Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Women Bishops - press reports

Updated Wednesday morning

Martin Beckford in the Telegraph Bishops put forward as solution to Church of England row over women clergy

Ruth Gledhill in The Times Historic Church of England deal paves way for first women bishops
and Women reach for bishops’ chairs in Church of England as last barriers fall

Riazat Butt in The Guardian Church tries to quell dissent over female bishops with new role

Robert Verkaik in The Independent Opt-out for parishioners opposed to women bishops

WATCH (Women and the Church) has issued a press release today commenting on the draft.

WATCH is pleased that provision in the draft legislation endorses the authority of diocesan bishops, and that they retain the authority to delegate certain functions to another bishop if requested to do so. This means that episcopal authority resides in and is retained by the diocesan bishop and is not transferred automatically to another bishop.

The full press release is below the fold.

Wednesday updates

George Pitcher at the Telegraph has Women bishops demonstrate the Anglican tradition of compromise.

Andrew Brown at Comment is free has Will complementary bishops fly?

Women in the Episcopate

WATCH Statement on the Further Report of the Legislative Drafting Group (GS 1707)

In 2005 General Synod passed a motion asking that the legal obstacles to having women as bishops be removed, and this report contains draft legislation making it possible for that to happen at last.

WATCH is pleased that provision in the draft legislation endorses the authority of diocesan bishops, and that they retain the authority to delegate certain functions to another bishop if requested to do so. This means that episcopal authority resides in and is retained by the diocesan bishop and is not transferred automatically to another bishop. WATCH is opposed, however, to the provision of male-only suffragan sees from which ‘complementary’ bishops may be appointed.

The report acknowledges that some of its arrangements would restrict the rights of bishops who are women, and cites the Church of England’s continuing exemption from the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 and the principle in English law that where there are conflicting rights, the “exercise of one right may sometimes need to be restricted in order to protect the exercise of another right”. (GS1707 page 3, paragraph 16)

WATCH is dismayed that the rights of bishops who are women should be proscribed and that there is not equality of opportunity for women at this level in the Church. WATCH believes that the 20 years’ experience of women as bishops elsewhere in the Anglican Communion shows that mutually acceptable arrangements work well on an informal basis. Chair of WATCH, Christina Rees said today, “This report needs to be seen in the context of a General Synod which has for the past few years stated its desire to open the episcopate to women, and in the wider context of a Church which wonders why this is taking so long. WATCH will be making submissions to the Revision Committee about the contents of the Code of Practice, some of which we find unacceptable, but for now, we take heart that at last we have the draft measure which makes it possible for women to be bishops.”

CONTACTS:

Christina Rees
(Chair)
01763–848-822

Revd Charles Read
(Vice-Chair)
07910-128-265

Revd Sarah Lamming
(Vice-Chair)
07790-024-566

Posted by Peter Owen on Tuesday, 30 December 2008 at 12:30am GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England
Comments

"The Bishop of Fulham, the Rt.Rev.John Broadhurst - who branded Synod 'sinful' for going against the Bible by allowing women into the episcopate - said complementary bishops would not appease Anglo-Catholics. They are holding out for a completely new province whose all male clergy would be able to minister to parishes across the country. Bishop Broadhurst said. "We've always said that, without jurisdiction, it simply won't do for us. A Code of Practice is a fudge and it can't provide what we want". - Martin Beckford -
This seems to be another instance of the tail wanting to wag the dog, and if Bp. Broadhurst were allowed to get away with his suggestion of 'a completely new province' to enable a special 'catholic jurisdiction' that might well be the end of the Church of England as we know it.

Once 'special arrangements' are put in place for an elite province, there is no knowing what could come out of it. The present arrangement, must now be declared to have been a failure to observe the catholic niceties of the traditional jurisdiction of the Ordinary. Even to go ahead with proposals to create 'special male bishoprics' to deal with dissident parishes who will not accept the oversight of a female bishop would seem to be just one more act of appeasement, and not the considered action of a consolidated episcopacy.

One does wonder at the necessity of a measure of *appeasement* when it come to a culture of dissidence from majority rule in General Synod.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Tuesday, 30 December 2008 at 4:20am GMT

Members of WATCH are clearly wearing rose tinted spectacles where they state their belief that "20 years experience of women as bishops elsewhere in the Anglican Communion shows that mutually acceptable arrangements work well on an informal basis". Please get real WATCH. One need look no further than the current shenanigans in the Episcopal Church of America to see just how bankrupt such a statement is. All trust has now evaporated. Promises made to traditionalists have been abandoned. That is not a belief. It is a fact proved by a trail of broken assurances since 1992!

Posted by: Bromenblue on Tuesday, 30 December 2008 at 11:39am GMT

"Promises made to traditionalists have been abandoned. That is not a belief. It is a fact proved by a trail of broken assurances since 1992!"

I've reached the conclusion that any promises made in 1992 were provisional. However the Trads dress it, the promises were for the time being, not eternity.

Of course, this doesn't apply to TEC, as they got on and did it well before the CofE. And yes, the informal arrangements there have worked to the extent that no attempt to split TEC has had any success solely on the issue of women being ordained. Perhaps one of our American correspondents might be able to clarify what process was put in place for accommodating objectors to WO?

Posted by: kieran crichton on Tuesday, 30 December 2008 at 1:39pm GMT

"a trail of broken assurances since 1992!"

Specifics? Cases where a parish that opposed OOW was forced to accept a woman priest, for example? Or is it just a situation where a parish is forced to accept the ministrations of a bishop that supports women priests? If so, explain why a parish should expect that it has the right to go against what the diocese has discerned, one assumes prayerfully, to be God's will. This is the thing. How can people claim catholic tradition on the one hand, but behave like congregationalists when the local ecclesia does something they disagree with. At what point does individualism give way before Catholic tradition?

Posted by: Ford Elms on Tuesday, 30 December 2008 at 3:04pm GMT

Hooray! What a terrific report: clear, concise, deals with the issues and keeps faith with the General Synod. I hope this goes through the process pretty much as is, that we see women as bishops in the Church of England by 2012, and that we see an end to the Act of Synod and the institution of a much more secure long-term approach to dissent and difference.

The best line of the report is the one which refers to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York as 'he or she'.

Posted by: MrsBarlow on Tuesday, 30 December 2008 at 3:36pm GMT

Since, in the USA, priests are called to and hired by parishes, not assigned by the diocese or the national church, there seems to be little need of special processes to accommodate objectors to women's ordination. No parish need call a woman if it chooses not to.

And, even with the coming of women bishops, no diocese need elect a woman as bishop if it chooses not to. And no parish need hire a priest ordained by a woman if it chooses not to.

Yes, there have been parishes within dioceses who have objected to being visited by their woman bishop (duly elected), but they are few and far between.

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Tuesday, 30 December 2008 at 4:00pm GMT

Ford Elms, in your own way, you adapt the understanding of ecclesia to suit your argument. "Local ecclesia" is not a term we can apply in respect of the Church Catholic. You misunderstand Anglican Catholic ecclesiology and theology. That's how the General Synod itself has got us into this mess. A failure to listen or understand.

Posted by: Bromenblue on Tuesday, 30 December 2008 at 4:36pm GMT

And of course the "trads" will be claiming that they will be defecting to Rome. Let the Church of England call their bluff. Since the ending of the provincial bishop ( a Rowanese invention ) Church in Wales not one trad has given up his stipend or home!

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Tuesday, 30 December 2008 at 6:04pm GMT

"How can people claim catholic tradition on the one hand, but behave like congregationalists when the local ecclesia does something they disagree with."
It seems to me that Anglo-Catholics (and I come from that tradition) have behaved like congregationalists throughout their history, employing everything from tabernacles to eucharistic vestments to confessionals when those things were definitely NOT representative of the local ecclesia.
OFW+

Posted by: Old Father William on Tuesday, 30 December 2008 at 6:14pm GMT

Robert Williams- how can you be so cruel and insensitive? How can you joke about my losing my home and stipend at a time of economic uncertainty, when I have a two year old daughter and a wife to provide for.

You may call it 'calling my bluff' I find it the most painful process of my entire life- in which I feel forced out of a church I actually have NO desire to leave. However if forced to choose between my conviction and integrity as an Orthdox Catholic who cannot accept that Anglicanism has the authority to make such innovations, or leaving - I Will leave.

At this moment I assume it will be on the day when I am personally forced to swear allegiance to a female Diocesan - or accept anyone acting under her authority in matters sacramental.

However there is also a human side of me that passionately cares for my family and parish and does not want to leave either in angst.

So please consider those who really ARE suffering in all this mess. And stop sounding so flippant and triumphalist. It is not becoming of a Christian in my humble opinion.

