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Welcome to Stand Firm!

Bishop Jack Iker’s Address to the Forward in Faith International (transcript)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007 • 12:34 pm

Transcribed text recieved via email.


Bishop Jack Iker’s Address to the Forward in Faith International
Assembly in London – October 20, 2007

Thank you very much for that welcome. Madam Chairman, members of the Assembly, it’s a privilege to have this opportunity to briefly report on the state of affairs of Forward
in Faith in North America.

I bring you warm greetings and assurances of our prayers and best wishes from all the members of Forward in Faith there, especially our national council and our president,
Bishop Keith Ackerman. I ask you to keep Bishop Keith in your prayers. As some of you may have heard, he has had some illness over the past year, some of it most recently related to high blood pressure, and he’s not able to be here to make this presentation himself, not because of his health but because he is presiding at his diocesan synod at this very time.

I’d like to make my report to you in two parts. First, I want to speak about the situation with the Forward in Faith dioceses and our relationship with The Episcopal Church. And then the second part of my report will deal with the Common Cause Partnership and the role that Forward in Faith plays in that new venture.

There are three Forward in Faith dioceses in the United States, and the three bishops of those dioceses have come to a common conclusion that we have no future in The
Episcopal Church. Our conventions in those three dioceses, Fort Worth, Quincy, and San Joaquin, will be taking constitutional action to separate officially from TEC. Because it is a constitutional change, it must be passed at two successive annual conventions.

As you may know, the Diocese of San Joaquin passed on first reading their secession clauses last year, and they will take the second vote on the first Saturday of December. The Diocese of Quincy, which is in session now, will be taking their vote today, and before the day is out we should hear the results of that vote. And then my own Diocese of Fort Worth will be voting for our first reading on November 17th.

A fourth diocese in TEC is expected to take the same action to separate from The Episcopal Church, the Diocese of Pittsburgh. In the Diocese of Pittsburgh, as you know,
a diocese that ordains women to the priesthood, they are led by the Moderator of the Anglican Communion Network and the Chairman of the Common Cause Partnership.
But for the Forward in Faith dioceses it cannot be any clearer that we have come to the end of the road in The Episcopal Church, and there is no future for us or for those who hold our theological position in TEC in the years ahead.

The acceptance of women priests is now mandatory in every diocese. This means that none of the three existing Forward in Faith dioceses will be able to secure the
consecration of a new, orthodox Bishop-elect. I think each of the three dioceses will elect an orthodox successor, but in our system we have to have the approval of the
majority of the Standing Committees of the other dioceses and a majority of the bishops of The Episcopal Church to proceed with the consecration, and that simply is not going to happen. Therefore, rather than waiting until it becomes time to attempt to replace an orthodox bishop and have it turned down, we’ve decided to take our affairs into our own hands and to secure our own future by separating from the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church and governance by the dictates of the General Convention.

As you know, the election of a woman to the office of Presiding Bishop in The Episcopal Church makes our situation clearly untenable. The day after her election an appeal was made on the floor of the House of Bishops for an arrangement called Alternative Primatial Oversight, something that had not been used before because there had been no need of it before, but a way forward that would allow Forward in Faith bishops, priests, laity to remain in The Episcopal Church while under the spiritual coverage and primatial leadership of an orthodox primate of the Anglican Communion.

Without rehearsing what has gone on over the last year and a quarter about that appeal, I can simply say we believe that the appeal for Alternative Primatial Oversight has been rejected. The primates put forward a very workable plan that we were willing to go along with when they met at Dar es Salaam, but the bishops of The Episcopal Church overwhelmingly rejected that, encouraged the Executive Council to do the same and have made no alternative suggestion. APO, as far as we are concerned, as a part of The Episcopal Church, is dead, therefore we must seek a primatial relationship outside ECUSA.

The second thing that hangs over us, of course, is not just a female Presiding Bishop but the overwhelming rejection of the requests of the Windsor Report made of The Episcopal Church whereby we can move towards reconciliation in the life of the communion. It is our contention that The Episcopal Church has decided to walk away from the Anglican Communion and our Forward in Faith dioceses will walk with the Anglican Communion.

Our plan is not only to disassociate, then, from The Episcopal Church, but to officially, constitutionally re-affiliate with an existing orthodox Province of the communion that
does not ordain women to the priesthood. These conversations are very far along but cannot be announced until the Province that is considering our appeal has made their final decision public.

Realignment is taking place in the Anglican Communion. It took place in the United States first with parishes that could not in conscience remain in The Episcopal Church
and affiliated with overseas dioceses, and now it is taking place as four dioceses believe that realignment calls for us to leave The Episcopal Church structure officially and
become a part of another Province.

What will be the response of The Episcopal Church? We believe it will be very much like the response they have made to congregations that have made the decision to leave. They’ve taken them to court. They’ve sued them in civil courts. They’ve deposed the priests, declared the parishes vacant and have claimed title to the property. It’s a messy affair. It’s being worked though the courts, but it will reach another level of controversy when entire dioceses attempt to separate from The Episcopal Church. The official structure has made itself clear what they will attempt to do in those cases. They will declare those sees vacant, depose the bishops and call a convention of those faithful to the General Convention teaching and practice to reconstitute what they call continuing dioceses.

The second part of the report I want to make to you has to do with the Common Cause Partnership. This began in discussions that started, I suppose, two or three years ago in what was called the Common Cause Roundtable. It reached a new level at the end of September, when we formed a College of Bishops.

The Common Cause Partnership has its origins in two things. One, a resolution of the Lambeth Conference in 1998 ( Resolution 4.11) which spoke about the place of the
continuing churches in the Anglican world. It called upon bishops of the Anglican Communion “ to initiate and maintain dialogue with such groups with a view to the reconciliation of all who own the Anglican tradition.” Secondly, it has an origin in an appeal from the primates of the Global South who said to bishops in the United States,
“There are too many different conservative groups, too many different bodies. You need to come together and speak with a unified voice so that we can speak to one group rather than several different groups.” So Common Cause is an effort to bring together those who own the Anglican way in united voice to speak to the rest of the communion. It’s a gathering the fragments, planning for a united witness in the future.

The significance of the agreement entered into in late September of this year is that Anglican bishops from ten different jurisdictions and organizations took the first steps
toward establishing “a new ecclesiastical structure in North America,” which comes from the Communiqué from the Global South primates issued in Kigali in the year 2006.
Meeting in Pittsburgh at the end of September, representing over 600 congregations, 51 bishops organized themselves as a College of Bishops that will meet together every six months for consultation. We have adopted a time line leading to a constitutional convention sometime in 2009, the purpose of which would be to form an orthodox
Province of the Anglican Communion in North America.

Members of the Common Cause Partnership, in case you don’t know, include the Anglican Communion Network, Forward in Faith, CANA (the Convocation of Anglicans
in North America, an initiative coming out of the Nigerian province), AMiA (the Anglican Mission in America, an initiative coming out of the province of Rwanda), APA
(the Anglican Province of America), and the Reformed Episcopal Church (which broke from The Episcopal Church in the 19th century). Of those organizations only some of the dioceses in the Anglican Communion Network ordain women to the priesthood.

New participants in the Common Cause Partnership have been added by the recent consecrations of American bishops to serve Kenyan and Ugandan congregations located
in the United States. Other participants come from the Anglican Communion Network in Canada.

In closing, I’d like to say three things which are of particular interest to Forward in Faith in the United Kingdom as Forward in Faith in North America participates with our
Common Cause partners. The first is to say that we will be in full communion with only those Common Cause partners which do not ordain women or receive ordained women into the priesthood. Our cooperation with the bodies that do so cannot extend to communio in sacris but we will cooperate with them in every way possible in a state of continuing impaired communion.

The second point is to say that leaders of the Anglican Communion Network and the Common Cause Partnership are fully committed to undertaking a substantial theological study of the question of the ordination of women, once a structure is in place and we have relatively settled in. We will have a chance, in other words, to bring those who now accept this innovation to reconsideration of their decision for the future.

And third, and last, in the new Common Cause Partnership or in a restructured orthodox Province in North America, Forward in Faith dioceses will be free, first, to maintain our own line of episcopal succession; secondly to select, form, ordain and deploy our own ordinands; third, to reject any decisions of the Partnership that are contrary to our
theological position; and fourth, to pursue our own ecumenical relationships.

So there are some challenging months and a couple of years ahead of us in Forward in Faith. We ask for your prayers as we try to take a bold and courageous stand to uphold and maintain the catholic faith and order of the Church and to pass on a secure future to our children and our grandchildren.
 
