the role of women. Interestingly during a period which saw half our priests being women, the main church in our benefice saw a 50% increase in its Sunday attendance.

One final, definitely going now, not coming back to this thread point to illustrate how a church's outward expression, however traditional, can be at odds with the truth of the Tradition it purports to protect: the Mar Thoma Church in India celebrates the Liturgy of St James. By miles this may be the oldest complete liturgy in the world, and might even have 1st century elements in it. So, chronologically, they beat everybody else into a cocked hat and could claim that their way of doing it is the most true.

But the Mar Thoma has a cancer at its heart - it did not allow untouchables (Dalits) to join. Its own practice was at odds with its Tradition - contradicting the letter of the very same Apostle to whom they ascribe their liturgy! I don't know if this is changing, but it's a clear example of how a church, tho' claiming Tradition as its justification, can itself be acting contrary to it through its own structures.
 


Posted by Astro (# 84) on :
 
This kind of arguement has been going on for at least 400 years, certainly since people in the west started questioning the pope's authority.

For example during the commonwealth period (mid 17th century) when almost any group was accepted as a church (except the Roman Catholics) and even synagogues were allowed again - some groups such as the general Baptists were not recognised beacause they had women ministers.
 


Posted by Laura (# 10) on :
 
David, I hear you -- and believe me, I, who like Dyfrig support WO, also reject a lot of what I regard as foundationless nonsense that comes out of the mouths of many of the Church's liberal stalwarts. Especially the former Bishop Spong, who as you accurately note, cannot really be called a Christian at all in the strictest sense, much less and Episcopalian, in that he doesn't believe the Resurrection (I mean, there aren't very many really basic beliefs, but, people, really!).

I'm impressed with the quality of debate on this subject, and it has avoided stridency for the most part. I wish that the public debate reflected that, but public debate often involves strident speaking on both sides. I think this is because both sides are so invested in their positions (and their relative trappings) and fearful of the other side -- they fear that the other side is really just trying to drive a wedge in that will lead down a dark thorny path to a) total conservative scary stuff or b) wacky liberal wishy-washy crap, depending on which side is yours.

In other words, there's a lot of emotional baggage being hauled around. Women got tired of being called icky, and started assuming that objection to WO was shorthand for "you're icky". Which of course, it needn't be. People opposed to WO were being told they were fundamentalist Neanderthals and started assuming opposition is shorthand for "you guys are jerky fundamentalist Neanderthals".

So to the extent we could all rein in our fears, the whole public debate about this and other things like it would work better.
 


Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
Well said, Laura! Well said indeed!

Perhaps this is a good stopping place for me...

God bless you all, whatever our differences are on this and other matters.
 


Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
And all God's people said...

AMEN!

-Rdr Alexis
 


Posted by Nancy Winningham (# 91) on :
 
Laura, Mousethief, all--

You folks are probably going to tell me to go away, but I still think that making a distinction between what males and females are eligible to do is an abusive behavior.

Do you know what a bonsai tree is? This is a tree that, if left in the wild, would grow to be 12 or 18 feet tall. But it is put in a little ceramic pot, its tap root (the main root) is cut, and it is fed and watered and given light only enough to survive, not to grow. Also, the limbs are pruned severely to limit photosynthesis, and are usually wired into a shape that pleases the gardener, but may not serve the interests of the plant.

Many, many women in the church feel like bonsai trees.
 


Posted by ptarmigan (# 138) on :
 
I wasn't going to restart this thread but since Nancy has ... thanks for the excuse.

Wouldn't it be good if we could find a huge loaf and a never ending wine bottle which St Peter had consecrated himself, then the catholics and orthodox who feel the need for something consecrated by a male in apostolic succession could use this and we wouldn't need any priests in that sense, and the church could have an equal opportunities policy for all its employees and keep the liberals happy.

In fact why don't we have a factory somewhere where a handful of priests with Catholic approvals do some consecrating in bulk and then it could get shipped out and all the parish ministers could serve it up when required with no-one worrying about their sex.

Of course it would subvert the powerbase of the priests so it might not be very popular!!!

Pt
 


Posted by Judith (# 1010) on :
 
Dear All,

I appreciate the respect shown in these posts...and thanks to Nancy am joining in myself. I also applaud Dyfrig's recent long remarks.
A point on "tradition". "Tradition" can uphold a lot of quite nasty things. So can the Bible. the obvious example being slavery, which the Scriptures, both Hebrew and Christian, make no apologies for and indeed support. Folks who want to use women being quiet in church and woman obeying their husbands as head of household should be equally willing to use, "Slaves obey your masters."
I do believe it is true that everyone, myself included, tend to take literally in the bible the parts they want to.
A bit on research. Biblical study and archeology in recent years, especially that done by feminist scholars have shown that women were evangelists along with Paul, women no doubt headed house churches....and women perhaps presided at early Eucharists.
Enough said. I find that tradition is not a necessary and sufficient argument. I imagine that when we face God we will all be quite surprised at the breadth of God's inclusivity in everything. Personal confession: I am an Episcopal priest. I know many women who will not set foot in a church of any denomination because of the ongoing abusive treat ment of women.
 


Posted by Judith (# 1010) on :
 
Oh yes, I do have to say this in response to the person who used Jack Spong and Barbara Harris as negative examples and heretics. Jack Spong annoys the "h***" out of me, mainlyn because he rips off other people's ideas rather than because he is so much of a heretic or so radical. He likes to be the center of attention any way he can.
The Rt. Rev. Barbara Harris is another matter. Unless the writers have met her and come to know her, I do not think you have good cause to repeat remarks about her that are untrue. Not that she needs me to defend her, but she is the sort of Christian of whom Jesus would be proud, and one of the few bishops, male or female, that I deeply respect.
 
Posted by Amos (# 44) on :
 
Hi Judith! Yes, I also am acquainted with Bishop Harris, and she is a fine, orthodox/conservative, credal Episcopalian (much to the annoyance of some of the dingbats at EDS). Wish she wouldn't go on autopilot when preaching, but that's a mere quibble.
Are we to assume that your pronouncements on Bishop Spong are also the product of personal acquaintance? Amos
 
Posted by Gill (# 102) on :
 
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
KNRRRRgh!
ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

*She's really gone off this time*

*In Gill's dreams she sees endless words scrolling down a page, tiring her eyes so much that she can't read what they say.*

ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
 


Posted by Pyx_e (# 57) on :
 
die damn thread DIE
 
Posted by Laura (# 10) on :
 
Look, Gill, Pyx_e, if you don't like the thread, just ignore it. There's a lot to say on this subject. If people have been arguing about it for yonks, I hardly think nine pages on our humble BB is excessive!


 


Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
O, bitter irony! O cruel fate!

Amusingly, posting more just keeps it going and in the public eye.
 


Posted by Judith (# 1010) on :
 
Amos said: Are we also to assume your pronouncements on Spong are from personal acquaintance. Yes, Amos. I stress the word "acquaintance." I would not presume anything more. Plus, whether you agree with the hard work of modern biblical scholars, I think you should give them more specific credit than he does.
Just another thought that occurred to me. We are discussing whether "women's ordination is valid"....and hello, folks, we are here. Sometimes a sense of humor helps. Must be the only way God puts up with us.
PS to Amos: EDS is my seminary, and I think it is a great seminary with a lot of excellent and even brilliant professors. Even the ones who are "out there" with their theology make me think and stretch my mind, and I do believe that's why God gave us brains. Does your pronouncement come from personal acquaintance? Chuckle.
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
But Judith, you surely aren't saying that we cannot judge whether someone's professed doctrine is orthodox or heretical based on public statements unless we've met them in person, are you? I mean, when someone like Spong writes books about what he does or does not believe, tries to encourages others to believe that way as well, etc., he's being very public about it, isn't he? It's not like he's saying, "No, no, I never said that," is it?

I think I was the one who referred to Harris as possibly heretical, and having tried to do a Net search on her doctrines and coming up largely empty-handed -- though I did specifically note one time when she said that she was often quoted out of context -- I retract, for now at least, my comment on her as an example. She does seem to focus more on social issues than on theology from the bits I found -- but on the other hand that's what people will quote the most, isn't it? -- and I wanted to avoid any of the invective-spewing sites which listed her without explaining why as "one of those people we don't like." If someone claims that a person's theology is off-base I like to see more evidence than that.
 


Posted by Amos (# 44) on :
 
Judith-- Thought you might be an EDS product.Yes ma'am, I have years of very close personal acquaintance with the place, I can assure you
Chastmastr: Speaking as a female cleric--anglo-catholic too--I want to say how much I appreciate the honesty of your struggle with the issue of women's ordination. For me, it is of the greatest importance that the question be framed, not in terms of women's rights, or of justice, but in terms of Christology. Who do we say that Christ is? What is meant by "the form of God"--which is not to be grasped? What is meant by "the form of a slave, being born in human likeness"? (All this is from the kenotic hymn in Philippians 2) One of the things that has concerned me over the years is that when the argument takes a feminist form, ordination is seen in terms of power. Ladies complain that they want to be priests and not just iron purificators, and the whole issue of "taking the form of a slave" is forgotten. You wind up with (women) priests who espouse a really rigid clericalism; a notion of leadership by way of power and obedience--obedience of the laity to the clergy. If you have identified yourself as "disempowered" or "a victim", how do you empty yourself of power? A kenotic model of priesthood is costly, and it requires proper self love and self knowledge to begin with.
I don't myself believe that either sex is endowed with unique or mystical virtues. The way for ordained women to behave is as themselves; as priests; as if it has always been the case, because of who Christ is.
 
Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
What's a "yonk"?

Rdr Alexis
 


Posted by Laura (# 10) on :
 
"For yonks" means for a long time. I grew up hearing the expression, but I think it's more common in the UK.
 
Posted by Alaric the Goth (# 511) on :
 
On the issue of women in ministry, we (my wife & I) have attended our Baptist church for nearly three years now, and NEVER has a woman preached. Nor was there one preaching at the other two Baptist churches (in Scarborough and Sunderland) that I have regularly attended. So I had assumed that Baptists in the UK were against women even preaching (never mind being actual Ministers). Until this weekend, when I asked one of the Elders about it and was surprised to find that not only could women preach, they could be Ministers; indeed a former member of our church had gone to train as one.

As I am just about fully persuaded that women can be priests/ministers (having once been very hostile to the whole idea), I think it's about time some women appeared on our preaching rotas!
 


Posted by Astro (# 84) on :
 
One of my friends who was having a lot of grief because his Anglican church would not accept women priests and he would, discovered that his local Baptist church had a women minister. Showing me some details from their church magazine it seemed that she trained at Spurgeons College which I had thought was the last bastion of men only ministry left in the Baptist World, so presumably there is no Baptist Theological college in England that will not train women for the ministry.

I don't know the ratio in Baptist theological colleges but a couple of years back it was revealed to the Methodists that the Average ministry candidate in the (English) Methodist church was a 42 year old woman with 2 children.
 


Posted by Judith (# 1010) on :
 
CM, I mentioned "acquaintance" with Spong because Amos asked me if my comments came from knowing him...he is more nuanced than his persona; my annoyance comes from reading some of his books.
Amos my colleague, I am not sure your suspicion of my EDS was altogether a compliment? chuckle. so share back, what's yours? I also did a semester at CDSP and got an MDiv. from Duke Divinity School but I claim EDS from my Anglican year and love for the place.
I appreciate your comments, Amos, on the nature of priesthood. I don't think being male or female makes a difference in the qualities you listed
Alaric, the Southern Baptists in the US voted a year or so ago in their national convention that women could no longer become ministers in the church, and then that wives should be "submissive" to their husbands as contained in scripture. A lot of uproar has followed. Former President Jimmy Carter has renounced his association with the Southern Baptist Convention.
We Americans are a rowdy bunch religiously.

 
Posted by Amos (# 44) on :
 
Judith, my sibling in Christ, "I've shown you mine, now you show me yours" is an invitation I regret to have to decline--especially on a thread with this particular title!
 
Posted by Marina (# 343) on :
 
Yonks = combination of three words Y[ears], [M]on[ths], [Wee]ks = Yonks
 
Posted by Polly (# 1107) on :
 
Tubbs

Where are you?

This is your kind of debate!!!


 


Posted by Kate Taylor (# 228) on :
 
"Forward in Faith" should be renamed. My old theology lecturer used to substitute "Backward in Fear" which I have to say suits rather well.
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
Um, say, that's kind of rude, isn't it?
 
Posted by St Rumwald (# 964) on :
 
As a subscriber to FiF's magazine, if not a fully paid up member, it is both rude and true. New Directions (their magazine) is a mixture of quite thought-provoking Anglo-Catholic thought and knee-jerk conservatism (small 'c').

That said, I will back up the view that often supporters of WO come across as 'shrill' in their arguments. Both sides do. The BIG problem from the point of view of FiF (and with this I agree) is that the 'ordination' of women in the CoE is still, in theory, 'optional' for a congregation or indeed for a priest. But this is still the case only in theory. 'Doubters' of the validity of WO are mocked or harassed: 'persecution' is a regular term in New Directions. I refuse to accept, incidentally, the equation of opposition with WO to support for slavery.

It's nonsensical as noted earlier to assume that all doubters or opponents of WO are mad conservatives: I'm a dyed in the wool liberal that finds myself horrified to be agnostic on the issue. I don't think it serves anyone any good to mock doubters or to assume we're feeble minded, 19th century, scared of change, scared of losing their position or whatever.

In the end, the arguments for WO are as flimsy or strong as the arguments against are. Opposition to women's ordination is indefensible in terms of 'natural' (i.e. mankind's) justice: but then there are no good arguments for WO based on scripture or tradition, merely arguments against opposing arguments based on tradition or scripture.

Incidentally, an earlier posting tried to refute the idea that there is a link between WO and declining church attendance. I don't think there is a link between the two. I also don't think women's ordination has made a blindest bit of difference to the decline: which has continued apace. The Methodist church (in the UK) was one of the first to embrace inclusivity, yet it is now in danger of collapse- the two are not related (one could of course argue that such moves are reactions to decline if not causative)- WO has neither saved nor damned it. WO may have released the pent-up frustration of a number of women in the CoE but it hasn't helped stem the decline. Sorry.
 


Posted by Astro (# 84) on :
 
quote:
The Methodist church (in the UK) was one of the first to embrace inclusivity, yet it is now in danger of collapse- the two are not related

I don't think women's ordination has any effect on demonination growth bothg the Cogregationalists (now United Reform Church) and Baptists began ordaining women in the 1920's, and yes sometimes the United Reform Church seems in danger of colapse but the Baptists are the only mainstream denomination to being showing numerical growth at present.

Having said that the first woman minister I heard preach was in the URC and she was dire
I later heard a woman Baptist minister and she was really good, since then I have heard many women in many demoninations preach and some good some bad, similarly I expect some are good pastors and some bad,
last week I experienced an Anglican woman priest who was somewhere in the middle. I don't think genitalia is in any way relavent.
 


Posted by Baldrick's Acolyte (# 1127) on :
 
Please be gentle with me, this is my first posting ever.

I have recently taken serious flack for stopping the practice of reserving consecrated bread/wine in the church. The practical reason is that it doesn't get used as I take what I need for home visits after the Sunday service. The objection I have met is that some people have a different spiritual experience in church if they know the reserved sacrements are present.

I am interested to know what range of opinion exists between 'its just bread' to 'Jesus lives in the box in the wall'.

Anyone care to comment?
 


Posted by Baldrick's Acolyte (# 1127) on :
 
Oops!

This was meant to be in the 'what happens in holy communion' thread. I'll just go ver there now and try again.

Sorry.
 


Posted by Amos (# 44) on :
 
Welcome, Baldrick's Acolyte! See you again soon, either here or on another thread.
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
Well! [Sunny] Here we all are again.

... okay, as I've suggested on Another Thread ("When is it OK to leave a church"), yes, my own church, after a year of debate, is indeed calling a woman to be its new rector. (Just found out yesterday.) I'm seeking another now; after seeing all the arguments here I still remain unconvinced. But I did want to see if any new people who hadn't seen it before had any thoughts, as it was last posted to over a year ago.
 
Posted by Anselmina (# 3032) on :
 
ChastMastr, if your sticking point about women's ordination is the tradition thing, then there's probably no more to be said that could convince you. My problems with this issue were always theological and scriptural - but never traditional, as I've always viewed tradition as being the servant of the church, rather than its master, so it's quite hard for me to really get inside of your objection, much as I might try to respect it. To me, the issue has always been centred on anatomy - as in, whose got the right one? A ridiculous argument and one that predates all tradition. So in my mind, it has always been wrong - outside of God's will - to exclude women from participating in the full ministry of priesthood, and no amount of saying 'but we've been excluding them for thousands of years (in other words, it's tradition)' will ever make it right.

I hope you find a good church to worship in, where you will be able to receive God's grace without worrying whether it's the 'real' thing or not! [Wink]
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
I have found one! Hurray! It does have a female assistant priest (she becomes rector of another church soon), but if she was staying, it'd still be OK. If I come to the conclusion that women can indeed become priests, I don't think it would be wise to try to do so while truly in doubt about my rector's ordination, definite validity of Communion, etc., etc. every service, every week. But as I've posted elsewhere, I'm looking for more in a church now than just What The Priest Is Like -- I think this whole thing has made me realise just how little connexion I've had with most churches I've been in, and the need to find one I can actually be a real part of instead of nipping by, snarfing down Communion, and dashing off again. I think that right now, if I was suddenly OK with female priests, I would still leave and go to the new church I've been looking into.

David
glad he is finding other things than litmus tests
 
Posted by John Holding (# 158) on :
 
CM --

When the Anglican CHurch of Canada debated allowing the ordination of women 20? years ago, one important strand of opposition was from the theologically conservative, anglo-catholic wing (not a very large part of the church). Their main speaker was a certain archdeacon from Montreal, who I expect rehearsed all the arguments that are important to you (and with which I have some sympathy).

When ordination of women was approved, he did not leave, but said the test would have to be whether or not the fruits of the ordination of women were positive -- meaning, that he would pray, and others would pray, and ask God to honour what Jesus is quoted as saying about good fruit from bad trees.

A couple of years ago I ran into him at the funeral of a friend's mother, and he is very firmly in the pro-ordination of women camp, because he has concluded that God has indeed blessed their priestly ministry.

As this is no longer an urgent issue for you, why not consider this -- both as a strategy for you, and as an example of what has happened to someone with an opinion I think is like yours.

John Holding
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
Hi! Still here, just not on the Ship as much right now -- as far as "all the arguments that are important to you," I am not thinking of arguments against it, which I haven't seen as much (and some of which may be pretty specious), apart from the one from 2000 years of (catholic/orthodox/sacramental) tradition as taught by the great saints -- but of finding any convincing arguments for it. I still haven't; most of them seem to be predicated on the notion that all the great saints, from the very beginning, were (all of them) just wrong. And that, I find untenable. If people argued that it were along the same lines as, say, God's revelation to St. Peter that the Gentiles could be part of the Church, or that previously forbidden foods were now acceptable -- or if people argued that it was never as solid a rule as people since then have made out to be, that it was meant to be a culturally specific thing rather than a timeless one -- or if there were indeed female priests in the early orthodox Church and then something changed in 500 AD or such, and we are merely restoring things to their original way (which I have heard vague rumours of but not seen any proof) -- that would be different. (I've even pondered whether I could come up with arguments no-one has mentioned myself, and then see if they hold water! I've thought of a few, and may post them here when I think more about them.)

But, alas, I cannot -- unless I am convinced it is possible for a woman to be a genuine priest and not just a good or even saintly minister -- simply say, "are they bearing good fruit." Because, well, all sorts of Christians, or even non-Christians, do great and good things, even holy things, but that does not mean they are indeed genuine sacramentally-ordained priests in the sense I mean here. If I met a man who seemed to me to be a living saint yet was definitely not ordained in Apostolic Succession, while I might believe he would end up in a much higher place in Heaven than many great priests, bishops, etc., it would not therefore make him ordained to the priesthood. There are laymen like C.S. Lewis and G.K. Chesterton whose lives and works have borne great fruit; there are even bishops (Spong, for one) who have openly denied Christian theology; there are non-Christians who have lived lives of what we may even call sanctity; and there are certainly high-ranking clergy down through history whose lives of self-indulgence, cruelty, greed, etc. were quite horrible. So I don't see how someone's life bearing fruit would prove that they are or aren't ordained in Apostolic Succession or not, alas.

Hugs to all -- still pondering this, and will post as I have time, but I am not on the Ship as much right now... have been realising just how Net-addicted I've been... [Embarrassed]

David
 
Posted by Panda (# 2951) on :
 
quote:
When the Anglican CHurch of Canada debated allowing the ordination of women 20? years ago
Actually, they're celebrating the 25th anniversary this year. It wasn't until I moved to the UK from Canada that I found it was something people got all excited about. I guess hanging around in Anglo-Catholic churches and colleges doesn't help.

quote:
That said, I will back up the view that often supporters of WO come across as 'shrill' in their arguments. Both sides do. ...'Doubters' of the validity of WO are mocked or harassed: 'persecution' is a regular term in New Directions.
All depends on where you go. For the last few years I have been in a minority with my opinions (pro-WO), and have found that the opponents are vociferous to the point of rudeness. I guess they're just practicing for when they grow up and join Synod, but it doesn't seem all that Christian to me.

Now when people ask me (with anti-WO's, usually within 5 minutes of meeting me [Frown] ) where I stand, I just say, 'As far away as possible.'
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Panda:
Now when people ask me (with anti-WO's, usually within 5 minutes of meeting me [Frown] ) where I stand, I just say, 'As far away as possible.'

Alas, I'm ironically with you on that. Most of the anti-WO people I've personally known have been painfully shrill, rude, etc. If I were to decide the matter not on theology, but on attitudes and actions, I'd've been in favour of WO long ago. [Frown] I always feel like I have to hasten to say that I'm not like the others, and it's frustrating to know that people will assume I'm like that. I even let go of one of my best friends not too long ago because, in my estimation, apart from his views (we agree on much theologically and little politically, but it's not his beliefs which are at issue), he'd become one of the most self-righteous, arrogant prigs I'd known, and I couldn't deal with it anymore. [Frown] (He maintains that it's really because of his politics rather than his attitude, yet people I disagree with more on the Ship don't strike me that way at all...)

Really we're not all like that, really we're not... [Frown] Indeed, the fact that I get on better with pro-WO rather than anti-WO people means I must take extra special care that I am not changing my beliefs to fit with "getting along better with a group of people I like more."

David
would rather hang out with the Vicar of Dibley than with Forward in Faith, he suspects
 
Posted by John Holding (# 158) on :
 
CM -- sorry if I was not clear -- his original objections were precisely the same as yours, and his focus is very AC, sacramentalist. Anything other than "priestly" fruit -- as objectively discerned as one is able to do -- would not qualify. He certainly did not confuse "ministry", about which there is no argument, with "priestly".

Just for clarification.

John Holding
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by John Holding:
Anything other than "priestly" fruit -- as objectively discerned as one is able to do -- would not qualify.

But then how does one discern that, short of direct supernatural revelation? I mean -- we don't have a Communion detector (I imagine something like a Geiger counter)... As far as feelings and perceptions go, Lord knows mine vary enough that I don't regard them as reliable in matters of actual doctrine, though they can be very helpful at times. Sometimes I take Communion and feel different; sometimes I don't; and I don't know how much in either case is rooted more in my own state of mind (not of grace) or even my body. I would think that looking to my own experience and perceptions for whether or not a woman can, or cannot, be a genuine priest would be pretty much the same thing.

David
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
(Pulls out his binoculars and looks Purgatory-ward to see if a Certain Person's on his way yet... hoping...)
 
Posted by Jesuitical Lad (# 2575) on :
 
HERE I AM!!!

TRA-LA-LA-LALALALA!

[Sunny] [Sunny] [Sunny] [Sunny]

What?

"Father Gregory"... what about him?

Oh.

[Waterworks]
 
Posted by Fr. Gregory (# 310) on :
 
Dear One and All

I know that ChastMastr wanted me to post here because of something I said on another thread in Purgatory. I don't know what tickled his fancy (steady boy!) but maybe I should repeat it here so whoever can respond accordingly. Prepare to be shocked. The so called rigid Orthodoxy not quite so unbending after all.

quote:
Would there ever be any way that the Orthodox would accept the ordination of women to the priesthood?
.... ERIN

... and this may surprise some of you ... YES!

HOW? .... Ecumenical Council. On what grounds ... more detailed investigation into the relationship between the ministerial priesthood and the Eucharist. Orthodox do not accept for example the iconic argument against the ordination of women as we have never believed that the priest stands as a mini-Vicar of Christ ... in His place so to speak. Our great High Priest himself presides at the Eucharist and this is quite clear from our liturgical texts. I don't want to open this one up again but you can see I hope how Orthodoxy does recognise that there are many things that have not as yet been fully explored. If they had we would not be here .... the New Creation would have come upon us most fully.
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
So then, what would have to happen -- what conclusion would the Orthodox have to reach to permit female priests? What chain of reasoning is involved? And can you compare and contract this method of reaching this conclusion with the way the Episcopal Church and the C of E have?
 
Posted by Fr. Gregory (# 310) on :
 
As to the process .... I am not the Holy Spirit but I can say that no part of the Orthodox Church would do it against any other part, (unlike in the Anglican Communion). This WOULD be a matter for an Ecumenical Council. To those who say that's its hundreds of years since you had one. Yes, but we've been preparing for the next one for the last few decades. When (not if) it happens, the ministry of women, (which we already have), will be pretty high up on the agenda).
 
Posted by Panda (# 2951) on :
 
Neat! When will it happen?
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
Who would be involved in the Ecumenical Council? Would it just be the Orthodox, the Anglican Communion, and the Roman Catholic Church? What's the criteria for involvement?
 
Posted by anglicanrascal (# 3412) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Fr. Gregory:
When (not if) it happens, the ministry of women, (which we already have), will be pretty high up on the agenda).

Wot will happen if they say "no-way Josie" to women-priests. Do you think that would have any influence on OoW in the Anglican Church?
 
Posted by Fr. Gregory (# 310) on :
 
Dear Panda

Only God knows that.

It would be much the same as the Second Vatican Council. Only Orthodox would vote ... other churches would have observers. There's no way that a non-Orthodox person / group can be an executive part of a process that legislates for the Orthodox Church. "Ecumenical" for us has its original meaning of the whole world .... not collaboration with churches with which we are not in communion.
 
Posted by Fr. Gregory (# 310) on :
 
Dear Anglican Rascal ...

Sorry I forgot my answer to your post. I predict that that would have absolutely no impact on the Anglican Communion whatsoever. The Anglican Church knew precisely the Orthodox Church's position was (something with no precedent can't be done outside your relationship with other Christians) when it embarked on this course in the first place.
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
Ah, OK -- so how would the Ecumenical Council determine this? What would be involved, what arguments are at issue, etc.? What arguments -- on the "pro-women's ordination to the priesthood" -- are being looked at more seriously in Orthodox circles?
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
Still eagerly waiting... [Smile]
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
While we wait for Fr. G's return (I have now seen that he's not got net access for about a week -- oops!), I thought I'd post two possible solutions which has occurred to me:

1.) Most arguments for WO (that I have seen) treat the matter as "correcting a terrible injustice which has been carried on for nearly the whole life of the Church." Is anyone arguing that it was not wrong to forbid WO beforehand, but that the time is now appropriate to ordain women to the priesthood?

2.) Most arguments against WO (that I have seen) take for granted that though the words are spoken and the hands laid on the ordinand, she is not a real priest in Apostolic Succession, etc. Is it a tenable position that while it may not be wise (for various possible reasons) to ordain women to the priesthood, that the Sacrament of ordination is still valid regardless?

I would very much like to see people's positions on these two possible approaches. Someone might argue "Oh, but if it was a mistake to do in that way, it's all invalid," but then many of us in the Anglican Communion don't at all approve of Henry VIII's approach to the Church -- but that does not (in our view) change whether the C of E, regardless of Henry's motives, is a valid church in Apostolic Succession. So, perhaps, with this. Any thoughts?
 
Posted by John Holding (# 158) on :
 
CM --

I regard as important (but not definitive) the evidence that records of female leadership in the early church were suppressed or downgraded.

Moving on from there, however, I believe that the theological underpinning of WO is a reassessment of the interpretation of the letters of Paul and the practice of the early church. Any argument I have seen relies on his statement about there being neither male nor female in Christ. I know that, especially in the US in the early days, justice was raised -- but that was not used as a primary argument in other places, and I have not seen it used anywhere recently.

As for your actual questions, when Lambeth accepted that WO was valid, it also acknowledged that the appropriateness would depend on local circumstances. At the time, I think it envisaged that the African provinces would have problems for cultural reasons, although I believe some are now moving to do so.

So Lambeth could envisage, though it never said so, a cultural situation where only women would be ordained. One thinks of a matriarchal society where all the elders are female (the original state of some Iroqouis groups comes to mind), and where insisting on mem sharing or dominating the ordained group would ensure no-one would even listen to the gospel, much less accept it, for reasons that had nothing to do with what it is about. One thinks of the parallel situation illustrated in northern Canada, among the Inuit, where to be unmarried is to be incapable of leading: the Anglican church is having no trouble at all finding Inuit priests, but the Roman Catholic church, which does continue to insist on celibacy here, has none -- it must continue to rely on foreign imports, and on its present model will never have local priests.

John Holding
 
Posted by John Holding (# 158) on :
 
Forgot something --

Your question One. Lambeth's approach is that because ordination is not a personal right, local circumstances will determine who can function as a priest. I think this is based on the fact that priesthood developed from eldership -- the etymology of the word shows that -- so that eligibility to be a leader in the society was a key element of eligiblity to be a leader in the church. Of course, the church moved away from there at least in practice, leading to a "professional" clerical class not rooted in the communities the individuals served.

I suspect it is wrong to speak of women being denied access to ordination in the past, unless there was a situation where society was matriarchal. Maybe society shouyld have been different, and in that case maybe access to ordination should have been different, but that is not history but polemics.

Mainly, we don't know now who God was calling at any specific time in the past, or how the church responded to any requests.

What we have to deal with is that in our society and century, God is calling women to priestly and episcopal ministry, both by the witness of those called, by the witness of the processes of the church in validating (and rejecting) perceived calls, and by the fruits of their ministry once ordained.

John
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by John Holding:
I regard as important (but not definitive) the evidence that records of female leadership in the early church were suppressed or downgraded.

I would be very interested in seeing the evidence of this. Someone was going to send me a book on it but they haven't had time to...

I've mainly heard arguments rooted in the notion that the Church was wrong and unjust from the beginning until now, rather than that the time is now appropriate to move to ordain women to the priesthood. Maybe it's a US thing?

If people are basing their reasoning on that one statement of Paul's -- a statement known to the Church for two thousand years -- it seems rather odd to me that no one noticed until now.

quote:
I think this is based on the fact that priesthood developed from eldership -- the etymology of the word shows that -- so that eligibility to be a leader in the society was a key element of eligiblity to be a leader in the church.
I'm not sure this is correct. There were fishermen among the Apostles and many other Christians were from the lower classes in society, weren't they? And being able to be a leader in society would be hampered by the various persecutions, wouldn't they? Wasn't being a societal leader and a Christian, much less a priest, something which largely became possible only once the Church was legal and more dominant?

quote:
Mainly, we don't know now who God was calling at any specific time in the past, or how the church responded to any requests.

But that's part of what's at issue here -- if a woman cannot be truly ordained a priest, then God cannot have been calling them. If they can, then perhaps -- though God would also certainly know that, short of Divine intervention, women wouldn't have been able to be ordained because it wasn't allowed by the Church (in, say, the Middle Ages).

quote:
What we have to deal with is that in our society and century, God is calling women to priestly and episcopal ministry, both by the witness of those called, by the witness of the processes of the church in validating (and rejecting) perceived calls, and by the fruits of their ministry once ordained.
But first we have to determine -- which is what my two questions above ask -- whether or not a woman can be ordained to the priesthood in the first place.

I'm trying to find out if there is indeed a tenable position which does not say "the Church was being cruelly unjust for two millennia from the very beginning" nor "a woman cannot ever be a priest." If it could be argued, without going against reason, that either it is indeed a new development and that the old ways were not wrong, they were just appropriate for the time, and this is appropriate in ours -- or that a woman can indeed become a priest (and always could) but it has not been a generally good idea, though her priesthood remains real, by virtue of Ordination -- then either argument would allow for the Church being basically right for 2000 years. But if I have to accept that the Church has been all wrong on this from the very beginning -- well, that I can't accept. Are there any resources you could point me toward on this? Because most of the ones I know on the pro-WO side tend to be like this:

1999 Barbara Harris sermon

The tone of the sermon is pretty much the kind of thing I'm used to (apart from on the Ship, I'm happy to say). And this kind of thing is not going to convince me. [Frown] Both sides can be kind of shrill. I found Lewis' essay ("Priestesses in the Church?") helpful on the anti-WO side but I don't recall him saying that a woman could not be ordained a priest, which is interesting -- he didn't argue on the grounds that it was not possible, just that it would be unwise. There's a big difference. And I find it interesting that many anti-WO people (some of whom use his essay as background material) go much further and say that a woman cannot be a priest for any number of reasons (reasons I thus far have not found convincing).

I guess what I want to know is this:

What tenable position is there to allow for women's ordination being valid (whether a good idea or not), which does not say "The Church was horribly wrong all those years"?

If Fr. Gregory's suggestion that the Orthodox church could indeed change its stance and ordain women -- that it is not intrinsically impossible -- could apply to the Anglican churches -- then, whether or not women (or a given woman, just as a given man) ought to be ordained, the Sacraments at her hand would be valid Sacraments, etc. But if not, then (for those of us who believe in Apostolic Succession, etc.) they'd be no more valid than from someone else not truly ordained. (Not to mention the issue of whether a priest consecrated by a female bishop is a real priest, etc.) So this is a very important issue: If a woman can be a priest (and bishop) then while the rightness of the idea may be debated for years to come, the Apostolic Succession of the Church is not called into doubt; but if a woman cannot be one, and especially a bishop, then it is, because not only is the question of valid sacraments at one's parish church in doubt, but the very ordination of people to the priesthood. I think it's a very valid struggle -- but I once again am going to shout to the heavens that I don't want to be like certain people (not on the Ship) who are full of shrill angry self-righteousness who are on the "anti-WO" side.

So I'm hoping that maybe I've found a tenable solution (leaning toward #2 at the moment, but I am not sure) -- I've just never heard anyone even suggest it before.

[Help]
 
Posted by John Holding (# 158) on :
 
"What tenable position is there to allow for women's ordination being valid (whether a good idea or not), which does not say "The Church was horribly wrong all those years"?"

Lambeth Conference -- 78 or 88, I don't rememebr which. Accepted that women could be called, but left it up to individual churches whether it was appropriate or not in their circumstances. Seems to me that says precisely what you want. Doesn't judge or ascribe motives to the past, but looks at the present.

Eldership in the community -- well, not all fishers were among the poor and oppressed, but the institution of eldership (see for example James and some of the pastorals) clearly imitated the common secular model of the time. Leaders in the church community were elders, regardless of age (at least in theory), fulfilling for the church community the roles carried out by elders in villages.

Yes, the sentence from Paul has been known all along. It talks about neither bond nor free, and the church tolerated slavery for 1600 years -- but now says it is (and was wrong). Neither Jew nor gentile -- the church got rid of the problem by ignoring its Jewish heritage for nearly two millennia, but now recognizes a different reality. The idea that interpretation of scripture is locked up forever once the church has taken a position is, I think, fairly disturbing.

John Holding
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by John Holding:
Lambeth Conference -- 78 or 88, I don't rememebr which. Accepted that women could be called, but left it up to individual churches whether it was appropriate or not in their circumstances. Seems to me that says precisely what you want. Doesn't judge or ascribe motives to the past, but looks at the present.

So what were their reasons/claims/arguments for making the change?

quote:
Eldership in the community -- well, not all fishers were among the poor and oppressed, but the institution of eldership (see for example James and some of the pastorals) clearly imitated the common secular model of the time. Leaders in the church community were elders, regardless of age (at least in theory), fulfilling for the church community the roles carried out by elders in villages.

Or was it that both church leadership (bishops, priests and deacons) and secular models are imitating something else?

And, even if it did turn out that that church hierarchy was (partly?) inspired by secular models, how is the question of female ordination altered by this? Surely people knew of queens, even a female Judge in Old Testament times, both then and later, so female authority was not a wholly new innovation.

quote:
Yes, the sentence from Paul has been known all along. It talks about neither bond nor free, and the church tolerated slavery for 1600 years -- but now says it is (and was wrong).

And not all of us agree with that change. Racially-based slavery -- a fairly modern development -- was, in my understanding, heretical. But traditional slavery and hierarchy in general -- I go with the 1600-year-old view rather than the modern one, with the Pauline and other rules regarding proper behaviour of Christian masters and slaves (and once again, I specifically mean historic slavery) and other forms of hierarchy -- noblesse oblige, for example.

quote:
Neither Jew nor gentile -- the church got rid of the problem by ignoring its Jewish heritage for nearly two millennia, but now recognizes a different reality.
I don't know if "nearly two millennia" is correct here; we certainly see in the New Testament the question of whether even to let the Gentiles in the Church in the first place. If we grant that anti-Semitism started even shortly thereafter (and I am sad to say that it might have, but I don't have the references handy), anti-Semitism does seem to go strongly against both the Old and the New Testaments altogether. Can we say this about the ordination of women issue?

quote:

The idea that interpretation of scripture is locked up forever once the church has taken a position is, I think, fairly disturbing.

But is that idea true? And being decisive on interpretation of Scripture is not the same as saying other aspects of it cannot come out -- but there is a difference between mutually exclusive interpretations, and ones which can complement one another. I think the Church ruled pretty firmly on some things very early on -- and there may be other levels to them, but that is not the same as doing an about-face on, say, the Resurrection of Jesus, His Divine and human nature, and such.

Sorry this is so long... [Embarrassed]

It sounds as if the tack Lambeth took might have been a bit different than the one in the US. Anyone have appropriate links?

On a different note, are there any people here who are opposed to women's ordination who have thoughts on my possible solutions? Any holes you can pick in them?

David
 
Posted by halibut (# 3115) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ChastMastr:
While we wait for Fr. G's return (I have now seen that he's not got net access for about a week -- oops!), I thought I'd post two possible solutions which has occurred to me:

1.) Most arguments for WO (that I have seen) treat the matter as "correcting a terrible injustice which has been carried on for nearly the whole life of the Church." Is anyone arguing that it was not wrong to forbid WO beforehand, but that the time is now appropriate to ordain women to the priesthood?

Hello CM.
I'm certainly not sure about the historical rightness or wrongness -- though I think that the context can and does change - and that tradition is not static. Nor should it be. If we as individuals are on a journey to God through Christ, so is the Church.

However, my own position in favour of the ordination of women, is not that the refusal to do so is unjust to women, but that it denies the freedom of the Holy Spirit to call people to the priesthood. If we believe that vocation is a divine calling, then it's grievously sinful to presume to tell God whom He may or may not call.

quote:

2.) Most arguments against WO (that I have seen) take for granted that though the words are spoken and the hands laid on the ordinand, she is not a real priest in Apostolic Succession, etc. Is it a tenable position that while it may not be wise (for various possible reasons) to ordain women to the priesthood, that the Sacrament of ordination is still valid regardless?

I certainly do know people who're quite happy to admit that Scripture is ambiguous on the subject, and Tradition itself a little less inflexible than it might appear. (Eg. the the Blessed Virgin's role as patron saint of priests - her role in offering the original sacrifice of Christ etc. - but tht's a different post) Many of those people also take the position that it's still not a good idea - usually for reasons relating to unity with Rome.

(Oh, some of these people are quite happy to say that the ordintions are valid too - just a bad idea. I disagree with them. Amicably [Smile] )

H

[Edited to replace incorrect text as requested (obliquely)]

[ 23. October 2002, 12:50: Message edited by: TonyK ]
 
Posted by halibut (# 3115) on :
 
quote:


However, my own position in in favour of organisation,

Pah, obviously I'm on too much of the old "Prinkash Basilica".

I mean "ordination of women" in place of "organisation"

H
[Previous post fixed - I'll delete this later. TK]

[ 23. October 2002, 12:51: Message edited by: TonyK ]
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by halibut:
Oh, some of these people are quite happy to say that the ordintions are valid too - just a bad idea.

Where are these people? Is this a British thing? [Frown] Or have I just been hanging around all these years with the wrong sort?

I was frankly thinking that I had developed this notion all on my own -- wow! But I am coming to see them as two separate issues -- can or should women be made priests? (Though of course if they can't, then shouldn't is kind of a given.) It might even be that only very rarely should a woman be a priest, or perhaps that in the past it should have been rare, and now it is OK. (Certainly I believe many male priests are very bad indeed (denying basic theology, etc.), so I think many people of whatever gender are being made priests who should not be... and that their priesthood is not in doubt, any more than a baptised person stops being baptised if they lose their faith, or Communion stops being Communion if the communicant doesn't truly believe...)
 
Posted by Benedictus (# 1215) on :
 
CM, what happens to your set of questions if you add "Does God give women vocations to the priesthood?" Should that be the first question asked? The only question?
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Benedictus:
CM, what happens to your set of questions if you add "Does God give women vocations to the priesthood?" Should that be the first question asked? The only question?

But if women cannot be priests -- if it is intrinsic to the priesthood that they cannot -- then whatever calling they may perceive, it is not to the priesthood. So this question is still dependent on that one as far as I can tell -- it must be resolved first that a woman can be ordained to the priesthood before it can be determined that God is calling her.
 
Posted by Benedictus (# 1215) on :
 
But is it up to us to limit who we allow God to call? We may choose, in our fallenness, not to recognize the call, but that's a different issue. Is it our priesthood or God's?
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Benedictus:
But is it up to us to limit who we allow God to call? We may choose, in our fallenness, not to recognize the call, but that's a different issue. Is it our priesthood or God's?

It's God's, of course (though He has given authority to the Church in certain ways), but if it is not possible for a woman to be a priest, then it is not us who have limited the priesthood, but the nature of the thing -- which would then be God limiting it by the way He has ordered His priesthood. So we're still back at "can a woman be a priest in the first place, or not?" as far as I can tell. One priest I have known said it was in the way we need water for baptism and bread for Communion -- he knew of someone who was being confirmed, who had been "baptised" in a somewhat unusual church using rose petals instead of water, and they had to baptise her with water very quickly before the confirmation, on the grounds that you at least have to have water in order to baptise. Perhaps this sounds crude and materialistic -- that one needs real water for a spiritual event like baptism -- and that one might need not only a real body (presumably one cannot be made a priest after death) but a real male body (whatever non-physical differences there may be between men and women) -- but it fits with my understanding of Christianity.

So whether a woman can be a priest or not still seems to me to be a necessary issue to resolve before we can determine whether God is calling them. People consider themselves inspired to other things as well -- mutually exclusive religious doctrines, etc. -- and they cannot all be right, can they?

Still want to see anti-WO people try to poke holes in my hypothesis -- that while one should not (or should not usually, or previously should not have) ordain women to the priesthood, that women still can be so ordained. Maybe this is the right time and place for it and the 14th century wasn't. It still seems a possible argument in favour of it to me.
 
Posted by Jesuitical Lad (# 2575) on :
 
Well, a couple of things...

1. I don't understand on what grounds women shouldn't be ordained if such an ordination were possible. If it were possible for a woman to receive the sacrament of holy orders, then I'd agree with those women who demand that they be allowed to - since there seems no good reason other than sexism to bar her from the ministry.

2. However, I don't think women can be ordained - although not for sexist reasons.

Are we going into the anti-WO arguments here, or have they been dealt with in depth on the thread already? (Can't bear to dig through...!)
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
Perhaps since the thread is so long we might have a refresher for new people -- or what your own arguments against it are.

I have no idea how many people are even reading this thread. Personally I'd guess under ten, as it is in Dead Horses and stuff. [Frown]

My own concerns are rooted primarily in Tradition rather than any specific doctrinal thing; the arguments against it as an impossibility which I have seen have not yet convinced me that it is impossible, but the apparent (unless it does turn out the Church ordained women and then stopped) "never happened for almost two thousand years" is a major, major obstacle for me. Which is why those two options above could convince me otherwise. At the moment.
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
... still eagerly waiting...

Anyone...? [Frown]
 
Posted by Laudate Dominum (# 3104) on :
 
Ok, not sure what arguments you have already heard, but I'll go as far into it as I am capable.

1. We are not somehow limiting who God can call to the priesthood by not ordaining women. If Christ had intended to call women to the ministerial priesthood, than some of the 12 Apostles would have been women. And don't give me anything about "he wouldn't have because it went against social conventions of the day." This implies that Jesus was afraid of persecution, which is silly. After all, the Jewish authorities wanted to crucify him for comitting blaphemy. He did not choose women as Apostles, and as the Twelve serve as the model for priesthood, there is no reason to think that he intended to have women as priests. In fact, there seems to be every reason to think otherwise. Jesus is God, and Jesus did not call women to the priesthood. Therefore God does not call women to the priesthood.

2. Symbolism is so important to the Church. And the symbolism of a woman behind the altar is all wrong. When the priest says the words of consecration, the priest is acting as Christ, the Bridegroom, giving himself to his Bride, the Church. If a woman were acting in the place of the Bridegroom, the symbolism would be bride to Bride, which is wrong for what I think are fairly obvious reasons.
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
These sound like plausible arguments against ordaining women to the priesthood, though they could be argued with -- but what of whether women can be ordained?
 
Posted by saecula saeculorum (# 2883) on :
 
Just nipping back a bit, Chast Mastr, to your plea for 'can but shouldn't' arguments:

I think some people hold this view because they are looking at the damage that may be done to the church's ministry as a result of WO fuelled schism. While believing that it is all right to ordain women, they believe that now is not the time.

My belief (and that of Forward in Faith) is that we don't KNOW if women ordained in the Church are truly priests. Basing the future apostolic succession on 'possible' priests and bishops sprouts a family tree of possible priests, both male and female. In a couple of hundred years, it may be discovered that the 'possibles' are 'no-ways', in this situation, the whole priesthood may be 'no-ways': where would that leave us?

We can't have 'no-way' priests so lets not ordain 'possible' priests before doing the research and ensuring that all priests are 'definite' priests.

So I guess that this view can also be described as 'maybe but shouldn't (until we are sure).
 
Posted by Jesuitical Lad (# 2575) on :
 
The following may be of interest:

Texts on the Ordination of Women
 
Posted by Jesuitical Lad (# 2575) on :
 
Actually, rather more interesting is Michael Novak's article on the topic in First Things magazine.
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
Both are interesting, and sound like possibly valid arguments why women should not be priests. But I'm still at a loss to see that they are definitive arguments that -- even if it is a mistake to so ordain them -- women cannot be priests, i.e., that the Sacrament is not efficacious regardless (which would leave the question of Apostolic Succession intact). In my considered opinion, for example, Bishop Spong of Newark, due to his theology, should not be a priest or bishop, but despite his doctrinal heresy, he still is, and the priests he has ordained are still valid priests, the other sacraments valid sacraments; so even if it is a mistake to ordain a woman (orthodox or otherwise) to the priesthood, is it still a valid ordination?

