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LETTER OF THE DAY - Women good enough to be bishops here, too!

Published:Friday | July 18, 2014 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

The Gleaner editorial of Tuesday, July 15 ('Now for Caribbean Anglicans'), presented some timely reflection on the matter of gender equality in the Anglican Church.

It is indeed long overdue for the Church in the province of the West Indies to clear the way for the consecration and appointment of women to the Episcopal Office. Of course, Anglican polity and process is not as simple as one might expect.

One of the strange characteristics about Anglican tradition is that ecclesiastical idiosyncrasies which are its strengths are also its weaknesses. Provinces are made of dioceses. The Diocese of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands would, therefore, wait on the vote taken by all the dioceses within the province.

It is not a secret that, throughout history, prejudices within and without the Church have been informed by the unfortunate abuse of the Bible, which was misused as many in the Church presided over the cruel and wretched scourge of slavery. The Bible was misused as many self-proclaimed followers of Christ upheld racism, promoted apartheid, and condemned interracial unions.

Misogyny, a creature of patriarchal darkness, has manifested itself in many and varied ways. The ills of such unjust and backward modes of thinking still pervade much of our thinking in the 21st century. A popular post doing the rounds on social media is that of a woman in Zimbabwe who declares with pride that she knows her husband loves her, because of how often he beats her. A confident smile affirms her naivety and profound lack of self-worth!

PATIENT APPROACH

The Church's faith position requires a thoughtful, prayerful, and patient approach to sensitive matters that are never decided upon by a monolithic body.

If God can call a woman to be a priest, I am taking a wild guess that God should be able to call a woman to be a bishop. And if God could call a woman to be mother of our salvation - mother of Jesus the Christ, maybe God can call women to mediate the grace and presence of Christ. Who would doubt the resilient Caribbean woman who has held the family together, built the community, and served her country as a graceful agent of God's love? If women can be priests, they can also be bishops!

Sean Major-Campbell

Anglican Priest

seanmajorcampbell@yahoo.com