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Seraphic Single

Great blog and great post. It occurs to me that one reason why Anglican men aren't seeking positions in ministry is that it has become a "girl thing". My mom once vaguely said that if women became priests, men would stop taking religion seriously. I don't know if that was shocking cynicism or a shrewd judgment of fact!


Just your mother's "feminine genius" on display!

Donna Marie Lewis

Ah, but you are still assuming that men are necessary. Once the technology gets there, women will be able to have children without even the token male contribution of sperm donation. Then we could get rid of them. Hey, it works for the whip-tailed lizard !
(BTW, in case you missed it, I'm being sarcastic !)


So what's up with the whip-tailed lizard? Do they reproduce asexually? Or have they rejected motherhood by simply throwing the little males whip-tails out of the nest at the first sign of masculinity?

(BTW, in case you missed it, I'm being sincere !)


Just because there are now lots and lots of women priests and fewer and fewer male priests does not mean that women are saving the Anglican priesthood from disappearing. There are lots of ways to parse that data.

It could be, for example, that Anglican men are not responding to vocations to priesthood because they don't want to join the old girls club. It could be that if women had not insisted on being ordained, the Anglican priesthood would be filled to capacity with men, and the churches would be full, too.

Or, maybe there would be a decline, but it would be lessened. Maybe the overwhelmingly female priesthood has simply increased an invetible decline.

Of course, they could be right about their analysis, but that's just not the only way to read the data.


By the way, I have a couple of friends - women - who are Anglican priests, and they're both smart and know their theology and excellent with caring for people who are going through tough times, and I in no way wish to publicly suggest their ministry is not valuable to the people they serve. They're good people with good hearts doing good work.

I was just commenting on the University of Manchester analysis.

Mark Richardson

In Australia, the Sydney diocese of the Anglican church has not allowed women priests. It is the only Anglican diocese in Australia which is growing in numbers.

Donna Marie Lewis

There are no living male whip-tailed lizards.
However, the fossil record indicates that there used to be male whip-tailed lizards, which indicates that they have died out. How, we don't know.
Current whip-tailed lizards do pair up, in female-female couples, and go through a mock mating ritual, which stimulates both females to produce fertile eggs. The embryos are, of course, clones of the mothers, since no genetic material is exchanged.
As one commentator put it, "Forget the battle of the sexes. The female whip-tailed lizard has won the war. "
Of course, technology has not gotten to the point that such things are possible in humans- but I fear it's only a matter of time. It sounded unlikely,at first, even to me, but then I remember a book I read when I was in high school, which assured the reader that 'cloning is highly unlikely to ever be successful in producing an animal more complex than a frog.....'


Dennis said:

By the way, I have a couple of friends - women - who are Anglican priests, and they're both smart and know their theology and excellent with caring for people who are going through tough times, and I in no way wish to publicly suggest their ministry is not valuable to the people they serve.

gsk says: Dennis, I would never impugned the good will of these fine women, but what is inherent in the ordained priesthood that changes what they are able to do? Are they exhibiting generous motherhood or fatherhood? That's the key question. It's either one, or the other, or you have given in to androgyny. One does not need to be a priest to know theology and care for people. There are no limits to love.

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    • From Benedict XVI
      “People have realized that the complete removal of the feminine element from the Christian message is a shortcoming from an anthropological viewpoint. It is theologically and anthropologically important for woman to be at the center of Christianity."
    • Anger and Patrimony (from Donna)
      This is just another of the unintended consequences of the cultural acceptance of contraception and abortion! Men's sexuality has been robbed of its creative essence. It is now viewed as something that imposes a burden on women (when conception happens to occur), something used to control women or something that is purely recreational. Why would men bother?? In taking away their responsibility, we've also robbed them of their significance! In the big picture of humanity, men have been made into nothing more than a nuisance women have to figure out how to control in order to bring about the next generation. Men don't see it as their task to protect the vulnerable because they see themselves as the vulnerable ones. A few well preserved vials of sperm would make men entirely obsolete in the world's ethos today!!
    • Excellent, Dom! (from Teresa)
      That is astounding Robin, and good for you for standing up. At the heart of that matter, I think, is even worse than a gender mixing message. There is an increased sharper and sharper focus on the "self." Solid Catholic teaching returns our focus away from ourselves to Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The original sin, Eve denied her womanhood when she desired to be like "gods." Since the only god she knew was the Father. Where was Adam? He stood impotent... in other words, they were divorced. There's a young girl at Robin's son's high school who was just told that she is the center of the universe and it's a tragic disservice to her.
    • Find the logic (from "me")
      Ditto what Mary said! A lot of high schools have very poor math and science depts, for boys and girls. I also am educated as a chemical engineer, but chose to teach the two years before we had children because its hours were more suited to spending time with children. (I was looking ahead). When it came time and I was pregnant with our first, I realized that I did not want to leave him with someone else, and was able to stay home full time. I am not sure it would have been that easy if we were used to another engineering income and not just a private school teacher income. Also some of my first job offers were out on oil rigs - I had no interest in that at all even though I enjoyed my engineering classes and did well in them. No one discouraged me from an engineering job, on the contrary I got a lot of flack for my decision not to pursue an engineering career.
    • Find the logic (from Mary)
      I've been lurking, but this is one that irritates me. Beats the heck out of me what these "barriers" are. I was educated as a chemical engineer, where 1/3 of our class was women. However, in electrical engineering, only 1 or 2 out of 30 were women. Is it possible that women are Just Not Interested in some areas? Nah, it must be The Man keeping us down so we must legislate (and, I agree -- when they say "legistlate", I hear "quota"). And actually, I have a friend that was also a chemical engineer. When she lost her job, she decided not to go back into engineering and started working from home so she could spend more time with her 3 kids. Also, if nothing else, there are all kinds of incentives for women to enter science and engineering -- scholarships not available to men, guaranteed housing on campuses that do not guarantee housing to the general population, etc. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that schools in general are not preparing students for the hard sciences. It is truly a sad state of affairs, the lack of science education these days.

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