I'm a tad confused by the "women should not baptise" bits in link 1 though -- but since anyone can be baptised by a baptised Christian (of whatever gender), perhaps this is also a useful analogy -- i.e., if a woman can validly baptise (but oughtn't) then perhaps a woman can indeed be ordained a priest (but oughtn't).

I hope this helps explain my concern -- yes, Saecula's post sums up my own concerns very well. So I am trying to find out what arguments there are for women's ordination being valid at all, even if it is a mistake or not, because on that hinges a lot about the future of our churches' Apostolic Succession, valid sacraments, etc.

David
 
Posted by Jesuitical Lad (# 2575) on :
 
ChastMastr,

Well, that's where things get a bit complicated. Personally, I accept the authority of the magisterium and so also accept its teaching that the sacrament can only, by its nature, be conferred on men. Ordinations of women are therefore not only illicit, but invalid - according to this view.

For someone who doesn't accept the authority of a magisterium-type body, I'm not sure whether Scripture and Tradition can provide a definitive answer to a subtle distinction like that.
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jesuitical Lad:
For someone who doesn't accept the authority of a magisterium-type body, I'm not sure whether Scripture and Tradition can provide a definitive answer to a subtle distinction like that.

[Waterworks] Fr. Gregory, where are youuuu? [Waterworks]

I'm assuming the Orthodox don't have a magisterium-type body -- so they may have some clues for us Antiquated Anglicans...

But the info is indeed helpful! Many hugs...

David
 
Posted by Professor Yaffle (# 525) on :
 
My thought on reading the Michael Novak article is that the debate, fundamentally, appears to be about the nature of the incarnation. The point of the incarnation, to be brutally simplistic, was the redemption of human nature through it's incorporation into the divine via the sinless divine and human natures of Jesus.

It seems to me that the Eucharist is the continuation or extension of the incarnation, inasmuch as we encounter our Lord in the material, i.e. Bread and Wine. The priest, as Eucharistic Minister, operates in virtue of the incarnation. He (for the sake of argument!) acts as a kind of icon of our Lord and, in a wider sense of redeemed humanity. The redemption of humanity means that humans can celebrate the Eucharist.

Thus far, I think, so uncontroversial. But at this point opinions diverge. I would argue that a priest acts in virtue of their humanity. Which obviously entails the propostion that a woman can be a priest. Novak takes a different line. He argues that through the incarnation Jesus became a man and that, therefore, only a man can represent Jesus in the sacrament. He appeals, quite properly, to the sound catholic principle that the divine becomes incarnate in the specific. It is the same sentiment that makes catholics wince when they hear that a 'eucharist' was celebrated using milk and cookies.

I think the key issue, therefore, is over the nature of the incarnation. It seems appropriate to make a distinction using Aristotelian terminology so let us say that the substance of human nature becomes holy through the incarnation but that the accidents do not. So the incarnation changes humanity but the specifics of Jesus' life are not especially sanctified. We are not expected to become Jewish, be circumcised, grow a beard, be 5' 7" tall with dark hair and brown eyes (the last four, obviously, are sheer guesswork). For those of us who do think that women can be priests Jesus maleness belongs with his hair colour. For Novak, the fact of Jesus' maleness belongs with his humanity and alters how God related to the Church and humanity.

I hope that I have done justice to Novak's argument. I don't myself accept it, but I think that he has put his finger on the key issue. I think that if one accepts it then women cannot be priests. If one does not accept it then I think women can be priests, although there may be other grounds for their non-ordination (e.g. the argument from ecumenism).

On a slightly tangential note, should Father Gregory return to this thread, I am under the impression that a pronouncement from an ecumenical council holds an equivalent status to a pronouncement by a Pope speaking ex cathedra (i.e. infallible). I await his correction if I am wrong.
 
Posted by Benedictus (# 1215) on :
 
Nicely done, Professor.

Genesis 1:27 (RSV) So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Logical conclusion: Male and female are both required to fully (as fully as humanly possible) constitute the image of God. The priesthood requires both male and female to represent God. And when David points out, as is surely trembling on his lips, that in that case it appears God was willing to wait 2000 years to work with that full priesthood, I would remind him that God is infinitely patient with us.
 
Posted by Astro (# 84) on :
 
quote:
My belief (and that of Forward in Faith) is that we don't KNOW if women ordained in the Church are truly priests. Basing the future apostolic succession on 'possible' priests and bishops sprouts a family tree of possible priests, both male and female. In a couple of hundred years, it may be discovered that the 'possibles' are 'no-ways', in this situation, the whole priesthood may be 'no-ways': where would that leave us?

Do you really believe that a God who could include gentiles (contary to his commands) in the geneology of his son would worry about the validity of the priesthood of someone who had unknowningly been ordained by someone who had been ordained by someone ..... who had been ordained by someone who was irregular?

The God I know is a God of grace not a legalist.
 
Posted by Dyfrig (# 15) on :
 
Well said, Professor.

Like you and David, I am looking forward to Fr Gregory's return - as I would like him to explain how he can reconcile now saying that the "iconic" argument is not an issue for Orthodoxy whilst a year ago his main arguments were on grounds of "congruity" and "imaging" Christ.
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Astro:
The God I know is a God of grace not a legalist.

I eagerly await Fr. G's return as well, but wanted to point out that this doesn't stop causes from having effects -- i.e., that it may not be a matter of God looking down, shaking His head, and saying, "Oh ick! Those naughty humans! I'll withhold the validity of ordination because they Broke The Rules," but that it may be more like whether someone is a carrier of a sort of "good infection" and is able to pass it on to someone else. And if the priesthood is bodily as well as spiritual (just as bread and wine and water are to other Sacraments) then laying on the hands of someone who has had the hands laid on them who has (etc.) might be intrinsically necessary -- so finding out if women can do this or not really is important to us.
 
Posted by Laudate Dominum (# 3104) on :
 
Re-reading it, I think I left a few things out of my previous post. As Professor Yaffle noted, the idea of a woman becoming a priest does make us RC's wince for the exact same reason we wince when we hear of a "eucharistic celebration" with cookies and milk (or beer and chips, as a friend of mine said the other day).

For a Sacrament to be valid, it is necessary to have the correct minister, intention, and matter. (The intention bit is self-explanitory--won't deal with it here.) Examples:

Minister Matter
Eucharist: Priest bread and wine
Baptism: Anyone water
Holy Orders: Bishop Baptized Male

A woman can no more be ordained than chips and beer can become the Body and Blood of Christ. It is impossible. That's the Roman Catholic Church's position.
 
Posted by Panda (# 2951) on :
 
Laudate Dominum said:
quote:
A woman can no more be ordained than chips and beer can become the Body and Blood of Christ. It is impossible. That's the Roman Catholic Church's position.


All right, but you have to say why. If you're going to get into the specifics about real substance, and accidents, and milk and cookies (that is certainly a scary thought, though) you need to be equally specific on this issue, not just saying, as in your earlier post, that the symbolism would be 'all wrong' That would seem to place too strong an emphasis on the Church as the bride.

Why is it impossible? Are women not able to hear the voice of God and act upon it as men do? History would say otherwise. Mother Theresa and Julian of Norwich come to mind.

Is it their physical construction? Are genitals so much more vital than breasts? (I don't mean to be crude, but a nerve has been touched here). Is it neurological? A left brain vs right brain issue? Is map-reading such a vital element?

ChastMastr said:
quote:
but what of whether women can be ordained?


If a woman could bear Christ in her womb for nine months, why can a woman not bear Christ in the Eucharist?

All these arguments seem to fall back on the right of men to be ordained. Men have no right to be ordained, any more than women do. It is a matter of God's grace. I cannot believe that God would limit His grace to half of those he has created.

You may say, but He hasn't. If God doesn't want tomen to be ordained, then he will pour out His grace upon them in different ways. What ways? Do you seriously think that a 'calling' to arrange flowers and vaccuum the carpet is the same kind of calling as that to the priesthood? Even teaching Sunday School can't really be compared.

Can you truly tell me that every single ordained woman in the world, thousands of thousands of them, has somehow 'misheard' God? What on earth should they be doing instead?

Sorry to fire off in all directions like that; as I said, it's a delicate point. I hang around altogether too many FiF places.
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Panda:
That would seem to place too strong an emphasis on the Church as the bride.
Why too strong? Compared with what?
Why is it impossible? Are women not able to hear the voice of God and act upon it as men do? History would say otherwise. Mother Theresa and Julian of Norwich come to mind.
But neither of them were priests.
Is it their physical construction? Are genitals so much more vital than breasts? (I don't mean to be crude, but a nerve has been touched here). Is it neurological? A left brain vs right brain issue? Is map-reading such a vital element?
I think it might be mystical symbolism -- not merely physical. But if we believe in Sacramentalism in the first place, then the physical mattering certainly makes sense.
ChastMastr said:
quote:
but what of whether women can be ordained?

If a woman could bear Christ in her womb for nine months, why can a woman not bear Christ in the Eucharist?
I don't see how this follows, sorry.
All these arguments seem to fall back on the right of men to be ordained. Men have no right to be ordained, any more than women do.
Agreed! But I don't think it *does* fall on such a specious "right" any more than you do.
It is a matter of God's grace. I cannot believe that God would limit His grace to half of those he has created.
Then why did He allow His greatest saints -- or at least those He sent to teach us about Himself -- to so limit it for two millennia?
You may say, but He hasn't. If God doesn't want tomen to be ordained, then he will pour out His grace upon them in different ways. What ways? Do you seriously think that a 'calling' to arrange flowers and vaccuum the carpet is the same kind of calling as that to the priesthood? Even teaching Sunday School can't really be compared.
Agreed. But if it is not a matter of "rights" then how is this an issue?
Can you truly tell me that every single ordained woman in the world, thousands of thousands of them, has somehow 'misheard' God? What on earth should they be doing instead?
But we (catholic/orthodox/sacramental types) also believe that every single non-Sacramental Christian has somehow "misheard" Him -- as well as every single non-Christian. Not to mention countless Christians in those churches we accept as valid whose theology is off. Or even ourselves at various times. Mishearing God is part of fallen human nature.
Sorry to fire off in all directions like that; as I said, it's a delicate point. I hang around altogether too many FiF places.

I understand completely. The people in groups like that tend to frustrate me more than people with whom I disagree. I still remain unconvinced (Oh, Father GRE-goryyyy...?) [Wink] but I definitely understand how the position looks to someone who does not share it -- unfair, misogynist, etc. But looking like that doesn't make it untrue.
 
Posted by Panda (# 2951) on :
 
CM, I hope to reply to your post more fully tomorrw (I have more time when I'm at work!) but I wouldn't mind saying how much nicer it is to debate with someone who describes himself as unconvinced, rather than someone who just says, that's my position, and it's not going to change. I met another priest who said that last week, and it's so depressing to think that people have cut themselves off from hearing God speak to them.

Nor by that do I wish to imply that I think mine is the only God-inspired position - I hope I'm open to God speaking to me too. It's hard to know sometimes.
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
Thanks, Panda! [Smile] I *may* be convinced one way or the other, though -- which if that happens, then my position may be pretty firm, depending on what the arguments are.

Still awaiting Fr. G's further comments...
 
Posted by Anselmina (# 3032) on :
 
I know I've said this on another thread a little while ago, so apologies for being boring, but given some of the previous posts here from Laudate and Panda, I thought I'd repeat it.

As I understand it, the priest as representative of Jesus Christ - specifically at the Eucharistic Table, which is where most of the fuss originates - is argued by some that because Jesus was a man, so the priest needs to be a man. My simple-minded take on this is, that it is the Christ - the Anointed One of God - that the priest represents, not merely the man Jesus of Nazareth. It is the indwelling Christ-life, inspired by the Holy Spirit that the priest mediates between God and congregation, not the outward show of a 1st century Palestinan Jew.

Just as the ministry and salvation of the Christ - as portrayed in the man Jesus - is efficacious for both men and women, so it seems logical to my dim brain that both men and women are by grace enabled to represent that Christ, even in its fullest degree.

This is also how I understand the saying: in Christ there is no male or female etc. In Jesus, we have the perfect or complete man; but we don't stop there, we can go on to say that in Christ (where gender distinctions lose their normal earthly relevance) we have the trandscendent humanity which is the destiny of each one of us. By which, then, we are able to say we are all priests in the order of Melchizedek. And from amongst this priesthood of ALL believers, we appoint those specifically called to function in the presbyteral roles developed by the churches.

Barring women from the earthly presbyteral role, when in the 'order of Melchizedek' their priesthood is already assured, is a backward step for which the Church has been paying, and continues to pay, a high price.

I grant you that the notion that because a priest is a man he is somehow more 'Christlike' and more 'adequately' suited to the role of priestly representative of Christ must be very affirming and reassuring for those who think this way. But IMHO it's a delusion.

I think Christ's humanity was, of course, essential - blasphemous to say otherwise, and that I celebrate the fact of the Incarnation. But to say that the issue of the temporary earthly reproductive possibilities of our Lord's anatomy should have precedence over his Messianic salvific mission and Godly person is, to me, not a viable argument.
 
Posted by ChristinaMarie (# 1013) on :
 
When Adam was first created, he was male and female, a true bisexual. He had his rib removed to form Eve, and he became just male.

Jesus is the second Adam. Jesus never had His rib removed. Therefore, I claim that Jesus represents both male and female, as Adam did before his rib was removed.

The brain structure of men and women is different. The XY chromosomes cause the male fetus brain, to change, during pregnancy. It's quite possible that Jesus was androgynous in his brain structure. Stress during the 14th week or so, of pregnancy, can cause interruption of the male brain development. Mary, being a virgin, would most likely have suffered stress at this time, as this was the time that her pregnant state would be visible to others.

It may be, that in our resurrection bodies, we will have all the strengths of masculinity and femininity, when we are like the angels. Not sexless, but like God, having both aspects of gender.

Christina
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
Well (as I await Fr. G's arrival), I don't see Jesus as androgynous. (Presumably you mean that He is androgynous in brain structure (now that He has been resurrected) rather than was?) He is masculine to us, just as God the Father is masculine to Him and us. But this is a sense of gender apart solely from biological sex, and gets into Jesus as our Bridegroom and us (the Church) as His bride, among other things. The question of whether only those who are biologically male can represent Him to us, or not, remains where it is for me. If Orthodoxy might allow for women to be priests, then how they get over this hurdle might solve some of this.
 
Posted by Laudate Dominum (# 3104) on :
 
Panda--in case you're wondering why I haven't responded to your above post, it's because ChastMaster got there first and made my arguments for me. Probably better than I could have.
 
Posted by Dyfrig (# 15) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Anselmina:

As I understand it, the priest as representative of Jesus Christ - specifically at the Eucharistic Table, which is where most of the fuss originates - is argued by some that because Jesus was a man, so the priest needs to be a man.

There are other reasons to reject the "in persona Christi" requirements as well:

1. This is not the universally accepted idea people think it is. Orthodoxy does not regard the priest in this position, nor did many in the early Church (Ignatius of Antioch described the Bishop as God (but then he would say that!), the Presbyters as Apostles, and Deacons as Christ). It is therefore not even necessary to be "in persona Christi".

2. The priest qua sacerdotos/hieros (rather than as bishop or presbyter) is actually representing the Church, not Christ. She is acting, through her body and her words, to carry out the mechanical necessities of worship. This is akin to the priestly role in the OT - the priest stands with the worshipper, facing God, and then carries out the required physical acts - and of courswe matched the concept of the priesthood of Christ in Hebrews - as representative of all humanity (and even creation) going into the sanctuary before the face of God. Frankly, if you're "she-ifying" the Church, the most appropriate representative for it is a woman, not a man.

3. Even if you accept priesthood as being "in prrsona Christi" you have reached a logical fault if you insist that only a man can do this - because Christ's (Jesus') own priesthood was not limited to his particular sex, but to all, therefore it is odd to then limit the representative abilities of Christ's own representatives.

4. If you're really concerned about proper symbolism, then the Church service would involve a man coming forward as Christ's representative from the east end, and a woman coming forward from the congregation as representative of the Church and then having sex on the alter.

Okay, maybe point 4 isn't all that serious.
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Dyfrig:
4. If you're really concerned about proper symbolism, then the Church service would involve a man coming forward as Christ's representative from the east end, and a woman coming forward from the congregation as representative of the Church and then having sex on the alter.

Okay, maybe point 4 isn't all that serious.

Jumping in very quickly as I have work which must get done today, but technically this is correct symbolism -- it's just part of the sacrament of marriage rather than the Eucharist. [Smile] As I understand it this is indeed part of the symbolism of marriage, sex and gender -- it represents the grand mystical archetype of God and Creation, masculine and feminine, which runs all the way down (if I understand it correctly) from the First and Second Persons of the Trinity, into Form and Matter (and, if there is anything else, beyond). (It's not so much that "everything is all sex" but that sex is one level on which the interplay of cosmic gender archetypes appears...)

As for the other bits -- which are very relevant and may also help resolve some of this -- doesn't the priest both represent us to God and God to us? Or no?

Father Gregory, where are youuuu? [Help]
 
Posted by Laudate Dominum (# 3104) on :
 
The priest "mediates" between us and God--Christ was/is that Mediator, therefore the priest represents Christ.
 
Posted by Anselmina (# 3032) on :
 
Just to say how informative and interesting I found Dyfrig's post.
 
Posted by Dyfrig (# 15) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Laudate Dominum:
The priest "mediates" between us and God--Christ was/is that Mediator, therefore the priest represents Christ.

Well, yes, I suppose, but....

1. The Christian priest specifically does not mediate, as there is but one Mediator;

2. Hebrews specifically emphasises that Jesus' mediation was possible because he was like us (all of us) in all things except sin. The author does not regard Jesus' lack of femaleness as a bar to him being able to mediate on behalf of women.
 
Posted by Laudate Dominum (# 3104) on :
 
Dyfrig, in your last post on page 6, you said, essentially, that since both sexes may participate in the common priesthood of the baptized, both should participate in the ministerial priesthood?

Some other questions for clarification, just so I know where you're coming from:
How do you define the differences between the ministerial priesthood and the common priesthood of the baptized?

If Christ's masculinity or femininity was not an issue, why were all the 12 Apostles male?
Or is their masculinity also not an issue?

Why do you say that the priest is not a mediator? Is that not the traditional Old Testament role of a priest?
If the priest represents Christ to the people, and the people to Christ, is that not mediation?
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
Father G
Please come post
Don't let this thread
Give up the ghost

Burma Shave

 
Posted by Dyfrig (# 15) on :
 
quote:
Some good questions originally posted by Laudate Dominum:
How do you define the differences between the ministerial priesthood and the common priesthood of the baptized?

In my mind (and I must emphasise that this is a personal reflection, and not any claim to making a definitive theological statement, especially as I have something like 1,800 of practice to contend with) the use of the word "priesthood" in the former case leads to both confusion and a distortion of the baptised's roles and responsibilities.

Now, this is not to deny or diminish in any way the reality that persons are called (and are recognised as being called) to certain liturgical, pastoral and sacramental roles. That calling is real and should not be depracated. The problem arises in assigning the term "priesthood" to this group of activities.

The designation of all the baptized as "a royal priesthood", drawing on the self-understaning of Israel in the OT, is clearly attested to in the NT. It is part of the polemic, if you will, of establishing who is the true Israel, and is linked to ideas of being "in Christ" and being his body. The collective priesthood of the baptized is dependent upon Christ's priestly role and activities. Christ is the mediator between God and humanity, the baptized are the body of Christ, and are therefore (corporately) acting in Christ.

However, the application of this designation tp a sub-set of the baptized (firstly to the bishops and then, as their delegates, the presbyters) comes later, for a variety of reasons (the symbolic interpretation of Leviticus, the change polemical situation, etc). Personally, I think to use "priestly" language for these roles is problematic, because it goes against already established ideas in the Tradition about completion of the cultic regulatin in Christ, but also stores up trouble for the future, where the "priesthood" of the baptized is seen to vest in two of the clerical orders whereas it actually exists in the whole body. "Priesthood" is the word we have for certain ordained roles, but a gathered worshipping community is not less "priestly" if they are comprised solely of deacons and "laity".

So, I suppose the answer to the question is that "priesthood" is the wrong word for work of presbyters/pastors. I don't know what the righjt word is, but using that word simply causes confusion and the diminishing of the body of Christ.

If Christ's masculinity or femininity was not an issue, why were all the 12 Apostles male?
Or is their masculinity also not an issue?


It is, I admit, problematic for anyone arguing for the ordination of women that Christ himself did not choose any for the apostolic activities that they undertook during his lifetime. At face value, this is probably the strongest (and only?) argument in favour of a male-only order.

But the issue is not so simple. One must bear in mind that the Church, apparently acting under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, has deviated form Christ's choice in significant ways already. Let me give you some examples:

1. None of the apostles were Gentiles. Now, you may well say, "Well, du-uh! Jesus was Jewish!" Of course he was, and was fulfilling the servant vocation of Israel. But this did not stop the Church, under the Spirit's care, concluding that the call to be "Israel" was not just an ethnic one and was soon appointing Gentile leaders.

2. At least one of the original twelve apostles was married, and the Pauline letters suggest that otherw were too - yet, again under the Spirit's guidance, part of the Church has upheld a discipline of celibacy on its clergy.

3. If the church order literature of the early centuries are anything to go by, admission to the sanctuarial offices of the Church were barred to anyone with any sort of physical impediment. This carried on the Jewish practice, and it is not recorded anywhere that any of the twelve had a physical deformity. This rule is no longer applied (and, if I may express a personal opinion as one with a disability, if it is practiced then it is evidence of a wicked and pernicious attitude in the Church.)

Underlying the assertion that "Jesus didn't appoint women apostles" is of course the assumption that the pre-Resurrection appointment is the same as post-Resurrection ones. The 12 were appointed to a very specific role within the earthly ministry of Jesus (and this hand pick team managed to deny, doubt, disown and dreadfully and dastardly deal with the Dessiah- um, the Messiah. Not exactly the best model for Church leadership [Big Grin] ). After the Resurrection, the first witnesses were women, and there many women, including Jesus' mother, who wwere present when the Spirit was poured out at Pentecost, and there is NT evidence for female deacons and apostles. This, I believe, is the framework in which any discussion should take place, not the particularities of the initial choosing of the 12.

Why do you say that the priest is not a mediator? Is that not the traditional Old Testament role of a priest?
If the priest represents Christ to the people, and the people to Christ, is that not mediation?


I do not say that priests are not mediators - you are correct that they are. However, one fundamental that the NT writers (that part of Tradition that has been canonised for reading in Church) kept banging on about is that all the images of the OT priesthood, all the ideas of Wisdom and Messiah, all the hopes and aspiration of Israel, come to fruition in the man Jesus. Jesus is the priest, the Church (when regarded in the metaphor of his "body") is acting out his priesthood, not the priesthood of any individual within that community. The priest at the eucharist does not do any mediating at all, partly because s/he doesn't need to (the final mediation has taken place, in time and for all time, on Calvary) but also because this role is as the representative acting out of the worship of the whole gathered community, a community that is both male and female.
 
Posted by John Holding (# 158) on :
 
Weel done, Dyfrig!

John Holding
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Dyfrig:
the use of the word "priesthood" in the former case leads to both confusion and a distortion of the baptised's roles and responsibilities.

This is going to sound terrible, and it's not meant to be rude, but it hasn't up till now as far as I can tell. Jesus is our great High Priest; it doesn't therefore follow that those who are sacramentally ordained aren't real priests under His authority.

As for physical disabilities barring one from the priesthood, when did this rule change, has it changed for not only Anglican but Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic, and what were their reasons for doing so?

Also, re mediation at the end, are you saying that the priest is only representing the Church to God, and not God to the Church?
 
Posted by Fr. Gregory (# 310) on :
 
There are so many things riding on this "dead horse" that I have found it difficult to know where to jump in again. However, it struck me that dialogue with the Orthodox on this matter often fails to take on board two crucial things ...

VALIDITY .... we don't like this language. We don't use it ourselves. We can say that this priest is or is not canonical by virtue of his bishop's communionj with other bishops ... nothing more. A priest's orders do not stand in isolation from the episcopal college being the visible manifestation of the unity of the Church. Also, in the same way that living beings cannot live without air ... a priest can only function (as indeed can a bishop) within a community. When a priest or bishop retires, he does not lose his priesthood but he must be reintegrated into another community to exercise it. When other Christians talk therefore of the "validity" of womens' ministerial orders we immediately think of the consequences or implications for the episcopal college, (globally that is ... not just in a few provinces / jurisdictions [Wink] ). Likewise, the whole idea of "indelible marks" seems to us to disjoin the priesthood from its ecclesial / communal reality. This also explains why a priest and bishop's position in the Orthodox Church is a good deal less secure than in the western churches. "Institutional rights" count for little (thankfully).

VOCATION ... To be sure we believe that God calls people to ministries but it is NOT the individual's perception of that calling that legitimises the ministry. I know this is formally the case in many western churches as well but it receives much greater emphasis in the Orthodox Church where the calling is manifested through the voice of the congregation and the voice of the bishop. The whole idea of someone "wanting" to be a priest is quite alien to us. (We sometimes get people wanting to become Orthodox with this in mind. For the sake of their immortal soul we pour cold water on this very quickly. (If their calling to become Orthodox is genuine they will accept readily. If not, they very quickly vote with their feet).

With these two factors in mind, the Orthodox Church will not ordain its women because they feel called nor will we rack ourselves over questions of validity should an Orthodox bishop ever proceeed to ordain a woman. There is only ONE issue for us .... the mind of the Church, led by the Holy Spirit.

The conciliar process is clear ... study, pray, consult, act. It is and would be a long process requiring global consensus. We do not feel the secular Zeitgeist breathing down our necks as some others seem to do. We do not feel that we are "losing ground" by not doing it. Whether it should happen or not depends on God and us ... no one else. We do not take our counsels from unbelievers. We do, however, observe the actions of our fellow Christians with interest and respect .... which does not stop us from being very blunt sometimes if we feel that some are inclined to "jump the gun" (on this and other issues).

My prediction is though that you will see the renewal of the female diaconate in the Orthodox Church within the next 20 years, (not that it has ever completely died out).
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
So what would happen if an Orthodox bishop were to ordain a woman to the priesthood, even if the other bishops didn't agree with him?
 
Posted by Fr. Gregory (# 310) on :
 
He would be deposed.
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
No, I mean, would the other bishops say that the woman wasn't a real priest, or that she was but would not permit her to act as one, or that the matter was unknown? And if so or not, why so or not?
 
Posted by Dyfrig (# 15) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ChastMastr:
quote:
Originally posted by Dyfrig:
the use of the word "priesthood" in the former case leads to both confusion and a distortion of the baptised's roles and responsibilities.

it hasn't up till now as far as I can tell.
Well, that depends on whether you accept that the Christians who happen (for historical and personal reasons) to be outside the institutions of the so-called "Catholic" churches (Orthodoxy, Roman Catholic and, on their own assertion only, Anglican) are "Church" and whether their sacramental activities are valid. Personally I believe (with a few exceptions) they are, and thus the question of designating the "priesthood" of a particular sub-set of the Church is highly problematic to many millions of Christians.

quote:
As for physical disabilities barring one from the priesthood, when did this rule change, has it changed for not only Anglican but Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic, and what were their reasons for doing so?
I don't know. What I do know is that there are people with disabilities who carry out ordained ministry in the Anglican churches in England and Wales, and that change didn't create this degree of argument.

quote:
Also, re mediation at the end, are you saying that the priest is only representing the Church to God, and not God to the Church?
As Fr Gregory has said on countless occasions, the priest is there to allow his hands and tongue to be used so the worshipping community can "eucharistise".

[Code fixed]

[ 11. November 2002, 12:32: Message edited by: frin ]
 
Posted by Dyfrig (# 15) on :
 
Oh dear.

Repeat after me:

preview post is your friend
preview post is your friend

....
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Dyfrig:
Well, that depends on whether you accept that the Christians who happen (for historical and personal reasons) to be outside the institutions of the so-called "Catholic" churches (Orthodoxy, Roman Catholic and, on their own assertion only, Anglican) are "Church" and whether their sacramental activities are valid.

I believe that outside of the three mentioned, the others are "church" in the sense of being believing Christians, but not in the sense of being in valid sacramental Apostolic Succession, and the validity of their sacraments is in doubt for me; this may explain some of our disagreements (or my lack of being convinced, at least) in this matter. If I believed the Anglican churches lacked Apostolic Succession and valid sacraments, I'd either return to Rome or go to Eastern Orthodoxy. And of course at issue is whether, though in proper succession (as we understand it) now, whether in the future we will gradually have some valid and some invalid priests and bishops, thus making the church lose what claims to right Succession we hold. Indeed, I think part of the whole question, not of clerical genitalia, but of specifically priestly genitalia, hinges on the idea of sacraments, apostolic etc.
 
Posted by Fr. Gregory (# 310) on :
 
Dear David

Any woman ordained by a subsequently deposed Orthodox bishop would not be a priest in the sense that she would "sink" with her bishop. Any other ruminations concerning her "status" or "validity" would not concern us at all. The only thing that matters to the Orthodox here is the collegiality of the bishops within the mind of the Church.

As I said before, you can't treat a priest separately from his/her bishop. The controlling / controlled principle is the bishop, (which is why, incidentally, if the ordination of women ever happened in the Orthodox Church it would most likely be to the episcopate that they would be ordained first, (the first "batch" having exceptionally short priesthoods but with the requisite gifts and knowledge).
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
I'm really kind of confused -- how do you mean collegiality here? This sounds like a very different model than either the RC or the Anglican...
 
Posted by Fr. Gregory (# 310) on :
 
Well yes, collegiality is a very different model. What one bishop does or does not do must always be in concert with his brother bishops.

When I was in the Church of England this always struck me as inexplicable ... that bishops could do diamterically opposed things, (ordain women, not ordain women) and still maintain the notion of collegial episcopal unity. I concluded that in England at least Anglican unity was not something that included what a person might actually do or not do.
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
Just *bump*ing this thread up for interested parties from "Catholic and still Anglican?" in Purgatory...
 
Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
 
just as an aside, and something i can neither confirm nor disprove, i read recently that the celtic church in ireland at least, before it had come definatly under the rule of rome, ordained women not only to the priesthood but as bishops too. anyone here know anything about that?
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
Sorry for not responding -- was hoping someone would have some confirmation or the reverse of this. It would certainly be a point in its favour for me, if so! [Smile]

David
 
Posted by Laudate Dominum (# 3104) on :
 
Well, the second-to-last paragraph of this website: http://www.geocities.com/irish_maiden_aine/traditions.htm
says yes, but I haven't seen any other material to support the idea, and that website is extremely brief on that count. I've never heard it mentioned in the arguments of anyone I've met in support of women as priests.
 
Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
 
ok, well i did what i should have done earlier. let me first explain where i gleaned the info above, and why i didn't know if it was reliable or not. i'm an avid mystery reader, and i recently read one of the sister fidelma mysteries, which take place during the early middle ages, (i forget the exact dates) about an irish religiouse (i think thats the spelling that the author uses, she's not a nun in the sense we would understand it today) who is also a trained law interpreter. in the afterward to the book i read, the author (peter tremayne, a pseudonym for peter berresford ellis) explained the cultural and historical background of the novels, and mentioned this tidbit about ordination. now obviously, i had, just reading the book, no idea of the authors quallifications to be saying anything. the series seems to be well researched and accurate, but what the heck do i know about it, my knowledge of that period of history being not particularly deep.

well today after seeing these two posts, i researched the author. i used an electronic databank provided by the library, so i can't provide a link, but i will quote:

quote:
Peter Berresford Ellis has been a full-time writer since 1975. His output, under three different names, includes histories, literary biographies, historical novels, horror-fantasy novels, "whodunits," and adventure-thrillers. Best known in America under the pseudonym Peter Tremayne--the name under which his popular "Sister Fidelma" mysteries are published--Ellis is considered one of the foremost British experts on the ancient Celts. His books on Celtic history and lore have been printed in the United Kingdom and the United States, and it is from these that he draws the wealth of knowledge he puts to use in his popular "Sister Fidelma" mysteries.
this seems to me to indicate that he does know what he's talking about.
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
Hmmm. Well, it would make a difference to me, if true...
 
Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
 
(argh. just checked out laudate dominum's link... it is to an essaylargely rephrased from the exact afterward that i had read in the first place. but now at least you can judge the author)
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
Well -- I do need more proof than that, if available...

David
Current mood: busy (wait, that's still LiveJournal...)
 
Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
 
well you can look him up in amazon.com. and try some of his books (i mean the scholarly stuff, not the sister fidelma books, though they're pretty good if your into mysteries) and see what his sources look like.
 
Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
 
starting to get into this a bit, at this site of the life of saint brigid, i found this:

quote:
With seven other young women robed in white, she took her vows before Saint Mel, the abbot and bishop of Longford, and it is said that he mistakenly consecrated her a bishop.
mistakenly?

and i found this:

quote:
The Book of Lismore bears this story: Brigid and certain virgins along with her went to take the veil from Bishop Mel in Telcha Mide. Blithe was he to see them. For humility Brigid stayed so that she might be the last to whom a veil should be given. A fiery pillar rose from her head to the roof ridge of the church. Then said Bishop Mel: "Come, O holy Brigid, that a veil may be sained on thy head before the other virgins." It came to pass then, through the grace of the Holy Spirit, that the form of ordaining a bishop was read out over Brigid. Macaille said that a bishop's order should not be confirmed on a woman. Said Bishop Mel: "No power have I in this matter. That dignity hath been given by God unto Brigid, beyond every (other) woman." Wherefore the men of Ireland from that time to this give episcopal honor to Brigid's successor.
at this site.
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
Hmmm. What's interesting to me here (apart from the question of whether, in fact, there was a historical St. Brigid in the first place -- some people argue that she was basically the goddess Brigit retconned* into a Christian saint) is not whether or not Brigid was actually made a bishop, but the acceptance of the idea that, if the hands were laid upon her and the prayer was said, she would be, if that makes any sense, without it being damned as a heretical notion of ordination. Definitely food for thought!

David
* retcon: a hybrid word meaning "retroactive continuity," mainly in comic books, in which a character's history is changed, often to reflect modern sensibilities. More information can be found here and also here.
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
Right, rather than go through another long tedious pedantic list (... I can if people really want me to) as I did on another thread, I figured I should post here that (1) since I have not actually heard arguments truly convincing me that -- if the hands are laid upon her and the proper words are spoken, with sacramental intention -- a woman cannot become a priest or bishop -- that Rome denies that a woman can ever be a priest, but I am not under Rome's authority -- that Eastern Orthodoxy may very well permit it -- and that the primary streams of Anglicanism certainly do -- and (2) that I need NOT accept the notion, which is apparently not as universal as I thought, that accepting female priests in some way accuses Sts. Paul on down of cruelty or injustice or incorrect theology -- and (3) that even Lewis, the most convincing (to me) arguer against the practice of ordaining women does not convince me (if he even says, in this article) that the Church cannot do so, just that it ought not do so (in this essay, "Priestesses in the Church?") -- well, goodness, I suppose I can provisionally accept their ordinations as valid. I still think the issue of whether women, or most women, ought to become priests is a valid concern, but this is miles away from whether or not they can become priests.

David
off to watch "The Vicar of Dibley"
 
Posted by Dyfrig (# 15) on :
 
My, my, it's dusty in here [cough]. Where's the light switch? Ah. Good.

Now, a couple of points from pondering this matter further:

1. Gregory, correct me if I'm wrong, but you appear to have moved from a "women cannot be priests therefore Orthodoxy will never ordain them" argument to one where you accept that Orthodoxy could, if it chose to, ordain women. Is this because you agree with Kallistos Ware that the "anti" arguments no longer hold much water? If Ware "comes out" in favour of ordaining women, how will this affect the numerous Orthodox who left the CofE after 1992?

2. Going back to the argument that there are different functions between men and women - childbearing being the obvious one - and that therefore there are fundamental differences between the sexes, how does this actually apply if the non-femaleness of Jesus was no bar to him representing women in his priestly acts?
 
Posted by Mousethief (# 953) on :
 
Geez, Dyfrig, it's as clear as crystal. Men, having both an "X" and a "Y" chromosome, can represent either sex. Women, having only "X" chromosomes, can't represent men.

[Roll Eyes]
 
Posted by Dyfrig (# 15) on :
 
[Killing me]

Of course, now that we've worked out that the Y is a failing, deformed X, it's becoming clearer that only women are truly human.
 
Posted by Cardinal Pole Vault (# 4193) on :
 
What about transexuals? And those whho are genetically one thing, but due to hormonal problems develop genitalia pertaining to the opposite sex? [Confused]
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Dyfrig:
Of course, now that we've worked out that the Y is a failing, deformed X, it's becoming clearer that only women are truly human.

Which kind of messes with the doctrine of the Incarnation, since God chose to be incarnated as a man and thus wasn't truly human. Does this mean we're all going to hell after all?
 
Posted by Cranmer's baggage (# 4937) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
quote:
Originally posted by Dyfrig:
Of course, now that we've worked out that the Y is a failing, deformed X, it's becoming clearer that only women are truly human.

Which kind of messes with the doctrine of the Incarnation, since God chose to be incarnated as a man and thus wasn't truly human. Does this mean we're all going to hell after all?
Either that, or it's further evidence for the Incarnation as a sign of miraculous grace - it is in and through our imperfection that we are made perfect in Christ! [Two face]
 
Posted by kevb (# 4691) on :
 
these denominations would go mental about gay speakers [Love]
 
Posted by dyfrig (# 15) on :
 
Ok. Inspired by Welsh Dragon's concerns in Mystery Worship, let's see if we can take this debte further.

There have been vaginas at the altar in England for nigh on 10 years nigh.

We are, allegedly, in a period of "reception", with unique legal and structural provision being made to allow those who, in conscience, cannot accept the 92 decision (either on the grounds that it ought not to have been made at all or at least not then).

How should the Church of England (and indeed any other denomination) deal with such times?

Should its organs (colleges, dioceses, deaneries, etc) be "pushing" one side or the other?

How do training colleges deal with the need to respect that some of their candidates don't accept that ogthers within the presbytery are truly ordained to that role?

Bearing in mind that the minority have been given legal safeguards over a point of doctrine which are entirely unprecedented within the Church of England, how are we to balance the questions of perceived charity and justice issues inherent in this issue?
 
Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by dyfrig:
There have been vaginas at the altar in England for nigh on 10 years

[...]

Should its organs (colleges, dioceses, deaneries, etc) be "pushing" one side or the other?

The mental imagery stirred up by this felicitous concatenation of phrases makes it very difficult to concentrate on the strictly doctrinal aspects of the question.
 
Posted by Divine Outlaw-Dwarf (# 2252) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Fr. Gregory:
that bishops could do diamterically opposed things, (ordain women, not ordain women) and still maintain the notion of collegial episcopal unity.

Yes, the only thing that is beyond the bounds of possibility, apparently, is being an openly gay and celibate Bishop!

The current situation in the CE makes no ecclesiological sense, I wholeheatedly agree. But, as regards the ordination of women, the alternatives, from my point of view are all worse. These seem to be :-

(1.) Stop ordaining women. Undesirable and not going to happen.

(2.) Third Province. Cul-de-sac.

(3.) Cull of the FinFers. Unjust and would create a sort of liberal hegemony that I really would not be comfortable with.

The current set up makes no sense, abstractly, but is the least worse option, practically.
 
Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Divine Outlaw-Dwarf:
The current set up makes no sense, abstractly, but is the least worse option, practically.

This I have to agree with.

Our parish is about as in favour of the ordination of women as it is possible to be - we had a woman incumbent for 7 years, she has been replaced by another woman, and three women from the parish have been ordained, one currently with us as OLM. But when the question of repealing the Act of Synod came before the Diocesan Synod, a majority of our PCC, and our Deanery Synod reps including & a member of the Dioesamn Synod were all against it. (As was our (evangelical) Bishop, though not the woman OLM)
 
Posted by Fr. Gregory (# 310) on :
 
Dear DOD

I can remember my former Anglican Bishop, Michael Baughen trying to empathise with my issues on Anglicanism's claimed authority to ordain women but then warning me darkly that a far more contentious issue was just over the horizon ... (dum-dee-dum-dum-DUMMMM!!) ... homosexuality. Just how long have they been preparing for all of this?
 
Posted by GoldenKey (# 1468) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Dyfrig:
[Killing me]

Of course, now that we've worked out that the Y is a failing, deformed X, it's becoming clearer that only women are truly human.

Ah, so we're *too good* to be priests! [Cool] [Razz]
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Divine Outlaw-Dwarf:
The current situation in the CE makes no ecclesiological sense, I wholeheatedly agree. But, as regards the ordination of women, the alternatives, from my point of view are all worse. These seem to be :-

(1.) Stop ordaining women. Undesirable and not going to happen.

(2.) Third Province. Cul-de-sac.

(3.) Cull of the FinFers. Unjust and would create a sort of liberal hegemony that I really would not be comfortable with.

The current set up makes no sense, abstractly, but is the least worse option, practically.

Ignorant question: is the ECUSA way of handling this issue (or a variant of it) for some reason not an option in the CofE? Why couldn't you folks just draw a line on the calendar and say that all bishops consecrated after a certain date have to ordain women? You could even draw that line 25 or 50 years in the future.
 
Posted by AdamPater (# 4431) on :
 
RuthW, how is that approach in practice distinguishable from option 3 above?
 
Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
 
The argument goes, that the C of E is currently in a period of 'reception'. We are allegedly discerning whether or not the ordination of women is what God wants us to do.

Nobody who has thought about the issue for five minutes takes this seriously. When I recieve communion from a woman priest, I don't do it with the mental reservation that it might just be a wafer after all. Nor, I imagine, do the FiFers seriously think that they are going to wake up one morning and discover that ordaining women is what God wants the C of E to do. (Which isn't, of course, to say that people don't genuinely wrestle with this issue). But it is the official line - and it does have the merit of recognising that the church is divided on the issue.

So saying "All bishops ordained after the year 2029 will be obliged to ordain women" effectively moves the C of E, from a period of reception to saying "God does want us to ordain women, but on pragmatic grounds we will respect tender consciences on the subject for a bit longer".

I agree with D-O-D's reasoning and conclusions, although I suspect that the hegemony, of which he speaks, is more likely to be evangelical than it is liberal.
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by AdamPater:
RuthW, how is that approach in practice distinguishable from option 3 above?

It seemed to me that option 3 above meant forcing FinF folks to conform or be tossed out immediately.

Thanks for the explanation, Callan. Has the CofE set up a deadline or criteria for when/how they'll know whether God calls women to the priesthood?
 
Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
 
As far as I know no deadline has been set. There is a commission examining the possibility of consecrating women to the episcopate. If they recommend this, and if it is accepted and things start moving, then it will probably provoke a crisis of some kind.

Personally on pragmatic grounds, I think we need a debate on women bishops like we need a hole in the head. YMMV.
 
Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
As far as I know no deadline has been set. There is a commission examining the possibility of consecrating women to the episcopate. If they recommend this, and if it is accepted and things start moving, then it will probably provoke a crisis of some kind.

Though, despite asking a number of people a number of times, I still haven't seen any explanation of why, for those who find that the flying bishops, backed up by Resolutions A to Z are a refuge from women priests, the same system would not be a refuge from women bishops.
 
Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
 
I should really let an actual FiF person answer this.

My understanding is that, with women Bishops, you will have no guarantee that any given priest will be validly ordained. Also the unity of the college of Bishops would be impaired. It is possible for +Ebbsfleet to be in communion with, say, +Southwark in a way that would not be the case if it were Thomasina rather than Tom.

You probably don't find this remotely convincing. However catholic opponents of the ordination of women do. I don't personally have any theological objections to the consecration of women to the episcopate and, if I were in the States, I wouldn't feel the need to check who ordained a priest before recieving the sacrament from him or her. But so much threatens to tear the Church of England apart, I really do feel that this can wait. As I said, YMMV.
 
Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
My understanding is that, with women Bishops, you will have no guarantee that any given priest will be validly ordained.

A problem, I would have thought, for men who are ordained by women and later come to believe that women's ministry is invalid. I suppose they would have to struggle with the notions of some extra-canonical re-ordination. (Can you have a conditional ordination?)

But there would soon be - in practice there already is! - a paralel Anglo-Catholic succession of priests and bishops who have little to do with the rest of us.

quote:
Also the unity of the college of Bishops would be impaired.

[Killing me]

Anglian bishops? United? You were maybe thinking of some other denomination?


quote:

But so much threatens to tear the Church of England apart, I really do feel that this can wait. As I said, YMMV.

I think MM does V. It reinforces the real decision we already made - we have unlocked the door, the horse has already bolted, this will make it clear that we noticed the lack of a horse in the stable.

Also, with any luck, maybe it will take everyone's minds of homosexuality for a while. Give us something else to argue about.

And it makes interchangability of ministry with the Methodists and Presbyterians easier - which is a much more acheivable goal than any recognition of Anglican ministry by Rome.

Though I think we'd have to keep up with the flying bishop system & maybe even strengthen it. For those who see a Mystery Horse in the stable, invisible to the rest of us.
 
Posted by Crotalus (# 4959) on :
 
quote:
the unity of the college of Bishops would be impaired.
Methinks this is a quotation from my Lord of Ebbsfleet?
 
Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
 
Originally posted by Ken:

quote:
A problem, I would have thought, for men who are ordained by women and later come to believe that women's ministry is invalid. I suppose they would have to struggle with the notions of some extra-canonical re-ordination. (Can you have a conditional ordination?)

But there would soon be - in practice there already is! - a paralel Anglo-Catholic succession of priests and bishops who have little to do with the rest of us.

As I understand it, at present, opponents of OoW don't believe that the orders of male priests in the Church of England are invalid. Once women Bishops are ordained there will be no way of knowing whether the orders of a given priest are valid or not. This will constitute a fairly important shift.

Incidentally, I know you've stated before that most evangelicals are in favour of the OoW. But do you have actual stats? I merely ask because whilst that's certainly my experience of Southwark (who sponsored me) Diocese, it's not guaranteed in Chichester (where I was ordained).

You could well be right, of course. I am seeking knowledge rather than offering criticism.

quote:
Anglian bishops? United? You were maybe thinking of some other denomination?
Anglian bishops? Do they do double glazing.

I think the point is that whilst, say, any two Anglican bishops may disagree violently on any number of issues they recognise each other as valid bishops. This wouldn't be the case with an FiF (or Reform) Bishop and a woman Bishop.

Originally posted by Crotalus:

quote:
Methinks this is a quotation from my Lord of Ebbsfleet?
My Lord of Callan, actually. [Biased]
 
Posted by Crotalus (# 4959) on :
 
[Overused]
 
Posted by Henry Troup (# 3722) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
...Once women Bishops are ordained ...

A reality for upwards of ten years now, though not in England. Have parishes taken measures to inquire deeply of Canadian or U.S. ordained priests? Did Raspberry Rabbit have to certify who ordained him? (A serious question, in one sense - I have no idea what paperwork is involved.)
 