Posted by: Ed Tomlinson on Tuesday, 30 December 2008 at 9:42pm GMT

In response to Robert Ian Williams, defections to Rome in Wales are not happening, because the Church in Wales has, at least for the time being, very sensibly opted against the introduction of women bishops. Once more it seems Anglican Catholic ecclesiology and theology are misunderstood, misrepresented and misinterpreted by those who are determined that we leave the Church. That seems to be the whole tenor of Mr Williams' approach. Simply get rid of us, because we won't fall in line. George Orwell would have been proud of you Mr Williams, but you're not going to force us out as easily as that! I am a cradle Anglican of almost fifty years. And what about yourself, Mr Williams?

Posted by: Bromenblue on Tuesday, 30 December 2008 at 10:06pm GMT

Bromenblue, you are mistaken. Robert Ian Williams (hi, Robert!) is a former evangelical Anglican who swam the Tiber himself. For some reason, he seems to be against traditionalist Anglo-Catholics making the same journey, although he seldom misses a chance to let everyone know that Anglo-Catholics aren't really Catholics, our priests aren't really priests, etc. But he's not trying to force you out of anything.

Posted by: BillyD on Wednesday, 31 December 2008 at 12:05am GMT

"the day when I am personally forced to swear allegiance to a female Diocesan"

If you can't be in control, then, you'll take your marbles (maniple, whatever) and go elsewhere? :-0

If you're trying to rouse our sympathy, Ed, may I state that (for my part), you're just not succeeding?

[Your "pain", against that of all those hundreds and thousands of Imago-Dei-made-female, perceiving a call to holy orders, to whom YOU want to slam the door on? Please.]

Posted by: JCF on Wednesday, 31 December 2008 at 1:20am GMT

This comment stuck out: "The dilemma over women bishops is exponentially greater than that over women priests and has threatened to be more schismatic even than the debates over gays."

IMHO much of the elevated nastiness in TEC has been in reaction to ++KJS's election as PB. I don't remember seeing anything as horrid about ++Griswold on conservative blogs as I see about "Mrs. Schori."
Who could forget the cell phone conversation after ++KJS's election when either Duncan or Iker were reportedly over heard say, "the B**ch got it." Wouldn't say that about man, would we?

As for the Anglo-Catholics here in the U.S. I haven't seen it as an issue. My understanding is that a male bishop has been sent out to do visitations in parishes which think women are only good enough to be housewives (sarcasm).
Some of these people sound like the Taliban.

Posted by: BobinSWPA on Wednesday, 31 December 2008 at 3:01am GMT

In respomse to Bromonen, the Welsh opponents of women's ordination ( women or bishops) argued that they could not stay in a Church without a special bishop. Episcopal provision has been taken away from them...and yet they remain, like the good old Vicar of Bray. Since 1997 not one Welsh Anglican cleric has left.

I do not discuss my spiritual values with a person who is too ashamed to give their real name.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Wednesday, 31 December 2008 at 5:43am GMT

Please don't forget there are various theologies and ecclesiologies in the C of E ! You can't accept expect everyone else to accept yours, just because you call it 'Catholic', or yours just because you call it 'Biblical', or yours just because you call it 'Liberal' !

We'll all have to try to grow up, and go on rubbing along together. We can't expect women and those who value their ministry to go on 'footing the bill', to make such compromises work for us.

Some of the posts offered here are a bit disingenuous are they not ? With lashings of invincible ignorance.

Those who want nothing to do with women ministers or men ordained by women cannot expect to have this wide berth implemented by the rest of the Church. I think you / they are trying it on ! Come off it.( / get over it). What provisions did you make for women over the last century or so ? Deafening silence....

You expect more than you ever gave.

Posted by: Rev Laurence Roberts on Wednesday, 31 December 2008 at 7:14am GMT

"And of course the "trads" will be claiming that they will be defecting to Rome"- Robert Williams -

And what, exactly, Robert, were the grounds on which you, yourself, 'defected to Rome'? It would be advisable for you, as a Roman Catholic on this site to consider the consequences of playing one 'side' off against the other - especially as you no longer consider yourself a 'Thinking Anglican'.

Ed., I'm sorry that you feel your 'orthodoxy' as an Anglican catholic is being compromised by the admission of women to the episcopate. The Engish tradition does have mitred abbesses in its long history of Church. And there was Abbess Hilda, who presided over a 'double monastery'. of both women and men. Women also bear the divine Image.

Bromenblue, if you read back over Robert's other contributions on this site, you will see that he is focussed on stirring controversy - rather than contributing to ongoing useful debate. Perhaps he will tire of it, sooner rather than later. But then, I suppose that's the attraction of the blog.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Wednesday, 31 December 2008 at 8:07am GMT

Now I understand, Mr Williams, why you are not willing to discuss your spiritual values. It has nothing to do with me or my name, but with your own Christian history. Thank you, Billy D, for enlightening us. And as to your accusation, Mr Williams, I, like yourself, have nothing to gain from discussing my personal details on the internet. However, please don't use me or non disclosure of my name as an excuse to hide behind. I sincerely hope you have read Ed Tomlinson's entry and will not be so quick in the future to make sweeping assessments about those who feel the way we do. Anyway, I do wonder why, as a Roman Catholic, you feel it necessary to make so many negative comments about a Church you are no longer a member of.

Posted by: Bromenblue on Wednesday, 31 December 2008 at 9:09am GMT

This comment stuck out: "The dilemma over women bishops is exponentially greater than that over women priests and has threatened to be more schismatic even than the debates over gays."

I really don't see why it should - theologically the sensible thing would have been to consecrate a woman bishop first (back in 1994) and thence all the women presbyters. But there is no real difference in kind between women priests and women bishops - only difference of degree.

I can't wait for them to come along - seems to me the die was cast when we accepted women priests. As for those who oppose the innovation, it seems to me that it is like everything else in any institution. If you don't like it you either accomodate to it - or you leave.

Posted by: Jeremy Pemberton on Wednesday, 31 December 2008 at 9:37am GMT

Ed Tomlinson invites us: 'So please consider those who really ARE suffering in all this mess.'

In my opinion, those who have suffered most and longest are the women who have been denied the opportunity to respnd to the call of the Holy Spirit to priesthood and to the episcopate. And the church has suffered from the lack of the ministry of these women. Women continue to suffer in those parishes which deny them nourishment in their vocations and the hospitality of the altar. Ed Tomlinson says that his parish 'has one of the best dressing up boxes in the church of England'. Nuff said.

Posted by: toby forward on Wednesday, 31 December 2008 at 10:15am GMT

Thank you, Father Smith, for your contribution concerning Mr Williams. For his benefit, I say here that if he should have anything further to contribute, I, for one, will not be making a response to it again. You are right when you say, Father Smith, that we ought to be about reasoned debate and discussion. We can disagree in a civil manner without hurling abuse at one another. In many ways, however, some of the disagreements over the ordination of women constitute a circle that cannot be squared. Many of us are indeed serious about whether we can now stay in the Church of England. Whatever our views, the loss of many faithful Anglo-Catholic priests and laity to other denominations is surely not something to gloat over or herald as a triumph. It is a great sadness.

Posted by: Bromenblue on Wednesday, 31 December 2008 at 11:38am GMT

Thanks for the Heads up on RIW. I had noticed some irregularity but didn't know of the situation.
Thank You.

Don't Evangelicals in England favor Women Bishops?
It doesn't seem to be a problem with Duncan and crew. In fact I think his group is the only group of common cause partners who is in favor of WO period.

Posted by: BobinSWPA on Wednesday, 31 December 2008 at 1:48pm GMT

"Women continue to suffer in those parishes which deny them nourishment in their vocations and the hospitality of the altar."

Which Anglican parishes don't allow women to receive the sacrament?

""Local ecclesia" is not a term we can apply in respect of the Church Catholic."

Is it not the case that the diocese is considered the Church manifest locally? And appeals to Orthodoxy (the Real Orthodox, not the Anglican Pseudorthodox) and Rome are a bit anemic, don't you think? First of all, the Catholic faith has no King of the Bishops, which means the Pope is in the rather paradoxical position of not actually being Catholic, if you follow my argument. Second, we can claim all we like that the Anglican Church doesn't have the authority to change doctrine or praxis, since it is only part of the "Church Catholic", but no other "branch" thinks we ARE catholic, even many of our own bristle at the idea. By that argument, we didn't have the authority to reform the liturgy, allow priests to marry, or do much of what we DID do at the Reformation. I know there remain a group of Anglocatholics who turn a blind eye to these things and pray for "Benedict our Pope", as though just by saying things they can make them true, but the fact is, if we have no authority to act now in this, we never had any authority to act as we have for the past 500 years, and if you truly believe that, then it would seem to me that the honourable thing to do would be to cross the Tiber and have a done of it.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Wednesday, 31 December 2008 at 3:05pm GMT

I think we are in great danger of missing the point of the report:
The point is to find a solution for the many faithful Anglicans who simply cannot accept this move; the report does not debate the issue of women’s ordination itself.
As a traditional Catholic Anglican, who is exploring his vocation to the sacred Priesthood, I accept that the church of England has legally ordained many women to the priesthood, however all we are asking is that the solution found is something that we can actually live with, it seems ludicrous to spend all this time and energy producing a option that the very people who need it cannot accept, instead of giving us what we all know we need. The choice is stark, either we have a code that no-one uses (we would have wasted much time, effort and money) or we have new dioceses where many Catholics can and will stay, where as one church we continue to proclaim the love of God to all. Lets take the risk and be generous.

