Tuesday, September 30, 2008

On flying bishops

[Originally posted as a comment at Of Course, I could be wrong]

While I am not without sympathy for those who cannot in conscience receive the priestly ministry of women (I am not among them myself), I remain unable to see why alternative episcopal oversight is necessary in a jurisdiction like England or Wales where women are not ordained to the episcopate. Unlike here, an English FiFer need only ensure that s/he receives the sacraments only from male priests. (Here, s/he would need to know the gender of the priest, his ordaining bishop, the bishop's ordaining bishop...)

The only arguments I have heard are rather fine-spun ecclesiological lines about how the FiF priests can't be in the collegiality of the presbyterate with female priests. In which case I would have thought it was time to leave your diocese and the Anglican Church, rather than associate only with a non-diocesan makeshift "presbyterium."


Tay Moss said...

Some people like to make their lives more complicated than necessary. Shades of Donatism. Me, I prefer to believe that God's grace and power make up for our mistakes in administering it. -t

Davis said...

How can we so imagine a God so small that he becomes a petty bean counter? Would God really deny himself to anyone who calls for aid? Would he really absent himself from the eucharist because of our flaws?

Isn't that what the Eucharist is meant to heal?

Patrick Cook said...

Well, there will be women Bishops in England soon, at least in theory.

Daniel said...

tay moss,

Before you start bandying accusations of Donatism, surely you should mark the difference between that heresy's denial of reconciliation to penitents and the rightful, Christian response to an ongoing state of sin? There would be 'shades of Donatism' if those opposed to the ordination of women refused communion to Bishops who had carried out such 'ordinations' in the past but had then recognised and repented of their sin. However, that is certainly not the case at the moment.