Saturday, 31 March 2007

women bishops: Affirming Catholicism proposals

Press release from Affirming Catholicism 30 March 2007
Women bishops: the limits of dissent

Affirming Catholicism has made a formal submission to a Church of England group charged with drawing up the legislation that will enable women to become bishops. In its submission, Affirming Catholicism argues that women bishops should have the same authority and status as their male counter-parts and that pastoral provision can be made for many but not all of the opponents of the move. The legislative drafting group was created by the Church’s governing body, the General Synod, after a debate in July 2006 when the great majority of its members backed a motion in favour of women bishops, although the question of how to deal with opponents was left unresolved.

The Rev’d Jonathan Clark, who chaired the Affirming Catholicism working party, said:

The General Synod has asked the legislative drafting group to produce proposals which will require all members of the Church to accept the fact of women bishops but which affirms that it is possible to dissent from that decision while still remaining loyal Anglicans. We argue that the clear implication of this tough brief is that pastoral arrangements can be put in place for those who regret or disagree with the decision to admit women to the episcopate but not for those who want to insulate themselves from the rest of the Church by living as though women had never been ordained.

The debate about women’s ordination as bishops has been high on the agenda of the General Synod over the last three years, with no set of proposals gaining the full support of its members. Canon Nerissa Jones, MBE, Chair of Trustees of Affirming Catholicism, said:

The Church has been grappling with the ordination of women for a generation now and many many people are keen to see it at last resolved. Although only a minority of parishes and priests oppose the ordination of women as bishops, we are arguing for generous and secure pastoral provision to be made for them, provided that it does not put women who are bishops on a lesser footing than their male colleagues or create a church within a church. We believe our proposals strike the right balance between clarity and charity.

The legislative drafting group is due to meet in the middle of April to consider the submissions it has received from individuals and groups and is expected to make a progress report to Synod when it meets in July, although it is as yet unclear when the final vote on legislation will take place.

To read the full text of the submission, click here (.doc format)

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 31 March 2007 at 11:27am BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England

"pastoral arrangements can be put in place"

Thinks: map to the nearest Specsavers?

"right balance between clarity and charity"

Oh goodness, the sort of cliche to make an admin/secretary laugh in the bath ;)

Posted by: Tim on Saturday, 31 March 2007 at 1:23pm BST

Prayers that the CoE will work this through.

Posted by: Weiwen on Sunday, 1 April 2007 at 12:24am BST

Surely the point must be that the question of the ordination of women (to whatever order of ministry) remains an open and disputed issue - as does the ordination of practising homosexuals. The aim should be to remain within the same church in as great a degree of communion as possible...whatever one's view on these disputed and yet to be resolved matters.

Posted by: Neil on Sunday, 1 April 2007 at 4:50pm BST

after all of these years of women having their ministry recognized by the church, after having a Presiding Bishop who is a woman, I simply cannot believe that this conversation is still going on. This is incredible!

It is very simple. Women are fully capable of serving in the church, in every order. Those who don't agree don't belong. We have tried to give them a special place to keep their bigotry up for too long. All we get in return is more arguments and more fights. Enough. It is amazing that there are Christians somewhere still fighting over this.

Message to the opposition: Not only are women fully capable of serving as bishops, but you should also know that the world is round and the earth rotates around the sun, disease is caused by single cell organisms and not demon possession, all forms of life have evolved from simpler organisms, lightning is caused by electricity and not the anger of the gods, and the universe is MUCH more than 6000 years old. Sorry to break all of this news to you so fast.

I can't even begin to believe that this fight is still going on, and that the CofE hasn't solved this a long, long time ago. Incredible. Just incredible.

And the saddest part of this is the fact that these people believe that they are somehow taking God's side by supporting bigotry and closed doors. I can't even begin to understand how this is still going on.

Posted by: Dennis on Monday, 2 April 2007 at 3:02am BST

If you think things are sad, check this out

Stumbled across today whilst checking out the progress of the tsunami today that caused damage in the Solomon Islands and rippled down the east coast of Australia.

Posted by: Cheryl Clough on Monday, 2 April 2007 at 12:13pm BST

The biggest problem with these proposals is that they simply will not work. The provision offered to opponents insists they accept the orders of female bishops and that is exactly what they cannot do. Provision offered on that basis is not provision at all. The results are terrifying - many will feel unchurched and leave the anglican communion - BUT others will almost certainly stay and take such actions as they believe necessary. There is real danger that the flying bishops and many who look to them will refuse to work this system and leave - but that may well simply prompt those who stay to seek overseas jurisdiction, unlawful consercrations etc. I really don't see how the structures of the CofE will be able to hold. The only way forward is to create an additional province - everything AffCath argues for could then be delivered in Cant & York, opponents would have the provision they need and we can get on with evangelising England rather than spend the next 50yrs in the law courts!

Posted by: Fr David on Wednesday, 4 April 2007 at 10:40am BST
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