THINKING ANGLICANS

General Synod: reports and comments on women bishops

Updated to add link to article by Miranda Threlfall-Holmes

Reports

Riazat Butt in The Guardian Church vote opens door to female bishops

Martin Beckford in the Telegraph Church of England set to split over women bishops

Jennifer Gold in Christian Today Church of England votes to ordain women bishops

Jerome Taylor in The Independent Church risks split as Synod votes to ordain women bishops

Steve Doughty in the Mail Church of England faces clergy revolt after paving way for first woman bishop by 2014

The Press Association Church turmoil over women bishops

Ekklesia Church of England makes historic decision for women bishops

John F Burns in the International Herald Tribune As schism lurks, the Church of England endorses women as bishops

The Age [Melbourne] Anglicans vote in favour of women bishops

Stephanie Kennedy in ABC News [Australia] Anglican Synod votes to allow female bishops

Comments

Miranda Threlfall-Holmes in The Guardian There will be women bishops

Andrew Brown in The Guardian Super-bishops fly in

Damian Thompson in the Telegraph The Church of England is Protestant again

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Cheryl Va.
Guest

Good.

Now it is time for all parties to prove they are trustworthy, rather than one camp relying on their plumbing and censorship control to hide their indiscretions whilst slandering the other.

Isaiah 49 – the females help the males, and the males in kind help the females (the latter part of redemption that males had seemed to have overlooked for millenia).

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

“Protestant”? “Protestant”?

This is the Propaganda fide’s word. It was a political lie. It remains propaganda.

Also churches outside Rome are Catholic, 1st Millennium.

The Greeks, the Church of Sweden, the Anglicans, the Russians…

Rome is Roman catholic. 2nd Millennium.

Rome changed much in the Great Schism and the Lateran, Tridentine and 1st Vatican Councils.

For historical and philosophical reasons the organization may be all male (Misogynous Neo Platonism), but its faithful adherents are more often pro women and pro married priests than one would guess from “official” pronouncements.

“Protestant”? “Protestant”?

John B. Chilton
Guest

For those of us across the pond who don’t grasp all the intricacies, what are the reasons it is unlikely there will be a female bishop before 2014?

Charles W. Allen
Guest
Charles W. Allen

Is the Anglo-Catholic party more monolithic in the UK than in the US? The first “legal” ordination of a woman (Jackie Means) to the Priesthood in the US took place in The Episcopal Church of All Saints, Indianapolis. That parish is known as the Anglo-Catholic parish of the diocese. It celebrates Solemn Mass on Sundays (with incense, Sanctus bells, elevations, genuflections, etc.), practices Marian devotion, Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, etc. But the members and clergy adore their Bishop, Catherine Waynick, they don’t balk at using liturgies that refer to the Trinity in terms other than Father, Son and Holy… Read more »

poppy tupper
Guest
poppy tupper

Charles W Allen. I’m glad you asked. I’m surprised that the many, many Anglo-Catholic parishes here that support women’s ordination are not more vocal. It is true that there are many anti-women parishes, but in my experience, as soon as the anti-women priest leaves and an affirming catholic takes over most of the congregation are happy to accept women. If the FinF clergy go, there will be shortage of catholic clergy to fill the vacancies.

Pete Broadbent
Guest
Pete Broadbent

It will take until about 2012 for the legislation to go through. We have to draft the measure, revise it in committee and full synod, draft the code of practice and then send it to the dioceses (18 months consultation period). Once we get their response, it then goes to final approval stage, and then to Parliament (Ecclesiastical Committee).

Once we have the legislation, there will need to be a vacancy in a see (preferably two, so that we don’t end up with one isolated woman having to pioneer). So 2013/4 looks likely.

Kurt
Guest
Kurt

“If the FinF clergy go, there will be shortage of catholic clergy to fill the vacancies.”– poppy tupper

The shortage, I’m sure, will only be temporary. If you need some High Church priests to fill in until replenishment, just call on us Yanks; we can loan a few hundred for you.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“they don’t balk at using liturgies that refer to the Trinity in terms other than Father, Son and Holy Spirit”

Well, here’s one AC who would dearly love to attend that parish for Mass, though I might well balk at some of the terms they might use for the Trinity. Gender inclusive replacements for Father and Son I might accept, though the sound would jar, at first. Get into Creator/Redeemer language, though, and I’d have issues no amount of incense could cover.

