Women Bishops & The End of Anglo-Catholicism.

The Synod, where the Church of England continue to reject explicitly any jurisdiction of the Holy See over them, and move continually further away from the beliefs held by the whole of Christendom in an unbroken and immemorial tradition. Well done chaps.
There's an 'open letter' in the Independent today which purportedly puts the Biblical case for women bishops.

Of course as a Catholic, this does not, nor can it ever affect me. Pope John Paul II declared the question closed in his letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, stating:
"Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance…I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgement is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful." - John Paul II in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, cf. Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici (30 December 1988), 31.
This teaching on the restriction of ordination to men is nothing to do with misogyny. It is an historical reality that masculinity was integral to the person-hood of both Jesus and the men He called as Apostles. 

The Church has always understood that we are different but equal. Maleness and femaleness are two different ways of expressing common humanity (see CCC 355, 383, 369–72, 1605, 2333). Despite the common academic phrase "gender roles", which implies that the phenomenon of the sexes is a mere surface phenomenon or accident, the Roman Catholic Church has consistently taught that there is an ontological difference between humanity expressed as male humanity and humanity expressed as female humanity (see Gaudium et Spes 12,4)   While many functions are interchangeable between men and women, some are not, because maleness and femaleness are not interchangeable. Just as water is necessary for a valid baptism, and wheaten bread and grape wine are necessary for a valid Eucharist (not because of their superiority over other materials, but because they are what Jesus used or authorised), only men can be validly ordained, regardless of any issues of equality (see Mulieris Dignitatem 26-27).

Blessed Pope John Paul II, in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, explained how the priesthood is a special role specially instituted by Christ when he chose twelve men out of his group of male and female followers. John Paul notes that Jesus chose the Twelve (cf. Mk 3:13–14; Jn 6:70) after a night in prayer (cf. Lk 6:12). Similarly, he notes how the Apostles themselves were demonstrably very careful in the choice of their successors. The priesthood is
"...specifically and intimately associated in the mission of the Incarnate Word himself (cf. Mt 10:1, 7–8; 28:16–20; Mk 3:13–16; 16:14–15)."
Pope Paul VI, quoted by Pope John Paul II in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, wrote,
"[The Church] holds that it is not admissible to ordain women to the priesthood, for very fundamental reasons. These reasons include: the example recorded in the Sacred Scriptures of  choosing his Apostles only from among men; the constant practice of the Church, which has imitated Christ in choosing only men; and her living teaching authority which has consistently held that the exclusion of women from the priesthood is in accordance with God's plan for his Church."
Concerning the "constant practice of the Church", in antiquity the Church Fathers Irenaeus, Tertullian, Hippolytus, Epiphanius, John Chrysostom, and Augustine all wrote that the ordination of women was impossible and the Council of Laodicea (363-364 A.D.) specifically prohibited ordaining women to the Presbyterate. In the period between the Reformation and the Second Vatican Council, mainstream theologians continued to oppose the ordination of women, appealing to a mixture of scripture, Church tradition and natural law.

The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued and published on May 29, 2008, in the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, a decree signed by Cardinal William Levada, on the existing impossibility of women priests by asserting that women "priests" and the bishops who ordain them would be automatically excommunicated "lata sententia" (A latae sententiae penalty is one that follows ipso facto or automatically, by force of the law itself, when a law is contravened; a penalty that binds a guilty party only after it has been imposed on the person is known as a ferendae sententiae (meaning "sentence to be passed") penalty.)

Many argue that the reason it has become an issue for Anglicans is because of a difference in sacramental understanding of the nature of the blessed sacrament. This, surely constitutes a dreadful reality for believing Anglo-Catholics?

To be quite clear, I think if you are prepared to break with Tradition and Scripture to the extent where you are happy with a women "priests", surely you must have women bishops? I mean why ever not?

The problem for Anglicans is ever authority. Who decides whether women bishops are allowed and whether or not they can change something that has been the same since Jesus' time? The answer I hear back is that the authority is the Bible.

It appears, quite seriously, that the whole argument is based on one line from St. Paul's apoplectic letter to the Galatians, Chapter 3, verse 28:
"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus."
On the face of it, it looks promising, but the context reveals it isn't even remotely related to the topic it is being used as a proof text for. Paul is not talking about Orders in the Church. What about other places in "Paul" where he talks of women as subservient? One could equally quote Paul's Letter to Timothy, 2:12, as a counter text:
"But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to use authority over the man: but to be in silence."
To be completely honest, this verse seems much more appropriate and relevant to the actual subject at hand than the Galatians quote, which is speaking about something completely different! This is why Catholics don't use proof texts, but look to the sensus plenior in order to understand what is being taught by the Bible. We can all pick out specific bits from Scripture and quote them out of context to prove our point. Didn't the devil do this in Mt 4:1-11?

CCFather has written a really good post on this.

One of the best points he makes therein is that
"The likelihood of Christ being constrained by the customs of his time is less than the likelihood of our being misled by the sensibilities of our time."
As a friend pointed out, this is capable of application to a wide range of issues, not just this one. Many errors these days arise from the preconception - often unrealised and admitted - that God needs to adapt to our way of thinking rather than the other way round. And this is the crux. Where's your humility? Does it really matter that much? As Br. Stephen of the Norbetines put it today:
"if you want to believe what the Catholic Church teaches and live within its sacramental system and its communion of grace (and I hope - and know in most cases - that you do), the ONLY answer is to be reconciled to the Church of which your Baptism already destined you to be a part, by formerly entering into a state of communion with the Vicar of Christ. You cannot "be a Catholic" as a member of the Church of England, as Newman and countless other blessed examples have shown. Leave that institution of error and disunity and find the unity and truth you seek where they truly subsist. Yes, you need to want more than just a male bishop... but why be content with being sheep without a Shepherd? Why look for the living among the dead? That same Good Shepherd is calling you back into his flock, and he's got his eye on all those wolves that prowl outside of his sheepfold, and they're not getting in. "Tu es Petrus et super hanc petram aedificabo Ecclesiam meam, et portae inferi non praevalebunt adversus eam." Truth Himself speaks truly, or there's nothing true."
 As Damian Thompson states in his Telegraph blog today:
"What this boils down to is the effective disappearance of traditional Anglo-Catholicism in the Church of England."

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