Thinking Anglicans

women bishops: press release from GS Catholic Group

PRESS RELEASE from The Catholic Group in General Synod

Women Bishops’ Legislation Not Fit for Purpose

The legislation is unfair, unstable and incoherent; it does not command consensus; there is a better way forward.

UNFAIR

1. There is no legally-binding provision for minorities; instead a Code of Practice is proposed, to which bishops would “have regard”. The only form of appeal against a bishop’s decision would be judicial review, which few parishes could afford.

2. Bishops provided for traditionalists would not have proper oversight as bishops; they would just be allowed to conduct services. There would be no guaranteed future supply of bishops for traditionalists.

3. There is no legal prohibition on discrimination against traditionalist candidates for ordination.

4. Traditionalists would become 2nd. class Anglicans served by 2nd. class bishops.

UNSTABLE

5. The Code of Practice cannot be decided until the legislation has become law. Supporters of the legislation have already stated that they will oppose any further provision being made for traditionalists in the Code of Practice. There would be more years of in-fighting before the Code was agreed.

6. The Code could be changed at any time, meaning that any provision it made for traditionalists could be campaigned against and whittled away over time.

7. The application of the Code would vary from one diocese to another – a postcode lottery.

INCOHERENT

8. The draft legislation would oblige male bishops to delegate certain functions to male bishops – a pointless exercise! It needs to be more specific and to provide for religious conviction.

9. The House of Bishops amendment stating that the Code of Practice shall give guidance as to the selection of delegated male bishops is not enough: (a) the details should be in the legislation itself; (b) the word ‘respects’ has no legal definition – meaning that the amendment is not prescriptive of the contents of the Code; the Code is therefore an unstable instrument.

LACK OF CONSENSUS

10. Major changes in Church order require a clear consensus; this is why legislation like this needs a two-thirds majority in each of the three Houses of the General Synod, in order to pass. At no stage in the process so far has this draft legislation achieved the required majorities in the Synod, meaning that there is no clear consensus. No real attempt has been made to reach consensus outside the formal synodical process.

11. Supporters of the legislation realise that there is not enough consensus, and are resorting to unprincipled attempts to pressurise those opposed to the legislation to abstain, rather than to vote against, as their consciences would dictate.

A BETTER WAY

12. A better way would be to follow the example of the Church in Wales, whose Governing Body rejected unsatisfactory legislation for women bishops, and is now looking at a new process with two linked pieces of legislation, one to provide for women to be made bishops, and the other to provide for traditionalists; the legislation for women bishops cannot come into force until the legislation providing for traditionalists has been passed. Such an approach would lead to the prayerful and reconciling dialogue the Church of England now needs in order to move forward.

ENDS

29th September 2012

23
Leave a Reply

avatar
3000
23 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
16 Comment authors
AncientBritonDavid WalkerJCFHannahSimon Sarmiento Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify of
Lionel Deimel
Guest

I don’t understand the “Lack of Consensus” argument. If the votes are there to pass the legislation, there is a consensus. If not, there isn’t, and none of the other arguments matter.

Deacon Charlie Perrin
Guest
Deacon Charlie Perrin

I love people who discriminate against others and then fear that they will be discriminated against themselves.

It’s time we stopped allowing people to use theology to mask their prejudices.

Time passes. Life moves on. The liberation has come. Get over it!

JCF
Guest
JCF

Translation: The Church in Wales has adopted a policy which, as long as it is place, ensures women will never be ordained as bishops.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

One might have expected this demeaning view of what might be achieved by allowing the Ordination of women as Bishops in the Church of England to be expressed by this group – which surely does NOT represent the majority of ‘catholics’ within the membership of the general Synod. To arrogate the title ‘Catholic group in synod’ implies that its members are the only catholics in the General Synod of the Church of England. they may be more vociferous, but are they more ‘catholic’? It is surely theologically ‘un-catholic’ to want everyone to believe that God is treating his human creation… Read more »

