THINKING ANGLICANS

MCU on the Revision Committee

The Modern Churchpeople’s Union has written about Women Bishops and the Revision Committee:

MCU has published a paper that welcomes the Revision Committee’s change of policy. However, it questions the emphasis on seeking to satisfy the opponents of women bishops while showing no comparable concern for the majority appalled by the continuing gender discrimination.

The paper argues

  • that the proposed proliferation of different classes of bishops (women, men consecrated or not consecrated by women, men who do or do not ordain women, etc) should be resisted;
  • that church leaders should resist the influence of magical views of the sacraments, treating priests and bishops as if the value of their ministry depended on whether their appointment followed precise rules;
  • that the ‘theology of taint’ – the idea that a bishop who has once ordained a woman priest is no longer an acceptable bishop – is not acceptable and no allowance should be made for it;
  • that resistance to change, while characteristic of many reactionary religious campaigns, is unrealistic since churches do, and need to, make changes;
  • that the increasing appeal to the individual conscience as though it were a basic unchanging fact, rather than an expression of what the individual currently believes to be true, should be resisted;
  • and that the current reactionary mood among church leaders is in danger of being made permanent by the proposed Anglican Covenant.

Read the whole paper, either on the web, or in a PDF file.

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BillyD
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“that the ‘theology of taint’ – the idea that a bishop who has once ordained a woman priest is no longer an acceptable bishop – is not acceptable and no allowance should be made for it;”

Frankly, I’m surprised that it has been allowed to flourish in the CofE for as long as it has.

Rev L Roberts
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Rev L Roberts

This whole piece from MCU makes great sense to me. I think it is helping me begin to see things more clearly.

Neill
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Neill

It seems that a new religion has been created but, instead of starting it honestly from outside, it has insinuated itself inside the Church of England and taken it over. Now it has become so powerful it wants to crush all who hold to what was previously known as orthodoxy.

Göran Koch-Swahne
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Amen to this!

Pluralist
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An interesting piece from MCU – but this about the Eucharist isn’t quite right. There is a Catholic-magical view, indeed, but there is also a Catholic-supernatural view which also requires orders and actions to be right, but may include women as celebrants (it’s equivalent to speaking well so that the sign points properly), and then there is a Protestant-supernatural view that allows the intention to be more spiritual and therefore the actors and actions to be freer, as well as a naturalistic view that produces a celebration that has certain reflective, binding ritual processes that can make many changes and… Read more »

Sue
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They don’t mince their words, do they? They also write extremely well, with authority and clarity. I was very impressed by their response to the response of Wright and William to ECUSA back in August.

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“•that resistance to change, while characteristic of many reactionary religious campaigns, is unrealistic since churches do, and need to, make changes;” – Modern Churchpeople’s Union – Let’s hope that we don’t have to be a Union member to be able to agree with this statement. If the Church is content to resist all change, in the name of irrevocable tradition, then there could never have been a Reformation of the Church in the 16th century. And although some advocates of discrimination against women and gays would prefer that to have been a part of the Continuum, the world has changed… Read more »

Jim Pratt
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Jim Pratt

While the CofE dithers, the rest of the world moves on. With the recent consecration of Barbara Andrews in the Central Interior BC, from now on every new Canadian bishop will have at least one woman as a co-consecrator, and those who did not have female hands laid on them have all joined in consecrating one or more women as bishops. Those who hold to the “theology of taint” have nowhere to hide (they can’t even go to ANiC, because Don Harvey was a co-consecrator of Sue Moxley). There’s a difference between respectfully declining the ministrations of a female bishop… Read more »

Fr John E. Harris-White
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Fr John E. Harris-White

In all this debate which gets sillier by the moment, as folk question who laid hands on who. and who is tainted.We forget that the sacraments administered are not dependent on the status, sanctity of the priest/bishop, but are God’s grace to us through the sacraments. Another point I wish to make is that from the days of the early church women have been not only companions of Our Lord, but played a pivotal role at his Resurrection. Finally from the early days of the church we have had no problem with women Saints, so what is the difficulty with… Read more »

anthony
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anthony

This MCU proposes to accept the RC view that one is obliged to inform one’s conscience before making moral judgments. But instead of informing it with the moral teachings of one’s church, or presumably of Scripture, one should ignore these as belonging to a former world and should inform one’s conscience with the norms of contemporary society. I don’t know much about England, maybe that would work there. It’s a flaming disaster whenever it’s tried here (in the USA). Still, they seem right that when the church, following it’s own polity, makes a moral decision, it should not then make… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“In all this debate which gets sillier by the moment, as folk question who laid hands on who. and who is tainted.We forget that the sacraments administered are not dependent on the status, sanctity of the priest/bishop, but are God’s grace to us through the sacraments.” – Fr. John – Amen and Amen! It is sometimes forgotten that the status of the priest does not impugn the effectiveness of the Eucharist. The Church has always known this. So why the sudden and irrational fear of receiving the Sacraments at the hands of a woman – a fellow Believer in Christ,… Read more »

Pluralist
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Religion has a sociology and a theology, there is science and the arts. The most naturalistic view of ritual, consistent with social anthropology etc. is also religious but it is open to criticism and demands an ethical basis. If anthony can’t see that, well then the supernatural or the magical is the only way for him, and as we know from elsewhere the supernatural and magical can invent any ethical position it likes, including ones that recommend death and life imprisonment for minorities.

anthony
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anthony

Pluralist – I guess you are responding to my statement that the MCU article did not contain much about religion. Maybe I should have said Christianity rather than religion. “Religion has a sociology and a theology”: many religions have an identifiable theology, but a sociology? They have a social role and function, and may be societies in themselves. So they are objects for study by sociology. Otherwise, I can’t find a sociology as part of any religion I am aware of, unless you are referring to something like the Papal social encyclicals. I stand to be corrected on this if… Read more »

Jeremy
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Jeremy

Agree with Sue re MCU’s strength of presentation.

Around the issue of women bishops, the Church of England is coming across as extraordinarily dysfunctional.