Still At It, with Good Help
I regard James Altena's "Role Reversals: Sex, Women's Ordination & the Rejection of Hierarchy & Equality" (January/February 2019) as the finest piece Touchstone has published on this subject—a significant admission from the person who has himself done most of that publishing. The issue will not go away for the same reason that mistakes about homosexuality will not: all of these are fundamental, "constitutional" matters, responses to which define the Church. When we received Richard Mason's letter, to which James responds in this issue, I was moved, without consulting him, by my own somewhat proprietary interest to write what follows. The similarity of our responses is striking.
A great many people are fond of C. S. Lewis's writings and are attracted by the notion of mere Christianity as he explained it, but find it convenient to forget that he, at least, did not think the ordination of women to be a Christian practice at all, but rather an expression of some other religion. Lewis said this gently in his essay "Priestesses in the Church?", his most explicit treatment of the subject, and I hope we at Touchstone have followed his example of realism and gentility by giving what praise we can to women who profess the Creed, are full of good works, and with genuine sincerity think they have been called and ordained to the presbyter's or the bishop's office.
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S. M. Hutchens is a Touchstone senior editor.
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