Thinking Anglicans

Forward in Faith responds to Monday's debate

A Statement from Forward in Faith Jul 12, 2010

The draft Measure to permit the ordination women as bishops, approved today by the General Synod and sent for discussion and approval by Diocesan Synods, contains nothing which can satisfy the legitimate needs of members of Forward in Faith.

Now, though, is not the time for precipitate action. There will be ample opportunity for priests to take counsel together at the Sacred Synods called by the Catholic Bishops in each province in September, and for Forward in Faith to take stock at the National Assembly in October.

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John R Robison
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Could they make this sound any more pompous and condescending?
That their own leadership helped write this script by going to the GAFCON conference in Jerusalem and then get caught sniffing around +Kaspar in Rome right before the votes two years ago is apparently not going to be a part of their conversations .
At long lat someone has stood up to them and their emotional blackmail and called their bluff. Now all they can do is try and salvage some sort of specious high ground with overblown rhetoric.

andy penney
Guest
andy penney

Simple person trying to follow the biblical examples for women in leadership. has anyone read an short article which uses everyday language and lots of biblical references that flows?

Robert Ian Williams
Guest
Robert Ian Williams

Having forged an ungodly alliance with Reform (that is FIF holds a contradictory Gospel to that of Reform on the very essence of what constitutes Christianity..yet they insist on calling each other Biblical and Orthodox), and now having their bluff called about their threatened exodus…FIF deserve to stew in their own juices.

Is there any integrity in a group who regard women bishops as invalid, but will say we will vote for them if you grant us a church within a church, with our Protestant brethren, who thirty years ago denounced us as heretics!

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

Of course, this presumes these people have “legitimate needs” and not simply the “wants” of people who cannot accept that the Spirit has spoken to the church in ways they cannot accept.

JCF
Guest
JCF

“In Christ, there is no male or female”: is that simple, everyday and flowing enough for you, andy p?

Tristan
Guest
Tristan

John, because they’ve kept to the understanding of apostolic succession that the Church of England held from 500AD – 1990s they’ve been de-churched. By a vote. I’d be sad and angry too.

Rev Sidney Jensen
Guest

How long does it take for a few men to “take counsel”? FiF have been taking stock for years. Presumably they will still be taking stock in 2012 if women are finally consecrated. What are they waiting for? At least Ed Tomlinson has said he’s definitely going. After he’s negotiated taking his bulding. Is that what “taking stock” means?

Neil
Guest
Neil

Oh please John R Robison! I think you’ll find that FiF were not of one mind in approaching Rome in the way it happened. Neither is the rhetoric of this statement ‘condescending’. Some way will have to be found through this mess. Just imagine an ABC parish – priest and people united in their approach to Catholic order and mission – having their bishop of 18 years ‘removed’ from them almost overnight by dint of Synod. It is a recipe for many a conflict I’m afraid, which is why the Archbishops and the majority of Synod voted for a compromise.… Read more »

Benedict
Guest
Benedict

FAO Robison Writing as one of those now contemplating my departure from the Church of England, pompous and overblown statements like those of Robison himself come as sickening bile to the stomach. Does he realise just how much this has affected people? Does he really believe there’s some sort of emotional sideshow going on and that it’s not genuinely felt? God help us, if he’s supposed to be a Christian. Without anything constructive to say, I suggest he keeps his opinions to himself, and that he sticks to supporting the revisionist agenda which has led to such upheaval in the… Read more »

Benedict
Guest
Benedict

FAO Robison Writing as one of those now contemplating my departure from the Church of England, pompous and overblown statements like those of Robison himself come as sickening bile to the stomach. Does he realise just how much this has affected people? Does he really believe there’s some sort of emotional sideshow going on and that it’s not genuinely felt? God help us, if he’s supposed to be a Christian. Without anything constructive to say, I suggest he keeps his opinions to himself, and that he sticks to supporting the revisionist agenda which has led to such upheaval in the… Read more »

Ann
Guest

could the pension and lack of employment be a reason for this “let’s go slow” attitude?

Pluralist
Guest

“the Sacred Synods called by the Catholic Bishops”

To be contrasted to that perhaps tricameral Erastian wotsit that just met where bishops are mere Protestant functionaries?

