Thinking Anglicans

Women Bishops: news and comment

Sir Tony Baldry, the Second Church Estates Commissioner answered questions on women bishops and the constitution of General Synod in the House of Commons today. The full text of the questions and answers is here.

Claire Maxim has written about Righteous Anger.

One article we missed earlier is Jane Kramer in the New Yorker writing about The Fear of Women as Bishops

Chris Sugden has written this View from the Church of England (to American Anglican Council).

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Father David
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Father David

Tony Baldry M.P. reminds me of nothing more than the Big Bad Wolf in the story of the Three Little Pigs. “I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your House down”. He does a lot of huffing anf puffing but Parliament is going to do absolutely nothing to intervene in the Omnishambles of the General Synod’s own making.

badman
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badman

You’ve misread the debate, Father David. It was senior Conservative Anne McIntosh MP, not Tony Baldry, who said that, if Synod doesn’t legislate for women bishops before the next elections in 2015, then Parliament will, in the same timeframe. There will be cross party consensus on this and the Bishops have already been warned that their usual supporters in the Lords are not going to wait more than a couple of years. Oh, and about the Big Bad Wolf. After his huffing and his puffing he did actually blow down the straw house and the wooden house. The blocking minority… Read more »

Father David
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Father David

“Not by the hair of my chinny, chin, chin”. If you read on to the end of the story “badman” you will recall that the Big Bad Wolf came to a sticky end. Indeed, the two houses made of straw and wood fell down but the house made of brick stood firm. “Well the wolf huffed and puffed but could not blow down that brick house.” Isn’t there a similar parable to be found in the gospels about houses built on sand and rock? Some of us prefer to have our faith built upon the solid foundations of Scripture and… Read more »

Craig Nelson
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Craig Nelson

I tend to agree with badman. If General Synod is unable to proceed I think the Parliament has the remit to proceed with the support of bishops and majorities in the Synod as well as at diocesan level.

Original Observer
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Original Observer

And I suppose because a backbench MP says parliament will act then it must be taken as read that parliament will act. Personally, I very much doubt it.

Jeremy
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Jeremy

Thanks, badman. In return let me reinforce your point about Miss Anne McIntosh. For more than 15 years she has been representing those hotbeds of radicalism the Vale of York (from 1997 to 2010) and Thirsk and Malton (thereafter). Thirsk, I might add, has been sending Conservatives to Westminster in an unbroken line since 1885. Thirsk’s current MP asked Tony Baldry this question: “Miss McIntosh: “May I congratulate my hon. Friend on the work he is doing? I hope that the message will go out from the House today to the Synod that we are waiting for its members to… Read more »

Father David
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Father David

A further parallel can be drawn with the tale of “The Three Little Pigs” in that there were three houses – straw, wood and brick. Lo and behold our beloved General Synod also comprises three Houses – Bishops, Clergy and Laity corresponding respectively with the three little pigs houses of straw, wood and brick. Only the third house stood firm built as it is upon “Solid joys and lasting treasure”

“On the Rock of ages founded,
What can shake thy sure repose?
With salvation’s walls surrounded,
Thou may’st smile at all thy foes.”

Rosie Bates
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Rosie Bates

Fr. David, You are getting into very dangerous territory in your analogy. I seem to recall a worrying Gospel account of what Jesus is supposed to have done with pigs in order to effect healing. They perished for the sake of wholesomeness.

‘What can shake thy sure repose’?

Being dead to truth and alive to lies and deceit within and without can and does cause dis-ease and wakefulness in both the sinner and the sinned against. Be aware!

primroseleague
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primroseleague

For some reason my post on an earlier thread didn’t go up – but I’ve been having internet problems so it’s probably a problem at my end, rather than here. Jeremy, you asked if it could be come an issue at the next parliamentary elections. My answer, for what it was worth, was no, absolutely not, never in a month of Sundays. I’ve canvassed, door knocked, got the vote out, etc, for a long time in the past; and I think we’re making the classic mistake here of superimposing our own pet projects onto the national consciousness. There was a… Read more »

Father David
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Father David

“Labour will delight in raising this issue at the hustings”
I hardly think that this “issue” will feature in the next Socialist manifesto. “VOTE LABOUR FOR WOMEN BISHOPS” – now there’s a vote winner if ever I saw one. DOH!

