Skip to comments.Are Women "Priests" Leaving the American Episcopal Church [TEC]
Posted on 09/01/2007 6:08:55 PM PDT by sionnsar
Photo from Anglican Blogger Drell's Descants
I follow the current saga in the Episcopal Church quite a bit. When I was LSU my most favorite place to study was the Student Center at the Church. My favorite place to pray was their Church at LSU which is called St Albans. In fact it it wasn't for the fact there was no Euchurist present it would have been the best place to pray in Baton Rouge. Anyway while I was there I would look throught their Episcopal's chruches nationwide publication. I could tell things were going off the rails then
Anyway, I follow Louisiana Anglican blogger Drells Descants a lot. I could not to help but note this interesting post he had.
Women Priests Departing From ECUSA: A Request For Information From Alice LinsleyI find that very interesting. Espcially the fact that some have become ORTHODOX. Which to say the least means they have rejected in any shape or from that they can become priest.
Filed under: General Brad Drell @ 1:10 pm
A Stat TEC Doesnt Track
Alice C. Linsley
How many Episcopal clergywomen have left the Episcopal Church in the past 3 years?
It is difficult to say since the Episcopal Church Center has not updated the statistics on clergy number by gender since 2004. In 2004, female clergy comprised 29.2% of all Episcopal clergy serving in the continental United States.
Since I left ordained ministry in the Episcopal in March 2004, Ive come to know of 3 other women who have done likewise. Interestingly, all of us have joined the Orthodox Church.
I live in Kentucky. Another lives in Maine. Another lives in Idaho and the fourth lives in Florida, so this departure doesnt represent discontent with the leadership of a particular diocese or province. It appears to reflect discontent with the leadership of The Episcopal Church and the direction that TEC is going.
Im curious to know about other women who have left ordained ministry in TEC. If you were formerly an Episcopal clergywoman or if you know of one, please respond to this inquiry by posting a comment with the following information:
The womens first name only
Whether she was a priest or deacon
The state in which she resides
The year she set aside her orders
The church with which she has affiliated.
Ill compile the results and post the findings in a few months. Im counting on readers to help track a statistic that the Episcopal Church has turned a blind eye to or which is a cause of embarrassment. By this means we can estimate the departure of female clergy from TEC and look for trends.
You can email Alice at aproeditor - at - windstream - dot - net.
There have been two or three women TEC priests on this list who have since left both TEC and their orders.
I left ECUSA not too long after womens' ordination began, and not having set foot in many ECUSA/TEC churches since I am surprised at the percentage of women clergy given here. But if the examples here are truly representative, there's something else going on if they're largely going to Orthodoxy.
(I have heard many times that Anglicanism is closer to Orthodoxy than anyone else, and maybe this is an indication.)
Traditional Anglican ping, continued in memory of its founder Arlin Adams.
FReepmail Huber or sionnsar if you want on or off this moderately high-volume ping list (sometimes 3-9 pings/day).
This list is pinged by Huber and sionnsar.
Resource for Traditional Anglicans: http://trad-anglican.faithweb.com
Humor: The Anglican Blue
Speak the truth in love. Eph 4:15
Never quite understood why they won’t go by the word “Priestess,” but I guess that’s just me.
Yeah, I understand they’re reluctant to be called “Father” too — go figure! ;-)
I think the explanation is rather simple, actually. TEC is still attractive to some women of naive but sincere women of faith who wish to serve God. In their naivity, they believe that only TEC and a few other churches “get it” about women. Once in the system however, some incident occurs that opens their eyes to whom they have aligned with. For example, they may try to implement some reasonable policy or progam within their parishes and discover that they have inadvertantly crossed someone’s true agenda. Cognitave dissonance is gradually replaced by a realization that these “englightened” progressives are really just manipulative and self-interested, and certainly not Christ-centered. Concurrently some ordained women will pursue theology sincerely, and in the process stray from the assigned reading list and venture into the Fathers and other good books. Eventually, this will lead them to some form of traditional catholicism. Also, I suppose that some may read the reformers and move toward a more traditional protestant denomination, but I am just speculating on this last point.
Your logic sounds clear and straight. I wonder if those three, and other priestesses, have it. Seems almost too good to be true.
Women's lib sure sold us women a bill of goods, that is, if men were doing it, women had to do it also, no exceptions.
Not true, of course, but believed by SO many women....and some men.
How WRONG can we women be about some things? Lol. Let me count the ways....
Regarding your speculation, that may be correct too, as women, always individuals, may take ANY path at ANY time for ANY reason. Your speculative path is as good as any.
I must be an ultra-conservative, as I'm evangelical (and even just a tad charismatic--not cessationist by any means) AND I believe Scripture, Tradition and Reason are united in reserving the priesthood for men.
Some of us are just odd ducks I guess....
C.S. Lewis's essay, "Priestesses in the Church?" is pretty unassailble, as far as the Reason argument goes, IMHO.
(by the way, I've looked for it for years on the net, and this is the first time I've found it.... Well worth printing for your feminist-brainwashed, post-modernist friends....)
I doubt that most women libbers, especially the die-hards who really, really dislike themselves (and show it by disliking men), would read through this. They are far too damaged with holes in their souls that only God can fill.
