THINKING ANGLICANS

update on women bishops

We haven’t reported on this topic since July.

Jonathan Petre in the Telegraph had a story today about one possible compromise, Williams may give up consecration role over women.

This suggests that traditionalists might accept something less than a “third province solution” if the archbishop did not himself consecrate women bishops (something like the custom in London whereby the diocesan bishop hasn’t for some years now ordained any women (or men) priests personally).

The story doesn’t explain how this would work in the Northern Province: presumably the Archbishop of York would have to take some similar action there. And it would seem unlikely that this solution would work if either archbishop was herself female.

The September issue of New Directions had an article by the Bishop of Guildford, who is chairing the working group producing specific recommendations for the synod to consider: Going forward:

What provision should be made for those who cannot recognize women bishops? The Rt Rev. Christopher Hill, the Bishop of Guildford, bears the responsibility for discerning the possible answer, and here gives a personal view of the issues involved.

The reactions of the flying bishops to the synod vote in July can be found on the Forward in Faith website: Beverley, Ebbsfleet, Richborough, and also Fulham.

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Simon SarmientoAugustus MeriwetherGöran Koch-SwahneMerseymikeDave Recent comment authors
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The Rev'd Lois Keen
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The Rev'd Lois Keen

My heart is broken.
Lois Keen
Priest, Delaware and Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

Tim
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Simon quotes:
> > What provision should be made for those who cannot recognize women bishops?

Should’ve gone to Specsavers!

Perry Butler
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Perry Butler

Currently the Bishop of London ordains no priests-male or female. he ordains all the deacons for the diocese, area bishops ordain priests but not deacons. Perry Butler London

Simon Sarmiento
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Perry is of course quite right, but the reason for the policy is similar. So although my comparison is not entirely valid, I will let it stand.

Augustus Meriwether
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I’m loving Tim for that. You know, you can’t catch being female. If you touch them, you don’t get filled with ‘ladyness’ and become all too dirty for God to love you. It is appalling that the church is even thinking of such concessions to those who oppose what the church has decided through the right and proper processes. I don’t think it is a good idea for the ABC to be validating this message that women are modern day lepers by making sure they don’t put their hands on him at consecration. a) it’s tosh and b) it brings… Read more »

trish lindsay
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trish lindsay

I love Tim’s comment – thank you so much, Tim! x

Kat
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Kat

The ways of the world have no business in the Church of God. While women can take up positions in the Church and the Church has already gone off track in allowing women priests, women Bishops are something else altogether and should never be allowed. That doesn’t mean that women are ‘lepers’ or anything like that, I have a lot of respect for women, but women have no business in the clergy of a traditional Church of God, like the Anglican Church. Tim, for those who cannot recognize women bishops, they can always join any one of the majority of… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
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Some letters in the Telegraph about the original article:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2005/10/05/dt0501.xml#head1

Pete Broadbent
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Pete Broadbent

Just to say that the Telegraph article is only part of the story – as usual, the Press get fixated on Archbishops. The provision is part of a package that has been discussed by the House of Bishops and will now be further refined by the Working Party chaired by the Bishop of Guildford in the light of their comments, with a view to bringing proposals to Synod in February. It’s work in progress, and an attempt to hold the CofE together when women are consecrated as bishops. But you can’t easily judge the package on the basis of one… Read more »

Alan Harrison
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Alan Harrison

Augustus Merivether wrote: “It is appalling that the church is even thinking of such concessions to those who oppose what the church has decided through the right and proper processes.” I cite the late Dom Anselm Hughes, OSB, monk of Nashdom Abbey from memory, but he had little patience with those who “speak of the Church with all high respect as having quasi-divine or even divine authority, but who, when the context is examined, are not talking of the one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, the bride of Christ, but at most the Anglican Communion and at least the two… Read more »

Merseymike
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Merseymike

But, Alan, being realistic, it is just the Church of England who will make this decision. Churches who don’t even accept the validity of Anglican priestly orders really don’t have a say, and I don’t think their views should be taken into account. This view of seeing us as somehow the junior partner of Catholicism or Orthodoxy is a surefire recipe for never being able to change anything unless those churches do so. If the views of those churches are so important to you, then why not join? If I held the sort of catholic ecclesiology of FiF etc, then… Read more »

Augustus Meriwether
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Yes Alan, I was speaking of ‘the two provinces of Canterbury and York, the Church of England as by law established.’ And no, I’m not “speaking of the Church with all high respect as having quasi-divine or even divine authority.” It has rules and regulations and procedures to protect itself, its creed and everyone in it. It takes an age for the machinery to grind round to a resolution on anything in it’s sort of quasi-democratic way. So, I simply believe that those who can’t abide by ‘what the church has decided through the right and proper processes’ should either:… Read more »

Dave
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Dave

The idea of the current AB’s committing to not consecrating *any* Bishops, so that people who continue to hold conservative beliefs on women priests etc is a NON SOLUTION! The current AB’s wont be there forever, and what if the next one’s want to ??

It just puts our most conservative brethren “on the slippery slope”. The only real solution would be a seperate province; it could exist within the CofE with seperate legislative powers on such issues (rather like Scotland has some independent powers from the rest of the UK).

Merseymike
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Merseymike

No, a separate province won’t work – and if the conservatives get one, then there’s no reason why the liberals shouldn’t get one too with regard to the gay issue!

I don’t actually think the third province idea has a chance of going through – thats why this suggestion has been made, but FiF won’t countenance it.

