Thinking Anglicans

RC response to Rochester report

Updated Saturday

The Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales has published its response to the Church of England’s report about women bishops.

The response can be found here as a Word file:
Women Bishops in the Church of England?

The Church of the Holy Apostles in Ft Worth has a copy of it as a web page.

The Daily Telegraph has a report by Jonathan Petre on this today:
Catholics warn C of E over women bishops

Church Times Glyn Paflin RCs and Free Churches criticise Rochester report

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Tobias S Haller BSGRMFDaveGöran Koch-SwahnePrior Aelred Recent comment authors
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badman
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badman

I thought that the Roman Catholic church did not recognise the validity of any Anglican orders, including the orders of any of its male priests and male bishops. So whether Anglican bishops are male or female would not seem to be decisive of anything so far as the Roman Catholic church is concerned.

However, I cannot see any reference to this in its official response.

RMF
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RMF

Not yet having read the entire report or response to it, only the DT article, I am somewhat surprised by a few things. One is that the CoE does not have any women bishops and that moving on this is causing such a ruckus internally. Two, is the idea that ecumenism is impaired by women bishops, which seems to suggest that ecumenism is fine as long as the RC position is always paramount. Third, is the idea that moving forward on CoE women bishops, might be halted by what another non-Anglican church thinks about it.

Kurt
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Kurt

Who cares what the Roman Church thinks? They didn’t like our translation of the Liturgy into English, either. Then, 400 years later…

Now they don’t like women priests and bishops. So, 400 years from now…

Alessandro Speciale
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The Roman Catholic Church is also about to publish a document, which completely bans gays from entry into the clergy. This is sure going to fuel even more the debate here in England.

Marshall
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Marshall

I haven’t read the entire Roman document, but I have read enough to have some concerns. I do agree that this needs to reflect a consistent Christian anthropology. I would simply begin with whether both men and women are fit subjects for baptism, which is the first vocational sacrament (as opposed to ordination). If both are fit subjects for baptism, how are they not fit subjects for all else? If they are distinctive and complementary, and not equally (even identically) appropriate for baptism, do we need a second baptismal rite for one sex or the other? Toward that Christian anthropology,… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
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Prior Aelred
Guest

From a different ecumenical perspective, my understanding was that the Methodist agreement to merge with the C of E was dependant on women not being excluded from any area of ministry (a point of view that admittedly, I did not hear mentioned in the synodical discussions).

Merseymike
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Merseymike

Whats it got to do with the Italian Mission anyway?

Nose out, boys.

Augustus Meriwether
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From the Instruction: “…those who are actively homosexual, have deep-seated homosexual tendencies, or support the so-called gay culture. Such people, in fact, find themselves in a situation that seriously obstructs them from properly relating to men and women.” WHAT?????? “IN FACT”???? Where on EARTH did they get this fact?? I am utterly stunned that this delusional, nazi garbage be coming from serious 21st century Christians. They have the hypocrisy to say in the previous paragraph, ‘every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided’. Also, flying in the face of the CONSENSUS (there’s that magic word again, Rowan)… Read more »

BrianMcK
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In fairness to Roman Catholic bishops, their response has been written at the explicit invitation of the Rochester report. The Catholic Bishops do no more than express the logical consequences of the Roman viewpoint in the face of the ludicrously messy compromises the Church of England seems to have to make in order to have women bishops at all. (If we ever do have women bishops in Australia, it may be a t the cost of similar messiness.) That said, there’s not much value in institutional unity with Rome. Let it do its thing, while we do God’s thing. With… Read more »

RMF
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RMF

“In fairness to Roman Catholic bishops, their response has been written at the explicit invitation of the Rochester report. “ Very true! The CoE requested comments from ecumenical partners. I suppose this allays some concerns about “intrusion.” (Of course there is no quid pro quo on such requests?) Another issue that comes to mind, esp. in light of the recent statements on Mary, are the degree to which desires for Christian unity or maintenance of high traditions, has begun to rub off on Anglican theology. After all the CoE is Protestant, which now that I think of it, is a… Read more »

badman
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badman

Verging off-topic, I’m afraid, but I was amazed to hear the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster deny (in a multifaith panel discussion in London on Monday) that the Roman Catholic Church is a patriarchal institution. How can it require that all its priests, bishops, archbishops, Cardinals and Popes be men – and be run by these men – and not be a patriarchal institution? I am beginning to think that the Churches are hobbled by their leadership. Yet that does not mean that they cannot be great forces for the worship of God and for good. They amount, after all, to… Read more »

Tim
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RMF writes: “There is mention about the role of God in this—no recognition that God has called women to serve. It all reads as if it is the other way around.”

Amen! I’ve had exactly that concern that church hierarchy is there to serve at God’s calling, not some mere job to be filled, for most of this past year on and off. Very well said.

Nadine Kwong
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Nadine Kwong

“The great weakness in the Roman position on women’s ordination is of course its anthropology–the Vatican view that women cannot represent the male Christ before the Eucharistic table (they have different bits, you see).” Would some Roman Catholic, or toe-wetting-in-the-Tiber Anglo-Catholic, be so kind as to explain to this here allegedly-incapable-of-signifying/representing-Christ Christian exactly why, teasing things out logically, the following is not an incontrovertible corollary of the “only penis-possessors may be priests” doctrine?: 1. Jesus Christ took flesh as male. 2. To be “another Christ” or an “image of Christ,” a priest must therefore also be male. 3. The Church… Read more »

Tobias S Haller BSG
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Brian, amen to your analysis on the defective anthropology. The notion that a woman lacks sufficient “likeness” to Christ flies in the face of the Chalcedonian Definition of the Incarnation: everything human about Jesus came from Mary. Moreover, isn’t a woman, as a person, objectively more like Christ than bread and wine are like his body and blood?

Prior Aelred
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I thought that the priest was supposed to BE like Jesus, not PEE like Jesus!

Göran Koch-Swahne
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I think I should point out that the Church of Sweden, which is often called Lutheran-Evangelic, does not do this “representative” theology at all.

(Except, of course, the odd individual).

Dave
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Dave

The RC and other churches were asked to comment because the liberal hierarchy of the CofE perceives itself as valuing unity with other churches, and as wishing to work towards union. BUT there was no way the hierarchy were ever going to do anything other than reject opposing views. So, you might ask, why did they bother other people for their views?

My explanation is “liberal dissonance” – liberals like to pretend to themselves that they are “moderates”, but in fact they are just as uncompromising on their values as any other group that believes in something….

RMF
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RMF

Dave said, “My explanation is “liberal dissonance” – liberals like to pretend to themselves that they are “moderates”, but in fact they are just as uncompromising on their values as any other group that believes in something….” Well I suppose that is a *possible* explanation. Let’s remember also that ecumenism reflects a desire for unity and fellowship that is central to Christianity. And despite my earlier post that there may not necessarily be any quid pro quo re: ecumenism from the RCC, Christianity does not demand or even require any quid pro quo. We extend the hand of fellowship and… Read more »

Tobias S Haller BSG
Guest

Let me cite an important passage from _Inter Insignores_ the Declaration on the subject of the ordination of women from 1976: From section 5: “The Christian priesthood is therefore of a sacramental nature: the priest is a sign, the supernatural effectiveness of which comes from the ordination received, but a sign that must be perceptible, and which the faithful must be able to recognize with ease. The whole sacramental ecomony is in fact based upon natural signs, on symbols, imprinted upon the human psychology: ‘Sacramental signs,’ says Saint Thomas, ‘represent what they signify by natural resemblance.’ (In Sent IV, dist.… Read more »