Posted by: mark wharton on Wednesday, 31 December 2008 at 3:20pm GMT

"But there is no real difference in kind between women priests and women bishops - only difference of degree."

It seems to me that if you legislate to ordain women as priests, but not, at the same time, bishops, you create a second class status for such ordained women. Any male CoE priest is potentially a bishop; no woman CoE priest (currently) is. It is an illogical and untenable situation, and I hope it will be corrected swiftly.

Why pick on gender as being the only way a priest/bishop can image forth Jesus?

To really do so, priests should be brought up in a Jewish family, speak Aramaic and Hebrew only - well, maybe some koine Greek and even a little Latin, and remain Jewish ... oops. All you need is maleness.

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Wednesday, 31 December 2008 at 3:35pm GMT

The Episcopal Church USA always had practical accomodation worked out over a period of forty years for the minority of dioceses, parishes and individuals who did not want the ministrations of women priests and bishops. However over time the ubiquity of women in Holy Orders in The Episcopal Church meant that some relative few in that minority chose to or had to join other denominations which did not ordain women.

The last of the holdouts in groups against the ordination of women have recently left The Episcopal Church in San Joaquin, California; Fort Worth, Texas; and Quincy, Illinois. Those people left so that they might in future elect male successor bishops who will not ordain women priests. All of this is only fair and reasonable except for the fact that these three groups together with one in Pittsburgh wanted to take church property with them. Those outright thefts of property constitute the real "shenanigans" within the American church.

Posted by: RZ on Wednesday, 31 December 2008 at 3:35pm GMT

Ford Elms.

I'll pretend that you were not deliberately misunderstanding my meaning, which was quite clear from the whole context of my post, when you wrote:

"Women continue to suffer in those parishes which deny them nourishment in their vocations and the hospitality of the altar."

Which Anglican parishes don't allow women to receive the sacrament?

When I have visited parishes on holiday, the priest has usually offered me an altar at which to celebrate. The same is not true when my god daughter visits. You know that. It is worse than absurd that priests of the Church of England, who are not in parish ministry, should have to discover whether or not a parish will offer to allow them an altar at which to celebrate or concelebrate an Easter Eucharist, at the whim of the parish priest and based solely on their gender.

Posted by: toby forward on Wednesday, 31 December 2008 at 3:41pm GMT

Toby, presumably, the parishes in England would have passed the appropriate resolutions (passed by the PCC, rather than the priest himself), and are just keeping with what has been publicly declared by the parish community in the past. If it's not a resolution parish, then you have every right to be upset - the resolutions are there for a reason, and should be abided by.

Cynthia - from my understanding of genetics, while sex is determined by X/Y chromosomes, ethnic characteristics (skin tone/eye colour etc etc) seem to be simply the phenotype, of which there are many differences and variations. So, they are rather different things - I think the 'not ordaining one gender is like not ordaining a particular ethnic group' argument has little mileage to be honest.

Posted by: Anthropax on Wednesday, 31 December 2008 at 4:33pm GMT

"It is worse than absurd that priests of the Church of England, who are not in parish ministry, should have to discover whether or not a parish will offer to allow them an altar at which to celebrate or concelebrate an Easter Eucharist, at the whim of the parish priest and based solely on their gender."

Amen. We have a columbarium, and, as happens, the ashes of a husband were placed there when he died, some years ago. His widow moved to Texas, to be near her children - to Fort Worth. She died, and our rector at that time, a woman, got a call from the wife's priest asking to arrange a service here prior to her ashes being placed in the columbarium. This conversation took some time, and at no time did this priest call our rector anything other than "Mrs. Rose." She's divorced, BTW, but he assumed, I guess, all women over 20 are married. She didn't bother to correct him, having the interests of the couples' friends in mind, and wanting them to be able to say goodby without it turning in to some kind of issue.

I liked the couple involved, and would have gone to the service, but had to be out of town. I am told it was quite a spectacle, and parts were in Latin.

Of course, if you are on the snake-belly low side of the Diocese of Virginia, you ALWAYS address clergy as Mr. Smith or Miss/Mrs. Brown.

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Wednesday, 31 December 2008 at 5:10pm GMT

The Catholic Church doesn't want reluctant refugees from the Church of England focused on one issue. We want genuine converts who have come to the realisation that the Catholic Church, is the Church that Christ founded and that the successor of St Peter is his representative on earth. However I concede that the conscecration of a woman bishop may be the instrument by which God lifts the veil of some to see the truth of the Catholic Church....just as the issue of the Jerusalem Bishopric and tract 90 was the catalyst for John Henry Newman.

Ron of course is painfully right..as an Evangelical I could not accept Anglo-Catholicism as genuine and I have great difficulty with it as a system, but I love the people. I am always trying to point Anglo-Catholics to the safety of the rock of Peter. I know the Protestant reality of the Church of England. Let me illustrate....

Intersting to see Jeremy Pemberton ..he was the curate at an Evangelical parish I attended...they served Ribena for communion wine.... now doesn't that reality of Anglicanism upset Ed Tomlinson, as much as a woman bishop? Another evangelical parish I attended as a student, Jesmond Parish Church ( David Holloway of Reform is the vicar) threw away and still does the left over elements. As Newman said, would our Lord leave himself in such custos?

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Wednesday, 31 December 2008 at 6:02pm GMT

But Cynthia, there's no standard form of address for women priests really, is there? I've seen "Mother" used, but never heard it while I was in Texas. And "Rev. So-and-so" would just be wrong. All the women priests I met in the Diocese of Texas, when asked what they wanted to be called, would say something like, "Call me Jane." Maybe the guy from FW wasn't trying to be a pill.

(I feel compelled to stick up for my home town, even if most of the now departed clergy are, in fact, pills.)

BTW, I don't think I've ever heard a male Anglican priest correct someone who called him "Mr". I remember one priest saying that the spiritual Father/Child relationship wasn't something that could be insisted on.

Posted by: BillyD on Wednesday, 31 December 2008 at 7:14pm GMT

BillyD:

You may have a point...but perhaps the "guy from FW" might have asked the woman priest how she wished to be addressed. Yes, "Rev. So-and-so" is technically incorrect, but it's an accepted colloquial form for clergy throughout the US (our woman associate rector has folks call her "Reverend Judy").

For those who are rectors, why not "Pastor Jane"?

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Thursday, 1 January 2009 at 12:19am GMT

Anthropax said:
"...while sex is determined by X/Y chromosomes..."

- mostly true, but what do we do about unusual people like XXYs? or people who are determined that they were born into the "wrong" sex/gender/physical type?

I'd say there is more to sex/gender than to concepts like "race" but it isn't a simple yes/no divide, even before we get on to considering people who do not fit neatly into boundaries of classically "typical" behaviour or abilities for their sex.

Posted by: Joan of Quark on Thursday, 1 January 2009 at 12:24am GMT

Swim the Tiber and stop thinking? uh, NO!
Most Anglo-Catholics would be aghast if they went to mass at a Roman Catholic Church, at least in the U.S. I played and still substitute as an organist in Roman Catholic churches and it's pretty pedestrian. Many churches still have left over folk groups and a host of really trite hymns.
Most priest won't let you do any Latin, even the "Agnus Dei," so familiar to older Catholics (Requiem Mass Mode?). You of course can sing "Here I Am, Lord," or "On Eagles Wings," week in and out.

I don't know of any local Catholic Church that rings bells or uses incense regularly. Incense is occasionally used at funerals (maybe you have to special request it).

This is all of base but I thought I indulge RIW.

Mark: I wish I had a solution to the problem. I think it unfair to not allow women bishops just to statisfy a group who can't accept it. That said, I would think some accomodation could be reached short of a new province.

Posted by: BobinSWPA on Thursday, 1 January 2009 at 1:30am GMT

"from my understanding of genetics, while sex is determined by X/Y chromosomes..." blah-blah-blah.

In other words, "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." You do Orwell proud, Anthropax.

Lord have mercy!

Posted by: JCF on Thursday, 1 January 2009 at 1:40am GMT

"But Cynthia, there's no standard form of address for women priests really, is there?"

Not yet - I expect there will be. I tell people to call me by my first name, or if that's uncomfortably informal, Dr. Gilliatt, since I earned a PhD before I became a priest.

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Thursday, 1 January 2009 at 2:15am GMT

Hi Cynthia, and a happy new year to all!

Having attended Episcopal churches in Rochester NY, Annapolis MD, St. Louis MO, and Pittsburgh PA before moving to Virginia, I've known far more priests using Mr./Mrs./Ms. than Father, Mother or any variant thereof. It almost seems as if the form of address is the last bastion of "I'm an Episcopalian, not an RC." You can have all the smells, bells, and vestments you want, and still use a secular form of address, but I've only seen Father insisted on (or strongly preferred) in truly Anglo-Catholic parishes (ie, Roman theology, but minus papal authority). (Well - one exception - my current rector is ex-RC, and the title just seems to fit naturally, though usually with a nickname rather than a last name attached. But then, our parish is rather heavily salted with ex-RCs in the congregation as well...)