Posted by the_grip (# 7831) on :
 
Greetings all!

As my first post on this forum (although i have been an avid reader of this forum a short period of time), i fear i might be diving into hot oil here to introduce myself in a very opinionated subject. So be it.

Perhaps this notion has been struck before and discussed (this is quite a long thread, after all), but wouldn't the sake of not creating division be warrant enough in this case *not* to ordain women? i do subscribe to the "apostolic tradition hasn't included ordaining women" notion as well as the idea of the created order as counter points to the OoW, but i think there is something else at stake.

Division is created when one thrusts their own will (or wills) upon that which is established in order to pursue what one determines is "right" - that is, "My view on a subject which stands against that which exists is of more value than our unity." In cases where evil is being played out by the majority, then such a stand is noble... but is that the case here?

Saint Paul warns us against division - and things like OoW and homosexual bishops are causing rents (enormously) where perhaps they are not needed. When no great evil is being perpetrated, do we need to be divisive? Is that what "progress" is? Is this for the good of all or is it just to be "modern and progressive" or (even worse) "adored by the majority of society"? i'm not saying this is the motive neccesarily for all who support the OoW, homosexual bishops, etc - but this should give us pause for thought. Unity in the church is fragile enough these days... these moves are only forcing the split wider between us and the other branches of the church (by this i'm referring to the RCC and in a large part to the EO).
 
Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
 
Originally posted by Henry Troup:

quote:
A reality for upwards of ten years now, though not in England. Have parishes taken measures to inquire deeply of Canadian or U.S. ordained priests? Did Raspberry Rabbit have to certify who ordained him? (A serious question, in one sense - I have no idea what paperwork is involved.)
I was present at a discussion on the Anglican-Methodist covenant, where John Hind (+Chichester) spoke. He seemed to think that clergy who have been ordained by a woman bishop need to be re-ordained if they wish to serve in the C of E.
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by the_grip:
When no great evil is being perpetrated, do we need to be divisive? Is that what "progress" is?

So it's no great evil to tell all the women who think they might be called by God to the priesthood that they should just shut up and go away? Progress is treating women as full members of the body of Christ.
 
Posted by the_grip (# 7831) on :
 
quote:
So it's no great evil to tell all the women who think they might be called by God to the priesthood that they should just shut up and go away? Progress is treating women as full members of the body of Christ.
Who is telling them this? Certainly if someone degraded a woman in such a manner then they are in the wrong. That's not the issue here. You're making a strawman argument. That would not be progress, but that's not what i'm advocating. Maybe our over-emphasis on individuality needs addressing - we're assuming in this argument that obtaining priesthood or even beyond that what "i" feel "i" want is warranted over the majority. Just a guess - i'm not one making these decisions so i have the liberty to speculate.

[ 07. July 2004, 01:10: Message edited by: the_grip ]
 
Posted by John Holding (# 158) on :
 
the_grip:

If you haven't, please read the preceeding posts -- yes, all eight pages of them -- before you start up on this. Your concerns have been done over and over and over again -- that's why this is a dea horse.

That was the kind part, appropriate to someone who is on his/her second post.

If this were in Hell, I would suggest to you that if you are puzzled at Ruth's reaction -- and it was very mild indeed -- you need some lessons in writing (because she understandably took offense at what came across as very offensively written) and in reading with understanding (because you seemed puzzled at what she wrote). Only, to express my actual feelings, if this were Hell, my language would be far more colourful (and I NEVER use words like that!). But this is not Hell, so I won't.

Just read the previous posts, and then come back.

John
 
Posted by the_grip (# 7831) on :
 
quote:
If you haven't, please read the preceeding posts -- yes, all eight pages of them -- before you start up on this. Your concerns have been done over and over and over again -- that's why this is a dea horse.
Actually i have skimmed the whole thread, but i don't think you quite get me here. What i'm saying is not directly tied to the issue - it's the notion of forcing the will of few on the many. If we want to shift gears on the subject, i would affirm that in past history there has been great abuse of man over woman, perhaps most heinously in the church. i think this has and still should be strenuously addressed.

But back to the point: i'm not telling priestess to "shut up and go away." Nor was i puzzled by her response; in fact i quite expected someone would contribute such a thought. Further, if you found my post offensive, then please spell out what caused offense and i will gladly apologize. i am by no means attempting to defeat anyone here nor to even presume i could. i am merely offering suggestions to think about - that is, is there need for division over this issue? Again, i'm not telling anyone to shut up - i am simply appealing for people to think.

At this point, i'm sure many would say, "Yes, now i've thought, now you shut up." Feel free to toss in all the colorful language you want, but at least consider what i'm saying. i don't intend to stir up a fight here. Like i said, i'm speculating, and i'm just asking that this thought be considered. i don't think it has quite been addressed from this angle, and i think everyone could use a pause daily to reflect on what freedom, equality, and meaning in life truly stand for. In this i'm not saying that my point means i'm right, nor does my point equate the answer to such a daily reflection. i do, however, think we get way to hasty on things and tend to trample the details to bits in an effort to force our will. It's human nature to do so. To be redundant, that's why i'm offering a different angle to this issue.
 
Posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider (# 76) on :
 
How, exactly, does a flat refusal to ordain a woman amount to anything other than saying "shut up and go away?" to one such who presents herself for ordination?

[ 07. July 2004, 09:58: Message edited by: Karl: Liberal Backslider ]
 
Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by the_grip:
What i'm saying is not directly tied to the issue - it's the notion of forcing the will of few on the many.

Within the context of the Church of England - which is what we were talking about just then - its the other way round. Most people who expressed an opinion wanted to ordain women. They are the MANY, not the few. A majority of the provinces (and probably dioceses, I haven't counted) in the Anglican communion ordain women.

Ecumenically, the churches we Anglicans are closest to historically and are most likely to be in some sort of recongnition of ordained ministry with are our brothers and sisters in the Lutheran, Presbyterian, and Methodist traditions.
And most of those churches recognise the ordained ministry of women.
 
Posted by the_grip (# 7831) on :
 
quote:
How, exactly, does a flat refusal to ordain a woman amount to anything other than saying "shut up and go away?" to one such who presents herself for ordination?
Again, this is trying to take a strawman argument and missing the point. In that line of reasoning one is brushing off the topic without considering it. It essentially says, "Someone is doing something so telling them no is insulting and thus wrong." But this wholly misses the point; besides, insult does not always indicate wrong, either. i am not trying to be rude to women who are ordained or who are seeking ordination, so telling them to "shut up and go away" is quite an overreaction and not my position. This is totally understandable given the hot nature of this topic, and all i'm asking is that we discuss this without going overboard emotionally on the subject.

Thus, i don't think the "we're doing it already" or the "how could you ever tell a woman no to the priesthood" are really arguments. i might as well say, "Show me the chapter and verse." Does this make sense?

quote:
Within the context of the Church of England
That's just it - i'm not placing this solely within the context of the CoE. i looking at the much broader context of this.

quote:
A majority of the provinces (and probably dioceses, I haven't counted) in the Anglican communion ordain women.
This could be true, and i am interested in such a question. i wonder if there is a diocese count kept somewhere - it would be an interesting study and would be very helpful to the discussion.

quote:
Ecumenically, the churches we Anglicans are closest to historically and are most likely to be in some sort of recongnition of ordained ministry with are our brothers and sisters in the Lutheran, Presbyterian, and Methodist traditions.
The Methodist denomination was an Anglican experiment - it was an attempt by Wesley to spark a revival in the Anglican church. i think he might have underestimated the fierce individuality and dislike of England in the US at his time (perhaps). However, historically i would say the CoE has more in common with the RCC and EO than Lutherans or Presbyterians. That doesn't mean i'm right, but i don't see the CoE as closer to Protestant than Catholic. The biggest hangup for Protestant understanding is sacramental theology - something wholly embraced by the CoE. i also think the genius of the Anglican church lies in the fact that it does not force certain issues into division as does many of the Protestant denominations and as does Rome. In this way, the Anglican church is kind of like a Western Eastern Orthodox church.

i also see the CoE beginning in 156 AD as according to Bede's account and not just happening because of an annulment in the 16th and 17th centuries, so my context is quite large - two thousand years.

Again, let me reiterate - i'm not trying to insult or demand that i be right. i'm simply asking, "Is this topic worth the division it will cause within the church?" If yes, that's great - i just want to see the discussion behind it. i'm learning myself and, while i do align myself the way C.S. Lewis would in God In the Dock on this subject, i'm certainly open to change if the necessity presents itself. Feel free to view it as proselytizing to an old fashioned windbag if that helps stimulate a real discussion.

Again, ken i think looking at such a figure of the number of women priests in the church would be a good point to the argument, perhaps even viewing this on a grander scale with churches around the world. This does sidestep the historocity of the debate, but it is helpful nonetheless.

[ 07. July 2004, 12:55: Message edited by: the_grip ]
 
Posted by the_grip (# 7831) on :
 
ken, i did mistakenly miss something in my post... Lutherans (for the most part) do embrace sacramental theology (at least in the two they recognize). i don't want to miss that point, as it does give us a bit more in common than we do have with, say, Presbyterians or Baptists.

That is a good question for an ecumencial examination too - do Lutherans ordain women?
 
Posted by TonyK (# 35) on :
 
<Host Mode - ACTIVATE>

the-grip -welcome to the Ship - and to the Dead Horses Board - a brave place to start (only Hell would be worse!)

Can I re-iterate the advice given above - the reason that this thread is here is because much of what could be said, has been said. In fairness to other shipmates, please read the detail and only present new thoughts. Although I would agree that some of what you have said does indeed constitute 'new thought'.

However - one further point. The word 'priestess' in this context is always taken as being un-necessarily insulting to the female priests on the Ship. Please do not use it again in this thread. Thank you

<Host Mode - DEACTIVATE>
 
Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by the_grip:
However, historically i would say the CoE has more in common with the RCC and EO than Lutherans or Presbyterians. That doesn't mean i'm right, but i don't see the CoE as closer to Protestant than Catholic.

How much would you be willing to bet on the CofE being in full intercommunion with the Roman Catholics anytime soon? Including recognition of each other's ordained ministry (without re-ordination) of course?

And with the Scottish Presbyterians?

I know which one I think will happen first.

I can't offer you that bet about the Lutetherans, because for most of them (the so-called Porvoo churches) we are already there.
 
Posted by corpusdelicti (# 5124) on :
 
the_grip:

quote:
"Is this topic worth the division it will cause within the church?"
If understand your point you are saying we should not allow women priests when it causes so much division and disagreement - which Paul says we should avoid.

Well what if NOT ordaining women was what was causing the disagreement? It seems to me that the CofE began ordaining women partly because to continue not doing so would have led to increasing division.

Now, I think, only a minority of congregations in the CofE oppose women priests, and the church has hardly spilt in two over the issue.

So perhaps ordaining women was the right thing to so to avoid further conflict.
 
Posted by the_grip (# 7831) on :
 
quote:
a brave place to start
Heh, i was wondering and still ask myself, "Did i f'up significantly by jumping in here?" [Smile] [Help]

quote:
The word 'priestess' in this context is always taken as being un-necessarily insulting to the female priests on the Ship. Please do not use it again in this thread.
My apologies - i was attempting to be equitable and did not realize this word was offensive. Consider it stricken from my vocabulary.

Back to the topic:
quote:
How much would you be willing to bet on the CofE being in full intercommunion with the Roman Catholics anytime soon?
You're quite right here, but i think it's just adding "fuel to the fire", so to speak. Existing division should not warrant pushing ahead in more divisive ways.

To be clear and fair on this as well, i think the Pope has played a much larger role in ensuring the division between Anglicans and Romans than the ordination of women has.

quote:
perhaps ordaining women was the right thing to so to avoid further conflict.
You could be correct, and i'm definitely not one to deny the authority of the church.

quote:
the church has hardly spilt in two over the issue.
It does depend on how you define the church. If we are discussing the Anglican church only, then you may be somewhat correct here - i'm not sure (this is where statistics (as feeble a measuring stick as they are) would be helpful). However, if you consider the entire Body of Christ, i think it's a bit trickier to not see this as a sticking point in division (albeit definitely not as large as others for sure).

This is a good inquiry, however. It is what ken posted above, and i think it would be helpful if we could find statistics on this topic in the church.

That said, i am probably going to "put up and shut up" at this point [Smile] . i do need a good taste of my own medicine quite often - thus, i'm not going to shove a divisive stake between me and the rest of the folks here. i'll leave these tiny lumps of thought and fade back into the silent observing crowd.

Again, please do accept my apologies for any offensive words i inadvertantly used. i was trying to be conscientious ("politically correct", if you will), not offensive. i do apologize.
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
the_grip, if refusing to accept women into the process by which the church discerns whether they are called by God to the priesthood is not telling them to shut up and go away, what exactly is it telling them?

Considering the real women who are affected by the church's decision to ordain them (or not) is not a straw man argument - it's dealing with the reality of people's lives. These are real people with real relationships with God who think God may be calling them to serve his people in a particular way. They aren't abstract parts of an argument. If you slink away now, then I will draw the obvious conclusion: you don't care about the real people involved.
 
Posted by the_grip (# 7831) on :
 
Ok, so i'm eating my words about staying away here [Smile]

quote:
if refusing to accept women into the process by which the church discerns whether they are called by God to the priesthood is not telling them to shut up and go away, what exactly is it telling them?
Firstly, it is not saying "shut up" or "go away". This is not in accordance with anything the Christian faith advocates - no one should ever disrespect anyone in that manner.

The logic such a counter point rests on also implies that if someone thinks/feels/etc. valid about what they are doing then they are necessarily right.

That said, i do see what you are driving at - you are looking at this as you described:
quote:
These are real people with real relationships with God who think God may be calling them to serve his people in a particular way. They aren't abstract parts of an argument.
i quite agree here. That's why i'm not saying, "Shut up and go away." This is not a two sided equation here with either a) you agree and thus don't say, "Shut up" or b) you disagree and do say it. *That's* the strawman. Like you said, i'm a real person who actually does care about real people - this is not just a two-sided abstract argument. i'm not some evildoer because i would question this practice. i do not stigmatize anyone here about what they believe on this matter - please do not do the same to me.

i propose c) perhaps the issue is much larger than this, but let me back up and answer your question.

quote:
what exactly is it telling them
Let me first make an assumption for the sake of argument: the ordination of women is against the tenets of our faith. Please note this does not mean this is true - i'm a layman that is trying to stay afloat in the waves of life like all of us. i'm only putting this forth for explanation's sake.

If indeed the ordination of women was not a correct practice, then it is saying that their current state as priest is not valid.

It could be a call to (gird yourself up here, i'm using a hostile word) *submission*. The entirety of creation is a symbol of that which is most noble - humility. This is largely and perhaps most visably played out in submission to authority. Unfortunately, our sinful little hands got ahold of the concept of submission and have made it a statement of value to whom is "submitted to" instead of value of "who is doing the submitting" (for a case in point, examine Jesus Himself). We cry out, "Submission? Like hell! That's evil! How dare they?" Quite rightly so - that is, if the definition of submission stays in our sinful little hands.

i hope you see that the option of saying "no" to this issue is not saying, "Shut up and go away." Quite the opposite - women who are devoted to God and to the service of His church are vital, absolutely so (just as men are). Being a priest/bishop/etc. is not the eptiome of the Christian faith nor is it of some higher value than those who are not. To look at a case in point, examine Mother Teresa. Here is a woman who has excelled in love far beyond what most people know, men included. Thus, position is not a judgement of value. It is position in the structure God has created in which the principle is "my life for yours" not "my will above yours" or "my value is higher than yours". This is vital in understanding where i'm coming from.

Thus, it is not degrading or demeaning (as "shut up and go away" would imply) to say, "Maybe this position in God's created order was meant for the male gender, not in terms of value but in terms of a symbol of love" or the like. Who knows... i'm not an expert, merely a speculator.

Thus, i don't think telling someone they are wrong inherently implies evil. Thus:

quote:
If you slink away now, then I will draw the obvious conclusion: you don't care about the real people involved.
is quite offensive. In a short few sentences of pronounced judgement, i've gone from questioner to evildoer. You know me so well to judge that i don't care about people? Is this brush of generalization and stereotype warranted here? To be quite fair, i'm sure you did not mean it as such, but i would call attention to where that line of logic is headed.

All this said, this aside is really is outside of my point and (as mentioned above) is starting to dig up arguments that i'm sure have been made. Despite this redundancy, there is a thread that links the two together. Submission in humility often incurs the idea of the maintenance of unity (or the attempt to) - and that was my point.

[ 07. July 2004, 16:04: Message edited by: the_grip ]
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
I don't know you at all. I merely said what conclusion I would draw about you if you came onto this board, made a few comments, including accusing me of making a straw man argument, and then went away.

And sorry, but I see nothing but sexism in your discussion of "submission." Only women who hear God's call are asked to ignore that call and submit.
 
Posted by the_grip (# 7831) on :
 
quote:
I see nothing but sexism in your discussion of "submission." Only women who hear God's call are asked to ignore that call and submit.
This does again touch on the nature of submission, and it is not only women who are called to submit. We are all called to submit to the authority we find in God's structure of creation - for we find we are submitting to God and His love in doing so. In fact, Saint Paul elucidates on how men and women submit to each other - there is enormous dignity in the female gender (in fact, it could be said that the female is the "crowning jewel" of creation, the bearer of humanity, etc.). To be clear, i'm not trying to say, "Women, bow your heads." That's not the gist of my POV *at all*. That would be sexist, and i would say this is a purely human idea of submission that is unknown in the Christian faith.

Lastly, if i did insult you by my responses, then i apologize. i recognize that "message board" is usually a misnomer - "anger/hatred board" is usually more the case. Thus, i'm sure many people do stoll in, drop some anger baggage on the rest of us, and stroll out. That was not my intent, and if i came across as such, i do apologize. The last thing i want is for me to present myself to you as a warmongering machine-gun poster of hatred.

That said, i was not "accusing" you of making a strawman argument - i was simply showing that you did. That's not to say that you intentionally were attempting to malign me, but i did want to show that your objection forced my position into a sharp-edged two sided argument. i either wanted women to be loved and treated with dignity and respect or i wanted them to shut up. i hope it's clear that is not the discussion at hand here.

To be redundant on my redundancy, i think i have overstayed my welcome in this thread, thus i will withdraw (hopefully) in a spirit of peace. Just so it's not forgotten, my initial point was to examine this in the light of Church unity, whatever that may lead to (women ordination or not).
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
Just as soon as straight white men are required to make a huge personal sacrifice not required of anyone else for the unity of the church, I'll think that unity is what we're really talking about here.

quote:
We are all called to submit to the authority we find in God's structure of creation - for we find we are submitting to God and His love in doing so.
"God's structure of creation" presumably means men can be priests and women can't. If this is the case, it ignores certain inconvenient things, such as the fact that women are made in God's image just as much as men are.

quote:
i did want to show that your objection forced my position into a sharp-edged two sided argument. i either wanted women to be loved and treated with dignity and respect or i wanted them to shut up. i hope it's clear that is not the discussion at hand here.
Either women are ordained or they're not. There's no in-between state. You can claim to be making all sorts of intermediate arguments, but the effect upon women who want to enter the ordination process is the same.

You can call it withdrawing in a spirit of peace if you want. I just call it withdrawing. Why you keep bringing up insult I don't know - I'm arguing aggressively for something I feel strongly about, something we are both free to do along as we don't violate any of the Ship's commandments.
 
Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
 
Originally posted by RuthW:

quote:
Just as soon as straight white men are required to make a huge personal sacrifice not required of anyone else for the unity of the church, I'll think that unity is what we're really talking about here.
Notwithstanding my occasional bouts of misplaced catholic solidarity, I thought this was wonderful.
 
Posted by IanB (# 38) on :
 
During the Stalinist purges very many Russian priests were executed for being what they were. The exact figure will never be known but it was reported to run to tens of thousands. That's rather a lot in my estimation. Most of them in fact. The church in Russia, although horribly compromised, nevertheless emerged broadly united (though sadly not in its external manifestations).

I'm at a complete loss to know why their painful witness is being utterly discounted here.

Ian
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
Because it's completely irrelevant. If there had been women priests, they too would have been executed.
 
Posted by IanB (# 38) on :
 
Ah - the non-existent scenario gambit.

The problem being that in fact no such conditions ever existed to the best of my knowledge. And in fact any such church in early 20th C. Russia would certainly not have been the Russian Orthodox Church, and so would have conspicuously failed to preserve the unity of the church, which was one of your own criteria. Who knows what other things such a non-existent hypothetical entity might also have or not have done? Maybe they could have agreed with Stalin and become his henchmen.

I was kinda disappointed in that earlier post of yours Ruth, because I enjoy reading your contributions whether or not I agree with them. I really don't mind debating what failings we (i.e. those of us who find ourselves to be white heterosexual males) tend to have. Hell, I might come out of it a better person. But I reckon you can do a lot better than to do it through cheap sloganeering that demeans the witness ( martyria ) of a particular group that happened - rightly or wrongly - to be in the category you refer to so derisively.

Ian
 
Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
 
Originally posted by IanB:

quote:
Who knows what other things such a non-existent hypothetical entity might also have or not have done? Maybe they could have agreed with Stalin and become his henchmen.
Have you considered a career as an editorialist for New Directions? I understand this kind of cheap sneer passes as wit in those circles.

Ian, your earlier post was a complete non-sequitur. Because faithful Christians, both clergy and lay, male and female were martyred during the Stalin regime and indeed, throughout history. So the burden of martyrdom was not, and never has been, borne exclusively by men so Ruth's point stands.

On the other hand if you say 'we cannot ordain women or appoint a woman to post x because it will offend people' the burden of that is borne exclusively by women. And who can forget the directive to the early batches of women priests in the C of E not to look too cheerful at their ordinations, lest the subsequent photographs in the papers cause members of Frozen in Fear to choke on their gin.
 
Posted by ChristinaMarie (# 1013) on :
 
Over the last 2000 years there have been many women martyrs. I do not think that they were lacking in Russia either. I doubt very much that it was just Priests and Bishops who were persecuted and killed by the Communists.

Christina
 
Posted by ChristinaMarie (# 1013) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
quote:
Originally posted by the_grip:
When no great evil is being perpetrated, do we need to be divisive? Is that what "progress" is?

So it's no great evil to tell all the women who think they might be called by God to the priesthood that they should just shut up and go away? Progress is treating women as full members of the body of Christ.
Of course women who feel called to the priesthood should not be told to 'shut up and go away.' A woman who feels called to the priesthood should be counselled spiritually, and it should be explained to her that she is suffering some kind of spiritual delusion. If the woman persists, after spiriual direction, then the woman should be kindly referred to a Consultant Psychiatrist, because she may be suffering a mental illness that is causing delusions of grandeur. In this case, she is is obviously in the need of medication.

I don't believe the above myself, but it seems to me to be the logical answer to the problem, if it is true that women should not be Priests.

Christina
 
Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
 
Which brings us full circle to the quote in the OP:

quote:
"A real woman," said a (male) speaker at a Forward in Faith* rally some months ago, "knows that a woman cannot be a priest."

 
Posted by IanB (# 38) on :
 
Yes - many people, male and female died under the purges of course. The thread concerns priests hence the category under discussion.

Callan asks -
quote:
Have you considered a career as an editorialist for New Directions? I understand this kind of cheap sneer passes as wit in those circles.
I don't generally use smileys. There's a risk in doing that I know. What I was doing was using the same technique to show if its crap argument for me, it's crap originally. No sneering intended, so if anyone thought that, apologies to them.

But as to the rest of your post, I simply point out that my response was to Ruth's statement which was in the context of
- priesthood
- sexual orientation
- colour
- failure to make sacrifices for the unity of the church.
Please at least credit me with the understanding that the new martyrs were not either primarily or exclusively clerical or male. It's you that changed the frame of reference, not me. Any statement wrenched from its context can be made into a non-sequitur in that different context.

FiF? - they can look after themselves. I disagree with them. Your last paragraph is more substantially on the subject of the thread, and just for the record the views you conditionally suggest I might hold are not held be me at all. In fact my main interest is in another area entirely, which is to say what it means to be embodied and to be female or male. Obviously such threads as this touch on that matter which is why I check in down here from time to time. I'm wondering whether this is the best place to air such matters, or a separate thread.

Ian
 
Posted by IanB (# 38) on :
 
(the "Yes" at the beginning of that last post was an agreement with ChristinaMaries earlier posting, not the FiF quote in Callan's post just before mine)
 
Posted by ChristinaMarie (# 1013) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by IanB:
Yes - many people, male and female died under the purges of course. The thread concerns priests hence the category under discussion.

Yes, but wasn't your response a response to Ruth's point about straight guys doing something for unity, that was unique to them? If so, my response shows that it is not unique, women dies too.

Don't forget the Baptists either, many of them suffered and died.

In fact, I've read that more Christians were martyred under the Communists in the 20th century, than in all other centuries combined.

Furthermore, on unity. There are many Russian Orthodox who have problems with unity because some Priests and Bishops co-operated with the authorities. I think ROCOR take a rather Donatist position. It's the same with Baptists too.

Christina
 
Posted by ChristinaMarie (# 1013) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
Which brings us full circle to the quote in the OP:

quote:
"A real woman," said a (male) speaker at a Forward in Faith* rally some months ago, "knows that a woman cannot be a priest."

That's rather a delusional statement, isn't it.

Perhaps he was thinking that a real woman wouldn't be seen dead in one of the frocks that he wears? [Biased]

Christina
 
Posted by IanB (# 38) on :
 
ChristinaMarie asked
quote:
Yes, but wasn't your response a response to Ruth's point about straight guys doing something for unity, that was unique to them? If so, my response shows that it is not unique, women dies too.

Ah, OK, I see why you make the point about others (with which of course I agree). My point is the simple one that these guys were by whatever accident of fate or design in a place where a sacrifice was called for. The fact that the majority of them were probably straight is an accident of statistics. The fact that most of them were presumably white is an accident of population demographics. But they were priests and bishops, and they are called to be the focus of unity of the church in the first instance in a way that the rest of us are not, and they did so.

Concerning ROCOR/ROCA, yes, I did originally make the comment that the church was compromised, but I am assured by my Orthodox contacts that the rift within Russian Orthodoxy is moving steadily towards healing. I hope so.

Ian
 
Posted by ChristinaMarie (# 1013) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by IanB:
But they were priests and bishops, and they are called to be the focus of unity of the church in the first instance in a way that the rest of us are not, and they did so.

Mmmm! If women were allowed to be Priests and Bishops in the Orthodox Church, then they would have done the same, which was Ruth's point.

By saying, 'in a way that the rest of us are not' you are making a HUGE assumption. You are assuming that women are not called to be Priests. The opposite argument is that some women are being denied their calling to be Priests.

It can be argued that not everyone is called to be a teacher, but if women or black people, say, are not allowed to be teachers in an institution, then one cannot argue that we should respect the hard job teachers have to do, as an argument against women or black people being allowed to teach. As Ruth stated about Russian Priests, it is irrelevant to this debate. Your response seemed to imply you thought Ruth didn't give a damn about martyrs. I've added that women were martyred too and men who weren't Priests.

Christina
 
Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
Just as soon as straight white men are required to make a huge personal sacrifice not required of anyone else

Rome demands thatn they give up sex and marriage if they are to be priests. That's a huge personal sacrifice. And it's not required of anyone else.

(well, except for divorced persons whose spouse is still living - but I suppose they could say that that is that person's fault in some way so it might be a punishement rather than a sacrifice)
 
Posted by Alt Wally (# 3245) on :
 
IanB

quote:
Concerning ROCOR/ROCA, yes, I did originally make the comment that the church was compromised, but I am assured by my Orthodox contacts that the rift within Russian Orthodoxy is moving steadily towards healing. I hope so.
What you're hearing is correct. Metropolitan Laurus was recently in Moscow and what I've heard is that a reunion is quite close. The Tikhvin icon was also recently sent back to Russia by the OCA, who said they would not do so until the Russian Church was no longer compromised.

Among the many martyrs of the Communists was the Holy Martyr Grand Duchess Elizabeth who was killed along with Nun Barbara and the other female members of the Romanov family. All have been canonized by the church.
 
Posted by ChristinaMarie (# 1013) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ken:
quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
Just as soon as straight white men are required to make a huge personal sacrifice not required of anyone else

Rome demands thatn they give up sex and marriage if they are to be priests. That's a huge personal sacrifice. And it's not required of anyone else.


It is required of Nuns and Monks too, Ken.

Christina
 
Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
 
One could, for completely different reasons, add gay people to the list.

With any luck this will start a complete tangent, requiring Tony to say: 'Take it to Dead Horses. No wait! We're in Dead Horses!'
 
Posted by IanB (# 38) on :
 
Thanks Alt Wally - good news.

ChristinaMarie -
quote:
If women were allowed to be Priests and Bishops in the Orthodox Church, then they would have done the same, which was Ruth's point.

FWIW I happen to agree with that, but its irrelevant - we were not talking about what might have been but what has been.

quote:
By saying, 'in a way that the rest of us are not' you are making a HUGE assumption. You are assuming that women are not called to be Priests. The opposite argument is that some women are being denied their calling to be Priests.

I imagine if you believe that I hold some notion of ontological change on being priested, then it would be fair to draw that assumption. But I don't. I make no assumptions at all, save only that the people in question actually were priests and bishops at the time. Whether rightly or wrongly in fact. Whether or not the discernment process was flawed.

quote:
It can be argued that not everyone is called to be a teacher, but if women or black people, say, are not allowed to be teachers in an institution, then one cannot argue that we should respect the hard job teachers have to do, as an argument against women or black people being allowed to teach.
If being a priest were a job such as being a teacher then I would agree. But is it a reasonable comparison? The catholic view is that it is the eucharist that constitutes the church. In the eucharist, the heavenly realities break through in some way into the present; despite us being firmly and continually anchored in the here-and-now we have a taste of heaven. Difficult to believe with some modern liturgies I know, but I do believe it. The orientation of the eucharist is eschatalogical. So whatever the priest and congregation do together becomes iconic. We have many ways we can configure a eucharist, but they all need to participate in the same divine reality, and because it is a sacrament, it achieves what it points to. So if we change the iconography we run the risk of dimming the light of the picture.

It would be fair at this point to add that of course if it is correct that women be priested then of course the image should shine more brightly. I would dearly like to know myself which it is. But I thought I would post this to let you know that this is not a Rome-type iconic argument. So although a priest certainly has a teaching function, it is the eucharistic gathering (properly belonging to the bishop but done in his or her place in absentia by the priest) that defines the locus of this argument.

If you do not agree with the above then I would not expect you to agree with what might flow from that. But if the locus of the argument is to be eucharistic, then we have have to make our decision based on both the here-and-now, and the eternal. And for the eternal, the prelapsarian status is that it is good that we are created male and female. Both male and female fell, and both will be restored because we equally possess the human nature which will be transfigured. So I suppose the question is "do we have separate or interchangeable roles in the economy of salvation"?

Ian
 
Posted by ChristinaMarie (# 1013) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by IanB:
If you do not agree with the above then I would not expect you to agree with what might flow from that. But if the locus of the argument is to be eucharistic, then we have have to make our decision based on both the here-and-now, and the eternal. And for the eternal, the prelapsarian status is that it is good that we are created male and female. Both male and female fell, and both will be restored because we equally possess the human nature which will be transfigured. So I suppose the question is "do we have separate or interchangeable roles in the economy of salvation"?
Ian

Well, eschatologically, I believe 'there is no male or female in Christ Jesus.' Male and female are in the process of being abolished, just as slave and free, Jew and Gentile, will be abolished in the life to come.

Jesus said there would be no marriage in heaven, which seems to rule out sex, and differences between the sexes.

Some argue that Jesus is a man, so we will be men or women. Yet, Revelation 1 states that Jesus has breasts. In the Greek it is the word for women's breasts. 'Girt about the breasts' or 'paps' as the KJV states. Other versions have 'chest' or 'breast' which is not what the Greek says. It is symbolic language of an androgyne Jesus.

Is a man, just a man, and a woman, just a woman? Or, as Jung taught, does every man have an anima (female side) and every woman an animus (male side)? If the latter is true, isn't it what is inside a person that is important? If it is true, then didn't Jesus have an anima too? Perhaps this is how he redeemed womankind too?

Christina
 
Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
One could, for completely different reasons, add gay people to the list.

They aren't required to be celibate. As long as they only fuck people they don't fancy.
 
Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ChristinaMarie:
It is required of Nuns and Monks too, Ken.

I was thinking about that. But it doesn't seem the same as priests and bishops somehow (ignoring my irrelevant aside about divorce).

I suppose it because we were talking in the context of things that are essential for the unity of the Church. And in the (Roman) Catholic understanding, priests and bishops are essential for the unity of the church. Monks and nuns might be good to have around, but you can do without them.
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
IanB, the question of who has and has not been martyred over the centuries is entirely irrelevant. Christians of all sorts have suffered for their faith just because they were Christians.

The suffering that women and gays aspiring to the priesthood are asked by some in the church to undertake is not at all comparable. These men and women are asked to make a huge personal sacrifice for the sake of church unity not because they are Christians but because they happen to be women or happen to be gay.

I am not engaging in "cheap sloganeering" and I am offended and angry that you characterized my post with such words. I am stating the truth as I see it. I did not deride the sacrifice of the martyrs. I said you were comparing apples and oranges.

quote:
But if the locus of the argument is to be eucharistic, then we have have to make our decision based on both the here-and-now, and the eternal. And for the eternal, the prelapsarian status is that it is good that we are created male and female. Both male and female fell, and both will be restored because we equally possess the human nature which will be transfigured. So I suppose the question is "do we have separate or interchangeable roles in the economy of salvation"?
I don't see how or why men and women would have different roles in the economy of salvation.
 
Posted by BuzzyBee (# 3283) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
Originally posted by Henry Troup:

quote:
A reality for upwards of ten years now, though not in England. Have parishes taken measures to inquire deeply of Canadian or U.S. ordained priests? Did Raspberry Rabbit have to certify who ordained him? (A serious question, in one sense - I have no idea what paperwork is involved.)
I was present at a discussion on the Anglican-Methodist covenant, where John Hind (+Chichester) spoke. He seemed to think that clergy who have been ordained by a woman bishop need to be re-ordained if they wish to serve in the C of E.
The problem will come a few "generations" of priests (in terms of apostolic succession) down the line. Is a male priest ordained by a male bishop who was himself originally ordained by a male bishop who was himself originally ordained by a female bishop actually a priest? If not, you will need some quite detailed records to keep track of which male priests are really priests. Some kind of gonad purity certificate.

[ 09. July 2004, 08:47: Message edited by: BuzzyBee ]
 
Posted by paigeb (# 2261) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by IanB:
It would be fair at this point to add that of course if it is correct that women be priested then of course the image should shine more brightly.

I can only speak for myself, but this has certainly been my experience. I came to believe in the Real Presence only AFTER I started taking communion from women priests. To describe my experiences with the eucharist since that time would make me sound like an absolute loon, but the fact remains---I have experienced the Holy Spirit's presence through women priests.

That is not to say that the Holy Spirit only comes through female priests. Just that women priests have given me access to God in a way that I had not experienced before.
 
Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by BuzzyBee:
If not, you will need some quite detailed records to keep track of which male priests are really priests. Some kind of gonad purity certificate.

Have more than one bishop present at every ordination of priests - as we do now with consecrations of bishops.

(Ideally 3 - one an Anglican, one a Methodist, and one a Presbyterian [Snigger] )
 
Posted by IanB (# 38) on :
 
Thanks, paigeb - that's helpful.

Ruth - I have no desire to annoy you, and certainly don't want any part of a contest to see who can annoy the other party the most. Because I'm now running out of time till tomorrow I'll leave today with a couple of short comments and a request. So -

1.
quote:
Christians of all sorts have suffered for their faith just because they were Christians
Of course. But you've gone and done it again and changed the frame of reference. I am desparately trying to answer you in terms of the comment that you made. Is it that you are taking the condition or experience of all humanity to be the same? You were talking about male, white etc. and I responded in context. Whatever the reason, maybe a change of approach is called for that involves neither generalisations nor aggrieved examples to refute the generalisations.

2. Hurt. I'm not going to buy this argument and I would suggest it is in your interest not to either. Hurting is what stops us damaging ourselves by putting our hands in a flame. The derelict human use of pain is to cause grief to others who we don't like. So pain can be either a good thing that saves us from something worse, or a human sin that is used to curtail the full flourishing of another. Surely the whole discussion is as to which it is (or I suppose possibly is it both to some extent?). Hurt always requires pastoral care. Whether it needs action to remove the source of the hurt depends on the cause. Concerning which there is much argument. Basing a decision on hurt will simply short circuit the process with unpredictable results.

3. You finally say
quote:
I don't see how or why men and women would have different roles in the economy of salvation.
I can see that men or women could, but the how or why is what I am interested in, should it be so. Can you explain why you think men & women have identical roles, please?

Ian
 
Posted by John Holding (# 158) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ken:
quote:
Originally posted by BuzzyBee:
If not, you will need some quite detailed records to keep track of which male priests are really priests. Some kind of gonad purity certificate.

Have more than one bishop present at every ordination of priests - as we do now with consecrations of bishops.

(Ideally 3 - one an Anglican, one a Methodist, and one a Presbyterian [Snigger] )

Ken -- but there is a respectable body of opinion that differentiates between consecration as a bishop and ordination as a priest/presbyter. The former has usually (but not always) been done by one or more bishops. The latter is carried out by other priests, who are adding to their number. The specific historical context is that groups of presbyters were frequently alternatives to bishops in the early church, not delegates. The bishop, being a presbyter and by convention the leader, presides at this ordination. But the other presbyters share in the ordaining.

Here, they cluster around like a mob, and those who can't touch the candidate hold out their hands in blessing.

So if you need a wholly male ordination history, you also have to ask what priests were there as well as what bishop.

Only madness lies that way.

John
 
Posted by Henry Troup (# 3722) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by John Holding:
...ordination as a priest/presbyter. ...is carried out by other priests, who are adding to their number...

Actually, that solves the problem entirely. If priests make priests, as long as not all of those participating in the ordination are female, then the ordination would be valid by any standard.
 
Posted by Hooker's Trick (# 89) on :
 
So, if you take the view that women cannot be priests, what do you suppose happen when a lady puts on a collar and a cassock and a chasuble and stands in front of or behind an altar and puts her hand on the biscuit and says the magic words in the Prayer Book.

Does nothing happen since she's not a priest?

Or does something Bad happen like the mouth of hell yawns open?

If nothing happens and I later eat this biscuit upon which the aforementioned lady in a brocade poncho laid hands and over which spoke words from the Prayer Book, have I not just eaten a rather bland biscuit?

Or have I done something very terrible by eating the biscuit, and possibly open yawning hell for myself?
 
Posted by The103rd (The Ship's Boatboy) (# 5846) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Hooker's Trick:
So, if you take the view that women cannot be priests, what do you suppose happen when a lady puts on a collar and a cassock and a chasuble and stands in front of or behind an altar and puts her hand on the biscuit and says the magic words in the Prayer Book.

Does nothing happen since she's not a priest?

Or does something Bad happen like the mouth of hell yawns open?

If nothing happens and I later eat this biscuit upon which the aforementioned lady in a brocade poncho laid hands and over which spoke words from the Prayer Book, have I not just eaten a rather bland biscuit?

Or have I done something very terrible by eating the biscuit, and possibly open yawning hell for myself?

That's exactly what happens - Nothing!
Don't you think that there's a reason that people don't go around pretending to do mass on TV, You would never see a actor pretending to be a priest saying the eucharistic prayer on tv would you?
So I guess that you shouldn't partake in a mass that is celebrated by a women if you believe that they aren't really priests!

-103

[ 16. July 2004, 09:21: Message edited by: The103rd (The Ship's Boatboy) ]
 
Posted by the_grip (# 7831) on :
 
i'd agree with 103.

i would also add two points:

1. Anyone could offer bread and wine in their household and say the mass. Does it give it the real presence of Christ? Who knows? How could i tell? Having a priest in apostolic succession gives assurance that this is within the bounds of the church and thus assurance that the Holy Spirit has sanctified the bread and wine to be a means of grace to us who partake. Thus, from my perspective, i have no assurance when this is given outside of the authority of the church (in this case and in my opinion, by a female priest).
2. i take Paul's words about receiving the Eucharist very seriously (1 Cor. 11:23-34). That is not to say that people who receive communion via a female priest are necessarily being judged - however, because i take this seriously, i would rather err on the side of caution. i say this in humility - again, i'm not condemning anyone here. i'm just saying that in my own personal practice i observe this. To parallel, i'm a vegetarian b/c of the way animals are treated in the meat industry - but this doesn't mean i force others to follow suit. This is very important to understand on this point - i am not the one to pronounce judgement, but i am the one to listen to my convictions.
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by IanB:
1.
quote:
Posted by me:
Christians of all sorts have suffered for their faith just because they were Christians

Of course. But you've gone and done it again and changed the frame of reference. I am desparately trying to answer you in terms of the comment that you made. Is it that you are taking the condition or experience of all humanity to be the same? You were talking about male, white etc. and I responded in context. Whatever the reason, maybe a change of approach is called for that involves neither generalisations nor aggrieved examples to refute the generalisations.
I don't follow what you mean by changing the frame of reference. I still think your bringing martyrs into the discussion is comparing apples and oranges. Martyrs by definition are people who are killed for their faith, so any Christian unfortunate enough to be living in the wrong place at the wrong time may be martyred. Women who seek ordination and gay people are told by some folks in the church that they must make a huge personal sacrifice for the sake of the unity of the church, a sacrifice of an order not required of men or straights living in the same time and place. I truly find it difficult to think that unity is the real issue; if it were then the people who want women seeking ordination and gays to make tremendous sacrifices for church unity would be willing and indeed offering to make comparably large sacrifices for the sake of unity.

But unity is not pre-eminent for them, IMO. Getting their way in the end is what they're after. And that's fine with me - I just wish they'd be honest about it and quit saying that they care so much about unity.

quote:
From IanB:
2. Hurt. I'm not going to buy this argument and I would suggest it is in your interest not to either. Hurting is what stops us damaging ourselves by putting our hands in a flame. The derelict human use of pain is to cause grief to others who we don't like. So pain can be either a good thing that saves us from something worse, or a human sin that is used to curtail the full flourishing of another. Surely the whole discussion is as to which it is (or I suppose possibly is it both to some extent?). Hurt always requires pastoral care. Whether it needs action to remove the source of the hurt depends on the cause. Concerning which there is much argument. Basing a decision on hurt will simply short circuit the process with unpredictable results.

OK, let's not put it in terms of hurt. Let's talk about the fruits of the Spirit. If women truly could not be priests, their ministries as priests would not be blessed with the fruits of the Spirit. Yet they clearly are, as so many of us who have had experiences with women priests can testify.

quote:
IanB again:
3. You finally say
quote:
I don't see how or why men and women would have different roles in the economy of salvation.
I can see that men or women could, but the how or why is what I am interested in, should it be so. Can you explain why you think men & women have identical roles, please?
Because first and foremost, we are human. Because male and female, we are created in the image of God. Because I can see no basis for men and women having different roles in the economy of salvation.
 
Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by the_grip:
Having a priest in apostolic succession gives assurance that this is within the bounds of the church and thus assurance that the Holy Spirit has sanctified the bread and wine to be a means of grace to us who partake.

Majic juice again.

The Pope has magic juice and gives it to the bishops and they give it to the priests and they can perform the miracle and produce Christ.

In what way is that better than the assurance of being in an assembly where the word of God is preached, the sacraments administered, and the fruits of the Spirit in evidence?
 
Posted by ce (# 1957) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ken:
The Pope has magic juice and gives it to the bishops and they give it to the priests and they can perform the miracle and produce Christ.

I guess that some would like to think that apostolic succession goes back somewhat further than a mere parvenu!
quote:
In what way is that better than the assurance of being in an assembly where the word of God is preached, the sacraments administered, and the fruits of the Spirit in evidence?

You know that there is a chance that you've got one out of three right?
 
Posted by the_grip (# 7831) on :
 
quote:
Majic juice again.
Lol [Smile]

quote:
The Pope has magic juice
i can't speak for the Pope because i'm Anglican, not RCC.

quote:
they can perform the miracle and produce Christ
"They" don't perform nor produce anything. God performs and produces. That's why we ask the Holy Spirit to "bless and sanctify" the gifts of bread and wine that God has given us.

quote:
In what way is that better than the assurance of being in an assembly where the word of God is preached, the sacraments administered, and the fruits of the Spirit in evidence?
This line of logic is what led me to A.S. (apostolic succession) - based on exactly what you stated above:

1. "The word of God is preached." Under what authority? How do you know the word of God is actually preached? Because someone picked up a Bible and maybe even learned a smattering of Greek and Hebrew? Are they teaching heresy? How do you know?

2. "The sacraments administered." Again, by what authority? How do you know they are truly the sacraments? To reiterate, what if i offered communion (being a layman) in my house? What if i wanted to use rose petals to baptize with instead of water?

3. "Fruits of the Spirit in evidence." Again, how do you know what the fruits of the Spirit are? What if i attended a congregation where everyone spouted off in tongues, handled venomous snakes, and rolled around and barked like a dog? How do i know those aren't fruits of the Spirit?

A.S. is not just RCC. It's Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, and even some Lutherans observe it and can trace their lineage of ordination back to the apostles.

[ 16. July 2004, 18:04: Message edited by: the_grip ]
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by the_grip:
1. "The word of God is preached." Under what authority? How do you know the word of God is actually preached? Because someone picked up a Bible and maybe even learned a smattering of Greek and Hebrew? Are they teaching heresy? How do you know?

We know just the same way we know when a man preaches.

quote:
2. "The sacraments administered." Again, by what authority? How do you know they are truly the sacraments? To reiterate, what if i offered communion (being a layman) in my house? What if i wanted to use rose petals to baptize with instead of water?
We know the sacraments administered by female priests are truly the sacraments the same way we know when they are administered by male priests. And by the same authority, one you as a layperson don't have.

quote:
3. "Fruits of the Spirit in evidence." Again, how do you know what the fruits of the Spirit are? What if i attended a congregation where everyone spouted off in tongues, handled venomous snakes, and rolled around and barked like a dog? How do i know those aren't fruits of the Spirit?
And again, the same way we always recognize the fruits of the Spirit. I don't recall snake handling and barking like a dog being in Paul's lists of the fruits of the Spirit. Speaking in tongues is in the lists, of course - though without anyone to interpret I'd be dubious about the point of the whole thing.
 
