Hindus have commended Church of England for consecrating its first female bishop (Right Reverent Libby Lane) at York Minster on January 26 in a historic move, overturning centuries of tradition.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that it was a big “step in the positive direction”, although it came very late.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out that Roman Catholic Church should also follow and permit women priests. He urged His Holiness Pope Francis to put ordination of women priests on the top of his reform agenda. Women could disseminate God’s message as skillfully as men and deserved equal and full participation and access in religion, Zed added.
Rajan Zed stressed that the Church of England should empower the women bishops with exactly equal roles as men bishops and without any limits or conditions. As women were equal partners in the society, they should be equal partners in Church also, Zed stated.
Quoting Hindu scriptures, Zed says: Where women are honored, there the gods are pleased.
How could an official church of a country with Her Majesty the Queen as its Supreme Governor continued to discriminate against its women for so long? Rajan Zed wondered.
Church of England (headquartered in London whose tagline is "A Christian presence in every community") is recognized by law as the official church of England. About 1.7 million people take part in a Church of England service each month, about 12 million people visit its cathedrals annually, and it has over 19,500 licensed ministers and over 16,000 churches. Most Reverend Justin Welby is the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.