Thank you very much.


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Comments:

“We will have a chance, in other words, to bring those who now accept this innovation [WO] to reconsideration of their decision for the future.”

This to me is the most hopeful sentence of a very hopeful address.

[1] Posted by Laurence K Wells on 10-23-2007 at 01:08 PM • top

Fantastic.  See how much more satisfying it is when leaders speak clearly, with no intent to obfuscate, and forthrightly address the tough issues?

OK, back to the Kremlinology of deciphering this or that comma in Rowan Williams’ latest letter, or what the British usage of some word is, or which diocese is conducting officially unauthorized liturgies ...

[2] Posted by Phil on 10-23-2007 at 01:14 PM • top

Thanks for pointing that little goodie out L K Wells. I completely skimmed over it and missed it in the audio version I had listened to the other day. But, I agree that is a very important point in this address for those of us who find it very difficult to get on the WO bus.

[3] Posted by TLDillon on 10-23-2007 at 01:27 PM • top

I think the Church of the Province of Kenya ordains women as priests. I recall reading of several parishes of the Episcopal Church with women rectors who have joined Kenyan dioceses. 

    Tom Rightmyer in Asheville, NC

[4] Posted by TomRightmyer on 10-23-2007 at 01:29 PM • top

Is there an Ike fan club? How can I join?

[5] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 10-23-2007 at 01:54 PM • top

I knew the WO issue was going to be difficult as the orthodox reorganize.  I hope that we will be able to be more charitable with each other and I am encouraged that there will be an in depth theological investigation.  I suspect that it will come back the same way the last one did since there seems to be Biblical support on both sides.  I personally have no problem with WO, but would certainly not encourage or endorse it as a requirement, as has become the rule in TEC.

[6] Posted by talithajd on 10-23-2007 at 01:56 PM • top

I think this is just the sort of clear, bold and yet charitable stance that needs to be taken by all sides of the WO controversy. CCP will, hopefully, provide a bounded orthodox context within which the discussion/dispute can take place, absent the threat of encroaching revisionism.

[7] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 10-23-2007 at 02:02 PM • top

The first is to say that we will be in full communion with only those Common Cause partners which do not ordain women or receive ordained women into the priesthood. Our cooperation with the bodies that do so cannot extend to communio in sacris but we will cooperate with them in every way possible in a state of continuing impaired communion.

This strikes me as not very conciliatory.  Isn’t there any way to have theological differences (over, say, WO….not over, say, the bodily resurrection) without declaring a state of “impaired communion”?

I’d like to see a little more grace.

[8] Posted by selah on 10-23-2007 at 02:10 PM • top

selah,

If you do not beleive in the possibility of women in orders, then it is difficult, if not impossible, to be in full communion with a WO diocese or entity. To coexist within the same ecclesial structure is incredibly gracious…and grace will be necessary from all sides

[9] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 10-23-2007 at 02:15 PM • top

Polite. To the point. Rich non fudgey goodness.

Imagine where all of us would be now if the entire structure on BOTH sides put the cards on the table. Whether or not you agree with all of his points you know where you stand.

Jack Iker, the anti Parsley. Ahhh, refreshing!!!

[10] Posted by birminghamer on 10-23-2007 at 02:24 PM • top

Sounds like Bishop Iker is seeking a confederacy with two or more traditionalist eclesiastical bodies - with the prospect of merger if the other abandons WO.  I fear we may be seeing a friendly but formal divide between the evangelical wing and the catholic wing of the orthodox/traditionalists.

[11] Posted by chips on 10-23-2007 at 02:55 PM • top

chips:
Right not Common Cause is something of a confederacy, with the hope of a full merger. But the WO dividing line is not strictly a evangelical/anglo-catholic one. I am firmly evangelical and also firmly traditional on WO, as many other are also.
Bishop Iker’s words also encourage me.

[12] Posted by Shane Copeland on 10-23-2007 at 03:08 PM • top

Oops,
Last post should be “Right now Common Cause…”

[13] Posted by Shane Copeland on 10-23-2007 at 03:10 PM • top

Thanks for the insight Shane.

[14] Posted by chips on 10-23-2007 at 04:06 PM • top

I have been saying all along that my enthusiasm and hope for the eventual success of CCP will hinge upon whether or not they jettison the unscriptural practice of WO. The shame of it all may be that this ONE issue may lead to the breakdown of CCPs efforts. To this possibily, I must ask; is having WO SO important, SO vital, as to allow the insistance of its continued practice scuttle what would almost certainly be the best hope for North American Anglicans to establish a unified, Biblically sound witness so sorely[you may insert “desperately” here] needed on this continent? It is the cry of my heart that this “thing” be disallowed so that CCPs all important work may go forward as it should to the glory of God, and for a firm witness to His unalterable truth.

[15] Posted by Bob K. on 10-23-2007 at 05:22 PM • top

Bob K,
That is a good and valid question?

”...North American Anglicans to establish a unified, Biblically sound witness…” vs. women wearing a collar?

[16] Posted by TLDillon on 10-23-2007 at 05:27 PM • top

The charity and grace didn’t last very long.  Oh well.  I guess there is no need for the theological investigation into this “thing” anymore.  Pity.

[17] Posted by talithajd on 10-23-2007 at 05:57 PM • top

I don’t know if WO is extremely important to most people in the congregations of the church, in fact some congregations would rather not have a woman Rector.

[18] Posted by Betty See on 10-23-2007 at 06:05 PM • top

Women can be a very important influence on the church even if they don’t serve as priests. I remember the things my Sunday School teacher taught me more than I remember the Priest’s sermons.

[19] Posted by Betty See on 10-23-2007 at 06:20 PM • top

One Day Closer, I’m not sure that I understand the meaning of your question completely, but my best reply would be that if I understand “woman wearing a collar” to equal ordaining women to the position of priest/rector or bishop, then based upon the authority of scripture (1 Tim. 2:11-3:15; Titus 1:5:9; 1 Cor.14:34,35), the establishment of a province which has as one of its cornerstones fidelity to the truths of scripture would be compromising such stated integrity right off the bat. I understand that an effort to corral the horse once its left the barn is difficult, but must be done. I feel that CCP is, with this matter, like the Israelites under the leadership of Ezra and Nehamiah, returning from a 70 year captivity, which was caused by the rank and callous disobedience to the clear dictates of God, only to find that many of their returning people had married foreign wives of Canaan, Ammon, Moab, and Egypt, in direct violation of the Law. This disobedience was met with by woeful repentance and confession of the peoples wickedness by Ezra, along with corrosponding action-such offenders were to divorce and banish these forbidden foreign wives AND children-PRONTO! [Nehemiahs reaction was more violent than I would recommend; still, it underscores the seriousness with which consecrated men of God regarded such open rebellion to Gods clear commands]. In summing up-it seems that deliberately behaving contrary to Gods stated will, particularly in the very beginning of a time which is meant to establish Gods sovereign purpose (i.e., the time of the giving of the Law, the return from Babylon, the beginning of the Church) was met with the most severe consequences. In the case of CCP, such disobedience may result in ineffectiveness in ministry, dissension for which no cure can be found, a curious lack of blessing-again; why risk it by permitting what God has clearly forbidden? “Purge out the old leaven…let us keep the feast, not with old leaven…but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”

[20] Posted by Bob K. on 10-23-2007 at 06:22 PM • top

Could we show a little more graciousness of spirit on this discussion.  This very question posed by Bob K. could just as easily be reversed to ask:
“To this possibily, I must ask; is not allowing WO SO important, SO vital, as to allow the insistance of its continued practice scuttle what would almost certainly be the best hope for North American Anglicans to establish a unified, Biblically sound witness so sorely[you may insert “desperately” here] needed on this continent? It is the cry of my heart that this “thing” be allowed so that CCPs all important work may go forward as it should to the glory of God, and for a firm witness to His unalterable truth. ”

[21] Posted by NANA on 10-23-2007 at 06:34 PM • top

I concur Betty See! My grandmother (God rest her soul) taught me more about the Scriptures than I ever learned from a preacher, having grown up in a very, very Pentecostal church. I learned more from sitting in her lap as a little girl reading the Scriptures and she would explain them to me. As I grew up we would sit on the front porch snapping peas for supper talking about the Scriptures and God’s law. Those are things that have stuck with me and she didn’t need a collar to do that.

[22] Posted by TLDillon on 10-23-2007 at 06:39 PM • top

Thanks Bob K, you have given me much fod fo thought this eveningand possibly into tomorrow. I will have to pray and study on this one. Thank you again.
ODC

[23] Posted by TLDillon on 10-23-2007 at 06:43 PM • top

And thank you, ODC, for a kind and gracious response.

