Just as in the case of slavery, women’s suffrage or anti-Semitism, those people currently blocking women in the LCA from ordination (or perhaps their descendants) will one day claim that they weren’t to know any better. They will assert, just as those who apologise for the torture of Galileo in his support for the Copernican understanding of the Solar System, that the level of knowledge in society was insufficient for them to understand how much they had erred.
It seems to us that no-one can know all things and so ignorance should not be condemned. However, in Jesus we have the principle of love, which guides who we are, what we say and how we act. This principle guides us in how we interact with our loved ones and adversaries. It is a principle that would have us embracing each other in our hurts and disagreements. It is a principle that would have us working to respect and build up our adversaries, while clinging to our own beliefs. If we cannot do this what can we take from Jesus, apart from personal piety? If that’s what it is to be Christian, we shall be called shallow indeed.
The small clip from Intelligence Squared makes the point succinctly.
Here is the full debate on whether the Catholic Church is a force for good. Christopher Hitchens and Stephen Fry argue passionately that the Catholic Church is not a force for good. They are both atheists and argue convincingly that the Catholic Church has much to answer for. We’ll leave it to the reader to find relevance for the LCA
If the Church is to be a force for good it needs to be leading the way, reconciling adversaries, living with difference, living with tension, accepting contradictions, embracing multiculturalism, embracing different metaphors for the Creator God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, and living with different perspectives on the place of women within the LCA.
We cannot hope that this issue will disappear. It’s not going to happen. Would Jesus tell his sisters to be silent? There is only one option.
Equality will continue to be an issue until it is so complete that it ceases to be an issue.