Church Faces Backlash for Denying Female Priest

Female Pastor
Pixabay/Andrys Stienstra

The Fowey Parish Church St. Fimbarrus is being criticized due to their decision to pass a resolution that will only allow a male to serve as vicar in their house of worship. A top executive of the church council has also resigned after being accused of sexism over the Church's policy of not ordaining women as priests.

Criticism on Churches

The dispute began in March, when the parish church of St. Fimbarrus, which is 800 years old and located in Fowey, Cornwall, voted only to ordain men to the position of vicar, Daily Mail reported. Currently, because there is no indication that the disagreement will be resolved, Andy Virr, a conservative councilor who represented Fowey, Par, Tywardreath, and Golant and who held the responsibility for adult social care and health on Cornwall Council, has resigned from his positions as warden and chairman of the parochial church council (PCC).

Following the labeling of supporters of the 'no woman priest' rule as sexist, fellow churchwarden Carol Carruthers and her husband, PCC treasurer Graham, have also quit their positions. As mentioned, the Presiding Church Council (PCC) concluded that there should be "no woman vicar here" after hearing from members of the congregation who stated that they could not stay in the Church due to theological reasons unless the priest were a man. After quitting the Church of England, the previous incumbent, the Reverend Phillip de Grey-Warter, founded Anchor, a competing Anglican church in the town. This action caused a great deal of controversy.

A local person who did not wish to be identified said that Dawn French, famous for taking the lead role in The Vicar of Dibley, once lived in Fowey. Therefore, people would reportedly expect the community church to be comfortable with lady clergy and the comedy that accompanies them. In addition, someone else also voiced their opinion, stating, "These individuals need to wake up and come into the real world. I think it would be quite refreshing to have a female vicar."

According to ITV News, the absence of a vicar at St. Fimbarrus Church in Fowey, located in Cornwall, has persisted for the past four years. A small portion of the congregation allegedly stated that they could not be religious organization members on 'theological grounds' unless the pastor were a man. At the beginning of this year, the neighboring parishes of Tywardreath and Golant were thrilled to have the Reverend Shona Hoad serve as their new female vicar. Despite this, the Fowey PCC had already decided in the past that it would not have a female vicar, and it did not have a priest when it approved the resolution to place an advertisement for a male-only vicar. Moreover, the Reverend Howard Flint, vicar of St. Austell, presided over the annual meeting of the parish council and acknowledged that Fowey "is in a difficult place."

Also Read:Pastor Stacie Wood of Saddleback Church Stands Firm Despite the Rejection of Southern Baptist Convention on Female Pastor

Sexist on Ordaining Female Priest

Concerning the ordination of Abigail Eltzroth, comments made by David Hains in 2017 while serving as a spokesperson for the Catholic Diocese of Charlotte have caused the Women's Ordination Conference (WOC) to express their disappointment. In his message, Hains said the hope that Catholics in the diocese would comprehend that it would be a grave sin to accept a phony sacrament from a woman priest and that this would also entail witnessing a fake Mass. As mentioned, the notion that a woman who responds to her calling to preach the Good News is "sinful" is an archaic notion perpetuated by the leadership of the Church, which continues to view women as impure and unholy. 

The evil practices at this issue are reportedly sexism and patriarchy, not the presence of female clergy. In addition, WOC rejoices in the consecration of Abigail Eltzroth, in the prophetic obedience of over a hundred other women who have responded to God's call, and in the adoration of all who participate in these communities. Women are departing the organized Church faster than any other group. Still, they continue to discover a spiritual home in women-led eucharistic communities and house churches, where everyone is welcome at the table. Those who find a place to call home in these communities have encouragement to look for the sacraments under their convictions.

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