[24] Posted by Bob K. on 10-23-2007 at 06:50 PM • top

Bob K.,

Let us look at your question in a larger scope. Let us presume TEC fully repented tomorrow, deposed a few bishops and a lot of priests, got itself back on the right track, etc. You know, Jesus is Lord, Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus atoned for our sins on the cross. Drop the baptismal covenenant, the MDGs and all the rest. No WO, no SSBs, no VGR. (Yeah, I know. Wishful thinking, but let’s just imagine that for the moment).

So we would have a wonderful TEC again, and as far as the AC went, TEC would be in full communion with the rest of the world.

Or would it?

Not really. You see, Uganda and Kenya, Australia, CofE and a host of other Provinces sanction WO.

For those (such as myself) who find theological error in this, it would be a situation whereby any priest in those other Provinces cannot simply transfer to a non-WO Province. First, the priest would have to be male.

A more critical problem comes in where Provinces sanction female bishops. This really presents a huge problem, because she can ordain priests (both male and female). As non-WO Provinces wouldn’t recognize a female bishop, they wouldn’t recognize any priest, even a male priest, ordained by her.

Fast-forward to the time that a male priest, ordained by a female bishop, becomes a bishop himself. He ordains, let’s say, only male priests. But since his orders aren’t recognized by non-WO Provinces, none of the priests he ordains will be recognized, either. (Can you see here why the RCC is having none of the proferred reconciliation with the Anglican church?)

The bottom line is, the AC does permit WO. It’s been described by some as an “experiment” but is nevertheless official, at least in terms of being in a period of discernment. That is to say, it isn’t yet a firm and irrevocable thing, but if a Province wants to give it a try that Province may certainly do so.

But non-WO Provinces don’t recognize a full communion with WO Provinces. The key word is full, not communion. They otherwise get along with each other, partner in ministries, support each other financially or with able, willing bodies to evengelize, cooperate on theology and doctrine and the whole nine yards. It’s just that a non-WO Province won’t accept a female priest as immediately transferrable between Provinces, and in the case of male priests ordained by female bishops, they won’t accept the male priests, either.

Now, let’s take this back down a notch to the level of CCP and Iker’s statement. He’s saying roughly the same thing about other CCPartners that non-WO PBs are saying about other AC Provinces. He’ll work with them but they aren’t going to preach in his chapels.

With that out of the way, here’s food for thought. Suppose CCP booted out all partners that accepted WO and went forward as a totally non-WO organization. Suppose they get recognized by the AC as either an alternate or the official Province in the USA and Canada. To what end, then? To be a new Province in the AC, wherein live other Provinces who sanction WO and CCP will have to learn to get along with them while being in an impaired communion?

Where is the difference? To take a totally non-WO CCP forward only to be a member of a global communion where WO is permitted, I suggest one needs to think carefully if being part of the AC is really what one wishes to accomplish. And if so, then one needs to consider if a difference exists between inter- and intra-province WO.

While I do wish it woud go away, and I pray that it will, it will be with us for some time. A good start, I think, is to simply try to cap it if possible. Then begin whittling away over time.

As for me, I’d prefer a CCP without female priests. I’d prefer an AC without female priests. I’d prefer and AC without female bishops. But I am able to work with the problem of WO while I tackle [sarcasm on] lesser [sarcasm off] important matters, such as Jesus was just this really cool dude, you know? God=Love and Love=God and there’s no such thing as his wrath or repentance, and therefore no such thing as sin. God is in everything—the trees, the flowers, the dust bunnies under your bed—and all the world, including us, comprise God. Jesus is a way. And so on.

There are a ton of “Christians” out there my friend who truly don’t believe in sin other than saying unkind things to another person or striking them. They can’t buy a God/Father who’d sacrifice his God/Son to himself; it’s too horrid to even think about. They haven’t a clue what the Old Testament is about, and only think the New Testament is some sort of Guide for Living. There’s no Satan, no eternal bliss nor torment. God is some sort of whirling, fuzzy cloud of energy floating about the cosmos but certainly hasn’t any mind or interaction with the rest of us stuck on this filthy planet. Etc.

WO, IMHO, can take a back seat to these other, more urgent matters. Getting the Word out and retaught to those who only think they know God/Jesus because, well, it all seems so loving and kind and all that, the way their preacher puts things you know, and really: wouldn’t it be great if we were all nice to each other for a change? Yeah, that’s what Heaven’s all about, and we’ll build it ourselves here on earth. After all, we’re all of us God and can do whatever we set our minds to.

I think sound doctrine and evangelizing it is the first order of business. Mind, I won’t ever give up trying to abate the WO issue, though.

[25] Posted by Antique on 10-23-2007 at 07:02 PM • top

Antique,
Very well said and a very poigant post. Thank you,even though it was directed for Bob K I too enjoyed it immensely!

[26] Posted by TLDillon on 10-23-2007 at 07:22 PM • top

Might I make a suggestion?  Why don’t we let these bishops, who are finally acting like bishops, address the WO issue.  Perhaps, with their prayerful consideration, they may come up with a way forward.  If we attempt to solve this problem on the blogs, we will only further polarize ourselves and possibly undermine the work that CCP is doing.

I do believe that we have erred in WO.  However, it is part of TEC and the AC and only inspired work on the part of the bishops who are committed to preserving an orthodox presence in North America will bring resolution.

Pray for them and then trust in their guidance.  This is what so many of us have been screaming for over the past 30 years. It is finally happening.  Thanks be to God.

Frreed

[27] Posted by frreed on 10-23-2007 at 07:48 PM • top

Absolutely Fr. Reed. That is the great thing about the CCP, I trust these leaders to adjudicate in a godly way.

[28] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 10-23-2007 at 07:51 PM • top

Matt+, are you willing to take a step backward and discard WO to be in “full communion” with FiF?  It seems this elephant sitting in the CCC backyard has now moved to the living room.  How orthodox is orthodox
The choice of the words “impaired communion” also seem unfortunate.  The GS asked the traditionalist Americans groups to come together and speak with one voice.  +Iker has chosen the same words to describe FiF’s relationship with its Common Cause partners who practice WO, as those the GS used to describe their relationship with TEC and congregations contemplating leaving, their relationship with their bishops?  So how much unity is there in this group?  Is +Iker in “impaired communion” with +Duncan?  Is +Schofield in “impaired communion” with Uganda?

[29] Posted by EmilyH on 10-23-2007 at 09:21 PM • top

+Iker shot from the hip just as he always does.  He is quite aware that WO is a problem for the CCP.  I would be willing to bet that +Duncan is aware of it too.(sarcasm off)  These two godly bishops seem to think that they can work together to build a truly orthodox entity.  We should just pray that they and all the other bishops involved in CCP allow themselves to be led by the Holy Spirit and follow His guidance.  The CCP seems to already have plans on the books to meet on a regular basis to work out all the glitches.  I am sure that WO will be dealt with asap.  It is a rather big elephant in the room and will not stay under cover for long.

[30] Posted by terrafirma on 10-23-2007 at 09:55 PM • top

We must remember Bp Iker’s audience.  For FIF-UK, WO is the main if not the only issue.  If he had not addressed this, he would certainly have been questioned by his English listeners.  Notice that he does not rule out a female diaconate, and neither does FIF-UK.

[31] Posted by Laurence K Wells on 10-23-2007 at 10:02 PM • top

Sheeeeeeee’s Back. And with good questions that may run this thread for weeks. Is/Should WO be on the same playing field as SSBs, qay clergy, etc? A woman interim ran me and my family out of our parish a few years ago; but it was her theology, not her sex that was the proverbial straw. She’s gone and we’re back, for the time being. I have female priest/friends and no problem with them. I don’t know enough about the theological issues to enter into the debate and would really appreciate some direction.
Matt, this is obviously not a problem for you. Can you, and others much more knowledgeable, lend a hand here?
In the wilderness,
John1

[32] Posted by john1 on 10-23-2007 at 10:04 PM • top

Casting no aspersions, that should have been “and others much more knowledgeable than I…”.
Ahh, the slings and arrows of misinterpretations are to be guarded against.
John1

[33] Posted by john1 on 10-23-2007 at 10:10 PM • top

EmilyH,

Matt+, are you willing to take a step backward and discard WO to be in “full communion” with FiF?

I think you may be disappointed when you find that this statement doesn’t have as much apoplexic currency with +Matt, as you had hoped.  At least, that’s my reading of what +Matt has wrote in the past, on the subject. 

