THINKING ANGLICANS

more on women bishops

The Church Times has a news report: Legislation drafted for women bishops.

Comment is free has published an opinion article by Judith Maltby Women bishops: get over them.

In the press release, Women in the Episcopate draft Measure published, which was linked previously, there is a further link to the December 08 House of Bishops Summary of Decisions document (.doc format) which contains the following:

4. Women in the Episcopate

The House of Bishops considered the draft report, Measure, Amending Canon, Code of Practice and Explanatory Memorandum prepared by the Legislative Drafting Group. It made a number of detailed suggestions for the Bishops of Manchester and Basingstoke to report to the group for consideration at its final meeting. The House welcomed the careful and thorough work that the group had carried out in accordance with the mandate given by Synod.

In discussion several members of the House expressed support for further work to be done to explore approaches for those who could not receive the ministry of women priests and bishops which would either permit a diocesan bishop to confer jurisdiction by operation of law rather than by delegation or would provide a measure of cohesion and assurance through the development of a new, recognised religious society.

The House concluded that it would not be timely for it to commission further work of this kind at this point. It noted, however, that individual bishops would be able to lend their support to attempts to amend the draft material in these and other ways once Synod had resolved to commit it to the revision process. It was important that members of the House played their part in ensuring that the proposals were carefully scrutinised during the synodical process and alternatives duly tested.

The House acknowledged that it would continue to have a special responsibility for seeking to help the Church of England, through the legislative process, come to a conclusion that built trust and enabled as many people as possible, as loyal Anglicans, to remain members of the Church of England, notwithstanding their differing theological convictions on this issue.

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Sara MacVane
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Sara MacVane

Judith Maltby’s article give me the opportunity to ask a question which has long bothered me – or maybe it is two questions. Why is it that (some) men who oppose the ordination of women, also refuse to be under (male) bishops who do not oppose the ordination of women and why did the C-of-E provide special ‘untainted’ bishops for them. And yes, why (along with Judith) does this one difference of opinion merit more consideration than all the others Anglicans have always made do with – some surely theologically more important, as enumerated by Judith? I have a diocesan… Read more »

peterpi
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peterpi

“Not only would these bishops be men, they would have to be men untainted by sacramental association with women clergy – please understand: just being a bloke isn’t good enough, the bloke must be pure.” — Judith Maltby Bravo, Judith Maltby! Your comments were spot on! I suspect that for some, it would even be better if the pure bloke came into existence without any participation by any woman whatsover at any stage of that priest’s or bishop’s development. In the Colonies, it’s even worse — some parishes and dioceses not only want male priests and bishops untainted by any… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

And what about male bishops who happen to have been ‘born of women’? Does that exclude them from the new category of bishops to bo specially set aside for the ordination of those who do not want to be ‘contaminated’ by any spiritual contact with the female of the species who are priests? I wonder how Our Blessed Lady would have fared with the purists who protest at the ordination of women. Did not Mary bring forth the Saviour from her womb? Was this not a pardigm of priesthood? Thank you Judith (namesake of another female who apepars among the… Read more »

drdanfee
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drdanfee

Wow loads of thanks to Judith M for cutting right through all the scrupulous males first males only noise to the real sticking point – woman must be hindered, barred, banned. Period. Because other men and women so fear a woman priest will endanger their salvation offered by an all wise, all knowing, all loving deity? If female anatomy and physiology can so profoundly damage or endanger God and salvation, we have pledged a worried small god indeed? As anxious about proper maleness as the males only males first believers so often sound to be? Just because ancient near eastern… Read more »

drdanfee
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drdanfee

Perhaps one question JM helps pose to males first males only believers from the rest of us might be: What, if anything, can the rest of us across global Anglican church life and witness do? That might promise to be helpful? Anything that will assist males first males only believers to bear a continuing and significant worry about women and salvation? (And modernity?) Anything, aside from or beyond agreeing to very problematic untaintedness and separateness from the rest of us who do not share and bear your serious worries to some varying degrees? Is there indeed anything else the rest… Read more »

RZ
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RZ

From an Amedddican: Could this be any more tedious?! Some kind of death to the patriarchy by a thousand cuts perhaps … ? The last boney grasp of Mediaevalism pried from the crosier? Oh do get on with it ladies and gentlemen. We’ve had women bishops for years now over here and it works perfectly well.

John Sandeman
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John Sandeman

Judith Maltby should check at least some of her facts more carefully: Women preach at Anglican churches in Sydney each Sunday, and are licensed to do so by the archbishop.