Walsingham
Guest
Walsingham

@Charles W. Allen:

I suppose the easiest answer is:

http://www.affirmingcatholicism.org.uk/

Bernard Rumbold
Guest
Bernard Rumbold

Charles W Allen, I’m afraid that ECUSA and the C of E are really quite different in many ways. We, like a different sort of pizzeria, have a whole different range of toppings! Our Anglo-Catholics, even when quite liberal, would probably balk at female priests and bishops, whilst our conservative evangelicals may or may not approve. Our liberals, of whom I am one, are found everywhere, in all sorts of flavours and we probably like women priests and bishops, feel very sorry and a little guilty about those who are hurt and see GAFCON as control freaks like Henry VIII… Read more »

poppy tupper
Guest
poppy tupper

Kurt, thanks for for the offer, you’d be very welcome, if you’re inclusive. IT WAS A TYPO!!! I meant NO shortage. Sorry. 🙂

Charles W. Allen
Guest
Charles W. Allen

Thanks for many of the helpful comments. I’m an occasional fan of Affirming Catholicism, thought of it as Anglo-Catholic, and again wondered why nobody was mentioning it when UK Anlo-Catholics were mentioned. About language for the Trinity, I should clarify that parishes like All Saints do NOT jettison “Father, Son and Holy Spirit,” and they avoid phrases like “Creator/Redeemer/Sustainer.” But a sermon might begin with “In the name of the holy and undivided Trinity,” instead of the traditional formula, and there’s a popular benediction that goes, “Holy Eternal Majesty, Holy Incarnate Word, Holy Abiding Spirit bless you forevermore.” But there’s… Read more »

Austin
Guest
Austin

As an occasional visitor and contributor who admires the thoroughness (if not the tenor) of this blog, I wish you all a fond farewell. The thinking Anglicans have won the day, and I’m joining the mindless reactionaries of Rome. I hope things work out better for those left behind than I think they will.

JCF
Guest
JCF

Whatever this “Code of Practice” thing is, I heartily recommend it have a TIME-LIMIT! “In Christ there is no Jew or Greek, no male or female…”

God bless the bishops-of-God-made-female—THROUGHOUT the Anglican Communion! 😀

Alan Harrison
Guest
Alan Harrison

Kurt wrote: “The shortage, I’m sure, will only be temporary. If you need some High Church priests to fill in until replenishment, just call on us Yanks; we can loan a few hundred for you.” While Kurt was responding to a message with a typo which reversed the intended meeting, I think it’s worth remarking that on this side of the pond “High Church” is often used in a disparaging way to indicate a person/parish which quite likes dressing up and a nice fug of incense, but doesn’t adhere too strictly to Catholic faith. In the aftermath of General Synod’s… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

“In the aftermath of General Synod’s decision to kick me out of the C of E…”

I find comments like this utterly mind-boggling. Because somebody, somewhere, might have a bishop who is female, you are “kicked out”?

Richard Lyon
Guest
Richard Lyon

” I find comments like this utterly mind-boggling. Because somebody, somewhere, might have a bishop who is female, you are “kicked out”?”

It really does sound like children having a temper tantrum because the other children won’t play the game according to their rules. It’s really very simple. If you can’t live with political reality, you can take your ball and leave.

Hugh of Lincoln
Guest
Hugh of Lincoln

Discrimination is discrimination is discrimination. It simply won’t do to allow the Established Church to continue to opt out of the laws of the land. In any case, Parliament would simply have thrown out any Measure legislating for continued discrimination; that awareness must have had some bearing on the voting. Also, the scary thought of super-bishops – we have enough powerful male conservative bishops as it is, without creating any more! And we urgently need women bishops in the House of Lords. The next task for liberals is to counter the spectre of global Anglican homophobia, an altogether more entrenched… Read more »

Jo Ellen
Guest
Jo Ellen

I laud and congratulate the Church of England for moving in the long overdue position of acceptance of women as Bishops in your faith community. I would hope that it would one day help to bring my Roman Catholic leadership to open its doors to the fullness of the priesthood. It is tradition and tradition only that stands in the way. I assure you that there will be those who will transition over to your community in light of this decision. I celebrate this with you. Your Church will be greatly blessed!!

