Friday, November 23, 2012

“deeply saddened” - reflections on CoE's General Synod

A sister of mine in Christ, Katielou+, from across the Pond reflects on the General Synod's vote on women bishops:

“deeply saddened”

Her words below struck a deep chord in me (emphasis mine):
It hurts, not because I want to be a bishop. It hurts because to some this whole thing was not about bishops, not about the quality of the legislation. This is about the validity of women’s orders in of themselves. This is about if I am a fraud when I get up and put my collar on, rather than being truly in holy orders and sent out to work for the kingdom. It hurts because while some people think differently to me, and I try my hardest to respect that they feel differently, they don’t all pay that respect back. Even if I struggle to respect how your reading of scripture and tradition differs from mine, I don’t ever question your fundamental personhood in your vocation. By doubting my capacity for priesthood, you are denying my integrity before God, denying my very identity. Is that really your right to judge? Did the church not spend a load of time in church history lectures worrying about the validity/efficacy of the sacraments regardless of the person of the minister?

I am blessed that most of the people with whom I serve do not question the validity of my orders; however, I still find myself encountering people who reject my call because of my gender. While the former outnumber the latter, I still endure the occasional mildly condescending lecture on a "complimentary scriptural" hermeneutic (i.e. men and women are created by God to be "complimentary" which espouses male "headship" and "authority" over women - others will know this as patriarchy).

I pray for one day when we can affirm the Holy Spirit's work within all of us regardless of gender, sexual orientation, hue of skin, age, appearance, or any other division with which humans can become fixated for the purposes of gaining privilege at the expense of the other.

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