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Committee refuses further 'dialogue' on ordination of women

By Mary Frances Schjonberg
[Convention Daily] 

After hearing testimony that the time for talking about women’s ordination is long passed, the legislative committee on Communications Thursday refused to accept resolution A017’s call for a day of dialogue and reflection on women’s ordination at the next General Convention.

Instead, the committee amended the resolution, leaving only a statement that “gives thanks for the work of the Holy Spirit within our communion through the life-giving ministry of ordained women.”

The original resolution grew out of last convention’s decision to send Executive Council visitors to the dioceses of Fort Worth, San Joaquin and Quincy to “visit, interview, assess and assist” their bishops in complying with the ordination canons. The task force reported to this convention that it was “impossible to ‘assist’” because they were viewed as an intrusive, unwelcome and uninvited group.

Katie Sherrod, a visitor from the Diocese of Fort Worth, told the committee she’s been coming to convention since the 1991 meeting in Phoenix, “trying to get relief, help." The summary of the task force’s visit to her diocese “was a real slap in the face,” given the risks people had taken to testify before the task force, she said. “But the real slap in the face is this,” she said, holding up resolution A017.

Executive Council member the Rev. Cynthia Black told the committee it was an outrage that it was even considering a resolution suggesting more conversation. “It is an outrage that we are here in this city 27 years after the vote, and there are still bishops being ordained who refused to uphold the doctrine, discipline and worship of the Episcopal Church,” she said. “It is an outrage.”