Posted by the_grip (# 7831) on :
 
quote:
And again, the same way we always recognize the fruits of the Spirit. I don't recall snake handling and barking like a dog being in Paul's lists of the fruits of the Spirit. Speaking in tongues is in the lists, of course - though without anyone to interpret I'd be dubious about the point of the whole thing.
Actually, i believe the fruits don't include speaking in tongues - Galatians 5:22-23 reads "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control" - not sure though as doubtless there are other references in the Scriptures (you could look at 1 Cor. 14:14, but i think that is referencing a mode of prayer not a "fruit"). However, my point was how do you *know* these are really the fruits of the Spirit. If you answer, "Because Paul wrote them," or, "They are in the Bible" then an acknowledgement of authority is given. Where does that authority originate? From what sounds good? From what feels good? Because so-and-so told you? That's my point with my above reply to ken. i look at the actions of the apostles in Acts and the ECF as confirmation of the importance of A.S. It's no wonder that groups like the Mormons hinge their beliefs on a failure of A.S. ("the Great Apostacy"). i was using extremes perhaps but i was showing how we discriminate certain things (say, barking like a dog) from fruits of the Spirit.

This whole digression was a bit O.T., but i appreciate you bringing it back to bear on the questions of the OoW Ruth [Smile]

i would like your opinion on these:

quote:
We know just the same way we know when a man preaches.
quote:
We know the sacraments administered by female priests are truly the sacraments the same way we know when they are administered by male priests.
How do you "know"? Can you define that?

Also, as you are quick to point out:
quote:
And by the same authority, one you as a layperson don't have.
Quite right - and i don't mean to sound as if i'm claiming such authority. Which ties back yet again to A.S. - i can't just jump up and say, "Yo, i'm a priest now!"
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
How we know whether the word of God is being preached, how we know the sacraments are being administered, and how we recognize the fruits of the Spirit are all off-topic if we're going to consider them separately from the question of ordaining women. My point is simply that knowing these things, however we know them, is no different when the priest is a woman than when the priest is a man.

The authority female priests have they get from the same source male priests have. They are priests because they have been ordained by bishops, and they act as priests on authority delegated to them by their bishops.
 
Posted by the_grip (# 7831) on :
 
quote:
My point is simply that knowing these things, however we know them, is no different when the priest is a woman than when the priest is a man.
Ah ha - i think my thick skull gets it. i thought you were making a statement on the substance of the "knowing" versus a statement on "it makes no difference on gender". You're not commenting on the "how" but on the result - male or female priest makes no difference... they are a priest (i.e. bread from a man would be the same as bread from a woman). i got my wires crossed from the A.S. discussion.

i do disagree with your latter point, but i'm sure that part of the horse was pummeled several pages back by other folks.
 
Posted by Hooker's Trick (# 89) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by the_grip:
2. "The sacraments administered." Again, by what authority? How do you know they are truly the sacraments?

Ruth got this one already, but the authority we are speaking of is the authority of the Church.

(not the authority of the penis).

If you believe that the Church is the Body of Christ and is inspired by the Holy Ghost then you must believe that the Church's priests are valid celebrants and administrants of her holy sacraments.

Unless you know better than the Church and the Holy Ghost.

And the 103rd tells us

quote:
That's exactly what happens - Nothing!
If NOTHING happens then how in the world can a female concelebrant possibly harm or damage the sacrament being concelebrated by men?
 
Posted by The103rd (The Ship's Boatboy) (# 5846) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Hooker's Trick:
quote:
Originally posted by the_grip:
2. "The sacraments administered." Again, by what authority? How do you know they are truly the sacraments?

Ruth got this one already, but the authority we are speaking of is the authority of the Church.

(not the authority of the penis).

If you believe that the Church is the Body of Christ and is inspired by the Holy Ghost then you must believe that the Church's priests are valid celebrants and administrants of her holy sacraments.

Unless you know better than the Church and the Holy Ghost.

And the 103rd tells us

quote:
That's exactly what happens - Nothing!
If NOTHING happens then how in the world can a female concelebrant possibly harm or damage the sacrament being concelebrated by men?

Because those priests are indicating that they accept those women as valid priests.
It's just like the RC Church not allowing Anglicans to partake in holy mass (which I completly and utteraly agree with and respect) they don't allow us to partake in their mass because it would mean that the priest would have to accept the anglicans as coming from valid orders.
But they don't because they believe that our church has invalid orders. Surely they must believe that having an anglican concelebrating at mass must damage the entire eucharistic service.
We believe the same with women priests - they aren't valid priests so therefore they will mess up our mass.

-103
 
Posted by Hooker's Trick (# 89) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by The103rd (The Ship's Boatboy):

We believe the same with women priests - they aren't valid priests so therefore they will mess up our mass.

-103

Forgive me, but it seems to me that if your mass can be messed up by a priest without a penis raising her hands in the vacinity, then your mass was pretty messed up to begin with.
 
Posted by the_grip (# 7831) on :
 
quote:
Ruth got this one already, but the authority we are speaking of is the authority of the Church.

(not the authority of the penis).

Hahaha i got a kick out of that. However, we are sidestepping the argument... did i say the authority of the church stems from the male gender? Disagreeing with the ordination of women is not about making authority come from males - authority comes from God.

quote:
If you believe that the Church is the Body of Christ and is inspired by the Holy Ghost then you must believe that the Church's priests are valid celebrants and administrants of her holy sacraments.

Unless you know better than the Church and the Holy Ghost.

i don't know what quite what you are driving at here either - i'm not disagreeing to what you said regarding the celebrants and sacraments.

Further, if you think that the ordination of women is in line with the Church and the Holy Ghost and those opposed are not, i'll kindly ask you to point out where exactly this happened in history prior to the 20th century. Was the same Holy Ghost leading back then, or was He just too old fashioned?

Again, this is not an issue of superiority of the male gender. This is about the order that God has established - something that is not a hierarchy of rank but a voice of love, praise, and thanksgiving.
 
Posted by The103rd (The Ship's Boatboy) (# 5846) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Hooker's Trick:
quote:
Originally posted by The103rd (The Ship's Boatboy):

We believe the same with women priests - they aren't valid priests so therefore they will mess up our mass.

-103

Forgive me, but it seems to me that if your mass can be messed up by a priest without a penis raising her hands in the vacinity, then your mass was pretty messed up to begin with.
Don't worry - I will forgive you.
Another thing - Mass has been celebrated by a male only priesthood since approx AD 33.
Who are we to suddenly say that a women can celebrate mass?

-103
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
What do you mean by "the order that God established"? What order has God established? How do you know about it? Somehow or other along the way I got the impression that we are all equal before God. Have I been wrong all this time?

quote:
Originally posted by Hooker's Trick:
Forgive me, but it seems to me that if your mass can be messed up by a priest without a penis raising her hands in the vacinity, then your mass was pretty messed up to begin with.

I love this! When we get tired of using the abbrevition OoW, we can use PWP*.

*Not forgetting of course that in fan fiction PWP stands for "plot? what plot?" or "porn without plot."
 
Posted by Hooker's Trick (# 89) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by the_grip:
authority comes from God.

And comes to us through his Church.

quote:
originally asked by the 103rd
Who are we to suddenly say that a women can celebrate mass?

Hmm. I think the words of the Credo go

"I believe in one Holy Catholick and Apostolic Church."

I happen to think that the Church of which I am a communicant member, being also the Body of Christ and inspired by the Holy Ghost, cannot be wrong.

I also don't remember the part in the Credo that says "I believe in the Holy Catholick and Apostolic Church, except when she makes mistakes and ordains false priests without penises."

I don't mind if one doesn't like lady priests (I actually go an all-male-priest parish). But as an Anglican, I have a hard time understanding how the Church can be deficient in authority so to order her as the Holy Ghost seems to direct.
 
Posted by The103rd (The Ship's Boatboy) (# 5846) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Hooker's Trick:
quote:
Originally posted by the_grip:
authority comes from God.

And comes to us through his Church.

quote:
originally asked by the 103rd
Who are we to suddenly say that a women can celebrate mass?

Hmm. I think the words of the Credo go

"I believe in one Holy Catholick and Apostolic Church."

I happen to think that the Church of which I am a communicant member, being also the Body of Christ and inspired by the Holy Ghost, cannot be wrong.

I also don't remember the part in the Credo that says "I believe in the Holy Catholick and Apostolic Church, except when she makes mistakes and ordains false priests without penises."

I don't mind if one doesn't like lady priests (I actually go an all-male-priest parish). But as an Anglican, I have a hard time understanding how the Church can be deficient in authority so to order her as the Holy Ghost seems to direct.

Look here - The Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church does not ordain women. Now us Anglicans come from the Roman Catholic Church (and some of us from the orthodox church), now - Women Priests has come up alot in the RC Church, and recently one of the patriarks (I'm not sure which - I don't actually know how the patriark system works in the Orthodox Community) said that he was tired of women priests being brought up and he would not allow women priests.

Think to yourself - why won't they have women priests???

If they have a reason not to have women priests then we have a reason not to have women priests!

What was wrong with the tridentrine mass? Again, its a change that some people can't take and there are still groups of people who keep to the Tridentrine Mass!
I myself cannot accept women celebrating mass! What will be next - lay lead masses? (Oh wait, I think that could be happening already [Frown] )

-103
 
Posted by josephine (# 3899) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by The103rd (The Ship's Boatboy):
The Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church does not ordain women. <snip> recently one of the patriarks (I'm not sure which - I don't actually know how the patriark system works in the Orthodox Community) said that he was tired of women priests being brought up and he would not allow women priests.

You should understand that our patriarchs aren't in charge of the church in the same way that the Pope is in charge of the RC church. No single patriarch, nor even all of them together, has the power to decide that we will have women priests, or the power to decide that we won't.

For the Orthodox Church to have women priests, we'd have to have an Ecumenical Council. We haven't had an Ecumenical Council since well before the Schism with the West, and we're not likely to have one until that Schism is healed. So, for us, it's a moot point.
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by The103rd (The Ship's Boatboy):
If they have a reason not to have women priests then we have a reason not to have women priests!

Very poor logic. If we have a reason to have female priests, then don't they have a reason to have female priests? Why should we take our marching orders from the Romans or the Orthodox?
 
Posted by The103rd (The Ship's Boatboy) (# 5846) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
quote:
Originally posted by The103rd (The Ship's Boatboy):
If they have a reason not to have women priests then we have a reason not to have women priests!

Very poor logic. If we have a reason to have female priests, then don't they have a reason to have female priests? Why should we take our marching orders from the Romans or the Orthodox?
Because we originally came from them and they are almost the original christains (probably the Orthodox are closest to the early christians I think)
Yeah - I agree with the above post too! Unity would be great!

-103
 
Posted by The103rd (The Ship's Boatboy) (# 5846) on :
 
Oh and Ruth - who are you to say that my beliefs are "poor logic"?
I believe what I believe and nobody can stop me from believing that.

-103
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
No, we didn't "come from" them. The church divided several times, and the Anglican Communion is the result of one of those divisions. As has already been pointed out, it's more than a little bit silly for us to do as the Romans do just because they're the Romans when they don't even recognize the validity of our priests' orders.

Edited to add: Who am I to criticize your logic? I'm one who recognizes a poor argument when I see one. "I believe what I believe" is no argument at all.

[ 16. July 2004, 23:42: Message edited by: RuthW ]
 
Posted by John Holding (# 158) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by The103rd (The Ship's Boatboy):
quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
quote:
Originally posted by The103rd (The Ship's Boatboy):
If they have a reason not to have women priests then we have a reason not to have women priests!

Very poor logic. If we have a reason to have female priests, then don't they have a reason to have female priests? Why should we take our marching orders from the Romans or the Orthodox?
Because we originally came from them and they are almost the original christains (probably the Orthodox are closest to the early christians I think)
Yeah - I agree with the above post too! Unity would be great!

-103

I take it you therefore disapprove of married clergy as well? Based on what you said above, you ought for that matter to realize that your own vicar is, by your preferred standard, not a priest. Your preference for following Rome rather than Canterbury suggests to me you need to consider letting your body follow your spirit across the Tiber. Alternatively, of course, you could actually start examining the subject rather than just taking your rector's word for it and refusing to listen to anyone else. Most of us at least go through the motions of trying to understand positions other than our own. Sometimes we even change our minds. Watch out -- it could happen to you.

I really think it is time you got a grip, 103. Having an opinion isn't supposed to mean you scream "nyah, nyah, nyah" at other people who suggest you re-examine your logic.

And for what it's worth, the delightful and clear simplicity of your belief that since 33, the eucharist has always and only been presided over by males is highly suspect from an historical perspective. There is another Dead Horse about this somewhere. Suffice it to say that the history of who did what in the early church is murky, fuzzy, and largely conjectural -- contrary to what generations of sincere RC and AC priests have taught. Moreover, it is fairly clear the early church accepted both female deacons and female apostles (=bishops in this context), apparently altering one of Paul's letters to conceal the latter fact when it became uncomfortable -- you will find the matter explained on that Horse.


John
 
Posted by Erina (# 5306) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by John Holding:

And for what it's worth, the delightful and clear simplicity of your belief that since 33, the eucharist has always and only been presided over by males is highly suspect from an historical perspective. There is another Dead Horse about this somewhere. Suffice it to say that the history of who did what in the early church is murky, fuzzy, and largely conjectural -- contrary to what generations of sincere RC and AC priests have taught. Moreover, it is fairly clear the early church accepted both female deacons and female apostles (=bishops in this context), apparently altering one of Paul's letters to conceal the latter fact when it became uncomfortable -- you will find the matter explained on that Horse.

I can't seem to find that discussion. Could someone kindly point me to it?

I do have to agree, though. Throughout the Gospels and the Epistles are scattered the names of many different women. For the last year, I have been trying to research this subject as thoroughly as I can, and, for me, one major "aha" moment came when I sat down and made a roll of all the women mentioned in the New Testament. There was Mary the mother of Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Mary and Martha, Joanna, Salome, the four daughters of Philip, Lydia, Dorcas, Junia, Phoebe, Priscilla, Tryphaena, Euodia, Syntyche, Nympha, Chloe, the chosen lady of the third letter of John, and many others. Some sat at the feet of Jesus and listened to his teachings. Some supported Jesus financially during his ministry. Some were the first witnesses to the risen Christ. Some were prophets, some were teachers, at least one was an apostle. Some had churches in their homes. Some were businesswomen who aided the apostles. Some contended alongside Paul for the faith, and I'm sure there are many others whose stories we will not know until heaven.

The point of all that is that the story of the early church is a story of men and women working together to further the gospel, and of men and women as full participants in the work of the Holy Spirit. Sadly, at least in my experience, it seems that the work of the women has been downplayed, ignored, or deliberately obscured, depriving many of some great examples of faith.
 
Posted by the_grip (# 7831) on :
 
Let's back up here a second:

quote:
What do you mean by "the order that God established"? What order has God established? How do you know about it?
i know about it from Scripture - from Genesis 1 & 2 all the way up through Paul's explanations of the created order through the explanations of the headship of Christ reflected in the headship of man (male).

God has structured creation in such a way that we all fulfill different roles but to the same end. It's like different instruments all participating in a chorus of praise - but the trumpet doesn't try to be the violin, nor the oboe the cello.

quote:
Somehow or other along the way I got the impression that we are all equal before God. Have I been wrong all this time?
Not at all. i've said it multiple times in this thread and i'll say it again - created order is not about not being equal or a hierarchy or some sort of higher worth above others. This isn't about equality, rights, or anything of that sort. To illustrate, is a priest better than a lay person? Is someone who has gifts to teach better than those that have gifts of service, or vice versa? Your logic is headed in that direction. No man is better than any woman, and vice versa. No priest, no lay person, no monk, no nun, no anyone is better than another.

Reading the account of creation, we see that things get more complex and move "up" (not better) an order. Guess what was created last? Woman! As it has been said in other venues, woman is creation's "crowning jewel." This is not mysoginy, belittling of women, or anything of the sort. If anything, woman is mankind's most sacred member - it is she that is the bearer of our humanity and indeed was the bearer of our salvation.

Such an order does, however, dictate to everyone a place in the symphony of praise to God. As Paul says, everyone fits differently in the body of Christ, but it does not make anyone "better" or anything like that. Rather, we all submit to God's authority through His structure of creation - and this includes men submitting to women and women to men in all their different roles.

quote:
There was Mary the mother of Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Mary and Martha, Joanna, Salome, the four daughters of Philip, Lydia, Dorcas, Junia, Phoebe, Priscilla, Tryphaena, Euodia, Syntyche, Nympha, Chloe, the chosen lady of the third letter of John, and many others.
Quite right, and i can list hundreds since their time. Many wonderful works of Christian understanding have been composed by women - one of my current favorites is Evelyn Underhill. Which inevitably leads to:

quote:
The point of all that is that the story of the early church is a story of men and women working together to further the gospel, and of men and women as full participants in the work of the Holy Spirit.
Exactly! But that is outside the context of this discussion.

quote:
Sadly, at least in my experience, it seems that the work of the women has been downplayed, ignored, or deliberately obscured, depriving many of some great examples of faith.
If we want to discuss people in the Church, either past or present, who have put down women, then i'm game. i would never condone such evils. That is, however, separate from the discussion of the ordination of women. i believe in the Scriptures and the voice of the Church throughout the ages when it speaks regarding this, and that's why i stand fast on it. As josephine mentioned, were the Church to come back together and affirm such a decision, then i would submit to its authority in the matter. At the same time, i cannot simply bend the knee to the modern thought that influxes into some parts of the Church that suddenly gives birth to a rather significant change apart from Church authority and tradition.

[ 17. July 2004, 04:10: Message edited by: the_grip ]
 
Posted by The103rd (The Ship's Boatboy) (# 5846) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by John Holding:
quote:
Originally posted by The103rd (The Ship's Boatboy):
quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
quote:
Originally posted by The103rd (The Ship's Boatboy):
If they have a reason not to have women priests then we have a reason not to have women priests!

Very poor logic. If we have a reason to have female priests, then don't they have a reason to have female priests? Why should we take our marching orders from the Romans or the Orthodox?
Because we originally came from them and they are almost the original christains (probably the Orthodox are closest to the early christians I think)
Yeah - I agree with the above post too! Unity would be great!

-103

I take it you therefore disapprove of married clergy as well? Based on what you said above, you ought for that matter to realize that your own vicar is, by your preferred standard, not a priest. Your preference for following Rome rather than Canterbury suggests to me you need to consider letting your body follow your spirit across the Tiber. Alternatively, of course, you could actually start examining the subject rather than just taking your rector's word for it and refusing to listen to anyone else. Most of us at least go through the motions of trying to understand positions other than our own. Sometimes we even change our minds. Watch out -- it could happen to you.

I really think it is time you got a grip, 103. Having an opinion isn't supposed to mean you scream "nyah, nyah, nyah" at other people who suggest you re-examine your logic.

And for what it's worth, the delightful and clear simplicity of your belief that since 33, the eucharist has always and only been presided over by males is highly suspect from an historical perspective. There is another Dead Horse about this somewhere. Suffice it to say that the history of who did what in the early church is murky, fuzzy, and largely conjectural -- contrary to what generations of sincere RC and AC priests have taught. Moreover, it is fairly clear the early church accepted both female deacons and female apostles (=bishops in this context), apparently altering one of Paul's letters to conceal the latter fact when it became uncomfortable -- you will find the matter explained on that Horse.


John

I would love to join the other side, but at the moment it's not quite as simple [Frown]
I'd rather not talk about that at the moment.
-103
 
Posted by The103rd (The Ship's Boatboy) (# 5846) on :
 
Oh, going onto a tangent about that comment made about married priests.

Some rites of the Roman Catholic Church have married priests: Anglican Rite and Byzantine Rite being two of them.
None of them have women priests!

-103
 
Posted by Hooker's Trick (# 89) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by the_grip:
Disagreeing with the ordination of women is not about making authority come from males - authority comes from God.

Ultimately of course. But the classical Anglican position, which I shouldn't have to belabour here, as articulated by the Blessed Richard Hooker, is that authority derives from Scripture, Tradition, and Reason. Using our God-given Reason to interpret Tradition and Scripture has been a hallmark of Anglican theology and practice ever since the days of Archibishop Cranmer.

quote:
Was the same Holy Ghost leading back then, or was He just too old fashioned?
There are a number of possible ways to see this. One (shocking!) is that the Holy Ghost changed His Holy Mind.

Another is that the Holy Ghost was pro-ladies-in-orders all along and the Church just had it's head too far up it's own arse to realise it til now.

Then we get to this rather specious argument:

quote:
i'll kindly ask you to point out where exactly this happened in history prior to the 20th century.
Which the 103rd also makes

quote:
Another thing - Mass has been celebrated by a male only priesthood since approx AD 33.
Generally when people say "it's never been done like this before" what they really mean is "I don't like it." But it sounds silly to just say "ick, I don't like it" so they try to dress it up with the authority of persistence.

I know all about this. Please see my very pompous pronouncements elsewhere about "modern" language and the abomination of "and also with you."

One more, and this is a real gem:

quote:
the 103rd reminds us
Look here - The Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church does not ordain women.

Well good for them! If I thought that the Roman Catholic and/or the Orthodox Church had a monopoly on the Holy Ghost or the Truth I would...

...wait for it...

become a Roman Catholic or Orthodox!

But since I am NOT a Roman Catholic, nor Orthodox, it is irrelevant to me what they do.

It seems to me when you come to believe (as, say John Henry Newman did) that the Holy Church of England (or the Holy Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States of America) has got it wrong, and the Church of Rome or the Orthodox Churches have got it right, then the thing to do with integrity would be to become a communicant member of the church you think is right.

Because I am content to remain in communion with the See of Canterbury I cannot (with integrity) feel that the Church has "got it wrong." Whether or not I like lady priests, I have to reconcile myself to the fact that the Holy Church of which I am a member ordains women to the priesthood (and the episcopacy. Shock! Horror!).

If I cannot reconcile myself to that then I have no choice but to admit that I believe that the Holy Ghost has gone out of the Church, the Church has fallen into error and is no longer the Body of Christ and I need to become a communicant member elsewhere.
 
Posted by the_grip (# 7831) on :
 
quote:
Generally when people say "it's never been done like this before" what they really mean is "I don't like it." But it sounds silly to just say "ick, I don't like it" so they try to dress it up with the authority of persistence.
Some folks might do this, and i don't deny that. This is not at all what i am saying, however. i think because some people prefer to ordain women in certain areas of the church does not give that act validity nor authority without the backing of the entire church. i've nothing against the ordination of women if it could be shown to be correct. i mistrust our personal desires when they run contrary to what has been upheld for centuries.

Thusly,
quote:
authority derives from Scripture, Tradition, and Reason
all of which speak differently to affirmation of the ordination of women on this matter as i see it.
 
Posted by Hooker's Trick (# 89) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by the_grip:
all of which speak differently to affirmation of the ordination of women on this matter as i see it.

But not, it seems, as the bishops see it.
 
Posted by The103rd (The Ship's Boatboy) (# 5846) on :
 
As St John Chrysostom said: There are just some things that women can't do!

And of Course, there are some things that men can't do!

Also - don't you think that the church just wasn't ready for women priesthood? If it was a really good thing, prehaps it wouldn't need a thread that goes on for 9 pages in Dead Horses and prehaps it wouldn't need to have opposition from FiF! It's caused countless splits between people and even churches when the anglican communion allowed women priests!
Think about it - would Jesus really want us all fighting over women priests just because somebody thought it would be a good idea. We should've just kept it how it was and let the church run it's own course.
If it hadn't have been for women priests, we may have had unity with the Roman Catholic Church - don't you agree that unity would've been better than splitting?

-103
 
Posted by Hooker's Trick (# 89) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by The103rd (The Ship's Boatboy):
As St John Chrysostom said: There are just some things that women can't do!

Maybe St John Chrysostrom was thinking of peeing standing up.

Because it certainly seems that women can do this.

quote:
Also - don't you think that the church just wasn't ready for women priesthood?
No, I think some people in the church just weren't ready. I expect The BVM wasn't ready to give birth to Divinity either, but she acquiesced.

quote:
If it was a really good thing, prehaps it wouldn't need a thread that goes on for 9 pages
That doesn't follow. Buried in the depths of limbo there is a FOURTEEN page thread on GIN , which we all know is one of the excellencies of creation.

quote:
Think about it - would Jesus really want us all fighting over women priests
No, I don't think that He would. I think he would want us to grow up and stop moaning.

It's not like the Church took the maniples away from all the men. If you don't like ladies-in-orders, just make sure you confine your worship life to a parish wherein all the priests have penises and the problem is sorted.

I managed to worship as a member of a Diocese with a lady bishop and I don't think it's brought eternal damnation upon me.
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by The103rd (The Ship's Boatboy):
As St John Chrysostom said: There are just some things that women can't do!

And of Course, there are some things that men can't do!

What are the things that men can't do in the church? I ask because this comes back to my much-reiterated point that some would have the church require sacrifices of women and gays that it doesn't require of straight men.

quote:
Originally posted by me:
What do you mean by "the order that God established"? What order has God established? How do you know about it?

quote:
Originally posted by the_grip:
i know about it from Scripture - from Genesis 1 & 2 all the way up through Paul's explanations of the created order through the explanations of the headship of Christ reflected in the headship of man (male).
<snip>
i've said it multiple times in this thread and i'll say it again - created order is not about not being equal or a hierarchy or some sort of higher worth above others. This isn't about equality, rights, or anything of that sort. To illustrate, is a priest better than a lay person? Is someone who has gifts to teach better than those that have gifts of service, or vice versa? Your logic is headed in that direction. No man is better than any woman, and vice versa. No priest, no lay person, no monk, no nun, no anyone is better than another.

Reading the account of creation, we see that things get more complex and move "up" (not better) an order. Guess what was created last? Woman! As it has been said in other venues, woman is creation's "crowning jewel." This is not mysoginy, belittling of women, or anything of the sort. If anything, woman is mankind's most sacred member - it is she that is the bearer of our humanity and indeed was the bearer of our salvation.

That's if you only read the second account of creation, and if you assume that the point of the second story is the establishment of order. The other account of creation simply says that "God created man in his own image; in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." They are together instructed to be fruitful and to subdue the earth, but nothing is said of there being separate roles for men and women.

The second account of creation, the one with woman being created from man's rib, says nothing at that point about there being any order established when woman is created. The explicit point is this: "That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and the two become one flesh." The line "he shall be your master" only comes after the fall, and there is no particular reason to read this as a commandment rather than a prediction.

Finally, I don't buy your symphonic metaphor of different roles for men and women not implying any hierarchy. Culturally prescribed roles determined by one's sex are so closely tied to making women second-class citizens that it's laughable that you think "separate but equal" works any better with regard to roles for men and women than it did with schools for white people and black people. How many examples can you cite of religions or cultures that have prescribed very separate roles for men and women that have not made women second-class in one way or another?


quote:
quote:

The point of all that is that the story of the early church is a story of men and women working together to further the gospel, and of men and women as full participants in the work of the Holy Spirit.

Exactly! But that is outside the context of this discussion.
No, it is very relevant to this discussion. Women and men all being full participants in the work of the Holy Spirit is exactly what we're talking about here. IMO, the church got off on the right foot, but somehow went wrong later. The church should have continued as it began; throughout the centuries it should have gone against the cultural norms that almost always put men in charge of everything. It should have been way ahead of the curve on this, not lagging behind, only waking up to its failure to treat women as the beloved children of God we are after secular feminism pointed out the oppression promulgated by narrow, culturally prescribed roles for women.

quote:

If we want to discuss people in the Church, either past or present, who have put down women, then i'm game. i would never condone such evils. That is, however, separate from the discussion of the ordination of women.

No, it is the very heart of the discussion. One of the ways the church has put down women has been to deny their ministries, their calling by God. You do condone such evils.

quote:
i believe in the Scriptures and the voice of the Church throughout the ages when it speaks regarding this, and that's why i stand fast on it. As josephine mentioned, were the Church to come back together and affirm such a decision, then i would submit to its authority in the matter. At the same time, i cannot simply bend the knee to the modern thought that influxes into some parts of the Church that suddenly gives birth to a rather significant change apart from Church authority and tradition.
As Hooker's Trick has quite ably shown, this significant change has been accomplished well within the church's authority. And believe it or not, I have a high regard for tradition. Look at the root of the word - tradition is what is handed on. We are responsible for it, and we are responsible to the people who come after us. If we hand on the continued pigeon-holing of women into certain roles that we know are not God-given, we sin against future generations of Christians, just as earlier generations in the church sinned against us in handing on to us a tradition laced through with racial hatred.

If the Orthodox want to wait until the church is reunified to convene a council that would consider the question of women's ordination, that is their business. I am not willing to wait. The western and eastern churches have been in schism for 1000 years, and the Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church have been in schism for over 450 years. It is no blasphemy to say God only knows how long it will be before these divisions are healed. In the meantime, there is no reason for the Anglican Communion to refuse to go where the Holy Spirit seems to be leading us.
 
Posted by The103rd (The Ship's Boatboy) (# 5846) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
[QB]
quote:
Originally posted by The103rd (The Ship's Boatboy):
As St John Chrysostom said: There are just some things that women can't do!

And of Course, there are some things that men can't do!

What are the things that men can't do in the church? I ask because this comes back to my much-reiterated point that some would have the church require sacrifices of women and gays that it doesn't require of straight men.

Well, I'm not allowed to be Mother Superior of the convent [Frown]
I also can't sing a wonderful soprano solo during the communion!

-103
 
Posted by Norman the Organ (# 5477) on :
 
[musicianly intervention]

The Gabrieli Consort and Players (with their director Paul McCreesh) have recorded several CDs reconstructing various masses from 16th and 17th Century Venice, and they make use of some very impressive male singers who can only be said to be sopranos. They are not castrati, more countertenors with an extended high range, and to hear them soaring up to a top G in a piece of early Venetian solo music is to hear your point about vocal solos disproved, 103. A few years of vocal training and you might be able to contradict yourself!

[/musicianly intervention]

I'll leave others to deconstruct the rest of your arguments.
 
Posted by The103rd (The Ship's Boatboy) (# 5846) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Norman the Organ:
[musicianly intervention]

The Gabrieli Consort and Players (with their director Paul McCreesh) have recorded several CDs reconstructing various masses from 16th and 17th Century Venice, and they make use of some very impressive male singers who can only be said to be sopranos. They are not castrati, more countertenors with an extended high range, and to hear them soaring up to a top G in a piece of early Venetian solo music is to hear your point about vocal solos disproved, 103. A few years of vocal training and you might be able to contradict yourself!

[/musicianly intervention]

I'll leave others to deconstruct the rest of your arguments.

Erm.. yeah. Problem is that I'm a bass at the moment, going onto Baritone (almost)
I used to sing treble when I was younger.

-103
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by The103rd (The Ship's Boatboy):
I'm not allowed to be Mother Superior of the convent [Frown]
I also can't sing a wonderful soprano solo during the communion!

You are not forbidden from being an abbott nor from singing in church, providing that you have the gifts and skills required. There is nothing men are not allowed to do which is comparable or on the level with women not being ordained.
 
Posted by The103rd (The Ship's Boatboy) (# 5846) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
quote:
Originally posted by The103rd (The Ship's Boatboy):
I'm not allowed to be Mother Superior of the convent [Frown]
I also can't sing a wonderful soprano solo during the communion!

You are not forbidden from being an abbott nor from singing in church, providing that you have the gifts and skills required. There is nothing men are not allowed to do which is comparable or on the level with women not being ordained.
Abbots have to be priests don't they? Mother Superiors don't (and can't)
And they also get to wear a habit which a monk doesn't wear!


-103

[ 18. July 2004, 00:20: Message edited by: The103rd (The Ship's Boatboy) ]
 
Posted by Erina (# 5306) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by The103rd (The Ship's Boatboy):
Abbots have to be priests don't they? Mother Superiors don't (and can't)
And they also get to wear a habit which a monk doesn't wear!

Are you seriously saying that being able to wear a habit makes up for not being able to be ordained?
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
103rd, I'm starting to think you're just being obstreperous now. Yes, there are requirements for being an abbott, and you're not going to be allowed to sing a solo if you don't sing well. There are all sorts of requirements for all sorts of positions and jobs in the church.

The point is that there is nothing that men are forbidden from doing - singing solos, taking holy orders, being ordained, whatever - just because they are men. But you and others are trying to argue that there is at least one thing women shouldn't or can't do just because they are women.

To the best of my knowledge, the leader of a men's monastery is almost certainly going to be a priest as well as a monk. If we do things your way, the leader of a women's monastery would not be allowed to be a priest as well as a nun.
 
Posted by John Holding (# 158) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by The103rd (The Ship's Boatboy):
If it hadn't have been for women priests, we may have had unity with the Roman Catholic Church

103 -- if you really believe that, then in the US jargon, I have a bridge to sell you.

You really must not be misled into thinking that issues like the ordination of women are what separates Rome and Canterbury. There are major theological differences, at least as wide as those between Rome and Constantinople. And offical Rome has not the slightest interest in unity with the Anglican Communion, except on its own terms. And that is called "surrender" not unity.

John
 
Posted by Augustine the Aleut (# 1472) on :
 
If I might be permitted to thrown in a few minor observations. First, women can -- and in the middle ages were, albeit rarely -- collated to abbeys of (male) monks. Abbeys/abbotships are offices which can be assigned to the unordained and there were a few instances of German abbeys being handed on to minor royals--in at least one case to a married princess-- so that their temporalities could be managed from within the royal house.

Even to the 1820s, unordained abbots were collated/enthroned in RC circles, often held in plurality with cardinalatial or curial dignities (and cardinals were sometimes not ordained at all!! or just to the diaconate as late as the reign of St Pius X). In Anglican circles, Aelred Carlyle was enthroned as Abbot of Caldey in 1911 while but a deacon of the Diocese of Fond du Lac.

O. And abbots wear habits. Or should, at any rate.

I fear that I must agree with John Holding in that any real prospects for Anglican/RC unity were always very slim indeed-- I think that they died entirely when Michael Ramsay left office-- the reasons I think are more historical and political than theological, but they have always been overwhelming.

The priesting of women has only given another string to the bow of RCs determined not to recognize Anglican orders, especially as their already tenuous reasoning was weakening in the wake of the spreading tentacles of the Dutch touch and the revision of Anglican ordinals. However, the key is an assimilationist and culturally anti-Anglican attitude on the part of most English-speaking RC clerics. If you seek proof of this, all one has to do is look at the travails of the few US parishes of the Anglican Use, with no prospect of new clergy aside from possible future converts and no security from unsympathetic bishops. Indeed, attempts to establish the Anglican Use in Los Angeles and other places have been denied and No. Provision. Whatsoever. has ever been made in England, Canada or Australia for the Anglican Use.

Like it or lump it, and I lump it, the RCs are not interested in Anglicanism as a phenomenon within their communion.

As a further aside, Canadian RC leaders have not made any hay at all on account of Anglican divisions/ departures over the priesting of women in the quarter-century since. At least two Anglican priests of my acquaintance were told when they made initial enquiries that, if their wish to cross the Tiber was predicated on opposition to women priests, they should forget it. It was not an important issue, they were told, and the decision might well come through a pope or two down the line. One recounted that the Latin-rite bishop he met gave indications of his own sympathy to the priesting of women.

As one of the very few Canadian holdouts on the question (for canonical and ecclesiological, not essential or theological reasons), I can assure you that my isolation is almost total, and my RC friends are more puzzled and less tolerant than my Anglican ones. And my objections almost totally disappeared when, for a few weeks, it looked possible that Victoria Mathews of Edmonton might get the primacy (cancer and necessary therapy prevented it), as she was clearly the most apostolic and catholic (and capable) of the contenders. Are we to reject apostolic and catholic leadership because of a few chromosomes???
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
Thanks very much for the side discussion of laypeople being made abbotts, Augustine - it's quite fascinating.

Might I inquire, what are your canonical and ecclesiological reasons for holding out on this issue? I'm very curious, as this -

quote:
Are we to reject apostolic and catholic leadership because of a few chromosomes???
- made me renew my wish for a standing up and cheering smiley.
 
Posted by Augustine the Aleut (# 1472) on :
 
RuthW-- to answer your question. I agree with ++Michael Ramsay on what he called the radical provisionality of Anglicanism. To mix the metaphor further, we were cast on to a self-managing sea by dynastic politics and the upheavals of the reformation period. Our mandate was simply to keep things going, matins, vespers and mass said until it could all get straightened out again. With this reasoning, we could tidy up abuses, using as a touchstone apostolic and sub-apostolic practice, as much as could be done. Which meant that simplification of the liturgy, return to the vernacular, involvement of the laity, marriage of clergy etc etc, was all kosher.

However, major changes such as could not be found in the nigh-universal practice of the early church were out of our jurisdiction-- our responsibilities were purely functional. Like it or not, priesting women was one of those areas, as would be the abolition of the diaconate (recently proposed, and rejected in ECUSA).

A parallel might be to imagine the Township of Osnabruck being set into another dimension and required to operate without being able to contact the Province of Ontario or the Federal Government. Schools would be kept running, the clinic maintained, the roads kept up, and so forth. It would not be to the Township Council to re-write the Charter of Rights because they thought it could be improved.

I cannot see how national synods have any jurisdiction to allow the priesting of women and most arguments to the contrary (that I've heard-- there may be others out there) betray a misunderstanding of canonical competence or (eek) suggest an astonishing degree of arrogance.
I believe that our canonical limitations did not permit the licitness of the priesting (and inevitable bishoping) of women. BUT---This does not affect the validity of such ordinations in any way. The rite of ordination, with the intent to do what the church has always done, makes the recipient a priest. That their teaching is orthodox and their behaviour godly is pertinent, their gender and other characteristics are not.

While much of the reasoning for the change was flawed (and sometimes ludicrous), it is clear to any observer that economia justified it if, for no other reason, there are circumstances where male priests had no or limited access, or their presence was unacceptable (such as to women who had suffered abuse), and only women priests could ensure that sacraments of the Mass and of absolution could be delivered.

Almost everyone I know outside the canon law profession or the bureaucracy believes my reasoning to be tortured. I have thought about it and discussed it for several years-- I still think that it holds water.

To my fellow spikes, including 103d, there is no question but that a woman, such as the Bishop of Edmonton, with strong orthodox beliefs and apostolic principles, would have served us and everybody else far better than a theologically imprecise and fuzzy (male) Archbishop of Montréal.
 
Posted by the_grip (# 7831) on :
 
quote:
That's if you only read the second account of creation, and if you assume that the point of the second story is the establishment of order. The other account of creation simply says that "God created man in his own image; in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." They are together instructed to be fruitful and to subdue the earth, but nothing is said of there being separate roles for men and women.
So the second is to be read in favor of the first or to read that it somehow contradicts it? i think the point of the second account of creation is not the abolishment of order but a "zoomed-in" account (if you will) of the creation of man and woman. Interestingly enough, the second account would be more offensive to women (at least as it would seem), as woman is created as a "helper" for man and is described as "taken out of man".

quote:
The explicit point is this: "That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and the two become one flesh." The line "he shall be your master" only comes after the fall, and there is no particular reason to read this as a commandment rather than a prediction.
The "two become one flesh" doesn't abolish some sort of created order either. Rather, men and women are not to be separate but find their fulfillment joined together. Regardsing the last point about master, you could also read it as a curse that men would dominate women sinfully. That man and woman would strive against one another because they began to view their differences in creation as giving value to one over the other.

The cure to the abuse of women is the restoration of right order and perspective, not the abolishment of it.

quote:
Culturally prescribed roles determined by one's sex are so closely tied to making women second-class citizens
Here we go again - you keep trying to tie this to the abuse or oppression of women. The two are miles apart - we might as well bring up racism when we are talking about Noah and the ark.

Maybe another illustration will help - does the existence of rape in the world nullify all sex? You keep twisting the argument to point at women's rights - this has nothing to do with rights. i might as well get pissed because as a man i can't get pregnant.

The right for women's suffrage, equal pay in the work place, and all such good things are commendable and wonderful - but they don't apply here. Again, this is not a symbol of worth - this is a symbol of worship, of how creation relates to itself, how creation relates to God, and how God relates to Himself.

quote:
that it's laughable that you think "separate but equal" works any better with regard to roles for men and women than it did with schools for white people and black people.
i'm glad this is laughable to you, but i don't see any correlation with racism, the oppresion of women, and this discussion. i know where you're coming from as i myself used to think women should be priests so i'm not missing what you're saying. However, i have come to see that this is an issue much deeper than the shallow sins committed by those who would abuse it.

quote:
How many examples can you cite of religions or cultures that have prescribed very separate roles for men and women that have not made women second-class in one way or another?
Let's see - all of Christendom? How is one supposed to answer this? We definitely see where mankind has abused their place in creation and indeed in the gender's place in it. Does it inviolate the whole thing simply because some have committed evil by it?

quote:
Women and men all being full participants in the work of the Holy Spirit is exactly what we're talking about here.
No it's not at all. Using your reasoning, you're assuming that priests somehow are more of a participant in the work of the Holy Spirit than lay people are.

quote:
IMO, the church got off on the right foot, but somehow went wrong later.
Can you cite where it was on the right foot? Can you show the condition it was in and the condition it somehow switched to later? Where did this turn occur? Has the Holy Spirit been absent for 2000 years?

quote:
It should have been way ahead of the curve on this, not lagging behind, only waking up to its failure to treat women as the beloved children of God we are after secular feminism pointed out the oppression promulgated by narrow, culturally prescribed roles for women.
You're somehow equating that equal pay in the workplace, women's suffrage, the right treatment of women, etc. somehow meant that the church has never treated women as "the beloved children of God" until now. i think you're letting "secular feminism" speak to you over "right reason." The tenets of the church have always upheld women. Nowhere in the church's claims have you ever found a proclaimation that women are inferior to men before God.

quote:
One of the ways the church has put down women has been to deny their ministries, their calling by God. You do condone such evils.
This is where i'm seeing more fully the narrow-mindedness of your argument. i'm lumped in with those who want women barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen only because i say that place in God's order doesn't indicate value over another's place. Hum.

The world will tell you that place does indicate worth, that a man/woman can rise to more value than another - and you're listening to it quite well.

quote:
tradition is what is handed on
Quite right - does this mean that we change it at will or according to our own personal views?

quote:
If we hand on the continued pigeon-holing of women into certain roles that we know are not God-given, we sin against future generations of Christians, just as earlier generations in the church sinned against us in handing on to us a tradition laced through with racial hatred.
Racial hatred? Please show me where the church's tradition upholds racial hatred. Much of our tradition is from ancient liturgies preserved in the Book of Common prayer - does it say somewhere in the BCP that we should hate someone because of race? Where? Can you find one church father that the church commends who would show such a position? Where is this in scripture or in the testimony of the church throughout history? You're putting up a puppet here - certainly there are those who have abused their positions by trying to claim religious doctrine to back it up, but this has never inviolated church tradition.

quote:
I am not willing to wait... there is no reason the Anglican Communion to refuse to go where the Holy Spirit seems to be leading us.
i seem to have missed impatience and disunity as being fruits of the Spirit.
 
Posted by The Wanderer (# 182) on :
 
quote:
So the second is to be read in favor of the first or to read that it somehow contradicts it? (emphasis added)
Grip, I think I disagree with every one of your points. However I'm only going to comment on this one, as I get picky over textual details. Try writing a summary of the first creation story, and then the second. Put them side by side. Apart from having God as Creator they contradict each other in almost every detail. They are two very separate accounts, that cannot easily be reconciled.
 
Posted by Sienna (# 5574) on :
 
The Grip said:
quote:
Please show me where the church's tradition upholds racial hatred. Much of our tradition is from ancient liturgies preserved in the Book of Common prayer - does it say somewhere in the BCP that we should hate someone because of race? Where? Can you find one church father that the church commends who would show such a position? Where is this in scripture or in the testimony of the church throughout history?
Warning - links below and google searches will send you to some extremely offensive material - and I haven't quoted any bits for that reason.

Well, since you asked - let's begin with St. John Chrysostom's Eight Homilies Against the Jews, found here.

Or the article found here, discussing the anti-semitic writings and sermons of such august Church Fathers as Thomas Aquinas, Ambrose of Milan, Augustine of Hippo, and others.

And, lest anyone think the Protestants didn't play along, check out Martin Luther's "On the Jews and Their Lies" - one can google to excerpts or the entire text.

That, The Grip, would be part (though unhappily not all) of the Church's history of racial hatred to which Ruth referred - hardly a puppet, nor an invalidation of the entire tradition of the Church, but undeniably grounds for looking askance at exclusionary traditions, no?

Regards,
Sienna
 
Posted by Laura (# 10) on :
 
To equate physical impossibility (men can't get pregnant) with a prohibition from the Church, as at least two people have in the last fifty posts, is a logical category error: one is imposed by nature, and the other by people under a particular interpretation of scripture and tradition. It is observable, and a simple factual observation that men cannot bear children. It is not observable that women cannot consecrate bread and wine. You cannot logically connect a physical impediment with a spiritual one.
 
Posted by the_grip (# 7831) on :
 
Good points.

Sienna, three things about anti-Semitism and church history.

1. i refer to what the church has upheld, not what particular individuals have thought. That said, if you actually read most of the writings that many proposed anti-Semites have written you will find that they refer to the Jews as hating Jesus. Such writers will show that the Jews have rejected salvation when it came to them, something that is not absent from the Gospels. That is largely misunderstood when certain items are read out of context.

2. Much of the language is translated from Latin and/or Greek and thus fails to land gingerly into our modern Western ears. When we hear such words as "the pitiable and miserable Jews" or "the Jews' fanciful and wretched superstitions" we are quick to point to it as racism. This is, again, taken out of context.

3. There certainly have been racist folks in church history. However, such teachings were typically disregarded well before it reached us in our day. That's not to say that racism doesn't still exist and people don't try to use religous claims to back it, but this is not something the church has upheld or promoted, that's my point. We have not received a basketful of racial tradition as many secular scholars would like to claim.

quote:
but undeniably grounds for looking askance at exclusionary traditions
i would agree and say it is undeniably a means for not accepting certain people's claims, both today and throughout history, but church tradition indicates no such racial doctrines.

quote:
one is imposed by nature, and the other by people under a particular interpretation of scripture and tradition. It is observable, and a simple factual observation that men cannot bear children. It is not observable that women cannot consecrate bread and wine.
Lastly, Laura, my point with the pregnancy thing was not to indicate that a woman cannot genetically get up at an altar and offer the mass. i was making a reference to the weight of difference between women's rights and this discussion. i do apologize because i can be a bit hasty and incoherent at times, but if you read closely in the context you will see that i'm not trying to make a point that genetics are the reason women are not priests. In light of the current topic for discussion, it probably was not the best illustration of difference, and i apologize.
 
Posted by Sienna (# 5574) on :
 
The Grip -

First, I did read many of those in the original Latin in their entirety, though not the Greek (admittedly in grad school a few years ago), and I did read them in context. You asked for an instance of any commended church father showing racial hatred, and I gave it to you. "Sons of devils" is pretty unambiguous language, as is Luther's advice to rulers that the synagogues should be burned and the Jews expelled if they fail to convert.....If you really want to get into an exchange of the Church's historical maltreatment of the Jews - the sanctioning of pograms, the ghettoes, etc., we can - and we can talk about actual events, so there's no "contextual" problem.....but that isn't what this thread is about.

However, the point of my post is that the CURRENT church has been led by the Holy Spirit away from those errors (and the current Pope, to his credit, has apologized for much of it), so why are you so unwilling to consider that the Holy Spirit might be leading the church away from the exclusion of women from the priesthood?

