Tuesday, July 12

Rumblings in Anglicana

Apparently, all of Anglicanism doesn't ordain women bishops--yet. That was news to me.

But the real news is this: the discussion is up in the air, and 1/4 of the Anglican episcopate isn't happy about it.

I think that it is dishonest to ordain women to the priesthood and not to the episcopacy: if an ecclesial community believes that women can be granted the sacerdotal character, then to with-hold the fullness of that sacerdotal character from them (the episcopacy) is really to say that they are second-class Christians.

The Catholic Church, conversely, by clearly stating that women are not called to the sacerdotal fatherhood for the same reason that men are not called to biological maternity -- the simple reason that it is not according to our respective natures, or our respective natures as perfected by grace -- the Church by-passes the Modern notion that service=power and priesthood=POWER, the sort of power that crackles like blue lightening from one's fingertips. But once the sacerdotal character ceases to be a unique form of masculine paternity enabled by grace, and becomes simply the means by which authority is endowed, well, I think the Anglicans are up a creek without a paddle.

This hasn't stopped 800 traditional Anglicans from threatening to quit, should the ecclesial community opt to ordain women as bishops.

Amazingly, even if the Anglicans approve women bishops, many traditionalists will stay within the Communion if they are given a separate "male-only" province within the Communion... which makes me wonder: if a separate "male only" province would NOT recognize the legitimacy of women bishops... isn't the mutual recognition of orders a key component of any real "communion"?

I also wonder: should they ordain women, and 800 some clergy find themselves without an eccleisal structure, would Pope Benedict (now realizing that real ecumenism with the Anglican communion is extremely unlikely) act to create an Anglican Catholic Rite in communion with Rome, as we've discussed prior on this site?

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