The Southern Baptist Sunday School Board has directed its writers who deal with questions about ordaining women to stick to traditional Baptist doctrine that ordination of deacons and ministers is a matter completely under the authority of the local congregation.
Guidelines for writers, adopted by the board at its semiannual meeting earlier this month, in effect override a resolution of the deeply divided denomination's national convention last summer. That resolution said women could not be ordained, in order "to preserve a submission God requires, because the man was first in creation and the woman was first in the Edenic fall."
Church leaders, including those who favored the antiordination resolution, acknowledged at the time that it could not be enforced because of Baptist rules that the local congregation is the sole authority on who may or may not be ordained. Many local churches and state conventions have since dissociated themselves from the action of the national convention.
In drafting editorial guidelines for dealing with ordination of women, the Sunday School Board called for "clear support to basic Christian and Baptist beliefs" while dealing "factually and fairly" with differing points of view among Southern Baptists.
The guidelines directed the board, which produces a wide range of literature for the 14-million-member denomination, to "continue to affirm and encourage the biblical and historic contribution of women to the cause of Christ."
Sister Mary Bridget Flaherty has been appointed chancellor of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, the first woman in the nation to hold that high a post in a Roman Catholic diocese.
In naming the 52-year-old educator and administrator, San Francisco Archbishop John R. Quinn has taken advantage of the church's new code of canon law, which permits a nonordained person to serve as chancellor, or administrator, under the bishop and the moderator of the diocesan curia.
Flaherty will also function as an adviser to the archbishop.
For several months there have been rumors that Quinn, head of a committee of bishops to oversee a Vatican-ordered study of religious orders of men and women in the United States, would name a woman to a decision-making role in his own archdiocese.
A former high school and college administrator, Flaherty was serving on a pastoral team in a San Francisco parish when picked for the chancery position.
The Roman Catholic Military Vicariate shortly will move from its longtime base in the chancery of the New York Archdiocese to Washington.
The Miltary Vicariate Catholic administers Roman Catholic chaplaincies in the U.S. armed services around the world and serves the more than 2 million Catholics in military service and their families.
Traditionally the head of the Military Vicariate has been the archbishop of New York, but with the death of Cardinal Terence Cooke in 1983, the Vatican announced that the two roles would be separated. When the Most Rev. John J. O'Connor was named archbishop of New York, he was named apostolic administrator of the vicariate, to function until a new military vicar is chosen.People
Msgr. Joaquin A. Bazan, pastor of St. John Baptist de la Salle Roman Catholic Church in Chillum, is the first Roman Catholic elected head of the 157-year-old Washington City Bible Society. The organization distributes Bibles and Scriptures portions.
Leonard DeFiore, superintendent of the Washington archdiocesan Roman Catholic school system since 1976, has become executive director of the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The Rev. Charles Stith, pastor of Boston's Union United Methodist Church, told his congregation that he has turned down an invitation to replace the Rev. Jesse Jackson as president of Operation PUSH.
The Rev. Gunnar J. Staalsett, currently general secretary of the Norwegian Bible Society, has been appointed general secretary of the Lutheran World Federation. He succeeds the Rev. Carl Mau, 62, of the United States, who is retiring next autumn after 11 years at the head of the Geneva-based federation, which includes 99 Lutheran churches with more than 54 million members in 82 countries.
The Rev. Joseph Bartemus is the new pastor of Capitol Baptist Church in Upper Marlboro and head of its Capitol Christian Academy, from which he graduated.