Skip to comments.On Female Bishops
Posted on 06/12/2006 4:52:46 PM PDT by sionnsar
If only progressive Evangelicals would accept this point about Female Bishops! Thoughts as the ECUSA General Convention begins
The answer to the question posed by The Tablet is twofold, First of all, they do not take sufficiently seriously and authoritatively, (a) the teaching of Scripture concerning Order in creation and the headship of the male; and further (b) they set aside sacred Tradition both of the Catholic Church and of the branch known as the Anglican Way. In the second place, they take the claims of the modern human rights movement (for equality for women in all areas and full rights for homosexual persons) as more important and authoritative than the teaching of Scripture and the lessons from tradition.
It must have occurred to many Church of England bishops listening to his address at Lambeth Palace that while talking explicitly about the likely impact of women bishops on Anglican-Catholic relations, Cardinal Kasper could equally well have been addressing the split in the international Anglican Communion over homosexual bishops. That linkage may deepen the theological argument when the House of Bishops presents its views to the General Synod. At risk of over-simplification, what Cardinal Kasper is saying to the Church of England about women bishops is precisely what the Church of England and the majority of churches in the Anglican Communion have been saying to the American branch of Anglicanism, the Episcopalian Church, about gay bishops.
They have been saying that the office of bishop stands not just for unity within a diocese, but above all for unity between dioceses and provinces, as a focus and sign of the koinonia or communio which is at the heart of the Church. Hence the American decision to ordain a practising homosexual bishop whose ministry is rejected by a large majority of other Anglican bishops worldwide shattered the Anglican communio and hence threatened to break up the Anglican Communion. Similarly a Church of England decision to ordain women bishops will change the nature of the relationship between Anglicanism and Roman Catholicism for the worse, permanently and profoundly. The partial communio that has been drawing them towards convergence and unity will end.
There is not much room for dispute about this. Anglican bishops may ask themselves the slightly different question: does it really matter? Hasnt the historic process of theological and personal rapprochement and reconciliation gone as far as it can go? (And isnt the unwillingness of Rome to engage in a theological debate about female ordination also part of the problem?) But now they have to face a new question, vital to their own future. Can they demand that the American Church halts or reverses its moves towards homosexual bishops, for the greater good of the communio, while the Church of England dismisses an appeal from Rome over women bishops on the same grounds? Or to put it bluntly, how do they say Yes to women bishops and No to gay bishops?
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.