Alice C. Linsley
Read the comments at Kendal Harmon's blog on my article Impressions of the New American Anglicanism. Fr. Jay Scott Newman's comments are especially astute. Some of these were deleted at T19, but I have preserved them for my readers (see below). The childishness of the comments at T19 makes it clear that intelligent conversation with revisionists and Neo-Anglicans who reject the Received Tradition is nearly impossible.
Matt Kennedy and Sarah Hey call me a liar with a martyr complex. They refuse to address the substance of Fr. Newman's comments and our joint call to catholicity. Their attack on my character is a smoke screen. Kennedy's wife is a "priest" and he is hardly objective about women priests. Sarah, as a member of the revisionist Episcopal Church, lacks objectivity as well.
The seeds of schism were sown in the ACNA the moment the leadership decided to paper over this issue. This created a church in which certain people who are ordained according to the ordinal as clergy of the one holy catholic Church are not able to recognize the female clergy as validly ordained.
I've written a great deal on the error of women's ordination and link to some of those articles below. I write from personal experience having been a priset in TEC for 16 years.
Women standing at the altar as priests obfuscates that pattern by which we are to contemplate and understand who Jesus is. It is dangerous tampering with Holy Tradition. As C.S. Lewis has written, "We cannot shuffle or tamper so much. With the Church, we are farther in: for there we are dealing with male and female not merely as facts of nature but as the live and awful shadows of realities utterly beyond our control and largely beyond our direct knowledge. Or rather, we are not dealing with them but (as we shall soon learn if we meddle) they are dealing with us." (From here.)
Holy Tradition is about the person of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The first and last promises of the Bible touch on this. Genesis 3:15 is God's promise that the Woman's Seed will crush the head of the serpent and restore Paradise. The final words in Revelation are the promise that He will be with us always. From beginning to end, the Bible is about the Son of God and the working of the Holy Trinity. This tradition was received by the Apostles, Elders, Prophets, and Ruler-Priests who are named in the New Testament. Tradition in this sense preceded the canon of the Bible. Americans have difficulty with the idea that accurate information can be passed along through many generations that might not also be in the Bible. As an anthropologist I can point to many instances of this so I can accept that the Samaritan Woman at the well was named Photini and that Joseph of Arimathea came to England and St. Thomas went to India, etc. That doesn't mean that I accept every legend, only those that can be found to have substance historically, anthropologically and that square with the details of Scripture. Tradition preserves what is important, and, along with the Bible, Tradition protects us from special revelationists.
Before I wrote the article on Impressions of the New American Anglicanism, I communicated with several Anglican bishops. It is my understanding that many recognize the divisive nature of WO. I've been told that the African Primates are talking through this issue also.
If you've read Louie Crew's Changing the Church, you know that the ordination of women was from the beginning part of the gay strategy. Gene Robinson addressed a conference of gay American Roman Catholic priests and concluded with the following: "It's too dangerous for you to come out as gay to your superiors, but I believe that if you work for the ordination of women in your church, you will go a long way toward opening the door for the acceptance of gay priests." Read it all here.
Gay activists pose women priests and gay priests as essential elements of their egalitarian religion. Both represent an attempt to destroy the Christian Priesthood as a unique sign of the Pleromic Blood of Jesus.
Bishop Bob Duncan believes concerning the new American Anglicanism that "The theological center on first-order issues has deep agreement. Most of us hold the issue of the ordination of women to be a second-order issue. We are committed to working with our partners in the communion as we try to come to some lasting agreement. The way I illustrate that is we are now wise enough to understand that we can't settle the issue of reception of the ordination of women. The reason we can't settle it is that East Africa ordains women and West Africa doesn't. We have got to go through this together, and it's going to take a couple generations to do it. There's a deep commitment to one another across this divide." (From here.)
Its time, Bishop Duncan, to address this so-called "second-order issue."
Fr. Jay Scott Newman's response to my article on the New American Anglicanism
Fr. Jay Scott Newman's response to my article on the New American Anglicanism
This being the case, the truce which has been called on the question of women in the priesthood as a condition for bringing into being the new Anglican bodies in North America seems to me more than a bit like the truce over slavery that was required to bring the United States of American into being. But the latter truce could not hold, and neither can the former. Eventually, the disagreement must be sorted out, and that almost certainly means that the battle must be joined. And when that happens, then the great gulf between Evangelicals and Catholics on the nature and number, the origin and efficacy of the sacraments will once again be a church-dividing gulf.
