Thinking Anglicans

women bishops: press reports on the press release

The press release is reported in the previous item.

This morning’s newspapers report this story in various ways.

Telegraph Martin Beckford Women bishops may not be equal to men under controversial new Church of England proposals

The Times Ruth Gledhill Plan for women bishops put on ice to avoid defections from Church of England

Guardian Riazat Butt Church removes power from women bishops

Daily Mail Steve Doughty Parish power could block women bishops as church promises law to appease traditionalists

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Erika BakerFord ElmsFather Ron Smithpeterpichoirboyfromhell Recent comment authors
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Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

It would be wonderful if the Church of England could be humble enough to take a leaf out of the book of it’s fellow Anglican Provinces – who have trusted the Holy Spirit to call and equip women for the total ministry of the Church. This has been quietly going on now for at least a decade in most overseas provinces, and the Church buildings have not fallen down. Why not take a calculated risk and trust God’s providence, and preserve the Church from further schism? When I was confirmed into the C.of E., I was taught that bishops were… Read more »

badman
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badman

It will be hard to get this through Synod and also hard to get it through Parliament. But that would mean no women bishops at all, at least until another propopsal comes along. I suspect that the Revision Committee is happy to stop the process in its tracks because they are afraid of splits. The members of the Committee are: Rt Revd Nigel McCulloch (Bishop of Manchester) (Chair) Very Revd Vivienne Faull (Dean of Leicester, Deans) Dr Paula Gooder (Birmingham) Ven Alistair Magowan (Archdeacon of Dorset, Salisbury) Revd Canon Anne Stevens (Southwark) Mrs Margaret Swinson (Liverpool) Mr Geoffrey Tattersall QC… Read more »

Judith Maltby
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Judith Maltby

How typical of the Church of England. We lecture the country about the widespread lack of trust in society and the fashion to legislate about everything – and then what do we do? The same thing. We do need to do something about that rather large plank of wood in our own collective eye.

Let’s hope Synod sees sense.

Mark Bennet
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Mark Bennet

When the Church sends out a press release which says that it joyfully receives the ordained ministry of women and welcomes their gifts into the episcopate, we may see some headlines worthy of the Gospel.

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

Ruth Gledhill writes: “Going ahead with minimal concessions was likely to have led to a wave of conversions to Roman Catholicism.”

I’m always fascinated by this assumption because I see those who would leave the church of England rather than obey its lawfully arrived at decision as putting their own discernment first – not something Rome encourages as a whole!

But how likely is it that General Synod will approve something next time round it have already rejected last year?

MaryO
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MaryO

I am waiting to see how the backers claim that this will help fill pews.

Neil
Guest
Neil

This is good news, and goes some way to making amends for the disgraceful unkind and ungenerous behaviour of the majority in General Synod last year – and the ABC will be pleased as this is what he wanted in the first place. The CofE has always been full of compromises and coalitions. In its wisdom it has permitted women to be ordained, but not required that those who believe this development to be of God to go against their conscience. Extreme evangelicals appear to want to take the church over and unchurch those with whom they disagree over gay… Read more »

Jim Naughton
Guest

It seems to me that the notion of “flying bishops” is a more profound innovation than that of either female bishops of gay bishops, mucking as it does with the whole “one bishop, one diocese” thing. So where was the emergency primates meeting when the Church of England snuck this one past everybody in the first place?

peterpi
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peterpi

Somehow, I thought that “separate but [un]equal” was a quaint American concept, repeatedly struck down by a more enlightened society. Now I see it has migrated to the Mother Country.
Like Father Ron Smith, why do I have the idea that “in Christ, there is no male or female”? Oh, I see! In Christ that’s the case, but in His Church that’s not the case. Hmmmmm.

choirboyfromhell
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choirboyfromhell

Uh, how does one “unchurch” people?

Neil
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Neil

Mary O. I am still smiling at your comment as we were all told the innovation of ordaining women was meant to do just what you say…fill the pews with people who were allegedly outraged at the fact that the Church had had a male only priesthood for 2000 years!

