Andrew Brown writes:
...The ordination of women priests was bought on credit, and the church can’t ever pay down more than the interest on the bill. When women priests were ordained, the Church of England was only held together, to the extent that it was, by both sides making solemn promises that they didn’t believe they would ever be called on and had no real intention of delivering. In particular, the supporters of women priests solemnly promised that there would always be an honoured place for their opponents within the church, even though they thought of the arrangements as entirely transitional; in return the opponents solemnly declared that women priests were legally and validly priests, even though they did not believe this could possibly be true. They still don’t.
Anglicans (and Episcopalians) have long engaged in such wishful thinking, which often turns out to be of the Red Queen variety: believing six impossible things before breakfast. Since the Elizabethan settlement, and the inclusion of two diametrically opposed eucharistic theologies in the same liturgy, this has shown a certain genius, as, in fact, the hot issues of one generation tend to cool with time, to the point that few today would quibble about the exact nature of the presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist, and I doubt that anyone is denied ordination on the basis of his or her understanding of the exact mechanism by which (or if) this happens.
Sometimes, however, Anglican Fudge grows not only cold, but stale with time, and crumbles. The ordination of women hasn't rested long enough, it seems -- and perhaps it is only logical with a matter that so touches on human identity, in which the world at large has moved so much more quickly than the church in recognizing the full humanity of women, and hence doesn't limit their activity in that world. Some still insist that "only men can be daddies" -- but then, of course, one presses on to ask what in heaven's name that has to do with being a priest, since any priestly fatherhood is purely spiritual, and not based on a complement of testosterone, nor indeed if one is an actual daddy or not. (Isn't it odd that the church that has most resolutely stuck by an all-male priesthood also generally disallows the one thing for which a male is undeniably needed? All dressed up and no place to go, it seems, is the order of the day. Of course, they also hypostasize "maleness" into all other sorts of things, but then that precisely avoids the question of daddyhood, doesn't it? It seems it isn't only Anglicans who manage their share of Impossible Fudge, most definitely with nuts.)
Can we continue to live in an ecclesiastical ambiguity on this matter -- or must the lots be cast to Justus or Matthias. One notes that in spite of the Apostles' concern to fill Judas' seat, nothing was heard further from his successor once the Spirit actually came to pour out grace "on sons and daughters... menservants and maidservants" alike. Perhaps it is taking us this long to realize the wisdom of the prophet Joel in this regard, in spite of Peter's having cited him. What did Luke record Jesus saying on the road to Emmaus? "Ye foolish men and slow of heart to believe the prophets..." Sounds familiar. More fudge, anyone?
—Tobias Haller BSG(Hat Tip to Thinking Anglicans)