THINKING ANGLICANS

Church Times on the women bishops debate

Today’s Church Times summarises the debate last weekend: Traditionalists face threadbare future as Measure is passed by Ed Beavan.

Scroll down for a very useful sidebar on What happens next.

There is a very full report of the debates in the paper edition, that will be online next Friday. Subscribers to the newspaper can find them via this link.

There is a Leader: Extra time, or game over?

Last week’s newspaper, published just before the debates, had a number of letters on the topic.

Giles Fraser’s column has some bearing on the issue, see It’s still time to stick together.

In addition to the above, unofficial copies of documents published on TA during the debate:

  • The full text of the Measure, as amended, can be found at this page.
  • An annotated copy of the Fifth Notice Paper, incorporating Fifth Notice Paper (Supplementary), showing the fate of all the amendments, can be seen here.

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Pantycelyn
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Pantycelyn

The so-called ‘traditionalists’ do not up-hold traditional C of E faith and practice. They propose RC ideas – heaven knows why, as they have no love of Rome itself–do they ?

Dan
Guest
Dan

Everyone should read the letter from Mavis Jacobs on the CT’s letters column linked above. Utterly shocking. How on earth did the churl she describes ever slip past the selectors? I can’t doubt the soundness of Mrs Jacobs’ conclusion.

Not that I’d have a problem taking communion from a woman, please understand.

John
Guest
John

Unexpectedly good column from Giles Fraser. Perhaps he’s beginning to grow up.

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

Canon Giles Fraser, once again, has his finger on the button of the reason for the collapse of ‘Big Tent’ Anglicanism. Puritanical fundamentalism is making its influence felt – to the point where the ‘Reason’ leg of the traditional 3-legged stool ethos of Anglicanism has been replaced by a ‘sola scriptura’ meanness of intolerance towards the wisdom of an open-ness to revelation as an ongoing reality in the modern world. The fact of gender and sexuality provisionality is something that the world at large is able to adapt to, whereas the Church – as a largely ‘flat-earth’ constituency – is… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
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Robert Ian Williams

What utter tosh, Ron… what they are asserting is the traditional interpretation of Scripture and the understanding of the Church for 2000 years. just because you disagree with them, you name call them. Shame on you.

Rebecca
Guest
Rebecca

I would encourage Giles Fraser to think a bit more deeply about the English and American Civil Wars–the first was religious and political and the second purely political, even if religious ideals were part of it. This is partly why Americans think of religion differently–we have never needed to be catholic in any sense for good or ill, but we have struggled democratically to stay together as a country. The C of E for better or worse is an established church which has a certain plurality for political reasons which gave rise to a profound spiritually inclusive path among the… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
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Pat O'Neill

RIW:

As I’ve said elsewhere, just because something was “understood” for a long time doesn’t mean it was correct. For all but the last 700 or 800 years, mankind understood the earth to be the center of the universe.

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

Maybe one sign of just how far out these No Go Women Zones in church life, along with the sincere and solemnly ‘catholic’ or ‘scriptural’ justifications, go is the excellent definitional flip-flop magic chemistry of conservative-traditionalist presupposition tools – allowing us to categorically yet deftly transform and relabel the callings-talents-gifts of women … into threadbare tatters that will innately impoverish and endanger any believer who doesn’t get to protect spirit and heart and mind and body from those awful tatters. No harm intended or connoted towards the people (women) who actually bear or live out those callings-gifts-talents of course. No,… Read more »

MarkBrunson
Guest

I don’t see that it’s name-calling to simply point out that those who choose not to grow intellectually, morally, or spiritually have chosen not to grow so. It’s, at best, a friendly rebuke.

Benedict
Guest
Benedict

Mark Brunson’s last comment has to be among the most patronising I have heard. He clearly has all the answers, and when we are up against that kind of arrogant response, there is no room at all for compromise. The Archbishops valiantly attempted to come up with a solution that would have been palatable to a majority of the Synod (see Synod voting pattern), but if Mark Brunson represents the mind of some there, particularly in the house of clergy, there is no chance whatsoever of finding the via media that has hitherto been a positive in the history of… Read more »

chenier1
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chenier1

‘the traditional interpretation of Scripture and the understanding of the Church for 2000 years’ I really don’t think so. When the Law Lords, bastions of precedent and tradition, and most certainly not a group noted for their radical ahead-of-the-trend approach, classify the Creationist fundamentalists of the Reform persuasion alongside the ultra-conservative interpretation of Islamic law that prevails in Iran, then there can be no doubt that the claim to be merely acting as tradition dictates is viewed as fictional. The Justices of the Supreme Court, as their Lordships are now called, have an exceedingly long collective memory, as well as… Read more »

Bill Dilworth
Guest

“the Creationist fundamentalists of the Reform persuasion”

Wait – there’s a sizable contingent of Creationists in the CofE?

