Holy Order Glass Ceiling

So the prominent news I have seen today regards the Church of England narrowly voting against women bishops.

Though I might point out that they don’t even have male bishops since they lost apostolic succession. The exception would be if perhaps one of their “bishops” was actually ordained  by for example an Eastern Orthodox bishop. See Apostolicae Curae.

Still CoE watching is always rather interesting considering all the factions and the attempt to please everybody by pleasing nobody.  Fr. Longenecker has a good short rundown on the competing divisions.

I also find the whole theology by vote interesting.  If only we had that before and certainly the Arians would have been pretty happy about that.  Not exactly the best of systems, though Barrabas might disagree.

I also wonder about the whole idea of having women priests but not women bishops?  A holy order glass ceiling. Once you allow for the other will eventually happen.  At least that is true when you realize that this is really seen through a political lens and not a theological one.  In some ways I think this should offend feminists much more than the Catholic teaching.  It is one thing to say that only men can be priests and another to say women can participate in two levels of holy orders, but no further.

Although I feel pretty much the same with the idea advanced by some Catholics that women can be ordained as deacons.  This is similar to me to the Anglican compromise regarding the three levels of holy orders.  Supporters of this will say that this is an “Open theological question” which I guess means that it hasn’t been totally ruled out by the magisterium.  The constant practice of the Church and the fact that early councils such as Nicea I said that deaconesses were not ordained would lead me to be quite skeptical that this would happen.  Still the great thing about being Catholic is that I don’t determine the theology.  I take my cue from the magisterium and then try to learn what the Church teaches.


Jeffrey Miller (745 Posts)

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