The Origins of Women’s Ordination in the Episcopal Church

So how did it all begin? Without going into great detail, we can look at the seventies and the illegal ordinations that happened at that time. The heretic James Pike had previously ordained a woman to the diaconate, but the ball really got rolling in 1974.

In the book “Anglican Communion in Crisis”, Miranda Hassett writes:

 

…women deputies were not accepted by General Convention until 1967. By this time the controversial liberal bishop James Pike had already ordained a woman as a deacon, an ordained role oriented toward service and without all the sacramental duties of the priesthood. With the encouragement of the women’s movement in the larger society, other breakthroughs followed quickly. The General Convention of 1970 accepted female deacons, and the 1976 Convention admitted women to the priesthood, following the unauthorized 1974 ordinations of eleven women as priests. The first Episcopal woman bishop, Barbara Harris, was consecrated in 1989.

 

In “A Brief History of the Episcopal Church”, David Lynn Holmes writes:

 

Nevertheless, in the summer of 1974, in Philadelphia’s Church of the Advocate, eleven women deacons were ordained to the priesthood by three Episcopal bishops. Two of the bishops were retired; the third had resigned as bishop of Pennsylvania earlier in the year. Neither the bishops, nor the deacons, nor the parish had authorization for the ordinations. In an emergency session, the House of Bishops declared the ordinations invalid and rebuked the ordainers.” (page 168)

 

Time magazine has articles on these ordinations here, here and here. And now, a mere three decades later, “conservatives” all over the place accept this practice, foisted upon the church by radicals and heretics, as perfectly fine and normal.

8 thoughts on “The Origins of Women’s Ordination in the Episcopal Church”

  1. “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:9

    “In this day innovations march with rapid strides. The fantastic suggestion of yesterday, entertained only by a few fanatics, and then only mentioned by the sober to be ridiculed, is to-day the audacious reform, and will be to-morrow the recognized usage. Novelties are so numerous and so wild and rash, that in even conservative minds the sensibility of wonder is exhausted and the instinct of righteous resistance fatigued. A few years ago the public preaching of women was universally condemned among all conservative denominations of Christians, and, indeed, within their bounds, was totally unknown. Now the innovation is brought face to face even with the Southern churches, and female preachers are knocking at our doors. We are told that already public opinion is so truckling before the boldness and plausibility of their claims that ministers of our own communion begin to hesitate, and men hardly know whether they have the moral courage to adhere to the right. These remarks show that a discussion of woman’s proper place in Christian society is again timely.”

    R.L.Dabney, The Southern Presbyterian Review for October, 1879.

  2. Thanks for that link. I suppose in a war or a colony on the Moon where no suitable men could be ordained you could do it, but we aren’t in those circumstances.

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