It's true that language hasn't really caught up with the existence of female clergy - how to address them seems to be a challenge for almost everyone. Our society's preference for letting individuals define themselves (how they'd like to see themselves), rather than defining by age or status, doesn't help any with that challenge.

Posted by: RobinD on Thursday, 1 January 2009 at 5:45am GMT

Surely the issues raised by the organist
(Bobinspwa) about Roman Catholic services are matters of personal taste. The challenging remarks I make about Evangelical Anglican liturgical practice must be nothing less than sacrilege and profanation to a genuine Anglo-Catholic.

By the way Nigeria and Rwandan Anglicanism rarely use wine for Communion.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Thursday, 1 January 2009 at 8:29am GMT

"As a traditional Catholic Anglican, who is exploring his vocation to the sacred Priesthood, I accept that the church of England has legally ordained many women to the priesthood, however all we are asking is that the solution found is something that we can actually live with.."
- Mark Wharton -

Mark, as you are presumably an ordinand, have you informed your Bishop and your vocational advisors of your dilemma about serving as a priest in a Church that accepts women into the Sacred Ministry, I wonder?

I should think that might be a most important step before you actually seek ordination. To move forward on a basis of uncertanty about whether or not you can personally accept the Church's basic premise on the ordination of women, might just be prove to be more of a problem for you after ordination.

If you really do have a rooted objection to the ordination of women, perhaps you have mistaken your vocation to serve as an Anglican priest. Have you considered that? Perhaps you will need to discuss this with your spiritual director.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Thursday, 1 January 2009 at 9:21am GMT

For questions on forms of address you might take a look at Crockford's (page 37 I seem to remember, I don't have a copy at home). Mr/Mrs/ Ms Smith would be the proper way to refer to a priest in many instances. However, even the Prince of Wales secretary got it wrong in a letter to the C-of-E chaplain in Rome - horrors - so, what can say? Get a copy of Crockford's, or if you have one, take a look.

Posted by: Sara MacVane on Thursday, 1 January 2009 at 9:55am GMT

The Crockford page is available online at
http://www.crockford.org.uk/standard.asp?id=116

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 1 January 2009 at 10:54am GMT

Bobinswspa...when you become a Roman catholic you do not abdicate your conscience or your thought..you become anchored on a solid rock, and beyonfd the defined dogma and binding rules (set up for our salvation) you can respectfully speculate and disagree. For instance I am very lovingly critical of the present English hierarchy.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Thursday, 1 January 2009 at 12:49pm GMT

Thanks for all the comments about forms of address. Someone said our language hasn't caught up with reality, and that's true. My former rector is now at another church, and has asked to be called "Mother Joy." I don't feel comfortable with that for me, not being a mother of kids, and it also reminds me of nuns, which I'm not either.

As for gender vs ethnic characteristics, I was trying for some humor without coming out and saying that, it seems to me, for some people, the only people who can be ordained are 'like Jesus' solely because they are anatomically 'like Jesus.'

There - that's the polite version. The other one rhymes with "I want to be like Jesus."

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Thursday, 1 January 2009 at 3:26pm GMT

I was very surprised to find that "Padre" is not, as I had assumed, a rather affectionate and informal form of address for a British military chaplain, but one of the correct forms!

Posted by: BillyD on Thursday, 1 January 2009 at 3:49pm GMT

I'm all in favour of women priests and women bishops and women archbishops and women cardinals and women popes. I'm also in favour of keeping such as Ed and Mark with us, because they - unlike so many FiF types - exhibit a real love for the C of E and Anglicanism and some appreciation of unity in diversity. I very much hope that the proposed arrangement will do the trick in practice.

John Liberalis/Scholasticus/Moles.

Posted by: john on Thursday, 1 January 2009 at 5:04pm GMT

Anthropax, thanks for your comment. I understand now. If the parish has passed the appropriate resolutions, then it's perfectly all right, and not at all hurtful or abusive, for them just to tell women priests that they're not welcome. I suppose women priests just have to go round the neighbourhood, trying every church, until they find one where they're welcome? I'm glad you've helped me with that.

Posted by: toby forward on Thursday, 1 January 2009 at 5:44pm GMT

"...when you become a Roman catholic you do not abdicate your conscience or your thought..you become anchored on a solid rock, and beyonfd the defined dogma and binding rules (set up for our salvation) you can respectfully speculate and disagree."

Could've fooled Galileo.

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Thursday, 1 January 2009 at 5:48pm GMT

My best Friend, Kate, is a priest; now I support her in every way possible, I am confident that she will be a very good minister. I have never told her that I thought she had no right to believe that God was calling her; I know that the Church of England has affirmed her call to ministry.
However I have been told many, many times, by many people, that I am a misogynist, unwelcome in this church and that I am just causing harm by refusing to accept the ordination of women.
It is not that I am refusing to accept that the church can ordain women, I simply cannot accept it. I have not chosen to believe this; my life would be so much easier if I believed otherwise.
All we (catholic Anglicans) need and need is the word, is a solution that can actually hold our weight. That must be a structured solution within legalisation
I have no desire to become a Roman; I love the breath and diversity of Anglicanism, but without a structural solution I cannot stay and it grieves me on a daily basis to think that the incredible journey I am having may soon end. Surely generosity is the basis of all liberalism; why then, are we so afraid to show true liberalism and be generous?

Posted by: Mark Wharton on Thursday, 1 January 2009 at 7:21pm GMT

Mark:

Exactly who is being ungenerous here? If you can accept that your friend was duly and truly called, why not all the others?

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Thursday, 1 January 2009 at 10:38pm GMT

"I am confident that she will be a very good minister . . . without a structural solution I cannot stay"

I find it impossible to square these two statements, Mark. No one's going to make you go to a priest-who-is-a-woman to hear your confession, or receive the Body&Blood from one, either.

If a priested woman were to become your bishop, you would JUST have to acknowledge her *leadership*: why would that provoke any problems of conscience, if you can say (as of your best friend) "she will be a very good minister"? This is a question of temporal, not sacerdotal, authority.

Even if I am to accept that I have "no right to believe that God" is NOT calling you to your rejection of women's orders, I honestly cannot understand the *aggrandisement* of your position: extending a rejection of WO to universal particulars imposed upon your conscience. Your FEARS seem misplaced.

Posted by: JCF on Friday, 2 January 2009 at 12:12am GMT

'Is there now to be a chain of non-apostolic non-succession in the CofE ?'

I really hope so. The chain tactile magical notion has been disastrous for the development of anglicanism and its work in the world.

We need less of this kind of superstition and the actions and attitudes it seems to lead to; and a lot more down to earth real ministry, real projects on the ground that help people and spread the message of love, peace and equlity, which Jesus seems to have been aiming for (as far as we can tell from the available sources).


Tell you what, we could aim for it and see where it takes us -certainly not to segregated parishes and special dioceses.

btw Those who really intended to leave over women's minsitry have had over a decade to do so. Those who have remained seeme to be making a
threat-- one that I find unconvincing.

"Yes but you don't go!"
"We go, we go."

I hope nobody leaves -- we need all the oddballs and eccentrics we can get --

Posted by: Rev L Roberts on Friday, 2 January 2009 at 12:23am GMT

I beleive in generosity too. But can I ask women ministers; and those who need their ministry -both women and men to foot the bill, for my liberal generosity.

I think that the generosity previously shown (Act of Synod etc) has in practice, been used to oppress women, on the ground. Sponsoring little cells of mysoginist feeling, which I have experienced and found shocking. Also and worse, centres of oppostion to women in minsitry and attempts to sabbatage. I have never actually heard any gratitude expressed for what was given. But rather it is as if it is of right. I have a similar feeling now vis-a-vis the ordination of women as bishops discussions.

Have I just missed hearing it ?

I hope so....

Posted by: Rev L Roberts on Friday, 2 January 2009 at 12:31am GMT

The answer to Mark Wharton's question is this: that some decisions are zero sums: that to move to say yes to this is to say no to that. My own decisions too (elsewhere) are based on what an institution includes and, by including, excludes.

The decision is to include women and not to have a Church within a Church that would open doors to GAFCON and the like, and all other sorts of malcontents and internal competition.

Even then there is a kind of male only dodging and weaving authority made available, which is about the most that can be offered. After that, the kind of structure of exclusion wanted is not on offer. There is a change. If you won't be in you put yourself out.

Posted by: Pluralist on Friday, 2 January 2009 at 1:54am GMT

Rather like the use of "Father," the use of "Mother" by female clergy is really more about preference and custom than anything else. From where I sit, the use of the first name alone seems to be the most common.

FWIW, I recall a discussion at college on this question. The current Bishop of Christchurch (NZ) argued, I think seriously, that woman priests should also be called Father.

