(Reuters) – The Church of England published a plan on Friday to approve the ordination of women bishops by 2015, a widely supported reform it just missed passing last November after two decades of divisive debate.

It said the new plan, outlined in a document signed by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Archbishop of York John Sentamu, would be presented to the General Synod, the Church legislature, in July to begin the approval process.

The proposal would make allowances for traditionalists who oppose women clergy, a minority that blocked the reform at the last Synod meeting, but each diocese will have to have a bishop willing to ordain women to the priesthood, it said.

See the full story at Huffington Post.


Caryn Riswold

Caryn Riswold

Joumana Haddad wrote a provocative piece for NOW News recently titled “Islamic Feminism: Stockholm Syndrome” in which she claims that any woman who claims to be a feminist and religious (Muslim, Jewish, or Christian specifically) is identifying with her captor, her hijacker, her tyrannical overlord.

To be clear, this is not a new claim.

It is also a claim that radically simplifies the problem and dramatically underestimates women and men working for justice.

I spent a good amount of my graduate career immersed in the writing and work of Mary Daly, second wave radical feminist philosopher, and wrote my second book partly about her political and theological work.  So, I get deep sustained criticism of monotheistic religion. I respect it enormously.  I understand beyond measure the legitimacy of feminist criticism of patriarchal religion. To some extent, in fact, I agree with it.

But when Daly and Haddad and others simply throw their hands up in disgust and declare a religion essentially and permanently incompatible with feminism, they miss the point. Read More…


Although 59% of Catholics support the ordination of women, the Vatican continues to list the ordination of women as a grave crime in the same category as sexually abusing children. Both are punishable by defrocking or excommunication. More than once the Vatican has made good on that promise.

Read NBC’s account of Bill Brennan, a 92-year-old Jesuit priest who lost his collar for celebrating the mass with an ordained woman in Columbus, Georgia. Brennan is the third priest within the last month dismissed for advocating women’s ordination. The Rev. Helmut Schueller, an Austrian priest, was stripped of his right to use the title “monsignor” for advocating the right of women to be ordained to the priesthood. The Rev. Ray Bourgeois was dismissed last month for the same reason. Bourgeois has written an e-book, available free online, called My Journey from Silence to Solidarity.

Despite the Vatican’s stance against women priests, a handful of Roman Catholic women have been ordained to the priesthood by sympathetic bishops. What does it say that the Vatican not only opposes priests, and not only lumps them together with child molesters, but also attacks any male priest who associates or stands up for women priests?

Discuss in the comments section. To stand up for women in every corner of the body of Christ, sign our petition at Change.org.

 


By Jody Stowell

The Rev. Jody Stowell

Almost a week has passed since I was sitting, nervous, jittery and hopeful on the edge of my seat, in the public gallery in Church House, Westminster.  I was waiting for the voting figures to be called, first the bishops, then the clergy, and finally the laity.

Since that moment it has been all at once interesting – in a way that a disinterested observer might watch a newly discovered tribe order themselves by strange alien customs – and painful, so that the grief cycle of disbelief, anger, sadness is completed a number of times every day.

The most surprising emotion that I experienced this week was the sense of shame that rested upon me on the Wednesday morning.  I felt that I simply did not exist at the same level of priestliness as my male colleagues. I have heard a lot about ‘second-class’ citizens in this debate – whether it is in defence of making sure that women bishops are equally bishops, or, distastefully in my opinion, the cries of ‘second-class’ status that those who are ‘anti’ claim. However, I had not expected to feel like a second-class priest.  After all, isn’t this about bishops?  Not priests.

So, why this is not just about ‘Women Bishops’? Read More…