27 July 2009

Blackburn in the news again

When I saw the headline on Thinking Anglicans, I assumed it was some kind of swine-flu reference. Having read the article, it's clear that it isn't! Blackburn Cathedral has made the news for offering 'untainted' hosts at eucharists where a woman presides. The 'untainted' host is one which has been previously consecrated by a male priest.

I'm not shocked by the technicalities of the practice; it's similar to the way we operate in our united (ecumenical) services at the Lancaster University Chaplaincy. The service is conducted in one tradition (CofE, RC or Methodist), and reserved sacrament is provided for those outside that tradition; though the CofE and Methodists share the same elements.

What does shock me is the reason for the special arrangements. If there are people who object to women priests, maybe they should either a) not appoint a woman priest in that place, or b) go to another church where women clergy aren't allowed!

I don't agree with the position that women shouldn't be ordained, but there are plenty of options for those who do think in that way - especially in this Diocese.

The final objection I have is with the use of the word 'tainted'. I'm not sure if that's a word used at the Cathedral, or whether it's something added by the journalists to make it sound more impressive. I do think it's an unfortunate and loaded choice though! If I were a female priest, I would be very offended!


Church Mouse and Maggi Dawn have picked this one up too.

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