Women Bishops Debate Goes On

Here’s a defense of women bishops in the Church of England. The author, Jane Hedges, was ordained in my diocese when I was an Anglican priest fifteen years ago.

Notice the drift of her arguments: they are based on three things: utilitarianism, sentimentality and politics. The utilitarian argument is, “Women priests do a good job. People like them. They’ll be great bishops.” The sentimental argument is, “Jane is such a nice person. She is so spiritual. She is a great Christian. It would be so hurtful and so unfair not to allow her to be a bishop.” The political argument is, “This is a question of equal rights. Women have been oppressed by the powers of patriarchy long enough.”
The proponents of women’s ordination once tried to make their case from Scripture and theology and tradition. I think they still try to, but for the most part the utilitarian, sentimental and political arguments prevail. Somone once observed, “In the sixteenth century the Protestants threw out the authority of the Pope in favor of the authority of the Bible. In the twentieth century their own liberal scholars undermined the authority of the Bible. Now they have nothing left but their own opinions.”
"Catholicism has always defined the ideal but there are no limits on God's mercy and ..."

Tony Palmer: Is There Salvation Outside ..."
"With all due respect, Shaun, are you relegating the actual Faith to whatever the local ..."

Notes on Tony Palmer’s Funeral
"There are good parking valets and bad parking valets. There are good housesitters and bad ..."

The Case for Conversion to Catholicism
"did you vote for Bush Fr Longenecker? would you have?"

Understanding Iraq

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Anything to get around the clear testimony (against women ordination) both from the Patristic testimony and Sacred Scripture. In a real way it breaks my heart to watch the depth’s Protestants are falling into without a unified authoritative voice. ____________ R.E. Aguirre Regulafide.blogspot.comTolle Lege! Tolle Lege!

  • What I have never understood is that once you have swallowed the arguments for a women priest then what in the world could prevent women bishops?If theology and tradition can be thrown out in fovor of women priests then the only reason that they did not go with women bishops at the same time is politics. They knew that would cause even further splits. But everybody should have known it was inevitable.

  • The way I heard it, the compromise allowed for women priests only (they can’t make more priests, and thus couldn’t mess up apostolic succession). From a Catholic perspective that is just silly, as the Anglicans have already messed up their apostolic succession in SEVERAL ways. But I guess it gave the more traditional Anglicans hope that the rest of them would realize the error of their ways and the era of women priests would be a short one. Have I got that right?Unfortunately (and I do mean that word, it pains me to see the Anglicans implode) it didnt’ work out that way. I don’t know how we managed to have women bishops in the USA. I work closely with a gentleman who is a devout and extremely liberal Episcopalian, and his explanations for a lot of things continue to amaze me.

  • Protestants and post-Protestants who didn’t throw off the Bible (in reaction to liberal Protestantism) still have only their opinions.I live in fundamentalistland, and when one of these Bible only beleeeevers tries to evangelize me, I start asking questions about what the other Bible beleeeevers believe and practice in contrast to them, and what does the Bible say about how to settle the dispute? (Take it to the Church!) Which church? (The one Christ founded upon a Rock and to whom he delegated his authority.)So, even Bible beleeeeevers are slaves to merely their own opinion! (Or rather, their pastor’s, who is their de facto pope. Woe to the one who disobeys their pastor! A total shunning worse than any excommunication.)