Wednesday, December 06, 2006

CANA, Nigeria and the Ordination of Women

From the text I Will Welcome You, A Report of The Falls Church, November 2006:

'This hoped-for unity faces obstacles, including some important doctrinal questions - chiefly, the ordination of women. (CANA intends to welcome applications from women clergy, and expects that women clergy will be licensed to continue their ministries. The question whether CANA will itself ordain women has yet to be determined. While the Church of Nigeria does not currently ordain women, Archbishop Akinola has stated that he recognizes that there needs to be freedom for CANA to take a different direction because of its North American context.) It is relatively easy for orthodox Anglicans to agree against the errors of the Episcopal Church, but harder to come to agreement on all the matters, practical and doctrinal, that must be resolved before full unity is achieved. This will become a major subject of our prayers in the months and years ahead.'

What will happen to the Covenant Union between the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) and the Anglican Province of America/Reformed Episcopal Church if the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, a mission of the Church of Nigeria, proceeds to licence and purportedly ordain women to the priesthood? Such a willful break in Catholic Order would have unquestionably dire consequences for the recent intra-Anglican movement towards unity and co-operation in our country. Let us pray fervently for the preservation of the Catholic Priesthood in CANA and in those Dioceses and Provinces of the Anglican Communion which have heretofore been faithful to the Apostolic Tradition.


Anonymous said...

This is why I never tire of saying that the REAL orthodox Anglicans left the Episcopal Church and Cantuar some 30 years ago. Women's ordination and the New Prayerbook were just too far.

In short, and jurisdiction or "realignment" that does not observe the classical Anglican formularies will not "save" Anglicanism. Indeed, if a woman can be ordained contrary to Catholic Order and express Holy Writ, why not a unrepentant, practising homosexual, or Nero's Horse for that matter?

Davis said...

This is sad news to hear coming from a province that is otherwise an outspoken advocate for Christian orthodoxy and for North American unity under such principles.
It will be interesting to see if +Minns and company will "practice what they preach" and exercise restraint in this area even if some personally feel differently. The shoe will be on the other foot so to speak.

Young fogey emeritus said...

Sad but not surprising really - most knew that ++Abuja is Protestant (like Mr Kensit's stone-throwers) so any alliance with Anglo-Catholics would be provisional at best and even fall short of communion.

(Or 'let's re-create the Elizabethan compromise so it can fall apart again'.)

Having had my home essentially destroyed I don't get any joy from a congregation losing its building and so on, even liberal Episcopal ones I obviously don't agree with... so I wish the new arrangements like CANA well even though there's really no place in them for me. And even though the larger church trumps everything else in my position on women clergy I recognise and honour those among them who are Christians - the new arrangements increasingly make sense for them. (But those who remain in TEC have a point that makes sense for them as long as that body remains on paper a Christian church.)

What I wonder is how classically Anglican the new arrangements are for Central Churchmen like some good friends of mine or how susceptible are they to being swamped by American evangelicalism liturgically (throwing out the hymnal for Cursillo songs, praise bands and overhead projectors!) and otherwise like the divide in conservative Lutheranism.

They have a future much like the Continuum of recruiting people who never were Episcopalians but in the new arrangements the risk of the above is great.

I just hope my Central friends - not Catholic but 'part of my family' - have a Christian home in future. Of course I wish everybody were Catholic but the way is persuasion (true to English tolerant conservatism) not proselytism.