See? I told you.

Well, it was inevitable that eventually someone would say something, and now our own Australian equivalent of Cardinal Kasper has said it:

Ordination for women is a doctrinal issue, not just a practical issue for us. And the ordination of women bishops enhances that obstacle because bishops are the leaders of the Church, and even within the Anglican Communion that leadership will be received ambiguously. (Bishop Michael Putney)

Once again, if I may say so, this is a clear example of the way in which the Church should seek both Unity and Doctrinal Orthodoxy.

And once again it is the Anglicans who are demonstrating the “devil-may-care” attitude to unity. The Perth bunch are dead set on the “gospel-imperative” that women be ordained to all levels of Holy Orders as a demonstration of the equal dignity of women and men before God. This is for them an issue of “doctrinal purity” and they are willing to forego the quest of unity to uphold it. So they are acting in exactly the same way as the Sydney Diocese. The only difference is the doctrinal issue at stake. Both are deliberately acting in a way that they KNOW will cause a further breakdown of relations with their brothers and sisters. BUT they don’t care.

The Catholic Church, on the other hand, while just as clearly committed to its doctrinal convictions and fully acknowledging that both issues (the approval of homosexuality and the ordination of women) create major impediments to unity, NEVERTHELESS does not, for these reasons, sever relations with the dissenting community nor turn back from dialogue and seeking the path to doctrinal agreement and full communion at some point in the future (even if it recedes so far as to become only an eschatological hope!). We are doing all that we can to open the doors for full communion with the Catholic Church by explaining Catholic doctrine and showing its godliness and rationality. Moreover, while insisting on faithfulness to the Christian traditions, we do not put new stumbling blocks in the path of God’s little ones.

It is a difference in attitude. It is the Catholic “both/and” in comparison to the Protestant “either/or”.

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