Ordination of WomenI’ve thought long and hard about this topic – for as many years as I’ve been an Anglo-Catholic – and over these years I’ve become more and more set in my ideals and beliefs. At a time when most clergy are less willing to take a firm stand on the ordination of women, and only willing to side-step the issues, I’m very willing to state exactly what I believe without fear of retribution. When confronted about how they believe, many today will either immediately state they agree with the ordination of women, or will not give a succinct answer for fear of limiting their job opportunities.

What drivel! It’s a disgrace for a faith based on commitment and on a history of people who were willing to die for what they believe. I say “were” willing because you see so little of that anymore. There are so few Christians willing to die for their beliefs, let alone face a possible lack of job opportunities for it.

But why, you may ask, is it so important to me (if you even care, that is)?

Some people will claim the “rights” of women to hold the same jobs as men. Some will decry it as a diminished presence and importance of women in the workforce. Some will say that women have the same rights and privileges as men, and that means they should be allowed to be ordained as “priests” as well.

As I believe, these excuses have absolutely nothing to do with the ordination of women. I, personally, believe women should have a presence in corporate America. They should have the right to vote, the right to be President of the United States, and the right to work in any field they wish – except for those sacred roles of Deacon, Priest, and Bishop. This is not saying that women don’t have a ministry. Quite the contrary. Women have a very important and necessary ministry within the Church. Just not as a “priest” within a church that maintains a “catholic” faith – a faith which believes in the validity of sacraments – most importantly the Sacrament of Holy Communion (and the belief of the True Presence, or transubstantiation).

But what is transubstantiation?

Simply put, “transubstantiation” translates to “across substance.” It’s the belief that the outward appearance of the bread and wine visually remain that of bread and wine, but the substance of those elements – that which makes each what it truly is – becomes the Body and Blood of Christ. We believe when a validly ordained priest pronounces the words “This is my Body” over the bread, and “This is my Blood” over the wine, that the substance of those elements becomes the Body and Blood of Christ.

The validity comes in the presence of a man. Though that may sound offensive to some (or most), it’s fact. We’re discussing a spiritual plane here, not a physical plane. Just as we believe that the substance becomes the Body and Blood of Christ, we also believe that Holy Orders cannot be conferred on a women – anymore than pregnancy can be conferred on a man! Physically speaking, no matter how much I may want to bear a child, I simply can’t. My physical body isn’t equipped for it. Spiritually speaking, no matter how much a woman may want to be a priest and consecrate the elements of bread and wine to that of the Body and Blood of Christ, she simply can’t. Her spiritual body isn’t equipped for it. And anyone who challenges this fact because it can’t be seen, or because it’s not physical, also challenges the reality of transubstantiation and the True Presence. Plain and simple.

Conversely, any “priest” who claims to agree with the ordination of women is not a priest at all, but a minister; one who does not uphold the sacraments of the church, and one who does not regard them as having any importance to our spiritual welfare. Those who believe in and uphold the ordination of women, should just find a home in a non-Catholic church where they will feel more comfortable – one that doesn’t believe in the True Presence of Christ in the Holy Sacrament of the Altar, and in a church that doesn’t hold the seven sacraments dear to their faith.

I, for one, am willing to stand by my faith.