Sienna
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
the_grip, I'll deal with most of your points at some later date, but this one I cannot let stand.

quote:
The tenets of the church have always upheld women. Nowhere in the church's claims have you ever found a proclaimation that women are inferior to men before God.
This is patently false. The church has for centuries consistently claimed that women are inferior to men before God. You may read here all about the church's tradition of holding that women are inferior to men. If you want context, there are plenty of links on that site to the full texts of the documents.

The church has a long and ugly history of despising women. Here's little taste: Tertullian called us "the devil's gateway". St Gregory of Nazianzum said, "Fierce is the dragon and cunning the asp; But woman have the malice of both." St. Ambrose claimed that women were not in fact made in the image of God. St. Jerome said, "Woman is the root of all evil." St. Augustine's regard for women was so low that he couldn't figure out why we were created at all, until it occurred to him that without women there would be no children. Naturally, he concluded that procreation was the sole reason women were created.
 
Posted by Mousethief (# 953) on :
 
Tertullian isn't exactly a sterling example of the voice of the Church -- he left to become a Montanist and then left to found his own sect.
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
Nevertheless, Tertullian's theology was very influential.
 
Posted by ChristinaMarie (# 1013) on :
 
From the link Ruth posted:

quote:
It is the natural order among people that women serve their husbands and children their parents, because the justice of this lies in (the principle that) the lesser serves the greater . . . This is the natural justice that the weaker brain serve the stronger. This therefore is the evident justice in the relationships between slaves and their masters, that they who excel in reason, excel in power.” (Augustine)
Didn't Jesus say something about the greatest being servant of all?

Perhaps there was a change in mindset from Service to Power in the Clergy?

Other false reasonings in the quotes on that website include arguments from biology that we know are false now. This includes the argument that women are defective human beings and are not fully human, as men are.

It's no wonder that the clergy became celibate - they hated women.

Christina
 
Posted by the_grip (# 7831) on :
 
quote:
You asked for an instance of any commended church father showing racial hatred
Quite right - i do sometimes get a bit hasty, and i did ask such a question. Undoubtedly we both could find such a figure(s), but my point was this is not tradition that is handed down. We don't find statements regarding racial hatred next to the Nicene Creed, for example.

(i also would never look to Martin Luther as a church father... his group was just as bad as the medieval RC church).

That's why i claimed that the tenets of the church have always upheld women. This doesn't mean that every man in our "family album" has always advocated such thoughts, but, again, we don't see the denouncement of women written into the doctrines of the church.

ChristinaMarie, that's spot on. Position has often been twisted to power, but that does not negate the beauty of submission, humility, love, and being a servant. No one woman or man is better than another, desptie their position.
 
Posted by the_grip (# 7831) on :
 
Spoke too hastily again...

When i said:
quote:
(i also would never look to Martin Luther as a church father... his group was just as bad as the medieval RC church).
i don't mean to imply that i've somehow got it "more right" than Luther. i'm a sinner like all of us. i did mean to say that i don't turn to him as having "got it completely right" - none of us have it "all right". In other words, reform was necessary in the church, but i don't think Luther was somehow either holier or more evil than the rest of us. We all make mistakes - that's where Luther's anti-Semitism came in (and several other things, like sacking Rome, raping, pillaging, etc. by his followers).

Sorry for the digression - i only got three hours of sleep last night b/c of work so the mind's a bit cloudy. i was a bit presumptous and arrogant with that part of my last post, and i do apologize.
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by the_grip:
That's why i claimed that the tenets of the church have always upheld women. This doesn't mean that every man in our "family album" has always advocated such thoughts, but, again, we don't see the denouncement of women written into the doctrines of the church.

What exactly do you consider doctrine? No, the hatred of women isn't written into the Nicene Creed. It's written into the historical arguments against ordaining women, though, which seems pertinent, don't you think?

quote:
Position has often been twisted to power, but that does not negate the beauty of submission, humility, love, and being a servant. No one woman or man is better than another, desptie their position.
And men are not as a group better than women, so women can be priests.
 
Posted by IanB (# 38) on :
 
Having taken a weekend breather, I'm a bit reluctant to rejoin some of the earlier arguments I was trying to seek enlightenment on - absolutely no sarcasm intended - as the argument seems to have fixated itself of the question "can women be priests?". Fine - but it's not a problem I have. So far as I am concerned Chalcedon provides a pretty strong pointer to the answer being "yes". ISTM that questions like that are a very western concern that FWIW I just don't share.

My problem lies elsewhere. Back at the end of the eighties I could be found stumping around the place being supportive of the church (CofE) ordaining women to the sacramental priesthood and as bishops. Certainly I thought more work was needed, but that was broadly my position. The arguments for an all-male priesthood seemed OK so far as they went, but they just seem to run out of steam when pressed. Against that, arguments of Chalcedon seemed overriding.

Since then I've come to the view that the pro- arguments run out of steam in exactly the same way - when pressed. And in the meantime the level of rhetoric has increased.

OK - enough beef from me. I do have one point in relation to RuthW's post:
quote:
it's laughable that you think "separate but equal" works any better with regard to roles for men and women than it did with schools for white people and black people.
This is a fair point - driven to its conclusion it is the sort of argument that supported apartheid. But we can all award ourselves PhD's in defining the degenerate forms of opposing arguments - we tend to be somewhat hazier when it comes to spotting the degenerate forms of our own arguments. I would have thought the history of the 20th century shows us the risks of pursuing either "separate" or "the same" on their own. Stalin, Pol Pot et al made a career out of the latter.

Surely neither of these things represents the Christian message. We are called to bring our particular charism to bear for the benefit of others. We are one because of the unity of the church as the body of Christ - it is not an imposed levelling to a common norm, and could never be because if it was, we could not bring anything unique to bear. We need both, because one sets the context of the other.

Ian
(PS - Augustine the Aleut - improbable as it may seem, I can see where you are coming from)
 
Posted by ChristinaMarie (# 1013) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by the_grip:
[QUOTE]ChristinaMarie, that's spot on. Position has often been twisted to power, but that does not negate the beauty of submission, humility, love, and being a servant. No one woman or man is better than another, desptie their position.

But Grippie!

That's NOT what the Church Fathers argued! They argued that women are inferior!

Imagine a school in Alabama founded in 1800, where no black pupils or teachers were allowed because blacks 'were inferior.'

Today, the school still does not allow black pupils or teachers, but it has nothing to do with blacks being inferior, no sireee! Blacks and whites are equal they say.

Blacks aren't allowed, because it is the tradition of the school.

What I see is a tradition founded on misogyny being maintained by other arguments now.

One you stated was that men and women are to find fulfillment in each other, right?

Well, how the hell do celibate Priests and Bishops have fulfillment then!? Clearly, your argument is not what the RC and Orthodox Church teaches. A person doesn't need a mate to be fulfilled, Paul recommended that those who could, be single to serve the Lord more.

Christina
 
Posted by the_grip (# 7831) on :
 
quote:
Well, how the hell do celibate Priests and Bishops have fulfillment then!? Clearly, your argument is not what the RC and Orthodox Church teaches. A person doesn't need a mate to be fulfilled, Paul recommended that those who could, be single to serve the Lord more.
Several things here:

1. i'm not advocating priestly celibacy. i'm not RCC.
2. i don't think "finding fulfillment together" necessitates sexual union. Men and women complete the spectrum, so to speak. For example, it is my opinion that many of the abuses of women by males in the church (both clergy and laity, some church fathers included) is due to an absence of a right understanding of our holy mother. When Mary is sent packing, you either end up in a cold logic wasteland or an oversaturated emotional flood due to an avoidance of cold logic. In a similar vein, i think the right perspectives of male and female as equal and interjoined, not separate, shows that we all don't complete the same tasks but that we are completely dependant on one another.

It is a shame that mysoginist claims were made in the past by those in the church and still are made today that would attempt to indicate that there are "inferior" roles in the church or that women cannot complete certain roles because they are somehow "inferior". i don't think reserving the priesthood for males is about "can" or "can't", rather, it's about functions we each perform in tandem with one another.

Like i said before, i read Genesis, St. Paul, etc. and take to heart the meaning they portray. It is a very corporate notion of the church and has a strong and correct view of headship that admittedly has been abused, but i don't believe in "throwing the baby out with the bathwater", at least how i see it. What i am advocating is imagery of how everything relates to God in how He has created all things, and it is meant for us to use to see God more fully in everything we do.

That said, i'm going to retire once again from this discussion. i don't really find it that constructive as we are all pretty much sitting in our corners at this point. Some here look at things from one angle, and i happen to look at it from another. i do hope that i have not come across as mysoginistic, If so, it would be an indictment of me in failure on my part to adequately explain my position as it is not mysoginistic at all. As IanB pointed out, abuses of the position i hold could run the risk of promoting a type of apartheid of the genders, but i don't think it necessitates that result. Good things take work in our fallen world, and i'm not one to surrender because there is risk involved.

Thus:
quote:
What I see is a tradition founded on misogyny being maintained by other arguments now.
i don't see at all. i see tradition abused at times into mysogyny but not a mysoginistic tradition itself.

So i hope that i can say, "Peace by with you," and leave it at that. There is a wealth of need in the world that extends miles beyond the scope of gender in the priesthood (as i'm sure we all agree), and i think that pushing my point here starts to blur the lines of importance (at least to me).

[ 19. July 2004, 21:46: Message edited by: the_grip ]
 
Posted by The103rd (The Ship's Boatboy) (# 5846) on :
 
[Killing me] [Killing me] [Killing me]

This is BRILLIANT! The Militant Order of Women Priests is after me!!! [Killing me]

LOOK! [Killing me]

I can't stop laughing!!!

-103
 
Posted by The103rd (The Ship's Boatboy) (# 5846) on :
 
In reply to the_grip:

The arguement against women priests is not due to sexism. There are lots of women in FiF and lots of women who don't support the move to women priests.
Women cannot celebrate mass in our belief - this is because we don't believe that they can be ordained validly as a priest.
There are plenty or roles that a women can play in church.
Serving.
Reading.
Preaching.
Sub-deacon.
Ushering.
Sunday School.
Cleaning.
Music playing.

And much more - yes men can do these things too (and they do) but there is nothing stopping women from doing these things. The only thing a women cannot do (in my belief) is to administer any sacraments - only a priest can do them, and a valid priest has to be a man who has been ordained as a priest by a bishop who can trace back to St Peter through apostolic sucession.

A women cannot IMB

-103
 
Posted by Norman the Organ (# 5477) on :
 
But 103: Why?

All you have done so far is say "Women can't be priests because my vicar tells me so." Then, when pressed on why, you gave a series of not-very-logical answers that became more and more weird until you were comparing female ordination with men singing soprano! And then you left altogether. And now you're back, starting from square 1.
 
Posted by The103rd (The Ship's Boatboy) (# 5846) on :
 
When a priest celebrates holy mass, he is representing Jesus at the Last Supper.
Q: What Sex was Jesus?
A: Male

-103
 
Posted by kiwigoldfish (# 5512) on :
 
Q: What race was Jesus?
A: Jewish.

I hope you have a kosher priest.
 
Posted by The103rd (The Ship's Boatboy) (# 5846) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by kiwigoldfish:
Q: What race was Jesus?
A: Jewish.

I hope you have a kosher priest.

I think he's vegetarian actually!

-103
 
Posted by IanB (# 38) on :
 
um - 103 - the "iconic argument" is considerably more detailed than that - as kiwigoldfish pointed out, if taken as you seem to have done then it would be in danger of denying rather more than women the ability to become priests, and could ultimately collide with the doctrine that what was not assumed cannot be redeemed.

In any event, the "iconic argument" as you expressed it is a late invention of the western church, primarily Rome. The early church did have an iconic understanding, but it started and finished somewhere else. Pretty much the iconic understanding of the Orthodox church as much as I can understand it from outside.

Ian
 
Posted by Laura (# 10) on :
 
Dyfrig has a pretty good take on the key logical consistency inherent in the iconic argument. You can see it on the very first page of this thread. But I'll reproduce it here for your benefit:

quote:
Quoth Dyfrig:
It seems to me that a false divide is being set up in order in the Catholic churches to not have to think about ordaining women.

It is false, because it contradicts the very point that the Nicene-Chalcedonian church kept banging away at: that the second person of the Trinity, tho' fully God, was also fully human. "What he did not assume, he did not save" went the old adage, to ram home the point that Jesus was fully human.

In the literature of the parts of the Church that pride themselves in their oh-so-radical anti-PC-ness, much effort is spent labouring the point that "Man" means man and woman, therefore it is an "inclusive" term.

Yet, when it comes to the theory that the priest represents Christ at the Eucharist (a very high view, I admit) it's not the "Man-ness of Jesus (in the wider sense) that is drawn upon to justify the position, but rather his "man"-ness, his malenss. Viz. "Jesus was a man, so only men can be priests".

This strikes me as a reasonably impossible position to hold - either you believe Jesus was fully "human", sharing the characteristics common to all 6billion of us, regardless of gender, and thus can be represented at the Eucharist (if representation is required at all) by any Human - alternatively you must believe that only a man can represent Jesus, suggesting that the God-Man* (*wider sense) must have an essential, ontological element of maleness in him, which therefore requires there to be a difference in the humanity of mene and women.

And the consequence of that is to say that women can't be saved!


 
Posted by McLürkér (# 1384) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by The103rd (The Ship's Boatboy):
quote:
Originally posted by kiwigoldfish:
Q: What race was Jesus?
A: Jewish.

I hope you have a kosher priest.

I think he's vegetarian actually!

-103

But Jesus wasn't a veggie. So your priest can't represent him, then.
 
Posted by IanB (# 38) on :
 
In all fairness, I should point out that what is being rejected here is not Rome's iconic argument but the popular (misunderstood) version thereof.

The Vatican's stance against ordaining women as priests is given in the encyclical Inter Insigniores. That makes passing mention of the argument. But if you want to understand what the argument is all about you will need to read the Apostolic Letter Mulieris Dignitatem. The appropriate section is in Chapter 7, but you will need to read Chapters 1 to 6 to make headway with it.

Cardinal Avery Dulles has called arguing the case "difficult" (not in any negative sense, but because it comes as part of many inter-related threads). It is not just about a simple view of "imaging Christ". Many of the objections (rightly) raised here are also kicked firmly out of the door at an early stage in the letter.

Ian
 
Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Augustine the Aleut:
A parallel might be to imagine the Township of Osnabruck being set into another dimension and required to operate without being able to contact the Province of Ontario or the Federal Government. Schools would be kept running, the clinic maintained, the roads kept up, and so forth. It would not be to the Township Council to re-write the Charter of Rights because they thought it could be improved.

Ah...

that's odd

I'd have thought that if Osnabruck, or any other village, town, or city. found itself isolated from the state it was once part of, its citizens would have the perfect right to set up any political systems they wanted.

It's hard to see how anyone could object to that.

The question is whether they have such a (moral) right as things are, when there is a government set over them. Personaly I think they do, as does everyone else, but I can see there is room for an an argument.
 
Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by the_grip:
i seem to have missed impatience and disunity as being fruits of the Spirit.

Impatience? We've been going over this ground for whole lifetimes.

Disunity? The Church of England's ordination of women moves us further into unity with our sister churches, the Presbyterians and Methodists and Lutherans.

Visible unity with Rome was never on offer - they reject our right to exist as a church at all.

[ 20. July 2004, 15:49: Message edited by: ken ]
 
Posted by IanB (# 38) on :
 
Ken

I had sort-of been waiting for someone else to post something else before replying, but it seems they are not going to.

So I just wanted to say that I think your middle proposition -
quote:
The Church of England's ordination of women moves us further into unity with our sister churches, the Presbyterians and Methodists and Lutherans.

Visible unity with Rome was never on offer - they reject our right to exist as a church at all.

- is probably true in the mid-term. I have some reservations about any timescale of unity with Presbyterians, but as for the rest, I think probably the most immediate call on the CofE (and Anglicanism generally) is to get closer to its inner protestantism. If it were able to do that, a lot of internal tensions could be resolved.

Obviously that causes some tensions for those of us on the catholic end of things, but I think it hugely unrealistic to pretend that any progress will now be made at this end of things in the near future.

Of course, in the distant future we must all look towards such a rapprochement, but who knows what water will flow under the bridge first?

I suppose I should also add that it is unrealistic to expect Rome to adopt any other view than that we are an "ecclesial community" - or a community having some or all of the attributes of a church. Because we can only be a church once unity is reached.

Ian
 
Posted by Augustine the Aleut (# 1472) on :
 
Ken-- you are a roundhead! Osnabruck township, by such lights, could well do so. Our constitutional thinking, in a state comprising people who were abandoned by their RC sovereign and another gang who rejected the position that people could up and decide how their government should be structured, has evolved differently. Not worse, nor better, but as you noted, different.

Rome has used different metaphors for describing Anglicanism, most positively by Paul VI, who affectionately described us as a sister church, and much less so by almost everybody else since (although therre were nice words from J2P2's remarks at Canterbury). The confused and dismissive (and vaguely dishonest) approach seems to be operating these days and, I would imagine, for the foreseable future. As I noted in my response to 103d, I do not like this, but I think we need to be realistic.

In terms our growing closeness with the Lutherans, I have some hellish perspectives available, upon application.

(corrected to bring a verb into line with its subject)

[ 22. July 2004, 01:09: Message edited by: Augustine the Aleut ]
 
Posted by the_grip (# 7831) on :
 
i was reminded today of an article that C.S. Lewis wrote on this, and it does include a word that might be offensive in the title (as mentioned above), but these are not my words:

Priestesses in the Church?

i am just curious what the take on this is by those in this thread.
 
Posted by Sienna (# 5574) on :
 
While I hate to criticize any article that begins by quoting Jane Austen (or is written by CS Lewis, for that matter), my most immediate reaction to the article is to take issue with Lewis' assertion that we all, men and women, are feminine in relation to God, who is always masculine in relation to us.

Lewis notes that the Bible teaches us how to think of God, and the Bible presents God as masculine. Accordingly, for Lewis, we are meant and intended by God are to perceive God as masculine. However, the Bible uses many feminine metaphors to describe God's relation to us. Rather than go through them all here, I'll just provide a handy link here to an article that lists several. Once you start to examine this self-portrait of God to his people, Lewis' argument for the necessity of an all-male priesthood loses its power.

So, given that Scripture does present us with both feminine and masculine images of the Divine, why shouldn't the priesthood present those same images?

I'll also add that the article was written in 1948, and in the intervening time, many, many women have proven that they can fulfill the priestly role within their communities. Lewis did not have the advantage of that experience. Countless lives have been enriched by women who represent God to their congregation every day. I've been blessed to know several of them and my own relationship with God been both enriched and and enlarged by their leadership. To suggest that their femininity in and of itself presents a more flawed version of God to his people than their equally flawed masculine counterparts now that we have experience of their gifts and ministry is ridiculous. Note that I'm not calling you, The_Grip, or Lewis ridiculous - it's just that in light of the reality of women in the priesthood and my experiences with them, I can't see this particular argument any other way.

And, BTW, I have no problem using the masculine pronoun for God (or the feminine one, either) - I see choosing one pronoun or the other as an acknowledgement of the limits of our language, but not as a limit to the nature of God.

Regards,
Sienna
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
Quick note from someone who previously did not accept the validity of the ordination of women to the priesthood or episcopacy, and now happily does -- please note that the Lewis article argues against making the move to ordain women -- and does not argue that it could not be done or that any such orders would be invalid. For quite a long time I described my own position as "not being convinced of the validity of the ordination of etc." but also often with the caveat that this was not the same as being convinced that it could not happen. And in the end I was convinced after all. (It could still be argued that women should not be ordained to the priesthood, but this is not the same thing as saying it's not metaphysically possible.) Lewis is, in my view, far less fierce in his article above than some of the people who claim women cannot become priests.

I ended up drawing my conclusions (it's here on this thread somewhere back there in late 2002, I think, or early 2003) here on the Ship, so interested parties may want to see if any of my own reasoning is helpful for them. And while I think Mother Leslie at my own church is one of the best priests I've ever known, this was not in any way an issue as far as the metaphysics of ordination are concerned -- not a matter of wisdom or spiritual gifts or even of sanctity -- all can be present in someone who is neither bishop nor priest nor deacon, nor called to any of those things, in my view.

David
PS: Also one can accept the ordination of women without accepting inclusive language about God, or even viewing Him as masculine rather than feminine or both. (My own position, as well.)

[ 29. July 2004, 15:34: Message edited by: ChastMastr ]
 
Posted by the_grip (# 7831) on :
 
Thanks for the responses... i was curious. You both make quite a bit of sense and do present a good case.
 
Posted by Henry Troup (# 3722) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by The103rd (The Ship's Boatboy):
...The only thing a women cannot do (in my belief) is to administer any sacraments - only a priest can do them...

A most unusual position - anyone can baptise, in emergency. Everyone agrees baptism is a sacrament.

The sacrament of marriage requires a man and a woman -- and doesn't require a priest. Not everyone agrees that marriage is a sacrament.

[ 18. February 2005, 15:09: Message edited by: Henry Troup ]
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
A useful site, with RC arguments both for and against women priests:

WomenPriests.org
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
Clarification:

The site above is definitely pro women priests, but it does present the traditional and current arguments against.
 
Posted by Mousethief (# 953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Henry Troup:
The sacrament of marriage requires a man and a woman -- and doesn't require a priest.

In which church? It does in ours.
 
Posted by Henry Troup (# 3722) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Henry Troup:
The sacrament of marriage requires a man and a woman -- and doesn't require a priest.

In which church? It does in ours.
The priest does not perform the marriage, the couple does, in the words "thereto I plight thee my troth" and sundry modernizations.

In Pennslyvania, they issue "Quaker-form" licenses that have (I beleive) only two signature spaces, for the spouses.
 
Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
 
Actually, this is an East-West difference.

In the western church the couple are the ministers of the sacrament. In the east the Church is the minister of the sacrament - i.e. in Orthodoxy you can't get married without a priest.

I think this is what Mousethief is pointing out.
 
Posted by Fiddleback (# 2809) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by The103rd (The Ship's Boatboy):
In reply to the_grip:

The arguement against women priests is not due to sexism. There are lots of women in FiF and lots of women who don't support the move to women priests.

Lots. Yes. They tend to be the Vicar's mother (to whom he is naturally very kind)
 
Posted by Mousethief (# 953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Henry Troup:
The priest does not perform the marriage, the couple does, in the words "thereto I plight thee my troth" and sundry modernizations.

This is not true in the Orthodox Church. The only words spoken by the couple are to affirm that they are not betrothed to any others, and enter into the union freely. There are no vows, no "with this ring I thee wed" or anything of the sort. It is a sacrament of the Church which is "done" by the priest.
 
Posted by Thurible (# 3206) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Fiddleback:
quote:
Originally posted by The103rd (The Ship's Boatboy):
In reply to the_grip:

The arguement against women priests is not due to sexism. There are lots of women in FiF and lots of women who don't support the move to women priests.

Lots. Yes. They tend to be the Vicar's mother (to whom he is naturally very kind)
You patronising pile of shite! Good to know that you're not giving into any misogyny, Fiddleback. Women can't be opposed to the ordination of women?

Thurible
 
Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Thurible:
Women can't be opposed to the ordination of women?

Participation in your own oppression is hardly a new thing.

[ 04. April 2005, 12:14: Message edited by: ken ]
 
Posted by TonyK (# 35) on :
 
<Host Mode ACTIVATE>

Thurible - you've been around long enough to know better. Personal attacks - which this undoubtedly is - belong in another place.

If you wish to vent your spleen on Fiddleback (or any other shipmate for that matter) take it to Hell.

No further warnings

<Host Mode DEACTIVATE>
 
Posted by Thurible (# 3206) on :
 
Apologies, TonyK.

Thurible
 
Posted by Hooker's Trick (# 89) on :
 
Unexpectedly, I'm back.

I've just been informed that according to Forward in Faith, it is inappropriate to take Holy Communion from a male priest, even if he celebrated it according to the Roman Rite and wore a polyester poncho, IF the same parish had a lady priest in its employ.

NOT, mind, if the lady priest concelebrated. Not if she were present.

The fact of her EMPLOYMENT means the conscientious misogynist (sorry, FiF member) believes that the Holy Communion celebrated in that place deficient.

Even if it were celebrated by a man in her absence.

How comes this?

Does a lady in a clerical collar leave some odour in the sanctuary that curdles the Precious Blood?

Or perhaps the male celebrant has tainted himself because, presumably, at some point, he has taken communion from a woman.

??

[grammar. It's a good thing]

[ 22. April 2005, 17:32: Message edited by: Hooker's Trick ]
 
Posted by Henry Troup (# 3722) on :
 
In the same thread that the other HT refers to, it was claimed that ordaining women would break the tactile apostolic succession of priests. Is this a common FiF position?
 
Posted by Hooker's Trick (# 89) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Henry Troup:
In the same thread that the other HT refers to, it was claimed that ordaining women would break the tactile apostolic succession of priests. Is this a common FiF position?

That doesn't make any sense, either. If women can't be ordained, the Holy Rays presumably bounce off them (just as if the bish laid his hands on a donkey or on a dust-mop -- nothing would happen).

The interesting conclusion is that something *does* indeed happen!

It's just something gross.
 
Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
 
I seem to remember baiting Chesterbelloc on this subject a while back. As always, he offered a courteous and helpful reply.

The argument about not attending a Mass celebrated by someone not of the FiF integrity is about impaired communion, not a theory of taint. So because of the serious divisions that exist between FiF and The Rest Of Us, members of FiF should endeavour to receive communion only at the hands of a male clergyman who is part of their integrity. He added that where there are pastoral or other reasons to break this rule FiF members are entitled to - I cited a Rural Dean, of FiF tendency, I know who covered for a lady vicar, in the absence of any other supporting clergy - apparently he need not expect the Fulham Inquisition.

Anyway, this is the official position of thoughtful FiFers. Doubtless there are baser types in FiF, as there are in the rest of the Church. Doubtless, also, a real FiFer will appear and fill in the lacunae of my account in the fullness of time.
 
Posted by Hooker's Trick (# 89) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
impaired communion,

OK, I'll confess. I don't understand this term.

If it's not the taint of the ovary in orders, is it because ordaining women, or accpeting their ordination, is such a grievous sin that it endangers our common communion?
 
Posted by Chapelhead (# 1143) on :
 
Given that Canterbury Cathedral has a female Canon, how would FiFers stand in relation to taking Communion from the hand of Rowan Willaims at the high altar of Canterbury Cathedral? Presumably "impaired communion" would apply as much here as anywhere?
 
Posted by Amos (# 44) on :
 
The Archbishop of Canterbury has also ordained women to the priesthood.
 
Posted by Scotus (# 8163) on :
 
'Impaired communion' is a de facto and de jure state within the Church of England whereby it is no longer the case that every member of the church can accept the validity of the sacramental ministry of every person ordained according to the canons of the church.

It is therefore not a doctrine invented by FiF, or anything to do with the alleged 'doctrine of taint' (which has no theological basis) but a statement of fact, describing a state of affairs officially sanctioned by the Church of England.

No-one claims that the sacrament celebrated by a man who accepts/ordains/concelebrates with women priests is invalid. For that matter, with respect to the sacraments of women priests it is more a case of lack of certainty rather than absolute certainty that their sacraments are invalid. However, there is more to being in full communion than simply accepting the validity of sacraments (c.f. Roman Catholics & Orthodox churches). Priests and bishops act collegially, and the Eucharist is an outward sign of the unity of the church. That collegiallity and unity was fractured by the C of E's decision, which represents a fundamental difference in doctrine. The Forward in Faith Communion Statement is about putting in place a 'degree of separation' from that doctrinal development, and has nothing to do with a doctrine of taint.

[ 23. April 2005, 13:10: Message edited by: Scotus ]
 
Posted by Oscar the Grouch (# 1916) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Scotus:
The Forward in Faith Communion Statement is about putting in place a 'degree of separation' from that doctrinal development, and has nothing to do with a doctrine of taint.

Yeh right!

Next you'll be telling me Michael Howard isn't playing the fear card at this election....

[Roll Eyes]
 
Posted by Scotus (# 8163) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Oscar the Grouch:
quote:
Originally posted by Scotus:
The Forward in Faith Communion Statement is about putting in place a 'degree of separation' from that doctrinal development, and has nothing to do with a doctrine of taint.

Yeh right!

Next you'll be telling me Michael Howard isn't playing the fear card at this election....

[Roll Eyes]

And there was I trying to provide some clarification, rather than descend to the level of petty sniping.

You can acuse FiF of a doctrine of taint till you are blue in the face if you want (rather than acknowledge they may be making some valid arguments) but it won't make it true.

[Roll Eyes]
 
Posted by Oscar the Grouch (# 1916) on :
 
If it smells like manure, feels like manure and tastes like manure - the chances are that it really IS manure.

The FiF "stand" is a model of suspicion, hostility and ungraciousness. There is no legitimate Christian reason for refusing to receive communion from someone whose sister's next door neighbour once saw a woman priest on TV. The "degree of seperation" is a theology of taint. No matter what feeble arguments are wheeled out to deny it (and they really are feeble), it looks like taint, sounds like taint and stinks to high heavens like taint. And when you consider the kind of purile puss that used to emerge from the voice of FiF (New Directions), you realise that, as far as the majority of FiF are concerned, it really IS taint.

What makes it even more remarkable is that this is from people who (they claim) would like to win over those who have strayed from the One True Fold. Just how likely are you to win over your enemies/opponents if you refuse to even share communion with them and generally treat them like carriers of the bubonic plague?

So in the end, it is a self-defeating theology of taint.

I lost patience with FiF a long time ago. Their complete lack of Christian charity nausiated me. I had wanted to be open and welcoming - to engage in true and friendly dialogue. I read their articles and sought to understand their arguments and positions. But then I wised up and realised that FiF wasn't interested in dialogue - just posturing.
 
Posted by Scotus (# 8163) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Oscar the Grouch:
If it smells like manure, feels like manure and tastes like manure - the chances are that it really IS manure.

Is that supposed to further your argument?

quote:
The FiF "stand" is a model of suspicion, hostility and ungraciousness. There is no legitimate Christian reason for refusing to receive communion from someone whose sister's next door neighbour once saw a woman priest on TV.
The last sentence of this quote is plain silly, but the first deserves a response.

To understand the FiF "stand" you have to realise that for those opposed to the ordination of women to the priesthood the decision in 1992 represented an innovation, a departure from the practice of the Church of England and from the universal church, a innovation which for various reasons they do not accept. Naturally those holding this view want to have as little to do with the innovation as possible. That does not mean they have to be rude to women (& bishops who ordain them) or avoid them like the plague - where this has happened it is regrettable and for the most part I think a thing of the past. But it is quite reasonable for those in this position to seek the pastoral and sacramental ministry of those who like them do not accept the innovation, and the C of E has put structures in place so that they can do this.

There are practical difficulties as well as the theological question of collegiality: even if a church which accepts the ordination of women only has male priests on its staff, a woman priest might be providing holiday or sickness cover. Someone opposed to the ordination of women to the priesthood might quite reasonably chose not to attend that church in case this situation arises.

A doctrine of taint would say that sacraments of a bishop who ordains women or a priest who has concelebrated with women are invalid or somehow tainted. This is completely different from what I have just outlined.

[ 25. April 2005, 09:05: Message edited by: Scotus ]
 
Posted by Henry Troup (# 3722) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Scotus:
... That does not mean they have ... avoid them like the plague - where this has happened it is regrettable and for the most part I think a thing of the past. ...

This whole flurry was sparked by a poster's description of avoiding churches because he adhered to the FiF "Safe List", which to me sounds like the stringent avoidance is not a thing of the past.

I still adhere to Rossweisse's comment that FiF is the "Girls have cooties club".
 
Posted by Scotus (# 8163) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Henry Troup:
quote:
Originally posted by Scotus:
... That does not mean they have ... avoid them like the plague - where this has happened it is regrettable and for the most part I think a thing of the past. ...

This whole flurry was sparked by a poster's description of avoiding churches because he adhered to the FiF "Safe List", which to me sounds like the stringent avoidance is not a thing of the past.

I still adhere to Rossweisse's comment that FiF is the "Girls have cooties club".

The referrant of "them" in this passage which you quoted was not churches but women priests and bishops who ordain them. Rudeness is not acceptable (and I stand by my claim that for the most part such rudeness belonged to the more heated times immediately after '92), and one does not have to avoid talking to women priests, going to meetings with them, being civil and polite to them. This is what I meant by the comment you selectively quoted.

I also explained in my post why someone belonging to FiF might want to avoid worshipping at a church were a women priest ministers or might minister.

[ 25. April 2005, 13:55: Message edited by: Scotus ]
 
Posted by Henry Troup (# 3722) on :
 
There's a Women's Ordination WorldWide (WOW)
Second International Ecumenical in Ottawa this summer.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Scotus:

There are practical difficulties as well as the theological question of collegiality: even if a church which accepts the ordination of women only has male priests on its staff, a woman priest might be providing holiday or sickness cover. Someone opposed to the ordination of women to the priesthood might quite reasonably chose not to attend that church in case this situation arises.

A doctrine of taint would say that sacraments of a bishop who ordains women or a priest who has concelebrated with women are invalid or somehow tainted. This is completely different from what I have just outlined.

An ecumenical question occurs to me, as a matter of practice, not doctrine. Are you prevented from taking part in ecumenical events involving non-conformist ministers (e.g URC, Methodist, Baptist, who ordain/commission women) if these might involve exposure to what you might see as invalid behaviour by those ministers?

After all, you might not know in advance either which ministers would be there or what their gender might be. Does this mean you have to give all such events a wide berth?
 
Posted by Scotus (# 8163) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
An ecumenical question occurs to me, as a matter of practice, not doctrine. Are you prevented from taking part in ecumenical events involving non-conformist ministers (e.g URC, Methodist, Baptist, who ordain/commission women) if these might involve exposure to what you might see as invalid behaviour by those ministers?

After all, you might not know in advance either which ministers would be there or what their gender might be. Does this mean you have to give all such events a wide berth?

Ecumencical events are likely to be non-eucharistic so it wouldn't really be a problem. In any case, Methodist/URC/Baptist ministers are not episcopally ordained, so a female minister would have the same status as a male minister.
 
Posted by Henry Troup (# 3722) on :
 
2nd International Ecumenical Conference on Women's Ordination Worldwide Ottawa, Canada, July 22-24, 2005.
 
Posted by brackenrigg (# 9408) on :
 
What really matters is that this priestess bangwagon has been commandeered by shrill, strident feminists from over the water who have no care for the CofE, only themsleves.
It is much more important to heal the rift between the Catholic and CofE and this should have been made a primary issue. Once we go over the edge with bishopesses, alll chances of healing the rift will be finished.
We are all doomed .... doomed.
 
Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by brackenrigg:
What really matters is that this priestess bangwagon has been commandeered by shrill, strident feminists from over the water who have no care for the CofE, only themsleves.
It is much more important to heal the rift between the Catholic and CofE and this should have been made a primary issue. Once we go over the edge with bishopesses, alll chances of healing the rift will be finished.
We are all doomed .... doomed.

Are we allowed to out trolls other than in Hell?
 
Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Scotus:
However, there is more to being in full communion than simply accepting the validity of sacraments (c.f. Roman Catholics & Orthodox churches). Priests and bishops act collegially, and the Eucharist is an outward sign of the unity of the church. That collegiallity and unity was fractured by the C of E's decision, which represents a fundamental difference in doctrine. The Forward in Faith Communion Statement is about putting in place a 'degree of separation' from that doctrinal development,

A concise descriptions of the doctrine of taint, understandably biased towards the anti-women position.

quote:
and has nothing to do with a doctrine of taint.
But that is that doctrine. Just rather understated, without going into its more unpleasant implications.


quote:

There are practical difficulties as well as the theological question of collegiality: even if a church which accepts the ordination of women only has male priests on its staff, a woman priest might be providing holiday or sickness cover. Someone opposed to the ordination of women to the priesthood might quite reasonably chose not to attend that church in case this situation arises.

A doctrine of taint would say that sacraments of a bishop who ordains women or a priest who has concelebrated with women are invalid or somehow tainted. This is completely different from what I have just outlined.

No it isn't it is a neccessary consequence of what you have just outlined.

This "question of collegiality" is exactly a sort of taint. A bishop who ordains women as priests is in your eyes no longer fit to ordain men as priests, because no longer "in collegiality" with bishops who do not recognise women priests.

You have said that a FiFer would not want to attend a chruch that accepts the ordination of women, even once, just in case there might be a woman presiding on that day. Even if there are no women priests on the staff. So refusal to deny the possibilty that women could be priests prevents this person even visiting the church when on holiday. Just in case!

That sounds like "somehow tainted" to me.

quote:
Originally posted by Scotus:
I also explained in my post why someone belonging to FiF might want to avoid worshipping at a church were a women priest ministers or might minister.

If you want to be free of the charge of believing a doctrine of taint, you'd have to be able to answer these questions:


If the answer to any of them is not "yes" I think the suspicion of the doctrine of taint is still valid.
 
Posted by TonyK (# 35) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by brackenrigg:
What really matters is that this priestess bangwagon <snip> Once we go over the edge with bishopesses, <snip>

quote:
Originally posted by ken
Are we allowed to out trolls other than in Hell?

Host Mode <ACTIVATE>

Brackenrigg - I appreciate that you are (relatively) new to the ship, having been an apprentice for only a month, but please be aware that the term 'priestess', and by extension 'bishopess' are, in this context, very offensive to many shipmates.

Please consider your motives for using these terms - otherwise Ken's assertion may prove to be true. In general I would feel that Hell is the only Board where they may be used - where others can respond suitably!

Ken - please cut Brackenrigg some slack as he is still a newbie. You may be right - time will tell

Host Mode <DE-ACTIVATE>
 
Posted by Ricardus (# 8757) on :
 
ken (or anyone else) -

What do you actually mean by a "doctrine of taint"? I always understood it to mean a kind of Donatism - that bishops who ordained women would instantly lose their power to validly ordain anyone else.

I don't think FiF are arguing this. My understanding is that FiF regard the ordination of men by bishops who have also ordained women as valid - but the communion is "impaired" for other reasons. A comparable situation would be the policy of the Roman Catholic Church with regard to Eastern Orthodox Eucharists - they are IIRC valid sacraments, but Catholics shouldn't take them because communion between the churches is broached for other reasons.
 
Posted by Henry Troup (# 3722) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
...My understanding is that FiF regard the ordination of men by bishops who have also ordained women as valid - but the communion is "impaired" for other reasons. ...

I have trouble seeing a difference in the distinction. If there is a negative effect on your communion with person C because bishop A ordained both B and C, and B is a member of some class W ... it's a doctrine of taint.
 
Posted by GreyFace (# 4682) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Henry Troup:
If there is a negative effect on your communion with person C because bishop A ordained both B and C, and B is a member of some class W ... it's a doctrine of taint.

This is a little simplistic, because the basis of the impaired communion with C is that the ordination of B by A is viewed as a possible indication that C is either no longer a bishop, or no longer capable of acting as a bishop.

This is in principle no different to saying that if a bishop decided that Christ was not the Son of God, God didn't exist at all, and the surest path to salvation involved the murder of everyone not born within three miles of Coquet Island, I would question the validity of his sacramentally conferred teaching authority.

So taint doesn't really come into it, they're arguing that the beliefs (not sins) of the bishop may disqualify him from the episcopate and C is an innocent bystander. I've seen this argument from the RCs over the Old Catholic involvement in Anglican Succession.

I think I agree with the principle. I just disagree with FiF over the question of whether women can be priests.
 
Posted by GreyFace (# 4682) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
My understanding is that FiF regard the ordination of men by bishops who have also ordained women as valid - but the communion is "impaired" for other reasons.

What other reasons are there? Perhaps one of the FiF Shipmates can enlighten me if this is the case.
 
Posted by Henry Troup (# 3722) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Scotus:
...A doctrine of taint would say that sacraments of a bishop who ordains women or a priest who has concelebrated with women are invalid or somehow tainted. ...

And ordination is a sacrament. I still see no difference. Were my Bishop to indulge in any of the odd practices GreyFace describes, I would indeed view any sacraments he celebrated afterward as tainted.


quote:
Originally posted by GreyFace:So taint doesn't really come into it, they're arguing that the beliefs (not sins) of the bishop may disqualify him from the episcopate
Isn't this Donatism?

[ETA: Attribution]

[ 30. May 2005, 17:41: Message edited by: Henry Troup ]
 
Posted by Ricardus (# 8757) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by GreyFace:
quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
My understanding is that FiF regard the ordination of men by bishops who have also ordained women as valid - but the communion is "impaired" for other reasons.

What other reasons are there? Perhaps one of the FiF Shipmates can enlighten me if this is the case.
We-ell .... if my understanding is correct, which it very probably isn't, the "other reasons" would be the perceived abandonment of Holy Tradition, which is made manifest in the ordination of women, as opposed to the ordinations themselves.

Though it occurs to me that the same logic could be applied to impair communion with a fair number of Evangelicals or liberals, so it's quite probable that I'm barking up the wrong tree and my posts should be ignored.
 
Posted by Ricardus (# 8757) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Henry Troup:
quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
...My understanding is that FiF regard the ordination of men by bishops who have also ordained women as valid - but the communion is "impaired" for other reasons. ...

I have trouble seeing a difference in the distinction. If there is a negative effect on your communion with person C because bishop A ordained both B and C, and B is a member of some class W ... it's a doctrine of taint.
As I say I'm not sure what's meant by a doctrine of taint, which is why I asked the question. I assumed it meant Donatism, in which case FiF aren't guilty, because they believe an "offending" bishop's sacraments are still valid.
 
Posted by Ricardus (# 8757) on :
 
Sorry, misunderstood my own post. Can I try again? Please ignore my first attempt.

quote:
Originally posted by GreyFace:
quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
My understanding is that FiF regard the ordination of men by bishops who have also ordained women as valid - but the communion is "impaired" for other reasons.

What other reasons are there? Perhaps one of the FiF Shipmates can enlighten me if this is the case.
The reason is not "because the sacraments are invalid". The reason is whatever it is that stops Catholics and Orthodox from taking communion together.

Though the above is subject to the usual caveat that I'm only stating what I understand to be the case, and probably ought really to leave it to someone who actually knows what they're talking about ...

(I'm making rather a mess of this, aren't I? Good thing it's down here where no-one will know ...)
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
Something of this sort may have been reported on this thread before, but life is too short for me to plough through it all.......

However, at this morning's Sung Eucharist in the Cathedral I was delighted to see that all three Sacred Ministers were female, something which I guess may be quite rare. The Celebrant and Sub-Deacon were two of our Honorary Priest-Vicars, and our Reader-in-Training acted as Deacon (although, strictly speaking, I guess she and the Sub-Deacon should have swapped roles).

The OT Reading and the Intercessions were both done by ladies from the congo, with chaps being relegated to the lowlier roles of crucifer, taperers and servers......

One in the eye for that well-known 'anti-ordained-women' body...... [Snigger]

Ian J.
 
Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
FiF aren't guilty, because they believe an "offending" bishop's sacraments are still valid.

Do they? Yet they would, as far as I know, refuse to have such people officiating in their churches, and refuse to even visit churches where they are. That action sounds as if they think them invalid to me, whatever they say in words.
 
Posted by Scotus (# 8163) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ken:
quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
FiF aren't guilty, because they believe an "offending" bishop's sacraments are still valid.

Do they?
Yes they do. Ricardus is spot on. There is no suggestion that the sacraments celebrated by a male bishop or priest are invalid, as a doctrine of taint would imply.

If a woman priest were to celebrate mass I would have serious doubts about whether Christ was really and substantially present in the sacrament. If a male priest (ordained by a male bishop) did so I would have no doubt whatsoever about the real presence of Christ in the sacrament, whatever his or his ordaining bishops views on the ordination of women. There is therefore a difference between an invalid sacrament and one which is valid but I may nevertheless choose not to partake of. This is, however, harder to appreciate without a Catholic doctrine of the real presence.
 
Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
 
Oh I appreciate it all right, but it does seem an example of do as I do, not as I say.

What is your answer to the questions in my post about 40cm above this one?
 
Posted by Scotus (# 8163) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ken:
What is your answer to the questions in my post about 40cm above this one?

If I must...

quote:
1. Would you accept a male priest in your congregation who had been ordained by a male bishop who had previously ordained women?
2. If visiting a place where you do not usually worship, would you attend a local church, knowing it to accept the ordination of women, and perhaps declining to communicate if a woman happend to be presiding?
3. If your parish accepted the ordination of women in theory, but did not happen to have any women priests on the staff, would you be happy to continue to attend and take communion? (again, perhaps not communicating on the odd days a visiting woman preside)
4. Would you accept a male priest in your congregation who had been ordained by a male bishop, at a ceremony in which a women bishop took part?
5. Would you accept a male bishop who had been ordained and consecrated by male bishops, at a ceremony in which a women bishop took part?

1. 'in your congregation' is unclear - I take it you don't simply mean would I be happy to have the priest you describe as a member of the congregation. We also need to expand on 'ordain women' since ordaining women as deacon is different from ordaining them as priest. I would of course consider that priest's orders to be valid and I would fully accept his sacramental ministry. I would however most likely prefer not to have such a priest as my parish priest unless he had changed his mind.

2. I would seek out a church where I could be confident that there would not be a female celebrant. Or I might choose on that occasion to worship with my Roman Catholic wife. But I would not rule out going to a church such as you describe under certain circumstances and indeed have done so.

3. Again that is vague. Are you talking about the views of the congregation, the PCC or the parish priest, which may not necessarily coincide, or an official policy? If the 'official' position was that women may celebrate in that church, I would most likely find another.

4. What part has the women bishop played in your scenario? Provided the ordaining bishop is male and validly consecrated bishop then the priests orders are valid but I would regard the participation of a female bishop in his ordination as a much graver impairment of communion, so I would choose not to partake of his sacramental ministry except in extremis

5. Again, what is the women bishop doing? Acting as an MC? One of the co-consecrators? Since the 'rule of three' is not essential to the validity of the sacrament, as long as a male bishop presided at the consecration then it would have to be considered valid, but highly irregular if a woman bishop actually participated in the consecration. Again, the impairment of communion here would be so grave that I would not wish to receive sacraments from this bishop except in extremis nor would I want to be under his authority.

So you see the answers are not straightforward. In each case there is no doubt about the validity of the sacrament, but there is an increasingly serious impairment of communion. Perhaps the distinction between 'taint' and impaired commuunion is simply expressed in that I would accept the sacraments from any of these male priests or bishops on my death bed (whereas I wouldn't from a woman priest/bishop or a man ordained by a woman bishop since there would be very grave doubt about the validity of the sacrament in those cases)
 
Posted by Scotus (# 8163) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ken:
If you want to be free of the charge of believing a doctrine of taint, you'd have to be able to answer these questions:
<snip>
If the answer to any of them is not "yes" I think the suspicion of the doctrine of taint is still valid.

