Common Roots: Ancient Evangelical Future Conference

Indian church to recruit more female clergy

CSI to recruit and promote more women clergy, but will not fast track women to meet gender quotas

The Church of South India has begun a push to recruit and promote more women clergy, but will not fast track women through the church simply to meet gender quotas. In a press conference called to announce plans for the 200th anniversary celebrations of the CMS in India, the deputy moderator of the CSI said the shortage of women clergy was holding back the church’s mission. The Rt. Rev. Thomas K. Oommen, Bishop in Madhya Kerala noted his diocese had yet to ordain a woman to the priesthood. Approximately 150 women priests and one woman bishop, (the Rt. Rev. Eggoni Pushpalalitha, Bishop in Nyandal), (pi ured) serve in the CSI, which is comprised of 4 million members in 24 dioceses and 15,000 congregations. Bishop Oommen said he wanted to see more women clergy, but “there cannot be any short cuts to bring in women as priests.”  His remarks came in discussion of plans to mark the 200th anniversary of the arrival of CMS Missionary Thomas Norton in 1816 in Alappuzha in Kerala at a press conference held on 15 Oct 2016 in Kottayam. The celebrations are scheduled for 11-13 Nov 2016, he said. The CMS missionaries “worked among the marginal sections of society then and had fought against the social evils including slavery. We want to carry forward their mission and fight against the present day social evils and the new slaveries,” Bishop Oommen said.

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