I've always had this unsubstantiated feeling that there is something profoundly not natural or out of whack about men being overly religious. Then my thoughts extend to instances of atrocities committed throughout history by the zealously religious, and it hit me: Perhaps men have a stronger inclination to pervert religious practice compared to women. Could it be that a fundamental problem with big modern organised religions today has to do with how men overwhelmingly dominate their officiation?
Something that we take for granted in a society such as ours that aspires to join the ranks of the modern world -- one where gender equality is upheld -- is how in our midst is a major institution that continues a medieval tradition of excluding women from key positions within its hierarchy. Indeed, that bastion of Roman Catholicism, the Vatican, described a 2008 move by the Anglican Church to allow women to be ordained bishops as "a step backwards"...
The Pontifical Council for Christian Unity said it had learnt of the Church of England's decision "with regret", and warned that it would have "consequences for future dialogue, which until now has been very fruitful".
"This decision is a breach with the apostolic tradition maintained by all Churches from the first millennium, and for that reason it is a further obstacle for reconciliation between the Catholic Church and the Church of England."
That a practice or tradition dates back "from the first millenium" makes said practice necessarily right is typical of the sort of arguments that Church leaders continue to be quite comfy with.
Perhaps allowing women to take their place among the men in the Church hierarchy could present a positive step towards turning the Church into a more humanist institution -- one that behaves less like a warlike boys club and a bit more like an institution that represents the interests of those among us who need that representation the most.