Skip to comments.Clericalism is back
Posted on 07/27/2006 5:21:42 PM PDT by sionnsar
Recently, I had an interesting discussion with a person about "diversifying" the leadership in churches (and this person's home church in particular - not an Anglican parish). As our discussion went on, it became apparant to me that this person was equating leadership and ministry entirely with the ordained ministry. In his mind, women should be "ordained" because they have a right to be leaders and ministers (in a generic sense of the word) as do men.
I suppose this was interesting to me because the more rigorous opponents of a male-only pastorate/priesthood usually cite clericalism (i.e. the priest/pastor does everything) as being one of the great evils of Christianity... a holdover from Medieval times. But what was so intriguing was that advocates of women's "ordination" are actually perpetuating this evil of clericalism and taking it to new extremes. The person I was talking to seemed to think that one had to be ordained, and lead sacramental acts, to take positions of leadership, service, and ministry in the local and larger church! That is clericalism at its most extreme. In reality, one does not have be ordained to "minister" in the name of the Lord (sacramental acts excluded, obviously). We are all called to serve and minister, and to help bring God's Kingdom into greater realization here on earth in whatever way we can.
Gentley, I tried to point out that Mother Angelica on EWTN is a perfect example of someone who has leadership over a lot of things (a global Catholic television network - that's a pretty big deal), yet she is not ordained, and is even opposed to "ordaining" women. There are the multitude of educators, charity providers, political leaders, etc. who all serve God without being ordained. The list of women who minister in the name of the Lord without being ordained could go on forever. It is not required to be ordained to serve God. In fact laity are required to serve God by virtue of their baptism and confirmation as much as the ordained are. Now obviously, the church has by divine institution a sacramental priesthood and ministry; that goes without saying. But I think to suggest that one haas to be ordained to serve God, start and lead ministries, witness to the truth of Jesus Christ to people, etc. is false. To suggest that is simply to promote clericalism.
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.