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The ACNA and the Historic Priesthood 

From Alice Linsley, writing at Virtue Online:

This has been a difficult article to write due to the strength of my conviction that women's ordination to the sacred order of priests is a dangerous innovation that will continue to cause division in the Anglican Church in North America.

I have been speaking and writing on this subject for over 15 years, mainly from the perspective of Biblical Anthropology, but also from personal experience as a former priest in the Episcopal Church. I have no illusion that what I say will change the minds of those who hold their positions with equally firm conviction. . . .

I am not hopeful that a catholic resolution on the question of women priests can be achieved in the ACNA. Anglicans appears to relish theological ambiguity and our bishops do not insist on uniformity of doctrine and practice when it comes to nonessentials. That the all-male priesthood touches the heart of the Messianic Faith that we call "Christianity" does not sway the supporters of women's ordination. Nor do they appear to be disturbed by the tension this innovation creates in ecumenical relations with bodies that uphold catholic orders.

Anglicans claim Scripture as our central authority, yet supporters of women's ordination obfuscate the fact that not a single woman priest is found in the Bible. Many are proud of the "reformed" nature of the Anglican Way, yet they are unwilling to reform to the received Tradition of the all-male priesthood. They do not recognize the truth of Father Louis Tarsitano's words: "The priesthood of Christ, and that representative priesthood rooted in Christ's priesthood is changeless. To change it is to change the New Testament itself". . . .

The bishops should not be overly hard on themselves. They inherited this conflicted condition and they are saddled with it. Though most ACNA bishops do not favor women's ordination, female priests is now the cultural norm in the ACNA. Given what I have learned from anthropology about cultural change, I doubt the ACNA can reform to the biblical norm.

The preservation of a fragile ACNA coalition is more important than the boundary stones set up by our holy ancestors (Proverbs 22:28). Those markers enable us to discern and avoid errant paths.

The Anglican Church in North America has been permanently corrupted by the adoption of a practice from TEC. The polity of the ACNA is such that no leader has the authority to correct this. In effect, the ACNA has a crisis of authority.

A fellow who goes by the name "ReebHerb" posted this comment to the Virtue Online article:

ACNA's promise was to approach all issues under the authority of prayer and scripture. Their own working paper concluded no basis for ordained women from scripture. This was vetoed immediately by the likes of Hobby, Hunter, and Mrs. Duncan going off the rails chastising those who questioned her husband. So we now know that only prayer is encouraged until the desired outcome is achieved.

What is ACNA? As the wise man said, it is TEC 15 minutes before Gene Robinson. Go for it. Did you notice the move from priest to pastor? What is the new term for bishop? Shepherd? Anyway, I couldn't figure out what these women wanted. I think one was asking the HOB to study Holy Scripture so they would know what they were superseding. Lay people have always been able to preach. TEC has LEM (Lay Eucharistic Minister) who can distribute already consecrated elements. Anyone can do baptisms like nurses often do for babies that don't look like they will make it. Church shaman (that sounds male)? The only meaningful Bible study I've been in was led by a Canadian Chinese woman in small group.

These women used the exact same language and talking points we heard in TEC from the 1970s on. Please ignore the fact that far fewer women attend TEC churches now than before although the general population has bloomed. Well the die is cast. ACNA should not waste time and open the doors to female bishops. The dream of supplanting TEC is over. They are TEC.

Indeed they are, and the time for ACNA traditionalists has now come to fish or cut bait.

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Reader Comments (12)

Thought you should know, I check Alice Linsley's work on her blog concerning "Horite" priests and separate blood work for men and women. The foundation of her work is plagiarized from Gerald Massey or a derivative source. Catholic Answers already has an article debunking Gerald Massey and his odd (and very anti-Christian) views on the Egyptian goddess Hathor having a virgin birth (to Horus). Massey's work is so well known and well debunked that Lutheran Satire has a video laughing at it on YouTube.

When I first reached out to you for help in finding an orthodox parish several years ago, I did not think I was getting into the polar opposite of Calvary Chapel with more pseudo-history. I wish I could have a do-over. As it is, I have left the ACC and have gone full egalitarian now, back to my old ACNA parish. I am tired of pseudo-history, as well as horrible misogyny on Virtue Online and Anglican Ink where they regularly insult women (and yet the ACC blogs that link to them don't care). In one article back last March or so they had a post on a woman who was ordained a bishop or something, and someone made a comment that, "Women ruin everything." Nobody moderated what that man said. Nobody confronted him for his blanket statement against all women everywhere. Chivalry is dead, if it every truly existed.

I don't mind if someone is against women's ordination. But I do mind how they arrive there. If they can't still be loving and kind to women, including their own allies, then why would I want to be around them anymore? S.M. Hutchens personally tried to convince me that I was an easily-deceived dunce in his own round-about way. I finally got my identity so torn down that I had a faith crisis, especially not long after my own parish handed me writings from Fr. Tarsitano, further drilling into my head how gullible women are and even denying that women can hold authority in politics, business, etc. There is something very insidious in your beliefs if they can trigger a faith crisis in me, after all I've survived in my past. Had I not felt my very identity being torn down bit by bit, I would have stayed, and been the ally and friend of all Continuing Anglicans.

Please, repent. You have replaced Jesus with the patriarch of the church and family, and it shows, especially in the sheer desperation required to rely on Linsley's pseudo-history. Please, repent.

January 24, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBibleBullet

Just think, BibleBullet, of the MILLIONS of Christians destroyed by TEC and liberal in other mainline denominations for their idols of "women's ordination" and homosexual "sex".