Neil
Guest
Neil

Choirboyfromhell. By making it impossible for those who have in the past co-existed to remain in the same Church. By means of new ‘dogma’ and reinventing God’s church so it has no place for those who have hitherto been welcome. ‘Unless you change and sign up to our new ideas you are out’. I find it extraordinary that proponents of women bishops want to insist that opponents go against their God given conscience and also the practise of quite a number of other Christians (RCs, Orthodox). Also that they get rather more worked up about this ‘new’ orthodoxy they have… Read more »

Helen
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Helen

So what was the point of having the most recent debate on this at General Synod, when the revision committee comes up with the opposite of what the Synod motion asked for? This has to be rejected! It’s a recipe for chaos, that (once again) casts doubt on the validity of women’s ordained ministry in the C of E.

choirboyfromhell
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choirboyfromhell

If being inclusive means I must tolerate another person’s intolerance and bigotries, I guess I ain’t so inclusive after all. As peterpi put it, “separate but equal” was an outright terrible farce that we lived with in the U.S. for too long (I barely remember separate drinking fountains in Jackonville, Florida train station for whites and “coloreds”), and like it or not, your church is divided and co-existence is a fallacy. If your faith means that you must adhere to an outdated (and there is no other word for it, with what we know today, vs. what was known then)… Read more »

JCF
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JCF

I cannot emphasize enough how much this sounds—to a faithful Yank Episcopalian—like King Canut trying to hold back the tide.

What CofE “traditionalists” (so-called: I think misogyny of this type is a fairly recent innovation, but no matter) fear MAY happen, on this side of the Atlantic (among other places), HAS happened.

Priests-made-female DO confect Jesus in the mass.

Bishops-made-female DO confer holy orders in Christ’s Church.

…and God is glorified thereby. Alleluia! 😀

The tide has come in already—why stand up-to-your kiesters in the ocean positing What If?

John Simmons
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John Simmons

Father Ron Smith writes that “most overseas provinces” have ordained women for the “total ministry of the church”, which I take to mean women bishops as well as priests and deacons. I don’t believe this to be the case. I believe that the provinces of Bangladesh, Brazil, Central America, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, North India, Philippines, Scotland, Southern Africa, Sudan, Burundi, England, Hong Kong, Indian Ocean, Kenya, Korea, Rwanda, South India, Uganda, Wales, West Indies, West Africa, Southern Cone, Congo, Pakistan, Central Africa, Jerusalem and the Middle East, Melanesia, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, South East Asia and Tanzania have no women… Read more »

Fr Mark
Guest

Neil: you don’t have to “sign up to new ideas.” You should be encouraged to adhere to the very old idea that injustice wounds God’s creation. The current FiF standpoint is ludicrous. I was ordained in a batch of 12, half male and half female. Is it really ethical that clergy should be allowed (indeed paid) to work in an organisation where they only recognise half of those ordained by their bishop as their colleagues in the priesthood? No other organisation could operate in such a way. If you don’t want to work with half your colleagues, you can’t be… Read more »

Neil
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Neil

Cfomhell. If this matter were purely a question of justice then it would have been settled a long long time ago. Intolerance and bigotry should always be hunted down. If, however, this has to do with the will of God for and in his Church, as revealed in scripture and tradition then there are different views. And you seem to display in both the tone and content of your posting real intolerance and bigotry against those who do not agree with you. Traditionalists are not hindereing the ordination of women bishops at all. If this is what you believe in… Read more »

choirboyfromhell
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choirboyfromhell

“But without intolerance and bigotry towards faithful people who cannot in cons[c]ience agree.” In this country the local vestry usually has the option on who to pick as their rector, and the standing committees of the dioceses the same. I sing at a parish (not my residency, which is the local cathedral) that probably very likely chose a rector due to their being a male, when a personal friend was snubbed probably due to her sex. Did I make an issue? I quietly disagreed then took it like a man and kept it to myself. That’s why we’ve got synods… Read more »

