Thinking Anglicans

Women Bishops

Gloucester Diocesan Synod met yesterday evening and debated the legislation to allow women to be bishops. The synod voted overwhelmingly in favour of the main motion (to approve the legislation).

Main Motion
For
Against
Abstentions
Bishops
2
0
0
Clergy
55
5
0
Laity
44
5
0

A following motion seeking greater provision for the opponents of women bishops was heavily defeated (8 for, at least 93 against).

St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Diocesan synod also debated the legislation earlier this month, with similar results.

Main Motion
For
Against
Abstentions
Bishops
2
0
0
Clergy
41
3
2
Laity
51
2
3
Following Motion
For
Against
Abstentions
Bishops
0
2
0
Clergy
7
36
2
Laity
5
41
9

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Father Ron Smith
Guest

“My heart is inditing of a Good Matter. Alleluia!”

Very sensible not to pander to the ‘special needs’ of those who fear the oversight of godly women.

“The Angel of The Lord brought tidings to Mary!”

Fr Graeme Buttery
Guest
Fr Graeme Buttery

Whatever our view of an issue such as godly women in holy orders, I think it would improve the tenor of debate and indeed the nature of our relationships as followers of Christ o avoid potentially perjorative language such as “pander” and “special needs”. But then again this the blogoshere so…

Perry Butler
Guest
Perry Butler

Two more dioceses where the following motion got little support. I wonder if this trend will continue and whether it will influence the House of Laity where ( I suspect)the legislation is most likely to be defeated. A General Synod H of L significantly out of step with lay opinion in the dioceses ( and Deanery Synods) raises it own problems for the future of synodical government as currently practiced.

john
Guest
john

The point about ‘Thinking Anglicans’, presumably, is that such Anglicans are supposed to think. That means, among many other things, weighing up arguments and counter-arguments and trying to find a balance of the Good. In England, as in the rest of the UK, as in New Zealand and many other places, the C of E (and its equivalents) isn’t doing very well. The C of E is proceeding with women bishops. Excellent. Personally, I wholeheartedly agree. There are those who do not accept this development. Some of them are outright bigots. Forget them. Some of them are not. Of this… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

Are these results expected?

I am surprised by the high numbers in favour and very poor showing of the second motion. Are the great metropolitan diocese going to present a different picture?

Does anyone consider the Ordinariate has had any effect on the way people see things?

Humour a Welsh lad SVP.

john
Guest
john

As a footnote, I note that Fr Graeme Buttery (whose integrity is certainly not mine) is a non-residentiary Canon of Durham Cathedral. There he will celebrate mass at altars where women priests have celebrated mass and he will do it maybe not without a qualm but in good conscience. He will be welcomed by the largely WO-supporting and Aff Cath establishment of that Cathedral. He will presumably also welcome them and feel welcome, not just because of the benign personalities involved but because that church is also his church. That is the Church of England today. I think it is… Read more »

Benedict
Guest
Benedict

Father Smith’s comments are indeed unhelpful and pejorative, as we’ve come to expect from him on this blog, and he makes them after only three or four dioceses have voted. Those who have done so thus far are hardly great bastions of Anglo-Catholicism. The vote in the Diocese of Europe was certainly not that resounding, and we have yet to see the declarations of the remaining 40 or so dioceses in England. Remember, the final vote in Synod will be by houses, and the legislation must secure over two thirds in each. Be careful with your premature and condescending remarks,… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

“You do not, and I fear never will, understand those whose theological viewpoints differ from those you embrace, so entrenched are your own opinions.” – Posted by: Benedict on Wednesday – You’re not quite right there, Benedict. I used to hold the very same views myself. I moved on from that after experiencing the ministry and integrity of some deeply spiritual female colleagues in the Faith. I really do believe that, in the present climate of the Church, God is doing a New Thing. I’m sorry that I have obviously offended those of you who treasure the catholic inheritance of… Read more »

JCF
Guest
JCF

The concern trolling on this thread is becoming tedious. The CofE and its dioceses isn’t having this debate in a vacuum—AS IF the ordination of women to ALL holy orders hasn’t been tried. It has been. It’s been great. It’s almost laughable to call the anti-WO bias an “integrity.” For example: “what the Church has believed for generations.” What, the “generations” since the ordination of (HOLY!) Florence Lee Tim-Oi in 1944? This, and the similar “generations” “2000 years” “from time immemorial” etc (ad nauseum) anti-gay claims, are patently RIDICULOUS. We all KNOW that world culture, for 5000 years at least,… Read more »

MarkBrunson
Guest

” You do not, and I fear never will, understand those whose theological viewpoints differ from those you embrace, so entrenched are your own opinions.” That’s the tragedy of *both* sides, Benedict, and why “staying together for the kids” – even in an idealised ecclesial setting – is a bad idea that brings only damage to all, including the kids. You are hurt by Ron’s words, so you come to hurt him back with your words. Is there any clearer evidence that the two views cannot share one denomination and still do God’s work as envisioned by *either* view? Any… Read more »

