Ever since the ‘Fall of Man’, women have been labelled as ‘lesser’ beings because Eve tempted Adam to eat the fruit off the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Women were housebound, their primary job was to look after the house and their children. Men would go and get a job and earn money for the family. However in the 20th century there was a turning point in women’s’ rights. Certain laws were put in place to ensure that women had equal rights to men, especially in the workplace. But what I am going to discuss in this essay is whether women bishops should be allowed in the Anglican tradition.
In the Roman Catholic tradition, men and women are treated as equals, co-stewards of creation; they were made ‘for each other’. Pope John Paul II has been keen to support feminism.
Just recently the Pope met the Archbishop of Canterbury to discuss plans of allowing the Anglican community to enter full communion with the Catholic Church, yet also preserve elements of the Anglican traditions including the possible use of Anglican prayer books. However there is discord among the worldwide Anglican communion from the election of an openly gay bishop and the blessing of same-sex unions.
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” This is a message of equality, showing everyone is equal, whether slave or a Jew. Paul says that for a Christian gender differences are not of ultimate importance. However, it seems to be clear that they matter in this day and age.
Women are being completely alienated by the church. More than 50000 women a year have deserted their congregations over the past two decades because they feel the Church is not relevant to their lives. Instead women are becoming attracted to the pagan religion Wicca, where women play a central role. The Church must adapt to the needs of modern women if it is to stop them leaving.
In modern society, it is regarded as absolutely imperative that women have the same rights as men do as they go about their everyday lives. It is illegal for women to be paid less than men doing the same job, as well as being illegal to discriminate against someone just on the basis of their sex. Given that religion forms the moral cornerstone of society, it seems reasonable that women bishops should be allowed in the Anglican tradition.
I think it is time for the Anglican beliefs to change drastically in order to fit in with the current trends of society. Women are now equal to men in many ways, except this main topic of religion. Religion is meant to be about a personal relationship with God and should be there for anyone who needs it. Not only are the beliefs of the Anglicans outdated, but are against the main structure of religion itself. If a woman wants to share their love for God by becoming a bishop, under what God could someone refuse her the right to do that. It would not be right, or just.