Ordination of women?

First CoE bishop says more to follow, but Catholic ban stays

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Two churches - worlds apart

The Church of England consecrated its first female bishop in January 2015 during a ceremony at York Minster.

The Right Reverend Libby Lane, 49, was made Bishop of Stockport in front of more than 1,000 people.

The Church formally adopted legislation the previous November to allow women bishops, following decades of argument over women's ordination.

Archbishop of York John Sentamu, who led the service, said he had been "praying and working for this day".

One year on, Rt Rev Lane told The Independent that she now believes female bishops are no longer “unusual”.

She said: “I was the first but seven other women have been appointed in these past few months. The Church has moved so quickly into a new normal where the appointment of women bishops is as expected as the appointment of men.”

That is not to say that she has not been confronted by any resistance or, as she put it, “disquiet”. Her consecration ceremony at York Minster was disrupted by notorious ultra-conservative priest, the Rev Paul Williamson, exclaiming: “Not in the Bible.”

Conversely, Pope Francis says women will never be Roman Catholic priests.

“Saint Pope John Paul II had the last clear word on this and it stands, this stands,” Francis said, referring to a 1994 document stating that women could never join the priesthood.

The church has always responded to criticism of the ban on women by pointing out that Jesus only chose men as his apostles. Proponents of a change argue, among other points, that the church is facing a shortage of priests.

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Top Ten Reasons to Ordain Women...

  1. ) A priest's job is to serve the people of God - it's not about gender (or for that matter, marital status or sexual orientation).

  2. ) The Second Vatican Council calls for all discrimination to be eliminated.

Vatican II, Gaudium

et Spes, #29

  1. ) Women were prominent leaders in Jesus' ministry. In all four gospels, Mary Magdalene was the first witness to the most important event in Christianity - the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

  2. ) There is a severe worldwide shortage of priests and an increasing number of women called to ordained ministry.

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