Posted by: Malcolm+ on Friday, 2 January 2009 at 5:40am GMT

The important theological and ecclesiological point is that the matter of the ordination of women remains an open rather than settled question. If it is made impossible to remain within the CofE because OOW becomes compulsory dogma (over and against the Orthodox and Catholics) then many will simply be forced to leave. BUT - the whole business of making provision for conscience in good faith shows that the debate will continue and is still open. Which is good.

Posted by: Neil on Friday, 2 January 2009 at 9:32am GMT

"Surely generosity is the basis of all liberalism; why then, are we so afraid to show true liberalism and be generous?" - Mark Wharton -
Generosity works both ways, Mark. It's not exactly as if your mortal soul were at stake here - to accept the fact that the Holy Spirit might be calling women into the ministry of God's Church is not to deny that God might be calling you, a male, into the priesthood, too. It is just that the Church of England, into which you feel you might be called to exercise a ministry of priesthood, has also discerned that God is also calling suitably-trained women into the same ministry. For you to deny this fact would not be an acceptable basis for ordination in the C.of E.

If you feel unable to accept this fact, maybe your calling might be elsewhere - where the institution does not accommodate God's call upon women to be priests.

You would obviously not expect the Roman Catholic Church to accept you as a priest - as a husband and father - while their official stance is that married men with families may not apply. The fact that there are currently husbands of wives and fathers of children who are serving as Roman Catholic priests is a matter of casuistry that the R.C. Church has somehow managed to accommodate within it's ministerial ranks, does not mean that their general rule of celibacy has been totally abandoned. You would not, at this point, in investigating your vocation, be acceptable to the R.C. Church for future ordination - on the grounds of their requirement for celibacy.

On the other hand, the Orthodox Church requires their priests to be married. This could be an avenue of legitimate exploration for a person in your situation.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Friday, 2 January 2009 at 9:54am GMT

"On the other hand, the Orthodox Church requires their priests to be married."

Not quite, Father. They will ordain married men, and parochial clergy are generally (but not invariably) made up of married men. After ordination, marriage is out of the question, and bishops are always drawn from the monastic clergy.

Posted by: BillyD on Friday, 2 January 2009 at 11:04am GMT

"All we (catholic Anglicans) need and need is the word, is a solution that can actually hold our weight."

Can you accept that it is only SOME catholic minded Anglicans who feel this way? For what it's worth, I don't think you're being misogynist. I think your ideas about OOW are wrong, and I find the Incarnational implications of them disturbing, but I don't think you are misogynist. A problem is that those who think the way you do express themselves in terms of victimization, often dismissive of the other side. Not that you necessarily have, I don't remember other posts you have made. But people who believe their acceptance of female clergy has a solid grounding in Incarnational theology, not to mention social justice, aren't going to take kindly to being told that they have no respect for Catholic tradition, since they consider that that is precisely where their acceptance of OOW is coming from.

"over and against the Orthodox and Catholics"

But why is it that it is only this issue in which certain catholic minded Anglicans seem to give a cobbler's cuss about what the Romans and Constantinople think? Rome doesn't allow remarriage after divorce without some pretty agile jumping through hoops. We do. Never an appeal to what Rome does there. For 500 years, we worshipped in the vernacular, allowed our priests to marry, and allowed a significant number of our members to deny that the Eucharist is anything other than a memorial meal. Even now, many of our number refuse to pay the Mother of God the reverence both Rome and Constantinople say is Her due, and for solidly Incarnational reasons, yet no-one ever appeals to Rome to require that Anglicans venerate Her out of a sense of ecumenism, so why scruple about the sensibilities of Rome and Constantinople in this when we don't about many other things that are also important? And, as I have said before, they don't even think we're Catholic Christians, don't recognize our orders, and consider a good bit of what we believe to be heretical anyway.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Friday, 2 January 2009 at 1:02pm GMT

Pat O'Neill and JCF: you misunderstand what I am saying. Kate will be a good minister that was never the issue, notice I used the word minister and not priest and this is the crux. The issue is about order not ministry. Yes the Church of England has affirmed the call of women to ordained ministry. I cannot accept that we have the right to affirm a call to Priesthood in a woman. We are talking about sacred order not just another form of ministry.

Fr. Ron Smith:
I have never told any of my colleagues that they are not welcome in the Church; however twice on this issue you have recommended that I should seek another spiritual home. It seems to me that you want women to be Bishops, and you either want us to accept the innovation as dogma or to leave. I hardly think that this “take it or go” attitude is Christian.
I acknowledge that God may be calling women to be Priests, but I have serious doubts as to the ability of the Church of England to decide that on her own.
The question seems to me to be simple, Do you want traditionalist Catholics and evangelicals to stay?

Rev L Roberts:
I acknowledge that we need to repent for some of our deeds, but as a traditional Catholics we haven’t been treated exactly fairly and fairness must work both ways.

Posted by: Mark Wharton on Friday, 2 January 2009 at 2:24pm GMT

I feel really sorry for Mark Wharton...if the dreadful act of Synod had not been passed in 1995, he and others hopes would never have been raised.

Ron Smith...is absolutely right, but the Catholic Church welcomes all converts. Not all Anglican ministers are re-ordained...we see ministry in a much broader light than just ordination.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Friday, 2 January 2009 at 6:33pm GMT

Mark Wharton: I am a "traditional" Anglo-Catholic. If you ever see me across a crowded smoky sanctuary, I am likely to be clad in something lacey, wearing a biretta and bowing down before baubles of idolatry or someone's detestable enormities. However, I just don't believe, intellectually, that there is any problem with ordaining women. Nor do many very orthodox Orthodox or many very catholic Roman Catholics. So please do not make it sound as if "traditional catholic" equals "unable to accept ordained women." It's simply not the case.

If you can't accept that the women your bishop ordains will be as much ordained as you will be, then why on earth would you feel called to work in this particular church, which regards both males and females as priests? You would not seek to enter any other profession with the proviso that you would not be able to work with 30% of your colleagues, would you? Come off it, it's a ludicrous position to hold in this day and age.

Posted by: Fr Mark on Friday, 2 January 2009 at 9:59pm GMT

"I acknowledge that God may be calling women to be Priests, but I have serious doubts as to the ability of the Church of England to decide that on her own."

And exactly who ELSE should have the ability to tell the CoE (or any other province of the Anglican Communion) when it's OK?

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Friday, 2 January 2009 at 10:55pm GMT

"I acknowledge that God may be calling women to be Priests, but I have serious doubts as to the ability of the Church of England to decide that on her own. The question seems to me to be simple, Do you want traditionalist Catholics and evangelicals to stay? - Mark Wharton -

Mark, I am inclined to agree with the remarks of Fr. Mark - especially on the issue of whether or not one can be both traditionally orthodox and catholic while yet subscribing to the validity of the ordination of women in the Anglican Church. You will note, I have not spoken so of other Churches which do not presently ordain women, but the Church into which you expect to be priested, which does have the authority, under God, to proceed with women's ordination. The Anglican Church does not need thre Pope's permission to ordain either men or women; and in fact you are probably aware that the Pope would not consider you a priest, even if you do proceed to the process of ordination in our Church.

Please do not arrogate to yourself, and like-minded objectors to OOW, the charism of catholicity and Apostolic Order. You may find that even the Vatican has sometimes erred in its understanding of the relationship between God and God's human children.

You must begin to understand that there are many Anglo-Catholic clergy and laity who do believe that God can, and does, call women into the Sacred Ministry of our Church

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Saturday, 3 January 2009 at 1:28am GMT

"To become a Catholic is not to leave off thinking, but to learn how to think."
- G. K. Chesterton

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Saturday, 3 January 2009 at 7:55am GMT

Fr. Mark:
I do not believe that catholicity is defined by lace, birettas or statues, but by unending faithfulness to the faith of the universal church. This is where we are never going to agree; with respect, the sort of catholicity you are advocating is actually High Church Protestantism and not Faith of the Church Catholic.
I do however accept that I have many things to consider in the weeks and months ahead, I know that I could not minster in a church with Women Bishops and the consequence of this reality grieves me more that you can imagine.

Pat O'Neil:
The decision to ordain women to the sacred ministry MUST be undertaken by the universal church and not by a vote of a tiny minority in a hall in Canterbury.

Fr. Ron Smith.
The issue is not whether one can be an Anglo-catholic and accept women’s ordination.
The issue is whether you want Catholics and Evangelicals who, out of obedience, cannot accept the innovation to remain with our church. If you do, then provision must be made that we can actually live with and if the answer is no then please be honest and say so.

Posted by: Mark Wharton on Saturday, 3 January 2009 at 10:13am GMT

Mark:

Since the "universal church" cannot even agree on which men are duly ordained, I think waiting for agreement on women's ordination is tantamount to waiting for the proverbial hot place to freeze over.

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Saturday, 3 January 2009 at 2:50pm GMT

Fr. Mark:
I do not believe that catholicity is defined by lace, birettas or statues, but by unending faithfulness to the faith of the universal church.