Your concern for the comfort of Pro-WO Reasserters is duly noted, but perhaps not necessary.  Pro-WO Reasserters you see, already have the sympathy of Reasserters with a traditional take on WO.  And I suspect that sympathy will become more meaningful as both groups realize that the other side of the reasserter divide is bending over backwards, as well. 

If the Lord tarries, I predict one day that a Christian historian in oh, a generation or three, will call this the beginning of a great corporate repentance. 

As the people of Ninevah wondered so long ago in prelude to their gambling on Grace, “Who knows?” 

And so, we gamble on Grace.

[34] Posted by J Eppinga on 10-23-2007 at 10:11 PM • top

Antique, I can certainly agree with you that the CCP having one “issue”, but which is otherwise orthodox and Biblically sound is 100 times better than the TEC currently is in that regard. And I’m certainly aware that not only is there an apalling lack of Biblical literacy in society at large, but yes, in the church as well. I think anybody would be foolish if they said that WO makes CCP useless for anything Christian (much like TEC has become, and seems to be going further down that road all the time-the “new thing” and all, you know..). I also think you would agree that the egregious nature of TECs apostacy didnt happen overnight. First, one error was slipped in and was taught. “Hmmm. Nobody seemed to notice that. Here, lets try another one. That one met with a LITTLE resistence, but in the end, nobody complained TOO much. Lets bring into question a cardinal Christian doctrine-dont cast it aside just yet, just raise some doubt about it-great! Lukewarm response, just as I thought! And now, a bigger lie; and another one, a small one that wont raise attention. There, that was easy..” This is how Screwtape instructs Wormwood to do things, so that you now have such a confussed mass of gobbledygook passing for Christianity in TEC, that theres no WAY you can unscramble those eggs. Apostacy usually starts small, but gets worse with time, like a snowball rolling down a mountainside in the cartoons-pretty soon its huge, picking up a head of steam, and coming right at you.  Am I saying that WO will lead CCP down this road? Most likely, no; I am saying that its a bad precedant to accept what is obviously Biblically incorrect, because how are you going to keep further error from taking hold? On the grounds that its Biblically incorrect-ooops!! You see? You’ve already conceded some serious high ground in your battle against allowing heresy to take root.  At the end of your post, you wrote: “I think sound doctrine and evangelizing it is the first order of business. Mind, I won’t ever give up trying to abate the WO issue, though.” I’d say that we are pretty much on the same page; my point is that if sound doctrine is in fact a first order of business, then it had better be dealt with as such from the get go. Fr. Reed and Fr. Matt both seem convinced that the CCP Bishops will, in fact, deal with this issue in a godly and timely manner. Terrafirma seems to think so too, when he wrote: “I am sure that WO will be dealt with asap.  It is a rather big elephant in the room and will not stay under cover for long.” I’d like to be as optimistic as Fr. Reed, Fr. Matt, and terrafirma. Perhaps they WILL deal with this issue promptly and head on, and not casually toss it on the back burner for a “later time” that may never arrive. I can only pray it is so.

[35] Posted by Bob K. on 10-23-2007 at 10:59 PM • top

Antique

You have my vote for best post.

My question is the three non-WO dioceses in the TEC somehow have learned to live with traditional, but WO dioceses, such as,  Dallas, South Carolina and Pittsburgh, and why can’t they do the same in the future? While I respect the three dioceses stand these many years, and would not want to jeopardize their future, I do not think this issue over WO,( or for that matter the 1979 BCP ) is THE ISSUE OF ALL ISSUES. The devil is roaming about like a roaring lion as Antique so well described and we must be ONE, even with what may be the anomaly of WO. I don’t want this to be the litmus tests of Orthodoxy.  It may be as proponents believe a matter of discipline, not dogma. Maybe we should give that point of view the benefit of the doubt. As my mother always said,” graciousness is never wrong”.

Forever Anglican

[36] Posted by Forever Anglican on 10-23-2007 at 11:01 PM • top

Lawrence K. Wells wrote: “Notice that he does not rule out a female diaconate, and neither does FIF-UK.” As far as I’ve been able to ascertain, the combination of scriptural and historical witness make that a legitamate church office. In fact, I’ll further guess that a large majority of folks who oppose WO would have no problem with a female diaconate.

[37] Posted by Bob K. on 10-23-2007 at 11:30 PM • top

...err, make that “legitimate”.

[38] Posted by Bob K. on 10-23-2007 at 11:35 PM • top

Women have traditionally had a very important role in the church and that is nurturing children in the Christian faith, if women choose instead to follow the lure of the pulpit and the vestments of priest, is that really to the benefit of the church and who will educate children in the faith?
I was very pleased about Women’s Ordination at first but now that I have seen how women in power have influenced the Episcopal Church it seems to me that we should study Scripture and consider if women could better serve God in another more meaningful way.

[39] Posted by Betty See on 10-23-2007 at 11:54 PM • top

john1 wrote:

Matt, [WO] is obviously not a problem for you. Can you, and others much more knowledgeable, lend a hand here?

He already did,  here, and the comments continue here.

[40] Posted by kyounge1956 on 10-24-2007 at 12:08 AM • top

Excellent post, Antique.  I agree with you on every point.  Thanks for taking the time to express your thoughts.  We need to keep the main thing the main thing: “preaching Christ and Him crucified.”

[41] Posted by Jill C. on 10-24-2007 at 12:09 AM • top

Thank you, Forever Anglican. Surely I am not the only orthodox Anglican who could be happy either in a WO or a non-WO diocese, and who prays that we will not let this divide the orthodox to the point where we do not work together. If we do that, both will lose. Remember, the orthodox lost a great opportunity about 30 years ago because everyone who didn’t get their way 100% went off and formed their own little group.

We can already see, in Common Cause, a way forward, and if it has to involve a “ring fence” for non-WO dioceses, to reassure and protect them, so be it. As Forever Anglican has pointed out, we already work together to protect the orthodox in TEC. Why stop now, on the verge of major orthodox success in forming a structure where WO and non-WO orthodox can be safe?

[42] Posted by rkreed on 10-24-2007 at 12:16 AM • top

Bob K. with all due respect, so you get to follow your conscience but others do not get to follow theirs to conclusions reached from Scripture, not from reappraising Scrip-torture?

jettison the unscriptural practice of WO (a valid Scriptural case exists for WO and you are free to disagree without advancing your reading as undisputed fact) ... It is the cry of my heart that this “thing” be disallowed so that CCPs all important work may go forward as it should to the glory of God, and for a firm witness to His unalterable truth.
(Duly noted.  But if WO does indeed turn out to be Scriptural, and I am open to listening to your grounds against it, then you will be akin to the Church censuring Copernicus and Galileo for heresy when they in fact contradicted nothing that Scripture actually taught)

Notice your tone and for “WO” substitute “racial intermarriage”, for example, and ask yourself honestly how you sound.  Instead of wielding the flaming sword against those who believe with you in essential Christian doctrines of original sin, the virgin birth, the divinity of Jesus, the substitutionary atonement, etc., give us the explicit, Scripturally-grounded, non-emotional arguments against WO without resorting to tradition as the Roman church does to argue from silence for things found nowhere in Scripture.  Please don’t take this as an attack, but rather an invitation to brothers and sisters in Christ to debate ideas and not people so that “iron sharpens iron” but without a great deal of sparks!

[43] Posted by Milton on 10-24-2007 at 02:06 AM • top

EmilyH,

As we’ve said before, we hold to the limited WO position but we do not consider this an essential matter. Therefore, if it is the decision of the CCP collectively that WO is to be abandoned, we are prepared to submit and abandon it.

[44] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 10-24-2007 at 03:59 AM • top

now that I have seen how women in power have influenced the Episcopal Church it seems to me that we should study Scripture and consider if women could better serve God in another more meaningful way.

  I concur Bette
By thier works ye shall know them.  Not all, but many, did us in.  That’s enough for me!

[45] Posted by Gigs Girl on 10-24-2007 at 04:08 AM • top

Hosea6:6 ... I would join that club.  There really need to be some cool retro-style I like +Iker buttons made up.  Is anyone on this?  If not, I will take on that task.

[46] Posted by Anglican Beach Party on 10-24-2007 at 05:59 AM • top

Bob K writes:
“In fact, I’ll further guess that a large majority of folks who oppose WO would have no problem with a female diaconate.”

