He has said some spectacularly dumb things in his day, but the statement I am about quote takes the cake in my opinion. This is a statement that undermines the Bible, the early Christian ecumenical creeds, the Reformation and the Church of England's doctrine, practices and morals including the Prayer Book of 1662. All this is put into question and made optional or debatable. The very teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ as interpreted by his chosen (all male) apostles in the New Testament may very well be wrong. We just don't know. Listen to this false shepherd's teaching, as reported by Tim Ross in The Telegraph:
Speaking at a private meeting to consider the role of women, Dr Williams said bishops should reflect the full "human community".Now assuming this is an accurate report of what he said, and he surely reads the Telegraph or has a staffer do so for him and has time to issue a statement correcting the report, I want to focus on the following perspective in particular:
"In arguing for and working for the full inclusion of women in the ordained ministry of the church, what we're after is not simply justice, though that's not exactly insignificant, but we are after the humanising of the ordained ministry," he said.
The work of clergy has suffered from a "malign" professionalism in which some priests take a bureaucratic approach, instead of focusing on their responsibilities and their faith, the Archbishops suggested.
"Bureaucratisation can mean perhaps taking the priesthood away from justification by faith and anchoring it in a kind of justification by box ticking."
He questioned whether it was "possible for bishops to read the Bible adequately if they're an all male group".
"It's not just a matter of being able to read the words. It's a matter of being alert to the fullest range of meanings that those words possess," he said.
"And if you're going to be alert to the fullest range of meanings you have to have the fullest range of readers. So a group whose readership is restricted is actually not going to be a fully literate group."
Dr Williams said Church of England bishops would need to prepare for a "culture change" before the first women were ordained, which would be in 2014 at the earliest.
He questioned whether it was "possible for bishops to read the Bible adequately if they're an all male group".So maybe the Nicene Creed is wrong after all. Maybe the theology of substitutionary atonement taught in Cramner's Prayer Book is wrong. We just can't know right now - not with the all-male bishops the church has had for 1900 years.
Since all bishops in the entire, Christian Church East and West were all male up until the past decades or two, we shall to wait until 2014 to find out. This is, presumably, what he meant by predicting a "culture change" after the ordination of women bishops. I think he meant "theological change" and I think what he is actually talking about is the revision of the Christian tradition beyond recognition.
The gross insult to male bishops who are so inadequate that women being ordained is necessary to "humanise" the episcopacy is a slam against himself and all orthodox bishops from Athanasius to John Paul II. Does he really think that original sin only affects half the human race? This is not even bad theology; it is not even theology at all. It is the importation of secular ideology into the speech of the Church.
It is a great pity that the Church of England has fallen on hard times. But she probably has the leadership she deserves. There was a day not so long ago when one would naturally speak of the Church of England and liberal Protestantism as two different streams. Alas, there is no need to do so any longer.