PhiltheBear
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PhiltheBear

Perhaps I could offer a different view about women bishops and women priests which I have come to out of pure cynicism: It is a FACT that the CofE is struggling with the problems of paying clergy. This is manifested in all sorts of ways, such as EU legislation which indicates that priests should be employees and, therefore, be subject to employment laws. There are also problems over the question of housing for retiring priests, pensions, etc. And, as we all should know, the people who invest on behalf of the CofE have always done a downright useless job. Now,… Read more »

Dave
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Dave

Dear Merseymike, Is putting the most conservative Anglicans “on the slippery slope”, at the whim of future AB appointments, really a respectful and loving way to treat them ? No Way! And the arguement about everyone wanting their own province is just spurious and alarmist. I’m not prepared to see perfectly respectable Christians drummed out of the church or marginalised and vilified in some corner of the organisation. Just because they continue to believe what the Church always has!! An independent third province isn’t needed if proper provision is made – just minimal changes to the existing structure so that… Read more »

Merseymike
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Merseymike

No, thats just creating a church within a church, and I don’t think its viable.

In any case, the CofE would be a better place without them.

Göran Koch-Swahne
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Quite, so both a Third Province and this new un-touch magic are non starters.
So, what then? Analysis?

Dave
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Dave

Merseymike wrote: “the CofE would be a better place without them.”

Dear Merseymike, thanks for spelling out your “inclusive” attitude; which is, I think, quite representative of many liberal-extremists in Exclusive Church… Everyone who disagrees with you is just something-phobic /-ist and should be reviled and rejected.

First FiF, Reform and Church Soc, later most of CEEC and Fulcrum, and then finally purify Affirming Catholics (and maybe even MCU?) of anyone who isn’t tolerant enough.

Augustus Meriwether
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Dave, A church, the Anglican ‘Church’ (Communion), the CofE, is an ideological organisation. Affiliation with it is defined, basically, by agreement with a given system of belief. ‘Re-asserters’ seek to exclude people from the church because of their sexual orientation (given that it is unreasonable, unbiblical and untraditional to demand celibacy of others), and women from the highest positions in the church. Those ‘re-appraisers’ who call for an ‘inclusive church’, are not speaking of ideological inclusivity, or ‘belief’ inclusivity, they are calling for the inclusion of all manner of people, regardless of their sex, gender, sexual orientation, race, disability or… Read more »

Dave
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Dave

Dear Augustus

I would also include *all Christians* regardlesss of all the categories you mentioned. Extremists in Exclusive Church only want to include Christians who agree with them.

Currently at issue is whether people ACTING ON their homosexual attractions is sinful.. not whether the temptation itself excludes you… after all we are all sinners!

Augustus Meriwether
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Did you not see the bit where I said re: “it is unreasonable, unbiblical and untraditional to demand celibacy of others” My sexuality is not a ‘temptation’. It is simply a biological/psychological fact – Like the globe Earth orbiting the sun is a physical/astronomical fact. Celibacy is a calling – a gift. I am not gifted with a call to celibacy. No such demand is made on heterosexual Christians. Nobody gets a Christian coming up to them saying, ‘Hey, I don’t think marriage is right for you – I think you should be celibate.’ Even if they did, they would… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Dear Dave,

Being “phobic” or whatever is not the same as sharing a particular point of view.

On the contrary, it is quite possible (given that man is an un-consquential animal) to be pro a thing that one is phobic about…

There are racist blacks and antisemitic Jews (fine old Viennese tradition ;=) as there are anti-gay gays.

And there are white middle age middle class males, who are very much against racism, agism, classism and so on ;=)

Pleas try!

Dave
Guest
Dave

Dear Augustus, this thread was about whether or not space will be made in the Church of England that enables *inclusion* of conservatives who continue to believe the NT and traditional teachings on women in leadership. It may not fit with *your* version of christianity, but I thought that liberals were always argueing for a “Broad Church” – or does that mean “broad only in a liberal direction” ? “Exclusive Church”‘s statement of inclusivity is an oxymoron as everyone agrees with the words they use! What they should say, but don’t, is that “we disagree with certain scriptural and traditional… Read more »

Dave
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Dave

Dear Göran, I agree with you – please reread what I actually wrote. I was objecting to the “sexist” and “homophobic” accusations that some extremist liberals try to use to deride conservative christians; and hence persuade others that they, and their beliefs, are worthless / despicable. I believe you call it an “Ad Hominem” arguement.

Merseymike
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Merseymike

No, Dave, just Reform, FiF and Church Society would be fine.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Dave wrote: “What they should say, but don’t, is that “we disagree with certain scriptural and traditional Christian teachings on male-female roles and on sexual morality.” Dear Dave, as I have told you many times on Inclusive forum, these “teachings on male-female roles and on sexual morality” are not in the Bible – they come from the Hellenism of ancien Alexandria. Further, to many, they don’t meet Christian or Gospel moral standards. They have been put in various translations of Pauline and Catholic Letters in the 2nd millennium (12th century, 16th century, 20th century), some of them only in the… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
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Dear Dave,

It would follow from what I wrote, that it is quite possible to be “sexist” and “phobic” and yet be a “conservative”, or “liberal” or whatever Christian.

There is no Immunity!

Augustus Meriwether
Guest

And my point, Dave, was that inclusion of anyone should not be at the cost of excluding from leadership roles in the church or communion with the church soley on the grounds of sex or sexual orientation etc. Nobody would demand inclusion to the bishopric of someone with a tendency to want to chop peoples heads off willy-nilly, or had a pathological hatred of all things Christian (which is what re-appraisers are often accused of). There are obvious limits to inclusion. OR – in relation to the proposals – if inclusion is at the cost of treating women in such… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
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Hey, this item was about women bishops. I’ve allowed comments which take it way off that topic. Sorry. Let’s stick to the one subject here please.