Posted by: AJ the Irish Lass | September 18, 2011

Back in 1976…

Clergy and members throughout the Episcopal Church recently celebrated the anniversary of the vote to ordain women to the priesthood in the Episcopal Church. I’ve been seeing a lot of stories shared from people who knew some of the first few women who were ordained, and everything that went on during that time.

This was a few years before my time. I’ve grown up during a time in TEC when there have always been female clergy. What are your most vivid memories from this time? Did the ordination of women have much of an effect in your local area?


  1. My feelings were confused. I was upset at those bishops who illegally “ordained” women in Philadelphia 1974 (We must have a bit of order to function. Bishops are supposed to enforce the rules, not break them).

    I was confused at the 1976 vote because no one could ever answer my two simple questions:

    1. Why would Our Lord call women to the priesthood in our small slice of the Catholic Church when we have had for many years a large surplus of male priests? We have more male priests than jobs available…why didn’t Our Lord choose the Roman Church for this call? They have a shortage of male priests. I credit Our Lord with a lot of sense….and this decision did not compute just on this issue alone.

    2. If Our Lord was calling women to the priesthood, why did He not send a Messenger to any one of the postulants? If Our Lord was choosing to break a 2000 year tradition, wouldn’t He likely want it to be Explicit and Undeniable?

    Not a single woman has claimed that the BVM appeared to her saying: “My Son calls you to the priesthood.”; nor have any claimed that Our Lord Himself appeared in a vision; nor do any claim that Any Angelic Messenger has announced their call….yet history is replete with men being called by supernatural and beatific visitations.

    If Our Lord has ever called even one woman to the priesthood, then the door is all the way open…but I don’t see good evidence. (I understand that good, kind, wonderful, and sincere women are doing good work in their roles as “priests” …but I think they are wrong in their belief in their orders.)

    These two issues have always said to me that the call of women to the priesthood is not Our Lord’s desire.

    Since the ordination of women and the adoption of the 1979 BCP the Episcopal Church has become a laughing-stock. Even college professors pronounce it: “A Train Wreck”, and “A Brand That Lost It’s Identity”. The Church of Beauty is gone, replaced by an organization that has lost it’s focus on the Supernatural Power of the Almighty.

    Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, “America’s Bishop”, has written: “The Church is judged by her bishops, both by Our Blessed Lord and the public.” I think many of these bishops should tremble in their buskins when they are held accountable for their episcopacy on Judgment Day.

  2. No matter what you think about women priests, this was a sad day. It can be seen as the beginning of PECUSA substitution of fifty percent plus one, for a true catholic conciseness.

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