Thinking Anglicans

WATCH response to Report of the Women Bishops Revision Committee

WATCH (Women and the Church) has issued this initial response to the proposals of the Report on Women Bishops published today.

WATCH encouraged by draft legislation on Women Bishops

WATCH is very encouraged by the Report of the Women Bishops Revision Committee which was published today, Saturday 8th May (see http://www.cofe.anglican.org/news/pr4210.html). It proposes that women should be consecrated as bishops on the same basis as men. WATCH has argued for this for the last fifteen years, as there are sound theological reasons for it as well as scriptural warrant: the first chapter of Genesis says we are all made in the image of God, both male and female, and St Paul says that in Christ there is no male or female.

WATCH will be studying the details of the Report carefully over the coming days and will give a fuller response in due course. Our initial reaction is that we hope that the draft legislation will be approved by General Synod substantially as it stands in July and then be sent out to the 44 dioceses of the Church of England for them to debate and approve; which is the next stage in the legislative process.

A major concern of the Revision Committee has been how to draft legislation that does not create second-class bishops and yet enables those opposed to women bishops to remain in the Church. We are pleased that the Revision Committee has found a way forward that acknowledges their position, because it has never been the aim of WATCH to exclude those with a differing conscience. However, it is now right for the Church of England as a whole to accept women and men as equal before God in all parts of its ministry.

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Perry ButlerRev L RobertsChris SmithFr JohnRevd Rob Desics Recent comment authors
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Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“However, it is now right for the Church of England as a whole to accept women and men as equal before God in all parts of its ministry – WATCH – This is perhaps the crucial part of WATCH’s response to the Revision Committee’s statement. Whatever happens in General Synod, this must be the factor that governs the whole enterprise. While one can commend the desire to accommodate those who have problems with the ministry of women, any attempt to provide certain ‘special arrangements’ which would in any way compromise the authority of the Local Ordinary – be they male… Read more »

Chris Smith
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Chris Smith

I find Fr. Ron Smith’s comments to be right on target. I am curious. Has there been any discussion of these “Anglo Catholic Parishes” who are so against women priests and bishops, trying to take Church property and assets with them, as has been attempted in other countries? The more I read the comments of the Anglo Catholic bishops, the more I see the spoiled child not getting his way type of attitude. It’s amazing to me that they try to argue that the Church has no power to ordain women. There is very sound theology behind the ordination of… Read more »

Fr John
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Fr John

God Bless the Affirming Catholics./

As one Bishop once commented to me FiF? Forward in Faith, but backward in spirit.

Fr John (Scotland)

Revd Rob Desics
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Revd Rob Desics

I must say, I am saddened by some of the comments I have read concerning the Revision Committee’s report. I am a loyal Anglican opposed to the move to consecrate women to the episcopate, and I know many other faithful ministers, also opposed, who have served their church well over many years. We hold to the faith as the Church of England has received it, and we have preached that faith. I am not one who would ‘go quietly to Rome.’ As an evangelical I do not want to go to Rome! I am praying for an outcome in this… Read more »

Chris Smith
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Chris Smith

Rev. Rob: The Church constantly continues to “receive” the Holy Spirit. When you say : “We hold the faith as The Church of England has received it”, it makes it sound like the Holy Spirit is no longer at work. The faith continues to be received as long as there is a world to receive it. You do not have to go to Rome. This is a decision that only you can make. Perhaps a protestant evangelical community may be a good fit for you. If the outcome to the upcoming debate is to be fair and broad, then maybe… Read more »

Fr John
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Fr John

Chris thank you for your thoughts and words to the Rev Rob. The hurt you refer to by many women who have been denied ministry is well documented by them, and is heart rendering to read. How can so called ‘Christians’ be so rude, and dismissive of the our sisters in Christ. They need to remember it was a woman who brought the news of the Risen Christ to the male disciples. Our thoughts and prayers are with our Roman Catholic bretheren as they seek to move forward in the Spirit to become inclusive as we were crea ted by… Read more »

Chris Smith
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Chris Smith

Yes, Father John, The Presiding Bishop of the American Episcopal Church is a remarkable woman and just about the best example of a leader one could find anywhere. As a Vatican II Catholic I know many similar Catholic women who would make excellent candidates for Bishop of Rome. I know a woman will lead us someday but the men in Rome who are desperately trying to stop any discussion of women as priests and bishops will stop at nothing to derail this process. It’s not going to work. There are actually a small percentage of bishops who agree that women… Read more »

Rev L Roberts
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Rev L Roberts

How sad it would be if those who have served their church faithfully over the years are treated so shamefully and made to feel like outcasts. Surely, the Church of England would not be so unthinking nor so unfeeling! Surely justice will prevail!

Posted by: Revd Rob Desics on Wednesday, 12 May 2010 at 5:14pm BST

And what of women ministers and women members of the C of E ? Do you include them in the wide reaqch of your concern and empathy ?

Rev L Roberts
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Rev L Roberts

One way forward wopuld be for those opposed to women as bishops to accept it with good grace and maturity for the commonweal.

Maybe saying, “Well, we’ve had it our own way for about 2,000 years – so why not give the other point of view a chance ?”

Now, there’s a Thought ….

Over to you

Perry Butler
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Perry Butler

There are loyal catholic anglicans who desire and pray for the restoration of communion between the C of E and the Roman Catholic Church and there is a certain type of papalist “Anglican” who uses the Roman rite and has as little to do with the C of E as possible. Inevitably their situation is that of a cuckoo in the nest. Now they have a way out with the Ordinariate. Surely, logically, they should take it. I cant really see why they ever got ordained in the C of E in the first place, not least as they can’t… Read more »