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To traditionalist Anglicans who are concerned about woman-bishops

When female Anglican pastors (‘priests’) first appeared in England over fifteen years ago, We predicted that it was only a question of time before female bishops appeared. Sure enough, just as female pastors had existed in the Anglican Communion for decades outside England, female Anglican bishops soon appeared outside England. Today they are on the verge of appearing in England too.

In some ways, Orthodox are astonished that Anglicans are dissatisfied with this. Their Church was to a large extent founded by a woman – Elizabeth I. It has been governed by a female head, Elizabeth II, for over fifty years. And since female bishops have existed in the Anglican Communion outside Canterbury and York for decades, why should they not exist in those provinces too? It only seems consistent.

For Orthodox, on the other hand, the Church is the same everywhere, or, to put it theologically and patristically, the Church holds to what has been believed everywhere, at all times and by all. (St Vincent of Lerins – ‘quod ubique, quod semper, quod ab omnibus creditum est). In other words, the Church does not change fundamental aspects of her beliefs and teachings, for the Church is ruled not by the secular fads and fashions of human-beings, but by the Holy Spirit.

However, Anglicans who have realised that their Church is and always has been a Protestant structure, however much it may imitate some old-fashioned or modern Roman Catholic rites, will be welcomed into the Orthodox Church. This will not be because the Orthodox Church is misogynist. It is because if you wish to join the Orthodox Church, it will be because you love Orthodox values, the bimillennial Tradition of the Church of God, the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and not sixteenth-century political manipulations.

People join the Orthodox Church for positive, not for negative, reasons. We will welcome you to our Anglo-Russian and or Greek communities where you can integrate the Tradition, without fantasies, instructed by solid clergy who know the Tradition.

Ascension Eve, 2010

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