Anglican Mainstream responds to today's debate

Anglican Mainstream Press Release

For Immediate Release
10 July 2010

ANGLOCATHOLIC AND EVANGELICAL GENERAL SYNOD MEMBERS SEEK ‘URGENT’ MEETING WITH ARCHBISHOPS FOLLOWING THIS AFTERNOON’S DEBATE ON WOMEN BISHOPS

ANGLO-CATHOLIC and Evangelical members of the Church of England’s General Synod, meeting in York this weekend, have asked for an “urgent” meeting following Synod’s defeat of the Archbishops’ amendment on the Measure which would allow Women to be Bishops in the Church of England.

The Archbishops’ put forward an unprecedented amendment to the Women Bishops Revision Committee’s recommendations , which they felt would help maintain unity within the church and be pastorally sensitive to those who, from theological and conscience issues, cannot accept the Episcopal ministry of women.

Despite a majority of synod voting FOR the Archbishops’’ amendment, it failed on a “procedural device” of requiring a two-thirds majority in all three houses: Bishops, clergy and laity. In the House of Clergy, the vote was split 50/50.

The subsequent crisis in the CofE, and its Synodical and Episcopal leadership has led senior Anglo-Catholic and Evangelical leaders this evening to request and urgent meeting with both Archbishops to discuss the matter before Synod resumes its Women Bishop debates on the issue on Monday morning.

In the meantime, leaders of the two groups within the CofE are asking parishes to pray earnestly this weekend for grace and wisdom for the General Synod as they seek God’s will for His church.

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bobinswpa
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bobinswpa

“In the meantime, leaders of the two groups within the CofE are asking parishes to pray earnestly this weekend for grace and wisdom for the General Synod as they seek God’s will for His church.”

His church, like God is a man. Maybe neutering the language would help change the mindset.

J. Michael Povey
Guest
J. Michael Povey

Is it OK if I pray “unearnestly”? Just asking

Nom de Plume
Guest
Nom de Plume

I wonder how often those who would freeze the Church in the 19th century use the term “unprecedented”. It is becoming so common in their discourse that it begins to grate on my nerves whenever I hear it or read it. Nothing, it seems, is precedented. I call for a moratorium on this word! As to AM calling on their parishes “pray earnestly this weekend for grace and wisdom for the General Synod as they seek God’s will for His church” I wonder if it has occurred to them that GS has already discerned God’s will for His church, at… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“Despite a majority of Synod voting FOR the Archbishops’ amendment, it failed on a ‘procedural device’ of requiring a two-thirds majority in all three houses: bishops, clergy and laity. In the House of Clergy, the vote was split 50/50.” In this case, thank God for ‘procedural devices’. Usually, these have worked in the direction of the ‘status quo’ – something obviously that the two Primates did not suspect. At least, the democratic process of a 3-House Synodical Government worked! “Listen to what the Spirit is saying to the Church.” Veni Creator Spiritua! Ave. It would appear that the venerable Church… Read more »

RobinD
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RobinD

“Despite a majority of synod voting FOR the Archbishops’’ amendment, it failed on a “procedural device” of requiring a two-thirds majority in all three houses: Bishops, clergy and laity. In the House of Clergy, the vote was split 50/50.”

This doesn’t jibe with the report from Peter Owen on amendment 514, which is, I assume, the amendment in question. The report to TA was that while bishops and laity favored it, albeit not necessarily by 2/3s, the clergy rejected it outright at 80 for/90 against/5 abstain.

???

