Bishop Justin Welby Chosen to Lead Anglican Communion

As an Episcopalian, an Anglican, every now and then I slip in something that has nothing to do with the Shroud. So this, I note, is how Matthew Rarey is reporting the selection of Justin Welby to be the new Archbishop of Canterbury for the Catholic News Agency (EWTN and National Catholic Register):

Catholic leaders welcome the British government’s selection of the former oil executive to succeed retiring Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.

clip_image001LONDON — Anglican Bishop of Durham Justin Welby will become the 105th archbishop of Canterbury and leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion, succeeding the retiring Archbishop Rowan Williams.

“I feel a massive sense of privilege at being one of those responsible for the leadership of the church in a time of spiritual hunger,” said the 56-year-old father of six, who was an oil-industry executive before pursuing a religious vocation.

British Prime Minister David Cameron’s office formally announced the appointment, saying he had been the “overwhelming choice” of the British Crown Nominations Commission, a body made up of clergy and laypeople.

Bishop Welby is widely hailed for his personal holiness and ability to sort out complex issues, which supporters hope will serve him well as church attendance continues to drop and the Church of England wrestles with divisive issues such as female clergy and bishops, ordaining practicing homosexuals and creating wedding ceremonies for homosexual persons.

The future Anglican Communion leader got a warm reception from Catholic quarters, including Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster.

“I am sure that his ministry, like that of his predecessor, Archbishop Rowan Williams, will provide an important Christian witness to this country over the coming years,” said the head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales.

The president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, Cardinal Kurt Koch, welcomed Bishop Welby’s appointment and will travel to England for his installation on March 21, 2013.

Bishop Welby’s press conference Nov. 9 underscored why Paul Murray, director of the Center for Catholic Studies at Durham University, described him to Vatican Radio as “a very unusual combination.”

On the one hand, Bishop Welby praised “the riches of Benedictine and Ignatian spirituality, the treasures of contemplative prayer and adoration” and being “confronted with the rich and challenging social teaching of the Roman Catholic Church.” He mentioned no other branch of Christianity in his remarks.

He also admitted, like his predecessor, to taking spiritual direction from a Benedictine monk.

Women Bishops

But Bishop Welby also took the occasion to voice his support for an issue that is further straining the theologically divided Church of England and is being hotly debated at its general synod, which will end later this month.

“I will be voting in favor” of ordaining women bishops, he said, “and join my voice to many others in urging the synod to go forward with this change.”

Archbishop Williams is also pushing this measure, saying it is “inconsistent to exclude in principle a baptized person from the possibility of ordained ministry.”

In a 2008 article in The Tablet, Cardinal Walter Kasper, then the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, said any hope the Catholic Church had in recognizing Anglican holy orders was dashed by the consecration of women bishops.

Cardinal Kasper said that hope of “full, visible communion” had receded and dialogue was compromised, now that 16 provinces, including the Church of England, had voted for legislation for women bishops.

“The Catholic Church must now take account of the reality that the ordination of women to the priesthood and the episcopate is … increasingly the stance of the [Anglican] Communion,” said the cardinal.

The issue of the ordination of women bishops will be decided at a two-day meeting that will begin Nov. 19. If it fails to pass, it cannot be brought up for reconsideration until the next synod in 10 years. The Church of England allowed for the ordination of women priests in 1992.

Bishop Welby’s predecessor served 10 years in the position before announcing his retirement earlier this year. He struggled to maintain order in the Anglican Communion, which is divided over issues of sexuality and ordination.

In 2006, Archbishop Williams chided the Episcopal Church, the American branch of the Anglican Communion, for its embrace of homosexuality, including ordaining an openly homosexual bishop living with his partner.

“In terms of decision-making, the American Church has pushed the boundaries,” he said.

Many disaffected traditional Anglicans have left for other churches rather than remain in a church where, it seems to them, theology and morality are up for grabs.

Bishop Justin Welby Chosen to Lead Anglican Communion | Daily News | NCRegister.com

70 thoughts on “Bishop Justin Welby Chosen to Lead Anglican Communion”

  1. Well, I pray as Christ did that we as one and not let politics intervene in our relationships with one another.

    That said, Rome will never accept female priests or bishops. Such ordinations (and there are those on the Catholic side as well who have attempted female ordination) are completely invalid and therefore they cannot effect any sacrament in Rome’s eyes. This will be a major stumbling block to any reunification.

    Hopefully there can be a solution that’s acceptable to both sides one day.

  2. Paul (paraphrased) “There is no more male nor female etc, but all are one in Christ”
    We have had at least two female Anglican bishops in NZ, (Christchurch & Dunedin). Both did an excellent job, as have many female Protestant pastors. I see that the new Chinese Communist secular hierarchy is also all male! Looks like masculine control freakism to me! Why deprive congregations of the charism that female clergy can bring with them? Meanwhile there is a serious dearth of male priesthood candidates! We won’t se it in our lifetime, but it will come!

    1. Was Paul referring to the roles in the Church? I think not.

      Then again, you have to take all of Paul, like where he is paraphrased to say (two separate statements) that women should not teach, and should have their heads covered in Church because of the angels.

  3. There are many reasons why many are leaving the Anglican communion to join their Catholic brothers and sisters. The so-called “women priesthood” and now the push for women bishops is one of them. The Church doesn’t have female clergy, Dave, because they have never had female clergy – pointed to by many authorities due to the fact that Jesus did not ordain women. That is the bottom line. Yet there is no one in the Church more highly honored than Mary, the Theotokos. Men and women are different and have different callings.

  4. I don’t buy it Andy. It’s another myth that the male dominated Catholic Church promotes. Penelope Jamieson was the seventh Anglican Bishop of Dunedin, appointed in 1989 until her retirement in 2004. She was as effective a bishop as any of her male colleagues, and made no fewer useful Christian statements in the Press than her male colleagues in NZ ever did, Current Anglican Bishop of Christchurch (centre of a traditional dominantly Anglican province) is Victoria Matthews from Edmonton in Canada, who is working effectively in the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquake, including decisions on the notable Christchurch Cathedral, an important heritage building in NZ, seriously damaged in the earthquake. My neighbouring Anglican pastor is a lady pastor who works in with my own Parish clergy at Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Tawa, and is prominent in civic Anzac Day services. We have observed combined services with the Anglicans on Ash Wednesday and are soon to have a combined Advent service. No problem! The Tawa Union parish (Presbyterian, Church of Christ etc) has a lady pastor, who is also effective.

    As for disenchanted Anglicans joining the Catholic Church, all that will do is make it even more conservative than it is already!

    Deaconesses were appointed in the early Christian Church, check the Acts of the Apostles, and despite what St Paul has to say about preferring women to be silent in Church, women were still prominent in his ministry. Mary Magdalen was very likely a prominent missionary in the early church, but the cultural milieu of the time was reluctant to acknowledge it, to the point of suppressing it. As for whomever Jesus may or may not have ordained, we are not told in the gospels. Doubtless He may well have had to take into account the dominantly male culture of the time and place.

    There are clearly certain advantages in living at the ends of the earth, Did I mention that my own parish has some some excellent altar girls, very reverent and who know and practice their duties well, and also several excellent lady lectors?

