Father Jeffrey Steel over at de cura animarum writes and interesting post: Women Bishops in the Church of England: What will happen?
Among the suggestions he feels need to be thought about is the possibility of alternative oversight for the hold outs in the CofE who think oppose women’s ordination altogether.
Alternative oversight is just a temporary concession in the war of attrition.
Full steam down the slippery slope folks! In 1984 “Women will only ever be deacons” in 1993 “Women will only ever be priests” in 20XX “Women will only ever be auxiliary bishops!“????
Father Steel, with all due respect, love and filial affection, how on earth can anyone imagine this not happening, forestall as it may happen? Women have been serving in the clergy for 25 years as deacons, 15 years as priests (some incardinated from elsewhere longer still)… How are you imagining that their power and influence isn’t such that it isn’t a question of “if” but “when”? (though I suppose it is possible there are anti-female episcopate female presbyters, it is a breed hard to imagine!)
Actually, I assume too much here – I should ask you this point blank:
Do you envision it as a probable possibility that the tide will change and this will not happen within the next 10 years and/or be stopped forever?
This notion of a “separate but equal” status of alternative oversight bishops… How does that would that not ontologically change ecclesiology? How are things NOT already changed with your being in communion at home and abroad with women who are ordained to the diaconate, presbyterate and episcopate?
Now I am looking for just one example of how folks with diametrically opposed theological viewpoints have been able to co-exist for a prolonged period of time without eventual disintegration and the majority compelling the minority into conformity. Without a final arbiter for such matters who will end all debate when a question is settled – permanantly – it will always be up for debate, and mob rule will prevail.