That really does explain a lot.

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

I wonder if ‘Benedict’ and ‘Robert Ian Williams’ are at all embarrassed by the latest unwelcome pronouncement by the ‘Holy See’ – which likens the Ordination of Women as akin to the sin of paedophilia (about which, at least, Rome does know Something). To equate – on any level – these two activities is to deny the Holy Spirit’s wisdom in calling women into the ministry of the Anglican Church around the world – and constitutes a grave insult to our Church. In its sheer illogicality, this latest outrage from Rome must surely arouse the ire of women within its… Read more »

Benedict
Guest
Benedict

Why should we be embarrassed Father Smith? You’ve fallen into the trap of believing everything you read in the media. I’m afraid I’m a bit more circumspect than that. And it really is a cheap shot, when you comment about the sin of paedophilia in the way that you do. As heinous as paedophilia may be, the Church of England herself has had more than her fair share of scandals in the past; none of us can take the high ground in terms of sin and our common need for redemption. And another point, you Liberals spend a huge amount… Read more »

rick allen
Guest

“the ‘Holy See’ – which likens the Ordination of Women as akin to the sin of paedophilia” Funny how this has so quickly become an unquestioned internet dogma. Sort of like how we all equate murder and making a pirate copy of “Star Wars” because they’re both felonies. I used to read these Anglican sites out of an ecumenical interest. But I think something new has happened in the last decade. For progressives, the Catholic Church is now the Enemy. When I was growing up it was the fundamentalists, the Baptists and their brethren, who were always eager to mock… Read more »

Benedict
Guest
Benedict

FAO Rick Allen Couldn’t have put it better myself Rick, and progressives like Father Smith have been getting away with it for far too long. Their wanton attacks on the Roman Catholic Church stem from nothing more than sheer, irrational bigotry, which is rather ironic in a sense, because it is that sort of accusation they often level at traditionalists in the Church of England. These have been labelled bigots more than once on this site. I have to say it is refreshing to see another individual on Thinking Anglicans who is willing to temper the excesses of some of… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Rick
“Sort of like how we all equate murder and making a pirate copy of “Star Wars” because they’re both felonies.”

But we do compare crimes who attract the same severe judgment, don’t we? And there would be an outrage if making a pirate copy of Star Wars landed you in prison for as long as killing someone rightly does.

I think that’s what many of us are saying here.

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

Rick Allen posted “I think something new has happened in the last decade. For progressives, the Catholic Church is now the Enemy.” Rick don’t confuse current attitudes on the part of progressive Anglicans with old fashioned fundie “sign of the beast” anti-Roman Catholicism. Progressive Anglicans still have a regard, I think, for Catholic life and ethos. The problem is that the current reactionary sexual politics of Pope B-16, coupled with similar pressures from conservative Anglicans within our Communion, has resulted in progressive Anglicans feeling feisty and under siege. As for the equating of pedophilia with the “grave offense” of attempting… Read more »

Bill Dilworth
Guest

“Now it’s the progressives who dream of humiliating the Catholics’ chief pastor.”

Whereas Roman Catholics, of course, always treat the leaders, discipline, and teachings of other religious communities with the utmost respect?

rick allenr
Guest

“But we do compare crimes who attract the same severe judgment, don’t we?” Erika, let me try to address your question in a little more detail. Please keep in mind I am neither a cleric nor an academic. All I know of Catholic canon law is what I have read in an old copy of the 1983 code, plus a little incidental reading here and there. First, canon law is not moral theology. Canon law says nothing about the gravity of a sin. Canon law deals with the internal governance of the Church. Most sins are not mentioned in canon… Read more »

rick allen
Guest

[to Erika, continued] Third, it seems to me rather important, in the context of canon law, to know who is or who is not a priest. It’s not important for non-Catholics, of course. But now that everybody’s a “catholic,” it can get confusing, and every now and then there’s a bulletin announcement or a dispatch from the archdiocesan office stating that the newly formed “Charismatic Cathlic Church” up on fourth street or the “Liberal Catholic Church” in Rio Rancho is not part of the archdiocese or in communion with Rome. We Catholics are crazy enough to believe that clergy can… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
Guest
Robert Ian Williams

Ron you’ve got to remember we don’t see Anglican male priests as being valid either.

