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Should Men Be Ordained

By Author unknown.

The following arrived on the editor’s desk from an unknown source, although we understand that it originated with the Norwich branch of the Movement for the Ordination of Women. We publish it here, confident that our readers, including the authors of the previous two articles, will enjoy its wry humour!

The Archbishop of Canterbury, opening the debate, said that, although she could find no theological or practical objection to the ordination of men, she did not think that the time was yet ripe to make such a move, as a minority of members was still against the proposals.

The Bishop of Hellesdon said that she was not convinced by the theological arguments put forward for the ordination of men. Although most people no longer accepted the Genesis story of woman as the crown of God’s creation, she believed in this traditional view. And quite clearly, in the New Testament, the Church is described as the Bride of Christ and a priest, as representative of the Church, could therefore only be a woman.

Mr Simon Snodgrass (St Albans) said that, speaking as a man, he could not understand why some men were making such a fuss about being ordained. He was quite happy to serve the church in the traditional role of men, such as looking after the churchyard and doing church repairs. Men were allowed to be sideswomen and even to read a lesson and he felt that they should be satisfied with this.

Canon Brooks (Palsgrave) though that men generally were temperamentally and emotionally unsuited to be priests. One had only to look at the behaviour of men at football matches or at male Members of Parliament. To ordain such people would be a risk to the good order of the Church. The innate aggression and violence of men make them unsuitable to represent the Prince of Peace.

Bishop Elkington (Newcastle) said that a man’s place was at work or in the army. And in any case, she thought that men would look silly dressed up in cassocks and albs and even lace in some churches. They should stick to wearing trousers and not try to ape women by wearing skirts.

Mr Bertie Brown (York) said that he had had some bad experiences working under other men. They tended to be bossy and bad tempered and he felt it would be much better to leave the leadership of the Church in the hands of women.

The Archdeacon of Chevington, the Venerable R McCormack, said that most people who came to church were women. Although she personally did not find most of the men who wanted to be ordained at attractive, it had to be recognised that some men are sexually attractive to women. To have a man at the altar might distract a woman from her worship.

Prebendary Smith (Sprowston) said that she was not too bothered about men being ordained, but she did not consider it a very important issue when the Church had other important things to be talking about.

Closing the debate, the Bishop of Madingley sympathised with the last speaker - although she would want to substitute ‘doing’ for ‘talking’. On several occasions a majority of Synod had voted in favour of the ordination of men and opinion polls showed that this represented the views of the majority of church people and the country as a whole. Although she understood the seep-seated feelings of the minority who opposed the proposals, she hoped that the Church would now proceed to implement them as soon as possible. It could then get on with its primary task of continuing the caring ministry of Christ and seeking to establish the Kingdom of God on earth.

Ministry Today

You are reading Should Men Be Ordained by Author unknown, part of Issue 22 of Ministry Today, published in June 2001.

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