Press Release: Anglican and Roman Catholics argue for women bishops
The Anglican organisation Affirming Catholicism is to hold a day conference on Saturday 11 March promoting the ordination of women as bishops. The ‘symposium’, to be held in St Matthew’s Church, Westminster, will see leading Oxford theologians Dr Jane Shaw, Dr Charlotte Methuen and Dr Mark Chapman setting out the case for women’s Episcopal ordination from a catholic point of view. They will be joined by Roman Catholic proponent of women’s ordination, John Wijngaards.
‘There is a mistaken perception that most Anglican catholics oppose the ordination of women,’ says the Rev’d Richard Jenkins, Director of Affirming Catholicism. ‘That simply isn’t the case. We want to celebrate the ministry of ordained women and to demonstrate that the full inclusion of women in the apostolic ministry enhances its symbolic and effective witness.’
Participants will also grapple with the theological and practical issue of how and to what extent the Church of England can accommodate those who disagree with the ordination of women. Members of the public can take part in the symposium by contacting Lisa Martell on 020 7222 5166 or by email, firstname.lastname@example.org. (Cost, including lunch, £10, £5 concessions).
Papers delivered on the day will be published by Affirming Catholicism as a contribution to the Church of England’s ongoing debate about the consecration of women. The General Synod of the Church of England will next debate the issue in its July group of sessions when it will decide how to proceed with legislation to create women bishops.
Dr Mark Chapman is vice-Principal of Ripon College, Cuddesdon; Dr Charlotte Methuen is Departmental Lecturer in Ecclesiastical History at Keble College, Oxford; Dr Jane Shaw is Chaplain of New College, Oxford. John Wijngaards is theological adviser to the Roman Catholic movement ‘women priests’.