Letter: Women priests face the test of time

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The Independent Online
Sir: Even if a new-style truly ecumenical council were summonable, and even if such a council were to decree that men and women equally could receive holy orders, that would itself be no guarantee that such a decision was without error. Ecumenical councils are desirable to discern the will of God, but they cannot be on a par with holy scripture, even though the canon itself was eventually determined by such a council.

The General Synod of the Church of England is not arrogating to itself ultimate authority in the matter of women's ordination to the priesthood; but within its severe limitations and in anticipation of the coming worldwide church, it is agreeing by a large majority that it is expedient to proceed with this, having not only argued but also prayed much about this matter.

It will be seen in time if it is of God, much as Vatican II deliberations are being tested to see if they are of the will of God in the passage of time and in being received into the hearts of women, men and children, on a whole range of issues, theological, social, economic and political.

Yours faithfully,

DENNIS EDE

Archdeacon of Stoke-upon-Trent

Newcastle-under-Lyme,

Staffordshire

(Photograph omitted)

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