    1. Actually Dave, there are several problems with your post here that need direct response.

      1) there is no myth of the male dominated church. This is false, period.
      2) It is irrelevant that there have been effective Anglican women bishops – this has nothing to do with the issue (I have no doubt you speak the truth, I only state it has no bearing on the case)
      3) There were never any deaconesses who were ordained in the Catholic Church – there were women deaconesses who oiled down the women catechumens since they were baptized sans clothing
      4) Being a missionary and being ordained are completely different and so have no bearing on the case
      5) The Church has ruled that the society did not determine that males were ordained and women were not, but that this was Jesus choice as Son of God
      6) Being an ‘altar server’ does not a priest make – having them or women lectors really has no bearing on the issue. I have known excellent women lectors and excellent girl altar servers and I have known many that were terrible, but it is irrelevant to the point itself.

  5. Dave, you are illustrating the very thing I am pointing out in my post: both sides are very passionate about this issue and seemingly it is a huge political stumbling block to healing relationships among Christians of all stripes. Each side believes the other is just going to have to back down. That’s not a solution. I don’t purport to have one but I think whatever solution comes about will have to begin with humility on all sides. It all begins with praying “not my will but Thine be done”.

  6. My point is that I do not accept there are theological objections at all. They are entiely man-made cultural objections. In the meantime, simply by man-made fiat, Rome is denying the Holy Spirit to speak through validly ordained women pastors and bishops. It comes down to a power game, and misbegotten and mistaken self-interest of the male establishment! Furthermore the male hierarchy by its cover-ups has now lost its credibility as any kind of valid divine authority! You say, begin with humility! Where is that supposed to come from? Where do you see it exercised?

    1. So Dave, do you not have Faith that God will prevail? If any man is convinced of his position then pray God makes it so if it is His Will and leave it in His Hands. That’s what we are called to do, that is humility. It may not happen in our life times but if it is His Will it will surely happen.

  7. Dave ~ With respect to your point of view, there are theological objections which is the precise reason why there will never be females ordained in the Catholic Church. It’s not a question of the effectiveness of women. That’s where you have gone off the beaten path. It has nothing to do with power or male domination. Those are only unproven assertions that cloud the real issue which is theological in nature and quite simple as previously stated.

  8. Actually, Dave, deaconesses to which you refer were never ordained and had only one task: to oil down the female catechumens before baptism, since all were received into the Church without garments in the first few centuries. There is no evidence to support your assertion.

  9. I just want to let anyone’s know that the VAST majority of the catholics in Quebec are for the ordination of women. AND I AGREE COMPLETELY WITH THIS. It’s been too long since the Catholic Church is a male dominated totalitarism. One day, be sure of this, things WILL change. In the eyes of God, there are no women or men, there are only his childrens. Jesus never ordained women ? HOW COULD IT BE OTHERWISE ?!? In the male dominated Jewish society he live in, if he had ordained a women, he would have been stoned to death before he could reach the end of his mission in Jerusalem !!! Catholic church is again way too much linked with the Old Testament. That’s how the majority of the Catholic Quebecers see things. In the US, your Catholic religion is completely different and much more conservator. Your situation is like it was in the Quebec Church in the 50s… Since Vatican II, here in Quebec, things have changed drastically for the Church and we are now much more liberal than before. I think it’s good because Jesus was a liberal in his closed-mided Jewish society. One thing I know in my heart : Jesus never made any difference between a men and a women and there is no good reason to maintain the present status quo versus the ordination of women.

    1. What a sad comment, Yannick. It’s not sad because we disagree, but it is sad because Catholics ought to have their consciences formed by the Church and not secular society. Your argumentation as well as Dave’s come from a secular viewpoint. The Church has stated Jesus did not fail to ordain women due to cultural constraints as you claim, but he did so from intent as the Son of God. My view cannot be classified as conservative or liberal which really misses the point, but if it needs a classification, it ought to be called in line with Tradition and practice of the Church over nearly 2000 years. I do have some interesting studies which demonstrate there were never any women ordained in the history of the Church. I do not have an agenda, but rather just want to think and believe with the Church. That’s one of the many things it means to be Catholic.

      1. If I follow your line of thoughts Andy, then the Church should let the priest free to decide whether they want to be married or not (note that it would be a VERY good thing) !

        Remember that the obligation for celibacy only came very late (during the Middle Ages) !!! All the Apostles were probably married…

        So, following my argumentation Andy, I ask you the question: Do you agree with me that it’s about time that the Church let the priest free to decide whether they want to get married or not ???

        Jesus never ordained women simply because women in his patriarcal society were considered on the same level than a dog (and this is not a joke!). THIS IS THE HISTORIC TRUTH ! How in the world he could have taken a women in the group of the twelves ? Never ! As I said, he would have been stone to death in Galilea on the first day and would never have reached Jerusalem !!! This argument of yours Andy (which is the official argument of the Vatican that I have heard many times) is not fair at all for women because it does not take account of the historical context of Jesus time. Sad to say but it’s an argument of men FOR men. You would rarely see a free women agreeing with such an argument !

        But the main thing to understand is that such a question only concern the discipline inside the Church. In the end, it’s not that important because this is not what’s at the heart of Jesus message, which is : 1- Love God and 2- Love every humans. Sticking too much on these disciplinary questions while not allowing any possibility of change can make people look like the Pharisees of Jesus time (i.e. close-minded people who preferred to follow the human tradition instead of God’s law, which is the law of LOVE and MERCY best described in the Sermon of the mount) and this closeness of mind is exactly what Christ has denonciate the most during his lifetime !

        And the fact is this : all those questions of disciple are free to EVOLVE with the evolution of mentality (I prefer to say “with the evolution of our humanity”) !!! It’s wrong to think that all these questions are stuck in concrete and could never change !!!! Remember that contesting the authority and the discipline of his Jewish religion was at the heart ofJesus message…

        And here’s the most important thing: Once you put love into your reflection, things become very clear ! With the eyes of love, I think it becomes evident that there is no good reason why Women should not be ordained… And here’s my main argument in favor of such a thing: THERE ARE WOMEN WHO RECEIVE THE CALL FOR PRIESTHOOD !!!! Andy, don’t you understand that this is a sign from the Holy Spirit that it is about time that the Church allow the ordination of women ???

        And this is the same thing with the marriage of priests. It is about time that the Church allow the freedom of choice ! This is untrue that all the priest are also called for celibacy… One don’t necessarily goes with the other.

        I’m truly confident that one day (maybe not far from us) a new Pope (certainly not Benedict !!!) will make a great reform in the Church concerning all those disciplinary question that are truly secondary versus what’s at the heart of Jesus message. I’ll end my comment with this important truth: Believing that Jesus was the Son of God who revealed the true God of Love and Mercy is what makes us Christians, not our personal opinion on some disciplinary questions…

  10. Although recent popes have been quite firm in their pronouncements concerning the Roman Catholic priesthood being a male prerogative, and have mustered various arguments ins support of this, I am not aware that this has been promulgated as an “ex cathedra” infallible statement requiring the assent of Roman Catholics under pain of mortal sin.

    One can muster several examples where “official statements” of conservative positions once firmly held, have been modified over the course of time. One does not have to go back to the case of Galileo to find such examples. One simple case is in the Church’s attitude to the faithfuls’ study of Holy Scripture. From the various Tridentine anathemas, there was a singular breakthrough in Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical Providentissumus Deus of 1893. Breakthrough though it was, Pope Leo’s encyclical today still looks quaintly cautious. Pius XII’s “Divino Afflante Spiritu” of 1943, addressed to all, gave further impetus to the promotion of Biblical studies. The Vatican II document “Verbum Dei” on divine revelation bears little relationship to the counter-reformation Tridentine position. The Pontifical Academy of Biblical Studies comes lately to their subject compared to Teutonic Protestant studies, but very likely have now surpassed them.