David Bieler
Guest
David Bieler

I have gotten to a point where I have to ask a question that strikes me as the elephant sitting in the room and waiting to be noticed. It seems that some of the traditionalists want to be overseen by a bishop who regards sees with women diocesans as vacant. How would the presence of even a single bishop who regards women as invalidly ordained affect the collegiality and functioning of the House of Bishops? How will a “traditionalist” bishop be able to operate collegially with bishops he doesn’t recognize? If one carries some of their requests to the extreme,… Read more »

Chuchu Nwagu
Guest
Chuchu Nwagu

There would be no guaranteed future supply of bishops for traditionalists and there is no legal prohibition on discrimination against traditionalist candidates for ordination I believe these two points below are both important, how can this measure ensure “Respect” is given to candidates for ordination who in conscience cannot accept the ordination of women. The answer is that it can’t unless this is legally supported within the legislation and necessary procedures should be put into place in the event that DDO’s, Bishops and BAP panel are found to have discriminated against a candidate because of their theological conviction. Again the… Read more »

David Walker
Guest
David Walker

In response to Chuchu I would want to say that it is entirely possible to “understand the basis of (y)our convictions” and hence to treat you with respect without personally sharing them. It is an important aspect of the legislation that it does not allow anyone to specify the particular theological convictions of the bishop exercising oversight of them. The Code will make it clear that any bishop so appointed by the diocesan will be someone whose orders and sacraments are not subject to doubt on this score, but nobody has ever had the right to “pick a bishop”, that… Read more »

Chuchu Nwagu
Guest
Chuchu Nwagu

Fr Ron Smith – Can you please define UN-catholic. The word catholic when taken from Latin (Catholicus)from the Greek adjective “Katholikos” means Universal and Katholou means “according to”, “whole”. In English is means “all embracing” So if Forward in Faith and Reform are campaigning to keep the church’s teachings “Universal” and “according to the full doctrine of the early church” surely that is doing the Catholic thing. So as a church if we believe Pope Benedict XVI to be Primus Inter Pares surely we should follow the teachings he has set for the Universal Church. The legal definition of un-catholic… Read more »

Anne
Guest
Anne

“In the times when Jesus was around women had certain barriers but if Jesus wanted to still have apostles who were women in his infinite mercy it would have happened.” And if Jesus had wanted to have apostles who were not Jewish, in his infinite mercy, it would also have happened too, presumably. However, the twelve were all Jewish. What is significant, Chuchu, is that if you read the New Testament you find there are a great number of women acting as apostles, carrying the message of faith out into the world. Romans 16 contains ample evidence of this. In… Read more »

Alastair Newman
Guest

“So as a church if we believe Pope Benedict XVI to be Primus Inter Pares surely we should follow the teachings he has set for the Universal Church.”

If you believe Benedict XVI to be primus inter pares why on earth do you not join his church?

Charles Read
Guest
Charles Read

“So as a church if we believe Pope Benedict XVI to be Primus Inter Pares surely we should follow the teachings he has set for the Universal Church.”

That’s just it – we don’t. Anglicanism began because we rejected papal authority.

Randal Oulton
Guest
Randal Oulton

Suddenly they’re worried about “legally-binding provision for minorities” and “legal prohibition on discrimination against … candidates for ordination”? Such worries didn’t seem to come through in their statement of support for the Covenant: http://www.catholicgroup.org/about-the-anglican-covenant.html , where they seemed okay with a “here’s your hat, what’s your hurry” approach to provinces that wouldn’t do as they were told: “It will be possible for present members of the Anglican Communion not to join the Covenant which will take them out from a full part in the decision making processes of the communion, but they would not cease to be part of the… Read more »

Chuchu Nwagu
Guest
Chuchu Nwagu

Alistair and Charles – I personally don’t claim these to be my understand, I have great respect for the Pope as Head of the universal church. Many clergy and laity claim that the Church of England is the Catholic Church in England, so with that they recognize the Pope’s ministry but not his authority.

