on Wednesday, 9 July 2008 at 8.06 am by Simon Sarmiento
categorised as Church of England
George Pitcher in the Telegraph Women win bloody battle at the Synod
Giles Fraser in the New Statesman Ending women free zones
Simon Barrow Church as Spectacle
Hooray, hooray, hooray. Alleluia!!!
1970 – 1 in 30 of the country were in the Church of England on a Sunday 1986 – 1 in 40 2006 – 1 in 60 2031 – 1 in 120 (if current trends don’t sharply accelerate) The CoE is in crisis, so let us drive away one of the bulwarks of the church, the Anglo-Catholics. And the Evangelicals will be next. And the liberals can really draw them in, singing those gender neutral hymns: “O for a thousand tongues to sing My great Redeemer’s praise, The glories of my God and Queen-King, The triumphs of His-Her grace!” That’s… Read more »
robroy: so you (in America) blame the decline in churchgoing in England, about which you appear to know very little, on women bishops (which we still don’t have yet) or gay people (which we still don’t accept equally)?
Or, more plausibly, could the complete inability of church leaders to connect at all with the ethical concerns of the wider society (e.g. on issues of equality) have something to do with it?
Tell you what, Robroy. You come down to *my part of the world and join me in a visit to the state secondary school, where I participate frequently as an invited guest in RE lessons, and let’s have a debate. Let’s see if you can explain to them why women shouldn’t be bishops, and why women not being bishops is going to persuade them of the truth of the gospel, and why they should be a part of a church that doesn’t believe women should be bishops. You justify it to these down-to-earth, real-world teenagers, instead of mouthing off on… Read more »
JBE’s comment is revealing. If theological matters cannot be understood by a bunch of semi-literate teenagers then they have no place in the C of E.
Of course, JBE, teenagers know so much better than theologians the arguments against women’s ordination.
I think you are confusing Christianity with humanism.
Ah well, please note that a fear or alarm is being raised to a loudish din, somewhat between the lines, that if women can be recognized as priests, then some sort of gender-bending (or even genderless?) chaos is loosed upon us poor unsuspecting believers, especially those whom we in USA might call the good old boys. But, the facts of society and church real life now, in places where women are ordained are hardly the bleak, tawdry, circus of anything goes – that we seem to read and hear so often being connoted or even outright spelled out – in… Read more »
I certainly did not blame the past decline of the CoE on women bishops. As Mark points out that would be silly. However, making the “big tent” smaller by telling Anglo-catholics to shove off will accelerate future declines. (What a sham the “big tent” is.) The issue is not women bishops, but rather making no provisions for Anglo-catholics other than “lump it or leave it.” A really, really stupid move.
JBE – they would probably eat you alive as well if you tried to justify the Cross of Christ mate!
What sort of gospel will you offer to really convert people rather than just add a veneer – a gloss to lives they already intend to lead?
Everybody knew the triumph of a majority voting for women bishops was coming (whether it is right or wrong). What surprised decent people was the venom and intolerance and lack of inclusivity shown by so-called liberals who reneged on guarantees and promises and assurances already given. Much to the embarrassment of the two Archbishops. ADD TO THIS NOW the gloating, the triumphalism and sheer lack of respect shown to opponents (which was not shown by them towards women I might add) we see an evident ugliness which might invite a robust response. Shame on the new mullahs of the Inquisition… Read more »
There are other conservative churches available for people to join. What people like robroy don;t get is that England isn’t America – its far more secular, and religious conservatism is not popular.
The role of the CofE as an established national church is not that of a small, holy huddle of the ‘saved’, and I don’t think he gets that either.
“What sort of gospel will you offer to really convert people rather than just add a veneer – a gloss to lives they already intend to lead?” I know I wasn’t asked, but I’m generous with my tuppence. I’d preach to them a Gospel of a God whose love for His creation was so vast that, even though the highest part of that Creation rebelled against Him and brought it all crashing down, He became not just a part of it, but one of the most helpless and downtrodden of that Creation to rescue it from the trap into which… Read more »
“Of course, JBE, teenagers know so much better than theologians the arguments against women’s ordination.
I think you are confusing Christianity with humanism.”
But if you cannot explain your reasons for denying women the priesthood or episcopate to a group of young people–reasons that will counter everything they know about the women and girls around them and their innate capabilities for leadership and pastoral care–then how do you expect to bring them to the church?
