Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Women priests

I will continue to push this point. Below is a letter to the SMH last week by Sue who is a good friend and officiated at my mother's cremation and memorial service. Before Mum's death, Sue came and anointed and prayed over her. Mum appreciated this very much. We had to ask a male priest who only knew Mum slightly to celebrate communion with us. He was very kind and helpful but it would have been wonderful if Sue could have celebrated communion. I cannot understand or support the Sydney Anglican diocese in their out of date ideas. My career has been in a female dominated profession and so I have had a number of women as bosses. Some have been marvellous, others hopeless as was true of the men. I do not see why in the 21st century women should be subordinate to men.
Ban makes no sense

I am an Anglican deacon ordained in Sydney in 1996. At that time I was chaplain at the Children's Hospital at Westmead. Because I did not become a priest when the men in my cohort did, I was not authorised to administer communion to families at the hospital, many of whom were from the country and missing their country connections.

In the two churches in which I have since ministered, I lead services, preach, conduct baptisms, funerals and weddings and engage in pastoral care of our church family. When my senior colleague goes on holidays or is away on Sunday, my congregations are puzzled that I cannot conduct services in his absence. Ours being a tradition that values communion services, we are forced to arrange for a locum minister to conduct services on those days because I am not authorised to do so.

The system makes no sense. Your article ("Anglican women regroup to fight ban on ordination", October 5) points to Chris Albany's motion in the October Synod, which simply asks for women to be recognised as priests so that parishes which would like to have a woman in that capacity are free to do so.

Reverend Susan Emeleus St George's Anglican Church, Paddington

Peter Norman

For a person who does not usually follow sport and dislikes the Australian passion for it above everything else, I have been very much moved by the death of Peter Norman.
As you approach Central on the train, you can see the famous photo from 1968 which some person (most likely an Aborigine) has painted on the wall. What an inspiring man and how wonderful that the two Black men involved that day should fly to Melbourne and be his pall bearers. They are truly sportsmen of whom we can be proud.