So why don't you only accept that marriage after the death of a wife is not allowed for bishops or deacons?

Or a Church which is not subject to the state.

No mark you accept.... a Queen at the top who is ordinary to the Archbishops of Canterburty and York, and wjho derive their jurisdiction from her.

Because your "Catholicism" is fitted around your lifestyle choices as much as the so-called liberals.

Why the Church of England should fret to keep you on board is beyond me.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Saturday, 3 January 2009 at 3:04pm GMT

'I know that I could not minister in a church with Women Bishops ...
provision must be made that we can actually live with and if the answer is no then please be honest and say so.'

Mark, surely even with such 'provision' you would still be in 'a church with Women Bishops'?

I think you should stay with us. There are plenty of FiF parishes in the C of E and some of them are very flourishing. No one is going to be so stupid as to coerce them over this issue. You will never have to be in a position where you have to have a woman priest or bishop or where you have to accept communion from them. Of course, there would be some compromise here - WO would be within the blood-stream of the C of E. You might be trained alongside women. You would meet women priests at diocesan functions and at services. But WO already are within the bloodstream and plenty of FiF people live with it. Take courage from your love for your friend Kate, which illustrates the in one sense unremarkable but in another sense wonderful fact that church people can disagree profoundly and stay together. Stay.

Posted by: john on Saturday, 3 January 2009 at 4:37pm GMT

Mark Wh: "the consequence of this reality grieves me more that you can imagine."

Patronising twaddle, I'm afraid. I left the C of E at the time of women's ordination, which I couldn't then accept, and became RC. (I later came back when I came to understand things differently.) You and the others who don't accept women's ordination should have the courage of your convictions and do the same. Don't tell me what is or isn't catholic, please.

Posted by: Fr Mark on Saturday, 3 January 2009 at 5:39pm GMT

I asked before, I'll ask again, why is it that it is only this particular issue on which you insist on "unending faithfulness to the faith of the universal church"? We do many things "the universal Church" does not approve of, you seem to have no problem with many of the other things we decided on our own to do, despite the displeasure of the Traditional Patriarchates. Why is this different? You seem to accept that we had the right to translate the liturgy, in a defective form, I might add, without the approval of the "universal Church", the right to let clergy marry, to do away with the monastic heart of the Church, to allow divorce and remarriage (well, maybe you don't agree with that one), to practically eliminate devotion to the Mother of God and the Saints, to permit many of our number to deny baptismal regeneration and the Real Presence, indeed to change their very understanding of redemption, but not a peep. Let us try to ordain women, though and we suddenly are not faithful to the faith of the Universal Church. Why?

Posted by: Ford Elms on Saturday, 3 January 2009 at 6:23pm GMT

"The issue is whether you want Catholics and Evangelicals who, out of obedience, cannot accept the innovation to remain with our church"
- Mark Wharton -

"Out of obedience" to whom? The Vatican? I don't see anything from the Lord of the Church on this!

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Saturday, 3 January 2009 at 6:31pm GMT

I am sorry some are unhappy or upset. And I am aware that the Church of England began ordaining women over ten years ago. No-one has to recieve such ministry, but at the same time, there cannot really be hermetically sealed areas, that collander-like strain out all sorts of other contacts with both women and (certain) men. I think you'd have to join another denomination to get that, such as the RCC. Only you can decide if it is right. What can't now be done is to act as if women had never been ordained.

We all have to live with all manner of anomalies in the Church as in life itself.

One advantage is that as we change and our ideas and, maybe, convicitions change, the national church' can usually contain us --- but not totally reorganise itself for us. I think there's quite a bit of scope of spiritual and theologial exploration; and for all kinds of ministry projects within that. Not bad !

After many years in ministry, I still find it quite something, that a minister is made so welcome in so many homes, organisations and work-places, hospitals, schools, crematoriums, etc. I am still thrilled at the doors that open and the opportunites that emerge --so many want ministry -- if only we will leave our studies and get out there !

And what awaits us in return !


Posted by: Rev L Roberts on Saturday, 3 January 2009 at 8:28pm GMT

Ron you are further from Catholicism than Ian Paisley.

Yui are trying to tell us that genuine Catholicism is a liberal section of a nineteenth century abberation in Anglicanism.. a religion in its self created by the non-democartic English Governmemnt in 1559 and inmposed ny force, on the English, Irish, Welsh and Manx peoples.

Wow that is as hard to swallow as the Mormon belief that the Red Indians are Jewish and that Christ visited America.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Saturday, 3 January 2009 at 10:56pm GMT

"I cannot accept that we have the right to affirm a call to Priesthood in a woman."

You still really haven't addressed my questions, Mark Wh. How will you PERSONALLY be compelled to "affirm a call to Priesthood in a woman", besides simple politeness, and (if she be your bishop), acknowledging her TEMPORAL authority (as you recognize that the CofE can do)?

There is NOTHING here, that compels you to "see a Supernatural Reality" that you don't. Just don't be rude to her (your bishop, and/or priested co-worker) in your working life, and that's that (i.e., you're free to see her as a non-sacerdotal, non-consecrating "minister", to your conscience's content).

Posted by: JCF on Saturday, 3 January 2009 at 11:34pm GMT

"Yui are trying to tell us that genuine Catholicism is a liberal section of a nineteenth century abberation in Anglicanism.. a religion in its self created by the non-democartic English Governmemnt in 1559 and inmposed ny force, on the English, Irish, Welsh and Manx peoples."

Wait - weren't you the one whining (actually, more like what we call here in the US "pitching a hissy fit") because of a lack of respect shown to Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman Church? Do you possibly think that the Anglicans here would be more respectful if you could get over the bad case of convertitis that you have and stop trashing Anglicanism?

Posted by: BillyD on Sunday, 4 January 2009 at 12:00pm GMT

I am just pointing out the total inconsistency of those who would attempt to make a Catholic Church out of a protestant one. They caused distress to the Protestants in the nineteenth century and are now upsetting the feminists in the 21st century.

Ed tomlinson asked me. Robert Williams- how can you be so cruel and insensitive? How can you joke about my losing my home and stipend at a time of economic uncertainty, when I have a two year old daughter and a wife to provide for.

I think he needs to read the story of the rich young man who came to Christ on his own terms.

I know someoe whose Father was an Anglican vicar and he became convinced of the claims of the Catholic Church and left his vicarage with his wife and family.. that same night the Luftwaffe bombed it to the ground!

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Sunday, 4 January 2009 at 5:53pm GMT

"I know someoe whose Father was an Anglican vicar and he became convinced of the claims of the Catholic Church and left his vicarage with his wife and family.. that same night the Luftwaffe bombed it to the ground!"

Oohh, scary, Robert. *I* know someone who was told by an Indian astrologer that he had a twin brother, and when he asked his mother about it she told him he had had a twin brother who was stillborn. It didn't make me want to turn Hindu, and neither do I find your little story compelling evidence for becoming an RC.

"I am just pointing out the total inconsistency..."

And I am just pointing out that you stand a lot better chance of having respect shown to you and yours if you would get over the nastiness about Anglicanism you continually show here. It doesn't do you - or the Church you claim to love so much - any credit.

Posted by: BillyD on Sunday, 4 January 2009 at 7:24pm GMT

Well,

I can reassure everyone here that I shall NEVER become an RC (although I know and love lots of RCs and do not regard myself as prejudiced against the RC church). I am PROUD to be an Anglican. I am PROUD that Anglicanism (mostly) has welcomed and loved gay people. I am PROUD that Anglicanism (mostly) celebrates WO. I am PROUD that the C of E will soon have women bishops. I am PROUD also that the C of E is still striving to include opponents of WO (some of whom are principled, some of whom are not). I am PROUD that Anglicanism (mostly) embraces Evangelicals, Anglo-Catholics, 'liberals', agnostics, ...

So there.

As for RIW, 'Spirit', Bill Tighe, et al., I think there are various kinds of 'displacement' going on here, interesting enough in their way, but indicative that, actually, all these types, different as they are, deep down, viscerally (etc.) really want to be Anglicans!

Posted by: john on Sunday, 4 January 2009 at 9:22pm GMT

Robert Ian Williams wrote: "You are trying to tell us that genuine Catholicism is a liberal section of a nineteenth century abberation in Anglicanism.."

I think that this "aberration" was a work of the Holy Spirit. And the Anglican Church always preserved at least the Catholic minimum.

Posted by: PeterK on Sunday, 4 January 2009 at 10:35pm GMT

"I know someoe whose Father was an Anglican vicar and he became convinced of the claims of the Catholic Church and left his vicarage with his wife and family.. that same night the Luftwaffe bombed it to the ground!" - Robert I williams -

And here, R.I.W., I rest my case!!!

Was this, do you think, the action of a Loving God who wanted to prove the rightness of a former Anglican Vicar of his decision to join the RCC? Or was it, in fact, a random action on the part of a German pilot, who happened to be flying over the vicarage at the time the priest decided to move out?

Robert, words fail me!

