Thinking Anglicans

Understanding the women bishops debate

Justin Brett a member of General Synod has written a splendid essay explaining what will happen. See A Lesson concerning the Debating of Women Bishops.

“Good morning class. Today’s lesson is all about how to work out what on Earth General Synod is doing in all these debates over the next few days. You are going to need the following set texts – the Report of the Revision Committee, the Draft Measure, and Notice Paper 5. If you have forgotten them, go and download them now. Yes, we’ll wait… OK. Everybody got the right bits of paper? Good. Now, the first thing you need to know is that there are actually only two debates about this happening at Synod. Yes, I know it looks from the Agenda as though there are going to be at least five, but it’s actually one short debate and one very long one, that will take about a day and a half to get through. Let’s deal with the short one first…

Support for a simple measure comes from an unlikely quarter, see Ed Tomlinson’s article at Cif belief This fudge on bishops must fail. An Anglican considering going to Rome says, keep your women bishops, and give us the money and buildings we need.

And Riazat Butt in the Guardian reports that women clergy could be driven out if too many concessions are made. See Female bishops decision in the balance.

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Bill DilworthEd TomlinsonNom de PlumePantycelynChris Smith Recent comment authors
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John
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John

Simon,

You are entitled to your opinions. What you are not entitled to do is to slant headlines to embody those opinions. It’s the old and essential distinction between ‘news’ and ‘opinion’. The fact that it is increasingly ignored is no reason to abandon the distinction – quite the reverse.

It is not at all ‘unlikely’ that Ed Tomlinson should reject anything other than polarised options. This is the single thing in which he is in agreement with his ideological opponents. We should reject such crass simplicities, which will do untold harm to people’s lives, churches, careers, happiness and spiritual well-being.

Cynthjia Gilliatt
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Cynthjia Gilliatt

Thanks very much to Justin Brett for writing this and TA for posting it. This is the clearest explanation of process I’ve seen. Hugely helpful. Now if you’d just work on explaining string theory to the scientifically challenged …!

JCF
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JCF

“see Ed Tomlinson’s article at Cif belief This fudge on bishops must fail. An Anglican considering going to Rome says, keep your women bishops, and give us the money and buildings we need.”

Well of course he does. [And, as we say on my side of the Pond—in those precincts that are still at 100F today }:-0—Fuhgeddaboutit!]

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“Either the Church of england wants to profess the revealed faith or one being revealed through innovation. So set your course that your members might know where they stand.” – Ed Tomlinson, ‘Guardian’ C.i.F. – You have to give it to Fr. Ed. He battles right on to the end of the road – only, in his opinion, the Road of the Church of England ought to be going nowhere, having already terminate its causeway with the Advent of the 39 Articles and the First Church of England Prayer Book. This is precisely why the Church needs to keep moving… Read more »

Chris Smith
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Chris Smith

What bothers me so much is that these amendments were proposed by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York. This is a truly disturbing development and while I totally agree with Fr. Ron Smith’s comments that just on the grounds of their “incongruity” these disingenuous amendments deserve to fail and fail in a big and dramatic way, and I pray that this will happen, but who knows how all of this will unfold? As to Fr. Ed and his journey to Rome, I too, wish him and his fellow pilgrims a peaceful journey and I hope they find what they are… Read more »

Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

I would be interested in knowing more about the shape and format of debate in the CofE on such a controversial matter. Is there a concern that debate will be passionate, heated, divisive? Is there a sense that debate may leave people traumatized afterward? Will there be a mechanism for bishops to be available to provide pastoral care to clergy and lay members of your General Synod during the debate? Will there be “indaba” like groups set up to lead delegates in coming to a common mind, like the one your bishops appear to have achieved? Just asking.

drdanfee
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drdanfee

Going to Rome or elsewhere often looks to be making quite good sense; provided the destination fits one’s strict scruples – since strict scruples are pretty much the most frequently stated lure and reason for going somewhere besides where one finds oneself. To that extent, I very much doubt that anybody in particular wishes anything negative in particular towards Fr. ET and believers like him. Unlike conservative-traditionalist believers with strict scruples who often seem to boast hard and sharp wishes towards, say, TEC? Or Canada? Or ? That said, we stayers/liberals/mixed middles Anglicans cannot avoid predicting that trying to find… Read more »

john
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john

For all those who regard FiF priests and laity as bigots or simply misguided, I commend to you most strongly Father T E Jones’ latest posting:

http://peterite.blogspot.com/

Pluralist
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(to counter) those who regard FiF priests and laity as bigots or simply misguided…
http://peterite.blogspot.com/

But it looks like something from 1950s Ireland, a kind of fantasy religion.