    There has been a similar evolution in doctrine concerning human reproduction from the more recent time.of Pius XII’s “Humani Generis” as recently as 1950.

    I maintain that the Church’s present position on a solely male priesthood.is more likely based on certain anthropological considerations, than on any theological position, Even today, many traditional patriarchally based societies would find a female priesthood difficult to accept. One partiular difficulty is the tradition of certain pre-Christian religions in associating female roles in worship to that of temple prostitution. However that tradition has no palce in cosideration of a proper role in the Christian priesthood. St Paul’s Galations 3:28 makes it clear that there is to be no distinction between male and female, Jew or Gentile, freeman or slave, etc, but all are one in Christ, without distinction.

    I consider that it will only be a matter of time, and further development of doctrine, before we will eventually see an evolution towards acceptance of a female Roman Catholic priesthood, in those societies where it may be found acceptable.

    1. This is from the new story below I referenced with the Church speaking: “The letter also cited his “diffusion of teachings” opposed to the “definitive teaching of John Paul II and the Magisterium of the Catholic Church as well as the “grave scandal” he has caused to the people of God, to the Church, and to many Maryknoll priests and brothers.”

      There doesn’t have to be an ex-cathedra statement for this to be normative for Catholics. All there has to be is the ordinary magisterium teaching. This statement from the Church refers to this normative teaching.

  11. Female roles in the temple prostitution of Roman, Greek, Egyptian and other Middle Eastern religious practices, would have been well within the collective memory of the early Christian church, and may well explan why a female priesthood was at that time a non-starter. That situation no longer holds except in rare cases, possibly Wicca and a few primal practices. It is no longer relevant as an objection to a female priesthood in the Christian chuch. .

      1. Because he would have been stone to death if he would have done so ! The Jewish society had no consideration whatsoever for women, except a procreation role ! It is as simple as that… Women in Jewish society were not even allowed to be with men in the synagog.

      2. I would just like to point out one thing with regards to Yannick’s assertion that Jesus would have been stoned to death. I think it might be a slight oversight on his part. I mean this will all due respect but it is an obvious mistake.

        The assertion that Jesus would have been stoned to death is patently absurd because it was the Risen Jesus that ordained the Apostles. He had already suffered death and was resurrected at that point. There was absolutely no chance that he would have been stoned. Remember He remained for quite a while among them after His Resurrection. He had absolutely no fear of any repercussion at this point and if He instructed His Apostles to ordain women as well as men I think they would have done it. After all none of them feared preaching the Gospel, which is Truth, even under fear of being murdered. And all of them were murdered, save one, in the course of preaching the Truth as the Risen Lord instructed them.

      3. Chris, you get me completely wrong, the so-called “ordination” I referred to was when he choose his 12 disciples !

        And don’t you forget that the Resurrected Jesus appeared to some women well before he appeared to the 12 apostles ! Don’t you think there is a sign there ?

        And don’t forget that it was as much impossible to Jesus to “ordained” some women after his Resurrection as it was before he died because the time was still no good at all for this kind of drastic change that would never have been accepted by the Jewish people of that era !

        And I still wait for someone to challenge my main argument : IT IS A FACT THAT SOME WOMEN HAVE RECEIVED A CALL FOR PRIESTHOOD JUST LIKE MEN !!! Don’t you think this is another great sign of the Holy Spirit ? If God really wanted to keep women out of priesthood, don’t you think it would be logical to expect that no women would get a call from him ??? But that’s NOT the reality. The truth is the opposite. There really are some Catholic women who are called for priesthood ! And I don’t see one good reason to reject their call…

  12. There is no specific record in the New Testament of Jesus ordaining anyone.

    At the Last Supper He instructs those present to repeat the words over the Bread and Wine as a memorial. The formulae of the words the evangelists put into His mouth very likely come from an early liturgical practice of the first Christians. We do not know who else was or was not present,apart from the apostles. Obviously someone had to set out the table and clean up afterrwards, and we can easily guess what gender they probably were. It is not unreasonable that both Mary his mother, Mary Magdalen, and possibly other women were also present. Being women, the evangelists would see no need to mention them.

    After the Resurrection and before His Ascension, He bresthes on them so they receive the Holy Spirit and He imparts the power to forgive sins. Again we do not know who was present apart from the Apostles. I suggest that in these cases, the evangelists silence is insufficient to assert that any others were absent.

    The Apostles’ laying on of hands to effect ordination is recorded in the Acts.

    The cultural attitude towards women can easily be adduced from a commentary by John Gill in relation to Gal 3:28:

    “The apostle’s design is to show the common right of believers, of every nation, condition, and sex, and to encourage the Gentiles, and demolish the pride, vanity, and boasting of the Jews, their men especially, who valued themselves upon these “three” very things which the apostle here makes no account of; as that they were Israelites and not Gentiles, freemen and not servants, men and not women; and in their public prayers they give thanks to God in this form,”
    “blessed be the Lord our God, the King of the world, that he hath made me an Israelite; blessed be the Lord who hath not made me a Gentile; blessed be the Lord who hath not made me a “servant”; blessed be the Lord who hath not made me a “woman”;”

    instead of which last the woman say: “blessed be the Lord who hath made me as he pleased”

    Gill’s commentary, illustrates well the cultural attitude of male Jews towards women, and in my view goes a long way to explaining the evangelists’ and others’ silence about their roles in the early church, Jewish Christians in particular. Paul demonstrates a slightly more enlightened attitude. I maintain that these are an inadequate reason for the Church in the 21st century to maintain a similar attitude. Gill’s commentary on Gal 3:28 can be found at:
    http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/gills-exposition-of-the-bible/galatians-3-28.html

    1. Your arguments from silence do not have any meaning, Dave. You want us to accept that (last supper and breathing on them-authority to forgive sin), because it doesn’t rule women being present out that they are or might be there, therefore the argument that they weren’t there is silenced? You’ll have to do far better than that. That is flimsy at best. I find it best to go with what we know and avoid this kind of worthless speculation. Recommend you reconsider your opinion if that is all it rests upon.

      Who is John Gill? Does he have a place in the teaching office of the Church? You are on shaky ground here, Dave.

    2. Your saying that I am on “shaky ground” does not necessarily make it so – you have no greater magisterial authority than I do on this matter!

      John Bourgeous was quite clearly out of order in participating in a simulated ordination of a woman: (1) It was clearly a deliberate act of disobedience in contravention of his vows to his own ordaining bishop; (2) The present discipline of the Church is that women shall not be ordained – he had a duty to uphold that discipline; (3) He was cautioned against participating in the act; (4) It was an act of grandstanding, even though he may have had a sincere belief that the Magisterium was incorrect on this matter (5) It was clearly an act of defiance (6) He refuses to repent of this act of defiance.

      You need to appreciate that doctrine can evolve away from existing positions, even though strongly held at a particular time. I have given an example above on the question of the faithfuls’ reading of the scripture, which at one time was almost sanctioned by penalty. You should read the anathemas from the Council of Trent, to appreciate the changes that have occurred since those times.

