Synod against women ordination

On the second day of deliberations, the Synod of the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Poland voted against the change in the law that would enable the introduction of ordaining women as pastors.

In the result of secret ballot, 38 members of the Church Synod were “for” and 26 were “against”. There were 4 abstainers. According to the procedure, in order for the change of the Primary Inner Law to be introduced, the majority needs to be equal to 2/3. (The motion needed 46 votes to be passed.)

The discussion on the issue of ordaining women in the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Poland has been continued for over 70 years now. Since 1963 women graduated in theology were enabled to teach, conduct church services and provide pastoral care in congregations.

Further changes occurred in 1999, with introducing women ministry (ordination of women as deacons). Since then women have been able to provide charitable and missional service, as well as lead services, weddings and funerals, have been authorized to celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Baptism, and assist in distribution of the Holy Communion. However, they haven't been able to administrate a congregation and haven't been authorized to celebrate the Holy Communion.

Although in 2008 the Synod Commission on Theology and Confession declared there were no obstacles of theological nature for women to be ordained as pastors, and in 2014 various Church groups in Poland came back to this discussion, the Synod did not pass such possibility.

In this cadence of the Church Synod, which ends in autumn this year, the issue of ordaining women will not be discussed again. It is not out of the question, however, that the Synod members will start the debate again in the future.

The Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Poland consists of ca. 70,000 members, with 154 pastors (including 11 women deacons) in 133 parishes. It is divided into 6 Dioceses, among which the biggest one is the Cieszyn Diocese with ca. 37,000 members. The Church bases its teaching on the Holy Bible and its discourse included in the Symbolical Books.