Sorry for the doubly post. Needless to say, I disagree with the premise behind your five point test, since you seem to be reducing it all to the simple question of 'will you / won't you receive communion from x?'

[ 17. June 2005, 09:05: Message edited by: Scotus ]
 
Posted by dyfrig (# 15) on :
 
I do not find your distinction convincing, Scotus.

In your last sentence in the answer to Ken's Q1, you state: "I would however most likely prefer not to have such a priest [ordained by a bishop who had also ordained women] as my parish priest unless he had changed his mind."

You're arguments have sought to use the test of your (personal) certainty of the validity of the sacrament.

Yet, here we have a case where you state plainly that you would prefer not to have a person as a parish priest (despite him being properly ordained, and where there is no question of the validity of the sacraments which he celebrates.) And why? Because, apparently, the person who ordained him has also ordained a woman.

Why is that not a doctrine of taint?
 
Posted by Scotus (# 8163) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by dyfrig:
Yet, here we have a case where you state plainly that you would prefer not to have a person as a parish priest (despite him being properly ordained, and where there is no question of the validity of the sacraments which he celebrates.) And why? Because, apparently, the person who ordained him has also ordained a woman.

Why is that not a doctrine of taint?

It is not a doctrine of taint because such a doctrine would imply that ability of his ordaining bishop to confer the sacrament of orders is compromised, and thus the priest's own orders are compromised. This is emphatically not my position.

I said that I would prefer not to have such a person as my parish priest for the following reason:

1. As someone who is opposed to the ordination of women to the priesthood (at least for the time being) I would, as far as possible, seek to worship at a church which identified itself with this position or at least where there was an assurance that women priests would not function as such in that place.

2. I am assuming that in most cases a priest who has been ordained by a bishop who ordains women priests would not be the parish priest of the kind of church I have described (though of course there are exceptions)

Therefore I would in general prefer to worship at a church where the priest was ordained by a bishop who had not previously ordained women, but not because of that fact itself.
As I have said all along, there is no question that this hypothetical priest and his ordaining bishop are any less a priest or bishop on my eyes.

[ 17. June 2005, 13:06: Message edited by: Scotus ]
 
Posted by dyfrig (# 15) on :
 
Would you refuse to accept the sacrament from the hands of a priest who disagreed with you over the filioque?
 
Posted by Scotus (# 8163) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by dyfrig:
Would you refuse to accept the sacrament from the hands of a priest who disagreed with you over the filioque?

[brick wall]

Did I at any point say I would refuse to accept the sacrament? No I did not.

A question for you: if I choose (as indeed I do) not to attend my local evangical C of E church on a regular basis am I saying that that church is 'tainted'?

As a traditionalist anglo-catholic inclined towards modern roman liturgy I am naturally going to seek out a traditionalist anglo-catholic church inclined towards modern roman liturgy. It doesn't mean that as far as I am concerned every other church is tainted. 'Taint' has nothing to do with it. This discussion really is getting quite boring. [Snore]

[ 17. June 2005, 13:20: Message edited by: Scotus ]
 
Posted by dyfrig (# 15) on :
 
I thought the traditional "Catholic" view was that you went to your own parish church anyway ;P

But you raise an important point with regards Evangelical Anglicans. My experience of such churhces (and they are legion) suggest to me that there is an intriguing parallel between Measure Resolution parishes and some people who haul up in place like, St Michael's Aberystwyth or Holy Trinity Brompton, and it's this:

They are people who choose to go to that place because other places aren't Really Church, because of some fault of doctrine or order or tradition or whatever.

Now, you may be comfortable that you have managed to find a distinction between your position and one of taint (though, in traditions where the tactile transmission of the holy magic is so central, the suspicion cannot entirely be dismissed) but, like many people (myself, at one time, included) your (the generic "your") choosing of a church community is, basically, (the generic) you deciding where the Real Church is. In Evangelical terms, this coalesces round notions of "soundness", "liberalism", "Bible-based", etc.

And as these groups of people gain internal cohesion, and networks are created not with the adjoining parish, but with those of a similar bent, we find that, whilst Measure Resolution parishes may not necessarily believe in taint, they have certainly embraced Congregationalism wholeheartedly.
 
Posted by dyfrig (# 15) on :
 
D'oh, forgot to respond to your first point.

You did not, of course, mention receiving - my apologies for reading too much into what you said.
 
Posted by Scotus (# 8163) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by dyfrig:
I thought the traditional "Catholic" view was that you went to your own parish church anyway ;P

True. And making the whole C of E aware of its Catholicity is an important task for Catholic Anglicans. But one could also argue that as a Catholic one has a duty to try and attend a church where Catholic doctrine is taught and in particular due place given to the sacraments.

An individual church which has not embraced the innovation of ordaining women to the priesthood and therefore votes, in accordance with the Act of Synod, to petition for alternative episcopal oversite, can surely only be described as being congregationalist if the C of E which provides for this position in its structures can also be described as congregationalist. Perhaps it can - a consequence of the way in which the catholicity of the C of E was compromised when it embarked upon this course.

[ 22. June 2005, 16:19: Message edited by: Scotus ]
 
Posted by Philpott-Thrashington (# 5269) on :
 
Haven't trawled through all 11 pages of this, but has anyone yet commented that since Jesus was willing to receive his earthly life from a woman, surely we can't be obtuse enough to refuse to receive the life he offers us from the hands of a woman?

Mind you, theology never was my strong point, especially in the middle of a heat wave! [Cool]
 
Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Scotus:
As a traditionalist anglo-catholic inclined towards modern roman liturgy I am naturally going to seek out a traditionalist anglo-catholic church inclined towards modern roman liturgy. It doesn't mean that as far as I am concerned every other church is tainted. 'Taint' has nothing to do with it.

Your description of your position is pretty much what the rest of us mean by "taint" in this context.
 
Posted by Scotus (# 8163) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ken:
quote:
Originally posted by Scotus:
As a traditionalist anglo-catholic inclined towards modern roman liturgy I am naturally going to seek out a traditionalist anglo-catholic church inclined towards modern roman liturgy. It doesn't mean that as far as I am concerned every other church is tainted. 'Taint' has nothing to do with it.

Your description of your position is pretty much what the rest of us mean by "taint" in this context.
So presumably you agree that, say, an evangelical who chooses to attend an evangelical church and not other churches is also subscribing to a theology of taint with respect to those other churches?
 
Posted by Henry Troup (# 3722) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Philpott-Thrashington:
Haven't trawled through all 11 pages of this, but has anyone yet commented that since Jesus was willing to receive his earthly life from a woman, surely we can't be obtuse enough to refuse to receive the life he offers us from the hands of a woman?
...

Hear also what St. Paul saith: In Christ there is neither ... male nor female ...

Jesus is recorded in the Gospels as radically revising the "normal" standard of contact between men and women for his time and place. Yet, Christians persist in pushing a a standard that's not radical at all.
 
Posted by Scotus (# 8163) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Henry Troup:
Hear also what St. Paul saith: In Christ there is neither ... male nor female ...

This being the same Paul who says in 1 Cor that women should keep silent in church. I wouldn't want to construct an argument against the ordination of women founded on this text, but am just illustrating the danger of proof-texting.

quote:
Jesus is recorded in the Gospels as radically revising the "normal" standard of contact between men and women for his time and place.
Which makes it all the more striking that the 12 are all men. Again, I'm not saying that this is enough by itself to base an argument on. However it seems to me that those who try and argue the ordination of women to the priesthood is biblical are not on strong ground.

[ 27. June 2005, 10:00: Message edited by: Scotus ]
 
Posted by Back-to-Front (# 5638) on :
 
This week's Radio Times shows a picture of Mtr Rose Hudson-Wilkins alongside the listing for a programme due to be broadcast on Channel 4 at 8pm tomorrow about the issues surrounding the canonical ordination of women to the episcopate.
 
Posted by Back-to-Front (# 5638) on :
 
This programme is evoking mixed feelings in me.

This groups of RC women who in training for priesthood in the RC church, one of whom is talking about the Last Supper as the Eucharist, are spouting complete nonsense and doing nothing whatsoever to support their own cause. I hear good arguments on both sides of this and now I am seeing them throw away any credibility that they may have had.

Is anybody else watching?

[ 11. July 2005, 19:37: Message edited by: Back-to-Front ]
 
Posted by Back-to-Front (# 5638) on :
 
Sorry for a third post. I just thought I'd provide this link.
 
Posted by Mark M (# 9500) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Back-to-Front:
This week's Radio Times shows a picture of Mtr Rose Hudson-Wilkins alongside the listing for a programme due to be broadcast on Channel 4 at 8pm tomorrow about the issues surrounding the canonical ordination of women to the episcopate.

Did you tape it? 'Cause I didn't know it was on.
 
Posted by Back-to-Front (# 5638) on :
 
I'm so sorry. No, I didn't. [Frown]

I keep letting you down lately, don't I?
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
I did watch it. I thought Christina Odone was remarkable - and her responses were very moving. Anne Widdecome's contribution reminded me of the misguided certainties of many conservative evangelicals I have tussled with in the past. Reasoned - yes. Unfeeling and dismissive. Yes. Christlike? Never in a million years. Where was the compassion and anguish I saw written all over Christina Odone?
 
Posted by Mark M (# 9500) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Back-to-Front:
I'm so sorry. No, I didn't. [Frown]

I keep letting you down lately, don't I?

Shudupayaface. You weren't to know.
 
Posted by rugbyplayingpriest (# 9809) on :
 
As a forward in faith type I have not yet seen the theological arguments against given proper airing- so forgive this long post. (Oh and the 'taint' idea is total rubbish. I have never met anyone who applies it. Spin from the anti FIF brigade , I fear.)

Anyway my reasons for doubting the decision to ordain women follows: I do not wish to offend anyone- particularly the many fine women priests who do a wonderful job. This is my viewpoint- I respect yours. (I think the decision is actually valid from a protestant stand point but not a Catholic one you see!!)

1. The Saviour chose no women apostles and (so far as we know) he commissioned no women to teach or exercise the power ‘of the keys’.

He did however value and uphold their specific role and ministry as disciples. Christ was ever able to defy convention and pharisaic teaching when he willed. Thus defying a notion that he was limited by the wisdom of his age. (Particularly as the pagan world had many female priests- so they had been thought of)

2. St Paul forbade women to have authority over men in the Church. Among other things, this suggests how St Paul interpreted the fact that Christ appointed no women apostles.

3. There were no women bishops or presbyters in the early centuries of the Church. This indicates that St Paul's take on the matter was not personal opinion, but the consensus among the Apostles- handed down to their successors. All attempts to rewrite history on this issue havve been flimsy.

4. In the third century, the Montanists teaching was refuted by the Church. The principal point of issue between the Montanist heretics and the orthodox was the reliability of the Apostolic Tradition. (compared to the "new revelations of the Holy Spirit" that the Montanists were claiming.- sound familiar!!)

One of the principal arguments against the Montanists was that their practice of ordaining women proved that they were not faithful to the Apostolic Tradition. This indicates that the ordination of men only to the presbyterate and the episcopate was part of the authentic teaching of the Apostles.

5. The canon law of the early Church specifically forbade the ordination of women to the presbyterate and episcopate. These canons were endorsed by the Council of Nicaea which gave us our Creed. You could say that Nicaea got the Apostolic Tradition wrong on this point, but they sure seem to have got it right in the Creed, so I don't think this holds much water. For the Nicene creed is fundamental to Christian doctrine.

6. You can interpret Scripture to allow women priests, only by attributing St Paul's strictures against it as either

a) his personal opinion or
b) as applicable only to his time and place.

But there's a right way and a wrong way to interpret Scripture. The consistent, and specific teaching, on the part of mainstream Christianity (through the many centuries) is a pretty reliable guide. Choosing one's interpretation in order to conform to current understandings of "equality" is most certainly not.

7. Whereas secularism attempts to make the sexes interchangeable, the Church upholds the celebration of their different natures. This leads to a difference of role and purpose within an equality of being. Hence Mother Theresa and Pope John Paul both witnessed to Christ with equal power and integrity – but both did so by their different calling as man and woman. One was the priest Peter- the other the loved disciple- Magdalene.

8. This understanding of difference in role leads directly to the Eucharist. An anamnesis in which the priest stands ‘in persona Christi.(The reason that Orthodox priests have beards and long hair) Christ cannot be represented by a woman because Christ’s maleness is not incidental but revelatory. He is bound to his role as the Father. (The Jewish revelation of a male God says something subtle yet profound. Pagan religion happily used priestesses- combined with a notion of the mother god- one who gave birth to the world- hence nature worship! But Judaism changed this- making God the life giver and yet allowing him a separateness to created order. Nature is created BY him not OF him. A male priesthood symbolises this at a deep and unconscious level.

9. Scripture teaches that the relationship between Christ and his people is upheld and signified by the royal imagery of Christ the groom and his bride the Church. This is cemented in the marriage ceremony. At the Eucharist created order is echoed. The Church gather as bride- and the priest celebrant stands (in persona Christi) as groom. A female priest muddies this divine image of Christ and his bride at a subtle yet profound and complex level.

10. Mother Church has always taught that changes to doctrine and practice can only be accepted when authenticated by scripture, reason and tradition. All three and not just one of them. (Note this does not include personal or communal experience!) If something cannot be proven by these then we simply do not have the authority to adopt it (for fear it is vainly invented and erroneous). Thus even if possible and pleasant – women’s ordination cannot be accepted unless revealed by Holy Scripture. (THE OVFERWHELMING EVIDENCE IS THAT IT IS NOT)

11. All arguments put forward in favour come back to one thing. That it must be done for reasons of equality. (Using a secular definition of man and women as being interchangeable not the divine one of equal but different). Such a secular understanding is a very new and current thing.

12. I am yet to see a good THEOLOGICAL argument. The reasons appeal powerfully to the heart- but miss the head. Quite simply there is no argument that can draw from scripture convincingly. The arguments FOR women priests are entirely sociological. This is highlighted by refering to the 'women Bishops' page on the Women and the Church website.

13. If we conclude that scripture is fallible in matters of Christian doctrine we depart from ALL mainline Christian understanding. We begin a slide into a cult- in which each interprets according to their situation. At this point we may as well throw it out all together. Once we drop the need for scriptural proof- we could theoretically use the same arguments that ordained women to ordain paedophiles or consenting members of group sex parties!! The only way you would say no to them is to draw from communal experience. The reigns are handed from God to society- a VERY dangerous thing- if history teaches us anything.

Hope that helps- and no doubt you will shoot me down! But please do so theologically not sociologically!!
 
Posted by Sienna (# 5574) on :
 
Rugbyplayingpriest, this is going to be an equally long (if not longer) post. I've read your post carefully, and it seems to me more an outline of your position than a discussion of the reasons for it, which is a good starting point. So, in order to move the debate forward, I have some questions I’d like to have clarified:

How do you square this (from “Women in Purple” thread)

quote:
In scripture God never endorses democracy! And rarely does he act through committees.The prophets and Christ stood alone! What would synod have said to Jesus as he stood before Pilate? Probably- we commend you but your words are too strong etc etc...if only you could be more inclusive Jesus- then people might be persuaded. (winks at previous poster!)
Rarely is God's way found in the opinion of the majority! Thus the very basis of a synod is a soceital one- little surprise it is better at playing politics than displaying a clear voice for faith.

With this:
quote:
5. The canon law of the early Church specifically forbade the ordination of women to the presbyterate and episcopate. These canons were endorsed by the Council of Nicaea which gave us our Creed. You could say that Nicaea got the Apostolic Tradition wrong on this point, but they sure seem to have got it right in the Creed, so I don't think this holds much water. For the Nicene creed is fundamental to Christian doctrine.
Further, given that you don’t want to hear any “sociological” or “fairness” arguments, are you dropping the following “sociological” and “fairness” arguments you have made against the ordination of women - namely, those quoted below?
quote:
What I was driving at is- that Christians are not very good at relating to us men who do not come accross as fluffy due to the testosterone that pumps through our veins. Obviously this does not mean we can be rude or dismissive. I have not meant to be that.
I back this up by noting that the sinlge largest group missing from Church is - men aged 18-40. Perhaps we should be asking why this is?
I assure you that my rugby chums look at us from the outside in and say 'its full of women and wets'. You might not like that- but that is how they talk!!! This does not make them bad people. And like it or not- they will never be tree hugging sorts who enjoy Iona liturgies. (Nothing wrong with Iona if it is your thing) But trust me- it would turn my mates OFF big time.
I know that I also look at the Church sometimes and feel there is no place for me. I was ordained with a group of women (many of whom are lovely) and a group of rather unmasculine men (many of whom were also lovely) Being young, and very male I stuck out like a sore thumb.

quote:
In reality the Church has offered promotion and attractive parishes only to those in favour of women priests whilst marginalised and ignoring those against.
If you want evidence consider the many faithful traditional priests who have served parishes for over 20yrs and received diddly squat from their diocese.
...and then count the number of consecrations since 1992 that have gone to SSC members....as Dioceasn 0
Yet 6 female Archdeacons have been made, who however good they may be, have only been ordained 9 yrs.
I would be mightily surprised to make ArchDeacon five years after finishing my curacy...but then I am a male traditionalist.

Concerning your points that you find the Biblical interpretation of those in favor of women's ordination lacking, rather than a back and forth of generalities, would you mind reviewing N.T. Wright's address found here and letting us know what you find to be in error? That should help direct the conversation more towards specifics. It also addresses your points regarding St. Paul.

1. There are a great many things Christ didn't do - for a start, He never ordained anyone. Surely He could have performed ordinations and established each of the three-fold orders had He so chosen. Does this mean that they are also forbidden? To what extent to we use "Christ could have done this, but didn't, so it's forbidden" criteria? Is it unique to women's ordination, or does it apply to other things as well?

3. What portion of historical evidence that women acted as priests do you find "flimsy" and why? The catacomb depictions, the letter from Pope Gelasius, the decrees of the councils against ordination, etc., etc., etc. Again, specificity will aid discussion.

4. I thought the objections to Monatism had rather more to do with elevating their individual prophecy above that of the previous prophecies, as well as stating that since the Incarnation and Resurrection had failed, the Holy Spirit had been poured out upon Montanus, Maximilla and Priscilla to lead all into truth again, blah, blah, blah - but I'll have to re-read what Jerome and Eusebius had to say. Could you let me know which accounts of the Montanists you're relying upon? As an aside, I bet women didn't get to do much once Tertullian joined their ranks....

5. If there had never been any women acting as priests in the early church, as you maintain in #3, why did Nicea bother to issue an edict against it?

7. Explain how the ordination of women makes men and women interchangeable or attempts to negate gender differences. Also, please define "secularism" and provide illustrations of how it attempts to obliviate gender.

8. Do you really mean to say that God is gendered, and that gender is male, and that God has revealed himself as exclusively male to the Jews? Could I see some support for that, please? Also, please explain exactly how and why you feel Christ's maleness to be "relevatory" - and how the "relevatory maleness" of Christ is separate and distinct from (and superior to) the "relevatory humanity" of Christ.

9. Could you explain how the presence of men in the bride/congregation doesn't muddy the relationship in the same way you believe the bridegroom/priest does?

10. Precisely what overwhelming evidence are you referring to? Again, stating specifics will be helpful.

12. I sympathize for your desire for a theological argument. However, your assumption that a good theological argument must exclude issues of equality is flawed. How can one have a theological discussion of the Galatians passage without discussing equality? Finally, what constitutes a theological argument, in your view?

10 & 13. Please explain how the Church's departure from its earlier, Scripturally based and long traditionally-upheld position on slavery led to the ills you have enumerated, specifically pedophilia and group sex. Please explain from where you believe the Church derived the authority to depart its teaching on slavery, or do you maintain that the Church in fact had no such authority?

Finally, a question with respect to your view of tradition: Do you believe that it is appropriate to consider that during the Patristic and later period, many of the writers held the Aristotelian view of biology? Given that these writers believed that women were inferior to men, how do you evaluate their words from your "separate but equal" view of gender relations? Do you make any allowance for their flawed premise?

There's more, but this should get us started.
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by rugbyplayingpriest:
8. This understanding of difference in role leads directly to the Eucharist. An anamnesis in which the priest stands ‘in persona Christi.(The reason that Orthodox priests have beards and long hair) Christ cannot be represented by a woman because Christ’s maleness is not incidental but revelatory. He is bound to his role as the Father. (The Jewish revelation of a male God says something subtle yet profound. Pagan religion happily used priestesses- combined with a notion of the mother god- one who gave birth to the world- hence nature worship! But Judaism changed this- making God the life giver and yet allowing him a separateness to created order. Nature is created BY him not OF him. A male priesthood symbolises this at a deep and unconscious level.

As dyfrig pointed out over three years ago on the first page of this thread (you did read the first eleven pages before you posted, didn't you? because it's full of theological reasons why women can be ordained), the logical conclusion of this argument is that women can't be saved.

ETA: Jesus' Jewishness isn't incidental either, but I notice that's not a requirement for anyone aspiring to the priesthood.

[ 24. July 2005, 00:37: Message edited by: RuthW ]
 
Posted by Chorister (# 473) on :
 
As someone who struggles with the idea of 'in persona Christi' (I prefer my Christ direct, thankyou), I don't have any problem with women priests. But I have heard the opinion (arising out of Dyfrig's argument conclusion) that women are saved through their husbands!*


(* Although many women would probably argue that the men are saved through them..... )
 
Posted by rugbyplayingpriest (# 9809) on :
 
I am not sure I understand how one leaps from;

stating that the president at the Eucharist is representing Christ the groom (hence a male) with the gathered people as his bride the Church (female) ...thus speaking in imagery of the marriage bond and the reconciliation of all to God....

to saying that this means women are therfore not saved???? Lost me there!!

Salvation was won for ALL in the glorious passion of Our Lord. Our Eucharistic feast recalls this great event. It does not follow that only eligable sacramental ministers are saved??? A strange thought!

It is more a statment concerning function and purpose within equality.

We might consider the first Eucharist- the passover. This ritual requires the oldest present and the youngest present to initiate dialogue. But that does not makes them anymore relvant than others in attendance. It does however speak at a subconscious level of all people through the ages.

Similarly a male priesthood does not say anything about gender value- it merely allows the deeper images of relationship between creation and creator, husband and wife, Christ and his bride the Church to be present at the feast. It is about the funcion being played at that moment.
 
Posted by Tumbleweed (# 1340) on :
 
originally posted by rugbyplayingpriest
quote:
...husband and wife, Christ and his bride the Church to be present at the feast.
The image of Christ and his bride is beautiful. Who are we lowly humans who make up the church to ever be able to stand before Christ - creator, redeemer, holy one - and be called his beloved?

But this is also precisely the problem of apply these verses (ie Ephesians 5:22-23), this image too closely. If man/husband is to Christ as woman/wife is to church, then who are we lowly women to ever be able to stand before men - image of Christ (I Cor 11:6-7) - and be called their equals (in any meaningful sense of the word)?

[ 24. July 2005, 11:19: Message edited by: Tumbleweed ]
 
Posted by Chorister (# 473) on :
 
I think if I was a man, I'd be offended by the argument that I could be part of the bride of Christ (a female role) whilst women could not be part of the male role of Christ. Taking that argument to its logical conclusion, the church would have to consist of only one man (representing Christ) and a whole churchful of women (representing the bride). If you can have male brides, then surely you can have female bridegrooms?
 
Posted by Sienna (# 5574) on :
 
RPP, the more fleshed-out version of "how one gets there" is outlined a lot more fully in the preceding pages, but basically, it comes down to the idea of "He did not save what he did not assume."
 
Posted by John Holding (# 158) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by rugbyplayingpriest:
Similarly a male priesthood does not say anything about gender value- it merely allows the deeper images of relationship between creation and creator, husband and wife, Christ and his bride the Church to be present at the feast. It is about the funcion being played at that moment.

I see what you're saying -- even though I disagree with it.

The trouble with the bit I've quoted, though, is that it does say something about gender value in today's world (yes, the world we live in, the one we are commanded to save).

We've been over many times the fact that words change meaning, and sticking to the old ones can in fact lead to the opposite meaning to the original intention. My favorite example was when a not very knowledgable priest tried to tell me that the Thee/Thou usage of the BCP was put there in the first place in order to ensure people realized the relationship with God was formal, not familiar, and kept themselves well away from any intimacy with Him.

Similarly the world in which we live changes. So that things that meant one thing up to say 50 years ago no longer signify what they did then. Or the things they signficy take on a different connotation.

The truth is that most women and many men -- on both sides of this discussion -- believe that having a male priesthood does say something about gender value. By and large they agree it means today that women are worth less than men. Some like it, some dislike it.

The church has to deal with it -- we live in the world we live in, not the one we want to live in or the one we used to live in. And organizations both religious and secular have signally failed in applying the usual remedy, which is to teach the "real" meaning of the words and action once people are in. Because they don't by and large come in at all, being put off by what seems the obvious and clear message being preached. And if they do come in, learning that inside this particular tent, and only inside this tent, "black" means what they have always called "white" usually is enough to send them screaming away.

John
 
Posted by Fiddleback (# 2809) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Chorister:
As someone who struggles with the idea of 'in persona Christi' (I prefer my Christ direct, thankyou),

Not too difficult really. To be 'in persona Christi' is the calling of all God's people. For example from today's epistle (that's the bit that the lady in the hat reads before the Gospel procession, ruggerpriest) we have " For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren. " What is bad is when the ordained ministry starts making an exclusive claim on the privileges of all baptised people.

[ 24. July 2005, 21:21: Message edited by: Fiddleback ]
 
Posted by Foaming Draught (# 9134) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Chorister:
*snip* Taking that argument to its logical conclusion, the church would have to consist of only one man (representing Christ) and a whole churchful of women (representing the bride). *snip*

How depressing that this church is so familiar [Frown]
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
Yeah, well, it's not the fault of female priests that men don't come to church--women outnumber men in the pews in plenty of Roman Catholic parishes, and women outnumbered men in the pews in Anglican parishes long before various Anglican bodies started ordaining women.
 
Posted by Foaming Draught (# 9134) on :
 
I don't disagree RuthW, that wasn't my point. Look at any overseas mission map, the more dangerous the place, the more likely it is that it's a woman who's working there as a clinician or a teacher. Go to the time of Jesus' ministry on earth - who sticks around when the poo hits the fan, it's the women.
But go to a boring, safe parish church in the developed world of the 21st century, and it's also women who keep the place going. There are several husbands of devout women in my church whose reason for not going to church is precisely that their wives go.
Chorister's post making a different point just seemed a good excuse for a sad joke.
 
Posted by rugbyplayingpriest (# 9809) on :
 
Hang on!!!

When I point out that the sexes are equal yet different- I am rounded on. But foaming can post:
quote:
who sticks around when the poo hits the fan, it's the women.

and that's just fine!!

What about Maximilian Kolbe? John of the Cross? St. Stephen?

Its a bit like the advert for diamond women's car insurance. Reverse the message and there would be an outcry. But sexist comment against men is fine.

Motes and beams my friends.

In posting on here my intention is not to 'win an argument'.

It is to help people understand that the theologically opposed are not rabid mysogynists. We have a viable thoughout position which we are upholding. (whether you buy into it or not). I support womens rites accross the board- my own wife is a commuting professional of great skill. But I think it applies to what one 'does' not on what we 'are'.

My experience in the Church over the last ten years is that the spin against FIF etc...has been deliberate, unfair and cruel. Traditionalists have been bullied and put down. Just listen to these unfounded words from Christina Rees head of WATCH:

Interviewed in the 23 June issue of the Swedish weekly church newspaper Kyrkans Tidning:

“I believe”, she says, leaning forward out of the plush sofa as if to underline her own words, “that God is not against women. It seems so extraordinarily insulting to Him to claim anything like that. So what do we say about God? How does that rhyme with the image of the all-embracing, loving and inclusive god? (sic) “Forward in Faith instead describes these ordained women, these holy women, by grossly abusive invective, as though they were cheap whores. This is so offensive that I cannot find words for it.”

This attack is unfounded and unfair. To claim FIF priests treat women as 'whores' is scandalous. And very hurtful- with such hate filled spin - no wonder people misunderstand us!

I also know this having been to a 'liberal' theological college. Where the very name has people spitting and espousing half truths and anti propaganda. And my experience in the Diocese has been an eye opener.

One reason I have therefore stood with my traditionalist freinds is that they have become the marginalised 'samaritans' of modern day Anglicanism. (Which is not to say that all are good or balanced- I have met a few odious fools, but they tend to get short thrift from the sane amongst us!)

Many of the priests who helped form my vocation were traditionlists unable to accept the validity of womens orders. They also happen to be some of the hardest working and holy people I know. Yet I have heard people run them down, accuse them of adopting a 'tainted altar' idea(I have never met ANYONE who follows this). And not one of them has found preferment in the Church- despite them having a lot of support from women colleagues.

One lesson human history teaches us: that the oppressed is often quick to become the oppresser. Worth thinking about? non?
 
Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by rugbyplayingpriest:

Hope that helps- and no doubt you will shoot me down! But please do so theologically not sociologically!!

Theologically then - and this repeats what has been said before (as does what you said):

- bishops and priests are just one (or two) of many ministries in the churches

- specifically, priests are elders of the congregation, presbyters. They are not stand-ins for Jesus Christ. They are not sacrifical priests such as the old temple had. That sacrificial priesthood is one in which we all participate in, as we all participate in Jesus Christ. The office of a presbyter is one of eldership. Different in detail from other ministries in church, but not in kind.

- so arguments based on the Old Covenant Priesthood, or on the Apostles, are simply beside the point. Christian priests are not the equivalent of Jewish temple priests, but of rabbis and the elders of the syangogue. And I think that is very clear from the words used to describe them in the New Testament

- neither are priests and bishops as we have them now apostles in the sense that Peter and John and the rest were, although they are in some sense the descendents of the apostles (as are the rest of us)

- there seem in the New Testament to be different church structures in different places. Even as early as the Acts of the Apostles we are not in a one-size-fits-all situation.

- in our local western European tradition (both Protestant and Roman Catholic) we've tended to reserve certain roles and functions to priests - different roles in different places at different times. Presiding at the Eucharist, preaching, and in the CofE at any rate a sort of general leadership function. The vicar is usually the only full-time paid worker in a local church and basicaly tends to end up doing everything. The exact equivalent of "The Minister" in many non-epsicopal Protestant churches.

- we know that some church ministries were done by women in New Testament times - for example there are (clearly) women prophets and (almost certainly, it can be wiggled out of) women deacons. So the question we need to ask is not "can women be priests" but "is this specific person (man or woman) called to this specific ministery?"

- as far as I can see the only Scriptures directly relevant to this point are Paul saying he refuses to allow women to lead in church. Either that's a purely local rule, or a general one for all churches everywhere. If purely local, then of course women can be ordained.

- If Paul really does generally prohibit women in leadership in the church, then still doesn't rule out ordained women in other roles in church. I know there is a strand of Englican evanglicalism that would have women assistant priests but not in local leadership, or women as parish priests but not bishops. We know there were women in other positions of public ministry in the New Testament times. In which case we're back to the previous question - we can't say "you cannot be ordained because you are a woman" we have to ask "is this particular job one which invoves a type of leadership which Paul rules out of order for women?" (Personally I think the leadership question is a red herring. Christian priests are not, or ought not to be, quite the same as political leaders. And ultimate leadership in the church is Christ's anyway, not ours. And we know God isn't totally against women in policial leadership anyway, because of Deborah. (Not that I suggest priests ought to go around slaughtering their enemies). But I do know some people worry about it a lot, and the worry does seem more biblical to me than worrying about)

- lastly, I've got positive theological reasons for wanting to see ordained women in the CofE. It is a cliche that our liturgies and our church order are themselves signifiers, they are messages, they encode statements about God and how we worship God. An all-male priesthood risks being misinterprested as a statment that God is male, or that God is gendered. Which would be heresy.
 
Posted by Foaming Draught (# 9134) on :
 
RPP won't be persuaded of this, Ken, and I don't think that he's trying to turn us into FiFers. He just wants to bring home to us that a perfectly orthodox strand of ministers in the Church of England is being marginalised and denied preferment because of their views on women's ministry.
I understand this because evangelicals are similarly marginalised in other Provinces for the mere property of not being apostate. I won't use the emotive term, "persecuted", because our lives and bodily safety aren't threatened. In my diocese, some of us have formed an unholy alliance with FiF priests and parishes to reflect a common orthodoxy. How long it can last, when we don't agree on sacerdotalism or women's ministry, who can tell.
Women have largely got the freedoms which have been so long overdue; let's be a tad more charitable to orthodox catholics whose ancient landmarks have been removed.
 
Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Foaming Draught:

Women have largely got the freedoms which have been so long overdue; let's be a tad more charitable to orthodox catholics whose ancient landmarks have been removed.

And I thought I was being charitable...

He & Ryles Tube came on here an said that no-one has any scriptural or theological reasons for ordaining women, but we were only following secular fashion. And I said some of us did. So I wrote a few down.

And without being cynical, smarmy, cruel, rude, or using insulting language, as far as I can tell. Which is in contrast to what they put up.

So in what way not charitable?
 
Posted by Sienna (# 5574) on :
 
Foaming Draught, RPP asked for theological arguments, and offered an outline of his own beliefs. I interpreted this to mean he wanted a discussion, so I asked him to clarify various parts of his position. Now, if what RPP wanted was to state his position and have us leave it unchallenged, he should have said so. But he did more or less say "bring on the theological arguments."

RPP, I'm genuinely sorry if you feel women in the church have oppressed you. However, you've stated that arguments that involve "doing away with oppression" aren't valid in the discussion about the ordination of women, because they are "sociological" and appeal to the heart, but don't consitute proper theological discussion. So why does it constitute a valid argument for your POV?

Did you read some of what Ryles Tube had to say on the subject of the besmirched marital bed and middle-aged women with hobbies, RPP? You might consider that some FiFers (and she doesn't specify "priests" in the quote) have used some pretty nasty rhetoric, whether you have done so yourself or not.

[ 25. July 2005, 14:55: Message edited by: Sienna ]
 
Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by rugbyplayingpriest:
Many of the priests who helped form my vocation were traditionlists unable to accept the validity of womens orders. They also happen to be some of the hardest working and holy people I know. Yet I have heard people run them down, accuse them of adopting a 'tainted altar' idea(I have never met ANYONE who follows this).

There are some posting on this thread who obviously beleive in tainted orders. (Not tainted altars - I don't remember hearing hat phrase before) They don't like using such words about themselves, but its pretty clear thats what they mean - that what they believe and practice is what others would call a theory of taint, even if they don't.

quote:

And not one of them has found preferment in the Church- despite them having a lot of support from women colleagues.

None of them became bishops yet? How many of the women who trained with you are now bishops?

quote:

One lesson human history teaches us: that the oppressed is often quick to become the oppresser.

I am not sure whether you are claiming that the Anglican hierarchy used to oppress women, and no longer does, or that it has now been taken over by women who are using it to oppress men?
 
Posted by Sienna (# 5574) on :
 
RPP posts:

quote:
I support womens rites accross the board-
Careful, RPP - it's that kind of thinking that landed ECUSA in the the infamous raisin cake druidic ritual mess.

OK, apologies, I don't usually pick on spelling, but this one was just too good to pass by. [Yipee]
 
Posted by Scotus (# 8163) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ken:
There are some posting on this thread who obviously beleive in tainted orders. (Not tainted altars - I don't remember hearing hat phrase before) They don't like using such words about themselves, but its pretty clear thats what they mean - that what they believe and practice is what others would call a theory of taint, even if they don't.

Ken, I really am getting fed up with your refusal to accept that for those of us with Catholic, sacramental understandings of priesthood - to which, as your post earlier on this page demonstrates, you do not subscribe - 'tainted orders' is really completely different from the idea of 'impaired communion'.

'tainted orders' is wrong and I have never met anyone who subscribes to this idea.

'impaired communion' is a reality which exists when the C of E allows a position where it's orders, and therefore certain sacramental actions (e.g. a male bishop ordaining a woman to the priesthood) are not universally recognised.

I accept that with your non-sacramental understanding of the presbyterate the difference may not be apparent. We are clearly speaking different languages. But it does not give a good example of reasoned debate when you dismiss the positions of others in this way.
 
Posted by Lyda*Rose (# 4544) on :
 
Okay, I've heard people go back and forth on "tainted" vs "impaired communion". Ken, do you see a difference? Scotus, what are the differences to you?

Thank you.
 
Posted by rugbyplayingpriest (# 9809) on :
 
Some quick points:

Sienna wrote:

quote:
There are a great many things Christ didn't do - for a start, He never ordained anyone. Surely He could have performed ordinations and established each of the three-fold orders had He so chosen
I was always under the impression that Jesus ordained Peter 'you are the rock on whom I shall build my Church. Whatever you declare loosed on earth shall be loosed in heaven, and whatever is bound on earth etc etc' Most mainstream theologicans would agree. That is the difference bewtween the apostels and disciples.

Fiddleback said:
quote:
To be 'in persona Christi' is the calling of all God's people.
So are you in favour of lay presidency then? Do you really subscribe to the fact that a specific sacramental calling does not exist???

Ken (whose tolerance of difference is sometimes underwhelming) wrote

quote:
And without being cynical, smarmy, cruel, rude, or using insulting language, as far as I can tell. Which is in contrast to what they put up.

Could you tell me where I have been smarmy?? cruel? Come on Ken! Apology time!

Finally Foaming draught wrote
quote:
RPP won't be persuaded of this, Ken, and I don't think that he's trying to turn us into FiFers. He just wants to bring home to us that a perfectly orthodox strand of ministers in the Church of England is being marginalised and denied preferment because of their views on women's ministry.
Amen to that!!


Perhaps it helps to see that a lot of my thinking revolves around 'doing' and 'being'.

I think that as regards 'doing' men and women should be given equal domain. i.e jobs such as surgeons, pilots and anything else that one 'does'

But in the realm of 'being' this becomes impossible. On is a man or woman. A husband or wife. A priest also. Now this is where more protestantly minded people could disagree. They sdee ministry as something you do not something you are! Hence my claim that women's ordination makes sesne from a protestant evangelical understanding.


But in my Catholic mind gender matters. And yes that DOES say something about God's revelation.

But don't shoot me down because God chose to reveal himself in that form. Jesus taught us to call God 'our Father'...and so we are BOUND to pray! There is surely no greater authority than Christ's own words. He instructed us to address God in the masculine. A life giver not bearer.

Now that must have a purpose that we his creatures are to conform to. Even if we do not always understand or like it.
 
Posted by Scotus (# 8163) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lyda*Rose:
Okay, I've heard people go back and forth on "tainted" vs "impaired communion". Ken, do you see a difference? Scotus, what are the differences to you?

'Taint' is the suggestion that a bishop who ordains a woman priest gets his hands 'dirty' in the process and so his sacramental ministry is no longer accepted by FiF. This is a misrepresentation of the true position and not a view actually held by supporters of FiF - the sacramental theology it espouses is complete nonsense.

'Impaired communion' is simply a recognition of a reality that exists within the C of E, that orders legally conferred within the church are no longer universally recognised.

Members of FiF sought the pastoral and sacramental care of bishops who did not ordain women not because of 'taint' but to distance themselves from the innovation which they could not accept.

Lets use an example:

Bishop X has ordained women to the priesthood. 'Taint' says that I am not in communion with him any more because I do not recognise his sacramental ministry. Rubbish. But it is the case that there are people who he considers valid priests (the women he has ordained, and other women priests) whose orders I regard as being in grave doubt. Now, I belong to the same communion (i.e. the Anglican communion) as those women priests but because I hold their orders to be in grave doubt I cannot receive communion from them. Our communion is seriously impaired - and this is something which the C of E accepted as part of the ongoing process of reception. I can receive communion from (or be ordained by) +X because his orders are not in doubt; but because I won't receive communion from someone (i.e. a woman priest) from whom he would receive communion, there is a sense in which the communion between me and +X is impaired. Moreover he has performed a sacramental action which I do doubt the validity of: ordaining women. I would therefore rather maintain a 'degree of separation' and find a bishop with whom I am in unimpaired communion.

Ken does not distinguish between 'can't receive communion from +X' from 'would rather avoid receiving communion from +X'

---

Changing tack slightly, I want to explain why I got rather fed up with Ken's last post.

Recently rugbyplayingpriest and others have been berated for their style of argument - and some (but I wouldn't say all) of this criticism has been deserved. One criticism has been the use of terms such as 'wet liberal secular unscriptural humanists' to describe the views of their opponents. If supporters of women's ordination find such labels inaccurate and offensive, can I also point out that those of the other point of view find it just as inaccurate and offensive when our position is persistently misrepresented by being labeled as 'taint'. As Lyda*Rose pointed, we have been through all of this already (only a couple of pages back), with helpful contributions such as "If it smells like manure, feels like manure and tastes like manure - the chances are that it really IS manure." (Oscar the Grouch).
 
Posted by Fiddleback (# 2809) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Scotus:

Bishop X has ordained women to the priesthood. 'Taint' says that I am not in communion with him any more because I do not recognise his sacramental ministry. Rubbish. But it is the case that there are people who he considers valid priests (the women he has ordained, and other women priests) whose orders I regard as being in grave doubt. Now, I belong to the same communion (i.e. the Anglican communion) as those women priests but because I hold their orders to be in grave doubt I cannot receive communion from them. Our communion is seriously impaired - and this is something which the C of E accepted as part of the ongoing process of reception. I can receive communion from (or be ordained by) +X because his orders are not in doubt; but because I won't receive communion from someone (i.e. a woman priest) from whom he would receive communion, there is a sense in which the communion between me and +X is impaired. Moreover he has performed a sacramental action which I do doubt the validity of: ordaining women. I would therefore rather maintain a 'degree of separation' and find a bishop with whom I am in unimpaired communion.

Well this sounds just like what we all understand as the ecclesiology of 'taint'. You might need to explain it a bit better than that, but if it helps, we will refrain from using the term. Could the Fifers in turn stop assuming that everyone who is not you is a 'liberal' and part of some liberal conspiracy. I am in no sense a liberal. I have no connexions whatever with WATCH, GRAS, Aff Caff or any other pressure group. In fact I am a fairly mindless papalist. I am however in a church which ordains women and accept that as a 'given', just as previous generations of Catholic minded Anglicans accepted Dr Cranmer's Calvinistic liturgy as a 'given' which they worked with. Our difference probably lies in that you hold to a very high Mediaeval/Tractarian notion of the priesthood whereas I have a more evangelical/Vatican II take on the whole thing.
 
Posted by Foaming Draught (# 9134) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Fiddleback:
*snip* I am in no sense a liberal. I have no connexions whatever with WATCH, GRAS, Aff Caff or any other pressure group. In fact I am a fairly mindless papalist. *snip* I have a more evangelical/Vatican II take on the whole thing.

Well there you go, the thread's been worth it for me just to find out Fiddleback's churchpersonship. I've been conducting form criticism of his posts ever since I joined the Ship (except for a week during which he was suspended) (and a subsequent week during which I was), and hadn't quite pinned him down. So thanks mate, it's always helpful to be able to compartmentalise, nuance is the enemy of prejudice [Smile]
 
Posted by Scotus (# 8163) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Fiddleback:
Well this sounds just like what we all understand as the ecclesiology of 'taint'. You might need to explain it a bit better than that, but if it helps, we will refrain from using the term.

That is all I am asking. There are two reasons why I think the term is unhelpful:
1. It is pejoritive and has frequently been used to attack the FiF position.
2. It is potentially confusing as it may lead people to think that FiF supporters to actually believe the first position I outlined and describe as 'taint', which they don't

Surely, even if you don't agree with me, you can see the difference between saying that +X is no longer a valid bishop because he has ordained a woman, and saying that my communion with +X is impaired because there are certain sacramental acts which he performs that I cannot accept (i.e. ordaining women).
 
Posted by Scotus (# 8163) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Fiddleback:
I am in no sense a liberal. I have no connexions whatever with WATCH, GRAS, Aff Caff or any other pressure group. In fact I am a fairly mindless papalist.

So would the label "mindless protestant papalist" be an accurate summation of the churchmanship you have described here and in Ladies in Purple? [Two face]

For what its worth, I think I ere more on the side of Vatican II than Tractarianism in my theology. Vatican II as interpreted by JCR/B16 that is, rather than those who espouse a vaguer 'Vatican II spirit' which leads them down all sorts of garden paths.

[ 26. July 2005, 11:06: Message edited by: Scotus ]
 
Posted by Fiddleback (# 2809) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Scotus:
[QUOTE]So would the label "mindless protestant papalist" be an accurate summation of the churchmanship you have described here and in Ladies in Purple?

Surely any member of the Church of England who is a mindless papalist must describe himself/herself as a protestant, for that is the papal line. I'm also quite proud of my invalid orders!

Regarding Vatican II (most of whose documents were probably written by JCR) I have just re-read Presbyterorum Ordinis, and I should have thought that it was more in line with Ken's theology than yours. I wonder what Ken thinks.
 
Posted by Fiddleback (# 2809) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Scotus:
my communion with +X is impaired because there are certain sacramental acts which he performs that I cannot accept (i.e. ordaining women).

There is one sacramental act that you can't accept. The rest you can, so how can you not receive communion from him?
 
Posted by Scotus (# 8163) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Fiddleback:
There is one sacramental act that you can't accept. The rest you can, so how can you not receive communion from him?

Having read my post you'll have seen that I didn't actually say I wouldn't be able to receive communion from +X.

The communion between me and hypothetical +X would seem to be impaired for 2 reasons, both of which I have already set out:
1. I do not accept all of his sacramental acts (there is one, ordaining women, which I do not accept).
2. I cannot receive communion from everyone he can receive communion from.
Given those two facts, although we are in communion it is an impaired communion. That doesn't mean I can't or won't receive communion from him, it is simply recognising the fact after the C of E's decision to ordain women, 'communion' in the C of E no longer means what it did before (and communion in the wider Anglican Communion had been impaired even before that).

Ideally, everyone would be in full and unimpaired communion with the bishop who exercises episkope over them. The nearest thing we can have at the moment (except in a small number of dioceses) is bishops with whom we are in full and unimpaired communion providing alternative episcopal care (but not oversight).

Regarding Presbyterorum Ordinis, I'd better re-read that too, and get back to you.

[ 26. July 2005, 11:54: Message edited by: Scotus ]
 
Posted by Fiddleback (# 2809) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Scotus:
Ideally, everyone would be in full and unimpaired communion with the bishop who exercises episkope over them. The nearest thing we can have at the moment (except in a small number of dioceses) is bishops with whom we are in full and unimpaired communion providing alternative episcopal care (but not oversight).

That would mean everyone being in agreement with the bishop in every matter. That has never been the case anywhere.

Some questions:

1. What is the value of a Eucharist celebrated by someone whose orders are of dubious validity?

2. How angry does it make God when anyone to receives communion at such a Eucharist?

3. What in fact is meant by a 'valid' sacrament?
 
Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Foaming Draught:
Well there you go, the thread's been worth it for me just to find out Fiddleback's churchpersonship. I've been conducting form criticism of his posts ever since I joined the Ship (except for a week during which he was suspended) (and a subsequent week during which I was), and hadn't quite pinned him down. So thanks mate, it's always helpful to be able to compartmentalise, nuance is the enemy of prejudice

Hallelujah!