      A doctrine needs to be infallibly defined, ex cathedra, before it is absolutely binding. That has not occurred in the case of ordaining women to the priesthood.

      1. Dave ~ I have to say I do enjoy conversing with you because you are quite well reasoned and reasonable. Thanks for that.

        To reply to your first sentence, I don’t think I claimed any authority at all, but rather took your statement and reviewed it critically. I wish instead of that sentence you would address the critical review.

        There’s absolutely no doubt John Bourgeous was quite out of place. Thanks for that clarity.

        There’s no doubt doctrine evolves. I would challenge you though on this issue because never has a woman been ordained in the history of the Church. I have read some (not all) of the anathemas from Trent. Some were a bit over the top, but if the Church would have been able to reform itself before of from the thesis, I am unsure Trent would have even been necessary. There were some serious abuses.

        Not everything Catholics believe comes from an ex-cathedra statement. Lex orandi, lex credendi.

  13. So Jesus never ordained women. Well, well, did he ordain anyone that we know of for sure? Let’s assume he did. We might also say all the apostles were men. Maybe so. Probably so. Let’s say they were all Jewish, too. And if Jesus did ordain anyone than that person was certainly Jewish. By the same nonsense logic, I guess we should only be ordaining Jews. There is absolutely no rational or theological reason to not ordain women as priests or as bishops. Bravo for the Anglicans. It is time that my church, the Catholic Church caught up and moved out of the Middle Ages on things like this.

    1. AMEN Paulette !!! And be sure that the vast majority of the Catholic women in Quebec agree with you. I particularly love your reflection concerning the fact that all the apostles were Jews !!! He he ! VERY CLEVER REMARK !!!

      1. And not only the vast majority of the Catholic women in Quebec agree with you but also the vast majority of the Catholic men in Quebec too !!! ;-) One day, it will be a reality, I’m sure about that.

  14. Dave said : “There is no specific record in the New Testament of Jesus ordaining anyone.” Good point ! That’s why I used the commas when I used that expression… I truly believe that every Catholic, whether they are male or female, should have the right to be a priest if they really receive a call from the Holy Spirit to do so.

    We are in 2012 for Christ sake ! We’re not in the extreme macho world of Palestine during Antiquity… And you want to have a small idea of how bad women were treated during that time by the Jewish males ? Just look at the life of women in the ultra-conservative islamic countries. And be sure that is not even a perfect comparison because these women who live today in Islamic countries are treated even better than the Jewish women of Jesus time !!!

    Seriously, do you see some Imam from these ultra-conservative countries wanting to name some women to do the same religious service than he do ??? Don’t you think this Imam would be put to death in a minute ? It was the same kind of socio-religious macho situation during Jesus time and in fact, it was even worse… How in the world can he choosed some women to be considered “apostles” like John, Peter and the others ??? IT WAS SIMPLY IMPOSSIBLE TO DO SO AT THAT TIME !!!

  15. Yannick Clément :
    Chris, you get me completely wrong, the so-called “ordination” I referred to was when he choose his 12 disciples !
    And don’t you forget that the Resurrected Jesus appeared to some women well before he appeared to the 12 apostles ! Don’t you think there is a sign there ?
    And don’t forget that it was as much impossible to Jesus to “ordained” some women after his Resurrection as it was before he died because the time was still no good at all for this kind of drastic change that would never have been accepted by the Jewish people of that era !
    And I still wait for someone to challenge my main argument : IT IS A FACT THAT SOME WOMEN HAVE RECEIVED A CALL FOR PRIESTHOOD JUST LIKE MEN !!! Don’t you think this is another great sign of the Holy Spirit ? If God really wanted to keep women out of priesthood, don’t you think it would be logical to expect that no women would get a call from him ??? But that’s NOT the reality. The truth is the opposite. There really are some Catholic women who are called for priesthood ! And I don’t see one good reason to reject their call…

    Yannick, Yes, I understand all that but my point is that the argument that He feared stoning is exceedingly weak. The same Jesus that was bold enough to tell the priests of the time that whores will enter the Kingdom of Heaven before them, tell them that they are a brood of vipers, smash their monopoly in the Temple market place by physically over-turning the tables and avoid, at Will, their attempts to arrest Him before the appointed time is not likely to be suddenly timid on the subject of ordaining women. Also, Jesus didn’t hesitate to raise the status of women to that of men when he told the priests and men of the time that they could no longer divorce women at will like a piece of mere chattel.

    I am not arguing either way only pointing out that the arguments being employed are untenable. Better arguments must be pursued.

    I find it also rather contradictory the attitude that it is ambiguous that Jesus actually ordained anyone versus the conviction that female ordination is absolutely what Jesus would desire. Again not arguing either way it’s just untenable to hold both views at the same time. Of course, if one held the view that no one is “ordained” only “called to serve” and that there is nothing conferred with Holy Orders/ordination it might be more consistent in some ways but it also begs the question of why should anyone care about ordination at all? Why even bother to expend any effort on this issue at all? Folks can just go and do what they feel is in their hearts (and many have) and ignore the hierarchy of the Church.

    My suggestion is that a strong legitimizing argument is only going to be found in the Traditions of the Communities in the early Church. More research may need to be done in order to establish this. Everything else is speculation and projection and more importantly will not win converts.

    More importantly, this attitude amongst some Christians, with regards to this issue, of ‘I am right, you are wrong’, ‘it’s my way or the highway’, ‘you’re not evolved’ etc etc etc is not productive in fostering relationships among us. No one is willing to entertain “what if my point of view is actually wrong on this issue?” That’s a problem for both sides.

    Is it not more important that we, above all, love one another even in the faults we see in one another? Yes, to me, it’s more important to learn to love like Him because it is in learning to love like that in this life, which is incredibly short in the vastness of eternity, which connects us to the Divine Love of the Risen Christ which in turn rescues us from our temporal condition. Beating each other up over political issues like this cannot get us closer to that and therefore cannot get us closer to Him.

  16. The main argument of the traditional (orthodox – right wing) branch of the Catholic Church to keep women out of priesthood come from the theological idea that a priest is the official representative of Jesus Christ on Earth and since Jesus was a man, only men should be ordained as priests.

    To me, this argument doesn’t include “the vision of Love” which should always be at the heart of any decision made by the Church (and we know very well from history that it has not been always the case and that’s an euphemism!!!).

    Once you put the eyes of love to take a decision concerning who can be priest and who can not, the truth impose rapidly to you : ANY BAPTISED PERSON (WHETHER A MALE OR A FEMALE) SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO BE PRIEST IF HE OR SHE RECEIVED THE CALL TO DO SO FROM THE HOLY SPIRIT !!!!! To me, it is as simple as that because as I said in my first comment on this topic, I truly believe that God never do any difference between a man and a women and for him, we’re just his children, period. And before being a guy and more importantly than this, Jesus of Nazareth was a HUMAN BEING !!!! And because he truly was a human being like anyone of us (the Shroud is the best “proof” of this), then why the Church stop half of his children (the women, who are by the way also human beings!!!!) to go into priesthood when some of them really receive a call from the Holy Spirit to do so ??? I think this is truly a bad decision and a way to put a hold on an important part of God’s plan for humanity. But as I also said : I truly believe that one day, a new liberal Pope will do the job that the others didn’t wanted to do concerning the welcome of women into priesthood.

