PRESS RELEASE 01/12/2013
Hindus have welcomed Church of Ireland, a province of the worldwide Anglican Communion, for appointing its first woman bishop.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, called it a historic achievement and “a step in the right direction”.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, also urged Vatican to follow and consider favorably the ordination of women priests in Roman Catholic Church. Holy See being the largest religious organization in the world should show exemplary leadership in women equality to the rest of the planet, Zed pointed out.
Rajan Zed noted that Church of England, in which women reportedly made up about a third of the Church’s priests and which is recognized by law as the official church of England with Her Majesty the Queen as the Supreme Governor, also needed to permit appointment of women bishops. Anglican churches in Scotland and Wales, which reportedly had the power to appoint women bishops, should look into installing some.
Zed stressed that women could disseminate God’s message as skillfully as men and deserved equal and full participation and access in religion.
Quoting Hindu scriptures, Rajan Zed says: Where women are honored, there the gods are pleased. Men and women are equal in the eyes of God and religions should respect that, Zed argues and adds that time has now come for the women priests and bishops.
Zed further said that as women were equal partners in the society, so they should be equal partners in the religion also. He urged Vatican to be more kind to Roman Catholic women as exclusion of women from religious services, just because they were female, was very unfair and ungodly.
Rajan Zed suggested that theologians and canonists of the Catholic Church needed to address women ordination issue urgently; re-evaluate Church doctrine, theology, male hierarchy and history; and give women a chance. Women should be ordained to priesthood and should perform the same functions as male priests. Treating women as not equal to men was clearly a case of discrimination promoting gender inequality.
It was highly appropriate time for the Holy See to hold a referendum among its congregations worldwide to learn about the feelings of Catholics on the subject of ordination of women, Zed stated.
Roman Catholic Church’s Cannon Law 1024 says—Only a baptized man validly receives sacred ordination.
Pat Storey was consecrated as the Bishop of Meath and Kildare in a ceremony on November 30 at Christ Church Cathedral Dublin led by Archbishop Michael Jackson; and thus became Church of Ireland’s first woman bishop. Dublin headquartered Church of Ireland, an apostolic church which claims to be “both Protestant and Catholic”, has 390,000 members and Michael Jackson and Richard Clarke are its archbishops of Dublin and Armagh respectively.