This thread had a purpose after all!

God truly moves in mysterious ways!
 
Posted by dyfrig (# 15) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Scotus:
although we are in communion it is an impaired communion. That doesn't mean I can't or won't receive communion from him, it is simply recognising the fact after the C of E's decision to ordain women, 'communion' in the C of E no longer means what it did before

But that simply leaves the question begging - what did communion mean before 1992? There are several thousand people within the Church of England, and in the wider Anglican communion, including those in orders, who don't accept that ordination bestows some ontological mark or character, that prayers for/to/with the dead having any efficacy or meaning, who hold several different positions on the relationship between bread and wine and the body and blood of Jesus Christ, and who have very different views on which churches can share ministers with each other.

The list could go on. It includes people, from Hooker onwards, that Anglicanism does have a legitimate claim to be able to order itself in a particular manner.

All of these are issues upon which significant numbers of Anglicans differ from the faith practiced and proclaimed by not only Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christians, but by other Anglicans.

Do they amount to an impaired communion? Does the fact that I don't believe that invoking Mary the Mother of Jesus makes any effect or that hauling the holy biscuit onto the church steps and bobbing it up and down transmits any sort of blessing mean that my communion is impaired with, say David Hope? Or the fact that I don't believe all that bollocks about points of entry and demon possession mean that I'm not in communion with Graham Dow? Or that my stance on sexuality puts in me in impaired communion with Tom Wright, but in better communion with John Packer?
 
Posted by Scotus (# 8163) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Fiddleback:
quote:
Originally posted by Scotus:
Ideally, everyone would be in full and unimpaired communion with the bishop who exercises episkope over them. The <snip>

That would mean everyone being in agreement with the bishop in every matter. That has never been the case anywhere.
No it wouldn't: one can be free disagree on certain things whilst being in full and unimpaired communion. That was the case in the C of E when Canon A4 (...and those who are so ordained ... ought to be accounted ... truly priests) still meant what it said. The C of E allows disagreement on the question of who is truly a priest. I contend that on this matter one cannot disagree and be in full and unimpaired communion.

quote:
Some questions:

1. What is the value of a Eucharist celebrated by someone whose orders are of dubious validity?

2. How angry does it make God when anyone to receives communion at such a Eucharist?

3. What in fact is meant by a 'valid' sacrament?

1. I have no doubt that it is a channel of grace like any act of Christian worship.

2. I don't expect (though how can I know?) that God is angry with an individual who receives communion at such a eucharist in good faith.

3. The short answer is (according to the Roman Catholic Church) that valid form, matter and intention make a valid sacrament. I can't remember who wrote the article in last week's church times, but it was argued there that this language is unanglican, and that sacraments in the C of E are either lawful or not. Canon A4 insists that all who are lawfully (i.e. in accordance with C of E canons) ordained priest are to be accounted truly priests by all, yet the C of E allows people to dissent from this, so the concept of lawfulness is no longer so straightforward. I would want to say something along the lines of valid form, intention and matter meaning that we can be certain of the efficacy of the sacrament, since this belongs to the deposit of faith revealed to the church. Since the 'matter' for valid ordination has traditionally been a baptised man, by going out on a limb and introducing a change here the C of E has introduced grave doubt concerning the validity of some of her orders: a doubt, moreover, which she recognises as being legitimately held.
 
Posted by Scotus (# 8163) on :
 
Dyfrig,

We appear to have cross-posted. But what I said to fiddleback about being in communion and free to disagree seems to apply to what you say as well.

Whatever one believes to be happening in the eucharist, if X and Y can receive communion from the same set of people then they are surely in communion with each other. If there are circumstances when X can receive from someone (e.g. a woman priest) and Y can't, then they are still in communion with each other, but that communion is impaired.

ETA: and this is a new situation within the C of E. Before '92 orders were universally recognised. Before the first ordinations of women in the Anglican Communion (I can't remember the date off hand) orders were universally recognised throughout the communion.

[ 26. July 2005, 12:52: Message edited by: Scotus ]
 
Posted by Fiddleback (# 2809) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Scotus:


1. I have no doubt that it is a channel of grace like any act of Christian worship.

So how is it less good? Is there less grace?

quote:
2. I don't expect (though how can I know?) that God is angry with an individual who receives communion at such a eucharist in good faith.
So why not do so?

quote:
3. The short answer is (according to the Roman Catholic Church) that valid form, matter and intention make a valid sacrament. I can't remember who wrote the article in last week's church times, but it was argued there that this language is unanglican, and that sacraments in the C of E are either lawful or not. Canon A4 insists that all who are lawfully (i.e. in accordance with C of E canons) ordained priest are to be accounted truly priests by all, yet the C of E allows people to dissent from this, so the concept of lawfulness is no longer so straightforward. I would want to say something along the lines of valid form, intention and matter meaning that we can be certain of the efficacy of the sacrament, since this belongs to the deposit of faith revealed to the church. Since the 'matter' for valid ordination has traditionally been a baptised man, by going out on a limb and introducing a change here the C of E has introduced grave doubt concerning the validity of some of her orders: a doubt, moreover, which she recognises as being legitimately held.
Thats not a short answer! The sacrament of orders in the Anglican church already had invalidity of form, from the Roman point of view, and in many cases, invalidity of intention, so how much difference does the invalid matter make? If it is invalid. The question is still open, even in Rome, whatever JPII might have mumbled in his dotage.
 
Posted by dyfrig (# 15) on :
 
I really don't understand the distinction you're making, Scotus.

If I disagree, fundamentally, with David Hope, not quite so fundamentally with Kenneth Stevenson and not at all with Tom Wright on the nature of the Eucharist - even though Hope is probably the more faithful to the Catholic position on it - why is that not an impairment of my communion with at least one, if not two, of those bishops?

Again, if I disagree fundemantally with Graham Dow, disagree a bit with Tom Wright, and agree with John Packer on sexuality, where does that leave me?

Are you claiming a special category of "things that affect the quality of communion" - but why should only the ordination of women fall into this category?
 
Posted by Scotus (# 8163) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Fiddleback:
Thats not a short answer!

The first sentance was the short answer, the rest a comment on how that might apply from an anglican point of view.

quote:
The sacrament of orders in the Anglican church already had invalidity of form, from the Roman point of view, and in many cases, invalidity of intention, so how much difference does the invalid matter make? If it is invalid. The question is still open, even in Rome, whatever JPII might have mumbled in his dotage.
Two can play at that game. If the question of whether women can constitute valid matter for ordination is still open, then so is the question of whether Anglicans have valid form or intention. I would (obviously) want argue that the C of E does. And note that I never said that women definitely weren't valid matter, only that they traditionally haven't been, and that the C of E along with some other Anglican provinces by introducing this innovation also introduced a new element of doubt.
 
Posted by Scotus (# 8163) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by dyfrig:
I really don't understand the distinction you're making, Scotus.

If I disagree, fundamentally, with David Hope, not quite so fundamentally with Kenneth Stevenson and not at all with Tom Wright on the nature of the Eucharist - even though Hope is probably the more faithful to the Catholic position on it - why is that not an impairment of my communion with at least one, if not two, of those bishops?

Because the disagreement itself does not* prevent you from receiving communion from someone each of those bishops will receive communion from, nor does it mean that you consider any of their sacramental acts to be of doubtful efficacy.

(*if it does, then yes it is a case of impaired communion)

If we can't agree on what we call things, can we at least agree to note that the C of E in 1992 allowed a new level of disagreement to exist within the church over something fundamental, namely whether her lawfully ordained priests were to be accounted truly priests by all.
 
Posted by Scotus (# 8163) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by dyfrig:
Are you claiming a special category of "things that affect the quality of communion" - but why should only the ordination of women fall into this category?

Sorry for the triple post, but I realised I hadn't answered this question.

Yes, I suppose I am. The reason that only the ordination of women falls into this category is because there we have a situation where for some there is grave doubt over whether someone is actually a priest.

Some have used the language of impaired communion in connection with the Gene Robinson affair. This is a very different question, since there can be little doubt that Gene Robinson is a validly ordained priest and bishop. There is, however, a question of whether he can truly be a focus of unity, and a question of intent on the part of ECUSA when it tries to claim that the consecration of a bishop is merely a local matter - issues which emerge in the women bishops debate as well.

[ 26. July 2005, 14:02: Message edited by: Scotus ]
 
Posted by dyfrig (# 15) on :
 
I fully agree with you that in 1992 the CofE introduced a matter that causes disagreement.

I'm interested in your views on +Robinson. It seems that, for the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches, the matter of consecration is not just a baptised male, but a celibate baptised male not in any (purported) matrimonial relationship - i.e. unmarried and not having sex. So, on that score, can +Robinson really be a bishop at all?

I'm not demanding an answer, just musing out loud on the strange places the arguments lead us - for example, if I ever considered my communion with John Packer to be impaired, ought I to be granted alternative episcopal care? For example, from someone with more hair?
 
Posted by cocktailgirl (# 8684) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Scotus:
Whatever one believes to be happening in the eucharist, if X and Y can receive communion from the same set of people then they are surely in communion with each other. If there are circumstances when X can receive from someone (e.g. a woman priest) and Y can't, then they are still in communion with each other, but that communion is impaired.

This means that the Methodist minister from down the road and I can both receive communion from my diocesan, but the Anglican Fr X from the Resolutions A-Z parish down the road won't/can't. I have no problems with Methodists receiving the Sacrament in an Anglican church, but I'm struggling to see how there's any communion at all (beyond the unity in baptism shared with all Christians) between me and Fr X here. I can understand Fr X not wishing to receive the Sacrament from me, but I simply can't get my head round not receiving from his male, validly consecrated, diocesan. I'm struggling with the same point Dyfrig is making: why on this one issue? How can Fr X share in the bishop's cure of souls if he won't receive communion from him? My diocesan happens to be A Good Thing, but if I were in a diocese with a bishop with whom I profoundly disagreed on a whole range of matters, I would still receive communion from him (maybe one day her): the Eucharist is bigger than our internal Anglican differences.

[ 26. July 2005, 14:27: Message edited by: cocktailgirl ]
 
Posted by Sienna (# 5574) on :
 
RPP, you've missed my point. When Christ said to Peter "you are the Rock, etc.," He did not say, "and make deacons and priests and bishops, write liturgies in which you ordain them, create monastic orders, have diocesan and suffragan bishops, establish a liturgical calendar, wear vestments of a color that reflect the liturgical season, have councils and write creeds, etc." I think that statement implies the authority to do so, and I suspect you do as well, but many Christians disagree. Let's try another example - Jesus gave us one prayer, and told us to pray that way. So are we in error because we have a book filled with other prayers when Jesus didn't use any of the prayers in it or tell us to use them? I'm merely pointing out that the "Jesus didn't do it when he could have it, so it musn't be done" argument is going to cause us some difficulties when we look at our traditions.

Are you going to answer any of the questions I put to you earlier? If you choose to ignore them, that's fine, but I'd like to know before I wade through the Montanist portions of Eusebius and Jerome and the views of Aquinas, etc. on women's biology in preparation for a discussion - because I'm really not particularly interested in that right now, but you did seem to be asking for a genuinely theological discussion. Obviously, it's your choice to engage or not, but I'd appreciate it if you'd let me know - in the words of my favorite T-shirt, I'd rather be reading Jane Austen.
 
Posted by Scotus (# 8163) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by cocktailgirl:
This means that the Methodist minister from down the road and I can both receive communion from my diocesan, but the Anglican Fr X from the Resolutions A-Z parish down the road won't/can't.

With respect I have pointed out several times that I'm not saying I won't/can't receive communion from a bishop who ordains women priests.

What I have said (several times) is that there is a state of impaired communion within the C of E. The C of E's practice of open communion is neither here nor there. Can Fr X share in the bishop's cure of souls when communion is impaired? Yes in practice, but as I said above, ideally one ought to be in full and unimpaired communion with ones bishop. If/when there are women bishops on the C of E, then it is very difficult to see how even in practice such a priest could share in a female bishop's cure of souls. That is why FiF calls for a rigorous system of alternative episcopal oversight - and since women must theoretically be able to become archbishops if they can become bishops, that really means a new province.
 
Posted by Sienna (# 5574) on :
 
Scotus, I've taken this quote

quote:
Relations with Bishops:
a) The Diocesan Bishop exists to be the focus of unity of his diocese and the president of its presbyteral college. Suffragan and assistant bishops act for him; their actions are accounted his. To act on his behalf, to concelebrate with him or any of his representative bishops, or to receive Holy Communion at services celebrated by them would be to signal acceptance of the orders of all those in his college of priests.

directly from the Code of Practice from the FiF website. So while you might not be refusing to take communion from a bishop who has ordained women, and I certainly don't maintain that FiF'ers are in any sort of lockstep uniform practice, I read the above to say that is precisely what FiF is recommending.

And while I don't doubt that RPP is working alongside women priests despite his doubts, the FiF Code of Practice recommends the following:

quote:
Relations with Other Clergy:
In any case, we believe that those opposed to the Measure should not, as a matter of principle:

i) Worship regularly in a church where a woman is the incumbent or assistant minister or where women are known to be welcomed as celebrant of the eucharist, albeit infrequently.

ii) Receive or administer the Holy Communion, from the sacrament reserved in that place, in any parish church, hospital, hospice or other institution where a woman was the incumbent, chaplain or assistant minister.

iii) Commend to the sacramental care of a woman priest anyone close to death.

Priests, moreover, should not act as alternate to a woman priest, or to a male priest who is her alternate or colleague, in the performance of any sacramental function. (In particular he would find it impossible to celebrate the eucharist in any place where a woman was a regular and accepted minister of the eucharist, unless it be to make special provision for those in the parish who cannot accept the priestly ministry of a woman). They should act in such a way as never, by association or participation, to mislead others into assuming that they accept or countenance the priestly ministry of those ordained under the 1993 Measure.

This just doesn't sound to me like it's conducive to "working together." It pretty much reads like a call for complete avoidance.
 
Posted by Henry Troup (# 3722) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sienna:
... It pretty much reads like a call for complete avoidance.

Yes, but as Scotus will tell us, not from a theology of taint. But it still walks like a duck!


Spent last weekend slogging hardware for the Women's Ordination Worldwide conference, a worthwhile endeavour. More some other time.
 
Posted by cocktailgirl (# 8684) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sienna:
Scotus, I've taken this quote

quote:
Relations with Bishops:
a) The Diocesan Bishop exists to be the focus of unity of his diocese and the president of its presbyteral college. Suffragan and assistant bishops act for him; their actions are accounted his. To act on his behalf, to concelebrate with him or any of his representative bishops, or to receive Holy Communion at services celebrated by them would be to signal acceptance of the orders of all those in his college of priests.

directly from the Code of Practice from the FiF website.
How do they get round the fact that the PEVs also share in the episcope of the Ordinary? They act on his behalf, with an episcope delegated to them. How is accepting sacraments from a PEV different from accepting sacraments from a women-ordaining Ordinary?

[can't spell]

[ 26. July 2005, 18:01: Message edited by: cocktailgirl ]
 
Posted by Fiddleback (# 2809) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by cocktailgirl:
]How do they get round the fact that the PEVs also share in the episcope of the Ordinary? They act on his behalf, with an episcope delegated to them. How is accepting sacraments from a PEV different from accepting sacraments from a women-ordaining Ordinary?

The PEVs are, in fact, suffragans of Canterbury, in the case of Richborough and Ebbsfleet, and York, in the case of Beverley. The FiF code of practice, and its bizarre official response to the Women Bishops vote, were written, I understand, by the Bishop of Fulham, who is regarded with some embarrassment by the more intelligent Fifers. Is that not so, Scote?
 
Posted by cocktailgirl (# 8684) on :
 
But that doesn't get round the fact that the ABC and the new ABY both ordain women, nor (more pertinently) that PEVs exercise episcope in different dioceses only at the invitation of the Diocesan, in whose episcope they share when being bishopy in that diocese.
 
Posted by Scotus (# 8163) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by cocktailgirl:
But that doesn't get round the fact that the ABC and the new ABY both ordain women, nor (more pertinently) that PEVs exercise episcope in different dioceses only at the invitation of the Diocesan, in whose episcope they share when being bishopy in that diocese.

So we're all agreed that the present situation is not ideal. From my point of view, its far better than not having the Act of Synod at all, but with women bishops it would become unworkable: this is why FiF is asking for a free province.

Fiddleback: I don't know who actually wrote the code of practice or the recent response to the Women Bishop's vote. The communion statement and code of practice were drawn up only 18 months after the November 1992. I don't know how many people follow it rigidly: we don't tend to talk about that kind of thing.

I have myself received communion from the hands of a bishop who has ordained women priests more than once - for example at the York Minster deaconings this year. The communion statement and code of practice do, however, flag up post-92 anomolies and raise interesting questions: what does it mean, for instance, to receive communion from the hands of a bishop but not from the hands of one he hs ordained? This kind of anomoly is really what we mean by 'impaired communion'.
 
Posted by dyfrig (# 15) on :
 
When you say "free province", does this actually mean a province within the CofE, as Canterbury and York are, or an Anglican province outside the CofE in (presumably, "impaired") communion with Canterbury?
 
Posted by Scotus (# 8163) on :
 
Quoting from the Code of Practice has so far been rather selective. Instructions telling people not to receive communion from their bishop need to be read in context:

quote:
It is no part of our purpose to express doubts about the validity of any of a bishop's sacramental acts other than his priesting of women. Our inability to receive the body of Christ at his hands is to be interpreted as a painful and costly sign of the impairment of communion which his own free action will inevitably have created. Just as the bishop carries the pastoral staff to signify the unity of the flock he tends; so our separation from him at the Table of the Lord will publicly express the alienation from that flock of which women's ordination is the cause. Care should nevertheless be taken to make it clear that no discourtesy is intended. Every opportunity should be taken to join with the bishop and his representatives in non-eucharistic acts of worship.
As for the guidance on cooperating with other clergy:

quote:
Relations with clergy who choose to remain in unimpaired communion with bishops who ordain women should be as flexible as possible. In the words of the House of Bishops statement Bonds of Peace: "The danger to be avoided is that, where ecclesial communion is impaired, communities may begin to define themselves over against one another and develop in isolation from each other".
But it has to be recognised that there are limits. If Fr X has grave doubts about whether Revd Y (a woman) is actually a priest, then he can't act as if she was, but he can (and in most cases will) treat her with full courtesy.
 
Posted by Scotus (# 8163) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by dyfrig:
When you say "free province", does this actually mean a province within the CofE, as Canterbury and York are, or an Anglican province outside the CofE in (presumably, "impaired") communion with Canterbury?

The only meaningful distinction between the two would be whether the free province comes under the auspices of General Synod and the national church structures. The proposal in Consecrated Women?, IIRC, envisages a province outside these structures, but this seems to be a question of secondary importance to having a province with its own archbishop and episcopal and presbyteral colleges who can be in full and unimpaired communion with one another.
 
Posted by Fiddleback (# 2809) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Scotus:
If Fr X has grave doubts about whether Revd Y (a woman) is actually a priest, then he can't act as if she was, but he can (and in most cases will) treat her with full courtesy.

I thought that FiF had disowned the 'Pork Pie' argument (that a woman can no more be ordained than a pork pie). If a woman has been ordained by a bishop, then of course she is a priest. It is whether she should be a priest that is a matter for debate.

It does seem, however, from his extraordinary post-Synod statement, that Bishop Broadhurst has resurrected the pork pie.
 
Posted by dyfrig (# 15) on :
 
The details of the structure may not be that important, but a province outside the CofE would create the curious situation of two Anglican churches within the same country, separate over a point of doctrine. That effectove;u creates a fourth church claiming to be the expression of the historic Christian faith in England.

And what will it be called? "The Other Church of England"?
 
Posted by rugbyplayingpriest (# 9809) on :
 
I would love it to be called the traditional Anglican Church!!

But no doubt that would wrangle!!
 
Posted by Scotus (# 8163) on :
 
Fiddleback: I think you're simplifying things by talking of 'pork pies'. FiF is made up of individuals who have there own views but the majority position I would guess is that there are doubts over whether a woman can be a priest, as well as a conviction that the C of E shouldn't have decided to ordain them in 1992. These doubts would be exarcebated by having women bishops, as that 'extraordinary' statement makes clear. In fact I think the statement is commendable for its bluntness and clarity in spelling out what will be an unworkable situation within the church.

Rugbyplayingpriest/dyfrig: I think we would have to be clear that the free/third province would be part of the Anglican Communion, and not a 'continuing' church. Dyfrig is probably right that it would have to be part of the C of E as well - though it might be easier for all concerned if it had its own convocation which for most purposes was separate from General Synod.

[ 27. July 2005, 10:50: Message edited by: Scotus ]
 
Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by dyfrig:
The details of the structure may not be that important, but a province outside the CofE would create the curious situation of two Anglican churches within the same country, separate over a point of doctrine. That effectove;u creates a fourth church claiming to be the expression of the historic Christian faith in England.

And what will it be called? "The Other Church of England"?

It would also in effect disestablish those parishes that joined it. Which I think is the main reason it won't happen that way.

Well, I suspect it won't happen at all. But if it does it is much more likely to be subject to Parliament and the existing Synod. Because the government will want it that way.
 
Posted by Clerestory (# 721) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by rugbyplayingpriest:
I would love it to be called the traditional Anglican Church!!

But no doubt that would wrangle!!

That would be a very good name. As long as you promised that all your services would be taken from the Book of Common Prayer (without changes, omissions or additions), and that you would hold exactly to the doctrine of the 39 Articles. [Smile]

But seriously... I've been trying very hard to see how this desire for a Third Province can be anything other than a refusal to face facts.

The great Anglo-Catholic dream was always to bring the Church of England back to its Catholic heritage and into unity with Rome. It worked to some extent: most of us in the C of E are now happy with weekly eucharists, candles on altars, mitres etc. But the Anglo-Catholic revival has long since lost its revolutionary impetus.

Most of us are happy with women priests. Most of us want women bishops. And most of us believe that the Vatican is wrong about a lot of important issues. The bulk of the C of E is not going to move any further in a Roman Catholic direction.

So here's the thing I really don't understand: what on earth does setting up your own special little province have to do with being 'catholic' in any meaningful sense of the word? What would becoming a small semi-detached annex of a Protestant church really achieve for 'catholics', other than enabling you to retire peacefully in a protective bubble where you can pretend it's still the 1920s? Is this about anything other than denial of the facts?

If your fundamental problem with the Church of England is that it's becoming intolerably less and less like the Roman Catholic Church, then surely there's only one logical course of action for you: join the Romans.

[ 27. July 2005, 11:08: Message edited by: Clerestory ]
 
Posted by Fiddleback (# 2809) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by rugbyplayingpriest:
I would love it to be called the traditional Anglican Church!!

But no doubt that would wrangle!!

Someone's already bagsed that name, I'm afraid. However, it leaves us to ask why you don't join one of the existing Continuing Churches rather than setting up yet another one.

Oh, I forgot. You want the Church of England to pay for your new province, don't you?

[ 27. July 2005, 13:48: Message edited by: Fiddleback ]
 
Posted by Fiddleback (# 2809) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Scotus:
Fiddleback: I think you're simplifying things by talking of 'pork pies'.

No. The original pork pie quote was made in the days before the 1992 vote by a Vicar from oop north, and synod member, who is now one of FiF's 'regional deans'. Flying bishops (except our London friend) have been at pains ever since to stress that that is NOT what they believe.

Now as to this matter of 'validity'. You have acknowledged that a sacrament performed by a not 'valid' priest(ess) is still a channel of grace. It has an outward and visible sign, and is a means of grace, so therefore, according to the usual definition, it is still a sacrament. You have acknowledged that it doesn't greatly piss God off when people in good faith receive sacraments that aren't 'valid' (though the schisms within the church which you are proposing to add to don't make Him that happy). So what is the problem? I think you have rather misunderstood what Rome means when it refers to 'validity'. It is not about the presence or absence of some kind of magic, as if God were some kind of genie who can only be summoned up with precisely the right formulae. You cannot say that God is absent from protestant churches. When Rome talks of sacraments or priests being valid, what Rome really means is that it holds them to be sacraments and priests of the Catholic (i.e. the Roman) Church.
 
Posted by Scotus (# 8163) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Fiddleback:
I think you have rather misunderstood what Rome means when it refers to 'validity'. It is not about the presence or absence of some kind of magic, as if God were some kind of genie who can only be summoned up with precisely the right formulae. You cannot say that God is absent from protestant churches. When Rome talks of sacraments or priests being valid, what Rome really means is that it holds them to be sacraments and priests of the Catholic (i.e. the Roman) Church.

The logical development of your position is that outside of the Roman Catholic Church we might has well have lay celebration, since all acts of worship are equally channels of grace and the form and matter are irrelevent.

Of course the sacraments are not the only channels of God's grace (did I ever say they were?), but, as you well know, God has revealed to the Church that he will give us grace through the sacraments.

We can be confident that we receive God's grace at a Mass, celebrated by a priest with bread and wine, because he has promised it. A service celebrated by a lay person with a bag of crisps and a can of coke may, with the right intention to worship and give thanks to God, conceivably be a channel of grace, but it is not the Mass.

Most Roman Catholics (even B16, from what I have read of his) would say that an Anglican Eucharist might be a valid Mass, but they can't be certain.
Most members of FiF would say, I imagine, that a Eucharist celebrated by a female priest might be a valid Mass, but they can't be certain.

One might argue that doubt is just something we have to live with, and God probably won't be angry with us if we err on the side of openness. My view is that doubt coupled with the fact that at the moment the great churches of the East and West have not taken this step, means that we should err on the side of caution.
 
Posted by Scotus (# 8163) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Fiddleback:
The original pork pie quote was made in the days before the 1992 vote by a Vicar from oop north, and synod member, who is now one of FiF's 'regional deans'. Flying bishops (except our London friend) have been at pains ever since to stress that that is NOT what they believe.

I haven't heard anyone talk about pork pies recently, except you. The 'pork pie theory' may fairly represent the views of some, but I think it does a disservice to the views of the majority in FiF, including +Fulham, which are rather more nuanced than that. So I stand by my claim that by resurrecting this business of pork pies you are simplifying things (and - dare I say it - telling porkie pies)

[ 27. July 2005, 14:44: Message edited by: Scotus ]
 
Posted by Fiddleback (# 2809) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Scotus:
My view is that doubt coupled with the fact that at the moment the great churches of the East and West have not taken this step, means that we should err on the side of caution.

Er...but would not the great (and historic) churches of the West include the Lutherans who have?
 
Posted by Paul Mason (# 7562) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Scotus:
One might argue that doubt is just something we have to live with, and God probably won't be angry with us if we err on the side of openness. My view is that doubt coupled with the fact that at the moment the great churches of the East and West have not taken this step, means that we should err on the side of caution.

'God probably won't be angry'?

[Roll Eyes]

Go read the parable of the prodigal son again and meditate on the character of the father in that story. Then tell me you should err on the side of caution with regard to the expansiveness of God's grace.
 
Posted by Scotus (# 8163) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Fiddleback:
Er...but would not the great (and historic) churches of the West include the Lutherans who have?

When Roman Catholic's don't do something but Lutherans do, I'm more inclined to go with the Romans.

quote:
Paul Mason wrote:
Go read the parable of the prodigal son again and meditate on the character of the father in that story. Then tell me you should err on the side of caution with regard to the expansiveness of God's grace.

What I'm actually saying is that if God has promised to communicate his grace to us in certain ways, I'd rather get those ways right as far as I can. As I've already said above, I'm sure a eucharist celebrated by a woman is a channel of grace, just as a Baptist (say) act of worship is, and I'm sure God wouldn't be angry with me for receiving communion from a woman. What I am not sure about are whether these are indeed the sacraments God has given the church.

[Fixed URL]

[ 28. July 2005, 19:41: Message edited by: TonyK ]
 
Posted by Scotus (# 8163) on :
 
And I only put the 'probably' in because I don't want to be so arrogant as to say that I know for certain what God's view is. The point of the Prodigal is surely that however bad we get things wrong, if return to God he will always receive us and forgive us - it doesn't mean that nothing makes him angry.
 
Posted by Paul Mason (# 7562) on :
 
I think this goes to the heart of why I'm not a sacramentalist. It implies God cares more about rituals than people.

Having said that it's probably a tangent to this thread, so I'll withdraw.
 
Posted by Mousethief (# 953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Paul Mason:
I think this goes to the heart of why I'm not a sacramentalist. It implies God cares more about rituals than people.

I think God cares about rituals because She cares about people.
 
Posted by Left at the Altar (# 5077) on :
 
I apologise in advance for using this thread for such a blatantly selfish purpose, that being to see "Priestly Genitalia Left at the Altar" on the board page for my 3000th post.

We now return you to your scheduled debate.
 
Posted by rugbyplayingpriest (# 9809) on :
 
Fiddleback wrote:
quote:
However, it leaves us to ask why you don't join one of the existing Continuing Churches rather than setting up yet another one.

Oh, I forgot. You want the Church of England to pay for your new province, don't you?

HANG ON A MINUTE!!!!!!

We wants to break from tradition and be innovative and different and set apart from the rest of Catholic Christianity?????!!!!!

Seems to me there is more mileage in asking why the revisionists (who want a Church with women Bishops, Gene Robinsons et al) did not form their own- or is it because you wanted OUR money and reputation for yourself?

Mutiny on the good ship Anglican he cries!!
 
Posted by cocktailgirl (# 8684) on :
 
But this, surely, is one of the reasons it's so hard to define precisely what the Church of England is. We can't isolate a particular moment in its history, be that 1662, 1833 or 1928 and say 'this is what the Church of England is, was, and ever shall be'. It has an evolving identity; an identity rooted both in Scripture and Tradition and in the vision of God's Kingdom towards which we move. Of course there will be disagreements about how this is worked out in the nitty gritty of 'Anglican practice', but I maintain that the C of E, as other Anglican provinces, have the authority to make decisions such as that over the ordination of women. Of course the decision must be made prayerfully. Of course it must be made with consideration for other Christians. Of course it would be better if all of Catholic Christianity made the decision together. But as Bishop Jewel commented during the Reformation, if a General Council cannot or will not be had, the Church must reform herself per partes.

I know this comes down to what we define as adiaphora. For me, the exercise of episcope is essential to the Church. I think its practice through the historic episcopate in succession from the Apostles is the best way to exercise it. If the C of E was seeking to change either of these, I would have problems. I simply don't over whether the bishop in succession is a man or a woman.
 
Posted by rugbyplayingpriest (# 9809) on :
 
Cocktail girl said:

quote:
For me, the exercise of episcope is essential to the Church. I think its practice through the historic episcopate in succession from the Apostles is the best way to exercise it. If the C of E was seeking to change either of these, I would have problems. I simply don't over whether the bishop in succession is a man or a woman.
I agree. But surely Holy Orders is PRECISELY what the C of E has been messing about with. Hence the Catholic's despair.

In 1992 many in the Church were so hell bent on allowing women into orders, that they were going to usher it in- whatever the cost. Even if it would require a breakdown in episcopal oversight. (which of course it did).

Rather thsan waiting for a decision of unity. Rather than waiting till it was an 'everyone or noone' decision. (which would have been much healthier),the whole notion of flying Bishops was allowed to come into force.

And that completely destroys any Catholic notion of episcope. It has led to the idea of having 'the bishop I agree with'. (But do not blame us FIF'ers for that! What alternative was there for we who had real and serious doubts over the validity of the decision?)

Furthermore in the new debate over women bishops this congregationlist model of episcope is gaining ground. The alternatives to a thrid province ALL support, in some way, having pick and choose bishops. Something DEEPLY problematic to Church unity and mission.

Ultimately 1992's decision to ordain women - and our current one to consecrate- rests on the dodgy notion that people can discern and disregard orders!! What rot! Either one is a validly ordained priest or one is not- its not a matter of choice! If that does not mess with Holy orders I do not know what does!

Hence my concern that 1992 was the day the Catholic identity of the Church of England cracked. And 2005 could be the year it shatters. What will remain will be a congregationlist benefice of Churches. Nothing wrong with that from a protestant perspective- but everything wrong from a Catholic one.
 
Posted by dyfrig (# 15) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by rugbyplayingpriest:
Hence my concern that 1992 was the day the Catholic identity of the Church of England cracked.

So, not in something like 1552 when Mr Cranmer wrote his liturgy? Or perhaps 15-whatever it was when the 39 Articles were promulgated?
 
Posted by rugbyplayingpriest (# 9809) on :
 
No because one can clearly discern a Catholic spirituality based on three fold order in the book of common prayer.

Something not at all visible in the post 92 Church
 
Posted by Clerestory (# 721) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by rugbyplayingpriest:
Seems to me there is more mileage in asking why the revisionists (who want a Church with women Bishops, Gene Robinsons et al) did not form their own- or is it because you wanted OUR money and reputation for yourself?

Yuck. Revisionists.... terrible people.

Like that minority group of 19th century revisionists who illegally introduced Benediction, invocation of the saints and teaching about purgatory and seven sacraments to the C of E. And who dreamed up this curious idea that the key thing about the C of E is that it has precisely the same kind of ordained ministry as the Roman Church.

Anglo-Catholicism, when it was flourishing, was always a movement which was campaigning for radical change in the Church of England. Yet now you are presenting yourselves, highly implausibly, as the True Authentic Unchanging Traditionalists Who Want Things To Stay As They Always Were. It's completely bizarre!
 
Posted by dyfrig (# 15) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by rugbyplayingpriest:
No because one can clearly discern a Catholic spirituality based on three fold order in the book of common prayer.

Something not at all visible in the post 92 Church

How?
 
Posted by rugbyplayingpriest (# 9809) on :
 
|Celestory said:
quote:
Anglo-Catholicism, when it was flourishing, was always a movement which was campaigning for radical change in the Church of England. Yet now you are presenting yourselves, highly implausibly, as the True Authentic Unchanging Traditionalists Who Want Things To Stay As They Always Were. It's completely bizarre!
Sorry that shows a complete lack of understanding regarding the aims of the Anglo Catholic revival.

The radicalism of the Oxford Movement was led by study of the past- in particular the desert fathers. It was not driven by the popular opinion of society- far from it!

Hence Anglo Catholocism was not trying to invent something new. But rather restore a wayward (and in their opinion secular and liberal) Church to the faith of tradition. Something I easily identify with.

They were trying to reclaim the baby that was thrown out in the dirty bath water of the reformation.

It was thus a turning back in faith not forward.

Which makes its similarity to modern revisionism very far removed.
 
Posted by rugbyplayingpriest (# 9809) on :
 
To Dyfrig's how;

1) The BCP is clearly a sacramental work. Just read it!

2) The BCP clearly advocates the three fold order in its ordination services.
 
Posted by dyfrig (# 15) on :
 
1992 did not change the principle of a three fold order.
 
Posted by Clerestory (# 721) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by rugbyplayingpriest:
It was thus a turning back in faith not forward. Which makes its similarity to modern revisionism very far removed.

Really?

If the only form of valid change in the Church is to go backwards, then the whole Catholic understanding of the church is impossible! There would be no development of doctrines, liturgies or ministries ever. Logically, we would be forced to attempt to go back as close to the beginning as possible, like some extreme puritan sect who only believed in 1 Thessalonians! Desert Fathers, Ecumenical Councils and threefold ministries would be right out. Is that what you really want?

Are you going forward in faith or backwards in faith? Please decide.

I agree with you that following every changing whim of society would be dangerous. But the last 200 years have seen a total transformation of the lives of women. In order for the human race to survice, women used to have to spend all their time producing babies, because most of them would die. So they weren't educated, or given the vote, or given positions of authority. No one thought women could be doctors, or MPs, or lawyers, or priests. But that world has been passing away, gradually, for a long, long time. Every other profession now admits those women who have the right gifts and motivation.

This is not some passing fad. The demise of patriarchy is probably the biggest social change in the entire history of the human race. And the Church HAS to respond. It HAS to go forwards, as it has always done. It HAS to seek the guidance of the Spirit and to respond.

We have to decide. Either we should radically enforce patriarchy, in which case you should command your wife to give up her job. Or we should embrace the new opportunities we have today, and let women use their God-given gifts to the full. We have to decide.

It falls to us to grapple with these issues, just as the fourth century Church had to grapple with the doctrine of the Trinity. It's not going to be easy or tidy, any more than it was then. But that is the way the Spirit works. And hiding in your own little province saying that you want to keep everything the way it was in 1925, or 500, or whenever, is a failure to take seriously our responsibilities.
 
Posted by rugbyplayingpriest (# 9809) on :
 
Celestory:
quote:
No one thought women could be doctors, or MPs, or lawyers, or priests. But that world has been passing away, gradually, for a long, long time.
I agree. Doctors, MP's and lawyers are all professions that a person (regardless of gender) can 'do'.

But Priesting is unique. It speaks about what you 'are'. And it is here that gender equality becomes redundant.

quote:
Every other profession now admits those women who have the right gifts and motivation
Priesthood is not a profession but a calling. Much like fatherhood or motherhood is a calling. And regardless of societal shift or inclination or feelings of unfairness- God's design means I can no more be a mother than my wife a father. However much we wish it to be different.

And as regards looking backwards and forwards. Christianity always strives to look forwards BUT with one eye on the past- specifically the life and witness of Jesus as revealed in tradition. For Jesus is the pinacle of history.

IF he was God it is impossible to improve on his revelation. Everything must flow from him.

[ 28. July 2005, 11:31: Message edited by: rugbyplayingpriest ]
 
Posted by jubilate Agno (# 4981) on :
 
quote:
This is not some passing fad. The demise of patriarchy is probably the biggest social change in the entire history of the human race.
An extravigant claim but it would probably be true of western society in the past hundred years.

quote:
And the Church HAS to respond. It HAS to go forwards, as it has always done.
Given that (not wishing to be impossibly naive), "classical" Christianity is by definition (as Daphne Hampson famously pointed out) patriarchal (Pater noster), does it not follow that what we believe to have been God's self revelation to us as "Father" no longer applies and that the fundamental nature of Christianity must therefore change?

If so, does it makes the belief in a "propositional" self disclosure to mankind by Almighty God as claimed by classical Christianity untenable?

R
 
Posted by cocktailgirl (# 8684) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by rugbyplayingpriest:
quote:

Cocktail girl said:
For me, the exercise of episcope is essential to the Church. I think its practice through the historic episcopate in succession from the Apostles is the best way to exercise it. If the C of E was seeking to change either of these, I would have problems. I simply don't over whether the bishop in succession is a man or a woman.

I agree. But surely Holy Orders is PRECISELY what the C of E has been messing about with. Hence the Catholic's despair.
But for me, the C of E has male and female priests ordained by bishops in the apostolic succession. Other Anglican provinces have bishops ordained in the apostolic succession. I know others (especially the Orthodox) disagree with this, but I simply don't think it matters whether the bishop/priest is male or female. They are a priest or a bishop. That's what counts.

quote:
In 1992 many in the Church were so hell bent on allowing women into orders, that they were going to usher it in- whatever the cost. Even if it would require a breakdown in episcopal oversight. (which of course it did).

Rather thsan waiting for a decision of unity. Rather than waiting till it was an 'everyone or noone' decision. (which would have been much healthier),the whole notion of flying Bishops was allowed to come into force.

This is an argument I find disingenuous. 'Wait till there's consensus' goes the cry. But there won't be consensus till the eschaton. Should we really wait that long? And it's no use harking back to the early church and the reaching of 'consensus' there. They managed it by anathematizing anyone who disagreed with the decision made by a council.

quote:
And that completely destroys any Catholic notion of episcope. It has led to the idea of having 'the bishop I agree with'. (But do not blame us FIF'ers for that! What alternative was there for we who had real and serious doubts over the validity of the decision?)
I sort of blame you and sort of don't. I do blame the C of E for the mess we've got ourselves into, and especially those on the bench of bishops in '92. Not because I want FiFers to leave the C of E, but for the very reason you outline, that a congregationalist polity is alien to the C of E and implies a breakdown in catholic order. I also simply don't understand why Resolutions A and B don't suffice (at the moment, I can see there would be problems if women were bishops).


quote:
Ultimately 1992's decision to ordain women - and our current one to consecrate- rests on the dodgy notion that people can discern and disregard orders!! What rot! Either one is a validly ordained priest or one is not- its not a matter of choice! If that does not mess with Holy orders I do not know what does!
With respect, I think it rests on the notion that the Church can discern God's will and can respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. But we agree that one is either a validly ordained priest or not - and the C of E agrees that I am. If we have two separate orders, we have two separate churches. And the name for that is a schism.
 
Posted by rugbyplayingpriest (# 9809) on :
 
Cocktail girl:
quote:
But we agree that one is either a validly ordained priest or not - and the C of E agrees that I am.
Well sort of!

The C of E agrees you are validly ordained BUT also agrees I am valid in questioning that claim!!!! Nonsense I know - but that is why I claim that orders have been buggered about with.

1992 meant that no longer could all preists gather around an altar for the Eucharist. It also meant that not all priests recognised each others orders. The Church created this foolish scenario- thus messin' with orders!

And yes- we are now two seperate Church's under one roof. Hence I do not think we should talk about whether schism is necessary- but about how to deal with a schism that exists!

Please do note this though:

Whilst I seriously question the Churches authority to ordain you- I am not wanting to question either your proficiency or calling to ministry. I am sure you are a wonderful and vital minister of the Gospel. No doubt- a far better witness than me!
 
Posted by Clerestory (# 721) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by rugbyplayingpriest:
Priesthood is not a profession but a calling. Much like fatherhood or motherhood is a calling. And regardless of societal shift or inclination or feelings of unfairness- God's design means I can no more be a mother than my wife a father.

OK... so here you're arguing from direct experience of how the human person functions. And we can see, indeed, that you won't ever give birth. But we can also observe that women are now experiencing all the same indications of vocation to ordained ministry that we have always looked for in men. They have the right gifts and sense of calling. So an examination of direct experience of the human person suggests that the Spirit is actually telling us that we should now ordain women.

quote:
Originally posted by rugbyplayingpriest:

IF Jesus was God it is impossible to improve on his revelation. Everything must flow from him.

And now you're arguing again like an extreme evangelical reductionist. If everything flows from the original revelation in Christ circa AD 30, then all of subsequent Catholic tradition is completely irrelevant. Including the threefold ministry and all this stuff about the validity of sacraments, none of which is in the Gospels. I don't think you really mean this.
 
Posted by Fiddleback (# 2809) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by rugbyplayingpriest:
To Dyfrig's how;

1) The BCP is clearly a sacramental work. Just read it!

Cack. Mrs Cranmer is a thoroughly Calvinist/Zwinglian piece of 'liturgy' whatever catholic 'spin' people might have tried to put on it.

quote:

2) The BCP clearly advocates the three fold order in its ordination services.

Oh whoopee.

[ 28. July 2005, 12:57: Message edited by: Fiddleback ]
 
Posted by Clerestory (# 721) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by jubilate Agno:
Given that (not wishing to be impossibly naive), "classical" Christianity is by definition (as Daphne Hampson famously pointed out) patriarchal (Pater noster), does it not follow that what we believe to have been God's self revelation to us as "Father" no longer applies and that the fundamental nature of Christianity must therefore change?

A fascinating question! Which might derail this thread completely. But, to give a short answer...

As far as I can see, most people who want women bishops still want to go on calling God 'Father'. It's how he revealed himself to us, and it's still perfectly clear what he meant. Saying that power does not always have to be exclusively male does not mean that a male image for God no longer works.
 
Posted by Fiddleback (# 2809) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by rugbyplayingpriest:
or is it because you wanted OUR money and reputation for yourself?

What fecking money?! Fif churches in every diocese in England are over staffed and under-contributory. No one has yet named ONE SINGLE ABC parish that pays a quota of over £30,000 a year to their diocese.
 
Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by rugbyplayingpriest:
Hence Anglo Catholocism was not trying to invent something new. But rather restore a wayward (and in their opinion secular and liberal) Church to the faith of tradition. Something I easily identify with.

Ah I see! Just like the Evangelicals!
 
Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by rugbyplayingpriest:
IF he was God it is impossible to improve on his revelation. Everything must flow from him.

Of course. That's just about the only thing in your posts I agree with.

And the participation of some women in the ordained ministry that we have on our church does flow from him, just as much as does the all-male all-celibate priesthood some other churchs have. (& a lot more obviously than does the idea of a bishop as a little monarch in his diocese which we have, I hope, got away from)
 
Posted by Fiddleback (# 2809) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by rugbyplayingpriest:
The Church created this foolish scenario- thus messin' with orders!

No. You have created this foolish scenario. Stop dripping on about the idea that the rest of the church has changed and you are just being faithful. That is what every little protestant splinter group has always said when it has broken away from the church. "It's not us that have changed - it's them. Mummy is being howwid. I hate her and I'm throwing my toys out of the pram."

[ 28. July 2005, 14:22: Message edited by: Fiddleback ]
 
Posted by John Holding (# 158) on :
 
RPP -

So to be clear: You believe that the CofE exists all by itself with no valid or relevent ties to other Anglican provinces?

I say that because Lambeth in 78 approved the principle of ordaining women while leaving it up to individual provinces to decide whether or not to do so. It said the ordination of women was a cultural/societal issue, not a theological one. In taking your position, you must not accept Lambeth as an appropriate authority in the CofE.

And most provinces now do ordain women. As you have the problems you have made clear with the CofE because it ordains women, I take it that you are in "impaired communion" with the rest of the Anglican communion -- and indeed, as no-one except the CofE has made any provision for those like yourself, you are effectively out of communion with the rest. Except Sydney, of course. WHich is kind of ironic.

For example, I have to conclude that you would feel unable to function as a priest in Canada or the US or Australia or New Zealand, or in most of African or Asia, since in all of those places there are women priests -- in some there are women bishops -- and in none of them is there any meaaure allowing alternative oversight to those with theological objections.

What an interesting commentary on the concept of the Anglican communion over the last 30-40 years.

John
 
Posted by dyfrig (# 15) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Fiddleback:
quote:
Originally posted by rugbyplayingpriest:
To Dyfrig's how;

1) The BCP is clearly a sacramental work. Just read it!

Cack. Mrs Cranmer is a thoroughly Calvinist/Zwinglian piece of 'liturgy' whatever catholic 'spin' people might have tried to put on it.
Indeed. I believe Mr Dix had some choice words on this matter.
 
Posted by jubilate Agno (# 4981) on :
 
quote:
1) The BCP is clearly a sacramental work. Just read it!
It undoubtedly reads that way but Cranmer had re-written 1549 with the intention of removing any suggestion of a corporeal real presence.

A Calvinist or even a Zwinglian view of the Eucharist is not necessarily non-sacramental however.

R
 
Posted by jubilate Agno (# 4981) on :
 
quote:
As far as I can see, most people who want women bishops still want to go on calling God 'Father'. It's how he revealed himself to us, and it's still perfectly clear what he meant.
With rapidly changing gender roles I'm not at all sure that it is at all "perfectly clear," and certainly may not continue to be so.

