Sister Joan Chittister, a keynote speaker at the recent conference of WOW (Women’s Ordination Worldwide), has written a ‘creed’. It is modelled on – but quite different from – the Apostles’ Creed.
The Apostles’ Creed: ‘I believe in God, the Father Almighty…’
The Chittister Creed: ‘I believe in the multiple revelations of that God, alive in every human heart, expressed in every culture, and found in all the wisdoms of the world.’
AC: ‘Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried … on the third day he rose again…’
CC: ‘He died but did NOT die because he lives in us still. ‘On the third day’ in the tomb he rose again in those he left behind and in each of us as well, to live in hearts that will not succumb to the enemies of life.’
AC: ‘I believe in… the forgiveness of sins.
CC: ‘I acknowledge the need to be freed from the compulsions of my disordered life and my need for forgiveness in the face of frailty.’
AC: ‘I believe in.. .the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting.’
CC: ‘I look for life eternal in ways I cannot dream, and trust that creation goes on creating in this world and in us forever.’
The good sister it appears has an agenda altogether wider than women‘s ordination. She is well on the way to a new religion:
AC; ‘I believe in …the holy Catholic Church.’
CC: ‘I believe in one holy universal Church.’
The One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church isn’t universal enough (don‘t you see?) to embrace all those ‘multiple [and contradictory] revelations.’
No one should be surprised by Chittister’s enthusiasm in this matter. With women’s ordination we have entered the do-it-yourself Church, where the consensus of the first four centuries on the canon of scripture, the pattern of the sacred ministry and the authoritative statements of the Faith has simply disintegrated. As CS Lewis said, those who must have priestesses will give us a ‘different religion’ – or as St Paul would say, a ‘different gospel’ (Galatians 1.6). And what did Paul say about those who promote a different gospel? ‘Let him [and presumably her] be outcast!’ (Galatians 1.9).