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Anglican agony | The Hindu


Opinion Editorial
Published: December 3, 2012 00:17 IST | Updated: December 3, 2012 00:17 IST

Anglican agony
The Church of England has seemingly ended up installing for itself a stained glass ceiling. The veto that the proposal to ordain women to the episcopate suffered at its general synod in London, marked a moral setback that questions the very credibility of the institution in this age and time.

The Church o !"#la"d has seemi"#l$ e"ded up i"stalli"# or itsel a stai"ed #lass ceili"#% The &eto that the proposal to ordai" 'ome" to the episcopate su ered at its #e"eral s$"od i" (o"do", mar)ed a moral setbac) that *uestio"s the &er$ credibilit$ o the i"stitutio" i" this a#e a"d time% +" e"li#hte"ed outcome 'as e,pected rom the church that had t'o decades a#o pushed throu#h re orms to let 'ome" be priests, albeit a ter some resista"ce: a third o the cler#$ toda$ are 'ome"% -ut the &ote i"stead e"ded up e,posi"# bitter di&isio"s i" the +"#lica" commu"io" that has aced $ears o 'ra"#li"# bet'ee" traditio"alists a"d liberals o&er *uestio"s i"cludi"# 'ome" a"d #a$ cler#$% The bar spells i"de e"sible discrimi"atio"% .a"$ Christia"s co"sider it a parado, that 'hile their reli#io" proclaims a #ospel o e*ualit$, a lar#e part o the church sees a sectio" o its members as u" it to lead it% There ma$ be &ar$i"# theolo#ical i"terpretatio"s o 'hether the ele&atio" o 'ome" 'ould #o a#ai"st the church/s u"dame"tal te"ets, a"d e&e" 'hether the act o 0esus/s 12 apostles bei"# me" held a"$ prescripti&e 'ei#ht% -ut b$ "ot bri"#i"# the barriers do'", the church ris)s #i&i"# the impressio" that it belie&es o"l$ me" ca" 1represe"t/ #od% I"deed, there ca" be "o ratio"ale to o er "o' 2 e,cept perhaps that the &ote 'ould"/t a"#er the 3atica", 'hich has a hard4as4"ails positio" a#ai"st the appoi"tme"t o 'ome" e&e" as priests% +rchbishop o Ca"terbur$ 5o'a" 6illiams, the spiritual leader o the +"#lica" church, has promptl$ accused eleme"ts 'ithi" it as bei"# 7'il ull$ bli"d8 to societal tre"ds% -ut he should ta)e some o the blame or "ot ha&i"# pro&ided a##ressi&e e"ou#h leadership o" this critical issue i" the ru"4up to the &ote% 9is successor4i"4'aiti"#, 0usti" 6elb$, to 'hom the s$"od &ote is e*uall$ a blo', has asserted that there 'ould be 'ome" bishops, o"l$ it/s #oi"# to ta)e 7some time, some care, a"d some prude"ce%8 Si#"i ica"tl$, at the s$"od &ote the bishops a"d the cler#$ bac)ed the mo&e i" su icie"t "umbers% The represe"tati&es o la$ church#oers are the o"es 'ho made the di ere"ce, b$ a mere si, &otes% +ll is "ot lost, a"d it 'ould appear that the church has i"deed &oted i" a&our o the pri"ciple i"&ol&ed% Perhaps it is "o' a *uestio" o i"di"# a 'a$ or'ard, mar)ed b$ prude"t co"se"sus a"d crisis4 ma"a#eme"t% +lthou#h the church 'ill "ot be able to bri"# up the pla"s a#ai" till 201: 'he" a "e' #e"eral s$"od is i" place, there are 'a$s i" 'hich its top echelo"s 'ill be able to re&i&e the i"itiati&e i" the "e,t e' mo"ths% This the$ should do% It is importa"t or the C o ! to be a moder" church i" touch 'ith realit$% The #lass ceili"# "eeds to be bro)e"% ;e$'ords: 'ome" bishops, Church o !"#la"d, +rchbishop o Ca"terbur$ 5o'a" 6illiams,
Pri"table &ersio" | 0u" 3, 2013 <:11:00 +. | http:=='''%thehi"du%com=opi"io"=editorial=a"#lica"4a#o"$=article>1:?@:0%ece A The 9i"du

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