Didn’t know truth was determined by counting hands, but as long as you are working statistically, please don’t forget the vast majority of
Christians in the RCC and EO Churches.  If antiquity and consensus are to be considered, then (to borrow from J.B.Phillips) “your church is too small.”

[47] Posted by Laurence K Wells on 10-24-2007 at 06:38 AM • top

I have grown both wary and weary of debates on the “ordination” of women, having engaged in so many myself.  One reason is that they are so repetitive.  Those who engage in them often sound as if they have never read any of these arguments, as the same points are brought up over and over and over again.  Another is the determination by both sides to pre-empt argument by setting the terms of debate on their own:  “Prove it to me only using Scripture”, etc.  So this time I will try to limit myself to just a few observations.  Make of them what you will.

First, I note once again the appeal to “the main thing.”  This is the famous please let’s not argue over ‘adiaphora’ while losing sight of [fill in the blank].

Of course, there is the obvious question of just who it is who gets to determine what “the main thing” is.  But apart from that, what if something like the “ordination” of women fatally undermines the ability to preach that “main thing” by slowly destroying the very institution, or some portion of it, founded by Our Saviour to preach that very “main thing” to an unbelieving world?

We’re all familiar with the analogy of the frog in the pot.  Put a pot of cold water on the stove; place a frog in it; very, very slowly turn up the temperature; and by the time it reaches boiling, it is too late—the frog does not realize what has happened and dies.  Well, what if the “ordination” of women is just the first turn of the knob on the stove?  “Well, it’s not obviously wrong.  The water is just a little warmer.  Besides, I can see some benefits; I was feeling a little chilly.  Why can’t we all get along?  Maybe we can live with it . . . “

Second, I note again the appeal above to “only Scripture, not tradition,” since “tradition” is somehow “Roman.”  Let us leave aside that this is yet another attempt to set the terms of debate before it begins, as well as that the appeal to Tradition is not uniquely Roman, but rather classically Anglican (the Book of Common Prayer depends on it).  The truth is that very few serious theological questions have ever been settled by a simple, knock-down appeal to obvious, unambiguous Scriptural passages.  Arians, Nestorians, monophysites, et alii, all had their favorite verses too.  A “good scriptural argument” can, in fact, be made for all of these heresies.  That’s one reason why they were so powerful.

So please, everyone, stop insisting that some sort of clear “proof” be produced, one based on the outcome of a battle between dueling Scriptural citations.  That simply means that the argument will never be settled, or rather that it will be settled only by the emotional preferences of the debaters.  To deal with this question, you will simply have to enlarge the arena of authority.  Trust me, there is no other way.

Finally, while I once had no trouble with women in the diaconate, I have become much less sanguine about it of late (and yes, I know all about the famous Phoebe, so please don’t go there).  For those who are curious, see the work of A. G. Martimort Deaconesses: An Historical Study.

Now, if anyone really, really wants, I will be happy to produce a list of Scripture citations and secondary literature (both on paper and the internet) on the “ordination” of women.  But right now I have to get to work.

[48] Posted by Id rather not say on 10-24-2007 at 08:44 AM • top

I guess by that standard we’ll have to stop ordaining men, too.  “By their fruits ye shall know them!”

[49] Posted by talithajd on 10-24-2007 at 08:47 AM • top

I think that allowing women into the diaconate, while it may be an innovation, is nonetheless a good solution to the problem of what to do when a woman feels a higher calling of service in the church.

Used to be, that women could enter monastaries and other religious orders to live out that kind of radical committment to the Church but with their sad decline in the Anglican church, that option was/is no longer really any alternative for most women. I think that this is the reason why the clamor for WO began in the first place. We had on the one hand, a legitimate desire on the part of women for some kind of consecrated life (as opposed to the unconsecrated roles of the female laity.) And on the other, only one option, which was barred to them.

I am not one of those traditionalists who believe that change is never permitted in the church due to new circumstances. Even the Orthodox, probably the communion most resistant to change, recognizes this.

I am personally very glad that +Iker is of the same mind. He sees a need on the part of some good orthodox women and instead of telling these, tough on you if you have no avenue to live out your higher calling, he has supported a role for women which I feel does not violate the sacramental order of the Church (as long as women don’t serve at the altar in either the priestly of the traditionally male deacon’s role) but one which is still a calling and committment of a higher order.

Its only fair I think. If some traditionalists don’t like it, then they need to get busy reviving the Anglican religious orders to something like the stength of the other two communions.

As for what to do about WO in the CCP, I would like to see it phased out rather than banned. Allow those who are already serving to honorably retire when their time comes or offer them the more circumscribed role of deaconess. Don’t ordain any more women to the priesthood, ie presiding over the sacraments. Open the diaconate to female candidates.

I am sure that there are some people here who just can’t understand why an unconsecrated role just isn’t enough for some women if it was good enough for their moms etc. But I would offer that these are most likely to be men wink Even though I am a traditional Anglo-Catholic woman, I still deeply sympathize with those whose women call doesnt fit into the laity. As someone with a sacramental understanding of the Church, I can see the deep value and importantance of the Church calling certain gifted and devout women out of the laity for a more visible, committed and responsible role. As in all such roles, these callings should be blessed by the Church with all due pomp and solemnity. It should be a special occaision when a women enters into a sacred relationship with the Church. I can understand the need on the woman’s part and the neccesity for the Church to impress on them at the start of that relationship the sacredness of such a calling. To do otherwise is to keep some women forever barred from experiencing what other women experience only when they marry. I don’t think we should get in the way of women* who feel called to a deeper relationship to the Church.

*I don’t mean to imply that deaconesses should be unmarried like nuns, only that some of these may be called to marry the Church rather than men. Married deaconesses would probably be a majority and I think that would be just fine.

[50] Posted by StayinAnglican on 10-24-2007 at 08:47 AM • top

INRS,

I agree with much of what you write but for this portion:

“A “good scriptural argument” can, in fact, be made for all of these heresies.”

No, an argument that “employs” scripture can be made…just as one that employs scripture can be made for ssbs. But a “good scriptural argument” cannot be made for the above heresies.

[51] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 10-24-2007 at 08:49 AM • top

The only thing that bothers me about my parish being in the Anglican Church of Uganda is their support of WO.  I don’t want that to become a part of our DNA to haunt us when we eventually find ourselves in the yet-to-be-created orthodox North American province.  I believe that many of both the evangelical and more catholic of our parishioners (and we have large numbers of both) are uncomfortable with WO, though for somewhat different reasons.

[52] Posted by evan miller on 10-24-2007 at 08:50 AM • top

Man, my spelling is especially bad today. Sorry for all the errors in the above. I do know better. I blame my traitorious fingers….

[53] Posted by StayinAnglican on 10-24-2007 at 08:50 AM • top

Man, my spelling is especially bad today. Sorry for all the errors in the above. I do know better. I blame my traitorious fingers….

StayinAnglican,
I feel your pain! But, I call it charm! smile

[54] Posted by TLDillon on 10-24-2007 at 10:25 AM • top

Question:

Does anyone know, unofficially, which Province(s) FiF-NA is in conversation with?

[55] Posted by Simple Path on 10-24-2007 at 10:46 AM • top

Antique,

Well said.

The experiment of ordaining women seeks to answer the question “is ordaining women a good idea?”  But there is another question involved in ordaining women that is glossed over.  Ordaining women as an experiment assumes an answer to that question directly opposite to the one that Rome and Constantinople have given.

That question is, “is it possible to ordain women?”  Catholicism and Orthodoxy have both said no, very clearly, and with a degree of finality that is rarely exceeded.  Which is why ARCIC discussions don’t have the level of energy and urgency that dialog with the Orthodox does.

[56] Posted by Ed the Roman on 10-24-2007 at 10:53 AM • top

I think that allowing women into the diaconate, while it may be an innovation, is nonetheless a good solution to the problem of what to do when a woman feels a higher calling of service in the church.

I agree, and I’m willing to go out on a limb and bet $5 that there will be women deacons in the Roman Catholic Church within 100-200 years. [After we’ve let you all be the guinea pigs. smile ] Further, these women will be brought higher into the realms of ecclesiastic power than any woman can reach today.  (See my estate to collect if I’m wrong.)

How many people know that a Cardinal doesn’t HAVE to be a bishop or even a priest? The original ordering of Cardinals was: Cardinal Deacons, Cardinal Priests, and Cardinal Bishops.  A woman could theoretically be made a Cardinal and even help elect a Pope.

