Usage and ab-usage in the language of contemporary Anglicanism

Those of our constituency have recently been described as finding women’s ordination ‘inappropriate’. The term is one which is adopted, one supposes, in order to give as little offence as possible to ordained women. But alas! It raises more questions than it solves. Inappropriate to whom, when and where?

It is possible and reasonable to think that women’s ordination is wrong – either because the whole Church has no authority to make the innovation (the position of the Pope and the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith); or because the Church of England alone has no authority to do it (a position defensible from the Articles and from the Preface to the Ordinal); or because scripture forbids it (the position of many evangelicals).

It is polite to no one to put a decision about the orders of the Universal Church on the same level as wearing brown boots to a funeral.