Well, after a month of blogging time over took me and I have realised that I haven’t blogged for two weeks! I reflect – how do people do it every day – it is not as if I have time to do nothing in my day. If I am not working in the parish it is with one of my other roles as non executive director, independent director, mother, wife, cleaner or cook. Maybe a few weeks ago when I announced to my team that I was blogging they were right when the proclaimed – where will you find the time for that!
So what has drawn me to the computer to blog. Well it was the appearance of a man who sought me out to tell me that I was a ‘vile sinner’ and that I would be condemned to a life without God. You may ask what was this awful thing that I had committed – it was to be a female priest. It was a difficult conversation and one which to date I had only had on the telephone – yes people do phone me to tell me I shouldn’t be a priest and yes I have received letters which reflect the same sentiments. Although I am not deluged by letters they so come with a regularity so that I am always cautious of a poorly hand written envelopes.
If this is what The Bishop of Fulham meant when he talked about persecution in his speech which announced he is to resign and join the Ordinate (ie. become a Roman Catholic) I can empathize. However, this is not in the league of those that have died because of their faith. Today in the Metro there was a brief article which spoke of the Militants wearing suicide vests and armed with grenades attacked the Iraqi stock exchange and then entered the nearby Our Lady of Deliverance church taking about 120 Christians hostage as a result 52 are dead. Nick Baines in his blog of the October rightly highlighted that The Bishop of Fulham’s speech used extraordinary language. He wrote
’ Someone should do a linguistic textual analysis of this stuff – for a start it cheapens the word and concept of ‘persecution’. But, the notions of ‘they are forcing us out’ and ‘we have no responsibility- it is all being done to us’ has reminded me of the posts I wrote about ‘future foreshortening’ and the hierarchies of victimhood.’
I have no problem debating with others my sense of being called to be a priest and in fact I welcome it. However, if we were to disagree on the issue of ordination of women I would hope we would it in love and with honesty and spend our time more profitability caring for the sick, comforting those who mourn, feeding the hungry, welcoming the stranger and enabling others to come into that place where they can recognize the love of God for them.