Genuine Questions about Opposition to Women Bishops
The third of my degree is leaving me without much time to blog however, as 140 characters isn’t really enough I thought I would post some questions here. They are genuine questions so feel free to engage with them.
Firstly, we trust that those who are in ministry are there because they are called to do so. They go through a selection process which aims to help identify and check that calling and help point people in the right direction, including turning down those whom it is felt don’t have the calling to ordained ministry. This extends to women who are in ordained ministry and those who are ordained as bishops; we must, at least, hope that they are in their position due to the calling of God. Those who are opposed to women bishops also tend to be opposed to the ordination of women as priests. This must suggest that women who go for ordination either knowingly do so without a calling to such a ministry or are simply deluded. It must also suggest that those responsible for the selection process are failing in their role of seeking out those with the calling and putting forwards many for ordination who do not have the calling on a grand scale, including many male priests (even those with traditional/conservative leanings). And that leaves the church in an incredibly scary position! More women than men are now being ordained and women priests account for a third of all Church of England priests. That’s an awful lot of people who manage to slip through the net. Either the system is working well and, therefore, women are called by God to be priests in his church or there is a scarily large amount of (female and male) priests in the church who don’t have a calling to the priesthood. If you believe it is the latter then why would you want to remain part of that church? If women do receive the calling to priestly ministry then there is no sense in blocking those (who are called by God to the episcopate) from becoming Bishops. I can’t see that ministry is a job that many would be able to do long term without the calling to such a position.
If you believe that the ordination of women as priests and as bishops is wrong (sinful) why would you want to stay in a church that as large is in favour of acting in such a manner? Even with protection it must raise wider questions about the actions of the church you belong to that they would collectively act sinfully?
I really am struggling to get my head around this at the minute.