Rod Gillis.. Anti-catholicism comes in many forms..but our Lord warned it would.

For instance some of the worst anti-catholics are from the extremer branches of the Eastern orthodox.

Pat, I believe that the earth is the centre of the Universe.

God created the heavens and the earth.

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“You Liberals spend a huge amount of time telling us that the Roman Catholic Church has nothing to do with what the Church of England decides or believes. What now gives you the right to pronounce on the beliefs and tradition of the Roman Catholic Church, with respect to the ordination of women.” – Benedict, on Sunday – Get your facts straight, Benedictus! My ire against your name-sake in the RC Church is merely representative of many Anglicans who have cause to accept and rejoice in the clerical ministry of women in our Provinces. We already know of the differences… Read more »

JCF
Guest
JCF

“For progressives, the Catholic Church is now the Enemy.” *An* enemy, abso-freakin-lutely. It’s funny how an institution spending millions of dollars to ***BAN me from ever marrying*** will prompt that sort of antipathy, Rick. >:-( [Yes, yes: the Mormons are my enemy, too. But I lived in Michigan when the marriage ban was passed there in 2004. The Detroit Archdiocese was *overwhelmingly* the largest single contributor, and there’s comparatively few Mormons there.] God help me, I *try* to “turn the other cheek” to those who are bigoted against me. But if you don’t want me to consider your Church to… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

RIW:

How do you reconcile that belief with the images from the Hubble telescope, with pictures from space travelers? If the earth is the center of the universe, why does it orbit the sun?

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

Re Robert Ian Williams “Rod Gillis.. Anti-catholicism comes in many forms..but our Lord warned it would. Pat, I believe that the earth is the centre of the Universe.”

Actually, Jesus had no idea there would eventually be something which we call the Catholic Church, but thanks for clearing up the matter about the center of the universe.

Benedict
Guest
Benedict

FA O RON SMITH
So has the Church of England a monopoly on the Holy Spirit now? Who’s to say that it isn’t the prompting of the Holy Spirit encouraging Roman Catholics and Orthodox, by far the largest of Christian denominations, to continue resisting the ordination of women. It’s surely arrogance of the greatest order to suggest otherwise. And it’s more than a little illiberal.

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“Ron you’ve got to remember we don’t see Anglican male priests as being valid either.” – Robert Ian Williams – Robert, I do think it’s time you ‘came out’ as an ex Anglican Theolog-in-training in New Zealand who now, yourself, rejoice in lay membership of the Roman Church. This might explain your current attitude towards the validity of priests in the Anglican Church. There are many ways of being anonymous on web-sites, and one of them is even more subtle than hiding your real name – it consists in not revealing your true provenance. However, those of us who have… Read more »

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

Well I would prefer to think that the pope’s reputation is pretty much according to what the pope says he thinks, believes, preaches, and/or practices. In these regards, laterly, B-16 hasn’t been doing nothing but good, good, good, good. He repeats a religious anthropology which deliberately mistakes both gender and sexual orientation – neither domain known empirically to us and among us, in much the same ways that it was thought known to and among most educated ancient near eastern citizens or believers. Just because we cannot read modern data about gender and/or sexual orientation, right plainly from our scriptures,… Read more »

Benedict
Guest
Benedict

Father Smith, it is impossible to have any degree of reasonable discussion with you. You are so dogmatic, and I do wonder whether others have accused you of such before. I am aware of a priest sharing your name who was taken to task by his area Bishop for the publication of an article in his parish magazine in the nineties, again about the ordination of women, and again for the strident way in which it was presented. If that is yourself – and I am not suggesting for one minute it is, as you may not even reside in… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

“So has the Church of England a monopoly on the Holy Spirit now? Who’s to say that it isn’t the prompting of the Holy Spirit encouraging Roman Catholics and Orthodox, by far the largest of Christian denominations, to continue resisting the ordination of women. It’s surely arrogance of the greatest order to suggest otherwise. And it’s more than a little illiberal.” Which is why the proper response to either position is probably “I’m not sure….” We can be reasonably certain that each of us believes to be hearing the true voice of the Spirit, but we cannot be certain that… Read more »

Jerry Hannon
Guest
Jerry Hannon

For Benedict, who seems to imagine that Fr. Ron Smith is “dogmatic” (while Benedict, of course, must not be), you are so wrong about Fr. Smith. Fr. Smith has been a prolific and well-reasoned poster to this site, to the enlightenment of many, and he has done it largely with temperate style, rarely departing from temperance and only after after encountering disingenuous and hurtful comments by some malcontents. You also have little idea about him, as he resides in New Zealand (as any long-time reader of this site would know). Your backhanded slur, of taking his very common name and… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Rick
“We Catholics are crazy enough to believe that clergy can do things that the laity cannot. So it can be important to know who is and who is not a priest.”