Kennedy
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Kennedy

“I believe that the provinces of Bangladesh, Brazil, Central America, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, North India, Philippines, Scotland, Southern Africa, Sudan, Burundi, England, Hong Kong, Indian Ocean, Kenya, Korea, Rwanda, South India, Uganda, Wales, West Indies, West Africa, Southern Cone, Congo, Pakistan, Central Africa, Jerusalem and the Middle East, Melanesia, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, South East Asia and Tanzania have no women bishops as yet.” You should distinguish between those provinces who are able to elect/appoint a bishop who is a woman, and those who are not able. Scotland and Ireland (at least) have passed the legislation. They have accepted that… Read more »

peterpi
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peterpi

choirboyfromhell on Saturday, 10 October 2009 at 3:50am BST, thank you! I’m sorry, but it’s amazing how often the will of God turns out to be the will of men — and I do mean men. If we read Scripture as literal and frozen in stone, it becomes dead. Whatever happened to Reason? When the Second Person of the Trinity became incarnate, the choices were as a man or as a woman. Dare I say that the Second Person came as a male because a male’s voice would have been listened to in that society? A man turning water into… Read more »

David Maloch
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David Maloch

Kennedy,
Well, yes, I guess any kind of legislation works if it is not implemented? Why are those provinces which have passed legislation delaying with consecrating a woman? Might it be because they fear their churches will disolve into chaos because of lack of provision for opponents.

The reason many of us argue for provision within the legislation is because we trust our province to have the guts to consecrate women once it is able to do so,

John Simmons
Guest
John Simmons

Kennedy, thanks for your corrective. My point was not profound or theological. Simply numerical!

Fr Ron Smith said “most overseas provinces” had, whereas in fact nothing like half have.

He said they had been getting on with it quietly. Whereas it has been so quiet it has not actually been happening.

Nor is Scotland overseas of course. Ireland? Perhaps.

Rev L Roberts
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Rev L Roberts

‘..then took it like a man..’

Isn’t this exactly what we have had too much of aldready ? Isn’t this part of the reason we need women ministers? And in other roles …

Kennedy
Guest
Kennedy

“Kennedy, Well, yes, I guess any kind of legislation works if it is not implemented? Why are those provinces which have passed legislation delaying with consecrating a woman? Might it be because they fear their churches will disolve into chaos because of lack of provision for opponents.” That’s not the impression I get from talking to people involved in the elections that have taken place since the legislation was passed in Scotland. I do find it strange that there have been no female candidates in the last few elections – perhaps none were nominated? The current system allows nominations to… Read more »

choirboyfromhell
Guest
choirboyfromhell

Point taken, Rev L Roberts. Thank you.

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“It is a huge mistake of those who claim to be ‘inclusive’ to have no room for those with whom they disagree within the same Church…just as it is for evos to try to expel gay people.” – Neil, on Friday – Let’s look at this thing logically. There’s no evidence that the pro-women’s lobby wants to ‘get rid of’ the opposition. On the contrary, it is the ‘exclusivity’ of the anti-women lobby that forces them to set themselves apart, by requiring ‘special legislation’ to allow them to remain within the inclusive ethos of the Church. One wonders at your… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“On the contrary, it is the ‘exclusivity’ of the anti-women lobby that forces them to set themselves apart, by requiring ‘special legislation’ to allow them to remain within the inclusive ethos of the Church.” That’s a bit passive/aggressive, isn’t it? If people believe that the Sacramental basis of their faith and spirituality is being destroyed by changes with which they cannot agree, it’s a bit much to suggest that they are the ones forcing themselves out of the Church. Your argument comes down to “They could stay if they changed their beliefs to agree with us. Since they won’t do… Read more »

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

Ford
You can dismiss everything as passive agressive, there’s rarely a rational defense against the charge, whether it’s true or not.

So tell me, in general philosophical way, how are we to deal with any movement away from the status quo?
If all you say is that no-one must ever move until everyone agrees, you are by definition voting for the status quo from here to eternity.
That’s not a valid philophical position because it is not even.

Is there any way that would satisfy you in which change could ever be attempted?