Pluralist
Guest

This still has to get two thirds in each house if a majority of dioceses approve. The blocking by one house of the Archbishops’ amendment doesn’t auger well for a two thirds majority in each, even assuming relatively successful elections. This is what the opposition will aim for – blocking.

Jeremy Pemberton
Guest
Jeremy Pemberton

Tristan – your fantasy about Anglicans having held to some kind of “manual transfer” Apostolic succession from Augustine to Runcie is just that – a fantasy. Hardly anyone inside the Church of England from Cranmer to Sancroft would have believed it – and it has only been held by some bits sometimes since – and has always been vehenently opposed by the calvinist protestants on the evangelical side. Newman showed that it was possible to interpret the Articles in a catholic direction entirely ignoring the intention of their calvinist authors – but mainstream Anglicanism has not held anything like your… Read more »

magistra
Guest

A question for those who oppose the ordination of women, but have stayed in the Church of England. What efforts have you made in the last 16 years to work together with women priests, even though you don’t think their orders are valid? (After all, you presumably have cordial relations with other denominations who don’t believe any Anglican orders are valid). The women priests I’ve seen have made considerable efforts to co-operate with those who don’t fully accept them. I’m not sure whether FiF etc have done the same. If they have, I’d like to hear more about it.

Ed Tomlinson
Guest

Yes Ann the loss of my pension by vote and the loss of my income does make me go slow. Perhaps you would like to visit my vicarage and take a look at my two small children and explain to them that daddy is no longer wanted and that they are therefore going to lose their bedrooms, home and security.

How cruel and heartless some posters here are. Shameful that people can vote others into being dechurched at a time of economic uncertainty and then mock them for going slowly

Benedict
Guest
Benedict

ANN – “Could the pension and lack of employment be a reason for this “let’s go slow” attitude? Realistically speaking, Ann, as an individual who is preparing to leave, yes, it does take time. Did you really expect us Anglo-Catholics to disappear the day after the vote on Saturday???? I might say that when you have a family to consider, a house and a job to find, which has to happen even if you’re ordained a Roman Catholic priest, that doesn’t occur within minutes. You and your like now have what you want, and at no small cost, both to… Read more »

junius
Guest
junius

As he asks, I’m prepared to visit Ed Tomlinson’s house and tell his children that their father chose to be ordained into a church that ordains women priests, that the same church, as was expected, now intends to ordain women bishops, that there should be no bolt-holes for people who won’t engaged sacramentally with their fellow clergy. I’m prepared to tell them that for seven months, by his own account, he has not believed that he is a priest, that he has trailed his coat in public for all to see on his blog, that he has been content to… Read more »

Abbot
Guest
Abbot

I have no idea how typical my church is. We are an ABC parish with PEV oversight but we have also taken good care over the years to retain close pastoral links with our diocesan bishop. Our congregation is split on the issue of women’s ordination/consecration. Our people have strong views on both sides and occasionally we have strong debate. However, we have so far, with very small exceptions, stayed together. Why ? Because we believe that the imperative to love one another trumps all other cards on the table. I have no idea what will happen now, and things… Read more »

MarkBrunson
Guest

The first Christians – perhaps the only actual ones – were willing to leave behind all, embrace torture and death, and, in the case of later martyrs, sacrificed themselves and their entire families for their convictions. Now, it is true that some of them grumbled about what they’d left behind – like the 12 – or played shamelessly on the emotions of their flocks – like Paul – but they still left everything behind and even laid down their lives. Perhaps the “conviction” of these conservative Christians really isn’t that much of a conviction? It certainly hasn’t the fervor or… Read more »

Jonathan Jennings
Guest
Jonathan Jennings

Pluralist is right; the blocking of the Archbishops’ ammendment has opened up the possiblity of blocking, though I doubt that it will come to that right at the end. The earlier vote did, though, result in a classic cleft stick; the position we now have is that Synod can be represented as moving forward on the basis of a minority view of the detail. Magistra – yes, I have witnessed FiF priests doing everything they can to support and uphold the ministry of women even though they cannot fully receive it. I have seen wonderful graciousness on both sides. And,… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Ed and Benedict
I believe the right decision has been made, but I am also very much aware of the major emotional and practical consequences this has for you. I agree that a bit more compassion and practical help wouldn’t go amiss. I do hope you will all find economic stability and, eventually, feel truly settled in your new spiritual home.