Thank you for your explanations.
The real question for me is WHY someone who ordains a woman is suddenly “not a priest”, instead of being a priest who made a mistake, or who was disobedient, and needs to be disciplined.

And even if it seems right to defrock someone who ordains women, it is yet another step to excommunicate them.

I still struggle to see how the punishment can possibly fit the crime.

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“Father Smith, it is impossible to have any degree of reasonable discussion with you. You are so dogmatic” – Benedict, on Monday – Only one response comes to mind – ‘Pot & Kettle’ Thanks. Jerry, for your kind support. Benedict in so like his name-sake in another jursidiction – where dogmatism is an inescapable way of life – that I think he simply does not realise just how lacking in true objectivity he, himself, appears to be on this site. One gets used to selective judgement from fellow bloggers. However, it’s good to know there are still some people who… Read more »

Conchúr
Guest
Conchúr

“The real question for me is WHY someone who ordains a woman is suddenly “not a priest”, instead of being a priest who made a mistake, or who was disobedient, and needs to be disciplined.”

Eh? They do remain a priest. The sacrament of Holy Orders, like baptism, is indelible. To say otherwise is to propound Donatism.

Simulation of a sacrament is blasphemy and in the context of the purported ordination of women also heresy. That is why the penalty is excommunication.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Conchúr
Not being Roman Catholic or even Anglo Catholic I don’t really understand any of this. That’s why I’m asking.

So are you saying you end up having excommunicated Catholic priests who are somehow still priests but no longer members of the Catholic church?

But that means that, to all intent and purposes, they’re not priests any longer, doesn’t it?
Or would they still be able to say Mass, pronounce Absolution etc?

Benedict
Guest
Benedict

Mr Hannon, if you read more carefully what I had to say about Father Smith, you will indeed see that I was not sure of his identity. I admitted as much in my blog. And at no point did I use or imply the word “hate”. I “hate” no one. I may disagree with their views, as much as they might with mine, but your implication that this is hatred is frankly over the top and rather defensive. As to your suggestion that Father Smith is “temperate” in the language he sometimes uses, I would have to say that this… Read more »

MarkBrunson
Guest

Well, Benedict, I would think you like having someone with all the answers – like a pope, for instance, or a magisterium.

You and those like you choose to put your own intellectual and moral development on hold for a feeling of security. That’s fine. It’s a choice and a valid one for you.

What is not valid is complaining when that is recognized by others and refused as workable for them.

If you feel patronized, given your belief system, you can take that as a sign of love.

Jerry Hannon
Guest
Jerry Hannon

Mr. Benedict, you very clearly did not carefully read what I wrote, in that I did not accuse you, personally, of hatred. In fact, only the first, third, and fourth sentences of my post relate directly to you personally. Yo be more precise, within the four categories of WO-opponents which I identified, we have witnessed an increasing number of hateful posts; but even that does not mean that posts from all of those four categories of individuals have expressed those hateful statements. Some have. However, as to your disavowal of the effect of your slur, as unintended because you admitted,… Read more »

Benedict
Guest
Benedict

Mark Brunson I think it’s in your DNA to make patronising statements, judging from your last post. It is certainly not a sign of love, so please don’t offer it in that way. I have not “put my moral and intellectual development on hold”, as you suggest. That is surely patronising in itself, as you are implicitly attempting to put your own position and argument at a higher level. My own approach to this whole question, as I’ve intimated elsewhere, is that I have a certain view. You have yours. I would certainly not wish to undermine you or your… Read more »

MarkBrunson
Guest

I didn’t denigrate your capacity for intellectual reasoning – I said you made a choice that was valid for you. A choice, Benedict. A choice. Your reasoning is flawed, certainly, but that does not mean you’re functionally incapable, just erring. You have – regardless of your protestations – denigrated the spiritual and intellectual capacity of those who oppose your view, then get a bit hysterical when held to account for your view in a public forum. Perhaps you would be more comfortable if you expressed your views privately, among like minds only? Finally, are you saying that love does *not*… Read more »