Wednesday, 23 June 2010

The Archbishops' Offer

From a quick glance at one or two Anglican blogs it seems that the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have tried to resolve the difficulties of some Anglo-Catholics (or Catholic Anglicans) without dealing with the most fundamental problem. And what is that? It is the profound concern, or even moral and theological certainty, that the ordination of women to the episcopate would be invalid. The wider practical problem concerns those ordained to the "priesthood" by such ministers. The logic is simple; if the bishop is invalidly ordained or consecrated, then those he/she ordains to the priesthood are invalidly ordained. Some of these will be men, but who is to say (unless they always volunteer the information) who they are? What happens in the case of visiting priests? There are situations were we can envisage the need to ask for some kind of credentials. Can a Christian community involved in this kind of thing really be called a "church"?
As I have said before, there can be no church where one bishop says to another "you are not really a bishop". If we take the words of St. Ignatius of Antioch that "where the bishop is, there is the Church" we have a situation where, in some cases, some Anglicans will have no confidence that they are where the Church is. The scene now developing from the ordination of women is one of theological and ecclesiastical farce. If I were on board this particular ship I would want to know where the lifeboats are.


  1. Thankfully there's the lifeboat in the form of Pope Benedict's Personal Ordinariate for Anglicans.

    Ann Widdecombe cites the decision to ordain priests (1990s) as the turning point for her; she decided to become Roman Catholic.

    PS - I really like your new blog template. Compelling stuff!

  2. Ooops! Meant to say 'ordain women priests' as being the turning point when Ann Widdecombe left the Anglicans.