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

“Because somebody, somewhere, might have a bishop who is female, you are “kicked out”?” Those is TEC who object [or who have left] did so in response to women in ANY orders, since we did not do it step-wise. The specific problem with women bishops that some of them voiced is that since women can’t be ordained to any order, the danger for those who don’t recognize womens’ orders is that they might unknowingly be given Communion that had been consecrated by a MAN who had been ordained by a woman. This is always couched in the language of proper… Read more »

Neil
Guest
Neil

Cynthia – it isn’t a case of ‘taint’ because a woman has touched an ordinand. More a case of needing a proper bishop to be involved in the process as well as all the assmbled priests who join in. And it remains the case that there is no agreement in Christendon yet that women can fulfil this function (pass on OR receive orders for that matter).

Spirit of Vatican II
Guest

Damian Thompson is the best propagandist for women bishops — if they are what it takes to exorcize the sectarian jabbering about “Protestant” as if that were a bad name. The glory of Anglicanism is that it is both Protestant and Catholic at one and the same time. Damian Thompson fails to see this, as do both the Anglo-Catholics fleeing to Rome and the Evangelicals of Gafcon. What a pity that they cannot sustain the richest Christian chord — the chord that unites Catholic and Protestant, the Fathers and Scripture. After the tragedies of sectarianism and intolerance that have besmirched… Read more »

WSJM
Guest

Damian Thompson writes: “From the moment the C of E voted to ordain women priests in 1992, it cut itself off from the Catholic mainstream.” Damian, my boy, Anglicanism IS the Catholic mainstream.

Dallas Bob
Guest
Dallas Bob

I applaud the Church of England for its vote to allow women priests. I only wish the Episcopal Church had acted similarly and not spent the last 30 years coddling extremists. Bishop Iker to this day has free reign to try to harm our Church and will never, ever be punished for refusing to ordain women. He can simply do whatever he wants to the faithful Episcopalians in his diocese and get away with it. The Church of England will suffer a little short term grief but saved itself the decades of pain the Episcopal Church has experienced. I am… Read more »

JCF
Guest
JCF

“I’m joining … Rome. I hope things work out better for those left behind than I think they will”. – Posted by Austin …and I hope things work out for you, under your new master, than I think they will, Austin. Vaya con Dios. *** Yeah, Pat. Perhaps the Agony Sisters here ought to compare to recent statements from a FOCA bishop of the Anglican Church of Kenya: “Gays, Get Out!”? What is it about what is/ISN’T *between the legs* of someone saying “The Blessings of Almighty God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be upon you and… Read more »

David Green
Guest

In Christ there is no East or West,
In Him no South or North;
But one great fellowship of love
Throughout the whole wide earth.

Some people have forgotten this!!

poppy tupper
Guest
poppy tupper

neil claims there is no theology of ‘taint’. I wonder, if neil is a priest, would he concelebrate the eucharist with a woman priest?

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

“…it remains the case that there is no agreement in Christendon yet that women can fulfil this function (pass on OR receive orders for that matter).”

There’s no agreement in Christendom that priests and bishops can be married, either. Should we now require all in the ministry to be celibate? And only ordain unmarried men from now on?

Geez, there’s no agreement in Christendom as to exactly what we’re doing in the Eucharist, for that matter.

If we waited for “agreement in Christendom” to do anything, we’d all still be standing around debating when Christ comes back.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“What is it about what is/ISN’T *between the legs* of someone saying “The Blessings of Almighty God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be upon you and remain with you, this day and evermore” that the FinF crowd find so . . . expulsive? I’ll NEVER understand this…” Because you’re trying to understand it as being about something that it is not actually about. It’s about whether or not when a woman standing at the altar says “this is My Body, this is My Blood”, leading the prayers of the assembled ecclesia, does God grant the essential transformation… Read more »

choirboyfromhell
Guest
choirboyfromhell

David Green: And you must surely sing it to “McKee” and not “Bourne” (as is on your website).

