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Affirming Catholicism to the Revision Committee

Affirming Catholicism issued the following letter on 30th October to individual members of the General Synod Revision Committee on Women Bishops:

To the Members of the Revision Committee

Dear

Affirming Catholicism has noted with dismay the Press Release from the Revision Committee indicating the Committee’s decision to review General Synod’s support for the adoption of the simplest form of legislation enabling the admission of women into the episcopate in the Church of England coupled with a statutory code of practice, as expressed in July 2008.

We believe that the suggestion that certain functions should be vested in bishops by statute rather than by delegation from the diocesan bishop under a statutory code of practice runs counter to the principle that the diocese is the fundamental unit of the Church. In practice, this means that the Diocesan Bishop is and must be recognised to be Ordinary in his / her Diocese. Consequently, as we have argued consistently in our submissions to the Bishops of Guildford and Gloucester and to the Legislative Drafting Group, any designated special Bishops who exercise a ministry in a Diocese where the Ordinary is a woman must share in the ministry of the Ordinary in order that the unity of the diocese – and with it the Church of England – be preserved.

The original motion as passed by the General Synod includes a reminder “that those who dissent from, as well as those who assent to the ordination of women to the priesthood and episcopate are both loyal Anglicans”, and asks that “additional legal provision consistent with Canon A4” be prepared in order “to establish arrangements that would seek to maintain the highest possible degree of communion with those conscientiously unable to receive the ministry of women bishops.” Despite the questions raised about the interpretation of Canon A4, this clause constitutes a requirement that provision for those who feel themselves in conscience unable to accept the ministry of a bishop who is a woman may not call her orders into question. We believe that the removal of certain functions by statute from women who are consecrated bishops can carry no other inference than that it is legitimate to deny that they are truly ordained. We are therefore of the opinion that the vesting of certain functions in another bishop by statute in the case where the diocesan bishop is a woman would be contrary to the motion passed by Synod in July 2006, as well as discounting the recommendation made by General Synod in July 2008.

We therefore ask that the Revision Committee reconsider its decision.

The Revd Jonathan Clark

For The Board of Affirming Catholicism

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Bromenblue
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Bromenblue

The Revd Clark is rewriting history. How in the world does he and the Board interpret that “those who dissent from, as well as those who assent to, the ordination of women to the priesthood and to the episcopate are both loyal Anglicans” means that those who dissent cannot call into question a woman priest’s or bishop’s orders? I am perfectly at liberty under the terms of such a statement to do just that, and I will. It is continuing to allow for two integrities. Neither the Revd Clark nor anyone else will force me into accepting a contrary proposition.… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“We believe that the removal of certain functions by statute from women who are consecrated bishops can carry no other inference than that it is legitimate to deny that they are truly ordained. – Fr. Jonathon Clark : Affirming catholicism – Affirming Catholics, in their letter to the Revision Committee of General Synod, surely have a very important point to make here. If women bishops (once appointed legitimately by the Church) are side-lined in their episcopal duties by a provision which denies them certain acts of episcope, then this would question the legitimacy of their appointment. We have already experienced… Read more »

Lapinbizarre
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Lapinbizarre

“Right on” Affirming Catholicism.

Jonathan Clark
Guest
Jonathan Clark

One can dissent from a decision, without questioning its existence or reality. Those within the church who disagree with the decision to ordain women, and nevertheless stay, deserve the very highest degree of respect from the rest of us. To believe that the Church has not in fact ordained women is something else – it questions whether we are a Church with authority to do anything. If the Church of England cannot ordain women, why regard any of its sacramental acts as genuine?

Ed Tomlinson
Guest

I find both this, and the statement from WATCH, to be crude and ugly. Behind the words is a clear message: Let us squeeze hard, the traditionalists seem weak and we can smite them from the face of our church. Forget the promises made in 1992, forget the concessions those traditionalists themselves have made, forget the way they have been marginalised and demonised by us, ignore the Holy Father’s ability to provide what we with our hearts of stone refuse to, ignore the ecumenical warnings of both ROme and Orthodoxy, ignore the commands of Christ to love those we hate,… Read more »

n. aston
Guest

‘Those within the church who disagree with the decision to ordain women, and nevertheless stay, deserve the very highest degree of respect from the rest of us’.
That’s not exactly what orthodox Catholic Anglicans in the C of E have experienced in the last 15 years is it, Fr Clark? Why on earth would we expect to have such respect in the future? If we are so intent on nothing less than outright episcopal jurisdiction then the proven intolerance of Aff Caths., Watch, and fellow travellers to our constituency has a lot to do with it.

