Russian Orthodox statement on The Church of England's decision to allow female bishops

Statement by Communication Service of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations regarding the decision of the Church of England to allow women to serve as bishops

At the session that took place on the 14th of July 2014, the General Synod of the Church of England made a decision allowing women to serve as bishops. The Communication Service of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations is authorized to make the following statement in this regard:

The Russian Orthodox Church has been alarmed and disappointed to learn about the decision of the Church of England to admit women to the episcopate, since the centuries-old relationships between our two Churches had shown possibilities for the Orthodox to recognize the existence of apostolic succession in Anglicanism. As far back as the 19th century, the Anglicans, members of the Eastern Church Association, sought “mutual recognition” of orders between the Orthodox and the Anglican Churches and believed that “both Churches preserved the apostolic continuity and true faith in the Saviour and should accept each other in the full communion of prayers and sacraments.”

The decision to ordain women, which the Church of England took in 1992, damaged the relationships between our Churches, and the introduction of female bishops has eliminated even a theoretical possibility for the Orthodox to recognize the existence of apostolic succession in the Anglican hierarchy.

Such practice contradicts the centuries-old church tradition going back to the early Christian community. In the Christian tradition, bishops have always been regarded as direct spiritual successors of the apostles, from whom they received special grace to guide the people of God and special responsibility to protect the purity of faith, to be symbols and guarantors of the unity of the Church. The consecration of women bishops runs counter to the mode of life of the Saviour Himself and the holy apostles, as well as to the practice of the Early Church.

In our opinion, it was not a theological necessity or issues of church practice that determined the decision of the General Synod of the Church of England, but an effort to comply with the secular idea of gender equality in all spheres of life and the increasing role of women in the British society. The secularization of Christianity will alienate many faithful who, living in the modern unstable world, try to find spiritual support in the unshakable gospel’s and apostolic traditions established by Eternal and Immutable God.

The Russian Orthodox Church regrets to state that the decision allowing the elevation of women to episcopal dignity impedes considerably the dialogue between the Orthodox and the Anglicans, which has developed for many decades, and contributes for further deepening of divisions in the Christian world as a whole.

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And so the Church of England continues to drift further and further away from Christianity. :frowning:

This doesn’t say how or why the consecration of women bishops is contrary to the Faith; it merely asserts that it hasn’t happened before.

In our opinion, it was not a theological necessity or issues of church practice that determined the decision of the General Synod of the Church of England, but an effort to comply with the secular idea of gender equality in all spheres of life and the increasing role of women in the British society.

This may well be true, which is sad. On the other hand, Divine Providence has used the profane to sanctify the Church in the past; Constantine may have been motivated by a worldly desire for political gain, yet he liberated the Church, and may have sincerely converted in the end, etc.

The secularization of Christianity will alienate many faithful who, living in the modern unstable world, try to find spiritual support in the unshakable gospel’s and apostolic traditions established by Eternal and Immutable God.

Agreed.

The Russian Orthodox Church regrets to state that the decision allowing the elevation of women to episcopal dignity impedes considerably the dialogue between the Orthodox and the Anglicans, which has developed for many decades, and contributes for further deepening of divisions in the Christian world as a whole.

Likewise.

And so the Church of England continues to drift further and further away from Christianity. :frowning:

Certainly from tradition. The question is whether that is Holy Tradition or the tradition of men (no gender/sex pun intended :stuck_out_tongue: ).

Those words, “in our opinion” ring out to me. It seems everyone has their opinion.

I guess that once you admit women priests, then women bishops are bound to be allowed also. With reference to gender/sex question, I read that in the Anglican Church, (or Episcopal Church) male bishops are allowed to marry their same sex partners. This seems to be against both tradition and Scripture.

In the Church of England homosexual clergy are required to be celibate. The American Church has other ideas…

The Church of England seems to be falling farther away from scripture and tradition each day. There needs to be some kind of meeting between the Church of England and other Christian faiths that don’t allow women bishops/priest to come up with some kind of agreement between us and them.