Bromenblue
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Bromenblue

Many of the comments made show a complete lack of understanding of the ecclesiological and theological reasoning that is behind opposition to women in the presbyterate or episcopate. Will someone answer the question as to why over 10000 women in the Church of England signed a letter to the Bishops asking for provision to be made for them and likeminded laity who do not support the proposed changes? Or are their views simply to be dismissed as irrelevant?

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“Women preach at Anglican churches in Sydney each Sunday, and are licensed to do so by the archbishop” – John Sandeman, Sydney Diocese –

Yes John. But I understand the new female Bishop in the Perth Archdiocese would not be allowed to preside at the Eucharist in a Sydney Church – and she’s a Bishop. (And I’ll bet the women’s sermons in Sydney are very carefully monitored by males).

Brian R
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Brian R

“Women preach at Anglican churches in Sydney each Sunday, and are licensed to do so by the archbishop.” They do in some ever decreasing enlightened churches within the diocese. There are others where they are not even allowed to read the lessons. However, even in St James, King Street where we are fortunate to often have visiting women priests from other dioceses, these women are not allowed to be recognised as priests especially as regards presiding at the Eucharist. I find this shameful and am grateful these women are willing to put up with such rudeness but then I regularly… Read more »

Richard Ashby
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Richard Ashby

The idea of the maleness of Christ necessarily being replicated in the maleness of the priesthood seem to be well entrenched in at least some of the laity too. Only yesterday in my local paper a reader, commenting on the current comntroversy about the Bishop of Chichester’s refusal to allow his suffragans to ordain women quotes ‘the Father sent the Son to be the saviour of the world’. That (she says) we believe, is the mode in which God has chosen to save us. Women. however able, don’t symbolise fatherhood. Going down that path all too easily leads to paganism.… Read more »

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“complete lack of understanding of the ecclesiological and theological reasoning that is behind opposition to women in the presbyterate or episcopate.” As opposed to the enlightened understanding on the part of those opposing OOW as to the very solidly Incarnation based reasons for it? Let’s see, conservative understandings of those supporting OOW, as I have read them here and elsewhere: 1. They have no respect for Tradition, 2. They have no faith, 3. They are seeking to destroy the Gospel, 4. They are merely seeking the approval of the World, 5. They are oppressing and silencing anyone whose beliefs are… Read more »

Cynthia Gilliatt
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Cynthia Gilliatt

“What, I wonder, could possibly be ‘incomplete’ about a woman in episcopal orders (answers on a post card, please)? “

Does this need an answer?

We had many such discussions when TEC began ordaining women.

I can remember one gentleman writing, I think to the diocesan newspaper [it’s been a long time, TBTG!], asking if female prietesses would preside at the Eucharist while menstruating. Like – the wine will turn sour? You’d think TEC was a fertility cult.

Face it – some little boys never get over their fear of girl cooties.

Rev L Roberts
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Rev L Roberts

I confess to being stumped by Reverend Maltby’s piece here, as Assent to the Articles has not been required of ordinands (or anyone else), in the C of E, for a considerable time now. Having researched them, she must surely know this ?

She was never in any danger — simply prey to some misunderstanding of the matter !

They address issues which hardly make sense in our time and context.

There are many issues to be addressed today – some pressing.

Bromenblue
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Bromenblue

Ford Elms, I can’t recall anywhere making even one of those six points you allude to in your tirade against my contribution, either explicitly or implicitly. You are simply putting your own gloss on the convictions of others to defame them, which is exactly what you are accusing us traditionalists of doing. Personally, I am prepared to admit that, yes, I may well be wrong in how I interpret the Christian faith and tradition (God alone knows whether I am), but whatever my own understandings, and I am sure this is true of many others, they are borne not from… Read more »

Rev L Roberts
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Rev L Roberts

Years ago at our south London (UK) church the visiting preacher, a much love figure in the diocese and deaconess of many years, somehow ended up saying the eucharistic prayer and breaking the bread –it just happened — and seemed right. No-one batted an eye-lid. It meant a lot to her. And women were only priested many years later in fact. It meant a lot to me too. The ordinary British people – especially working class people, can be very down to earth — and focussed on what matters (for survival & flourishing). The Hisory of Love ( N. Krauss)… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
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Robert Ian Williams

The present Archbishop of Sydney ordains women deacons, but there is a hard core and growing conservative force within the diocese focused on his brother who do not even believe women should be ordained at all.

As for the Church of England wanting to keep as many on board ,.. does that include the gays and their supporters.

Quiz..name one C of E bishop recently apppointed who is pro-gay?