Ed Tomlinson
Guest

JCF why do you state with great authority that for 5000 years nobody even considered women in the role of priest when the pagan world was simply awash with priestesses? So actually the one thing we CAN say is that this was a consideration. You might then explain why the early church ex-communicated some groups for ordaining women given that they hadnt even thought of it! And what do you make of Cleopatra? Aristophane’s ‘Women of thebes’ which clearly deals with notions of women’s leadership. See this is NOT an issue of women’s lib but of the role of women.… Read more »

Perry Butler
Guest
Perry Butler

I am not sure any diocese could be called a “bastion of anglo-catholicism”. London diocese has a significant proportion of women clergy now.Blackburn is a conservative diocese but not renown for its anglo-catholicism. Chichester is I suppose a pretty anglo-catholic diocese but with a growing number of women priests.I believe there is a significant body of opinion within the diocese that wishes at least one bishop should be appointed who ordains women. The legislation will be passed in all dioceses I am sure…the issue now is the fate of the following motion…and I am interested ( and a bit surprised… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

Ed Tomlinson. You’ve already left the established Church – for another, less women-friendly environment. One wonders why you are still fighting a battle you’ve already won – for yourself? You are not now in a position to influence the C.of E.’s position on women’s ministry, so why bother?

Benedict
Guest
Benedict

Perry, if I am not mistaken, only Edmundsbury and Ipswich, Birmingham, Canterbury, Gloucester, Chelmsford and (Europe) have voted thus far. Still almost forty to go, and none of the more “middle ground” or catholic dioceses have voted. I’m not saying at all that there will not be a majority of dioceses in favour of the legislation, but it is the voting patterns that matter. Remember that a two thirds benchmark is needed at the ultimate vote in General Synod, not as easily attainable as fifty one per cent.

Fr Mark
Guest
Fr Mark

Ed Tomlinson, are you not happily in Another Place, and therefore leaving us Anglicans to our own internal debates now? I thought the advantage of the existence of the Ordinariate was that you could all go off and be jolly together there without worrying about such things in the C of E any longer…

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

Note this comment by Ed Tomlinson: “See this is NOT an issue of women’s lib but of the role of women. It is ‘same and equal’ versus ‘equal but different’….After 20 years debate perhaps it really is time for those in favor to stop the cheap trick of wrapping this up in the language of feminist liberation and begin to deal with it as adults.” I think I know what Ed intends, but I’m not sure why Ed thinks there is bifurcation between feminism and adult insight. Churches in democratic western countries have all been influenced by both the sexual… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

6 dioceses have voted, leaving 38 out of the 44 total still to do so. It’s right though to note Europe in brackets as formally, due to its constitution, the vote recently taken has to be confirmed at the later meeting of the Bishop’s Council.

Nevertheless, it is true that every vote so far has been in favour and the attempt to get a following motion passed has failed in every case (including Europe).

Richard Ashby
Guest
Richard Ashby

Ed Tomlinson -It is ‘same and equal’ versus ‘equal but different’. And that is more subtle but interesting discussion. Were we created -male and female -as complimentary or interchangeable. I am getting rather fed up with these sorts of distinctions, we have exactly the same in the nature/nurture and practising/celibate debate about GLTB people in the church. In fact these weasel words are used to salve the consciences and provide cover for those who really wish to justify discrimination. And as for ‘the faith once delivered to the saints’ What on earth is that? As if the Church hasn’t been… Read more »

Perry Butler
Guest
Perry Butler

Benedict, all dioceses are pretty mixed these days it seems to me. Which are the “catholic” dioceses? Chichester and Exeter perhaps..London, Im less sure now. Possibly Chester but that is more conservative than anglo-catholic. I would have thought the dioceses that have voted so far..bar Europe are pretty “middle ground”.Leicester / Worcester / Southwark /Rochester /Portsmouth /St Albans / Lincoln /Newcastle /Oxford /B and W etc, I could go on….. are all pretty “liberal” I would think. Yes two thirds is a barrier but I was pondering the implications of the General Synod defeating the legislation ( perhaps by a… Read more »

Ed Tomlinson
Guest

Perhaps it should be made clear on this blog that it is not inclusive and that those not in the CHurch of England have nothing to contribute to debate. I had not grasped that point thinking that this might be an issue for all Christians to consider

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Ed
I didn’t think there was anything for Roman Catholics, thinking or otherwise, to “consider”on this issue?

You are, of course, free to pop up every now and then and lecture us on the Catholic position. But that’s unlikely to cut much ice on a blog where people do, indeed, still think about it.