    If the priest is supposed to be the official representative of Jesus on Earth during the Mass, I don’t see any good reason why that person could not be a women because the bottom line of this is that Jesus was a HUMAN BEING well before being a man… And as St Paul once wrote: There are no men and women no more, there are no slaves and free men no more, etc., etc. In the eyes of God, there are only sick and sinner’s children who need MERCY. And we’re lucky enough that God’s real name is LOVE AND MERCY !!! And that was fully revealed on the cross and the Shroud is the imprint of that great moment of APOCALYPSE (REVELATION) !!!

    Meditate on that folks and please, look at it with the eyes of LOVE !

    1. That is hardly the main or the only argument in favor of the Church’s teaching on ordination, Yannick. You are barking up the wrong tree. This is an error of reason: assign a fallacious argument to the other side and then show how the argument is filled with holes. That’s not very convincing to anyone except yourself and those who have already made up their minds without listening to the Church who does have the authority to state the teaching. Ironic. We could easily trace the barring of women’s ordination to the priesthood back to the fall of Eve and go from there.

      There’s no doubt Jesus was a human being – a MALE human being. God chose to incarnate himself as a man, not a woman. This is quite telling. The Holy Spirit cannot contradict Church teaching on ordination or any other subject, Yannick, for the Church is guarded against error on faith and morals. This subject most certainly fits into these categories. Your statements show a serious lack of knowledge of Church teaching and how the Church works. Attempting to ‘do church’ from a secular viewpoint leads one somewhere the Church will not go, your opinion notwithstanding.

      There are obviously men and women and both are different and complementary – this is a misuse of Paul’s statement which had nothing to do with roles in the Church. Your arguments are secular in nature and fall far short of really addressing the issue of ordination. Perhaps it doesn’t matter to you that the Church has never ordained women, but the constant practice of the Church is a major contributor to this teaching.

  17. The Catholic and Orthodox Churches are Apostolic Churches, which is not the case with the Anglican Church. Any lead should, therefore, come from them and not the other way round.

    1. The Anglican Communion and all of the many churches such as the Episcopal Church in the U.S. is certainly 100 percent apostolic. We make a big deal about that fact.

      1. With respect to your opinion, it simply flies in the face of know history. Since the Anglican Church was created by Henry VIII after breaking with the Catholic Church, no one in the Anglican Church can claim apostolic anything, Dan.

    2. So true. Claiming apostolic succession or being apostolic, whatever that might mean, doesn’t mean one has it. One has to have it in fact as well as in claim. Without any malice or ill will toward anyone, the Anglican Church simply does not have this.

      1. Andy, you do realize that since 1980, Anglican priests who choose to become Roman Catholic priests are re-ordained (new formation) as opposed to being ordained for the first time because their first ordination is recognized as apostolic by the Pope and the Vatican. The provisions established by Pope John Paul II also allows for married or unmarried male Episcopal priests (now extended to male priests and bishops in the Church of England and the Church of Ireland).

        These priests may use Anglican worship traditions from the Book of Common Prayer for Mass, which acknowledges apostolic succession.

        But it is not important. Really! Whatever layman Henry VIII did or did not do (really, it was Elizabeth I who was important here) has no bearing on apostolic succession. Succession is by laying on of hands and cannot be nullified by laity. ‘

        It is significant, too, that Benedict XVI considers ++Rowan Cantuar, namely the Most Reverend and Right Honorable Rowan Douglas Williams, to be the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury. That is 104 since Augustine of Canterbury.

  18. Yannick Clément :
    If I follow your line of thoughts Andy, then the Church should let the priest free to decide whether they want to be married or not (note that it would be a VERY good thing) !
    Remember that the obligation for celibacy only came very late (during the Middle Ages) !!! All the Apostles were probably married…
    So, following my argumentation Andy, I ask you the question: Do you agree with me that it’s about time that the Church let the priest free to decide whether they want to get married or not ???

    That’s a false statement, Yannick. Read the following which shows clearly how the requirement of celibacy was from the times of Paul or before: The Apostolic Origins of Priestly Celibacy by Christian Cochini, SJ (doctor of tehology and taught in many univeristies) & Celibacy in the Church: The Beginnings of a Discipline of Obligatory Continence for Clerics in East and West by Stefan Heid (German theologian consulted by the German bishops on many occasions).

    Jesus never ordained women simply because women in his patriarcal society were considered on the same level than a dog (and this is not a joke!). THIS IS THE HISTORIC TRUTH ! How in the world he could have taken a women in the group of the twelves ? Never ! As I said, he would have been stone to death in Galilea on the first day and would never have reached Jerusalem !!! This argument of yours Andy (which is the official argument of the Vatican that I have heard many times) is not fair at all for women because it does not take account of the historical context of Jesus time. Sad to say but it’s an argument of men FOR men. You would rarely see a free women agreeing with such an argument !

    Refusal to accept teaching of the Church means you are choosing to be outside the Church, my brother. Why would you choose this?

    But the main thing to understand is that such a question only concern the discipline inside the Church. In the end, it’s not that important because this is not what’s at the heart of Jesus message, which is : 1- Love God and 2- Love every humans. Sticking too much on these disciplinary questions while not allowing any possibility of change can make people look like the Pharisees of Jesus time (i.e. close-minded people who preferred to follow the human tradition instead of God’s law, which is the law of LOVE and MERCY best described in the Sermon of the mount) and this closeness of mind is exactly what Christ has denonciate the most during his lifetime !
    And the fact is this : all those questions of disciple are free to EVOLVE with the evolution of mentality (I prefer to say “with the evolution of our humanity”) !!! It’s wrong to think that all these questions are stuck in concrete and could never change !!!! Remember that contesting the authority and the discipline of his Jewish religion was at the heart ofJesus message…

    Let’s evolve and stop thinking entirely and do whatever we want. That is the thrust of your argument, my friend.

    And here’s the most important thing: Once you put love into your reflection, things become very clear ! With the eyes of love, I think it becomes evident that there is no good reason why Women should not be ordained… And here’s my main argument in favor of such a thing: THERE ARE WOMEN WHO RECEIVE THE CALL FOR PRIESTHOOD !!!! Andy, don’t you understand that this is a sign from the Holy Spirit that it is about time that the Church allow the ordination of women ???

    Do you mean aside from the fact that the Church which does have the authority to teach on faith and morals without error (there does not need to be an ex-cathedra statement) teaches the contrary of what you are stating here? This is the Traditional and Scriptural truth for the Church is the ground and bulwark of truth. Women cannot receive the call to priesthood because by definition, the very Church you claim needs to ordain women teaches this is not possible. These views are nonsense for Catholics.

    And this is the same thing with the marriage of priests. It is about time that the Church allow the freedom of choice ! This is untrue that all the priest are also called for celibacy… One don’t necessarily goes with the other.
    I’m truly confident that one day (maybe not far from us) a new Pope (certainly not Benedict !!!) will make a great reform in the Church concerning all those disciplinary question that are truly secondary versus what’s at the heart of Jesus message. I’ll end my comment with this important truth: Believing that Jesus was the Son of God who revealed the true God of Love and Mercy is what makes us Christians, not our personal opinion on some disciplinary questions…

    Married priests is a discipline of some of the Eastern Churches in union with the Pope and there is no issue with it. But the fact remains as the two authors to which I refer above, celibacy was established very early in the Church. May have this mistaken notion which is a pipe dream, not reality.