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

Tristan: “John, because they’ve kept to the understanding of apostolic succession that the Church of England held from 500AD – 1990s they’ve been de-churched. By a vote. I’d be sad and angry too.” First of all, just because we’ve understood something for 1400-some years doesn’t mean we’ve understood it correctly. For a lot longer than that, we understood the earth to be the center of the universe. Second, as for voting, they knew going in that voting is how the church determines things–it’s the church’s chosen method of discernment. At least they got to participate in the process; would they… Read more »

junius
Guest
junius

Here’s an anecdote. It’s true, but I won’t give names or places. A few years ago my local Roman Catholic priest left. He was replaced by an ex-anglican, with wife. The ex-anglican had been a prominent campaigner against the ordination of women. It was a nice parish, and we had good ecumenical relations with them. They had an educated and professional congregation. Within months, there were rumblings of discontent within the RC parish. Father seemed to preach about little else than the place of women. Many of his flock were pretty keen on women’s ministry. They weren’t happy. It dragged… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

Ed: “Perhaps you would like to visit my vicarage and take a look at my two small children and explain to them that daddy is no longer wanted and that they are therefore going to lose their bedrooms, home and security.” I’m sorry, Ed, this sounds terrifically like self-pity. “They don’t want me anymore….” Is it perhaps that you cannot bear the idea that your church has moved on beyond the narrow view you hold of ministry, that the Spirit has shown us a new way to look at it. Have you asked yourself, at all, “Why is the church… Read more »

Jeremy Pemberton
Guest
Jeremy Pemberton

Ed – dechurched? Too strong. Nothing Synod did dechurched you. It voted positively to take forward the legislation regarding women and the episcopate to the dioceses, and it wouldn’t pass anything that made a differentiation in status and authority between male and female bishops. There is a clear understanding that a minority of people in the church will find women bishops unacceptable to themselves and a Code of Practice is being devised to make sure that people like you are not driven out. That is what happened. I know you are very upset about it, and I can to some… Read more »

chenier1
Guest
chenier1

Ed Tomlinson I would suggest that you refrain from displaying such an extraordinary degree of self-pity, never an attractive sight, and start thinking. Treasury figures suggest that around between 600,000 and 1,300,000 people will lose their jobs in the next few years, through no fault of their own. They too have small children, yet you are so obsessed with yourself that none of that registers with you; the only thing that matters to you is yourself. That is all very well in the confines of the cloister you are pottering happily along in, but if you hope for an upswelling… Read more »

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

1. “You and your like now have what you want, and at no small cost, both to traditionalists and the Church of England as a whole.” Traditionalists, as the term implies, have had what they wanted for a long time. At great cost to individuals, to churches, and to society. Of course it’s hard for traditionalists to see this, because their affinity for the tradition places them happily at the center of it — until the tradition changes. Then the traditionalists get to feel what it’s like to be nearer the margin. The margin is an uncomfortable place. Some others… Read more »

Laurence
Guest
Laurence

“Perhaps you would like to visit my vicarage and take a look at my two small children and explain to them that daddy is no longer wanted and that they are therefore going to lose their bedrooms, home and security” Ed Tomlinson

Yes, please. I would be delighted to explain to them the reasons why their father has chosen to leave his employment.

Fr Mark
Guest
Fr Mark

Benedict, Ed, Tristan, Neil: we went through all this when women were ordained to the priesthood. Many Anglo-Catholics then felt dechurched by synodical vote, and those with high principles over women’s ordination just moved on and left at that time. Speaking as one who did precisely that, viz. crossed the Tiber, and later came back (like many others) when I came to see the matter differently, I would say just get on with it, go, and stop whining. It’s not a tragedy: the Roman Church is a fine place to be if you never want to have communio in sacris… Read more »

Ann
Guest

I guess I thought it was about principles not money. I am sorry you will lose your house and pension. But as a woman priest – I saw women sacrifice too. Being pushed physically off the altar area or spit upon in the mass – did not help your cause in the US. Women still make a little over half of what men clergy make – affecting our pensions in the long run here. They take jobs no one else wants. My comment does not come from heartlessness – just from wondering about how firm you believe women are not… Read more »

john
Guest
john

Why doesn’t FiF organise a petition in the church at large: something along the lines of:

‘We are loyal Anglicans. We wish to remain so. A majority in Synod supported the Archbishops’ Amendment. We call upon the majority of the Church of England to support that case’?