This morning's Gospel was about humility. Priestesses lack that by their very act of defying the Scriptures. The phrase I remember from this morning is:
Humility isn't about thinking LESS of yourself but about thinking of YOURSELF less.
There was a prominent ELCA Lutheran evanglical catholic clergywoman, Sharon Zanter Ross, who became Orthodox way back in 1997:
....Several months ago was the news that the first woman ordained to the priesthood in the Church of England had been received into the Roman Catholic Church. Now Pastor Sharon Zanter Ross, a prominent figure among “evangelical catholics” in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), has been received into the Orthodox Church in America (OCA).
She writes to friends in the ELCA: “In the past, I encouraged you to stay and resist the various idolatries that have plagued us. Naively, I believed that the evangelical catholic vision would, because it should, win the hearts of all Lutherans. Without a right appraisal of the complexity of the problems as well as the depth of the deterioration of our church (and indeed, of all Western Protestantism), I could continue to hope that even a small group could rescue it from its worst tendencies. But over the last six years I have been made to face, with great anguish and many tears, the truth about the future and come to some difficult decisions.”
She writes that it might have been possible to stay in the ELCA were it not for her children. “Since 1990, as my understanding of motherhood and the responsibilities of the spiritual guidance of children has grown, I have come to see that it would not be fair to the little flock entrusted to my care to stay.” She wrestled with the fact that, as a member of the Orthodox Church, she would be giving up her ordained status, but concluded, “After all, what good is my ordination in a church body which witnesses less and less the faith of the apostles and fathers which is the essential core without which the reformers would have nothing to confess?”
“Sharon’s decision,” says an ELCA theologian who is remaining, “puts further pressure on all of us as to what we will do, since we cannot disagree with her description of what has happened in the ELCA.”....
ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) is, as a denomination, and has been for some time, as wacky and more than TEC. It definitely isn’t Evangelical, and because of that, isn’t really Lutheran either (would give Luther fits...)—it’s hard even to say, like TEC, it’s really still a Church. That’s not to say that there aren’t still some faithful individuals and outpost churches still within her.
Maybe it’s the influence of all the Scandinavian Lutherans in ELCA, I don’t know. Missouri Synod, Wisconsin Synod and a few other groups are the only authentic Lutherans left. These are known as “Free Lutherans” in Germany, where they are a tiny number (in fairly large active churches—in stark contrast to the state Church Lutheran churches.).
Due to blurriness in final authority, I for one could not go Eastern Orthodox,...I suppose I’m just too Western; but neither could I go, for similar reasons, Roman Catholic.
I believe the liberal wing of ECUSA went on a recruiting drive 30 years ago to ordain woman deacons and priests with the belief they would subscribe to the “new” theology more readily. Although many came from the membership, my friends say that many more came from other denominations. In ECUSA they could get a chance not available in other churches and being more emotional than their male counterparts, they would buy into this post-modern baloney easier.
I know that sounds sexist, but that is how it has been explained to me, and it does sound reasonable.
ECUSA did place a large emphasis on feelings rather than a logical examination of doctrine. No doubt this approach was successful in attracting a different quality of person to the church.
Interestingly, as the Anglicans always like to examine issues by using Scripture, Tradition and Reason, (in that order) the use of “Mother” in such a title can not be authenticated by Scripture, Tradition or Reason.
Not afraid of being mistaken for Abbesses? ;-)
You’re not sexist, just realistic. Estrogen is a reality. There is a reason why the bible assumes, expects and assigns male leadership in the Church. It doesn’t demand that in other areas (the ideal woman in Prov. 31 for example is a business woman—who buys and sells real estate—very liberal for that era). In the area of spiritual leadership though, women do tend to be more emotional, more prone to avoid conflict, and more easily led astray...
Why is it, just a few years after women are officially accepted in Church leadership that the homosexual issue came up? Most homosexuals, the men at least, are pitiful types—easy for the mother in women to feel sorry for and sympathize with.
So not only hermeneutically, that is if you ignore the scriptures (and reason, and tradition) on male leadership for women, it makes it easier to ignore the scriptures for the other, homosexuals. Also, the feminization of leadership, and the whole church actually, makes it more likely that the poor pitiful persecuted sissy-types get their way...as Moma-priest(ess) just wants to love people.
Of course I’m simplifying things, and there are many strong women who are not fooled, and, other than their ordination...are faithful to scripture. At the same time, it’s no coincidence that close on the heels of women’s ordination, came the demands to legitimize (in the name of “love”) pansexuality.
It's interesting that this story is kept so quiet.
Our friend may become a monastic.
I’m the blog host of Just Genesis http://jandyongenesis.blogspot.com/
I was formerly a “priest” in The Episcopal Church. I’m now Orthodox. So far I have about 10 women on the list of those who left ordained ministry in The Episcopal Church. The earliest to leave was Linda. She left in 2001 and is now Roman Catholic. Then I left in 2004. There are four of us so far who came into Orthodoxy. The one mentioned in the comment above (who may become a monastic) is extremely gifted spiritually (though she would hate to read this about herself). Anna and Susan left respectively in 2005 and 2007. Anna is canonically resident in the Province of Uganda and Susan in the Province of Kenya.
If you know of others, please email me. This is a stat that TEC doesn’t track, an obvious embarrassment.
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.