Her.Meneutics: Women's Ordination: A Crack in the Cathedral?

Last week more than 800 men and women gathered in Bedford, Texas, to elect an archbishop and ratify a constitution for the ACNA, a new alliance for churches that have left the Episcopal Church. Led by Robert Duncan, bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, the ACNA comprises more than 700 theologically conservative churches with about 70,000 parishioners.

There were many central theological beliefs that last week’s attendees could agree on in their constitution and canon laws, including the full inspiration of the Bible, the centrality of baptism and Communion to church life, and the authority of the historic church creeds. But for the time being, ACNA leaders have not reached full agreement on female priests. At this time, each jurisdiction is free to decide whether or not to ordain women, but jurisdictions cannot force others to either accept women’s ordination or to stop practicing it. Women bishops are forbidden.

“For those who believe the ordination of women to be a grave error, and for those who believe it scripturally justifiable . . . we should be in mission together until God sorts us out,” said Duncan in last week’s opening address. “It is not perfect, but it is enough.”

Read the whole thing.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, ACNA Inaugural Assembly June 2009, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Women

13 comments on “Her.Meneutics: Women's Ordination: A Crack in the Cathedral?

  1. D. C. Toedt says:

    Duncan says:

    “For those who believe the ordination of women to be a grave error, and for those who believe it scripturally justifiable . . . we should be in mission together until God sorts us out,” said Duncan in last week’s opening address. “It is not perfect, but it is enough.”

    For once Duncan has said something with which many of us “reappraisers” can wholeheartedly agree; now if he would only apply the same standard to certain other hotly-contested issues ….

  2. InChristAlone says:

    D.C., you are trying to compare apples and oranges. Women’s ordination is not a central Gospel issue, even those who disagree with W.O. don’t believe that it is, even though it is still an important issue. “Reappraisers” are trying to reappraise central tenants of the Gospel, like who is Christ, what the Good News actually is, and the role of Scripture in our lives. The disagreement about W.O. between conservatives does not revolve around these issues like the issues of whether becoming a Christian means turning from sin or ‘realizing that we are essentially good and recognizing our own goodness.’ (paraphrase from the bishop elect of Mich.)
    So please, stop trying to compare the two.

  3. stjohnsrector says:

    I hate to open this can of worms, but many of us Anglicans, and the churches in communion with Rome and Constantinople, believe it is a central issue. Besides – I know I have often heard reappraisers say that because the church has changed its mind on WO, it can change its mind on ________ (fill in the blank).

  4. CanaAnglican says:

    Cast lots. In the early church (Acts 1:26), God’s choice was revealed to the believers by the casting of lots. After a time of prayer, let lots be cast and all believers live with the decision.

  5. Hippo_Regius says:

    And if you don’t like the result, wait a few years, and cast lots again. And again. And again. Until you get the answer you want. Right? :>

  6. austin says:

    The ordination of women, for catholics, is of the first order not only because valid sacraments are “generally necessary for salvation,” but also for reasons of authority, tradition, the order of nature, and the reliability of Scripture (in ascending order of importance, perhaps). Others may disagree, or find the case unconvincing — even baffling. But we have already had an historical process in which others decided WO was not “a central Gospel issue”, fabricated “solutions” for dissenters that met with their approval, and then imposed them by fiat. The result was the almost utter destruction of the catholic witness in TEC and other churches. Thank God Forward in Faith in England was sufficiently instructed by the pogrom to wrest a better settlement out of the CoE, at least for a spell. The issue is not going to go away, and it is, in my view, likely to be fatal to the new enterprise if not definitively settled.

  7. CanaAnglican says:

    Nope, stick with the results. Matthias became an apostle, but Barsabbas never did.

  8. Hippo_Regius says:


    You have far, far more discipline than the modern church!

  9. Larry Morse says:

    WO is a central and vital issue, not because of a scriptural problem, but because it is emblematic and symptomatic of the larger, “liberalizing” context in which it occurs. To favor wo is to favor an entire agenda of which wo is but a part. Wo is a social movement, not a scriptural movement. It may be that women should be ordained, but NOT in and because of the present context. LM

  10. libraryjim says:

    I attended a church that drew names for vestry members. The congregation nominated them, the names were placed in a chalice and then the names were drawn out by a child from the congregation. One draw for each of the vacancies. It went well, no one contested it, and they served the church well.

    Jim Elliott <><

  11. clayton says:

    libraryjim, how did you resist putting in a slip of paper with the name Harry Potter?

  12. libraryjim says:

    Alas, it was way before the first Harry Potter had even been written. Otherwise ….. hmmmmm!

  13. InChristAlone says:

    # 3 As someone who grew up with a general outlook that ‘duh women should be able to be ordained’ but through the years has come to the opposite conclusion through searching Scipture, I would have to say that many Anglo-Catholics I know would say that WO is not a central Gospel issue of the same category as things such as what the Gospel actually is and the nature of Christ. This inculdes some at Nashotah House. So I stand by my statement that WO is not a central Gospel issue although I still believe it is an important issue and honestly I cannot with integrety partake in the Eucharist which is presided over by a woman nor do I accept a woman’s ordination as valid.