Neil
Guest
Neil

Cynthia – I’d be as likely to concelebrate with a woman priest as with a Methodist minister…but, and here is where ‘taint’ comes in…I would not reject the sacraments from a bishop who ordains women just because I believe him to be wrong about this.

Jeremy Pemberton
Guest
Jeremy Pemberton

Run this by me one more time Ford Elms: – “It’s about whether or not when a woman standing at the altar says “this is My Body, this is My Blood”, leading the prayers of the assembled ecclesia, does God grant the essential transformation in the elements that He would if a man said those words? What does it mean for the priest to act ‘in persona Cristi’? I believe He does.” Let’s go back to basics. To be a Christian is to be “in christ”. So women and men together are “in Christ” and Christ is (so we are… Read more »

Nom de Plume
Guest
Nom de Plume

Poppy asks: “I wonder, if neil is a priest, would he concelebrate the eucharist with a woman priest?” I would hope not. Now don’t take that comment the wrong way, but here’s my logic: First, I don’t buy into the whole concelebration shtick. It was invented, as I understand it, by the Romans in order to deal with the problem of every priest being required to celebrate the mass daily, and thus too many parishes having way too many celebrations daily with virtually no-one in attendance. With concelebration the various priests in a single parish (where there are multiple priests,… Read more »

Nom de Plume
Guest
Nom de Plume

Ford asks: “What does it mean for the priest to act ‘in persona Cristi’?” Well, to the extent that the priest does this, it is limited in my view to the consecration of the elements, in collaboration with the gathered community and the Holy Spirit, of course. But we must remember that it is the Body and Blood of Christ that is offered to the faithful, and not the Body and Blood of the priest. (Much though some of the laity might wish a pound or two of the priest’s flesh.) That being the case, there is no impediment to… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

Jeremy and Nom de Plume, don’t take my statement of the argument as support for it. Indeed, we are all in Christ, but a priest is someone set aside to function in that role in a specific situation. There is ample debate, and I’m not sure I understand it, but the priest is the “focus’ in some sense of the priesthood of all believers. That said, for me, a priest acts in persona Cristi by virtue of sharing in the humanity, not the maleness of the Incarnate God. For me, the claim that only men can represent Christ at the… Read more »

JCF
Guest
JCF

Ford,

It seems that in raising objections, you have made my point:

{to rephrase}

“What is it about what is/ISN’T *between the legs* of someone saying …

“this is My Body, this is My Blood”, leading the prayers of the assembled ecclesia”

that would lead to any DOUBTS re

“does God grant the essential transformation in the elements” or that said priest is acting “‘in persona Cristi'”???

Why such agonizing doubts—such that one interprets the agony as “expulsion” or “forcing out” or somesuch—due to what is between the priest’s/bishop’s legs?

I *STILL* don’t get it!

From genital-obsession, Good Lord deliver us!

Neil
Guest
Neil

Wake up JCF – the differences between men and women aren’t only because what is between their legs. It goes far deeper and the point is we complement each other. Just wait…and you will soon find that progressive thinking will return to the wonderful differences we enjoy…and to the fact that it is natural to discover our manliness or womanliness PRIOR to the things we share as unsexualised/differentiated persons. Educational pyschology is moving in this direction and to the harm caused to boys being feminised by a reluctance to acknowledge the differences.

Malcolm+
Guest

Re: Concelebration. Insofar as defining normative Anglican practice is a mug’s game, let me comment on what I understand the theoretical norm is. Concelebration is not the norm for Anglican practice, nor has ever been. The principle exception is at the ordination of priests, where the newly ordained priest(s) concelebrate with the bishop. Any other concelebration would be an exceptional circumstance, and there should be something exceptional about the circumstance to justify the departure from the norm. Apart from my ordinatio on the feast of St. Margaret of Scotland lo these many years ago, the oly time I have concelebrated… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

Can you not understand that, if I don’t believe a woman can be a bishop, then I don’t believe she is a priest, nor that any of those she ordains are priests, so that none of the sacraments celebrated by her or her ordinands are vehicles of grace? God, I don’t believe the point but I understand it. I don’t see why that is so hard. It is the same reason I wouldn’t receive from a layman in Sydney. Whatever these laymen say over bread and wine, what they are celebrating isn’t a eucharist. Of course, God is not bound… Read more »

Simon Kershaw
Admin

Re Concelebration.