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

Ed: How long do you accommodate someone who would deny that a decision made is correct? I understand the idea of a period of adjustment, but 16 years? At that rate, the CoE will be accommodating the opponents of women’s ordination forever…which is, as others have noted, simply a decision to have a church within a church, a rump gathering that refuses to accept what would be, by then, a long-held doctrine of the wider church. It would be as if, 500 years ago, the CoE had decided to make “accommodations” for those who continued to hold that the Bishop… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

Ed: How long do you accommodate someone who would deny that a decision made is correct? I understand the idea of a period of adjustment, but 16 years? At that rate, the CoE will be accommodating the opponents of women’s ordination forever…which is, as others have noted, simply a decision to have a church within a church, a rump gathering that refuses to accept what would be, by then, a long-held doctrine of the wider church. It would be as if, 500 years ago, the CoE had decided to make “accommodations” for those who continued to hold that the Bishop… Read more »

Bromenblue
Guest
Bromenblue

Revd Clark is mincing words. The Church has ordained women, but the question for some of us is the legitimacy of those ordinations in the first place. And no, the Church of England has no authority to make such a massive and far reaching change to Church order on its own. It is sheer arrogance to suggest otherwise. Does Revd Clark really believe that our tiny branch of the Church is in some way being prophetic? I think not. And as justification for my own view, we’ll find our Orthodox and Roman Catholic brethren will definitely not be jumping on… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Bromenblue
if you follow the Revision Committee and create a two tier episcopate, then you are not, in effect, recognising Two Integrities, because you are denying the integrity of women bishops.

Genuinely accepting two integrities has to mean coming up with a system that allows for women priests and bishops on equal terms with men, while at the same time making provisions for those who do not wish to be ministered to by women priests or bishops, or by male priests who were ordained by women bishops.

What the Revision Committee proposes amounts to a de facto denial of two integrities.

Pluralist
Guest

Evidently they do deny that women can be priests or bishops, but when it comes to having women as bishops it presumably becomes make your mind up time for everyone. In a reasoning of dioceses, Churches, uniformity of ministry, someone has to give, and it is those at the wrong end of the decision. This is what happens when there is a fork in the road and the whole body is meant to go in one direction – others choose to say their goodbyes and go in the other direction. How fortunate for them that they won’t have to be… Read more »

Rosemary Hannah
Guest
Rosemary Hannah

Don’t be daft Ed – the suggestion was that those who do not accept the ministry of women should be provided with male priests and bishops. It is unbelievable to suggest that because women are prepared to sanction such ministry is is somehow tainted!

Ed Tomlinson
Guest

But Rosemary to send me a man to represent a woman is just SEXISM and maes me out to be sexist!!! I loathe that idea.

I dont reject the woman cos i want a man. I am not going to just be placated by hanging genitals…the person coming stands in place of the Diocesan. If that is a woman – whoever is sent- lacks sacramental validity in my eyes.

Bromenblue
Guest
Bromenblue

Erika, the Revision Committee is seeking to allow for two integrities to coexist. That will only be possible where there is an honest recognition that those on my side of the debate simply cannot and will not accept the jurisdiction of a female bishop or indeed any of her brother bishops. If that means a two-tier epsicopacy, so be it, for the sake of the unity of the Church of England. We have managed thus far with the Act of Synod, and we can make any extension of that provision work too, given the chance. That is what the Church… Read more »

toby forward
Guest

Was Mr Tomlinson ordained before or after the ordination of women happened? If it was after, then I fail to see why he has a problem here.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Bromenblue I agree with you that the only way that the views of FiF can have any integrity is if they are based on the genuine theological conviction that it is impossible to ordain women. If you believed it was possible but simply didn’t like it, there would be no integrity in your view at all. But what I don’t understand is your emphasis on the Roman Catholic and the Orthodox churches. If anyone does not believe that the Church of England has the ability and the right to try and discern God’s will for it, and that it does… Read more »

