Things were looking pretty dark for the Anglican Church (known here in the ’States as the Episcopal Church) after the elevation of the openly-gay Gene Robinson to Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire in 2003 (he took office in 2004). A number of congregations have left the Anglican Union over this, including one not far from me here in Connecticut, about a year ago. Fortunately, aside from some rogue priests, congregations, and (in the Third World) even a couple of bishops, the Anglican Union managed to stay together.

But recently the Anglican church made yet another controversial decision that might cause even more departures:

The Church of England’s move to accept women bishops further roiled an already troubled Anglican communion Tuesday, infuriating conservatives and complicating efforts to promote unity with the Roman Catholic Church.

The Church of England’s ruling body on Monday night voted to back women becoming bishops without giving traditionalist supporters of male-only bishops the concessions they had sought.

Yes, folks, that’s right, the Anglican Union — which has ordained women as priests for some years now — is still having trouble with the idea that men and women are equal.

Or should I say, a conservative wing of the Anglican Union is having difficulty with the concept. This conservative wing, along with the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches as well as some Protestant denominations, are still afflicted with Neanderthal thinking about women.

In reality there is no clear, logical, rational basis for not allowing women to be ordained, to whatever office. There is nothing about one gender or the other that makes one better as clergy, or precludes being clergy.

As for why and how the Roman Catholic Church believes it has any authority to tell the Anglican Church what it can or cannot do, your guess is as good as mine.

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