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Thursday, 7 May 2009

An evening with the Bishops ....

Last night was spent at the Abbey with our Diocesan and Bishop Mary of El Camino Real. In a wonderful Eucharist Bishop Mary Presided at the High Altar and over a hundred people crowded into the Quire to share in this important celebration. Now, I have to confess that I had some severe reservation about woman Bishops and about the impact on the wider Christian community, but I will say this, if the women who become bishops in the next few years are in the model of +Mary, the Church will be the richer for it.

The press has made much of the controversy within the American branch of the Anglican Communion and talked up the opposition from Africa and the Archbishop of Sydney among others, but it is noticeable that they make no mention of the good work and the growth that is occuring in the US. While I suspect that many will still have difficulty with the concept of women in Orders, it is worth noting that the role of women as we have had it has more to do with the strife between the Gnostic philosophy and the Trinitarian understanding of the Apostles. In fact, there is a strong suggestion that women were in ordained roles including the bishopric, in the first three centuries.

I'm pretty sure that this debate is far from over, and even that I am likely to encounter someone in the bishopric who will raise serious doubts in my mind and possibly even give my faith a serious challenge. But I hope that will be the exception.

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