WHETHER women should be ordained as Anglican priests in the region will be decided today during the second day to the synod of the Anglican Diocese of Ballarat.
Yesterday Bishop Garry Weatherill gave his presidential address encouraging everyone to act respectfully during today’s debate.
“I expect it to be a very robust debate with very passionate people,” Bishop Weatherill said.
“I’m hoping the legislation will pass so that I can ordain women as priests.”
He said although he thought it would pass, you could never be too sure.
In his address, he said they would be dealing with the sensitive and complex questions of ministry and the possibility of ordaining women to the priesthood.
“Some of you, who have long waited for women to be ordained as priests might be feeling worn out, angry and deeply frustrated,” Bishop Weatherill said.
“Those who are deeply opposed to this innovation may feel strongly that the final straw must not be loaded, that the faithful remnant must be honoured, that Catholic truth must be defended.
“Theological arguments are gathered on both sides, the Scriptures are appealed to, the Ecumencial context is cited, social sciences, the Fathers, the missiological imperatives and even sometimes the mid of Christ, are appealed to on both sides of the debate.
“I am sure that we will hear many of these issues raised in tomorrow’s discussions.”
He said people needed to speak appropriately during the debate and understand there would be different opinions.
“I don’t pretend that somehow we can all listen carefully and then reach a consensus,” he said.
“But, by attending to our deepest affections we might discern some of our own disconnects, some of our own prejudice, some of our own irrational judgments and so bring a more profound humility to those with whom we disagree so strongly.
“(Ignatius) would want every Synodsperson to think carefully about what is happening inside our own lives that means we react so strongly to whatever argument we are hearing.”
In order for the legislation to pass, a majority of votes will be needed in both the House of Laity and House of Clergy, before Bishop Weatherill has the final say.