Tag Archives: Ordination of women

Cardinal Muller Implies that Only Women Should Be Priests, Bishops.

In welcome news, Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, who heads the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has revealed in a newspaper interview that at Pope Francis’ request, there will soon be more women on the International Theological Commission: the numbers will go from two, to “five or six”. To put this into context, out of a full complement of 30, that’s only 20% at best. The reason is simple: with a commission heavily dominated by an all – male clergy, there cannot be more realistic representation of women, until there the representation of priests goes down. We need more lay people, of either gender, and religious women.

Buried inside the report on increasing female representation on the commission, are some observations by Muller which have startling implications, taken to their logical conclusion: that far from excluding women from the priesthood, only women should qualify for ordination.

Müller underlined that the female presence in the Church needed to be recognized within its own specific context, it should not be an imitation of the male model.

Vatican Insider

That seems innocuous enough, echoing some sentiments of Pope Francis himself. But look at what comes next:

He stressed that the Church needs to be like a mother, not an institution, because an institution cannot love but a mother can.

If women in church should not be in imitation of men, then by symmetry, it must also follow that men in the church should not attempt to imitate women. And yet – the Church must be “like a mother”. If men should not attempt to imitate women, and the only people who truly can be like a mother a the women, then it must surely follow that the people best qualified to take the key roles in the Church, as priests, bishops, cardinals and pope – are the women.

That is obviously not what Müller intended to say – but it’s the logical conclusion from his two propositions.




Christmas Present for the Anglican Church: a Women Bishop ?

The Guardian reports that the Anglican Church is expected to name its first female bishop by Christmas 2014 – and one of the leading candidates produced a report “friendly to gay clergy” as far back as twenty years ago.

Church of England could appoint first female bishop by Christmas

Secretary general of church’s governing body says law could be changed in time for committee meeting in December

The Church of England could name its first female bishop by Christmas, its most senior bureaucrat has said – a move that would end nearly 20 years of wrangling since the church decided in 1993 that women could be made priests but must not be promoted to bishops.

The Church of England’s General Synod in November last year. Photograph: Graeme Robertson for the Guardian

William Fittall, secretary general of the church’s governing body, the General Synod, said that if the synod voted as expected at its next meeting, next month, the arrangements to promote women could become law in November after being approved by the dioceses and then by parliament.

The committee that chooses bishops has a meeting scheduled for December. If the legislation has been approved by then the committee is almost certain to choose a female candidate for one of the six posts currently free.

Christina Rees, one of the synod’s most prominent campaigners for female clergy, said of next month’s vote: “I think it will sail through. I expect the first woman bishop to be named and appointed before Christmas.”

Among the candidates most frequently mentioned are two women who have already been promoted as far as the law currently allows – Vivienne Faull, the dean of York, and June Osborne, the dean of Salisbury.

(….. Faull is the least controversial candidate). Osborne produced a report friendly to gay clergy 20 years ago that frightened conservatives

via  The Guardian.

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Intersex, Women Bishops, and the Body of Christ

The story of Rev. Sally / Selwyn Gross neatly encapsulates the challenges of intersex people to Roman Catholic rules on the ordination of women. Male-identified at birth, Selwyn was raised as male, and became a Catholic priest. When medical tests revealed that internal biology was primarily female, Sally transitioned – and was forced out of the priesthood.
In the Anglican church, there is no problem with the ordination of intersex people, as there is no bar to women’s ordination in the first place, nor are there barriers to promotion – up to the rank of bishop. Then the stained – glass ceiling is struck, for intersex people and for women. We know from science that the intersex phenomenon is entirely natural and complex, including a small but significant proportion of the human population. The absolute division of us into a neat two-part binary, is simplistic and a dangerous ground on which to base rules for ordination (or for marriage, for that matter).
The theologian Dr Susannah Cornwall has specialised in the intersex challenge to theology, notably in her book “Sex and Uncertainty in the Body of Christ” . In a new paper, reported on in the Church Times, she applies these considerations to the debate raging in the English Church over women bishops.   The trigger for her intervention came in a paper by those opposed to women bishops,”The Church, Women Bishops and Provision”which argued “When we stop receiving Christ in his essential maleness, his humanity becomes obscured”.
Essentially male?




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