From the Telegraph
By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has reopened the debate on women priests by suggesting that the Anglican Church may one day "think again" about the issue.
Speaking a week before his first official audience with Pope Benedict XVI in Rome, Dr Williams made clear that he remained a firm supporter of women's ordination and that "practically" he did not see how the Church's position could be reversed.
But in an interview with The Catholic Herald published today, he said he could "just about envisage a situation in which, over a very long period, the Anglican Church thought about it again, but I would need to see what the theological reason for that would be".
Dr Williams said the heated debate on the issue had "tested" his theological convictions.
He did not think the reform had "transformed or renewed the Church in spectacular ways", though neither had it "corrupted or ruined" it.
Read the whole thing here.
Interesting. I seem to recall Dr. Williams saying something similar in the context of his remarks to a Global South Primates meeting a year or so ago... maybe in Egypt? Does anyone else remember that? I can't find an references to it...
I think Dr. Williams is thinking coherently about this in general -- i.e. if the ordination of women were a true teaching, the process of its reception would probably look something like what the current situation in Anglicanism actually does look like. But I wonder whether Dr. Williams appreciates that even within what he is calling "the Anglican Church", this teaching has not been received universally. It seems to me that for "the Anglican Church" to accept this kind of teaching, it must be received at least by the WHOLE Anglican Church. But I would argue that the teaching of Women's Ordination would need to be received by the whole WHOLE Church -- East and West, etc. -- to be authenticated as having come from the Spirit of Truth. And just as Dr. Williams doesn't see a way, practically speaking, for Anglicanism to revisit the issue, neither do I see a way for the Universal Church, practically speaking, to visit the issue to begin with.