That seems to me to be the fatal flaw in all present efforts to conjure up new Anglican jurisdictions from the wreckage of the Episcopal Church. Alice Linsley’s impressions only verify my conviction."
He also wrote: "No Catholic, including no Anglo-Catholic, can accept that there only two sacraments, and to dismiss the other five—most especially the sacramental priesthood of bishops and presbyters—is, in effect, to deny the sacramentality of the Eucharist. My point was simple: Evangelicals (including Evangelical Anglicans) and Catholics (including Anglo-Catholics) have a fundamental disagreement about the nature and number, the origin and efficacy of the sacraments. Moreover, for the moment, that disagreement has been set aside in the interest of co-belligerancy against the enormities of the Episcopal Church, but it is inevitable that this disagreement will again come to the fore and prove the undoing of whatever institutional unity is contrived for new Anglican jurisdictions in North America. Put most simply: an Anglican who believes that there is a divinely instituted priesthood in the Church on which the celebration of the Holy Eucharist depends and that women cannot (not should not, cannot) hold this priesthood, cannot receive the sacramental ministrations of an ordained woman. When that dispute returns to center stage, as it must, then Evangelicals and Catholics in the new Anglican jurisdictions will find themselves back where they have ever been—divided by a matter of faith."
"For a Catholic, to say that a sacrament was not instituted by Christ is to say that it is not a sacrament of New Covenant. Also for a Catholic, there is no possibility of the Eucharist without the sacramental priesthood. That is why Catholics insist that it is logically impossible to talk about the Eucharist as a sacrament without also talking about the priesthood as a sacrament. I realize that Evangelicals, including Evangelical Anglicans, do not believe this to be true, and that is precisely my point: these two approaches to the number and origin of the sacraments are logically, ontologically, and theologically irreconcilable, but that fact is simply being ignored at the moment because traditional Anglicans of both persuasions have temporarily set aside their church dividing disagreement about this issue in the face of open war with the Episcopal Church. Once that war is concluded, however, then the old differences will once again be unavoidable. Please understand, my point in every comment on this thread is not to make an argument for the Catholic understanding of the sacraments; it is simply to point out that the Catholic and Evangelical ways of understanding of the sacraments cannot, finally, be sustained together in one church. The Anglican attempt to do so has failed, and the results of the failure are depriving congregations of their property and clerics of their livelihood. Ideas, after all, do have consequences.
The primary category mistake of most Anglicans seems to be a refusal to accept the Principle of Non-Contradiction. For example, either sodomy is a grave sin or the foundation of a sacrament, but it can’t be both. Or, either it is possible that women have the capacity to receive presbyteral and episcopal ordination or they do not, but it can’t be both. Let’s forgot for a moment the authority of Apostolic Tradition which every Catholic must believe is an intrinsic part of the Gospel (no sola Scriptura for us), when a foundational principle of right reason like Non-Contradiction is routinely denied in practice if not in theory, then the only thing left is raw will to power. Hence the General Convention of the Episcopal Church. Kyrie eleison."
The Mushy Thinking of Neo-Anglicans
What is a Priest?
C.S. Lewis on Priestesses in the Church
What is the Priesthood?
A Serious Argument Against the Ordination of Women to the Priesthood by Bishop John Rodgers
Rejoinder to Dr. Rodgers by Dr. Peter Moore
Response to Dr. Peter Moore on Women Priests by Alice C. Linsley
The Priesthood in Anthropological Perspective
Women Priests and the Anglican Church of North America
Women's Ordination Must be Addressed
Impressions of North American Anglicanism
The Feminization of Anglican Orders
Shamanic Practice and the Priesthood
Female Shamans, Not Women Priests
Why Women Were Never Priests
What is Lost When Women Serve as Priests?
Binary Distinctions of the Hebrew Horites
Blood Guilt and Christ's Priesthood
God as Male Priest
Priests and Shamans Hold Different Worldviews
What Christians Believe