Neil
Guest
Neil

I hope some compromise comes about as a result of this meeting (if it happens). The alternative could be very messy – I imagine with traditionalist clergy not recognising any clergy (male or female) ordained by a woman bishop . Hopefully a modus vivendi will emerge. The alternative, as I have said, is likely to be chaotic. What the General Synod has refused to offer will instead be taken.

chenier1
Guest
chenier1

‘be pastorally sensitive to those who, from theological and conscience issues, cannot accept the Episcopal ministry of women’

I do wonder why no-one in these groups ever seems to mention being pastorally sensitive to women who, from theological and conscience issues, regard the attempt to exclude women from ministry and Episcopal ministry as profoundly contrary to the teachings of Christ…

Jeremy Fletcher
Guest
Jeremy Fletcher

They need to get their facts right. It did not need a two-thirds majority in each house, just a simple one.

And anyone can call for a vote by houses: the ‘procedural device’ is a normal way of doing things, especially in tricky debates.

But I accept that it is unfortunate that a majority of the members voting got a the wrong result for them.

Jeremy Pemberton (the other Jeremy)
Guest
Jeremy Pemberton (the other Jeremy)

I do hope the two Archbishops will not allow themselves to be spun by Anglican Mainstream and traditionalist Anglo-Catholics. As far as I am aware I shall be going to church to worship as usual tomorrow as will every other faithful anglican – what is this crisis that has arrived?

Laurence
Guest
Laurence

‘it failed on a “procedural device”’

And if it had succeeded using the same so-called ‘procedural device’, would Anglican Mainstream have complained?

‘as they seek God’s will for His church’

as long as it coincides with Chris Sugden’s will I suppose?

Nom de Plume
Guest
Nom de Plume

‘Despite a majority of synod voting FOR the Archbishops’’ amendment, it failed on a “procedural device” of requiring a two-thirds majority in all three houses: Bishops, clergy and laity. In the House of Clergy, the vote was split 50/50.’ Is this statement correct? Did it really require a 2/3 majority in all houses, or was it a simple majority? If 2/3, then it would have failed in all three houses, as it garnered only 53% of votes cast, broken down as 60% in the House of Bishops, 55% in laity and 48% in clergy. 53% total, whilst a technical simple… Read more »

Tristan
Guest
Tristan

If you’d been unchurched by five votes you’d be crying too. I don’t know what I am going to do…

Achilles
Guest
Achilles

There’s still some way to go, in terms of procedure, it seems, not to mention trauma if Anglo-Catholics and Evangelicals do go (more, probably, if they decide to stay), but it seems the CofE may now be able to ‘get on with it’, to lift its eyes to heaven rather than have them half-closed in downward contemplation of the collective navel. Interesting for me is that the question of the very authority of the two Archbishops clouds the result, and has actually really obfuscated the profile of the church – were people voting this way or that because they did… Read more »

Richard Ashby
Guest
Richard Ashby

It can hardly have helped those supporting the Archbishops’ proposals that, on the same day they were being debated, Anglo-catholics were discussing the ‘ordinariate’ with a Roman Catholic bishop in Nottingham.

junius
Guest
junius

I would have more faith in the process and in the integrity of the Archbishops if they said that all private meetings about this issue must now cease as far as they are concerned. All future meetings which they attend should be open, with minutes taken and published. There should be notice that the meetings are to take place. Observers should be invited. Any threats, deals, stitch-ups or fudges would be instantly apparent. Anything short of this is politics and manipulation. The time for those has ended. Trust needs to be restored.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

“procedural device” indeed!

2/3 majority for decisions is the ancient way of the Church in Council.

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

Interesting. Politics tends to trump procedure in most cases. Looks like the parties at each end of the continuum are cranking up the crisis. I would expect some sort of attempt at reconsideration. Ratcheting up the fireworks will help those who demand provisions if reconsideration happens. Escalation creates anxiety and pushes people on the fence towards compromise. One can see what a patriarchs do not like empowerment. The amendment failed by a slim majority in the clergy. There are of course women in that house. It passed by a good majority in the Bishops –an order where currently there are… Read more »

