Tuesday, 20 November 2012
About a year or so after my reversion, the women priests thing kicked off in the Church of England. I didn't understand all the theological arguments - I still don't - but the Catholic Church stated clearly that you couldn't have women priests, because she didn't have the authority to do what Christ himself had not done. The lack of authority was the bottom line. That was enough for me.
The Church of England decided to go ahead and ordain women, but then, to put it bluntly, they dropped the idea of authority back when they split with Rome over the matter of a certain King's divorce. At the time it was argued that it was alright to ordain women as priests but they wouldn't ever go ahead and be ordained as bishops.
This struck me at the time as a rather disingenuous statement. Even to my untutored ears, it didn't sound right. After all, if you are going to dispense with the arguments against having women priests, then there are no arguments remaining against having women bishops. If there are no theological reasons to prevent women being ordained as bishops, then it boils down to a matter of equality. You cannot say women can not be bishops just because they are women when you wouldn't accept that argument about women becoming priests in the first place.
Today the General Synod voted very narrowly against women bishops. I think the Church of England is in trouble here. Anyone care to take bets on how long before we have the first court case under equal opportunities legislation?