HuffPost’s podcast All Together takes a look at the consecration of Libby Lane as the first female bishop in the Church of England. In this episode, to help him understand the continuing sexism in the Christian Church, Raushenbush spoke with four extraordinary women: the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church Katharine Jefforts Schori, the recent US ambassador for Religious Freedom the Rev. Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook, The President of Union Theological Seminary, The Rev. Dr. Serene Jones, and the one and only Sister Joan Chittister.
Recently, Rev. Libby Lane was consecrated as Bishop of Stockport making her the first woman Bishop in the Church of England. The stain glass ceiling break-through only occurred after years of debate and still, at her consecration, a priest stood and objected. In Orthodox Christianity, the Roman Catholic Church and in some Protestant denominations, women are not allowed to serve as pastors or priests. Pope Francis, who has been so open on many issues, has slammed the door shut to any debate on women serving as priests.
Given that women surrounded Jesus during his ministry, were the last to stay with Jesus at the cross, and the first to see him resurrected; it appears clear that Jesus believed in the spiritual power and perception of women. So, why does the church not hold women in the same esteem as did Jesus, the founder and center of the faith?