Thinking Anglicans

women bishops: lobbying against the Measure continues

updated again Thursday morning

The Chairs of Reform and the Catholic Group in General Synod have jointly published a printed booklet which has been sent to all synod members. It is available online as a PDF: Women Bishops Legislation Not Fit for Purpose.

Update and here is part 2: Yes 2 Women Bishops Part 2: The Right Measure at the Right Time

Church Society has published a video urging a vote against the Measure. See the associated press release here.

New articles continue to be posted at the website Replace the Measure.

Further material in the Church Times is mentioned in this news article: Synod women-bishops vote appears too close to call by Madeleine Davies.

Andrew Brown asked at Cif belief Female bishops vote: heading for a full dress fiasco?

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Father Ron Smith
Guest

Andrew Brown’s article does seem to have put his finger on the real stumbling block against the possibility of approval of the general Synod for the amended Draft measure on women Bishops. Ultra-montane Anglo-Catholics and conservative Evangelicals have formed an unlikely alliance in their bid to avoid the authority of a Woman Bishop. They both want legal exemption from the tainting of either a Woman Bishop, or a Male Bishop who has had anything to do with Women’s Ordination. That much is now abundantly clear. We in other Provinces who already enjoy the ministry of Women Clergy and Bishops in… Read more »

Jean Mayland
Guest
Jean Mayland

Keep calm and carry on!

Anthony Archer
Guest
Anthony Archer

Interesting that the intensity of the lobbying against is now far in excess of the lobbying for. The Church Society seem to be on another planet. ‘Maintaining the unity in the bond of peace’ is crucial Pauline teaching, but not when it is ‘unity’ on the terms that you crave. By what process do they deem the Measure ‘bad law’? To suggest that it leaves the way we are going to live together unaddressed flies in the face of Herculean efforts to provide the kind of protections and ‘honourable place’ that Reform, Church Society et al seek and deserve. They… Read more »

Father David
Guest
Father David

I think that Hercules laboured a little more strenuously than Mr. Archer is suggesting. I hardly regard it as “Herculean” to water down Amendment 5(1)(c) thus offering far less protection for those opposed to the un-Scriptural innovation before the General Synod on the 20th of this month than that which was present in the original unamended amendment. Respect is all well and good and I seek always in Christian courtesy and charity to offer that to those with whom I disagree come what may. But as those who are currently strongly lobbying against the Measure see all too clearly –… Read more »

Al Marsh
Guest
Al Marsh

Curiously, the House of Bishops back in 1992 issued a document entitled “Bonds of Peace”. A pity they did not keep their promises or the situation we are now in might never have arisen – it is impossible to take seriously any such assurances a second time.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Actually, some in other Provinces who already enjoy the ministry of women are hoping that the Church of England will _not_ create a second-class group of bishops, and will _not_ promise to “respect” discriminatory theology.

Synod should reject this measure. The C of E will then come under enormous scrutiny, and potentially ridicule, from society and from government. Such scrutiny will be healthy and cleansing. And the Church will get it right the next time.

Graeme Buttery
Guest
Graeme Buttery

I am humbled by those good folk who possess the power to see into the future with certainty. From where I type, there is a difference between “you’ll get nothing better than this” and ” I hope that if it comes back again you get a lot worse”. With a new Archbishop, who knows what might happen?

Graeme Buttery

Anthony Archer
Guest
Anthony Archer

Fascinating piece from the Bishop of Chester in the Church Times, who is in favour of women bishops, says that he could not support the Measure. He challenges the claim that rejecting it would be “disastrous”: “this is a poor argument, if the underlying proposal lacks wisdom.” He cites three concerns: the apparent assumption that admitting women to the episcopate is “inevitable”; the destruction of the “sacramental unity of the episcopate”; and the impact on ecumenical relations. The Church should, he suggests, wait until “80 per cent or more” are in favour of the change, “and then proceed without the… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

“The Church should, he suggests, wait until “80 per cent or more” are in favour of the change, “and then proceed without the qualifications that are currently enshrined in the Measure and its prospective Code”.”

The problem, as I see it from this side of the pond, is that as long as the CoE continues to accommodate those who oppose women’s ordination with “flying bishops” and the like, it is unlikely you’ll ever get to that 80 percent approval. You have created a self-perpetuating minority of clerics and laity who will oppose this measure forever.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

It doesn’t take a crystal ball. It just takes an understanding of the politics and the demographics.

“With a new Archbishop, who knows what might happen?”