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

Dear Ford,

I can’t help thinking that your oft-assumed role of Devil’s Advocate on this site confuses most of us into wondering whether, indeed, you do have a particular point of view on anything. Of course, when you are being yourself, you do reveal a rather more eirenic and kindly character – which certainly could not be called ‘passive/aggressive’

Luv yer lots!

peterpi
Guest
peterpi

Ford Elms, I have to second Father Smith. The only people asking anyone to leave are those opposed to women’s ordination and the ordination of out gay men. Apparently, even a male bishop isn’t good enough if that male bishop agrees with women’s ordination. What about respect for that bishop’s office? That bishop’s own sense of integrity? “Because it has always been this way” is a lousy argument without sufficient reason as to why it always has to continue to be this way. As far as arguments that appeal to the traditionalists’ sense of things, I believe both women’s ordination… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“Is there any way that would satisfy you in which change could ever be attempted?” We are called to deal with our differences in a better fashion than the way we humans naturally do. I think that is about as countercultural as we can get. A way that does not call those who disagree “homophobic”, or “mysogenist”, or “faithless”, or “apostate”, that does not involve the stirring up of people’s fears to garner their support, that recognizes that Christians are called to be united, not a bunch of little national groups doing whatever they see fit in their own little… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“”Because it has always been this way” is a lousy argument without sufficient reason as to why it always has to continue to be this way.” It’s an equally lousy argument for changing something that’s been around for 2000 years. Yet, it is often used in that way. “I believe both women’s ordination and gay ordination proponents have made those arguments, and they have always been found insufficient.” Made them to whom? I support OOW. I believe that refusal to ordain women says some very dodgy things about the Incarnation, actually. Yet when the Canadian Church was debating OOW, I… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Ford
“Is there any way that would satisfy you in which change could ever be attempted?”

In answer to my question you have slung mud at both sides discrediting them with your usual flourish. I’m not sure how that’s helping.

Having established what you don’t like, can we now please get back to the question and can you please tell me whether you believe that there is any credible discernment process that can result in change?

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“can you please tell me whether you believe that there is any credible discernment process that can result in change” Part one: I thought I had. A process in which we behave like Christians. But I also acknowledge that very few decisions in the past 2000 years would fit that criterion. I have said on many occasions that I do feel that someone who thinks it is a reasonable thing to throw gay people and those who are supportive of them into jail for 5 years is far from the Gospel. But so is someone who, when confronted with a… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

Part two: Apply this to the current debate. I KNOW the conservatives are not speaking the truth about gay people, because they are not speaking the truth about me or any gay person I know. But it cuts both ways. Life for gay people in the West is not perfect, but it’s a bit much to equate the state we’re in with that of people who have a very real fear that they will be hanged from a crane in the public square after prayers on Friday while their own family cheers. I don’t trust people who equate these situations,… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Ford “I thought I had. A process in which we behave like Christians. But I also acknowledge that very few decisions in the past 2000 years would fit that criterion” But that’s avoding the question. There is a real topic the church has to ponder. Is it acceptable to ordain women as priests and consecrate them as bishops. Or another one: are partnered lgbt people as blessed in their relationships by God as heterosexuals and should it be legitimate to ordain them to all ministries in the church. To say “let’s all behave like Christians” does not tell me anything… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“Traditionalists are not hindering the ordination of women bishops at all. If this is what you believe in then of course you MUST proceed. But without intolerance and bigotry towards faithful people who cannot in consience agree.” – Neill, on Saturday – So, in fact Neill, you are saying that your fellow ‘Traditonalists are not hindering the ordination of women bishops at all’? Then what was all that sobbing and sighing at the General Synod Meeting where the proposition was being discussed. Do you not think that Traditionalists have fought tooth and nail to prevent women from being first priests,… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“allowed to consider the question” Of course. “respond when people feel passtionate” By admonishing those who do. By encouraging them to work at subduing their passions. Dispassion, after all,has always been considered a Good Thing. By disciplining people who do not control themselves. In the current debate, that would mean disciplining both TEC AND Nigeria and anyone else who behaves the way they do. “conflicting theologies that will emerge” Difficult. It is tempting to suggest that there can only be ONE theology. If Christianity is about SOMETHING, then there cannot be different definitions of that SOMETHING, can there? Different images… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Ford “It is tempting to suggest that there can only be ONE theology” That is obviously not true. There have always been different understandings of certain things, which is why we only have to assent to the creeds, not to any second order issues. It might be said that there is only one truth, but as that truth is known to God alone, we here on earth have to do with our best efforts, and they may well conflict at times. I also find it slightly patronising to reply to my question of how to come to conclusions with “By… Read more »