22 October 2010

The Anglican Church and the Ordination of Women and Homosexuals


The Archbishop of Canterbury has recently acknowledged that the issues of the ordination of women and of open homosexuals may cause even deeper divisions than already exist within the worldwide Anglican Church. Who in America can forget the shock of Gene Robinson's consecration and his "marriage" to his homosexual partner while wearing pontifical attire? Few things could scandalize a church any more than that. Couple this with the clerical abuse of altar boys, and it is little wonder why the universal Church has such a vocations problems.

The question of the ordination of women in the Episcopal Church of the USA was one of the chief causes of the continuing Anglican movement in the 1970s. The downside of Anglo-Catholics leaving the Episcopal Church to be in independent Anglican communions may have been that it left the Episcopal Church with a higher ratio of liberals to conservatives than before, thereby making it easier for radical reforms to take place. Nevertheless, the desire to be in a diocese within the Anglican Church (within the Communion or not) that adheres to Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition is entirely one with which I can sympathize. For the good of one's own soul, one wants to be in an environment that is God-centered, not a social experiment masquerading as a church. That is far more important, and that is, for example, why our own beloved Archdiocese exists. The Metropolitan See was founded as a diocese in the early days of the continuing Anglican movement and continues to offer haven to this day to those professing the faith and wanting a God-centered church in the Anglican tradition. 

The social experimentation in the Episcopal Church has gotten more and more radical over the years. It ultimately amounts to an attempt to change the Church to follow along with every liberal social trend the world can come up with in a misguided attempt to be "representative." Concerns of parishioners are flatly ignored as the steamroller of liberal heresy charges forth.

Once they "won" the women's ordination battle, they turned to the issue of homosexuals. There are moves afoot to have official rites for blessing of unions or pseudo-marriages...and some priests have already been doing this on their own, anyway. Open homosexuality has been tolerated as perfectly acceptable (apparently they ripped out certain parts of the Bible), and there is the question remaining of openly-homosexual clergy. These issues have caused severe splits in the Episcopal Church. In addition to clergy and parishioners leaving for independent Anglican dioceses, the Roman Catholic Church, and elsewhere, several American Episcopal dioceses seceded en masse and formed a new communion.

The social experimenters seem to think that keeping up with secular trends is more important than keeping the Church together. Apparently that whole unity thing Christ mentioned has escaped them. Of course, they put the blame on the conservatives in the Church who oppose this, saying that they are sexist for opposing the ordination of women or homophobic or anti-gay for opposing the ordination of homosexuals. It is the social experimenters and liberals who are the ones at fault. They can hardly blame the conservatives for trying to stay with what is proper according to Sacred Scripture and the tradition of Christ's Holy Church for the last 2000 years. A conservative who opposes the ordination of women does not hate women because of this. Women are and should always be welcomed in the Church, following the many similar examples of Christ in the Bible. Yet, the role of the priest is also defined in the Bible, and it is clearly limited to men. Similarly, a conservative who opposes the ordination of homosexuals does not hate homosexuals because of that. Indeed, homosexuals are accepted into the church. It is not them we hate, but rather their sin. This is not a matter of hate, but a matter of doctrine.

It is long since past the time that the Anglican Church worldwide has got to work for real unity, centered on true Catholic doctrine that has sustained our faith since the beginning. Social experimentation has no place in the church.