Sara MacVane
Guest
Sara MacVane

The real problem that keeps cropping up is that ‘2 integrities’ really can’t exsist side-by-side in the same church. If we say that the C-of-E had ‘no right’ to ordain women, how can we say that it had the right to split off from the pope, use English, set up synods, not follow papal doctrinal pronunciations or any of the rest? And we might ask the same of the various Orthodox churches, which I believe are not in communion even among themselves. Our ‘way of being’ a church is different from the RC Church, different from all the orthodox churches,… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Bromenblue What do you mean by “any of her brother bishops”? Does that mean you cannot accept any male bishop consecreated by a bishop who also happenes to ordain and consecrate women? That view would, of course, have no integrity at all. I can just about see how you believe that something particular happenens when a male bishop in the Apostolic line ordains another man and that you believe this does not happen should he ordain a woman. But presumably, whatever it is you believe happenens happenes, because God makes it happen, not because of the bishop’s theology. The bishop’s… Read more »

Neil
Guest
Neil

Sara MacVane makes some very good points.

Neil
Guest
Neil

What the CofE needs to guard against though is making women’s ordination a matter a dogma.

Counterlight
Guest
Counterlight

“If that is a woman – whoever is sent- lacks sacramental validity in my eyes.”

I could be wrong, but doesn’t it say somewhere that God created Man, male and female, in His image? The first Creation narrative in Genesis perhaps?

JCF
Guest
JCF

“If the Church of England cannot ordain women, why regard any of its sacramental acts as genuine?” – Posted by Jonathan Clark I’d love an answer to this question, by opponents of OOW, who determined to (bodily) stay within the CofE. “And as justification for my own view, we’ll find our Orthodox and Roman Catholic brethren will definitely not be jumping on the bandwagon of secularisation of the Church” Ignoring the equation of OOW w/ “secularization”, can you really be so sure, Ed T, that “our Roman Catholic brethren” (assuming “brethren” to mean ALL Roman Catholics) are so dead-set against… Read more »

Mark
Guest
Mark

Interestingly the point was made at General Synod that the CofE has no concept in its formularies of the ‘validity’ of orders only the ‘legality’ – and what one is not in a position to do as far as C4 is concerned is to deny the legality of the orders. Whether or not you accept the priestly/episcopal ministrations of a woman is one thing, but you are not in a position to deny the legality of the odination.

john
Guest
john

Can we at least not all agree that this document is a very poor piece of English? The first paragraph is a disgrace: if one of my students wrote it, I would run a red pen down it and write: ‘Rewrite’. In the penultimate paragraph, note the misuse of ‘inference’. Am I being snobbish and intellectually elitist? No doubt. Do we not all sometimes write sloppy English – because we’re short of time or all wrought up? Yes, of course. But this is an official document, an official submission, from an organisation that prides itself on its theological seriousness. It… Read more »

peterpi
Guest
peterpi

Thank you, Counterlight @ 6:40pm GMT! Bromenblue, I don’t think you recognize “two integrities”. You expect us to make concessions to you, while you feel no need whatsoever to recognize us at all. You deny the validity of a woman’s consecration as priest or bishop. Not only is she counterfeit, but any man or woman she subsequently consecrates as priest or (with others) bishop is also counterfeit. That’s fair enough by your logic, although I disagree. But you go further. Any male priest or bishop who consents to women priests or bishops, even if that male was consecrated by a… Read more »

Fr Mark
Guest

Bromenblue: “we’ll find our Orthodox and Roman Catholic brethren will definitely not be jumping on the bandwagon” Whenever anyone asks them, it is clear that the majority of Roman Catholics, certainly in our part of the world, are in favour of the ordination of women: therefore, opposition to it cannot be a touchstone of Catholicism, surely. Or are ordinary Roman Catholics as wrong on this as they are in ignoring the Vatican’s strictures against contraception and divorce? The doublethink that millions live with as a result of the disconnection between the hierarchy’s unreality and the lived experience of the faithful… Read more »

Mark Bennet
Guest
Mark Bennet

Romans 8.29 suggests that we are all (all who in Paul’s terms are ‘foreknown’ by God) predestined to be conformed to the image of God’s son – no gender distinction there, either.

peterpi
Guest
peterpi

Erika Baker, I just saw your 4:48 post. Thank you for making that argument as well.