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Monday, 5 January 2009 at 4:59am GMT

Incredible... BillyD think of the words of our Lord, about logs and specks and read the postings on the Roman Catholic Church on this web site. I am simply pointing out inconsistencies, particularly in the Anglican Evangelical and Anglo-Catholic alliance.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Monday, 5 January 2009 at 6:06am GMT

Ford Elms:
“You seem to accept that we had the right to translate the liturgy, in a defective form, I might add, without the approval of the "universal Church"”
The majority of traditional catholic Parishes in England use the English translation of the Roman Rite.

“The right to let clergy marry”
The Eastern Catholic Church has (I think) always had married Priests and this is a matter of law for the western Church, not of Theology.

“To do away with the monastic heart of the Church”
FIF works very closely with ROOT to encourage people to explore the religious life.

“To allow divorce and remarriage”
We do not marry divorcees in the church where I work, nor do the other FIF Parishes in our FIF deanery.

“To practically eliminate devotion to the Mother of God and the Saints”
Devotion to Our Lady is very present and encouraged in all our Parishes. FIF is under her patronage and protection, Walsingham is of course the great centre of the traditional catholic movement in the Church of England. In my own parish we have the rosary every evening, this is the norm is the vast majority of traditional Catholic Parishes.

“To permit many of our number to deny baptismal regeneration and the Real Presence”
Within our movement I do not know anyone who denies Baptismal Regeneration, but even if they did, it would not actually change the fact that in Baptism we are born again.
The real presence of Our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament is the bedrock of our Movement and I do not KNOW ANYONE within our movement who does not believe this truth. In my own Parish we celebrate the Mass Daily and have exposition and Benediction regularly.

“Let us try to ordain women, though and we suddenly are not faithful to the faith of the Universal Church. Why?
Because we risk denying people the sacraments by ordaining people about whom there is doubt about their ability to receive Holy orders.

Father Ron Smith:
You seem unwilling or unable to answer the question
Please just answer the question!

Posted by: Mark Wharton on Monday, 5 January 2009 at 10:52am GMT

"the nastiness about Anglicanism you continually show here."

BillyD, we all know what's going on here, it's obvious every time RIW posts something: he was an Evangelical Anglican, with all the certainty of rightness that comes with Evangelicalism, in fact, it is the need for rightness that is at it's base. He began to believe that perhaps Evangelical Anglicanism wasn't as right as he needed it to be, the idea that all authority was to be found in a more or less literal reading of Scripture just didn't ring true, and why should it, after all? Rome, however, gives the same kind of assurance of certainty, with the patina of age and Tradition to back it up. That Rome is "RIGHT" is a far older doctrine after all, than Evangelicalism. Note that it is not so important what you are actually right about, just as long as you can be assured of that rightness. I suspect there is also a great deal of hurt, pain, and anger, though I also suspect that this arises from the Anglican Church's institutional refusal to make "RIGHT" statements about things, therefor to be an Anglican you have to be comfortable with doubt, and people like RIW find doubt very uncomfortable. I also suspect that the transition from Evangelical surety to Roman surety took a good bit of personal sacrifice. He's like a lot of other converts, he didn't go so much for what was good about Rome, but because of what he thought was bad about Anglicanism, and can now trumpet those faults at us from his safe, well delineated "rightness" on the other side of the Tiber, conveniently ignoring any faults in Rome that would, once again, threaten his sense of being right. I don't know if it's about superiority or safety, actually, though his comments seem to indicate the former.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Monday, 5 January 2009 at 12:10pm GMT

Mark Wharton, you keep referring to "our movement". Yet, our movement is surely the Gospel, at the risk of sounding idealistic. More practically, our movement is the Anglican Church, that is, unless you already think of "your movement" as not part of the Anglican Church. You are an Anglican. That means that, regardless of how wrong we think their beliefs to be, we are in communion with people who do what "your movement" does not do, things that we think are theologically dodgy, sometimes out and out wrong, and at times even blasphemous. That is what it means to be Anglican. You are not isolated simply because you think you have built walls around yourselves to keep everyone else out. Honestly, if I thought the way you do, I'd have gone to Rome long ago. I'm not saying "Get out of my Church" or anything, I just don't see why you stay, if you need so much protection against those with whom you are otherwise in communion. You would not receive from a woman. Would you receive from Abp. Jensen of Sydney? If so, why, since as far as he is concerned, you would merely be eating dry bread and drinking wine, and, unless things have changed in his cathedral, you'd receive from your own communion cup and there would be no ablutions, thus stating you think the contents of said cup are nothing much really, other than a spur to pious memory? He would not have the intent to celebrate a Eucharist as you and I would understand it, and intent is an important part of the Sacramental act, I think. Would you receive from a priest who denied Baptismal Regeneration?

Posted by: Ford Elms on Monday, 5 January 2009 at 4:25pm GMT

I became a Catholic because the Petrine claims leapt out from Scripture at me...and I saw that the Bible was a Catholic book.

That I feel many precious souls are still side-tracked in Anglicanism concerns me...and when I see the ungodly alliance between evangelicals and Anglo-Catholics I am deeply saddened.

I see how they have legitimised heterosexual sin ( divorce and contraception )and are now united in bashing gays. That makes me angry. Although I accept Catholic teaching on homosexuality, I think their position
( the conservative Anglo-Catholic evangelical alliance ) is pure hypocrisy.

I also believe the women should be allowed to claim back the CofE for Protestantism...a fact the ecu-maniacs in the Catholic Church can't seem to accept.

Hope I have been honest and spoken the truth in love.

Oi Ford the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney uses unfermented grape juice..get it right.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Monday, 5 January 2009 at 8:55pm GMT

"Father Ron Smith:
You seem unwilling or unable to answer the question. Please just answer the question! "
- Mark Wharton -
Mark, What is the question you are asking of me?

R.I.W. Robert, I was just unable to make any sense out of your last posting, and I think I'm not alone. What is it you are trying to say that will convince the rest of us that you are not trying to proselytise for your new-found faith?
This site is meant to nourish 'Thinking Anglicans'

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Tuesday, 6 January 2009 at 10:58am GMT

"the Petrine claims leapt out from Scripture at me."

Odd though that they did not similarly leap out at the not inconsiderable flock in the four Eastern Patriarchates. What do you know that they didn't/don't? For one bishop to claim authority over all the others is not catholic, whatever the occupant of the Chair of Peter says.

"many precious souls are still side-tracked in Anglicanism"

Ah, there it is, pass the rightness test, grab the brass ring, and get to play in the Heavenly Sandbox when you die. Careful, your Evangelicalism is showing!

"Although I accept Catholic teaching on homosexuality, I think their position
( the conservative Anglo-Catholic evangelical alliance ) is pure hypocrisy."

So you accept that I am incapable of forming a normal human relationship and that homosexuality in priests is the reason for priestly pedophilia? Very enlightened!

"Oi Ford the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney uses unfermented grape juice..get it right."

I stand corrected.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Tuesday, 6 January 2009 at 12:12pm GMT

"convince the rest of us that you are not trying to proselytise for your new-found faith?"

It isn't proselytising, it's smug, self-righteous superiority. He's honed the skill so well that the only indications that he was an Evangelical and not an Anglo-catholic in his previous incarnation come from the fact that he has no sense of humour about it and means what he says.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Tuesday, 6 January 2009 at 3:53pm GMT

Fr. Ron Smith;
Do you want Catholics and evangelicals, opposed to the ordination of women, to remain in the Church of England?

Posted by: Mark Wharton on Tuesday, 6 January 2009 at 4:11pm GMT

Ford I do not believe that homosexuality and pedophila are linked exclusively to homosexuality....that is an insult to many homosexual people. To know that the Roman Catholic Church is the true Church is a revelation from God.." For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you..."

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Tuesday, 6 January 2009 at 6:57pm GMT

"Fr. Ron Smith;
Do you want Catholics and evangelicals, opposed to the ordination of women, to remain in the Church of England?" - Mark Wharton -


Thank you., Mark, for identifying the actual question you wanted me to answer. Here goes -

As I have already stated several times on this site, I believe the Gospel invites everyone to partake of the redemtpion that God has offered us in Christ. Therefore: how could I not, as you have put it, 'want Catholics and Evangelicals, opposed to the ordination of women, to remain in the Church of England'. The real problem, it would seem, is that some of you want the Church of England to resile from it's synodical decision to accept women into the Sacred Ministry of the Church.

The short answer, then, to your question is - Yes, we do want you to stay. But, you cannot expect the Church to go back on the commitment made in good faith to include women as priests and, it seems now, bishops, in our Church. It is probable that some of you may never accept that women may be priests or bishops in the Anglican Church. If you cannot live with that reality, it seems that we cannot force you to stay, whatever we might privately hope for in this area. One xcannot legislate for another's conscience.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Tuesday, 6 January 2009 at 11:14pm GMT

Robert:

Let's not use Christ's words regarding point A to shore up an argument about point B. What "flesh and blood" had not revealed to Peter was that Jesus was the Messiah and the Son of God...not that any particular version of the future church was the right one.

