The Council of Forward in Faith Australia Inc takes great exception to Bishop Kay Goldsworthy's statement reported in the Sydney Morning Herald that those who oppose the ordination of women "will never accept that God is calling women to leadership in the church".
This denigrates the great women in the past as well as the present who are leaders in the Church. In her attempt to make this an argument about leadership she is once again diverting attention from the main issue. We in Forward in Faith do not object to women in leadership roles. We do not doubt that Bishop Goldsworthy has lawfully become a bishop within the Anglican Church in Australia.
What we question is whether she is a bishop within the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church and whether in purporting to consecrate her, the Anglican Church in Australia has forfeited its claim to be part of the Catholic Church.
The great churches of the East and West say that she cannot be a Catholic bishop. So where there is doubt, Anglican Catholics must err on the side of certainty. If she is not a Catholic bishop, the validity of the sacraments she administers is at the very least thrown into grave doubt. To reduce our objections to a squabble about leadership illustrates the total refusal of her and her supporters to take seriously the conscientious grounds on which opponents of the ordination of women stand. For the people we represent this is a "salvation issue" ripping apart the sacramental communion of the Church.
That is the reason we keep on saying that the "protocols" - the so-called provisions for those who cannot in conscience accept that women can be priests and bishops - offered by the Anglican Church in Australia, fall far short of the minimum alternative episcopal structures to which we have always laid claim.