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“. And no, the Church of England has no authority to make such a massive and far reaching change to Church order on its own. It is sheer arrogance to suggest otherwise. Does Revd Clark really believe that our tiny branch of the Church is in some way being prophetic? I think not.’ – Bromenblue, on Tuesday – Bromenblue, are you not being a little illogical in this statement? In challenging the Church of England’s right to “make such a far-reaching change to Church Order on its own”, you are akin to saying it had “no right” to challenge the… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“the person coming stands in place of the Diocesan. If that is a woman – whoever is sent- lacks sacramental validity in my eyes.” – Ed Tomlinson – Ed, the fact is – if you are looking for a Church body that does not ordain women – either as priests or bishops – what are you doing still in the Church of England? Surely your conscience, tender as it appears to be on this matter, could have never put up with the idea of women being able to stand in for Christ at the altar. You keep on referring to… Read more »

Ed Tomlinson
Guest

Why does it make a difference if ordained post 1992? I joined a church that accepts theological opposition to WO as a vlid expression of faith and which had promised to honour such views as a valid integrity. But don’t let facts obscure your mistepresentations

Rev L Roberts
Guest
Rev L Roberts

Why not do away with bishops for an experimental period of a few decades and see if that improves things ? It probably would help quite a bit, on this point and others.

‘Oversight’ and pastoral care may be carried out in other and different ways and by various people.

I don’t find the old structures very creative now,or the old, interminable arguments very constructive.

I think many ‘ordinary’, person in the street parishoners feel this way

Keeping the rumour of God alive and sharing hope can be done in many ways

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“Why not do away with bishops for an experimental period of a few decades and see if that improves things ?” Tell me this is just a troll to wind up people like me. ‘Cuz it worked, but if I’m that gullible, I deserve it, so no blame to you. “I don’t find the old structures very creative now….I think many ‘ordinary’, person in the street parishoners feel this way” I on the other hand have great respect for tradition in any form. It informs who I am. It connects me to something far bigger than I am, extending across… Read more »

toby forward
Guest

There is an untruth often put about that the Church of England intended there to be a permanent dissenting party which would not accept women’s priestly ministry and that bishops would be provided to oversee this rump. This is not the case. Arrangements were put in place for temporary provision during a time of reception. Any young man ordained after 1992 should have understood that this provision would disappear during the time of his ministry. It should, actually, never have been made in the first place, but that’s a different story.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Ford
“Tell me this is just a troll to wind up people like me. ‘Cuz it worked, but if I’m that gullible, I deserve it, so no blame to you.”

“I think every Anglican diocese in the world should get rid of its bishop immediately”

Which of the two statements is the wind-up?
Only, the second one was advanced by you yesterday as a serious argument in a conversation we’re having on another thread.

Bromenblue
Guest
Bromenblue

Just wishing to correct some misrepresentations of my arguments, which misrepresentations some Liberals on this site are so fond of articulating, I am concerned about the Apostolic continuum in respect of the Bishops of the Church and the far reaching change to that order implied by the innovation of women bishops. It is NOT, and I repeat NOT, to do with any concern about women not being equal or able to do what men can do. Ask any of my female friends, and they will tell you my track record on equality of opportunity. In a former career I sat… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

Ford, don’t be side-tracked by the Rev L Roberts. His postings do not reflect the us who represent the ‘Thinking Anglicans’ mainstream – let alone your own liberal catholic point of view. Rev. L appears unhappy with whatever might be proposed to continue the ethos of traditional Anglicanism. Whereas, you and I both know that the Church of England is undergoing a great deal of stress at the moment on at least these four fronts: 1. The possibility of the Ordination of women as Bishops in the C.of E. (this has already taken place in yours and my parts of… Read more »

Bromenblue
Guest
Bromenblue

“The Anglican Communion’s catholicity does not depend on any allegiance to Rome or Constantinople – but on the living Christ”. Yet another example of made up ecclesiology and theology by Ron Smith!

BillyD
Guest

“Yet another example of made up ecclesiology and theology by Ron Smith!”

Not so, Bromenblue. It’s fairly standard Anglicanism.

“I joined a church that accepts theological opposition to WO as a vlid expression of faith and which had promised to honour such views as a valid integrity.”

Fr. Tomlinson, perhaps you could point us to this ironclad promise of continued male-only priesthood for all comers? When exactly was it made, and what did it say?