  19. Tues, Nov 22, 8:48 am, EST; “General Synod of the Church of England voted narrowly to reject a compromise proposal that would have allowed women to become bishops. The vote keeps the British church offside many other Anglican churches worldwide, including Canada, where women have been bishops since 1993.” Globe & Mail web-site.

    Motion won required two-thirds majority in two groups – Bishops and House of Clergy – but failed by six votes among laity. Proposition cannot be considered again until 2015.

    Not only have women been bishops in Canada and elsewhere since 1993, but there have also been two women Anglican bishops in NZ, my earlier posting noted above.

    Concerning apostolic succession debate above (Dan & Andy). The Anglican Church traces its succession of the Archbisop of Canterbury back to its first bishop, St Augustine of Canterbury. The Anglican Church in its history, has faced many conflicts between the Archbishop and Monarch in its history, including for example Thomas a Becket, and even Cardinal Wolsely vs Henry VIII. – there have been others. The last mentioned when Henry set himself as the Head of the Church in England resulted in a break with Rome.

    Following the Oxford movement in the 19th century, an attempt was made at rapprochement, when the validity of Anglican orders was examined in Rome. The decision given by Pope Leo XIII in his encyclical Apostolicae Curae, was that during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and afterwards, there was a clear decision not to ordain priests for the purposes of consecrating the eucharist as practised in both the Roman and Eastern Orthodox churches. It was considered that this constituted a break in the apostolic succession. Very many examples could be given of the hunting down and execution of Roman Catholic priests, who deigned to celebrate Mass in various houses of the aristocracy many of whom still clung to the old religion. By the time the Anglican Church resumed an acceptable FORM of the eucharist, it was considered that there were then no longer any validly consecrated Anglican bishops who had apostolic powers to ordain.

    The situation has since been further complicated by a number of Anglican bishops being consecrated by validly ordained Orthodox bishops as part of the consecrating group.

    The situation is therefore very much more complicated than Andy Weiss has asserted. We can all hope and pray that there may come a time when both the Roman and Anglican churches may once again be in communion.

    I note from the Globe & Mail posting mentioned above, that there are 3500 women Anglican priests worldwide. Concerning Andy’s assertion that the arguments for women priests are entirely secular, I consider that the biblical text of Galatians 3:28 is a persuasive scriptural argument otherwise. The tradition of a male priesthood I continue to maintain is based more on anthropogy that theology. The argument that Christ was a male, is a specious argument at best. A similar aversion to women in all sorts of professions has been tradition in many male bastions, even mathematics. One should read up on the histories of Hypatia, and Sophie Germaine to see the true source of male objections to women in such occupations. Emmy Noether in the 1930s was considered by Albert Einstein to be the most significant mathematician since Isaac Newton. Later generations, light years from now, might even see a female Pope!

    1. Correction: “The tradition of a male priesthood I continue to maintain is based more on anthropology that theology.”
      For Christ to become human, he HAD to be either male OR female. Male was the obvious choice in 1st century Palestine. Among the Spartans, the Amazons or the Britain of Boadicea, He might have made a different choice! The actual choice He made is irrelevant to the argument for a solely male priesthood! Gal 3:28!

    2. Thanks Dave for the in-depth look at the Anglican ordination and the additional information. Obviously I need to do more reading on the subject. I appreciate the time you took in elucidating this point.

      Concerning your interpretation of Gal 3:28, I wish you would explain how you come to this conclusion. Paul is not referring here to any kind of ordained ministry, so this kind of application does not seem warranted. Your rationale as to how you come to this conclusion would be of the highest import in showing how your opinion has any merit in this regard.

  20. And it was the laity that voted it down. Clergy including bishops supported consecration of women as bishops (as is the case in the U.S.). I think the Church of England is wrong in this decision.

  21. In the end, anyone’s can think what he wants about this question but one fact remains : THERE ARE SOME CATHOLIC WOMEN WHO HAVE RECEIVED A CALL FROM THE HOLY SPIRIT TO BE PRIEST. That’s a fact and it’s certainly not the right-way ultra-conservative side of the Catholic Church who will change a thing about that REALITY… All they can do right now is to stop the action of the Holy Spirit and they are very good at this… As I said, one day, the time of change will comes and I’m truly convinced of this.

  22. Louis: “Thomas Cranmer was “evicted for heresy” ” [DB note: s.b. “executed for heresy].

    Cranmer succeeded William Warham as Archbishop of Canterbury in 1533; he determined to take the English Church down the Protestant road; he denied transubstantiation, and denied Papal church supremacy in England; and with Thomas Cromwell aided and abetted Henry VIII in his designs for the English church; He argued that Henry’s first marriage to Catherine of Aragon was invalid from its beginning; he devised the 39 Articles (originally 42) and composed a Litany still used in the Anglican church today. Henry himself preferred to maintain the English Church as Catholic rather than Protestant. Edward VI succeeded Henry in 1547 but died in 1553. The accession of Mary (C of Aragon’s daughter) resulted in a Catholic reaction against Cromwell, and he was eventually stripped of his ecclesiastical titles and executed for heresy. Mary’s strenuous attempts to restore the Catholicism of the English Church together with Cardinal Pole, was short-lived with the accession of Elizabeth, The Church under Elizabeth went down the Protestant road, as originally envisaged by Cranmer. It was this Protestantising of the English Church which resulted in Pope Leo XIII’s finding that Anglican orders were invalid. However as I mentioned previously, there are now some validly ordained Anglican bishops because of vallidly ordained Eastern Orthodox bishops being included in the consecrating party of some Anglican bishops. Clearly the situation of the English church during the time of the Tudors had rather more to do with the demands of politics, both domestic and international, than they ever had to do with religion. Religion was the victim of these demands, despite whatever might have been the best intentions of all the Church people involved during these turbulent times.

  23. Quote : “Clearly the situation of the English church during the time of the Tudors had rather more to do with the demands of politics, both domestic and international, than they ever had to do with religion.”

    When I see the ultra-conservative wing of the Catholic Church being still strong these days in the Vatican and when I check out the long history of the Catholic Church, I have to say that sadly there are always been a lot of politics and agendas in any religion, even the Catholic religion, particularly since the conversion of Constantine at the beginning of the 4th century when, sadly, the Christian faith came to be an imposed imperial religion.

    And while I say this, I also want to add that it is the same thing in another religion named “The Pro-Shroud Clique”…

    I always tried to keep away from any political views and agendas and it’s true as much concerning the Catholic Church as it is for the Pro-Shroud Clique.

  24. I just want to add something important to my last statement :

    I always tried to keep away from any political views and agendas and it’s true as much concerning the Catholic Church as it is for the Pro-Shroud Clique… but at the same time, even if these political views exists, that was never a reason for me to drop my Catholic faith or my faith in the authenticity of the Shroud. Effectively, I’m enough of a free thinker to separate the good things and the bullsh** in one particular domain.

  25. In summary, what are the main arguments that Chris & Andy have been able to muster denying women the charism to be ordained to the Catholic priesthood?

    (1) It is the current teaching of the magisterium!
    Response: For the time being that is the discipline of the church, and needs be observed. Ordination of women is not to considered a valid option in the present church today. However it has not been taught as an infallible doctrine of revelation and has not been issued as an “ex cathedra” doctrine. Therefore, although it requires external observancy, I maintain that the issue may be intelligently debated, without necessarily falling into error. It is not on the same level as for example questioning the divinity of Christ, which necessarily requires an internal assent to remain within the church.