Fr Mark
Guest
Fr Mark

Ed T: it’s not so much whether you may as why you would still want to argue against the liberal tendencies of Anglicans that interests me. If your experience of the C of E prior to your joining the Ordinariate was a period of great anguish, as you kept saying on your blog, I would imagine you would be feeling glad to be shot of it (and the likes of us) now, and to have moved on to pastures new.

Robert ian williams
Guest
Robert ian williams

Fr Ed you repudiated Anglican orders by being re-confirmed and ordained.

Why use this line of argument..you know we don’t believe Anglican men are priests in apostolic succession either.

Criticising the Church of England for its inherent Protestantism is as cruel as criticising a man born blind for lack of foresight!

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

Ah, what’s this bright flash of women loving wisdom fresh from Mgr Guido Pozzo, Secretary of Ecclesia Dei who says only last week (entirely in the spirit of equal but different) “permitting female altar servers does not apply to the Extraordinary Form”.

So this “significant” ruling means women are even more different if the priest is speaking Latin.

So wise.

Counterlight
Guest

Before we start making sweeping statements about timeless and unchanging traditions, here is a 15th century painting of the Virgin Mary acting as Priest at the Mass.

comment image

Apparently previous generations were not quite as settled on the priestly role of women as we might assume.

david rowett
Guest

“Fr Ed you repudiated Anglican orders by being re-confirmed and ordained”

No he didn’t. He repudiated Anglican orders by being CONFIRMED. No ‘re-‘ about it, RIW. Watch your language or the Temple Police will be on to you for suggesting some validity in Anglican episcopal orders;-)

And am I not right in saying that re-confirmation would be sacrilege? I DO hope you don’t get TOO heavily disciplined for your grave theological error against the teaching of the Magisterium;-))

Father Ron Smith
Guest

Thamk you, Counterlight, for this lovely picture of the theme of ‘Mary as priest’. Obviously a visionary concept, but helpful in the discussion.

Sara MacVane
Guest
Sara MacVane

@ Counterlgiht: and I seem to remember from art history class of long ago that a pope (or some such authority) forbade any more paintings of the BVM dressed in sacramental vestments, presumeably lest those descendents of Adam’s rib should get the idea that women can ……. any church historian who can verify this for me? Thanks.

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

Those who comment on this site on the issue at hand, both Anglican and Roman Catholic alike, may be interested to know that the debate over the ordination of women remains a feisty debate within Roman Catholicism. No last word yet–not even an infallible one some Roman Catholics contend.

http://ncronline.org/blogs/essays-theology/infallibility-womens-ordination-question

Robert ian Williams
Guest
Robert ian Williams

The Blessed Virgin Mary is represented in the ceremonial dress of the Jewish high priest, with the breast plate studded with precious stones representing the 12 tribes. Mary represents the fulfillment of Jewish prophecy.

She gives birth to the new priesthood of Melchisedek.

David Malloch
Guest
David Malloch

Does anyone have the voting figures (by houses) for the vote in Chelmsford?

Perry Butler
Guest
Perry Butler

Will more Diocesan Synods vote before the summer holidays?

Matthew Tomlinson
Guest
Matthew Tomlinson

@ Counterlight. She’s not wearing a maniple, so it is not a mass.

Mark Bennet
Guest
Mark Bennet

Voting, according to my notes made at the Chelmsford Synod was:

Bishops 2 for, 0 against, 0 abstentions
Clergy 44 for, 11 against, 5 abstentions
Laity 44 for, 16 against, 1 abstention

See http://www.womenandthechurch.org/campaign-debatedates&results.htm for a note of dates for Diocesan Synod debates, and results when they are known.

June votes are Sodor & Man (news awaited from 17 June?), Guildford, Salisbury and Southwell & Nottingham.
July votes in Hereford and Bristol.

John
Guest
John

Mark,

Missed your comment on my ‘ideals’. Since, for various reasons, I’m currently feeling sulphurous, it’s nice to have my highly selective ideals characterised as too beautiful for this world. Many in the know would not recognise the description!

Alastair Bone
Guest
Alastair Bone

In Chelmsford, we were clearly pro women bishops though the majorities were smaller than in the other dioceses. Our figures: Main Motion For Against Abstentions Bishops 2 – 0 – 0 Clergy 44 – 11 – 5 Laity 44 – 16 – 1 Following Motion For Against Abstentions Bishops 0 – 2 – 0 Clergy 20 – 42 – 0 Laity 24 – 37 – 2

Father Ron Smith
Guest

The BVM is certainly wearing a stole, though (see it peeping under the vestment). In modern times, the lack of a maniple does not make the Mass invalid – even to a retired Anglo-Catholic like Ed.

Father David
Guest
Father David

Our Lady seems to be wearing her girdle on the outside of her chasuble. I also note that an angel is carrying a papal triple tiara – I wonder whose head it is intended to go on?

Doug
Guest
Doug

At first glance, I thought the above artwork of the BVM might be that of Junia.