Earlier this month, Bishop Jack Iker addressed his Diocese of Ft. Worth in convention. He was very frank in addressing division in the Anglican Church in North America over women’s ordination. After discussing the Holy Orders Task Force and the Conclave earlier this year, he concluded:
So where are we? Most ACNA bishops and dioceses are opposed to women priests, but as it presently stands, the ACNA Constitution says each diocese can decide if it will ordain women priests or not. We now need to work with other dioceses to amend the Constitution to remove this provision.
And he went further (Emphasis mine.):
We are in a state of impaired communion because of this issue. The Task Force concluded that “both sides cannot be right.” At the conclave, I informed the College of Bishops that I will no longer give consent to the election of any bishop who intends to ordain female priests, nor will I attend the consecration of any such bishop-elect in the future. I have notified the Archbishop of my resignation from all the committees to which I had been assigned to signify that it is no longer possible to have “business as usual” in the College of Bishops due to the refusal of those who are in favor of women priests to at least adopt a moratorium on this divisive practice, for the sake of unity. Bishops who continue to ordain women priests in spite of the received tradition are signs of disunity and division.
The hoary joke about bishops having their backbones extracted at ordination does not apply to Jack Iker!
The bishops and dioceses that ordain women are the sources of so much that is objectionable in ACNA – weakness on the authority of scripture, confusing lib/left activism for ministry, lack of concern for unity for starters – that I am glad to see the Bishop of Ft. Worth take this stand. I once was sanguine about ACNA and women’s ordination. Taken by itself, women’s ordination has not been a big issue with me. But I now see the issues are more than the gender of whom we ordain. After seeing these bishops and dioceses – and who they ordain – in action since ACNA’s formation, I am with Bishop Iker on this. Sometimes godly unity requires saying enough is enough.