From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
CHURCH LEADER LAMENTS PARISHIONERS' RESISTANCE
05 May 1996 13:04:58
95177 CHURCH LEADER LAMENTS PARISHIONERS' RESISTANCE
TO WOMEN PASTORS
by Paul Amina
Ecumenical News International
NAIROBI--The general secretary of the Presbyterian Church of East Africa
(PCEA), Samuel Mwaniki, has had to recall 24 retired male pastors to run
parishes where conservative congregations, along with unnamed clergymen,
have refused to accept women pastors as leaders.
Mwaniki acknowledged that the ordination of women had met initial
resistance but had gained more acceptance with the passing of time. He
said there was no reason for the present resistance. Women pastors were a
reality that people should live with, he said.
However, Mwaniki, who had just ordained another woman pastor, said he
was left with women pastors who could not be placed because of the
discrimination that had rocked his presbyteries.
Parishioners, Mwaniki said, preferred men to women as parish leaders.
They also preferred women ministers to work as chaplains in schools,
hospitals, and other institutions, or, at most, serve as assistants to
"The sight of a woman in the pulpit is abhorrent," one Presbyterian
churchgoer told ENI. Congregations were prepared to bear the cost of having
two pastors -- provided one of them was a man -- if women were going to be
part of parish ministries.
Mwaniki lamented that many African Christians lied in the past,
characterized by gender prejudice.
"Once ordained, nothing makes women lesser mortals in the church,"
Mwaniki said, calling for the education of parishioners about the equality
of the sexes before God.
For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
phone 502-569-5504 fax 502-569-8073
E-mail PCUSA.NEWS@pcusa.org Web page: http://www.pcusa.org
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