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“Quiz..name one C of E bishop recently apppointed who is pro-gay?” – Robert I. Williams –

What, Robert, has this question got to do with the subject being discussed by Judith Maltby? And anway, how would one know this – except if the prospective appointee blew the gaffe? I suspect that there are many in the R. C. ministerial fold who might be pro-gay, but wouldn’t be prepared to admit to that – espcially after ordination.

Robert Ian Williams
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Robert Ian Williams

My point is that, since the Jeffrey John debacle , no ” Colin Slee ” or “Richard Harries” radical types can hope to be chosen as Bishops in the Cof E.

No one seems to be bothered…..Anglican Mainstream have triumphed!

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“I can’t recall anywhere making even one of those six points you allude to in your tirade against my contribution, either explicitly or implicitly.” No you didn’t, nor did I accuse you of doing so. I merely listed, snottily, I admit, the only things I have ever heard from conservatives as to why they think some people want to ordain women. This was occasioned by your dismissal of the “complete lack of understanding” of conservatives by those who support OOW. Granted, when we in Canada debated this, the only reasons given were political as well, but since then, I have… Read more »

Mark Bennet
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Mark Bennet

Bromenblue I confess to a lack of understanding of your position, which you have not explained in your comments above. I would like to understand it, and particularly the ecclesiology of it. I am a male priest ordained by a male bishop in the Church of God. In the Church of England too. Am I a priest in the Church you see yourself as a part of? Does it matter, in answering that question, that I am in favour of ordaining women as priests and consecrating them as bishops? If the answer to that question is ‘yes’, I would like… Read more »

Colin Coward
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Father Ron,

In the past 12 months at least one gay bishop has been appointed. Whether he’s pro-gay I’m not sure. He certainly isn’t out. Probably wouldn’t have been appointed if he was.

How would you determine if a bishop is pro-gay? I can think of recently appointed bishops I would count as being on the positive side towards LGBT people but none of them have made public statements to such effect.

Bromenblue
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Bromenblue

Ford Elms and Father Bennet, for what it’s worth, my position is this. I have hitherto always understood the Church of England to be just part of a much larger whole, united with the Roman Catholics and Orthodox in terms of church order, our history and tradition, most of which is pre-Reformation and not simply the invention of the Church of England. The Reformed element in our Church has, at least until now, been able to hold together the differing strands of Churchmanship, which evolved from the Reformation, in creative tension. The innovation of women Bishops, as I see it,… Read more »

Rev L Roberts
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Rev L Roberts

It is good to see Canon Cameron going to St Asaph — where there’s Wales there’s hope !

All is not lost.

Liberal-minded proestants in England may also take heart.

Rev L Roberts
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Rev L Roberts

As a simple C of E minister, I sometimes find some of the statements and ecclesiology here a bit high-falutin ! I don’t think we need worry too much about OPrders and heaven-knows what—if anyone here was that bothered about ‘Validity’ and all that the’d be RC already (surely). For myself, I have seen ‘Validity’ in practice & I don’t think it adds anything to ministry or spiritual religion practically. I think something else makes orders and prayers and lives valid — something other than an imagined lineage of ordinations –however poetic or Romantic (no pun intended!). If some one… Read more »

peterpi
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peterpi

“[I]f the Bishop is to be the focus of unity in a Diocese, how can that ever be, where there are dissenters, and quite a significant number, unable to accept the introduction or sacramental ministry of women bishops?” – Bromenblue Bromenblue, your statement can easily be turned around. What about “dissenters” in a diocese who object and are unable to accept the notion of a forever-male priesthood or episcopate? How is the Bishop a focus of Unity in that situation? Such dissenters are nonetheless told to set aside their dissent and accept the Bishop – or else. My concern is… Read more »

Bromenblue
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Bromenblue

Rev Roberts, a humanist or atheist can be considerate and do your loved one proud at a funeral. Does that make them Christian priests? How do you see your own ordination? What is distinctive about your role as a Christian minister, if all it’s about is speaking to people’s condition? What is the Christian message or Good News you have to offer those to whom you’re ministering? What is the “something else” that makes prayers and orders and lives valid? And, lastly, why should I become a Roman Catholic, when I am a cradle Anglican and believe what the Church… Read more »

Mark Bennet
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Mark Bennet

Bromenblue I was not hoping for the answer ‘yes’ – I had originally put in something about ‘no’ as well, but this seemed to me to sound rather ungracious. No is a good answer and gives us a chance I think. So far as perceptions count for anything, some of the things which are said, or which are heard to be said, by people who do not believe that women can be ordained, have sounded very like the answer ‘yes’ – and I haven’t thought it has been universally meant that way, so I’m glad you’ve been able to answer.… Read more »

JCF
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JCF

“You say you are a male priest ordained by a male Bishop in the Church of God.”