Nom de Plume
Guest
Nom de Plume

Ed Tomlinson: “Yes Ann the loss of my pension by vote and the loss of my income does make me go slow. Perhaps you would like to visit my vicarage and take a look at my two small children and explain to them that daddy is no longer wanted and that they are therefore going to lose their bedrooms, home and security.” Ed, I don’t fully understand the anguish you feel, but I am trying. And even if I don’t understand it, I acknowledge it. So I say this with the greatest charity: It seems to me that the General… Read more »

Pantycelyn
Guest
Pantycelyn

‘… because they’ve kept to the understanding of apostolic succession that the Church of England held from 500AD – 1990s they’ve been de-churched. By a vote. I’d be sad and angry too.

Posted by: Tristan on Monday, 12 July 2010

Don’t forget please, the tiny matter of the Protestant Reformation, which abandoned the Roman theory and practice – a few hundred years ago now !

Pantycelyn
Guest
Pantycelyn

‘they’ve been de-churched’

Not so. Their protestant, national Church is still there for them, as before.

But oh but, are they here for it ?

The Church is as Catholick as ever it was.

Pantycelyn
Guest
Pantycelyn

‘Just imagine an ABC parish – priest and people united in their approach to Catholic order and mission – ..’

I’m trying hard to imagine it ! Will it help if I try to screw up my eyes ?

Their context for these lovely imaginings, remains the national, protestant church ..

n’est pas ?

Pantycelyn
Guest
Pantycelyn

If they have, I’d like to hear more about it.

Posted by: magistra on Tuesday, 13 July 2010 at 9:36am BST

Me too !

Dennis
Guest
Dennis

No one is throwing any one out. Let’s be honest here. We are talking about adults who have the power to make decisions in their own lives. Anyone who leaves does so on their own. They are not victims, they act on their own and are responsible for the consequences. If you are walking out or staying, fine. But whatever direction you select, know that only you are responsible for the results that follow.

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

One hopes that the vote on Monday is a major step towards the Church of England opening the ordination of bishops up to women in 2012. However, Anglo-Catholics who are opposed to this would be well advised to postpone any decision to leave until after the first women have been consecrated and are up and running for awhile. It will be the actual implementation of women bishops that will truly tell the the tale. Anglo-Catholics may find that they continue to be accommodated quite nicely, that actual existential moments of conscientious angst will be few, that the politics debate and… Read more »

Pantycelyn
Guest
Pantycelyn

I’m sorry, Ed but this is untrue:– ‘…daddy is no longer wanted..’ You are free to stay- the choice is yours. You are welcome to stay is my impression listening to the debates (here). ‘visit my vicarage and take a look at my two small children and explain to them that daddy is no longer wanted and that they are therefore going to lose their bedrooms, home and security. How cruel and heartless some posters here are. Shameful that ‘ I’m sorry Ed, but I find this manipulative and vindictive. You wish to keep women out of ministry and now… Read more »

Chris
Guest
Chris

This is the first time I’ve posted here, and I have a question which I hope will be treated in the spirit it’s asked, because I genuinely want to understand why this decision is causing some posters so much pain. As I understand it, provision will still be made for those who cannot accept women as bishops, but without it being set in law. I don’t understand why expressions such as ‘being dechurched’ and ‘no longer wanted’ are being used. Why do you feel this way when you can still have alternative episcopal pastoral care? I am sorry if this… Read more »

Pantycelyn
Guest
Pantycelyn

Did you really expect us Anglo-Catholics to disappear the day after the vote on Saturday???? (Benedict) ‘Oh but you don’t go !” “I go, I go” (Pirates) You keep threatening to go — but it’s up to you ! Please yourself–literally. But I don’t think you’ll like ‘Rome’ one little bit. I really don’t — and neither do you (it seems). Btw there’s nothing ‘traditionalist’ about ulta-Anglo-Catholics in the protestant, national Church.Is there ? After-all, it’s quite a long time since the reign of Elizabeth 1. Why not settle for an imperfect church set-up and ease up on yourself –… Read more »

