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Thursday, July 10, 2008

How many women in the episcopacy does it take . . .

. . . . to raise up the cries of possible schism?

The correct answer is:


Australia 2

New Zealand 2 (one retired)

Canada 4

USA 15 (three retired)

Cuba 1

At the 1998 Lambeth Conference, there were 11 women who were bishops. That's a net gain of 13 which is not exactly "galloping progress."

Oh, and by the way, the estimate that the earliest possible time we'll see a woman appointed bishop in the Church of England is:


Like I said, not exactly 'galloping progress', but enough to cause some old men to rattle their sabers and others to threaten schism.

My, my, my.

When you examine the figures for the USA, you see that there were 8 American women who were bishops in 1998. When you subtract the three who have retired, that's a net gain of 10 women in 10 years.

Wow! That kind of progress just makes a body dizzy, right?

It's absolutely amazing what terrible fear and foreboding can be struck in the hearts of some (certainly not all) men by the presence of two dozen women in purple shirts, and the threat of more a whole six years from now in England.

If you then look at how many women there are who are bishop suffragans as opposed to diocesan bishops, you see that sexism is alive and well and carefully enshrined in the church.

The stained glass ceiling hasn't exactly been shattered - it's just been cracked enough to let a little light in. Thanks be to God!

You can find more information here.

P.S. Yes, that's a picture of John Knox, founder of the Presbyterian Church in Scotland, who openly ridiculed Mary, Queen of Scots from the pulpit. He also strongly influenced Puritanism, and successfully moved the understanding of authority from "princely" powers to individualism.

Gee, any of this sounding even vaguely familiar?

1 comment:

Paul Davison said...

I'm surprised you didn't point out John Knox's work "The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women". While it was aimed at Mary I of England and Mary Queen of Scots as an argument of women's unfitness to rule, Elizabeth I didn't much care for it either.