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Tuesday, 6 January 2009 at 11:17pm GMT

Mark,

I think 'liberals' need to show 'the orthodox' more love and compassion. But I also think the converse should apply too. It generally doesn't. From many FiF people there is this constant barrage about capitulation to secularism, to feminism, to homosexualism, etc. And there is this rather revolting sense that for many the highest good is to kiss the Pope's ring (think Latin - the decent obscurity of a learned tongue) - which brings out the latent Protestantism of many rather eirenic folk. Further, apply just war theory (impeccably Augustinian and Aquinian). It's wrong to keep fighting a war you have already lost and have absolutely no hope of turning around in the present age. Let me be clear. It's absolutely all right not to accept WO for theological and/or 'Catholic' reasons. It's absolutely wrong to keep loudly, vociferously, belligerently refighting that case. There's no chance whatsoever of 'victory' and the only practical result is endless dissension. People like Jeff Steel and Ed Tomlinson just don't grasp this, and it's very hard to argue for their legitimate representation when they keep trumpeting their loyalty to 'Catholicism' as overriding their membership of the church that actually pays them and (irony!) is most accommodating of them. (No doubt some members of 'the RC hierarchy' [by no means all] harbour imperialist ambitions of taking over that branch of Anglo-Catholicism [not at all the only branch] but most ordinary RCs emphatically do not.) There is a certain sort of hyper-orthodoxy which, I'm afraid (and I know it sounds arrogant in stereotypical 'liberal' style) isn't very intelligent, whether intellectually or emotionally.

Please think about these things.

Posted by: john on Wednesday, 7 January 2009 at 12:27am GMT

John: that's a really well-put post.

Posted by: Fr Mark on Wednesday, 7 January 2009 at 8:33am GMT

Fr. Ron Smith,

Thank you for replying to my question.

I am glad that you write the following "One cannot legislate for another's conscience". This is the point that FIF has been making all along; we must have a solution that we can live with and the only people who know what we can live with, is us.
We have always said that we need is a structural solution to a structural problem.
"One cannot legislate for another's conscience".

Posted by: Mark Wharton on Wednesday, 7 January 2009 at 2:02pm GMT

"I do not believe that homosexuality and pedophila are linked exclusively to homosexuality"

But the Church to which you belong, and which requires a greater degree of obedience and conformity than the one you left, certainly believes something very much like that. It was the basis of their decade delayed response to priestly pedophilia. I notice you didn't mention your beliefs as to my ability to form a normal human relationship, something else your Church has said. Now, I have no idea if Rome's requirement that you conform extends to these particular beliefs, all the same, so your disagreement might not be all that significant, but you really ought to check if you are actually properly obedient in making these statements.

And aren't you lucky to have had a revelation from God about the correctness of Rome? Must be nice to be so assured that you are "IN". Far better than putting all your trust in the printed word. Someone really ought to tell the Patriarch of Constantinople that he and all his predecessors dating from 1054 on have all been wrong. Oh, and there's a whole bunch of Russian, Finnish, Ukranian, Byelorussian, Aremnian, Syrian, and a whole bunch of others really, who ought to be told how wrong they are too, it isn't just us Anglicans who haven't had Rome's rightness revealed to us, after all. Cripes, Robert, I respect and even understand some of the pain involved in the process by which you converted, but honestly, show some humility.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Wednesday, 7 January 2009 at 2:57pm GMT

Fr. Mark,

Thanks. In many ways, I am a poor person. Thank you for your graciousness.

Posted by: john on Wednesday, 7 January 2009 at 7:11pm GMT

"We have always said that we need is a structural solution to a structural problem." M. Wharton -

Mark, I have a problem with your statement here. You seem to be saying that the Institutional structure of the C. of E. has to alter, so that you can remain within its fold. Am I correct? Because if I am, then I think you have a real problem - in that you can hardly expect the Church to go back on its commitment to the ordination of women - no matter how difficult you find that policy. Either you can live with it, or you cannot.

If you cannot live within a Church that has such a policy, you must take your conscience and slake its thirst in some other, more accommodating *sea of faith*. The waters of the River Tiber, as Robert I.W. will tell you, may provide the relief you are looking for, but the current turgidity of those particular waters may not suit you either.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Thursday, 8 January 2009 at 10:23am GMT

Further to Fr Ron's questions re Mark's reference to "a structural solution":

I don't think we are asking the CofE to change its structures so much as asking it to make adequate provision within them in order to accomodate those whom it acknowleges as "loyal anglicans" and to whom it has promised an assured place in perpetuity.

The so-called "New Dioceses" or complementary jurisdictions would not alter the present structures because the church is already organised into dioceses and from time to time has created new ones. Also, there are existing examples of gaps within diocesan territory (e.g. armed forces, royal peculiars etc.)

The present proposals actually violate the existing structures because they fundamentally compromise the jurisdiction of a diocesan bishop.

Posted by: David Malloch on Thursday, 8 January 2009 at 9:24pm GMT

"Also, there are existing examples of gaps within diocesan territory (e.g. armed forces, royal peculiars etc.)" - David Malloch -

But these gaps have been provided for entities which, although connected with the Church, are not necessarily subject to the 'discipline' of the Church. Are you, David, suggesting that there should be one new diocese raised up with this particular objective for the convenience of those who cannot live with the Synodical Rule of the Church which accepts the ordination of women in its polity? Or are you asking for parallel jusrisdictions (with their own bishops) in each of the present dioceses of the C.of E., to accommodate those who do not agree with the ordination of women?

Such supplementary dioceses would certainly have to be given the title of 'peculiar' but hardly Royal. And how would they relate to the parent Church, exactly?

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Thursday, 8 January 2009 at 10:50pm GMT

Ron,

I think one of the greatest problems in discussing issues like
this is that words mean slightly different things to different people
and that makes it difficult for others to always understand what we
are trying to say.

The report from the drafting group envisages a
church which accepts WO and accepts that it is acceptable for some to
believe that women cannot sacramentally be priests & bishops. It then
tries to square that circle.

When I say "diocese" I mean a group of
people gathered around a bishop with whom they are in full sacramental
communion and who has jurisdiction over them. The proposals in the
draft code change that concept because they establish a system where
the diocesan bishop is no longer in full sacramental communion with
some of his/her parishes. I actually think WATCH are right in
challeging this.

An alternative solution would be to establish new
jurisdictions which would consist of a bishop in full communion with
his parishes and who had jurisdiction. It would mean that in all
dioceses, old & new, that basic principle remained in tact. It would
be silly to duplicate what did not need to be duplicated! There is
already much cooperation among those who disagree re WO and there is
also a growing realisation that dioceses should pool resources
wherever possible. There would probably be no need to duplicate boards
and committes etc and much could be shared. There would certainly be
no need for a diocese within each diocese, the number of new
jurisdictions would surely be determined by the number of petitioning
parishes. The exact working and covenants for cooperation etc would
need to be worked out and set forth either in the legislation or in a
code of practice.
(to be contd)

Posted by: David Malloch on Friday, 9 January 2009 at 10:43am GMT

(contd)
The new jurisdictions would be very much a part of
the CofE. The bishops would be part of the HOB and the jurisdictions
would be represented on synod. These arrangements would be created by
the CofE, for the CofE and a way of holding together as far as
possible within the polity identified above. This is not about
establishing a way of existing in a ghetto somehow removed from the
rest of the church; it is about making the necessary provision to
remain fully within the CofE and to establish a meaningful covenant
for mission.

It is, perhaps, the last chance to get this right and
should avoid the various breakaway bodies such as have sprung up
across the atlantic. I can understand that others will object to this
but there is a real choice to be made as to whether or not provision
is to be made which will enable many thousands to remain. There are
many in synod who tell me they voted for the July motion because they
want to press forward with WB but that they are not happy to proceed
with a code alone and that they can envisage a situation whereby they
will feel compelled to vote the final legislation down if opponents do
not believe their needs have been met. The majority did vote for the
ammendments seeking structural provision of some kind and we need to
keep communication open on all of this if the desire for WB is to come
to fruition in the foreseeable future.

Posted by: David Malloch on Friday, 9 January 2009 at 10:44am GMT

David:

And how long does this provision go on? Forever? Doesn't that just create TWO Churches of England...one with women priests and bishops and one without?

Possibly bad analogy: Suppose, following the civil rights acts of the 1960s in the US, provision had been made for those communities that could not accept that blacks had equal rights to jobs, seats in restaurants, etc. Suppose they had set up special "segregation" towns to accommodate those who simply could not conscience such race mingling.

How would that have been different from what you are proposing?

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Friday, 9 January 2009 at 12:28pm GMT

No, it creates one CofE living with difference.

Pat, I don't understand your question re how long the provision lasts. There is nothing in the synod motion last july, nor in the report from the drafting group, to suggest that provision is to be time limited. Is there some suggestion somewhere that we are only loyal anglicans for a limited time?

Posted by: David Malloch on Friday, 9 January 2009 at 4:25pm GMT
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