Hindus have welcomed Church of Ireland, a province of the worldwide Anglican Communion, for appointing its first woman bishop.
Bishop Pat Storey was enthroned as Bishop of Meath and Kildare in a ceremony in Trim on Friday 6th December.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement issued in
Nevada, USA, called it a historic achievement and “a step in the right
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, also urged
Vatican to follow and consider favorably the ordination of women priests
in Roman Catholic Church.
Holy See being the largest religious
organisation in the world should show exemplary leadership in women
equality to the rest of the planet, Zed pointed out.
Rajan Zed noted that Church of England, in which women reportedly
made up about a third of the Church's priests and which is recognised by
law as the official church of England with Her Majesty the Queen as the
Supreme Governor, also needed to permit appointment of women bishops.
Anglican churches in Scotland and Wales, which reportedly had the power
to appoint women bishops, should look into installing some.
Zed stressed that women could disseminate God’s message as skillfully
as men and deserved equal and full participation and access in
Quoting Hindu scriptures, Rajan Zed says: Where women are
honored, there the gods are pleased. Men and women are equal in the eyes
of God and religions should respect that, Zed argues and adds that time
has now come for the women priests and bishops.
Zed further said that as women were equal partners in the society, so
they should be equal partners in the religion also. He urged Vatican to
be more kind to Roman Catholic women as exclusion of women from
religious services, just because they were female, was very unfair and
Rajan Zed suggested that theologians and canonists of the Catholic
Church needed to address women ordination issue urgently; re-evaluate
Church doctrine, theology, male hierarchy and history; and give women a
Women should be ordained to priesthood and should perform the
same functions as male priests. Treating women as not equal to men was
clearly a case of discrimination promoting gender inequality.
It was highly appropriate time for the Holy See to hold a referendum
among its congregations worldwide to learn about the feelings of
Catholics on the subject of ordination of women, Zed stated.
Roman Catholic Church’s Cannon Law 1024 says 'Only a baptized man validly receives sacred ordination.'