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

An additional Anglican Mainstream statement, signed by Sugden and Philip Giddings, was issued after you went to press last night. It reads in part, “the problem the Archbishops were trying to address was the problem of monoepiscopacy, the belief that only one bishop can have jurisdiction in one geographical area.” “Monoepiscopacy” – guess we’ll be hearing that term quite a bit in the future. (Biepiscopacy? Polyepiscopacy?) At least it’s in the open, now. Concede the principal of co-equal parallel jurisdiction (anyone going to tell me that either Giddings or Sugden gives a rodent’s rear about the plight of the Anglo-Catholics?),… Read more »

Mike
Guest
Mike

They didn’t want women to vote, either.
From a much lengthier article in the 1912 Catholic Encyclopedia:
“The opposition expressed by many women to the introduction of woman’s suffrage, as for instance, the New York State Association opposed to Woman “Suffrage”, should be regarded by Catholics as, at least, the voice of common sense.”
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15687b.htm

Doug Spurlin
Guest
Doug Spurlin

Did this need a 2/3 majority? And even if it didn’t, it failed anyway. Does he have different math than the rest of us, claiming that it only failed because of the need for a 2/3 majority?

Paul Davison
Guest

I see the argument here… notwithstanding a requirement that each order had to pass it counted separately, since that didn’t happen, just count the total number of votes.

Deceptively attractive, but isn’t that changing the rules after the game is over? Not unlike saying who gets the most electoral votes for US President or the most seats in the House of Commons isn’t the deciding factor after the election is held.

Pantycelyn
Guest
Pantycelyn

I cans tand all this ‘false self’ hysteria and posing.

Get a grip and grow up !

Rev Sidney Jensen
Guest

As Andrew Brown points out, had the vote gone the other way on a “procedural point”, Anglican Mainstream would have hailed it an overwhelming victory.

Tobias Haller
Guest

There is an old saying, “Be careful what you pray for.” I know that the Anglo-Catholic/Evangelical anti-WO contingent may find it hard to believe, but it may just be God’s will being done in bringing women bishops to reality, and truly earnest prayer may hasten that day.

Pantycelyn
Guest
Pantycelyn

Voting by Houses was brought in to disadvantage those in favour of WO; and make a positive vote for it less possible. Surely ?

chenier1
Guest
chenier1

As I noted in another place, ‘Anglican Mainstream has already issued a press release which makes false statements of fact, presumably in the hope that the media won’t know any better’. Quite why the people who did so apparently believe that Christ’s ministry is best served by telling lies is beyond me, but having devoted much of today to listening to the audio of yesterday’s am and pm sessions of the General Synod, I have realised that this sort of disingenuous approach is more common than one would hope. The bits about ‘it’s not about gender’ were a particularly fruitful… Read more »

Gerry Reilly
Guest
Gerry Reilly

Thank God that the Synod has voted for a genuine theological understanding of the episcopate! The compromises, including the one from the Primates, were theologically incomprehensible. And thank God that Synod did not alow itself to be bullied and blackmailed by people who see every concession as weakness and just gobble up more ground. Those who have been negotiating with Rome should follow their consciences and go. But they should realise that that is the last bit of negotiating they will ever do, for in Rome you do not negotiate, you obey. Let them also understand that their former ministry… Read more »

john
Guest
john

Tristan,

If I were you, I’d hang on in. Although it’s clear there is a large majority in favour of women bishops, it is also clear that there is a majority in favour of ‘special provision’ for people such as yourself, at least to the extent of the Archbishops’ amendment. Just keep your nerve.

Robert Ian Williams
Guest
Robert Ian Williams

Anglican mainstream..really a front organisation for Reform ( look at the trustees).

It should be noted that Reform churches already operate as a Church within a church already…having South African schismatic bishops confirming and ordaining.They even have established church plants across diocesan boundaries…even in a diocese headed by an evangelical.

john
Guest
john

Rev Sidney Jensen, This may be so, but the fact remains that, while there is a large majority in the C of E in favour of women bishops, there also seems to be a majority in favour of ‘special provision’ for opponents – provision somewhat beyond the code of practice of the Revision Committee. That being so, it seems unjust to close down that option on a relative technicality. Even on the essentially ‘keep the status quo’ (flying bishops etc.) motions, about a third voted in support. Again, it seems (a) unjust and (b) profoundly unwise to proceed regardless of… Read more »

JPM
Guest
JPM

Anglican Mainstream is neither.