However, this is light-years from a woman being a priest.  What I know most (but not all) folks on this list know is that WO IS a different deal than non-celibate gay clergy for Catholics because, as has been noted so many times here, for a Catholic a non-celibate gay man is a SINFUL priest or a SINFUL bishop (and we know there have been a LOT of those) but is still a VALID priest or bishop; whereas, for a Catholic, a woman priest or bishop is NOT a priest or bishop at all.  This, of course, has humongous implications for the validity of the sacraments and for apostolic succession.  Depending on your view of the sacraments and apostolic succession, this is either not a problem or an insurmountable problem.  By definition, those who take the Catholic view on this cannot be in full communion with those who don’t.  When the AC first started ordaining women, the Vatican issued a statement saying basically “we have a lot of problems with your Orders and your ecclesiology, but they are all discussable/negotiable.  But now you’ve crossed a river that puts you completely out of reach.”  I assume (but don’t know)that this is the view of the EO as well.

[57] Posted by Catholic Mom on 10-24-2007 at 10:54 AM • top

(See my estate to collect if I’m wrong.)

I will leave instructions to my descendents.

[58] Posted by Id rather not say on 10-24-2007 at 11:01 AM • top

kyounge1956,
Thanks for the cites. Since WO wasn’t on my radar back in June, I probably skipped over it. That’ll take care of my weekend reading.

[59] Posted by john1 on 10-24-2007 at 11:08 AM • top

Perhaps this (entirely disinterested and non-polemical) information might be of use on this thread:

ANGLICAN PROVINCES AND WOMEN’S ORDINATION:

There are only seven Anglican provinces that outrightly refuse to ordain women to all three Holy Orders (deacon, priest, bishop):

Central Africa
Jerusalem and the Middle East
Korea
Melanesia
Nigeria
Papua New Guinea
Southeast Asia

There are three provinces that ordain women only to the diaconate:

Indian Ocean
Southern Cone (in South America)
Congo
Pakistan

All the other Anglican provinces ordain women to the priesthood.

This information is from an April 2006 posting on Taylor Marshall’s “Canterbury Tales” blog (http://cantuar.blogspot.com), but I have updated it to reflect the adoption of WO by the Church of Tanzania and the Anglican Church of the Congo in 2005.  (In Tanzania there is “diocesan option” and in practice none of the Anglo-Catholic dioceses there ordain women, while all of the Evangelical ones do.)

I read two years ago that the Archbishop of Melanesia, Ellison Pogo, was campaigning vigorously for the acceptance of WO there, but I do not know with what result.

[60] Posted by William Tighe on 10-24-2007 at 11:10 AM • top

I’d say that we are pretty much on the same page; my point is that if sound doctrine is in fact a first order of business, then it had better be dealt with as such from the get go.

Hmmm. This is a troubling statement for me to respond to. Of course I agree with you. On the other hand, heresies in TEC go back further than mere WO issues—a long way back, even to the very founding of PECUSA. There are more things concerning wrong doctrine than merely WO (if indeed it is wrong theologically, as I believe). So your statement/question leaves me asking, not only to you but to myself, “At what point are we absolutely certain we have only correct doctrine that we are able to unite in spirit, mission, canon and purpose?”

And a follow-up question: “Who decides the answer to the first question? Me? You? The bloggers here and about? One bishop? Would that be +Iker or +Duncan, who are on different sides of the fence on this issue? Or perhaps we need a PB such as ++Venables?” (Egad, please don’t suggest to me that it be +++Williams! wink)

[Here, I had originally attempted to humbly answer my own questions, above. They were lengthy and they were mine. I gather you and everyone else will give some serious thought to those questions, as indeed I have over many decades. Still, everyone will have their own set of answers, so I deemed publishing my lengthy response to be space-abuse at best.]

WO is hardly the only doctrinal issue facing CCP in its varied membership. Neither is it the sole doctrinal issue facing the AC, or the entire Church of all Christians (e.g., artificial birth-control and abortion, remarriage, soteriology, et al). I submit we’d have a better chance of rectifying these issues in a common household than we would if we merely send letters back and forth across town and write learned books we hope the other side may read one day.

I also submit as we tackle these issues over time and eliminate them, new heresies will pop up. It’s been that way since A&E;were first tempted to “bite the apple” and did so. I see no reason to believe it will change as long as Satan is free to tempt us and humans are in control of institutions. A CCP/AC/World Church without WO will be tempted and tried anew with future heresies. Bank on it.

To sum it up and close my commentary in this thread, it is the continual collective effort of earnest Christians, working together, that enable the Great Commission. And that, IMHO, is the most important work set out for us. (Yes, we have work to do! It isn’t about merely saving our own souls and resting on our righteous laurels; to whom much is given, much is expected.) There hasn’t been, and indeed never will be this side of the Second Coming, a time when heresies weren’t interfering. There has never been a pristine Godly world since the Fall, not even when Jesus walked the Earth. Even Peter, while Jesus was living, got the sharper side of Christ’s tongue every now and then. If we await a time when all is right before coming together as we otherwise may, we shall have a very long wait, indeed.

So here at the end, I find myself disagreeing with your statement, quoted at top, despite my initial agreement with you. I hold both views. I do agree the Holy and Righteous thing is to do is that which is Holy and Righteous. It’s just that humans can merely aspire to do this. We have to try the best we can with the material God gave us to work with (an infallible Word and an imperfect mind) and trust in the Grace and Mercy of God to guide us through the problems of this world. My theology on WO (et al) could, after all, be entirely wrong. None of this supersedes our commission, though.

[61] Posted by Antique on 10-24-2007 at 11:10 AM • top

Matt writes:  “But a “good scriptural argument” cannot be made for the above heresies.”

It just depends, Matt, on what you mean by “good.”  A “good” argument is not necessarily a valid argument.  A “good” argument can be one which impresses the poorly informed and is tedious to refute.

[62] Posted by Laurence K Wells on 10-24-2007 at 11:13 AM • top

On the comment thread to the above posting from “Canterbury Tales” I added the following:

CONCERNING THE “THEOLOGCAL COMPLEXION” OF THESE CHURCHES:

Central Africa: Anglo-Catholic
Jerusalem, etc.: largely mixed, i.e., Evangelical and “Anglophile liberal”
Korea: Anglo-Catholic
Melanesia: Anglo-Catholic
Nigeria: largely Evangelical but with some Anglo-Catholic enclaves
Papua/New Guinea: ultra Anglo-Catholic (explored becoming RC en masse in the early 1980s)
SE Asia: Evangelical
******************************
Indian Ocean: Anglo-Catholic
Southern Cone: Evangelical
Pakistan: (I have no knowledge)

I wonder whether being in a Muslim environment may have a bearing on the stance of Jerusalem and Pakistan.

[63] Posted by William Tighe on 10-24-2007 at 11:22 AM • top

William,

I am not sure what your point is with posting this info. But it frankly doesnt matter to me how many or how few of the provinces allow WO or bar it. It doesn’t make me want to leave Anglicanism. It doesnt persuade me that the cause is lost within it. If you didn’t mean either of these possibilities, then hopefully you will take the time to explain what you meant.

At minimum, WO is a significant hinderance to Christian unity. If that were the only problem with it, it would still be wrong.

Now I don’t mean to say that Christians of either side of the issue can’t get along, even under the same roof, but WO makes true unity impossible with the vast majority of Christians out there.

By vast majority, I mean to include a significant portion of the orthodox Anglicans of the world too. Nigeria may be one province, but in terms of its membership it is the largest. That is just one. I don’t think we should leave out the other Christian bodies either from our consideration of the issue.

Like I said above, I think that “ordaining” (if that is the right term)  women deaconesses to some kind of consecrated but limited role in the Church may be the very compromise that is needed to bring both sides together. It will necessarily mean sacrifice for both sides. But that is the very nature of compromise. I am sure that the details could be worked out in such a way as to satisfy most everyone enough to settle the issue. I think a solution can, and I pray, will be found which will not, on the one hand, leave women corralled in the laity when their calling is higher than that, and on the other hand, would preserve sacramental order and protect proper apostolic succession for those most concerned with these issues. We will all have to lose something if we are ever going to get to acheive a win for all.

I have a feeling that +Iker has been way ahead of everyone regarding this kind of compromise. He has probably been thinking and planning for years heh heh. I hate to make an uneducated prediction, but I am willing to bet that he will offer such a compromise to the CCP when the time is right, probably appealing to unity and calling for some sacrifices to made by everyone for its sake.

Personally, I would hope that such a compromise, undergirded by a sacrificial committment to unity, would be something that could be brought to the table with the RCC and EO and might produce more fruit than the current course.

Who could say no to that?? Not me at least.

