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Women priests on world agenda
The Church of England Newspaper ^ | 11/25/2005

Posted on 11/26/2005 10:09:30 AM PST by sionnsar

The Church “cannot remain as it always has been,” Archbishop Ellison Pogo told over 100 delegates to the 11th General Synod of the Church of Melanesia, and called for the Anglican Church in the Central Pacific to permit the ordination of women to the priesthood.

The Anglican Churches of the Global South are as divided over the issue of women’s orders as is the Church of England.

Evangelical provinces such as Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda ordain women -- while Nigeria and Southeast Asia do not. Anglo-Catholic Provinces are equally divided with Central Africa opposed and the West Indies in favour of ordaining women.

The Church “must develop as new insights are opened up into the understanding of the Bible and the nature of God,” he said at the start of the two-week meeting on November 13. “We do not change simply for the sake of change, but we need to change according to the will of God and the changing needs of God’s people,” Dr Pogo said.

At the 2002 meeting of Synod, the Church approved a draft law permitting the ordination of women. Under the terms of the Church’s constitution, however, the law had to be ratified by all eight diocesan synods. Four dioceses in the predominantly Anglo-Catholic Province have approved the measure, three have rejected it, and one has yet to vote.

Archbishop Pogo urged the recusants to rethink their stance. There were “positive cultural reasons why we should ordain women priests,” he argued. Having women priests would overcome the “cultural impossibility of women sharing their private problems and concerns with men, whether or not they are priests,” he added.

Queried on how they were able to work together as a body, while holding different standards, seven Primates told a gathering of traditionalist Anglicans in Pittsburgh this month that women priests were not a Communion-dividing issue.

Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi said “my own testimony” is that “I have seen the work of women as priests and deacons” in Kenya. It has been “successful and I praise the Lord for that”.

The leader of the Ugandan Church, Archbishop Henry Orombi argued that women priests were not a universal panacea for the church’s ills and would not work in some places he cautioned, but he believed this was not an issue that should divide the Church.

Speaking from an evangelical perspective, Archbishop Yong Ping Chung of Southeast Asia said his Church was not convinced from a study of Scripture that ordination of women was necessary. “Expediency” and the pull of culture was not sufficient cause for ordaining women, he argued.

While the Church in Central Africa had been studying the issue for over 10 years, Archbishop Bernard Malango stated his Province’s Anglo-Catholic heritage militated against women priests.

While disagreeing on the ecclesial form women’s ministry in the Church might take, all of the Primates agreed with the sentiments of Rwandan Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini. “Women have been in positions of trust, in leadership” in the Churches of the Global South he said. Differences over ordination standards are “something the Church may live with, and discuss.”

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant
KEYWORDS: africa; africanchristians; ecusa; womenpriests

1 posted on 11/26/2005 10:09:31 AM PST by sionnsar
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2 posted on 11/26/2005 10:10:22 AM PST by sionnsar (†† || (To Libs:) You are failing to celebrate MY diversity! || Iran Azad)
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