Tuesday, 9 February 2010

It's not just Wat Pah Pong that doesn't like Women

Conservative clergy have warned of a mass exodus from the Church of England and a sharp drop in its income unless divisive plans for the introduction of women bishops are changed. Yesterday, on the first day of the gathering of the Church’s governing body, the General Synod, Anglo-Catholics claimed that “large numbers” would leave for Rome if their demands for concessions are not met. This all follows the decision in 1987, after ten whole years of debate, to have female priests ; the first female Vicar wasn't appointed until 1994!  Read More.......

This follows the Scottish Episcopal Church voting against electing Britain’s first female Bishop.

Revd Canon Dr Alison Peden had been shortlisted along with two male candidates for the position of Bishop of Glasgow and Galloway.

But on Saturday an electoral synod of 115 clergy and lay church members met at St Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow and voted in favour of one of the male candidates.

The Church of Ireland allows the ordination of female bishops but no women have been appointed. The Church in Wales voted against it in April 2008.

On a different note, within Islam there are female Imams, but they are only allowed to preach to and teach other women. That said they are pretty rare and leading Friday prayers in front of a mixed congregation is taboo for the women of the Islamic world.

In Judaism there is again a distinct difference between "reformed" groups, many of whom have female Rabbis. Codes of Jewish law are silent on the issue of women being ordained as rabbis. No prohibition exists, and women who are educated in halacha are entitled to rule on questions of law. However, women are not eligible to be judges on courts of Jewish law, and may not hold positions of authority over a community.

No Orthodox rabbinical association (e.g. Agudath Yisrael, Rabbinical Council of America) has allowed women to be ordained using the term rabbi. On the other hand, several efforts are underway within Modern Orthodox communities to include qualified women in activities traditionally limited to rabbis.

Jehovah's Witness deacons ("ministerial servants") and elders must be male, and only a baptised adult male may perform a Jehovah's Witness baptism, funeral, or wedding. Within the congregation, a female Witness minister may only lead prayer and teaching when there is a special need, and must do so wearing a head covering (that's a whole new topic)!.

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