Archbishop authrorizes a Theological Task Force on Holy Orders Archbishop Duncan has appointed the Rt. Rev. David Hicks, Bishop of the REC Diocese of the Northeast & Mid-Atlantic to lead a Theological Task Force on Holy Orders. The Task Force will lead the College of Bishops through a thorough study regarding the ordination of women to Holy Orders.
This looks to be fairly new, judging from its placement on the Province's website, but I've not seen any discussion of it in the church media. Probably because the South Carolina situation rightly takes the spotlight.
Some of you may know that Forward in Faith North America recently called for a moritorium on women's ordination to the priesthood. I found the request sad on two fronts... the first is that it didn't come from ordained women, who should have an interest (see earlier posts) in the integrity of our orders and the consciences of our brothers who can't accept us (even deacons, my friends, even women deacons are not universally accepted) and second because of all the women whose process would be adversely affected by a moritorium. Nobody wants to see anyone hurt further. The damage has already been more than enough.
Nonetheless, I fully supported FiFNA's request, moritorum aside, its the right thing to do. Its the necessary thing, for the sake of the church and all who are in ministry together. And so I'm encouraged by this news.
I'm encouraged that Archbishop Duncan has placed an REC bishop in leadership in this group. The REC, you may be aware is not a body which ordains women as deacons or priests. Most folks would trust that Archbishop Duncan would place someone in charge of this committee who is favorable to women's ordination to the priesthood, and so I suspect that and REC bishop approved by Archbishop Duncan is about the closest you can get to someone who will give a balanced ear to the Scripture and the Tradition of the Church in this regard.
I'm encouraged that a request has been made for women to serve on this committee. (Anyone want to convince them that I need this job???) Women need to be represented for the results of the study to be credible to the pro-women's priesthood segment of the church.
I'm encouraged that we seem to be ready to take the risks required for deeper unity and community, while maintaining respect for varied opinions on the subject, at least while the theology is sorted out.
Hopefully, we'll read, mark, learn and inwardly digest the work of Bishop John Rodgers and the AMiA on the subject, but also pray and exegete and think for ourselves, under the guidance of the Spirit. I don't know what the answers will be, but I'm so glad we're no longer fearing to ask the question!