But you don’t know the chromosomal (and/or genital morphology) status of either, Bromenblue. Is that the logical next step for you? Cheek swabs and “Drop Trow” tests, to ensure validity?

[The mind boggles—then again, I’m a simple Episcopalian, receiving my sacraments from priests/bishops-who-are-female for DECADES now, so probably my opinion doesn’t matter.]

David Malloch
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David Malloch

“What about “dissenters” in a diocese who object and are unable to accept the notion of a forever-male priesthood or episcopate?” One of the problems of the draft code of practice is that it continues to envisage the appointment of Diocesan bishops opposed to WO. If the so-called “New Dioceses” option had been adopted this would not have been the case. The creation of complementary jurisdictions rather than simply complementary bishops would have made adequate provision for opponents and whilst that would have removed some parishes from the jurisdiction of the existing dioceses, it would have meant that Diocesan bishops… Read more »

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“…we simply have no authority to undertake as one part – and a small part at that -of the Church Catholic.” Trying to be less verbose than my first post. What DO we have the authority to do? Did we have the authority to do what we did at the Reformation? If so, why? And we can speak about being part of “the Church catholic” all we like, but the fact is that the other two “branches” do not accept the concept and do not consider us Catholic. They base that on a lot more than whether or not we… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
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Robert Ian Williams

My question is could Gregory Cameron have been appointed in England and passed the Sugdenite-Giddings propaganda machine?

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“if the Bishop is to be the focus of unity in a Diocese, how can that ever be, where there are dissenters, and quite a significant number, unable to accept the introduction or sacramental ministry of women bishops?” – Bromenblue – I’m afraid I must agree with ‘peterpi’ here, when he questions the propriety of your question above. If you take the changes made in Rome after Vatican II, you may recall that the those who believed the Church was wrong in abandoning the Latin Mass as a necessary part of the validity of the rite either stayed in the… Read more »

David Malloch
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David Malloch

“To work outside the parameters of the Diocesan structures, where all clergy are subject to the authority of the local Ordinary, one would need to be in a Religious Order, which can be allowed dispensation from a Diocesan structure. Perhaps this is what the F.i.F. movement needs to consider as an alternative to the present system.” Perhaps this is what SYNOD needs to consider as an alternative to the present system? Any serious proposal to provide for us ought to be explored. At present, it is synod which has insisted on provision by code of practice within the existing structures… Read more »

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“I think something else makes orders and prayers and lives valid — something other than an imagined lineage of ordinations –however poetic or Romantic (no pun intended!).” On the surface, your point is sound. Just as God can make descendants for Abraham out of stones, He can make priests of anybody. As to validity, though, it doesn’t come from some sort of magic touch, it comes from the candidate for ordination discerning, within the community, that he/she is called by God to priesthood. The Church then affirms that vocation at ordination. I know that’s idealistic, but still. You seem to… Read more »

Rev L Roberts
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Rev L Roberts

‘Rev Roberts, a humanist or atheist can be considerate and do your loved one proud at a funeral.’ Bromenblue mon 5 Jan Why, yes, isn’t the point of the parable of The Good Samaritan ? If that’s Jesus’ good news it’s also mine ! btw thanks for your post yesterday. I’ll have ago at the others as the spirit moves me ! (PS I don’t think you ‘should’ join the RC denomination. I was trying to say that I rather thought taht poeple who really beleive they can’t live with women in ministry, would have have left sometime since Lee… Read more »

peterpi
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peterpi

“Mine is not a one way street. I am very happy for those who feel differently to be allowed to have what they want and feel is needed. Why can’t you and those with your views allow the same for us? If we really are wrong, as you seem to believe, what is there to fear?” — Bromenblue at 9:42pm GMT Bromonblue, your criticism of my interjecting GLBT issues is valid. And I appreciate your seeing this reciprocally for supporters of women’s ordination as a priest or consecration as a bishop (WO). My broader point was, the way I see… Read more »

Bromenblue
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Bromenblue

Rev Roberts, I wonder if perhaps you are a universalist, or maybe embrace aspects of religions other than Christianity? The Gospel surely has to have some kind of cutting edge. Otherwise, what’s the point of being a Christian and having to strive to live by Christ’s teaching and his claim that He alone is the Way, the Truth and the Life? What makes being a Christian distinctive? To use one of your own earlier given situations, if you make a pastoral visit to a bereaved family and they ask very sincerely that you say no prayers at the funeral and… Read more »

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“Lee Tim Oi’s” Did she not give up her orders in response to the reaction of the wider Church? Very like St. Chad of Lichfield, a hero of mine. Bromenblue, I know you weren’t speaking to me, but your questions raise some interesting issues. First, what is wrong with a Christian priest performing a non-religious funeral for people who are not Christian? That isn’t a betrayal of the Gospel, I’d suggest it actually furthers the Gospel. I kind of feel the same way about marriage. If people never darken a Church door except when they come home for Christmas and… Read more »

Malcolm+
Guest

As I understand it, Florence Li-Tim-Oi never saw herself as having “giving up” her orders, but rather as having agreed to not to exercise them. Hairsplitting, perhaps, but important. One can no more “give up” one’s orders than one can give up one’s belly button.

