If the ‘Church of England’ is, as we Orthodox believe, merely a group of sectarian Protestant congregations, then the decision to introduce female ‘bishops’ is long overdue. The only reason for its delay can be misogyny. After all, the first female ‘bishops’ in the Anglican Communion were introduced over a decade ago and the first female pastor seventy years ago. As for the head of the ‘Church of England’, she is a woman and all the ‘bishops’ of the ‘Church of England’ are nominated by the Prime Minister who may be a woman and may be an atheist. If the average ‘Church of England’ vicar is really just a social worker, then it is purely sexist to forbid the heads of social work departments to be female.
On the other hand, if the ‘Church of England’ were part of the Orthodox Church, that is, of the Body of Christ, then its female clergy would be heretical. For the Bible makes it clear that Christ, Who overturned every human institution, chose only men as his apostles, making it clear that the difference between men and women is not due to any human institution, but is Divinely ordained and relates back to the Creation as described in the opening chapters of the Book of Genesis. However, since the ‘Church of England’ is not part of the Body of Christ, but merely a nationally manipulated Reformation sect, which by definition has swum with the secularist tide ever since it was founded by the serial adulterer, murderer and bandit, Henry VIII, then all is well.
If any members of the Church of England did not know this and still believe in the absurd ‘branch theory’, they will have to carry out a revolution in their lives and civilizational values, if. that is, they wish to live honest lives consistent with the Christianity of the Church. Very nearly forty years ago I can remember the late Fr Sophrony (Sakharov), who was never allowed to receive any member of the Church of England into his Greek Orthodox church, saying to one former Anglican who was complaining that she suffered in the Orthodox Church: ‘The Church hurts’. For some reason quite beyond me, she was upset by this fact. Of course, the Church hurts. The Church means being crucified. However, it also means being raised from the dead.