When I heard that a Dr. Ann Paton of the Diocese of Pittsburgh gave a sermon urging that the new Anglican Church in North America allow women bishops, I was flabbergasted. And I am still flabbergasted. I am amazed that a supposed conservative (So we are told by reputable people.) would propose this when it would so clearly tear the new church asunder.
This isn’t just a women’s ordination matter. I would be saying similar things if a sermon urged the acceptance of lay presidency in the ACNA. A lot of work has gone into creating a unified orthodox Anglican church. And a lot of work will be needed to maintain and strengthen it. So for Dr. Paton to push something which would so obviously trash all that is . . . well, it’s more Episcopalian than Anglican.
A link to the sermon with lots of commentary may be found here.
The only good thing I can say about the sermon is that it illustrates the need for the issue of women’s ordination to be resolved and resolved well at the first provincial Synod this summer. The current course seems to be heading toward prohibiting women bishops and stating that no parish or jurisdiction will be obligated to recognize the validity of the holy orders of women. I think that is at least part of a good resolution.
Still, any such resolution needs to be very clear and in the canons. Both traditionalists and the likes of Dr. Paton need to see that women bishops and the like will not happen in the ACNA for the foreseeable future.
And if that means some who put their pet uncatholic causes above unity would migrate back to the Episcopal Church . . . then both jurisdictions would be improved.