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Bromenblue
Any chance of answers to my questions of 3 November 2009 at 2:16pm GMT and 3 November 2009 at 4:48pm GMT on this thread, or is it easier to throw one liners at Ron (here) and Toby (on another thread)?

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

Erika, the second comment was intended to express the frustration I have with the current situation. Between the right’s accusations of apostacy and the left’s claims of “pastoral emergency” it’s all nauseatingly selfrighteous. How can love for others be apostacy? How is it in any way ‘orthodox’ to do the kinds of things +Orombi is doing? How is it a “pastoral emergency” that people living in the richest, freest, most priveleged societies that have ever existed on the face of the earth can’t get married in a Church? Difficult, maybe, but “pastoral emergency”? I have no faith in either side.… Read more »

Bromenblue
Guest
Bromenblue

Erika, the answer to your questions is implicit in my contribution of Wednesday 4th November at 8.31am.

Ed Tomlinson
Guest

Certainly here is a direct quote from the Act of Synod 1993- a legally binding document which assured me of my place within the church: Ordinations & Appointments: no person or body shall discriminate against candidates either for ordination or for appointment to senior office in the Church of England on the grounds of their views about the ordination of women to the priesthood. But it seems that the majority here would desire to break this act and discriminate against me- rudely and hurtfully telling me I should leave my church and should never have been ordained after 1992. Furthermore… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Bromenblue I don’t see how you have answered my questions. Could I put them again, please? Yes, the CoE considers itself both catholic and reformed. But it also considers itself emphatically not Roman Catholic or Orthodox and it has always made its own decisions through its Synods and based on its Canons. So my question remains – if Rome’s judgement is so important to you, why are you in a church whose orders have always been considered null and void by Rome, especially since there is a strong Roman Catholic presence in this country? If the consent of the universal… Read more »

toby forward
Guest

Billy D, I don’t think you’ll find any evidence of iron-clad, permanent provision for dissenters. I’ve pushed people before on this and the answer seems to be that some members of Synod made these promises in informal gatherings and with no authority to speak for anyone. The actual legislation was clear that the POVs were intended to be a temporary arrangement while a process of acceptance took place.

Bromenblue
Guest
Bromenblue

Billy D, you made a very sweeping statement about standard Anglicanism. In which Anglican doctrinal creed or writing did you find that “its catholicity does not depend on allegiance to Rome or Constantinople, but on the living Christ?” I can agree with what you say insofar that our Catholic order derives from the teaching of Christ Himself handed down through the apostles. And of course we owe allegiance to Rome and Constantinople as we and those two great Churches of East and West have a common order, whilst the Anglican Communion itself (beginning with the Church of England) grew from… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“it is precisely because they have removed themselves from the continuum by what they have done and assent to, but also because of the jurisdiction issue.” Bromenblue, I understand exactly what you are talking about, because I used to feel the same way myself, and made all the arguments you make. My only question is: did not the Anglican Church 500 years ago remove itself from the continuum by breaking with Rome? The Pope certainly thinks so. That’s my issue in this. For me, conservative Anglocatholics are in one of three positions. Either they agree with the CofE’s rejection of… Read more »

JCF
Guest
JCF

“the person coming stands in place of the Diocesan. If that is a woman – whoever is sent- lacks sacramental validity in my eyes.” – Ed Tomlinson

Well then, if thine eyes offend thee, pluck them out! }-p

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

” For my part, I would say that both she and other women ministers have an authentic ministry in the Church, in the same way as I see Methodist ministers or United Reformed Ministers having an authentic and effective ministry, but not as priests. I do wonder, sometimes, whether contributors to this site say some of the things they do simply to act as rabble rousers.” – Bromenblue – Howe condescending can one be? You, Brumenblue, have an obviously different point of view about women’s ministry in the Church of England from the majority of your fellow male priests. One… Read more »

BillyD
Guest

“no person or body shall discriminate against candidates either for ordination or for appointment to senior office in the Church of England on the grounds of their views about the ordination of women to the priesthood.” But there’s nothing here about the “two integrities,” or a promise that anti-WO types would never find themselves under the jurisdiction of a woman, but merely a promise not to discriminate against you based on those beliefs. I cannot see that you have been discriminated against in that fashion. You don’t want to believe that women can (or ought) to be ordained? Fine, believe… Read more »