January 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterKen

I'm not the one who needs to repent, BibleBullet. Furthermore, the notion that traditional Anglicans have "replaced Jesus with the patriarch of the church and family" is so absolutely ludicrous that it deserves no response, except to say that something happened during all of this to so addle your thinking that you'd actually write such a thing. I am saddened that you've seemingly run off the rails, and I would humbly ask you to refrain from posting any further comments here. I will invite Alice to respond here to your very serious charge of plagiarism, though her work in biblical anthropology is mostly unrelated to her article on women's ordination.

January 26, 2019 | Registered CommenterEmbryo Parson

Actually, I've never read G. Massey's work. BibleBullet appears to have a superficial understanding of the anthropological research being done on the Horite Hebrew of the Bible and their Nilotic roots. We discuss these matters in depth at the international Facebook Forum The Bible and Anthropology. The members are linguists, anthropologists, archaeologists, Bible scholars, and geneticists, and none have dismissed the bulk of the evidence connecting the Horite Hebrew of the Bible to the Predynastic Messianic expectation of the Ancient Nilotes and Proto-Saharans..

January 26, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAlice C. Linsley

*corrected formatting*


In one article back last March or so they had a post on a woman who was ordained a bishop or something, and someone made a comment that, "Women ruin everything." Nobody moderated what that man said. Nobody confronted him for his blanket statement against all women everywhere.

How dare somebody hold the Biblical view that women's primary temptation is to usurp and disrupt the charge and authority God has given men.

In one article back last March or so they had a post on a woman who was ordained a bishop or something, and someone made a comment that, "Women ruin everything." Nobody moderated what that man said. Nobody confronted him for his blanket statement against all women everywhere.

Well, you are an egalitarian who somehow manages to maintain views that are in plain contradiction to Scripture, tradition, and reality, so I fear the prognosis is accurate.

Please, repent. You have replaced Jesus with the patriarch of the church and family, and it shows, especially in the sheer desperation required to rely on Linsley's pseudo-history. Please, repent.

Repent? To whom? Feminism? Secular society? The world around us which pushes towards new lunacies every day? I'm curious, what level of egalitarianism are you comfortable with? Are you comfortable with the injection of hormones into so-called "trans" children so they can become "equal" with their non-gender-confused peers? Or is that just a bridge-too-far down the egalitarian rabbit-hole you've bought in to? Why are homosexuality, abortion, and all other manners of gross perversion and sin in our society "wrong" while woman's desire to usurp male authority and erode the family and its structure good? Your feeble begging for us to abandon the truth has the opposite effect. It encourages me.

January 27, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJames Radclyffe

I have found that to avoid breaches of charity I cannot help but address people like "Bible Bullet" in the "roundabout way" for which she finds fault. I am charged, however, by apostolic authority (and common wisdom, too) to be gentle. It's not always appreciated.

There is really very little I can respond to here because she regards what I was trying to do as an attack on her personal identity, that is, her soul. To this I can appeal, but cannot force. She has made it plain that after considering orthodox Christianity, she has returned to previous opinions and reinstated herself in opposition to it. She declares in effect that this is a matter of her sovereign will (once again, "personal identity," which she was finding threatened--it was being "torn down") which has renewed its allegiance to the egalitarian god. Doubtless with this identity there goes a story with injuries and susceptibilities with which I could not help.

Readers should note, however, that she places the blame for her crisis and failure to convert her not on the uniform witness of the Church, but on the far easier targets of odd and disputable ducks like me and Fr. Tarsitano. She and others who wish to be both Christians and egalitarians simply cannot look the Church in the face.

January 28, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterS. M. Hutchens

For those that think the Women's Ordination issue is not that big of a deal, my own support for historic practice over modern has been a major hangup when interviewing with a number of ACNA parishes, all of which were in 'dual integrity' diocese, but none of the parishes actually had women serving. My integrity was not greatly respected, even when not practically impacted.

My experience working in a 'dual integrity' diocese was even less motivational: the hope from Pro-WO was that those against would fade out/die off. Further, those against WO were considered 'against women in ministry'... and in this culture, that means being against women. While this may be the case in some super-Reformed Anglican churches, it could not be further from the truth in all Anglo-Catholic parishes I've ever visited, attended, served.

I've about given up on the province, but still have hope enough to stay a little longer. There are much larger, deeper cultural differences in the ACNA than the WO issue, which is a very large and public symptom.

January 30, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDent

The ACNA is an evangelical church pure and simple. Anglo-Catholics who belong have to put aside their orthodox beliefs if they want to stay. The heavy-handedness by the ACNA re. WO is just a glimpse of what awaits AC down the road. Evangelical Anglicans have no knowledge of, or interest in, patristics or the Church in Council. The is the foundation of what AC believe. This will not end well for AC. The coming together of the PNCC and the G-4, and the sharing of their apostolic lines, is the only hope for Anglicans to recreate "a clean altar and a clean chalice."

February 2, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterspikus

Bible Bullet,
Please know that there is a traditionalist who truly hears your pain! I hope and will pray that God's beautiful plan for the sexes -- unity with distinction -- will be conveyed to you in a far better manner than any previous attempts you've come across so far. And I pray that your wounds will be healed by the Great Physician himself.
Marmee March

April 24, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMarmee March

If you're a Realignment Anglican who supports women's ordination, you are no traditionalist. You are a "latcon".

April 24, 2019 | Registered CommenterEmbryo Parson

Thanks for the link to the Touchstone article!

June 26, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDent

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