    (2) It is the tradition of the church that only men may be ordained, and therefore can never become a valid option!
    Response: Not all traditions of the church are immutable. I maintain that this tradition is based on a human cultural tradition that subordinated women to men, as an anthropological phenomenon, and that the tradition has no sound basis in theology. Therefore this tradition may not be immutable.

    (3) Christ chose the option to become a male human, and therefore only male priests can be true representatives of Christ in their priestly ministry.
    Response: In order to become fully human, the Son of God had to choose to become either male or female. He might have chosen to become androidal or hermaphrodite, but then it would be argued that he would not be fully human, and that would be in error. The cultural environment of 1st century Palestine demanded that he become male. A woman in 1st century Palesine would be incapable of being any kind of religius leader, let alone even a rabbi.
    St Paul’s teaching in Gal 3:28, shows that all are to be admitted to the life in Christ, that there is no more “male nor female”. Here he is teaching theology. Paul’s teaching concerning other female roles, his preference that they be silent in the assembly, that their heads be covered, are in the nature of discipline and are not of a theological nature.

    (4) Christ never ordained women as part of his commissioning!
    Response: The gospels, written by men, record that Jesus called men to become his disciples. Nevertheless, his attitude towards women was revolutionary in the extreme. He debates with the Samaritan woman at the well, unheard of! He defends the woman taken in adultery, discerns the men’s holtile motives, and prevents her being stoned, unheard of! He allows a highly suspect woman to anoint his feet, over the Pharisees’ objections, unhear of!.
    He commissions those at the Last Supper to observe his actions over the bread and wine as a memorial. It is quite likely that women were also present, very likely in a subservient role as befitted their station in that cultural environment. There were women at the foot of the cross after all the men had fled, with the sole exception of the disciple whom Jesus loved. After his resurrection he imparts the power to forgive sins. The gospels are silent on whether women were so commissioned or not, but if they were it is unlikely that the evangelists would make a point of saying so. Women are present in the upper room when he presents himself as resurrected, and also when the Holy Spirit descends on those present at Pentecost. He commsissions all to go forth and teach all nations his commandments. (He never said, “But don’t ordain any women!”) It is Mary of Magdalen whom He first reveals himself as surviving the grave.

    (5) John Bourgeous was disciplined for simulating the ordination of a woman, and this demonstrates the teaching of the church that women may not be ordained!
    Response: I have discussed this at some length above. Bourgeous was quite properly disciplined for this act of defiance against his superiors. It still does not follow that this teaching is immutable.

    Conclusion: I await with some expectation that some other sound theological reason might be discovered, for prohibiting the ordination of women. However I suspect that any such will be no less specious than those I have discussed above.

    1. This is a good summary and shows the weakness of your position. I sill summarize your positions and provide responses.

      1) The teaching of the magisterium on this issue is not infallible and therefore open to discussion.
      Response: We are required to hold the ordinary and extraordinary magisterial teachings of the Church. The Vatican letter in reference to the recent removal of John Bourgeous makes clear John Paul II gave definitive teaching on the subject in his letter. As such, one cannot validly dissent or hold a position other than this one.

      2) Not all traditions are immutable and therefore this one can change.
      Response: As definitive teaching, this is not changeable.

      3) Christ chose to be male because it was the only way for him to exercise a ministry in the culture, otherwise he could have chosen either, so this is solely culturally conditioned (Gal 3:28).
      Response: God knows all things and yet chose to come as a man, not a woman. Jesus was not culturally bound which you have demonstrated well in showing how he broke with many Jewish restrictions. This actually weakens your case and supports the fact that the choice to choose male disciples and following to ordain them to ministry (aforementioned breathing and giving the power to forgive sins only recorded to be given to the 11 & Matt 28:18-20 ‘teach all nations. baptizing…’). Obviously this has nothing to do with cultural conditioning and has to do with the choice of the Son of God. Your use of Gal 3:28 is arbitrary since the passage is not referring to any ordained ministry in the Church, but rather is general in scope and intent,

      4) Because the gospels were written by men and only record men being disciples, therefore this is biased and ought to be dismissed. Further, Jesus has many interactions with women that broke with the norm and there are instances in Scripture where it might be implied that women were there.
      Response: A charge that there was male bias has no grounds to substantiate itself and Gal 3:28 disproves the presumption.

      Jesus interactions with women prove that what Jesus did was not culturally conditioned and actually disproves your point.

      The insinuation that when women are not mentioned that they are most likely there is an error called argument from silence. This is not a valid point and will be completely disregarded and not considered again. This a fantasy, flimsy as ever to support your desired notion that women ought to be ordained. Any knowledgeable Catholic is aware the constant practice of the Church makes it unthinkable to question or change this practice. It is well known that no woman has ever been ordained in the Catholic Church for any purpose. This can also be seen in practice in the case of abortion, artificial means of contraception and many others.

      5) John Bourgeous was disciplined and this does not support the immutability of this teaching.
      Response: I agree, but I never made that point (straw man). I refer you to the letter from the Vatican claiming [his “diffusion of teachings” opposed to the “definitive teaching of John Paul II and the Magisterium of the Catholic Church” as well as the “grave scandal” he has caused]. It is this definitive teaching to which I refer. Definitive is as it states, nothing more and nothing less.

  26. David: I can’t devote much time time to this topic, but it seems that the Catholic clergymen who were not hanged, drawn and quartered continued the apostolic succession in England. It is difficult to swallow the idea of a queen as the head of an apostolic church. If Orthodox priests took part in Anglican ordination, you can bet it was more of a political move, and would be something like the Econe,Switzerland traditionalists ( Father Franz Schmidberger and so on) ordaining priests who are not recognised by the Vatican. Church unity will always be ideal for all Christians and when it comes to the Anglicans (with Anglo Catholic- High Church, Low Church-evangelical divisions) things will be difficult with the latter group still steeped in anti-Catholic bias. It is they who must decide because it is Canterbury that seeks Rome. One must ask: so why is the focus on Rome and not, for instance, Moscow, Istanbul or Damascus?

  27. Louis: The participation of Orthodox bishops in some Anglican ordinations and consecrations, tends I think to be a fairly recent practice, and seems to be one of the spin-offs from the ecunmenical movement, rather than having any political agenda. Both Anglicans and Orthodox I think can sometimes seem to see themselves as a kind of bridge towards ultimate Christian unity, whaever that might come to mean. I have heard from some acquaintances with connections to those so ordained, that unfortunately it can have the effect of a kind of boastfulness, whereby the ordinand might claim a kind of validity for his ordination not shared by his less fortunate brethren. But to quote St Paul again, one ought only to boast of being in Christ.

  28. Yannick Clément :
    Chris, you get me completely wrong, the so-called “ordination” I referred to was when he choose his 12 disciples !

    I dare say no one would consider Jesus’ call to his disciples as an ordination in any sense of the word, Yannick.