Doxy
Guest

“Why can’t you simply be gracious towards your Christian brothers and sisters at what is a very painful, trying and difficult time.” Maybe because your “side” has *never* done the same and we are tired of being bitten and kicked by you and yours? (I’ve always found “turn the other cheek” to be the hardest of Jesus’ commandments to follow. I’ll keep working on it—but I’m not the only one who needs to keep trying. Pot, meet kettle.) Or maybe because we have grown weary of your temper tantrums and threats to leave if you don’t get your way. If… Read more »

Terence Dear
Guest
Terence Dear

Come on, Ed. Your “daddy is no longer wanted” attitude is undignified and untrue. I would venture that most progressive Anglo-Catholics like myself want you to stay and continue your minstry in the CofE. We pray that both you and Benedict will come to the view that, although you hold that the ordained ministry can only be exercised by men, nevertheless the Holy Spirit may just be leading the CofE into a greater understanding of God’s plan for Creation and that in all humility you should be guided by the decisions of your Church in this matter. A dear friend… Read more »

Rosemary Hannah
Guest
Rosemary Hannah

Well, I am not a member of the C of E as I live north of the border. I have no wish to see Ed or his fellows leave. But on the other hand, I have to say that they are not being forced to leave, other than by their consciences. What is more, as one who had to re-start in a very poorly paid job when circumstances landed me paddle-less up the creek, I have also to say that it is surprising the blessings that a low paid and low status job can confer on one. I know most… Read more »

William Moorhead
Guest

Ed, as Eric Mascall wrote Lo These Many Years Ago, “I should have gone last Tuesday week, had not my wife objected.” If you care about your kids, you will do what lots of other clergy of all sorts have done for a wide variety of reasons: Go find a job. Neither Canterbury, nor Rome, nor Jesus himself owes you a living. (Incidentally, in the US Episcopal Church clergy who “abandon the communion” receive no further pension credits, but they do not lose what they already have accrued. If this is not the case in the Church of England, then… Read more »

Tristan
Guest
Tristan

Yes, Jeremy, I believe in Apostolic Succession – in the same manner as the Orthodox and RC (which make up the majority of Christians in history.) Men, in the three fold order, ordaining other men in tactile succession from Augustine onwards.

That’s what I was taught in Sunday school and later at University. And, now I think about it affirmed by York and Canterbury in Saepius Officio 1.10 (1897)

Robert Ian Williams
Guest
Robert Ian Williams

There will be so few Anglican laity who convert, the handful of convert Anglican clergy ( who are ordained as Catholic priests..and this will not be all of them ) will have to minister elsewhere. the excuses that Benedict gives ( above ) sound just like the guests to the wedding feast or the rich young man. I have a friend whose father was a Vicar.His father became convinced of the truths of the Catholic Church, and on the same day left with his family. That very night the Luftwaffe bombed Portsmouth and both the vicarage and church were flattened!… Read more »

JCF
Guest
JCF

“I don’t doubt the hurt and bad blood on both sides but, really, isn’t it a betrayal of Christ to allow such an issue to endanger so much ? – Posted by Abbot”

Is that who women-with-calls are to you, Abbot? “An issue”? Should women who perceive a Call from God to the altar, BURY that Call, just so as not to upset (“endanger”) your safe little status quo?

[I can just envision you, Abbot, being demanded by Joshua to “choose this day who you will serve”: “Ah, but by making us choose, you’re endangering so much!” O_o]

Chris Smith
Guest
Chris Smith

Junius makes a valid set of arguments and it might be helpful for Ed Tomlinson and Benedict to read the post in this thread by “Junius.” I too, am a Vatican II Catholic and I guarantee you that the discussion and eventual implementation of women priests and bishops, right up to and including the future Bishops of Rome, will be forthcoming in this century and most likely within the next two decades. It’s really all about the sound theological arguments FOR admitting women to all levels of ordained ministries within the institutional Catholic Churches. It has to happen and in… Read more »