[64] Posted by StayinAnglican on 10-24-2007 at 11:44 AM • top

Good morning, all. Well, lets see. So far I have been accused of acting like a Roman Catholic and having no scripture to substantiate my objection to WO. OK then; begin with the plain statements written by the Apostle Paul in 1 Tim.2:11 through to 1 Tim. 3:15. The implications are unequivical here. Then read Titus 1:5-9. Paul writes much the same thing to Titus in terms of the qualification for the office of overseer/elder. Combine the plain reading of these scriptures with what Paul writes in 1 Cor. 14:34,35, and it becomes abundantly clear: the church office of overseer/elder is only to be held by a man, and not by a woman.  Secondly, Lawrence K. Wells wrote: “Bob K writes:
““In fact, I’ll further guess that a large majority of folks who oppose WO would have no problem with a female diaconate.” Didn’t know truth was determined by counting hands”....  You conveniently forgot to quote the sentance that I had written just before the one you quoted, namely: “As far as I’ve been able to ascertain, the combination of SCRIPTURAL[emphises mine] and historical witness make that a legitimate church office.”  I had never suggested that I thought that “truth was determined by counting hands” ; nor would I. While the office of deaconess has not been made CRYSTAL clear by scripture, the scriptures are quite plain concerning gender restriction on the office of overseer/elder.

[65] Posted by Bob K. on 10-24-2007 at 11:51 AM • top

I said:

How many people know that a Cardinal doesn’t HAVE to be a bishop or even a priest? The original ordering of Cardinals was: Cardinal Deacons, Cardinal Priests, and Cardinal Bishops.

Slight correction…they do now, of course, by canon law, but not by theology or by tradition given that initially there were seven Cardinals drawn from the ranks of deacon.  (These were the head deacons in each of the seven sub-divisions of Rome who played important roles in running the Church and hence were “cardinal” deacons.)  The law would have to be changed to allow real deacons to be cardinals now, but that could be done.

[66] Posted by Catholic Mom on 10-24-2007 at 11:58 AM • top

<blockquote>Matt writes:  “But a “good scriptural argument” cannot be made for the above heresies.”

It just depends, Matt, on what you mean by “good.” A “good” argument is not necessarily a valid argument.  A “good” argument can be one which impresses the poorly informed and is tedious to refute. </blokquote>

I would add that a good argument is one that follows logically on its premises.  In that sense, the arguments for Arianism were perfectly good.  It was the premises that were wrong, and the argument was, in truth, only ended when a majority finally agreed on just what those were.  I would suggest that there is a similar problem in debates over the “ordination” of women.

[67] Posted by Id rather not say on 10-24-2007 at 12:20 PM • top

Sorry.  There was supposed to a a “close blockquote” after “refute” in the above.

[68] Posted by Id rather not say on 10-24-2007 at 12:21 PM • top

on the one hand, leave women corralled in the laity when their calling is higher than that

  “Corralled” in the laity?  This reminds me so much of the women’s lib movement that would have us believe that there is something “higher” than being a mother and that we women are simply not “fulfilled” unless we leave the home and do something “better” with our lives.  A “different” calling, perhaps, but “higher?”  I don’t think so.

[69] Posted by Gigs Girl on 10-24-2007 at 01:09 PM • top

BobK wrote:

While the office of deaconess has not been made CRYSTAL clear by scripture…

Early this year there was a thread which had quite a lot of information on Deaconesses. Historically, Deaconesses are not the same thing as female Deacons. Start here and read onward for lots more information.

[70] Posted by kyounge1956 on 10-24-2007 at 01:20 PM • top

If anyone can be corralled in the laity, Clericalism is the truth.

[71] Posted by Ed the Roman on 10-24-2007 at 01:59 PM • top

CatholicMom wrote:

I’m willing to go out on a limb and bet $5 that there will be women deacons in the Roman Catholic Church within 100-200 years. [After we’ve let you all be the guinea pigs.  ] Further, these women will be brought higher into the realms of ecclesiastic power than any woman can reach today.  (See my estate to collect if I’m wrong.)

How many people know that a Cardinal doesn’t HAVE to be a bishop or even a priest? The original ordering of Cardinals was: Cardinal Deacons, Cardinal Priests, and Cardinal Bishops.  A woman could theoretically be made a Cardinal and even help elect a Pope.

I’m intrigued by this vision of women at upper levels of church structures, even voting in Papal elections. Can a lay person be a cardinal?

Betty See points out above the important role women have played in the past as educators of children. Without dismissing that, teaching children is not all women can do. My parish is part of an ecumenical group and last year at the annual pulpit exchange our guest preacher was a woman member of a R.C. Lay Order of preachers.  Deborah was a Judge of Israel (perhaps equivalent to a high position in church government today); Phoebe was St Paul’s assistant (he says she has been a “great help” to him) and dependable messenger to the church at Rome; Nympha hosted a church in her home (Col 4:15) and Lydia at Philippi may also have done so (Acts 16:40). There were women engaged in Christian work (Ro 16:12, Ph 4:1-3), acts of mercy (Acts 8:36), prophecy (Acts 21:9), evangelism (Prisca and Aquila, and the wives of the Apostles who traveled with them) and financial support of the church (Luke 8:3).

I hope that in the future of orthodox Anglicanism in North America (assuming we have one), that the historic office of Deaconess is brought back and that women will be seen in all these scripturally supported roles. I wonder how many women went into ordained ministry because they had a deep call to do that which only priests can do, and how many went took that route because it was the only way they were allowed to exercise their gifts of preaching or exhortation or administration for the benefit of the church. If there are recognized ways for women to use those gifts outside ordained ministry, maybe the WO question will solve itself to a great extent.

[72] Posted by kyounge1956 on 10-24-2007 at 02:05 PM • top

kyounge1956-much thanks for your last two posts. The last one was right on the money when you stated: “I hope that in the future of orthodox Anglicanism in North America (assuming we have one), that the historic office of Deaconess is brought back and that women will be seen in all these scripturally supported roles. I wonder how many women went into ordained ministry because they had a deep call to do that which only priests can do, and how many went took that route because it was the only way they were allowed to exercise their gifts of preaching or exhortation or administration for the benefit of the church. If there are recognized ways for women to use those gifts outside ordained ministry, maybe the WO question will solve itself to a great extent.”  And if I may throw this in; when I stated before “While the office of deaconess has not been made CRYSTAL clear by scripture”… I was referring to the two scriptures which would specifically point to the office of deaconess, which would be 1 Tim. 3:11 and the “Phoebe” passage, Romans 16:1,2. Briefly, those who would argue against the office of deaconess state that concerning 1 Tim. 3:11, the greek word for “woman”-which would make the passage refer to deaconesses were it translated that way-can also just as easily be translated as “wives”, making the verse refer to deacons wives. From everything I’ve read, that one greek word can be (and is so in the NT) used to mean either woman or wife. While normally context determines translation, this particlar usage seemingly leaves us to determine whether or not the more immediate context (which would favor “wives”) or the somewhat wider context (which would favor “women”) is in view. I’ve seen good arguments on “both sides of the ball” here. To those who would argue that deaconess in Romans 16:1 simply means a servant-I would tend to disagree, based on what Paul has provided in verse 2, especially the charge given to the Christians at Rome concerning her. It is vaguely reminiscent of the charge that Paul gave to the Corinthians concerning Timothy in 1 Cor. 16:10,11, and its generally agreed that Timothy was a Bishop, so it seems that Phoebe held a designated position within the church, not was not referenced here merely as a ‘helper’ in general.

[73] Posted by Bob K. on 10-24-2007 at 02:55 PM • top

I agree with Nana1938 that the idea of one calling being “higher” than another can be problematic (although I believe Paul refers to higher callings or gifts).  The problem is that in reality, society (the church included) does place higher value on certain people due to their position.  That’s probably not right, but it certainly is a fact.  I would further point out that not all women are called to motherhood, so while it may be a high calling it is not one that all women can necessarily attain.

[74] Posted by talithajd on 10-24-2007 at 02:56 PM • top

...correction; that last phrase “not was not referenced here merely as a ‘helper’ in general.”, should have read “AND was not referenced here merely as a ‘helper’ in general.”

[75] Posted by Bob K. on 10-24-2007 at 03:12 PM • top

Nana,

That is not what I meant at all. I am no women’s libber as that term is usually defined. I am however concerned for those women who do feel a different call. For these women, being constricted to the laity, would be as frustrating as it would be for a woman called to monastic life to be similarly confined. For those women truly called to the honor and dignity of the laity there is no restriction.