  29. Dan :
    Andy, you do realize that since 1980, Anglican priests who choose to become Roman Catholic priests are re-ordained (new formation) as opposed to being ordained for the first time because their first ordination is recognized as apostolic by the Pope and the Vatican. The provisions established by Pope John Paul II also allows for married or unmarried male Episcopal priests (now extended to male priests and bishops in the Church of England and the Church of Ireland).
    These priests may use Anglican worship traditions from the Book of Common Prayer for Mass, which acknowledges apostolic succession.
    But it is not important. Really! Whatever layman Henry VIII did or did not do (really, it was Elizabeth I who was important here) has no bearing on apostolic succession. Succession is by laying on of hands and cannot be nullified by laity. ‘
    It is significant, too, that Benedict XVI considers ++Rowan Cantuar, namely the Most Reverend and Right Honorable Rowan Douglas Williams, to be the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury. That is 104 since Augustine of Canterbury.

    Thanks Dan. I stand corrected.

  30. I think in responding to Dave I have laid out the reasons why his rationale are specious and without foundation in reality. By all means respond to my content. I am enjoying this discussion/debate.

  31. I have not seen one convincing argument that would enable me to defend the position of a male only priesthood. The best that anyone can come up with is (1) The current discipline of the Church (2) The tradition of a male only priesthood.

    These arguments are simply not good enough for any intelligent layperson living in the 21st century. So long as this is the best that anyone can do, the topic will continue to be contentious. I do not intend to pursue the topic in this forum any longer. Further debate will enlighten none of us from entrenched positions. There has been no movement in anyone’s thinking about this topic. Further debate is pointless.

    1. Footnote: I recall a popular office wall poster, frequently found during my working career: “There’s no good reason for it! It’s just our policy!” The issue of a male only priesthood seems to be in a similar category!

      1. I’m sorry you are not willing to engage in your use of Gal 3:28 supporting your position when this does not mean what you state it does mean in light of Paul’s restrictions on women in liturgy. As such, Godspeed, my friend.

  32. There is another very good reason why the Vatican has never been open to the ordination of women and this is called “male power”. Effectively, from the moment the Pope will allowed women to be priest, by implication, that means one day, a women could “run” the whole Church as the first “Papess” in history and I’m convinced that this is just too much for the old “male power” mentality that runs the Vatican since the very beginning of the Church! I think this is one of the main reason that strop the Pope and his cardinals (an all-male select club) to be more open about this and it’s sad to note. I would like Andy and others defenders of the status quo inside the Church reflect on what I said the other day concerning the historical FACT that Jesus first appeared to some women after his Resurrection ! In sum, Mary Magdalen was the first ever missionary of the Church when Christ told her to go and tell the disciples that he had resurrected !!! Women were allowed by Christ himself to be missionaries, so I can’t see one GOOD reason to reject women from being priest inside the Catholic Church, especially if their desire to be a priest really comes from an intense call of the Holy Spirit ! Why constantly breaking the incredible wind of liberty and change that was initiated by the Holy Spirit since Christ’s resurrection and the Pentecost ?

    1. What a sad commentary “male power” on a theory that cannot be proven, only asserted to the detriment of the very Church you claim to follow. The historical FACT that Jesus appeared to women first actually works against your argument that women ought to be ordained. Women were not chosen by the risen Christ for this role as is seen from the risen Christ instructing his apostles in the 40 days he remained with them after the resurrection and going down through history in which there has never been a woman ordained in Jesus’ Church. This also being a FACT, your theory that women ought to be ordained goes against the wishes of the risen Christ. If he didn’t choose women, what makes us think we can?

      1. No, it doesn’t go against the wishes of the Risen Christ because his Holy Spirit is really calling some Christian women to be priest TODAY, which the Holy Spirit know very well that it would have been TOTALLY IMPOSSIBLE in the first century A.D. That’s the only reason why Jesus didn’t “ordained” (I hate this word) before or even after his resurrection Andy… But that’s just my personal opinion based on my understanding of Jesus message of LOVE for every human being, whether it got an appendix or not between his legs! And of course, you’re free to follow the actual line of thinking of the present Church lead by Ratzinger.

        What makes you and me Christian is not our personal opinion about subjects like this but the simple fact that we both put our faith and hope in the Resurrected Christ…

        1. Yannick,

          Your comment about being Christian has nothing to do with the issue we are discussing. What makes us Christian is we were baptized and continue to strive to life a Christian life in imitation of Jesus. Through Baptism we enter into the Body of Christ and through our perseverance we follow Christ to the end in charity.

          I have demonstrated in this exchange throughout that Christ both before and after the resurrection did not fail to choose women for ordained ministry because of some societal norms or issues, but rather because it was not his plan as God. I have stated that men and women have equal but differing roles in the Church and society. I have argued from historical practice, Scripture and magisterial teaching on the issue to show how your position does not have a leg to stand upon. I have researched this and read books by experts in the field of which I have referenced a couple in the thread. Furthermore, when the Anglican Church was considering this novelty in the 1970s, they asked for the opinion of Pope Paul VI who wrote this was not a possibility. Pope John Paul II wrote eloquently and definitively on the issue. Both were extremely clear on this issue and if you are interested you can download and read both of them from the Vatican or other websites.

          After all my research and reading over the years, all you can come to me with this unsupported, circular reasoning: “it doesn’t go against the wishes of the Risen Christ because his Holy Spirit is really calling some Christian women to be priest.” Let me get this right and correct me if I am misstating your position. It doesn’t go against the wishes of the risen Christ because of an unsupported claim – God is calling women to the priesthood! Does the magisterium agree with your opinion? No. Do you have any Scriptural support for your view? No! Do you have any previous practice of the Church to support your opinion? No. It’s true because you have stated it!

          Then you make the biggest blunders in all your unsupported statements: “the Holy Spirit know very well that it would have been TOTALLY IMPOSSIBLE in the first century A.D.” You further state this is the ONLY reason women were not chosen by God sooner. This is a ludicrous statement because of the Scriptural injunction: “with God all things are possible.” If nothing is impossible for God, in what way is this impossible for God. In light of this Scriptural rule (God is the Creator and can do as he pleases), in what way would it be impossible for God not to call women to a leading role in the Church? And this is ONLY reason, you say? You provide no support for your unsubstantiated statement because there is none.

          In light of your failure to support any statement you have made, I ask this of you: either support your opinions or just stop arguing and state you believe it no matter the evidence that contradicts the veracity of your claim. In light of your lack of support for Church practice and teaching, it would seem your disagreement with the Church is a dangerous opinion for you to take. It’s not dangerous in and of itself, but if this is how you figure out whom to believe, what other teachings of the Church do you so carelessly disregard? I do not ask to shame you, but out of concern for your welfare, my friend.

          I ask you to consider the evidence and consider upon what rests your opinion. I have considered the basis from which my belief on the issue comes and have attempted to state it clearly. If you pin your hopes on Gal 3:28 (I realize this is not your argument) which has nothing to do with the liturgical practice, you will have to take into consideration the other of Paul’s statements in which he does limit the participation of women in liturgy.

          Godspeed,
          Andy

      2. Just want to complete one of my statement : That’s the only reason why Jesus didn’t “ordained” (I hate this word) SOME WOMEN before or even after his resurrection Andy…

        Now that’s more clear.

  33. David : This topic needs a lot more discussion and hopefully an article will be written soon. Right one one must say that is is Christian faith, not ordination, that is of paramount importance. The problem arises when it comes to the magisterium and the divisions among those who call themselves Christians. It has become like a supermarket.

    1. In the end, all these disciplinary questions are not important. What’s important about being Christian is believing in this : Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles… (1 Corinthians 15:3-7).

      ALL THE REST ARE DETAILS… TRULY.

Comments are closed.