Bromenblue
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Bromenblue

Ford Elms, you have missed the point entirely, I’m afraid, in the hope of stirring up trouble in the blog. If you read carefully my question to Reverend Roberts, you will actually find no condemnation of anyone in there, simply a hypothetical scenario to discern what the Reverend Robert’s response would be in such circumstances. And who mentioned colonialism? You obviously have some kind of hang up about this. If you read that part of my offering carefully enough, it is actually about church history and the roots of worldwide Anglicanism. It is nothing at all to do with what… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“Seen in this way, the fact that other parts of the Anglican Communion have already consecrated women as bishops may be viewed as “the tail wagging the dog”. Were this not the case, women bishops would already be welcomed to act as episcopal leaders in the Church of England.” – Bromenblue – Dear Bromenblue, having myself been baptised and confirmed in the C.of E., also have been a Novice of SSF and now married and priested in the Anglican Church of Aotearoa/New Zealand, I think I can, to a degree, sympathise with your comment here – at least about ‘the… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
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Pat O'Neill

“And as to “the tail wagging the dog”, I think you’ll find that us “demned colonials” aren’t a tail any more, we grew up sometime around the period when Empire became Commonwealth, and we are all dogs together now. I’d tell you to climb down off that pedestal, but we knocked you off it a long time ago, you just don’t seem to realize it.” And for those of us just slightly to the south of you, Ford, it happened somewhat before that, around the time we “opened a can of whup-ass on Cornwallis at Yorktown,” in the words of… Read more »

Rev L Roberts
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Rev L Roberts

‘..then maybe they’ve chosen the wrong person?’

I AM that other person !(the ‘right person’, in your terms).

I have often had to step in, at a funeral, in the spirit of Jesus’ good samaritan, where either a Christian officiant or a Humanist officiant has said,

“You can’t have/say/do that !”

(You know, “You must mention God” and “You can’t mention god” !

btw when you speak of universality, you perhaps have the Last Gospel in mind ? (John 1)

Bromenblue
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Bromenblue

Reverend Roberts. Thanks for coming back to me. I asked the question because I have actually been in the scenario I describe, not just once, but on a number of occasions. I have been asked by families to do exactly as I wrote to you earlier, and I have simply said to them gently if that is what they want or need, a Christian priest is perhaps not the right person to conduct the funeral. Nevertheless, after entering into dialogue with them, and after we have been able to talk it through, none of the families concerned have ever acceded… Read more »

bromenblue
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bromenblue

Reverend Roberts, just an additional point about your reference to John’s Gospel. If you go to the prologue, you will read there the words: “He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him. Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, he gave the right to become children of God . . . ” Where is the universality in “to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name”? As I suggested at an earlier point, the cutting edge is there. He gives the right to become… Read more »

Rev L Roberts
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Rev L Roberts

Reverend B Blue You’re wewlcome.

It sounds like we have different emphases in our work.

I am glad your approach works so well for you. I am happy with mine ttoo, and learning all the time.

I shall certainly continue to reflect on your comments.

Rev L Roberts
Guest
Rev L Roberts

PS Rev B — I hope Jesus’ message of love and peace informs all my services, but not in your face.British folk tend to appreciate a (protestant-ish)minister who will support and be with them at such times, I have found. As far as I can tell (& it’s none of my business) most of the people I meet are trying to be good Christians and feel it is almost synonymous with coming from the east End. Most of the older people came thru the blitz, and the youner ones are their grandchildren and children. I am struck and inpsired by… Read more »

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“you seem to enjoy causing controversy and being provocative.” It is certainly provocative to point to the flaws in someone else’s argument. Since you spoke bitterly about supporters of OOW having no understanding of those who oppose it, I asked you to show that you understand their position. You have not done so. You claimed that we do not have the authority to act on our own in this matter. I asked what you feel we DO have the right to do. You have given no answer. I asked why a Christian priest could not perform a secular funeral. You… Read more »