Clipped From The Evening Sun
. f. .. : :v-v :v-v :v-v :.f..V IP I WMmm'IM i 1 III aSK' I;, V; -V5r -V5r ' ; SuiioaDers DhoLo Irvine FoiltlDS ANTI-SEXISM ANTI-SEXISM ANTI-SEXISM Carolyn Taylor, organizer of Episcopal Women's Caucus, explains why she feels the Episcopal church is guilty of sexist practices against women. Episcopal Group Fight Sexist Practices Continued from Page F 10 ishes are represented in the group. "What we want is to get fuller participation for everyone everyone in church activities," Carolyn said, explaining that both men. and women Episcopalians Episcopalians are rigidly restricted restricted as to the kinds of services they can render to the church. "In the Episcopal Church a woman cannot be ordained as a priest, regardless of how well qualified she is," Carolyn said, "and in some parishes women are not allowed allowed to serve on vestries, even though canon law permits permits this. Own Desire "One thing I have always wanted to do in the church is to be a thurifer. (the person who carries the incense during during the j ecclesiastical service). service). It would add personally to my offering in the mass. There's no reason why a woman or a girl shouldn't be able to do this." Grace Clark, a member of Memorial Episcopal Church on Bolton Hill, noted that girls are not allowed to be1 acolytes (altar boys) "Little girls growing up in the church are constantly told, 'It's a great thing to be . an acolyte, but you can't be one,'" Grace said. "It reminds reminds me of separate but unequal." Grace said she felt the , church was depriving itself of the talents of many women because of its discriminatory discriminatory policies. Well Educated j She pointed to the fact that there is a very high percentage percentage of well educated women in the Episcopal Church. In her parish, for example, 50 per cent of the churchwomen have college degrees or , higher, she said. "A professional . woman who's very active, say a woman physician, may be able to serve the church in many ways, on a church advisory advisory board to a hospital, helping to set up a clinic " "We want the church to recognize that women can do ' more than put on bake sales," Carol inserted. "We don't want to stop bake sales, but we want everyone to be able to participate how-- how-- how-- ever he wants." The caucus is planning to make some legislative proposals proposals to the state diocesan convention in May, including the proposal that the convention convention adopt a resolution supporting supporting an equal role for Episcopal women in church activities. Furthermore, Carolyn said, the group wants to get the church to look at its govern- govern- ing bodies and get better representation of women on these groups. According to figures released released by the diocese, at the last diocesan convention (May, 1972), there were 221 . clerical delegates (all men) and 178 lay delegates, of whom 51 were women, j , On the Diocesan Council, the body that carries on the . legislation of the convention, there are 27 members, including including 14 clergymen and only 2 women. The diocese said it had no accurate figures on the percentage percentage of the 65,000 church members in the diocese who are women, but said that 60 per cent, was probably a low estimate. For Some Time The .move for an equal role for Episcopal women in the church is a battle that has , been going on quietly for : some time. ' In 1970 at the Episcopal General Convention in Houston, Houston, 28 women were seated for the first time in the House of Deputies, one of the convention's two legislative bodies. The other body is the i House of Bishops. At the . convention, the church laws were amended to permit women to serve as ordained deacons. An amend-' amend-' amend-' ment ' that would permit women to be ordained as priests was voted on, but was defeated by the clerical . order of the House of Deputies. Deputies. Expected Again The issue is expected to come' up again at the next . general convention in September September in Louisville. Members of the women's caucus say they are concerned concerned that the Maryland diocese, diocese, which supported wom-' wom-' wom-' en's ordination in 1970, may have been swayed from that stand since then. Maryland Bishop David K. Leighton, who could not be reached for comment yesterday, yesterday, was quoted in this month's issue of The Maryland Maryland Church News, as saying that he would probably 'vote. against the ordination ot women priests at the Louisville Louisville convention. ' He said his decision was ' not final, however. Recognition Conceded The Rev. Ray H. Averett, ' canon to the ordinary , of the diocese, would not comment on the women's caucus, but said that discrimination , against women in the Episcopal Episcopal Church was "a gener ally recognized fact. Mrs. Eleanor Lewis, a member of the women's caucus caucus who also serves as chairman chairman of the national committee committee on lay ministries, said her concern is that Episcopol women now have "every legal right in the church, ex cept ordination to tne priesthood." priesthood." "I think the purpose of the caucus is to raise the whole question of the position of women in the church, and in the world. I think that if the issue gets out v in the open and is talked about, the diocese diocese will vote for the ordination ordination of women."