I would add that in England this is probably rarer than it is in the Americas. My guess is that in very very few dioceses is concelebration practised at ordinations. English custom is generally as described by Nom de plume, and the theological objections to the whole practice of concelebration are very strong. Only in a small number of ultra Anglo-catholic or Romanizing places would you be likely to find it.

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

“…I cannot understand what is so hard about conservatives believing there is something essentially male about priesthood, and a woman can no more be a priest than a man can be a mother.”

But the reason you cannot be a mother is one of physical human structure, Ford: You do not have a womb. Are you saying that it is reasonable to believe that that difference in biological function is equivalent to a perceived difference in spiritual function?

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

JCF quoted: “In Christ there is no Jew or Greek, no male or female…”

The Sinaïticus says:

“Ouk éni Here is (concretely, not abstract there is, i n the Congregation) not Jew or Greek,
not Free or Slave,
not man and woman.

You are all One in Christ Jesus.”

(but the eldest manuscript, the Papyrus 46, says There is… ;=)

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Ford said: “For Evangelicals, who already believe that nothing happens to the elements anyway, for whom any baptised person can perform the memorial, the issue comes down to following the letter rather than the Spirit of the Law.” And “does God grant the essential transformation in the elements that He would if a man said those words?” and “What does it mean for the priest to act ‘in persona Christi’? I believe He does.” The Church of Sweden doesn’t do any of this. Transubstantiation (IV Lateran 1215) was rejected by our Reformers (1571 Swedish Canons) as was the ideas of… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“The words of Institution, and No explaining what you cannot know”

I’m not trying to argue Transubstantiation, rather that the elements are changed, and, like you Lutherans, not explaining what we cannot know. Maybe this shared comfort with the unexplained is part of the slowly developing intercommunion between us. I am far more comfortable allowing what happens to the elements to be a mystery. I merely affirm that something happens to them, they are not merely bread and wine afterwards.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“Are you saying that it is reasonable to believe that that difference in biological function is equivalent to a perceived difference in spiritual function?” No. I’m saying it may be. Biology is part of our created human nature. I’m sure we would all accept that Christ assumed our human biology in the Incarnation, hence the ‘cacagenar’ figure in Spanish Nativity scenes. So, biology certainly is important, it being a part of our redeemed humanity. Note “humanity”. I argue it is His assumption of our humanity in the Incarnation that is important, not the maleness that went along with it. We… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

Oh, and JCF, sorry about the tone of my last post, it was way too condescending. It’s just that you have tendency to yell, and I guess my baggage makes me react to your anger and frustration in bad ways. Sorry.

rick allen
Guest

I have to say that I really admire Ford’s posts here. He has taken the trouble to understand and try to communicate the reasons for a position that he opposes, not for the purpose of defending it (obviously), but to show that the position may be held for reasons that are not contemptible. Would that all of us could see our opponents with such charity!

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Rick
“I have to say that I really admire Ford’s posts here”

I second that! Ford has taught me much about what our faith should be about and how we should truly live as Christians. He’s quite a hard act to follow!

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

Rick and Erika: BLUSH!! I wish I could extend to our opponents in the sexuality debate the charity you feel I extend to conservatives on OOW. I’ve been pretty nasty, overall, especially to Evangelicals. Rick, you need to read some of my old posts to see how uncharitable I can be! And Erika, I’ve learned a lot from you too, specifically but not limited to the fact that the push for gay marriage is NOT all about people trying to get validation for their relationships. I have not suffered in way as you have from institutionalized homophobia. Your story has… Read more »

Fr Mark
Guest
Fr Mark

Rick: yes, you’re right. Ford has a real ministry through his posts here.