Simon Sarmiento
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These Parliamentary Questions and Answers are sooo much better than the ones that happen at General Synod, why is that?

Charles Read
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Charles Read

Simon: because we can’t ask questions about PEVs at Synod!

ian
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ian

Regardless of one’s views on Women Bishops, and mine don’t count, I have long since left the Cof E, it seems to me that the idea of parliament intervening to tell the church what to do is the real worry. I distinctly remember the presenter of a TV programme saying recently “This is a secular society, the church should do as it is told” Now the C of E doesn’t want that does it?

Father David
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Father David

Interesting use of the word “supposed” in Rosie Bates comment. Personally I wouldn’t merely suppose but would willingly affirm with unhesitating conviction that the Gadarene swine tumbled into the Syrian Sea. Fortunately the little pig who dwelt in the house made of brick lived “Happily ever after” and so my repose remains unshaken.

Jeremy
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Jeremy

Father David, women bishops is definitely an “issue.” The Prime Minister had to answer questions on it. Tony Baldry has had to do so twice. If this issue is not solved by 2015, that will mean that the CofE will have tried and failed again. The morning-after headlines, and the ensuing political firestorm, will be even greater. “Vote Labour for women’s equality.” Does that sound a bit more like a Labour manifesto? “Vote Labour to end discrimination.” This issue fits comfortably into Labour’s equalities agenda. The Tories say they won’t tell the CofE what do do, but they also insist… Read more »

primroseleague
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primroseleague

As an addendum to my earlier post, where I picked the Countryside Alliance out of the air as an organisation of parity with the CofE (although clearly the CA isn’t established!), I’ve been thinking about it and actually the comparison might well be apposite in terms of the folk memory of Parliament with regards to “quick” lawmaking. It took 750 hours of Parliamentary time to ban foxhunting, causing a procedural snarl-up which was only broken through use of the Parliament Act, at a time when most of the Commons was in full agreement that it should be banned. Interestingly, thanks… Read more »

Randal Oulton
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Randal Oulton

@ David “Some of us prefer to have our faith built upon the solid foundations of Scripture and Tradition which have stood the test of time and don’t come tumbling down.”

Oh, but it did and has time and again, growth and evolution has happened. Minor events for instance like the Reformation, etc. You may have missed the memos.

Cynthia
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Cynthia

Fa David wrote: Isn’t there a similar parable to be found in the gospels about houses built on sand and rock? Some of us prefer to have our faith built upon the solid foundations of Scripture and Tradition which have stood the test of time and don’t come tumbling down. My favorite bits of scripture include Mary Magdalene as the first witness to the Resurrection, all the bits where Jesus breaks taboos and hangs out with women (teaching, healing, talking), and I especially like the bits where Jesus lambasts the established church for excluding and demeaning people. I also like… Read more »

primroseleague
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primroseleague

Jeremy: “The Tories say they won’t tell the CofE what do do,” Indeed. “but they also insist on a solution by 2015.” No they don’t – some individuals might, but where has HMG given a view? “Why is that, I wonder? Perhaps they know quite a lot more than any of us about the politics of this issue.” True, although I’d query “any” – certainly I know far more about secular party politics, through involvement, than I do about ecclesiastical politics. But given that they’re not “insisting” on anything by 2015 I think we can take it that they have… Read more »

JCF
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JCF

“Maybe the real question, in politics as in religion, should be: Why is the right so much better at stealth than the rest of us?”

If I might attempt an answer to your question, Canon Maltby: “Once Saved, Always Saved.” If the Evangelical soteriological understanding is that the Ends are guaranteed, there’s less need to trouble your conscience re the Means?

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

I trust that primroseleague will have taken note of today’s debate in the Commons. Diana Johnson (Kingston upon Hull North)(Lab) said, “I hope that the House will support the one-clause Bill that I intend to bring forward in the spring to introduce women bishops.” Frank Field (Birkenhead) (Lab) announced that he has introduced another bill that will have its second reading on January 18–this one to enable “senior women deans” to take bishop vacancies in the House of Lords. This prompted Tony Baldry to say, in his summing up, “The right hon. Member for Birkenhead (Mr Field) is a very… Read more »