Thursday, March 09, 2006

Women's Ordination in the Anglican Church of Canada

In 1975 women priests were first ordained in the Anglican Church of Canada. There was a lot of talk about this when we were at University. In fact, I took my first Hebrew class in 1975. I never made the connection before tonight. Maybe some of the professors thought that my friend, who had taken Hebrew the year before but was in my Hellenistic Greek class, and I were the first two girls to plan to become ordained. On second thought I doubt it. It was unlikely that someone who was both a Brethren and a woman would seek ordination.

The following year a few more girls did enter the program and they are now professors of theology. We are not.

I do remember R. K. Harrison, a crusty older professor, who was all around conservative. He was near retirement. However, he knew that he was training young women for ordination, and did not mind discussing his feelings about it. He would say things like "I never thought I would see the day..." and "Harrumph," and "Given their standing in this course I personally see no reason why not ... " and "It was not my decision but ... " and so on. Eventually he just accepted the women and that was that.

So it was men like R. K. Harrison and F.F. Bruce who convinced me that it was all right for women to be ordained. And it was women like Hilda of Whitby, Catherine Booth, Elizabeth Fry and Grace Irwin who demonstrate that this is not just a modern feminist movement.


Shawn Cuthill said...

Interesting. So how did FF Bruce help convince you of that? I'd be interested to see more of what his part was, here or perhaps on the brethren news blog :)

Shawn Cuthill said...

Ah...i just found the link to the article :)