Rob+
Guest
Rob+

I’m not sure this is really bad news for the traditionalists, except in that it forces them to act on their conscience now which people of the church of whatever stripe really try to avoid. This last minute attempt would merely push the issue down the road. That this will not be optional sooner rather than later is probably helpful for those that want to uphold what they believe to be true about God’s order for the church regarding male only Holy Orders. Though it will be hard and costly for them in the near term. (This is probably a… Read more »

Gerry Reilly
Guest
Gerry Reilly

I am fascinated and amazed. There are far more and stronger scriptural and traditional arguments for Slavery, the Death Penalty, religious wars, corporal punishment of children and adults, than there are against women priests and bishops. How do the “traditionalists” and “Bible-based Christians explain that they can so easily dispense with these arguments, but the ordination of women is a matter for schism? I seriously would like an answer to this, because I fear it is about male power and the brainwashing of women by supposed Biblical superiors>

Rob+
Guest
Rob+

Gerry Reilly, I appreciate your asking. You raise isssues of civil law and church order. These issues overlap when say the church promotes stances on civil issues that traditionalists see as unbiblical or even evil, such as TEC’s suport of aborting unborn children. This is yet another reason why many of us traditionalists felt we had to leave TEC. We cannot in good conscience be a part of an organization that promotes the murder of the unborn. That would be a participation in evil. And whether the readers here agree with it or not, that is how we see it.… Read more »

Rob+
Guest
Rob+

Gerry Reilly, But I think your real emphasis is a genuine question as to why THIS issue is such a big deal? Certainly, women serving in roles traditionally held by men in the church does not equate to such evils in society as slavery and religious wars? Traditionalist theologians like J.I. Packer have said as much, ie. this is not a salvation issue, but a church order issue, and therefore in the “non-essentials” category. [From the maxim, in essentials unity in non-essentials charity.] And yet, I have read many times that the strong all-male ordination traditionalists believe this “smaller confusion”… Read more »

Gerry Reilly
Guest
Gerry Reilly

Thank you ,Rob, for your clarifications, but I can’t help saying that they do not hold water. How Church order can take precedence over cardinal issues in the Scriptures such as justice and mercy beggars the imagination it sounds like the debates the Pharisees had with Jesus.Patriarchialism is still alive and well in the Church! It is very clever to put the Blessed Virgin and other women on pedestals, so that they do not get in the way of the men in running the Church. If the church can arrive at the conclusion that it need not obey the rules… Read more »

Rob+
Guest
Rob+

Gerry, Thank you for the thoughtful interchange. You make a very interesting statement: “How Church order can take precedence over cardinal issues in the Scriptures such as justice and mercy…”. Traditionalists would say it doesn’t take precedence but is a part of justice and mercy. First off, no one has a ‘right’ to holy orders. God calls whom he chooses. IF traditionalists are correct (and they have much theology to back up their beliefs, these are not mere sentiments) then saying no to cultural trends regarding roles of the sexes in the church is not an injustice but submitting to… Read more »

Gerry Reilly
Guest
Gerry Reilly

Rob, thanks for your gentleness.As to patriarchialism, God in Jesus seems to have gently subverted it in the choice of the BVM for the Incarnation, in the choice of the Marys to report the Resurrection to the Apostles, etc. The rules have always been made by men, but God seems to subvert the power trend, and if we accept world history as somehow expressing the will of God, is showing us his plan very gently in the emancipation of women world wide. Humanity was made in the image of God, not just men. How can we criticise the Muslims if… Read more »