As the Church of England ordains its first transsexual woman into ministry as a priest, the Evangelical Alliance UK has come out to firmly condemn the decision.
Assistant curate Sarah Jones, 44, from Ross-on-Wye, who was a man for the first 29 years of his life, was ordained last Saturday.
The decision has been defended by the Right Reverend Anthony Priddis who described Ms. Jones as a “superb candidate” for the role, adding that she had the gender realignment surgery “many years ago – long before she explored the possibility of being ordained”, reported the BBC.
Bishop Priddis said that the issue of ‘gender dysphoria’ was “understood a lot more clearly in this 21st century as we understand lots of things more clearly”.
The Evangelical Alliance, however, has come out to firmly condemn the ordination of Ms. Jones.
Don Horrocks, EA spokesperson, said the Bible made it “absolutely clear that God created human beings as male and female.
“Therefore there is absolutely no Christian acknowledgement of the 21st century human idea that it’s possible somehow for a person to take charge of their own destiny and to decide what their own sexuality is,” he added.|QUOTE|
Bishop Priddis also highlighted the fact that gender dysphoria is recognised by both the NHS and law, saying that those who suffer from the condition “need help in order to be able to move to that wholeness, which we, as Christians, want for everyone”.
However, Dr Horrocks stated that anyone who chooses their own sexuality “is therefore actually perpetuating an illusion or masquerading and any Christian is clearly not going to be supportive of someone who purports to be what they’re not”.
|TOP|Dr Don Horrocks commented further in an Evangelical Alliance release, “The ordination of the Rev Sarah Jones, who used to be a man, at Hereford Cathedral...has big implications for the Church. If, as is generally accepted, it is not possible for a person to change their sex, then it is a myth for people to think that they can bypass the Creator and attempt to control their own destiny, identity, or gender.”
The Evangelical Alliance’s Head of Public Affairs concluded, “The fact is that sex is a given from God and cannot be changed. Only a few years ago gender identity disorder was a well known psychological condition. Now people think it can be treated by cosmetic surgery. Surely it is far better to help people find their true birth identity.
"If, despite this, people think that, for example, they can present themselves as a woman when they are really a man then this seems like perpetuating the illusion or deception. And for the Church to perpetuate it seems a complete contradiction in terms.”
Ms. Sarah Jones, a former Roman Catholic, was ordained to priesthood last Saturday by the Bishop of Hereford, with the support of parishioners in the Ross team ministry.
Evangelical Alliance Condemns Ordination of Transsexual in Church of England
The Evangelical Alliance has denounced the ordination of a transsexual woman to priesthood in the Church of England as going against Scriptures.
Published 29 September 2005 | Maria Mackay