Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Women Priests - Some New Directions?

Tuesday 10th October

Back again with a short outline of what caught my eye in the October "New Directions."

It was very much the "new direction" proponents of women's ministry so often take.

Tom Sutcliffe follows his colleagues in a common trick: talk about priesthood, and then carry on an argument about ministry as if following naturally from what was said before. Exactly the problem on 11.11.1992 - those in favour of women priest didn't talk very much about priesthood, merely the frustrations of ministry as a female deacon or lady worker, those against spoke almost exclusively about priesthood, or that is how it came to me - a then uncommitted observer and listener to the whole debate in General Synod. No distinction there is made between priesthood and ministry, the equation of which are crucial to the argument

Among other colleagues - including some sympathetic to the main motions - there was a feeling that the debate had not proven the point it carried. A Roman friend and priest commented that the arguments for were in the main sociological, those against theological.

Problem is that such logic is a kind of linguistic chicanery, a sleight of hand substituting one argument for another, one subject for another whilst pretending not to change the subject.

Joan White on the other hand comes near to the truth, suggesting that males can represent the incarnate God in a way not available to women, whilst women represent the receptive and productive earthiness of our being.

Along with the letters from Aidan Nichols and Michael Moreton, the above articles provide a rich vein for discussing exactly what is meant by a "woman priest" or "woman bishop" (if anything).

Some future blog asap will address these thoughts. At present I'm tied up with medical matters, visits to hospitals, helping people around and so-on. Food for activity, which does not prevent thought but stimulates it.

However tomorrow Dei Gratia et DeoVolente I shall celebrate Mass at 12.30 p.m. in the lovely church of St. Mary's Thorpe, Egham, Surrey including prayers for the sick, anointing and laying on hands.