So much in the press is a half truth that still hits the hot button – this latest Jeffrey John matter even made ‘This Week’ with Prof. A. C. Grayling pointing out that really it is Anglican Communion intolerance coming into the Church of England (the intolerance that has bolstered the minority of Conservative Evangelicals for too long).

Chris Smith
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Chris Smith

It appears that the time has come for DEMOCRACY and open election of bishops in The Church of England by the lay people, priests and deacons of each diocese. It appears the time in history has come for this and a kind of Anglican Ecumenical Council. Human sexuality also needs to be a front burner topic at such a Council. The women and glbt members must also have equal access to their issues at such a Council. Isn’t it time for this in The Church of England? Would it not be great if this coincided with a Vatican III? Perhaps… Read more »

Bill Dilworth
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“It appears the time in history has come for… a kind of Anglican Ecumenical Council.”

Good Lord, no. It would be the Lambeth Conference, unfettered by the knowledge that it is not a legislative body.

Pantycelyn
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Pantycelyn

‘a kind of fantasy religion.’

Yes, but surely all religion is of its very nature a fantasy project both individual and orporate. And none the worse for that, along with poetry, opera, nnvels, music and (in some cases) football. Surely it is the quality of the fantasy and its effects on our lives that matters. How much enrichment, insight, tenderness,action, entertainment, togetherness / fellowship it brings or enables.

Pantycelyn
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Pantycelyn

‘For all those who regard FiF priests and laity as bigots or simply misguided, I commend to you most strongly Father T E Jones’ latest posting:

http://peterite.blogspot.com/ ‘ ‘
Posted by: john on Thursday, 8 July 2010 at 7:3

Thanks. It do give a good insight into the richness -especially the pics of children and other locals. I can image how their lives may be touched by the richness of the experiences there.

Bill Dilworth
Guest

“Thanks. It do give a good insight into the richness -especially the pics of children and other locals. I can image how their lives may be touched by the richness of the experiences there.” But I’m not sure how or if it refutes the idea that they might be “simply misguided,” in the words of john, who posted the link. I can (indeed, do) think that they are simply misguided in the matter of women’s ordination (among other things). I suspect that some of them *are* bigots; it would be unusual if FiF were made up of the only humans… Read more »

Nom de Plume
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Nom de Plume

Here’s a way to cut the Gordian knot on women bishops: Forget the Measure and all its proposed amendments. Rather, treat women bishops like the CofE treats Gay Bishops: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Just ordain women as bishops without asking whether they are women. As long as they are not openly female, or not too openly, the CofE can carry on pretending there is no change. Yes, certain Evangelicals will demand that women bishops repent of their femaleness, but Anglo-Catholics can hardly complain, can they? In fact, this would be no different than the way male bishops are treated. Does… Read more »

Ed Tomlinson
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Nom de plume that is very funny!! And Bill is of course spot on. Some in FIF are there for sexist not theological reasons….indeed I would go so far as to suggest that the irony of the current proposals are that the sexist will remain (being happy to put up with a male representative in a church devoid of Catholic reality) but the theologically principled will leave (wanting an authentic Catholic theology and ecclesiology) Ironically the C of E, by constantly acting as if our problem is with women and not eccelisiology, will have made a self fulfilling prophecy whereby… Read more »

Bill Dilworth
Guest

“indeed I would go so far as to suggest that the irony of the current proposals are that the sexist will remain …but the theologically principled will leave “

I see two problems with your suggestion, Father. You seem to take for granted that there are no misogynists in FiF for whom the proposed Synod scheme is unacceptable. You also seem to downplay the attraction of the RCC as a “no woman clergy zone” for misogynists and sexists. I’m afraid that a tendency towards the RCC is not at all a guarantee of purity of intent.