THE Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, ordained his first women priests yesterday in a service at Canterbury Cathedral, writes Andrew Brown.
Quoting the 15th-century female mystic, Julian of Norwich, at the historic service to create 22 women priests, the archbishop said: 'All shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.'
In a sermon a great deal more positive than other bishops have managed in the ordinations which will have brought more than 1,000 women priests into the Church of England by the end of the summer, he told them: 'None of us wants this service to be a cause of dissension and division on the body of Christ; yet for some it is.
'No woman I know seeking ordination desires to be a focus of disunity, yet, against her will, she finds she is. All she wants to do is to do what every man wants to do who is called by God to exercise this ministry in his church.'
He urged the new priests to pray for the strength to let opponents see the benefits of women in the priesthood.
So far about 180 priests have officially indicated that they will leave the church in protest at the ordaination of women. Two government ministers and a former Bishop of London have become Roman Catholics in protest.
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