Answer: Not much. Recent events have established that the Archbishop of Canterbury has little power to persuade the Church of England to do anything it does not want to do.

And surely Bishop Welby is already acutely aware of the heavy parliamentary pressure to allow women bishops.

Women bishops will be ordained soon. The only issue is whether, after their ordination, the women bishops will be second-class bishops.

Original Observer
Guest
Original Observer

++Rowan may well have presided over an unruly church, but I would not expect that sane Anglicans would want to make the future ++Justin’s life hell right from the word go. If the Measure were lost then he may take the view that repeatedly bringing it back until it gains assent would not be a fruitful course because it would be utterly divisive and would make the CofE look ridiculous. Destination: long grass. While Parliament would certainly support women bishops if they were proposed, and may even question any “Code of Practice”, I doubt MPs would care very much at… Read more »

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

“I would not expect that sane Anglicans would want to make the future ++Justin’s life hell right from the word go.”

In other words, because there’s a new Archbishop of Canterbury, Synod should throw women bishops under the bus?

“I doubt MPs would care very much at all if the Measure were lost.”

Wrong again.

Robert ian Williams
Guest
Robert ian Williams

What sickened me was the Church Society video, pleading for inclusion. But they will be giving no inclusion to the women if the vote is lost.

Anthony Archer
Guest
Anthony Archer

Just to be clear what will happen if the Measure is rejected: it then cannot be considered again on the First Consideration Stage in the same form until a new Synod comes into being (in 2015) unless the Presidents, the Prolocutors and the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the House of Laity give permission (which is highly unlikely to be forthcoming). If the Measure is rejected on 20 November it will, in the first instance, be for the House of Bishops and the Archbishops’ Council to consider how best to test the mind of the General Synod on what should happen… Read more »

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

“So, what we will see is a highly contested 2015 election with huge pressure on candidates standing for re-election who voted against the Measure and any new candidates needing to be absolutley clear about where they stand.”

In other words: transparency, accountability, and democracy around a major issue.

And the problem with this would be…?

Original Observer
Guest
Original Observer

A few MPs may care in the sense that they would sound off. The State has the theoretical right to interfere in the affairs of the established church but there is no way that it would actually do so IMO.

John
Guest
John

Father David and Original Observer, If it had been up to the likes of myself, you (lot) would have been given more. But it wasn’t. Believe me, this is as good as it gets for you. If I were you (but I’m not), I would regard this as tenable. I don’t personally like WATCH, but their recent statement was sensible – and it’s interesting that even people like Jean Mayland (whom I mention with respect) sign up to it. This dispute is continuously debilitating. Under the present proposal, there is some equality of pain, as WATCH note. The practice could… Read more »

Father David
Guest
Father David

“This dispute is continuously debilitating.” Alas, John, not half as debilitating as it is going to be whether the Measure passes or fails. Either way, unfortunately, the debilitation will probably increase whatever is decided on November 20th

Anthony Archer
Guest
Anthony Archer

“So, what we will see is a highly contested 2015 election with huge pressure on candidates standing for re-election who voted against the Measure and any new candidates needing to be absolutley clear about where they stand.”

No problem at all Jeremy, but I am struggling to get it into the heads of the traditionalists that the current measure is the only game in town for them.

Al Marsh
Guest
Al Marsh

Anthony, since the current measure offers traditionalists nothing more than oblivion, you can expect them to decline such a “generous” proposal.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

@ Anthony Archer: Understood. If that is your theme, then the below might be your most powerful argument. It bears repeating.

“In addition, those who are seeking the abolition of the Act of Synod (requiring only a simple majority) will have their day immediately (probably in 2013).”

John
Guest
John

‘I am struggling to get it into the heads of the traditionalists that the current measure is the only game in town for them.’

I am too – and I presume for the same motive: a belief in C of E pluralism (as far as possible). Ironies abound, but the ‘Better Together’ campaign/movement seems to indicate some acknowledgement of this from the traditionalist side.

Al Marsh
Guest
Al Marsh

Jeremy, I confidently predict that whatever happens to the Measure on 20 November, the Act of Synod will be repealed in 2013. WATCH will tolerate nothing less.

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts
Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Original Observer, I am not aware that questions get asked of the Prime Minister on subjects that MPs do not care very much about.

Indeed, the questioner (from the Labour side), the Prime Minister, and many other Members (who chimed in) all seemed to want women bishops soon.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

And today there was an Urgent Question, and 34 minutes of debate engaged in by more than a dozen Members.