God bless. :smiley:

The ordination of women is heresy plain and simple. The Orthodox/Eastern and Catholic Churches cannot ordain women because it is heretical. Since one of the Churches which has possibilities of an Apostolic order within it has begun to ordain women these orders are now fast becoming nullified. We are dealing here with heresy regarding the ordination of women within an Apostolic Church. The problem with heresy is the heretics would never change once they make up their minds. Even the great councils of the past did not change those heretics when the councils brought out more the truth. Those councils had to wait until the heresy died out with those heretics. Since the councils brought out more the truth than it was the job of the Church to teach this truth to the people. Since more people understood what the truth was and to what the heresy was than those who had known the truth become more involved within the Church and those who went along with the heresy just died out. It is sad when we are dealing with heresy here because we need to focus more on the saving Graces of our Lord as He pours them out through His Church. The Eastern/Orthodox and Catholic Churches need to make more statements acknowledging that the ordination of women is not possible. We need to move on towards the goal of witnessing to our Lord working towards a more unified Church within Catholicism and the Eastern Churches. It seems that the goal of a unified Church with the Anglicans and other Protestant groups is fast becoming impossible. Too many changes within those Communions cannot be acceptable to the Orthodox/Eastern and Catholic Churches.

Peace and All Good!

Yeah, I always thought it was just a matter of time to progress from one to the other. Some High Church Anglicans I know from my grandfather’'s Parish seemed to take the view that, “well, now that we’ve let women enter the Priesthood they won’t need to go on to be bishops” and thought that the line could be drawn in the sand after that, which is a line of argument I never really got :shrug:

Me either.

GKC

Peace and all Good!

QUOTE=chimo;12210182]The ordination of women is heresy plain and simple. The Orthodox/Eastern and Catholic Churches cannot ordain women because it is heretical. Since one of the Churches which has possibilities of an Apostolic order within it has begun to ordain women these orders are now fast becoming nullified. We are dealing here with heresy regarding the ordination of women within an Apostolic Church. The problem with heresy is the heretics would never change once they make up their minds. Even the great councils of the past did not change those heretics when the councils brought out more the truth. Those councils had to wait until the heresy died out with those heretics. Since the councils brought out more the truth than it was the job of the Church to teach this truth to the people. Since more people understood what the truth was and to what the heresy was than those who had known the truth become more involved within the Church and those who went along with the heresy just died out. It is sad when we are dealing with heresy here because we need to focus more on the saving Graces of our Lord as He pours them out through His Church. The Eastern/Orthodox and Catholic Churches need to make more statements acknowledging that the ordination of women is not possible. We need to move on towards the goal of witnessing to our Lord working towards a more unified Church within Catholicism and the Eastern Churches. It seems that the goal of a unified Church with the Anglicans and other Protestant groups is fast becoming impossible. Too many changes within those Communions cannot be acceptable to the Orthodox/Eastern and Catholic Churches.

:amen:

Very well said.

Before you know it, they’ll have a women as the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Well…St. John Paul II has spoken authoritatively on this…is this not enough for you?

If not JPII, who do you think should speak authoritatively about it and who would you accept?

Novocastrian is Anglican, not Catholic.

I know…that is the premise of the question, if he does believe in what JPII has said, then who would he accept as the authority to speak on it.:slight_smile:

So, now it’s down to the Catholics and the Orthodox.

Which, come to think of it, is kinda what the Catholic position has been all along.

Authority is no substitute for truth. I just can’t see how the late Pope’s argument holds, is true. In Ordinatio Sacerdotalis he makes assertions which may be true, but which aren’t properly substantiated, and which have implications problematic for essential dogmas of the Christian faith.

The word authority essentially means “can proclaim what is true.” But of course, the CoE believes no such authority exists, or at least doesn’t exist in any accessible way. Which is the root of the problem.

The Church of England believes that the whole Christian people, guided by the Bishops, can proclaim what is true. The problem is implementing that.

The Church of England has institutionalised a seemingly chaotic and semi-democratic polity; the Church of Rome has a Papal monarchy which has been rejected by the vast majority of Eastern Christians, the Reformers, and would likely be rejected by a great many ancient Fathers. I suppose one picks one’s poison when it comes to the failure of men to adequately bear witness to Him who is Truth.

The problem with the Church of England is that it’s Head is literally a monarch. And the next Head won’t even be Anglican.

Its head is Christ. The Queen is the Supreme Governor.

The Prince of Wales is most definitely an Anglican…

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