Further, if you cannot do so, what does it say about the power of the Spirit to back up what you say?
“The issue is not women bishops, but rather making no provisions for Anglo-catholics other than “lump it or leave it.” “
And what have the traditionalists been saying to those who believe in the power and ability of women to minister in Christ’s name for the past two millennia, robroy, if not “lump it or leave it”?
“Conservatives” keep pointing to demographics – viz, the decline in church attendance – to “prove” that the crisis is caused by all these nasty progressives. They should learn a certain fundamental truth of statistical analysis – correlation is not causality. If the demographics showed that churches which did not ordain women were growing by leaps and bounds while those which did were declining, there would be, not proof, but certainly a primae facie justification for preliminary conclusions and further investigation. But the facts (oh how those tricky facts get in the way) show us that the only growing religion is… Read more »
‘the gloating, the triumphalism and sheer lack of respect … an evident ugliness … Shame on the new mullahs of the Inquisition – Giles Fraser engaging in exactly that sort of triumphalism he deplores in Roman Catholics.’
This liberal agrees entirely with your comment. Giles Fraser’s piece was most inappropriate. As far as I am concerned the result was the right result and the right way forward, and ‘structural changes’ would have been a disaster for the Church. But this is not about kicking anyone out, nor about yahoo-ism.
Simon K – thank you for your comment. Though I am unhappy about the result I hope I woke up and smelled the coffee some 16 years ago on this issue. However, I have close friends on both sides, especially trads, and I really don’t know what to think about the Lucy’s and the ‘liberals’ who are talking like this to people I thought were their friends as well.
I hope I made clear I am not impressed either by triumphalism from the RCs and Russian Orthodox who smell an own-goal disaster in this General Synod vote.
“Giles Fraser in the New Statesman Ending women free zones”
is “gloating, the triumphalism and sheer lack of respect … an evident ugliness … Shame on the new mullahs of the Inquisition” or “yahoo-ism”??? :-0
Maybe I’m just “spoiled” by the language of the U.S. Christian Right. After the 2004 election, I’ll never forget what one said of liberals: “now that we’ve cut off their balls, they’ll be far more docile”. Now THAT is gloating! :-X
Matt 19:10-12; Matt 22:29-30;
Also Luke 20:33-40.
“The issue is not women bishops, but rather making no provisions for Anglo-catholics other than “lump it or leave it.” A really, really stupid move.”
I take it then that you think it is an equally stupid move to make no provisions for Anglo-catholics and others who support gay inclusion other than to tell them “lump it or leave it”?
“I take it then that you think it is an equally stupid move to make no provisions for Anglo-catholics and others who support gay inclusion other than to tell them “lump it or leave it”?”
Of course not, Ford.
On that issue, Robroy figures his side will win, so there is no need for concessions to dissenters.
Robroy only believes in magnanimity FOR his side, not FROM his side.
Hello, For those Anglo-Catholics, who’ve been let down and betrayed, simply cannot envisage a future in the C of E or but do not feel drawn into swimming the Tiber, there is a Third Way. I am one of thousands of ex-Anglicans who has made a very happy new home in the Orthodox Church. I am able to maintain my Christian Faith in a truly supportive, deeply spiritual environment, unhindered by the distractions of secularism. It was initially hard to leave the church of my birth, but it is unequestionably the right decision for me and my family. The best… Read more »
Paul, is there any talk in the Antiochian Deanery of evangelizing Newfoundland? If there had been an Orthodox Church here in the 80s, I’d be where you are right now! I’m envious, frankly, but somewhat less likely to swim the Bosporus having returned to Anglicanism. Someone once described the Orthodox as having too much God and not enough Carpenter. I often feel the Anglican Church, and Western Christianity in general, has too much Carpenter and not enough God.
To someone with an Orthodox consciousness the Protestant idea of a female priesthood is amusing rather than shocking. In the Orthodox Church where priests are married, women are deeply involved in church life and have an honoured position – lacking in other Christian traditions.
In the Greek Orthodox Church the words for the priest’s wife and the deacon’s wife recall and underline this: they are ‘presbytera’ and ‘diaconissa’, respectively.
For this reason, there is no movement inside the Orthodox Church for a female priesthood or diaconate and never will be – it already exists.