I certainly don’t think that the laity is at all an inferior calling. Heck, I am one of the laity and since I don’t feel a strong sense of call myself, I am likely to stay that way, happy, content and fulfilled as such.

I may have used the word “higher.” But I was using it in its historical usage, not in the distorted and envious sense that it has taken on since the advent of radical feminism. You may have missed where I have also referred to it as a deeper or different call to service in the Church. To me the use of the word higher means higher in the Church hierarchy, which, in the correct sense, doesnt imply superiority but instead greater responsibilty and a more intense form of servanthood. In other words, in the Church the higher you rise, the more a servant you become! wink You sure don’t get to be better than anyone else. (Ain’t it grand?) Any woman with a “higher” calling is being called into a different kind of servanthood in the Church than one called to one of any number of lay roles which may be less intense due to the demands of family & motherhood. These less intense roles exist not because they are inferior but because they allow women to get as involved as much as they are able or feel a need to be.

Since the role of deaconess would most likely be filled with married women as much as the priesthood is filled with married men, such a role would allow that much more to the range of women’s choices in the Church. For some women like, for instance, Mrs Kennedy, who have a strong calling and who can handle both a growing family and so very much more, being a deaconess would be a good fit.

[76] Posted by StayinAnglican on 10-24-2007 at 03:32 PM • top

I’m intrigued by this vision of women at upper levels of church structures, even voting in Papal elections. Can a lay person be a cardinal?

No—but, in the distant past deacons could be cardinals.  Canon law now says you must be a priest or a bishop.  All I was saying was that IF women could some day be deacons in the RC church, then there would be a way open if they wanted to open up the higher realms of church power to them w/out having to go the WO route.

[77] Posted by Catholic Mom on 10-24-2007 at 05:04 PM • top

“... in the distant past deacons could be cardinals.”

Actually, one didn’t even have to be a deacon.  One could simply be a “cleric” or in one of the “minor orders” to be a cardinal.  Cardinal Antonelli, Blessed Pius IX’s Cardinal Secretary of State in the 1850s, was a simple cleric.  So was the French nobleman Odet de Coligny in the 1560s, who startled all France in 1567 when, as titular Bishop of Beauvais, he declared himself a Calvinist and celebrated a Calvinist’s “Lord’s Supper” in Beauvais Cathedral, before marrying and then fleeing to England (where Queen Elizabeth expressed great interest in meeting “Mistress Cardinal”), where he died shortly thereafter (his brother Gaspard, the Admiral of France, was one of the Huguenot nobles killed in the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre in 1572).  A simple “cleric” could resign from “the clerical state” without any difficulty, and often noble cardinals did not proceed any farther towards ordination, in case their elder brother or brothers should die without offspring, and the family estate and titles should fall to them, in which case they could resign, marry, and seek to perpetuate the family line.

I don’t have any desire to see a revival of lay cardinals today, for they would simply be politicos, moneybags or churchmice who could better occupy themselves with almsgiving, good deeds or pious endeavors, without strutting around in red and trying to “represent their constituency” in conclaves.

[78] Posted by William Tighe on 10-24-2007 at 05:50 PM • top

William Tighe wrote:

Actually, one didn’t even have to be a deacon.  One could simply be a “cleric” or in one of the “minor orders” to be a cardinal.  Cardinal Antonelli, Blessed Pius IX’s Cardinal Secretary of State in the 1850s, was a simple cleric.  So was the French nobleman Odet de Coligny in the 1560s, who startled all France in 1567 when, as titular Bishop of Beauvais, he declared himself a Calvinist…

More details please. What is a “cleric” and what’s the difference between that and a priest? Is a cleric a lay person? And are the minor orders the ones described here—subdeacon, reader and so on?

[79] Posted by kyounge1956 on 10-24-2007 at 06:16 PM • top

kyounge1956, Regarding your post:
“If there are recognized ways for women to use those gifts outside ordained ministry, maybe the WO question will solve itself to a great extent.”
Thank you for pointing out the many important ways women have served the church throught history and suggesting a way to handle the WO question.
I certainly did not mean to limit women to teaching children, I focused on teaching because I do think women have over many years demonstrated a talent for teaching children our Christian beliefs and I would hate to see women abandon this valuable service in order to pursue the vocation of the priesthood. 
I also agree with you about the office of Deaconess. I am very grateful to a woman Deacon, who serves as a Chaplin at a local hospital, because she was very helpful to our family at a very sad time. Our community really appreciates her Christian service.

[80] Posted by Betty See on 10-24-2007 at 06:32 PM • top

Please correct me if I am wrong but I have been told that a Deacon is assigned tasks by the Bishop. I know there is more to it than that but many of us are completely in the dark about what a Deacon does so it would be helpful if someone would explain how a Deacon functions in The Episcopal or Anglican church?

[81] Posted by Betty See on 10-24-2007 at 06:48 PM • top

kyounge,

A “cleric” was, from the Early Middle Ages onwards (and today in the Catholic Church), a young man who had publicly declared his intention to prepare and study for eventual ordination, and whom the Church (in the person of the bishop) had accepted a such; this acceptance was symbolized by the rite of “tonsure” in which the bishop cut off a lock of the young man’s hair.  He was still a layman, but so long as he remained in “the clerical state” he couldn’t marry, had to dress in a distinctive style (and not carry weapons) and avoid certain pastimes and recreations.  Wikipedia is decent enough on this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cleric

as indeed it is concerning the “minor orders:”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minor_orders

For those who are interested in deaconesses, I would second Professor IRNS’s recommendation, on another thread, of Aime-Georges Martimort’s *Deaconesses: An Historical Study* (1986), of which cheap copies can be had here:

http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?an=martimort&bi=0&bx=off&ds=30&sortby=2&sts=t&tn=deaconesses&x=27&y=13

[82] Posted by William Tighe on 10-24-2007 at 07:13 PM • top
[83] Posted by Dr. N. on 10-25-2007 at 02:54 PM • top

I don’t have any desire to see a revival of lay cardinals today, for they would simply be politicos, moneybags or churchmice who could better occupy themselves with almsgiving, good deeds or pious endeavors, without strutting around in red and trying to “represent their constituency” in conclaves.

Surely you jest!
As far as WO, when I said “by their works you shall know them,” I wasn’t referring in particular to anything but the agenda to have the “gay” constituency support them and in turn support the gay agenda.  Some women may think that they are called to the priesthood; others may do it because they want to be “higher” participants (if that is really what higher means); but many simply had and have an agenda.  That, however, is not restricted to women.  There is quite a difference between a priest who is “called” and one who considers the priesthood a fine profession and it’s upward and onward . . . perhaps some are now those bishops who have abandoned the faith.  Motivation matters and so do humility and obedience.  Seems that is a hard pill to swollow and we simply must have it “our” way - and look at the results.

[84] Posted by Gigs Girl on 10-25-2007 at 02:59 PM • top

Just another one: http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2007/10/25/episcopal_parish_breaking_from_us_church/

Fr. McKinney left the Diocese of Quincy and accepted the call to this parish under the conditions discussed in the article.  He is serving them well.

[85] Posted by Gigs Girl on 10-26-2007 at 12:27 AM • top

Betty See -

A deacon, as I understand and have learned (but I could be wrong), usually acts under the direction and behest of the bishop to do what is needed, unless the deacon is specifically ordained and placed within a parish to assist in the parish’s work. Notwithstanding the above, I have also been taught that a deacon’s primary duty is as shown in bold below:

From “An Outline of the Faith commonly called the Catechism” from the 1979 BCP:

Q.  What is the ministry of a deacon?
A.  The ministry of a deacon is to represent Christ and his
    Church, particularly as a servant of those in need; and
    to assist bishops and priests in the proclamation of the
    Gospel and the administration of the sacraments.

From the US Council of Catholic Bishops website, read this about deacons:
http://www.usccb.org/deacon/faqs.shtml  which, aside from particular Roman Catholic aspects, seems to address your question about the <u>function</u> of deacons.

And from the Catholic Catechism, 875:
From [Christ], bishops and priests receive the mission and faculty (“the sacred power”) to act in persona Christi Capitis; deacons receive the strength to serve the people of God in the diaconia of liturgy, word, and charity, in communion with the bishop and his presbyterate.

Also, there are two types of deacons, as I understand: transitional (going on to become a priest) or permanent/perpetual (remaining a deacon from time of ordination).

I hope this is helpful to the discussion.

Connie

[86] Posted by Connie Sandlin on 10-26-2007 at 01:25 AM • top

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