I believe that until we have a good understanding of the many positions held on God's revelation with regard to gender, its implications and the pre suppositions we hold on these issue, we cannot really proceed with a mutually comprehensible discussion about the genitalia of his ministers.

As an aside, gender aspirations can change back again. I have a trainee (project manager / engineer) with a first class degree in mathematics from a top university whose ambition in life is to be a .........house wife, she sees her career working for a top international company as a stop gap! Good for her I say.

R
 
Posted by Fiddleback (# 2809) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Scotus:
As I've already said above, I'm sure a eucharist celebrated by a woman is a channel of grace, just as a Baptist (say) act of worship is, and I'm sure God wouldn't be angry with me for receiving communion from a woman. What I am not sure about are whether these are indeed the sacraments God has given the church.

But they still work, though? Only with less grace channelled?
 
Posted by Fiddleback (# 2809) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ruggerpriest:

And yes- we are now two seperate Church's under one roof. Hence I do not think we should talk about whether schism is necessary- but about how to deal with a schism that exists!

You mean you want us to continue paying for you to have your own little church within a church. Roll on Third Province, say I, and save the Church of England a bit of money.

"Separate", I think you meant to write, by the way.

[ 28. July 2005, 18:18: Message edited by: Fiddleback ]
 
Posted by rugbyplayingpriest (# 9809) on :
 
What a generous, loving spirit you demonstrate Fiddleback.

It really is endearing.

And for your information the Church I currently serve in has 250-300 each week at mass. And a sunday school of over 60. We also have one of the largest parish shares in the diocese. Which we meet. Oh and we are also one of the very few growing congregations...so actually we do not need yuor money thank you very much for not offering it!


Another statistic that might make you uncomfortable is that the largest 100 growing parishes are all led by male priests and teach an orthodox Gospel.

Not to mention the numbers of orthodox in Africa et al...

...sorry chum but it is wishy washy liberalism which is the failing experiment. Ultimately when you abandon notions of a definate message what do you have to offer people?

Christ centred Churches grow....liberal Churches- well look at ECUSA.....

[ 28. July 2005, 19:41: Message edited by: rugbyplayingpriest ]
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
Yes, do look at us. My liberal parish is growing like mad.
 
Posted by rugbyplayingpriest (# 9809) on :
 
Sorry Ruth- no offence meant for ECUSA and liberal Churches really- so much as getting frustrated at the gobbledegook spouted by fiddleback that we are somehow funded by him.

In virtually every diocese in England the main financial muscle belongs to the evangelicals.
 
Posted by Sienna (# 5574) on :
 
Psst - Rugbyplayingpriest - were you going to answer any of the questions in my post - again, if you choose not to, that's fine, but I am trying to decide which books to get from the library this week......
 
Posted by Chorister (# 473) on :
 
I do hope that any type of church is not going to start using the numbers (or finance) game to bully the other churches.
Liberal churches may not have the greatest numbers on seats on Sundays (although there are some exceptions - my own church is the largest in the Deanery, for example), but they do provide a 'yes face' to people who, for one reason or another, feel they have been rejected by the stricter interpretations of church. One of the great strengths of women priests is that they can listen to those troubled women who would never go to a male priest with their problems. This slow process of listening, understanding, and caring, is just as important a work of the church than enticing people in to praise and worship on Sunday mornings.
 
Posted by cocktailgirl (# 8684) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by rugbyplayingpriest:
... the gobbledegook spouted by fiddleback that we are somehow funded by him.

In virtually every diocese in England the main financial muscle belongs to the evangelicals.

See, this seems like a complete non sequiter to me. By 'we' in your first paragraph I presume you mean FiF types. Who have precious little in common with the evangelicals funding most of the C of E in your second paragraph.

I'm delighted, by the way, that your church is growing, RPP. But I look round my diocese and only one of the resolution C parishes pays its way. The rest have shrinking congregations and can't pay their quotas. This shaky financial foundation is something the advocates of a third province are going to have to deal with. Your successful parish isn't going to be able to prop up all the rest.

And while I appreciate your courtesy to me in an earlier post, can I point out that this comment winds me up:

quote:
...sorry chum but it is wishy washy liberalism which is the failing experiment. Ultimately when you abandon notions of a definate message what do you have to offer people?
You may or may not have noticed that I'm not a 'let them all leave, now' sort of person. That's partly in response to listening to the views of those with whom I disagree. I affirm the faith revealed in Scripture and testified to in the Creeds. I am, I think, unfashionably orthodox on doctrine. Are you really telling me that because I believe in the ordination of women I am less able to preach the gospel? Or that the gospel I preach is somehow watered down? Hyperbole is enticing, but nuance and careful listening are what's needed in this debate.
 
Posted by Fiddleback (# 2809) on :
 
For the last fecking time rugbyplayingpriest, will you stop classifying everyone who does not subscribe to Fif as a 'liberal'. I will in return resist the temptation to classify you as a tit.

First, can you back up your statistics.

Speaking for this diocese, not one of the nine ABC parishes pays its way. Only one of them, in fact, comes anywhere near. I can't be arsed to dig out the figures at this late hour, but I did the sums on an earlier purgatory thread which showed that if we lost those parishes to a Third Province, the diocese would save enough to buy five more priests. Others, like Cocktailgirl, commented at the time, that the situation was pretty much the same in their dioceses. Is your uniquely successful ABC parish going to bankroll Bishop Broadhurst's new province?

Yes, evangelical parishes are the biggest givers. But they are not at this stage, even the Bantingites, planning to set up their own province. Our church, which is not at all liberal by local standards, is a net contributor. In fact, we could almost say that the surplus we pay to the diocese is what it takes to keep one of the ABC parishes on the road.
 
Posted by rugbyplayingpriest (# 9809) on :
 
Ken, some pointers for you:

1) Not all FIF members are at ABC parishes- indeed only a very small proportion. Most accept A and B and try to work with that. Many do not even need to have resolutions because (at present) they can manage without. This would need to change with women bishops and you might be surprised at the number.

2) Look at the new GAP (giving as partners) scheme being muted by evangelicals. In which rich parishes want money to go direct to poor parishes that teach a creedal faith-(circumnavigating the diocese with its millions wasted on beaurocracy and 'new ways of being Church etc')
In our diocese it is planned to include the ABC parishes- you seem to hate so much.

3) Due to the history of the Anglo Catholic revival most of our parishes are in deprived areas. (As opposed to most wealthy Churches that tend to be civic,town centre, middle of the road parishes). For years the Anglo Catholics have been pushed to one side and given the less attractive livings- that figures economically. Which is bound to impact on economics. Do you really expect people in UPA areas to find as much money as wealthy parishes?

4) You claim evangelicals do not wish for a new province. What planet have you been on??? A seismic shift of power is going on. Out of Canterbury and towards Africa. Their province will just be global not local. Just witness the action of Archbishop Gomex this week.

4) Unlike you I do not judge Gospel success by capitalist and worldly standards. Jesus himself was hardly raking in the money compared to the temple leaders. He was also despised by the established Church of his day- for preaching a Gospel that was counter cultural and difficult to digest. Do you really consider his ministry a failure??? I am sure that the leaders in his day would not have wanted to 'bankroll' his mission...but that said little about the value of his message.

4) Before labelling others as tits- check the nipple on your own head please!
Its probably not so different to any one elses.
 
Posted by cocktailgirl (# 8684) on :
 
Much as it amuses me that I keep agreeing with Fiddleback, I think RPP you are missing his point. He isn't judging the success or otherwise of ministry by worldly capitalist standards (though I would say that an ever decreasing number of bums on pews is a sign that all is not entirely healthy) but simply pointing out the uncomfortable fact that FiF parishes couldn't support themselves without being bankrolled by the rest of the C of E. I have no problem with parishes subsidising each other, via the diocese (again, you seem to dislike this, though in Anglican polity it is the diocese that is the unit of the local church, and the cure of souls you exercise is the bishop's - tedious that, isn't it?) but wish FiF would wake up and smell the coffee.

The fact that some A&B parishes might 'go over' on the issue of women bishops is one of the reasons I can see for delaying. But only if dialogue and engagement takes place.
 
Posted by rugbyplayingpriest (# 9809) on :
 
Cocktail girl I think we agree.

Sorry but Fiddle winds me up and I end up slinging mud!!

Basically it is true that MANY parishes need the support of the whole of the C of E.

And the Province idea is not a desire to 'leave' the Church. But a way to ensure that we can 'remain' in the the Church.

It is an honest attempt to create a coherent Church that can allow both womens orders and a home for those- who in good conscience- disagree with them.

A proposal that does not involve pick and choose Bishops- which everyone must agree has been silly.
 
Posted by Clerestory (# 721) on :
 
Dear RPP,

You're talking a lot of flack here, and I'm grateful to you for persevering, as I'm genuinely interested in hearing what you have to say. Thank you.

But could you explain to me how FIF now perceives its 'Catholic' status? I'm still, as I said before, confused about how people who value being 'Catholic' can end up wanting to be a semi-detached annex of a Protestant church.

Anglo-Catholics made a lot more sense to me in the days when they were strongly influencing the mainstream of the C of E, and a future reunion with Rome seemed a plausible objective. So you could be a 'Catholic' in the C of E on the grounds that that was the direction the C of E was moving in, even if it wasn't there yet.

But those days have gone. Power, as you acknowledge, is shifting to the evangelicals. Who mostly want women priests, and who are more interested in joining forces with other Protestant churches. And you are setting yourselves apart from the mainstream of the Church of England's life and ministry.

So now, you say you are going 'Forward' in Faith. But what are you moving 'forward' towards? What is the 'Catholic' goal that you hope for? To me, you seem to be asking to be left alone in a small private corner where you can turn the clock back to 1991, or some other year. What has this really got to do with being 'Catholic'?

You seem to be to be so totally absorbed in the question of valid ordinations that you've come to think that's all that matters. But how can it be 'Catholic' to want to be a separatist faction of a Protestant church? I'm very puzzled. And I think any Roman Catholic or Orthodox theologian would be very puzzled too.

I'd be delighted to hear an explanation.

[ 29. July 2005, 09:44: Message edited by: Clerestory ]
 
Posted by GreyFace (# 4682) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by rugbyplayingpriest:
A proposal that does not involve pick and choose Bishops- which everyone must agree has been silly.

But this, and the related accusations of congregationalism, are precisely the current state of affairs.

I live in County Durham. Who is my bishop? +Wright? +Dunn? +Gabriel? +Gregorios? No doubt there are others we accept as genuine bishops with some kind of geographical jurisdiction.

If you got a Third Province, would you not just be adding another name to the mix, or are you suggesting that FiF members will stick to parish boundaries even if that gets them a female priest?
 
Posted by rugbyplayingpriest (# 9809) on :
 
My wish to remain in the C of E (currently) has little to do with the ordination of women. That is a symptom not cause of my concern. And indeed many women priests may agree with me here. Undeniably Rome would be easier but I remain Anglican cos:

1) I care passionately about my Church. Warts and all.

2) I believe that the Church is part of the Universal Catholic Church even if certain members do not realsie this or have forgotten it.

3) I want a province that we may witness not to what this Church was nor to what it should be but what it actually IS. That we might preserve something that our grandchildren may wish to return to. When current thinking is no longer trendy.

4) I still pray and hope for reconciliation with Rome and Constantinople. Surely that unity is the hope of all?

5) I think the Church of England would be a much poorer place without us. Whether we are valued or not...(which personal experience teaches me we aren't! )

6) I feel that many people in the pews are being ignored. And having a watered down faith handed to them. (Please note I am not refering to women's ordination here but to the loss of orthodoxy)

7) I trust in miracles. And that we may yet pull away from the cancerous influences of post modern subjectivism, relativism and pluralism and re-establish ourselves as the Catholic Church in England.

So there you go. You can laugh at me, hate me for that or whatever (no doubt Ken and Fiddleback will) but it explains my belief. And my reason for staying.
 
Posted by Fiddleback (# 2809) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by rugbyplayingpriest:
And for your information the Church I currently serve in has 250-300 each week at mass. And a sunday school of over 60. We also have one of the largest parish shares in the diocese. Which we meet. Oh and we are also one of the very few growing congregations...so actually we do not need yuor money thank you very much for not offering it!

Small-minded soul that I am, I have just checked the parishes registered with FiF against the figures for Chelmsford Diocese and I see none with an Electoral Roll anywhere near the numbers you give. You also said on the 'Ladies in purple' thread that your church only had old ladies in it (a result, I think you said, of the 1992 decision by the Church of England to ordain women).

What are we to believe?
 
Posted by Chorister (# 473) on :
 
An interesting article seen today on the front page of the BBC news website, to throw into the pot.
I can see the likelihood of married priests being accepted by the Catholic church soon (after all they already have some i.e. former Anglicans), but not women priests. And if they ever did, what would the former Anglicans do then? Would Orthodoxy beckon?


(Fiddleback, can't you see, those old ladies go to mass every day. He just counted each one seven times! [Biased] )

[ 29. July 2005, 10:29: Message edited by: Chorister ]
 
Posted by rugbyplayingpriest (# 9809) on :
 
Fiddleback you may believe the following:

1) When I spoke of my Church being full of women and over feminised I spoke of the Church at large.

2) Not all FIF priests work in registered forward in faith parishes. (That is your myopic view which leads to your many flase assumptions) I serve at a large parish that has not passed resolutions because it has not seen the need to (yet). We have two wonderful female lay readers and lots of young families. Apologies if that also sshatters your convenient stereotype.

3) Please refrain from personal insults and trying to make out that I am dishonest. It does not do much to improve your image.
 
Posted by rugbyplayingpriest (# 9809) on :
 
I might add it could be time for an apology.
 
Posted by Foaming Draught (# 9134) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Chorister:
An interesting article seen today on the front page of the BBC news website, to throw into the pot.
I can see the likelihood of married priests being accepted by the Catholic church soon (after all they already have some i.e. former Anglicans), but not women priests. And if they ever did, what would the former Anglicans do then? Would Orthodoxy beckon? *snip*

Chorister, you've hit on the nub of it. It might not happen in my lifetime, although it could, but within the lifetime of most Shipmates the Roman church WILL ordain women to the presbyterate (if the Lord tarries and the creek don't rise). We all know this. Trisagion, IngoB and FCB know this. HH B XVI knows this. The only folk who don't seem to know it are my esteemed-in-Christ (sincerely meant, no irony) FiFers. All that's happening is a drawn-out management of the process.
 
Posted by Fiddleback (# 2809) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by rugbyplayingpriest:
I might add it could be time for an apology.

For what? I did not throw a personal insult at you. You inferred one.
 
Posted by Triple Tiara (# 9556) on :
 
Not being in the RC Church, Foaming Draught , should cause you to pause before you predict that it will do what you want it to do. Women priests? It aint gonna happen - even if I personally want it to happen.

Chorister : I know very few former Anglicans who came running to us because they wanted to avoid women priests. The overwhelming experience has been of catholic minded Christians who wanted to live the reality of being in communion with the Catholic Church. The solely anti-women brigade are still lurking in an Anglican parish near you. So do try not to project too much.

RPP - give up mate. Your struggle is going nowhere. You are expending loads of energy on trying to salvage a wreck, energy which could be more positively spent proclaiming the Gospel. Cardinal Hume spoke of a re-alignment in English Christianity. Let the CofE be the CofE. If you want to be a Catholic, go to where the Catholics are. You will be welcomed.
 
Posted by rugbyplayingpriest (# 9809) on :
 
Triple Tiara- you could WELL be right!

Chorister: The opinion of the BBC and one liberaly minded Catholic are not much to go on - esp. when one understands the mind of the Vatican

Fiddleback: If you really feel you are acting in a loving and compssionate manner- then feel free to feel pure!
 
Posted by GreyFace (# 4682) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Triple Tiara:
RPP - give up mate. Your struggle is going nowhere. You are expending loads of energy on trying to salvage a wreck, energy which could be more positively spent proclaiming the Gospel.

Well, this is the confusing issue for me, and it's been pointed out by others.

A Third Province effectively creates a schism from the Church of England that can only be detrimental to any Anglo-Catholic goal of moving the CofE towards a position more closely resembling Rome.

In every scenario I envisage, 3P would give the dissenters less of a voice in the (rest of the) Church of England and institutionalise schism. 1P+2P and 3P would plant into each others parishes rapidly and there would be a different church inside ten years. It concedes defeat, if the goal is reunion between the CofE (or the whole AC) and Rome, surely?

What say you, RPP?
 
Posted by Fiddleback (# 2809) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by rugbyplayingpriest:
So there you go. You can laugh at me, hate me for that or whatever (no doubt Ken and Fiddleback will) but it explains my belief.

We're laughing with you, dear, not at you.
 
Posted by Sienna (# 5574) on :
 
Rugbyplayingpriest, are you going to give me the courtesy of a reply?
 
Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by rugbyplayingpriest:
I remain Anglican cos:

1) I care passionately about my Church. Warts and all.

So do those who ordain women.

quote:

2) I believe that the Church is part of the Universal Catholic Church even if certain members do not realsie this or have forgotten it.

We all believe it. What we don't all believe is that that Universal Catholic Church is in any way limited to those churches in communion with the Bishop of Rome, or to those churches that only ordain men.

quote:

3) I want a province that we may witness not to what this Church was nor to what it should be but what it actually IS. That we might preserve something that our grandchildren may wish to return to. When current thinking is no longer trendy.

Well yes, but it is hard to see how a Third Province in England will witness to what the Universal Catholic Church actually is in a way that no other organisational structure in Anglicanism could. One more smallish Protestant denomination, with or without interesting tat, is hardly going to shake the foundations of the City of Death.

quote:

4) I still pray and hope for reconciliation with Rome and Constantinople. Surely that unity is the hope of all?

Yes, but we also want visible unity with all the other Protestant denominations. And we can achieve that, at least with the mainstream Lutherans and the Methodists & some of the Reformed/Presbyterians. Rome isn't having us to her party other than as Roman Catholics (& why should she?). We could, any of us, individually walk down the street to the RC parish church any day we wanted - but that wouldn;t be the reconciliation of our Church of England with the Church of Rome, it would be admitting that we were wrong to be in the Church of England in the first place. So for the sake of unity, we should talk to the our sister Protestant churches most urgently. Do what we think can be done, do the tasks set before us, rather than sit around waiting for something else to happen. We can only play the cards we've been dealt.

quote:

5) I think the Church of England would be a much poorer place without us. Whether we are valued or not...(which personal experience teaches me we aren't! )

You are valued, and it would be a poorer place. So why not stay?

quote:

6) I feel that many people in the pews are being ignored. And having a watered down faith handed to them. (Please note I am not refering to women's ordination here but to the loss of orthodoxy)

So stay in the Diocese of Chelmsford and teach orthodoxy to the people God has called you to serve.

quote:

7) I trust in miracles. And that we may yet pull away from the cancerous influences of post modern subjectivism, relativism and pluralism and re-establish ourselves as the Catholic Church in England.

Same here. But I do not think that believing that God calls some women to the ordained presbyterate is "cancerous" or any of those other bad things.

quote:

So there you go. You can laugh at me, hate me for that or whatever (no doubt Ken and Fiddleback will) but it explains my belief. And my reason for staying.

Why should I laugh at you or hate you? I do think you are wrong about the ordination of women though. I also think you are wrong to reject the chance of some visible unity with the Methodists and others. And I think you are wrong - I mean mistaken, not morally wrong - about the chances of a third province in England.

I strongly suspect that it won't happen. And I suspect that if it did happen it would still be subject to the old Anglican Erastian processes of choosing clergy and bishops and other clergy, and will not be entirely independent.

Also I think that Fiddleback might be right about the money. You seem to be implying that dozens of flourishing parishes that are not currently under motion C will come out of the closet and go the whole way the moment a Third Province is on the cards. But why? If they can live within their dioceses now, why should they take this bigger step?

Its reminiscent of those days when some Anglo-Catholics were predicting that the ordination of women would drive 1,000 clergy and 50,000 laity from the Church of England to Rome. In reality it was more like 200 clergy and 5,000 laity.

And, what if these churches did come out of the woodwork? What if a significant number of evangelical parishes joined them? (which wopuld be astonishing) What if you did get your "free province" released from the clutches of archdeacons and Crown Appointments Committees? Do you think that you will find life much easier in a province which has to elect its own archbishop in a struggle between the favourites of Jesmond and Holy Trinity Brompton?
 
Posted by rugbyplayingpriest (# 9809) on :
 
Sienna here you go:

Your email begins by pointing out an apparent inconsistency. In that I criticise a synodical governemnt due to it not being biblical, yet using Nicea to support a later argument.

I would argue that modern synod is made up of elected (many non theologicaly trained) people. Wheras Nicea was a coming together of Bishops. There is a difference.

One is a meeting of the apostles The theological experts and Fathers in God. The other a vote by whoever happens to stand for election.

The second inconsistency you might have a point on. Mea Culpa

Regarding point 1) I already highlighted how I disagree with your assertion that Christ never ordained anyone. By refering to Peter's commision.

Regarding 3) The catacomb depictions are fairly ambigous. I know nothing about Pope Gelasius- but wonder what the current Pope would say on that one. At the end of the day if the evidence was conclusive we would not need this debate.

Regarding 5) Nicea probably issued a decree against womens ordination not because it was an authorised practice but an illegal one. Akin to those strange women on the Christine Odine programme who declare themsleves to be RC Bishops despite protestations from Rome. If someone starts pretending- its time for an edict.

Regarding 7) Ordination makes gender interchangeable due to the imagery at the Eucharist of Christ the groom and his bride the Church. Because priesthood is about what one is not what one does menas that gender is not incidental. 'Secularism' is a turning from religion to societal wisdom. We might regard how pornography is obsessed with paradying marriage with same sex obsession - or how it is vogue to have a questionable sexual identity. (a la Madonna and Brittany snogging)

Regarding 8) Christ's maleness is clearly revelatory. He taught us to call God Father. He chose to be born as man. (Surely if inclusivity is truth then a better balance would have been to come as a woman if there was already language about the father...and if the time was not right why not wait till 2004)

Most feminist theologians are coming to accept that Christianity is a very patriarchal religion. To escape it you have to change an awful lot- to the point it becomes something new.

Regarding point 10) The overwhelming evidence being that there is no precedent for women's ordination in scripture without using some strange or tenous hermeutic

Regarding 12) I think a lot of the problem lies in what we think eqaulity is about. I for one do not beleive in human rights- only in human responsibilities. But then I am not very PC!!

Regarding 13) The slavery issue is very different from the women in the Church issue. For being a slave is (once agian) about what you do. You can change that by being set free. It is also a very clear justice issue. Many black people find it offensive to bracket the two together.

I would also argue that we still have many many slaves today. We just pay them minimal wage and let them go home. We might think of all sorts of people in this bracket. What the bible teaches us about their treatment is still pertinant.

Off on hols tomorrow so may go quiet on you

Regards
 
Posted by Sienna (# 5574) on :
 
Thanks for your response, and I hope you enjoy your holiday. I'm going to assume since you didn't address the Montanists again, I can safely forego Eusebius & company this weekend, for which I am grateful. [Smile]

Briefly, you've missed my point with respect to slavery. I was asking from where you believe the Church derived the authority to depart from Scripture and Tradition and change its stance on approving slavery. I'm not talking about whether slavery is permissible or the same issue as ordaining women; I'm asking where you believe the Church derived the authority to make the change. As well as making the point that in this case, the pedophilia and group sex you predict as a result of departing from Scripture and Tradition hadn't come about.

You should be wary of saying that something is a "clear justice issue," as that's something you've held isn't a valid argument in other arenas.

While it's most likely not intentional, your associations of women in the priesthood with porn and Brittany and Madonna kissing (not to mention the earlier pedophilia and group sex) is more than a little offensive. I think there's a serious discussion to be had, but throwing comments such as this into the mix make that difficult.

(I'm going to use Cocktailgirl as an example, as I'm not ordained - hope that's okay with her).

You and Cocktailgirl both took on the image of Christ at your baptism. However, under your view of gender, you are able to represent Christ at the Eucharist while she cannot. This presupposes that you took on the image of Christ in a more intimate, complete way than she did. So was the image of Christ conferred at your baptism a different one? Did you receive "enough" of the image of Christ to let you celebrate Mass, and she somehow didn't?

Also, I understand that Christ instructed us to call God "Father," and I suppose at this point we could discuss whether or not he wanted us to discard feminine imagery of God in the Old Testament. But none of that would answer my question of why Christ's "relevatory maleness" is more important than his "relevatory humanity," particularly in light of the baptismal theology above.

I'll ask again - are you maintaining that God (as opposed to the incarnate Christ) is gendered? Because Genesis makes it pretty clear that both male and female are created in the image of God.

Again, thanks for the reply, and enjoy the vacation.
 
Posted by Erin (# 2) on :
 
Psssst... Sienna... don't waste your time. RPP is only here to show us the errors of our ways. He doesn't give two flying shits about what you actually say.

ETA: anyone who goes over there to start a board war is toast.

[ 01. August 2005, 01:06: Message edited by: Erin ]
 
Posted by Gort (# 6855) on :
 
[Killing me]
 
Posted by Sienna (# 5574) on :
 
Thanks for the heads up - and here I was feeling bad for him because he was claiming he never got a decent theological discussion because of all the yelling. Oh, well, live and learn.

RPP, if you bother to turn up here again, you have accomplished something during your time on SoF - the next time someone opposed to the ordination of women wants to have a dialogue, I'll be less inclined to either listen or respond, because I'll be remembering how disingenuous you were. Way to accomplish your mission!
 
Posted by TonyK (# 35) on :
 
Thanks Erin - it never occured to me to do any checking about RPP.

For the record he also recently joined another board - Anglo-Catholic Central, but as this is a closed board (registered users only) I haven't tried to see his contributions.
 
Posted by cocktailgirl (# 8684) on :
 
[Eek!] The arrogance of the guy is breathtaking. Much better that he stay on that other board where no one will challenge his views and they can have cosy chats about how they are predestined to be Right. [Disappointed]
 
Posted by GreyFace (# 4682) on :
 
RPP, you think your theological summary was a "bombshell" do you? You think they took the proponents of OoW by surprise? You hadn't read the rest of this thread?

I don't know whether to laugh or cry.
 
Posted by Clerestory (# 721) on :
 
Well, he did succeed in changing my mind. I used to think that the C of E should wait another decade or two before allowing women bishops, out of respect for those who oppose them.

But, having read RPP's posts, and some FiF documents, I've realised that the time for definite action is here. I thought the wisest comment came from Triple Tiara, who said: "Let the C of E be the C of E."

The sooner we force RPP and his pals to snap out of their strange dream-world the better. The Book of Common Prayer is not, on any honest reading, a charter for Catholic theology. Most of us think that Rome has erred, and that we don't have to wait for the Pope before making decisions. Most of us think that the Spirit is urging us to use women's gifts to the full. Most of us think that this is permitted by scripture and by the understanding of the Church that we have inherited.

I honestly think that the search for Christian unity would be much easier if people like RPP stopped pretending that one church is really another. If he actually believes what he says he does, with integrity, he should go to Rome. And let the C of E be the C of E.

Ironically, the Roman Catholics would probably find us much easier to understand, respect and talk to if we didn't have all this Third Province / dual integrity / flying-bishop nonsense muddying the water. It's time to get rid of it.
 
Posted by jubilate Agno (# 4981) on :
 
Please, please, please don't tar us all with the same brush, some of us are simply concerned to find a way we can all stay together while holding demonstatably mutually incompatible views.

Personally I believe the third province as proposed to be a non-starter but at least it could form a basis for dialogue and help find a way forward.

Indeed, while concurring with RPP's (and to a lesser extent Ryle's doo dah's) views, I have (in my way) done my best to point out to him that the way he expresses them is not likely to be constructive!

I believe it is only by listening and by mutual understanding that we can make any progress and that applies to all positions in the debate.

RPP's views may be unpalateble to some, fly in the face of received wisdom and be (sometimes) confrontationally expressed but that does not invalidate them!

The jury is still out and it hurts that I may be unable to continue to part of a local church where I have felt welcome and believe myself to have been useful when the secondary issue that could drive me out has not been properly resolved.

In pacem

R
 
Posted by The Wanderer (# 182) on :
 
jubilate Agno I pray that you will not feel driven out over this, or any other, issue. We are in a mess at the moment and only the grace of God can help us.

[Votive] for all who are hurt by this issue.

[Votive] for all who have to make decisions in this are.
 
Posted by Erin (# 2) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TonyK:
Thanks Erin - it never occured to me to do any checking about RPP.

For the record he also recently joined another board - Anglo-Catholic Central, but as this is a closed board (registered users only) I haven't tried to see his contributions.

Someone else found it; I'll let them come forward if they wish to. I do get irritated, though, with people who accept our terms of service with full knowledge that they have no intention of adhering to them. It is dishonest in the extreme and I find it even more hypocritical when it's someone who claims to be a "bible-believing" Christian. After all, one of the original 10Cs is that you don't lie. Yet another example of a "Christian" picking and choosing which parts of the bible they will follow.
 
Posted by Foaming Draught (# 9134) on :
 
I was an early member of Anglican Mainstream because, well because I'm Anglican mainstream. I don't post on the forums, nor even read them until now, and if I did post it would be under my Real Name™. But they are a sad lot, aren't they. I mean that literally, not pejoratively. God bless them [Votive]
I think I'll restrict my webly wandering to the Ship and a shooting and Linux support board [Frown]
I've never got on with people who agree with me, anyway. Nor with people who don't, but that's their fault [Smile]
 
Posted by Sienna (# 5574) on :
 
Jubilate, I'm not tarring you with the same brush at all. In fact, it's due to my acquaintance with people like you, who express their views calmly and do want to engage in a reasoned debate, that I was bothering with RPP.

To be honest, there are plenty of people with whom I agree that I wish would "get off my team" because their methods of advocacy generate more heat than light (IRL, not especially here).

So, pax and prayers from across the Atlantic for your pain.
 
Posted by Fiddleback (# 2809) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by cocktailgirl:
[Eek!] The arrogance of the guy is breathtaking. Much better that he stay on that other board where no one will challenge his views and they can have cosy chats about how they are predestined to be Right. [Disappointed]

The funniest thing that emerged was that, for all his FiF posturing, our lexically challenged muscular Christian is the curate of a wishy-washy middle-of-the-road Parish Communion (Family Service with balloons on the last Sunday of the month) market town church.

Looks like you're on your own now, Scotus, sonny!
 
Posted by cocktailgirl (# 8684) on :
 
[Killing me] The cross he has to bear.

But bugger it: if I'd known that all I needed to do to be accepted as a priest was to have hairy legs, I'd've stopped waxing already.

Scotus and Jubilate Agno I can do business with: they're both measured, thoughtful posters who don't scream 'loon'.
 
Posted by Fiddleback (# 2809) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by cocktailgirl:
Scotus and Jubilate Agno I can do business with: they're both measured, thoughtful posters who don't scream 'loon'.

True. And Scotus is a mathematician, so he can do sums.
 
Posted by jubilate Agno (# 4981) on :
 
quote:
Scotus and Jubilate Agno I can do business with: they're both measured, thoughtful posters who don't scream 'loon'.
Thank you CG, let's do business.

How then do we go about accomodating two viewpoints which are mutually exclusive and where those who hold the views are unlikely to change their position? So far we have two suggestions:

i) The third province.
ii) Those who don't like it can go elsewhere.

Those of us who recognise that we "see through a glass darkly" and subscribe to the church of the via media must surely be able to do better and find a way of expressing that "inclusivity" and "generosity" of which we hear so much but looks like excluding people like me!

It seems to me that we have to start from first priciples to do with how God reveals himself to us and how we interprete that revelation and try not to get bogged down with what's in the clerical underware.

How i wish these battles had been fought around primary issues such as the virgin birth and the empty tomb!

I must apologise for not having the time to post a greater length, I post from work and have a job to do!

R
 
Posted by Clerestory (# 721) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by jubilate Agno:
Those of us who recognise that we "see through a glass darkly" and subscribe to the church of the via media must surely be able to do better and find a way of expressing that "inclusivity" and "generosity" of which we hear so much but looks like excluding people like me!

It seems to me to be a great overreaction to say that you would be excluded. There will still be more male priests than female priests, and far more male bishops than female bishops. Your own church is likely to continue much as before. Even if we got rid of flying bishops, it would never be difficult to find a church with a male priest who'd been ordained by a male bishop.
quote:
Originally posted by jubilate Agno:
It seems to me that we have to start from first priciples to do with how God reveals himself to us and how we interprete that revelation and try not to get bogged down with what's in the clerical underware.

What a good idea! For most people in the C of E, all these arguments about 'validity' of orders seem a long, long way from first principles, and from our Church's traditional teachings.
quote:
Originally posted by jubilate Agno:
How i wish these battles had been fought around primary issues such as the virgin birth and the empty tomb!

Hmmmm.... I'm a bit worried about what you're suggesting here. Are you joining our rugby-playing friend in the opinion that anyone who approves of the ordination of women probably doesn't believe in the creeds? I would say that the bulk of the active membership of the C of E does believe in the creeds and does approve of the ordination of women. That would certainly be true of most evangelicals, and they will be the dominant group for the foreseeable future. You can uphold a traditional, scriptural, creedal form of Anglicanism and believe that the ordination of women is the way that the Spirit is calling us to respond to a radical change in human society.
 
Posted by jubilate Agno (# 4981) on :
 
quote:
Your own church is likely to continue much as before. Even if we got rid of flying bishops, it would never be difficult to find a church with a male priest who'd been ordained by a male bishop.

Agreed but I don't want to go to "a church," I want to go to the church I have known and loved for most of my adult life and where I am known and accepted; I'm now in my sixth decade! If I have to move on, I probably won't go to any church at all so the stakes for me are high!

quote:
What a good idea! For most people in the C of E, all these arguments about 'validity' of orders seem a long, long way from first principles, and from our Church's traditional teachings.

Indeedy but we need to understand classical Christian first priciples to discern whether developments in our life as a church regarding even secondary issues are "of the Spirit" and whether they are "adiaphora" or matters of faith. Bit more rarified than clerical willies and harder to get to grips with (not that i've ever tried to grip a clerical willy!) but far more important.

quote:
Are you joining our rugby-playing friend in the opinion that anyone who approves of the ordination of women probably doesn't believe in the creeds?
No, of course not!! This is indicative of the mutual suspision that has grown up that we must all address by listening to each other and understanding each others' position, however much we may disagree. In all things charity and the benefit of the doubt.

quote:
You can uphold a traditional, scriptural, creedal form of Anglicanism and believe that the ordination of women is the way that the Spirit is calling us to respond to a radical change in human society.
You may well be able to, but we need an understanding of how classical Christianity determines what is part of the deposit of faith (the stuff Aquinas, Hooker and Newman wrote about),if we are to have a sufficient degree of certainty to allow those who disagree to feel that they can no longer participate in the life of the church.

Those who taught me the Catholic faith are 90% female, now elderly and mostly now in nursing homes. It cannot be inclusive and can only be described as savage if we adopt developments that will force them out of a church they have contributed so much to for so many years.

The bugger of it is thatit's only with the benefit of hindsight when the ecclesiastical historian looks back from the stand point of a different culture from our own that we can really grip whether this development is "of the Lord."

It seems to me that in the meantime we should look for a way to stay together but if that is not to be, we must at least try to "part as freinds" and try not to do anything to increase the inevitable rancour that must result.

In pacem

R
 
Posted by jubilate Agno (# 4981) on :
 
quote:
How i wish these battles had been fought around primary issues such as the virgin birth and the empty tomb!
Forgot to say that what i'm trying to say is that if we'd discussed more widely the methodology for determining matters of faith when these issues were "live," our task today would be a lot easier. It seems to me that we make little progress because we're starting in the wrong place and not taking the time to question where we are!

Pre suppositions and methodologies are everything: actually maybe not, faith, hope and charity matter far more but you know what I mean!

R
 
Posted by Clerestory (# 721) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by jubilate Agno:
Agreed but I don't want to go to "a church," I want to go to the church I have known and loved for most of my adult life and where I am known and accepted; I'm now in my sixth decade! If I have to move on, I probably won't go to any church at all so the stakes for me are high!

Could you explain this please? There is only a small chance that, in your lifetime, your beloved church could have a priest whose ordination you would find doubtful. And, even if it happened, why would you consider it better to cease churchgoing completely than to stay there?
 
Posted by cocktailgirl (# 8684) on :
 
Sorry in advance for the long post.

Methodology is important. We must remember that the Church, instituted by Christ, is also constituted by the Holy Spirit. That’s what leads us away from a dead traditionalism into a living, life-giving Tradition. We must also remember that the deposit of faith revealed to the saints is foundational, but that the Church’s life is also oriented towards the Kingdom: it lives between the two poles of historical revelation and eschatological consummation. There is inevitably tension at times because of this.

How do we work out what is of the Spirit, leading us towards the vision of God’s Kingdom? Firstly, I would say that the God doesn’t contradict himself, and isn’t arbitrary. But our understanding of God, mediated through Scripture and Tradition, is partial – we do, as you say, ‘see through a glass, darkly’.

My methodology, as a member of the C of E, is this: Scripture, interpreted through Tradition and Reason, is authoritative. I affirm the Nicene Creed as the statement of classical Christianity: this is the Church’s faith, and it is my faith. I note that the Creed says nothing, and Scripture says little, about ordained ministry. That doesn’t mean it isn’t important: it is, for the good order of the Church and as a sign and symbol of the unity, holiness, catholicity and apostolicity of the Church.

Having said that, I don’t find in Scripture particularly convincing evidence for the threefold order as we currently have it. Nor would I particularly expect to: the ministerial needs of the emerging and later Christian Church were in some respects quite different from the ministerial needs of the very first Christians. But I believe the witness of the Church’s history to be important here, and for 2000 years it has seen fit to preserve the threefold order. I take it, then, that the threefold order belongs to the bene esse of the Church. I don’t think it belongs to the esse: that is, I believe you can still have a Church without bishops, priests and deacons ordained in the apostolic succession (the gifts of oversight, service, etc. will be exercised in different ways in such churches). But since I think it belongs to the bene esse, it is important to preserve it.

And here’s the rub: I don’t think it matters whether those ordained to the threefold order are men or women. I find Scripture to be, at best, ambiguous on the role of women in church. I cannot, therefore, as an Anglican believe it is a matter of faith. I do not particularly understand the argument that we must wait for Rome: I had thought that the church to which I belong is both catholic and reformed, by dint of its protestation against papal authority.

I value enormously the catholic heritage of the C of E. I would hate to lose part of it (I believe it is entirely possible to be catholic and believe in the OoW). Jubilate Agno, you asked how we can reconcile two opposing views. I don’t know: I do know that if we have two separate orders in the C of E, we have two churches, not one, for all the talk that it’s simply a different province. But the Anglican Church in the States and in Canada has managed. Their model seems to be the only workable one, in which parishes which really can’t accept the oversight of a woman are cared for by a different bishop. Yes, some will leave even then. But I think (and hope, and pray) that they will be far fewer than the number FiF predicts.

In the meantime, those on differing sides must continue to talk to each other, and more importantly, worship together. Only when our focus is on God and our trust is in him will we be able to begin to discern what is of the Spirit, which for all of us can mean setting out into uncomfortable, unfamiliar territory. But he always goes with us.
 
Posted by Hooker's Trick (# 89) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by jubilate Agno:
How then do we go about accomodating two viewpoints which are mutually exclusive and where those who hold the views are unlikely to change their position? So far we have two suggestions:

i) The third province.
ii) Those who don't like it can go elsewhere.


Why is the third option always ignored? Stay and deal with it.

As others have pointed out, it's not that difficult to avoid lady priests.

Unless you really go into hysterics about "invalid" orders (or, with more Christian charity, "grave doubts" about validity), or unless you are afraid that of a taint (sorry, Scotus tells us it's just impaired communion, even though it sure sounds like taint to me), I don't see how you're parochial life is likely to change at all.

While I'm at it, I'd like to ask the "grave doubters" how all this hand-wringing furthers the kingdom?

ETA: The people who are not going to church are not staying home because they doubt the validity of orders, and this public row (or the messy and contentious establishment of a 3rd province) is hardly likely to pack 'em in.

[ 02. August 2005, 19:50: Message edited by: Hooker's Trick ]
 
Posted by Augustine the Aleut (# 1472) on :
 
Cocktailgirl writes:

quote:
But the Anglican Church in the States and in Canada has managed. Their model seems to be the only workable one, in which parishes which really can’t accept the oversight of a woman are cared for by a different bishop.
I will let the ECUSAns tell you about their arrangements, but the Canadian church has made no provision whatsoever for those who are troubled by the ordination of women to the priesthood. Initially, there was a conscience clause to the effect that clergy who objected would not be disadvantaged on that account, but the House of Bishops (in 1981, if I am correct) unilaterally cancelled the conscience clause. As of that date objectors had to go along with it, leave, or face whatever their bishop wanted to do about it.

The practical effect was that objectors could say goodbye to promotion or were frozen out of a number of dioceses. Anyone who expected to be ordained had to make it quite clear, initially through signing a document to that effect, that they had no objection to women priests. The argument was that it was ludicrous to have clergy who denied that a number of their fellow clerics were no such thing.

The only exception was of the case of a priest of the Diocese of Saint Helena (Church of the Province of S Africa-- I think the name changed last month) who was incardinated into the Diocese of Edmonton. The bishop (Victoria Matthews) told him that she had no trouble with his objecting to woman priests (or bishops) as long as he was clear on his oath of obedience to her as ordinary (which, strictly speaking, recognizes canonical but not necessarily sacamental authority).

There is, simply, bluntly, no provision whatsoever. I recall that the lifting of the conscience clause was fairly graceless and the whole affair is well-known to FIF types as an example of what they fear.

Alternative oversight is being discussed with reference to parishes objecting to their diocesan bishop authorizing same-sex blessings (or marriages??? nobody is clear on this), but there is as of yet no formal structure for this.
 
Posted by jubilate Agno (# 4981) on :
 
Cocktail girl:

Thank you for your kind, considered and thoughtful reply, I agree with most of what you say but as always, the devil is in the detail!

I would like to continue the conversation but I am away from a computer for two weeks but will be happy to take up the dialogue on my return if you would like me to and if the shipmates would find it worth while.

quote:
Why is the third option always ignored? Stay and deal with it.
That is exactly what I am trying to do. I do not believe that this means I should just acccepting changes which have not been adequately (or arguably justly) addressed at the expense of one "intergrity" when the other integrity has full knowledge that some of us cannot accept the changes.

Why this is so has been adequately rehearsed in the past so I won't re-iterate. I often come across views people hold with which I cannot agree or properly empathise. All I can do is listen to the other person as best i can and accept that for the other person that it just how it is.

We all need to accept each others' position as integral in itself and try to find a mutually acceptable way to "maintain unity in the bond of peace." Otherwise we must agree that circles cannot be squared and part as friends while trying to maintain respect for each other.

quote:
Could you explain this please?
All this has been covered extensively in the Rochester report, Consecrated Women? and on this board so it would probably be redundant for me to go thro' it all again.

If you would like me to write about how it is for me as an individual, I will gladly do so when I return from leave, but unless it advances the argument or people are particulaly interested in my boring little life it probably isn't worth it!

In pacem

R
 
Posted by Fiddleback (# 2809) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by jubilate Agno:
quote:
Could you explain this please?
All this has been covered extensively in the Rochester report, Consecrated Women? and on this board so it would probably be redundant for me to go thro' it all again.
R

You can't explain it, then.
 
Posted by dyfrig (# 15) on :
 
I wonder if these events, and the emotions and attchments they engender towards one's own parish church/tradition/autonomy, will cause English Anglo-Catholic Anglicans to, if not sympathise with, then at least understand the experience of Dissenters and other Non-Conformists.
 
Posted by jubilate Agno (# 4981) on :
 
quote:
I wonder if these events, and the emotions and attchments they engender towards one's own parish church/tradition/autonomy, will cause English Anglo-Catholic Anglicans to, if not sympathise with, then at least understand the experience of Dissenters and other Non-Conformists.

Speaking for myself, yes definitely. Don't forget Fr. stanton described himself as a "thorough going non-conformist" in matters of church polity!

R
 
Posted by jubilate Agno (# 4981) on :
 
quote:
Could you explain this please?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

All this has been covered extensively in the Rochester report, Consecrated Women? and on this board so it would probably be redundant for me to go thro' it all again.
R
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You can't explain it, then.

Actually my dear, I can and there is nothing in my posting above to suggest I can't! It would however be to no purpose because I (probably) won't change anyones mind and really I don't particularly wish to.

The job in hand (it seems to me)is to look at ways we can stay together and it saddens me that the opportunity to call those in favour heretics and those not in favour bigots (or as you suggest above in my case, ignorant or stupid) is seized with both hands but debates about how we may stay together seem to excite less interest.

As a matter of fact, judging at least by the quality of many contributions to the debate, I can put the case in favour of the OoW a damn site better than many of the proponents but at the moment I don't have the time because I am going on leave and have a lot to do today.

There are times when I am tepted to say "a plague on both your houses" and swim the river to that place where polyester albs are worn! I'm not that desparate yet!

In pacem

R
 
Posted by Hooker's Trick (# 89) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by jubilate Agno:
That is exactly what I am trying to do. I do not believe that this means I should just acccepting changes which have not been adequately (or arguably justly) addressed at the expense of one "intergrity" when the other integrity has full knowledge that some of us cannot accept the changes.

This is going to sound a good bit ruder than it's meant, but I mean it genuinely.

Why are you so special?

As the Aleut pointed out, and I can tell you, Canadian and US "traditionalists" had no special provisions made for them (us?).

I'm not wild about lady priests myself. But I don't think I need a special bishop all to myself over the issue.

Why do you?
 
Posted by Augustine the Aleut (# 1472) on :
 
I had hoped that one of the ECUSAn shipmates might have stepped forward with detailled info on their arrangements for those who object to OWP.

First, everything is diocese-based. Resolutions implementing OWP in dioceses take effect by act of their conventions. To my knowledge (correctible), only San Joaquin, Fort Worth and Springfield are holdouts. I have heard that San Joaquin facilitates the transfer to other dioceses of women ordinands but I do not know how much that is so. Forth Worth and its neighbouring diocese of Dallas have an interesting arrangement whereby anti-OWP parishes and clergy in Dallas are transferred to FW, and vice-versa, but I gather that this is due to an agreement between the two bishops and may not survive them.

The 2000 General Convention passed a resolution establishing a team to visit these dioceses and strongly encourage them to fall into line with the rest of ECUSA (I could not find the text, but a more diligent reader of the non-searchable journal of General Convention may have better luck). The reports I read (focussing on San J and possibly partial) suggested that the reception they experienced was not what they expected- local sentiment expressed the viewpoint that this was a head office imposition, not respectful of their diocesan autonomy, and not welcome. They did not recommend any action other than further study, and support of women in these dioceses.

I imagine that 815 is assuming that, with the change of bishops which sooner or later will come, these enclaves will eventually adopt the national standard. In that eventuality, ECUSA will no longer have provision for objectors.

I su