The Anglican church recognizes +Rowan Cantuar as Primus Inter Pares for the Anglican Communion and have claimed that the Holy Father (Pope Benedict XVI) is the Primus Inter Pares for the Universal Church

david rowett
Guest

Hmm ‘Primus inter pares’ isn’t QUITE the same as accepting the Magisterium, is it? (‘Pares’ is a significant word!) Flawed logic there, Chuchu?

JCF
Guest
JCF

“So as a church if we believe Pope Benedict XVI to be Primus Inter Pares surely we should follow the teachings he has set for the Universal Church.”

Even IF this were true for the Anglican Communion (and there is NO Anglican consensus it is), why in the world would “follow his teachings” be the consequence of “Inter Pares”?! O_o

Chuchu Nwagu
Guest
Chuchu Nwagu

Because the leader enforces the teachings of the church (Magisterium) – I will also feel extremely so +Rowan Cantuar because for so many years he spoke but was never listened to or given the respect he deserves as Leader of the CofE and Anglican Communion. The only time people decide to listen to him is when he’s saying to vote for the women bishops measure. In response to JCF – there is NO Anglican Consensus that Pope Benedict XVI is Primus Inter Pares just like there is NO Anglican Consensus that this measure is suitable for those opposed, so why… Read more »

david rowett
Guest

…and of course, not just on the ordination of women. Ineffabilis Deus, Humanae Vitae, Munificentissimus Deus, Pastor Aeternus. How many takers? Oh, and Apostolicae Curae, of course….

Chris H.
Guest
Chris H.

@David Walker, How then are bishops in the CoE chosen if the diocese has no say? In TEC the diocese picks and then the others approve or deny the choice. Even then it can go wrong. My bishop was chosen as a “via media” middle of the road type to bring everyone together after a scandal, but once in the post he announced he was not hiring from conservative seminaries and none of the priests he’s allowed in are very conservative. One church here left TEC because the local son and favorite went to the wrong seminary and couldn’t get… Read more »

Hannah
Guest
Hannah

Chris H,

Quite apart from how bishops are chosen in the CofE, it is not as simple as bishops simply ‘hiring’ clergy to suit their colours (though clearly that does, at times, happen). Parish clergy are appointed by a panel that includes the bishop or his representative, any patrons, usually the area dean, the team rector if it is a team vicar post, and parish representatives.

JCF
Guest
JCF

“In response to JCF – there is NO Anglican Consensus that Pope Benedict XVI is Primus Inter Pares just like there is NO Anglican Consensus that this measure is suitable for those opposed, so why should we do it if it’s not the will of the whole church.” Apples & Oranges, Chuchu. Your talking differences of scale, of polity. We’re talking about the CofE, which has a clear polity (and democratic majority, not consensus, rules in the General Synod). You may not agree w/ what the democratic majority rules, but there is no doubt about the process of governance which… Read more »

David Walker
Guest
David Walker

May I add to Hannah’s helpful comment. In most parishes in my patch the bishop is not the patron. The patron has sole right to present candidates to be vicar or rector and the representatives elected by the parish(es) have sole right to decide whether to accept a priest so nominated. The bishop then has the right to refuse to accept the nomination, but on very limited grounds (which may be appealed to the archbishop of the province). If the patron fails to nominate an acceptable candidate after 9 months his or her rights default to the archbishop of the… Read more »

AncientBriton
Guest

A BETTER WAY (Para 12) is misleading. The Church in Wales vote was lost because provision for traditionalists was allowed to lapse on the retirement of the Provincial Assistant Bishop (PAB). The Archbishop determined that he and the other bishops would provide sacramental and pastoral oversight despite holding beliefs contrary to those they supposedly care for. The new proposal is a ruse to establish the principle of women bishops while pretending to make provision for those unable in conscience to accept the measure. The Archbishop has made it clear that no new PAB will be appointed. Such duplicity is no… Read more »