Tuesday, 10 February 2009

General Synod: preparing for Wednesday morning

Judith Maltby has written for Comment is free Women bishops now.

The Church of England cannot justify continued discrimination against its female members…

…A number of cross-party parliamentarians in both houses are making it clear that they will not vote into the law any measure from General Synod which discriminates against women. Imagine: lawmakers who do not want discrimination against women enshrined in the law of the land. Who do these people think that they are? Where is their sense of right and wrong?

A recent Church of England report suggested that the Labour government was had lost its moral compass. Might one suggest that the moral compass of these parliamentarians is working rather better than the Church of England’s? Could it be time to take the plank out of our own eye?

Religious Intelligence has Church of England’s treatment of women “shameful”, General Synod is told by Judy West.

..The Rev Dr Threlfall-Holmes, General Synod member for Durham and Newcastle Universities, said: “It is shameful that the Church of England still treats women as a problem to be solved.

“The draft legislation coming before Synod on Wednesday was always going to be a compromise between gender equality and the desire in the church to ‘protect’ those who disagree with the ordination of women. So in that sense what we have before us is about what was to be expected.

“But we will need to be very careful not to be misled into setting up a separate ‘church within a church’ in a misguided attempt to secure unity.”

The Northumberland Gazette has Church ‘tone’ on women bishops criticised.

…Dr Miranda Threlfall-Holmes criticised the “tone” of legislation on women bishops to be debated on Wednesday by the General Synod, the Church’s national assembly.

She said: “I think it is a shame that we continue to give more emphasis to the people who are a very vocal minority that disagree than to the huge majority who just want to get on with it.

“It is sending a very negative impression…

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 10 February 2009 at 11:24pm GMT | TrackBack
You can make a Permalink to this if you like
Categorised as: Church of England | General Synod

"..It was revealed at the weekend that traditionalists are vehemently opposed to the arrangements proposed to cater for their constituency. A number of Anglo-Catholic bishops told the Sunday Telegraph that none of their number would serve as a 'complementary' bishop as it would mean they had to serve under a diocesan. At present the 'flying bishops' are under no such constraints - Judy West @ Religious Intelligence -

After a great deal of trouble has been taken to accommodate what were perceived to be the real needs of the conservatives who reject the idea of women clergy - either as priests or bishops - it would appear that all this effort has been in vain, and the conservatives will not accept the proposals put forward for their accommodation.

In rejecting these proposals, which have been offered as a last-ditch attempt to appease the opponents of women's ministry in the C.of E., the protesters run the risk of General Synod members going ahead with the proposal to ordain women into the episcopate without such provisions.

This used to be called the tactic of 'cutting off one's nose to spite one's face' - and a reaction against the mind of the former General Synod, which might well bring the ordination of women bishops sooner, rather then later.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Wednesday, 11 February 2009 at 5:06am GMT

It takes my breath away that the C of E can vote against racism and then vote for gender apartheid at the same time.

No women bishops leaves the Westminster Parliament , the only legislature in Western civilization where women are restricted from certain reserved seats. This weakens the case for a continued "episcopal" presence for men who represent a denomination that baptizes less than a quarter of English babies.

Posted by: Robert Ian williams on Wednesday, 11 February 2009 at 6:10am GMT

I think it is a mistake - both tactically and rhetorically - for people to argue for WO and women bishops on the basis of 'gender equality'. It immediately enables opponents to talk of surrender to a secular, non-religious, agenda. That is a misrepresentation but unfortunately a plausible one. Much more measured statements are required. Further, it is entirely right and proper to bring in the considerations that derive from the C of E's status as an established church, but these considerations should be adduced on a pragmatic basis, not as intrinsic rights, because this again provides easy ammunition to opponents.

Posted by: john on Wednesday, 11 February 2009 at 10:18am GMT

"I think it is a mistake - both tactically and rhetorically - for people to argue for WO and women bishops on the basis of 'gender equality'. It immediately enables opponents to talk of surrender to a secular, non-religious, agenda. That is a misrepresentation but unfortunately a plausible one."

But look at the language used. Even right here, from people I otherwise respect (yes RIW, I do respect you, though I might get snotty on occasion):

"the opponents of women's ministry"
"gender apartheid"

Those who oppose OOW do NOT oppose women's ministry. We have for the past at least forty years, if not longer, been focussed on how ministry is everyone's responsibility, yadda yadda yadda. Ordained ministry is but one form of ministry, and limited to specific sacramental acts at that. To oppose OOW is therefor NOT to oppose women's ministry in general, even if the majority of those who oppose it also have the idea that a woman's place is subservient to men. Using this kind of language not only misrepresents the beliefs of many who oppose OOW, thereby adding fuel to the fire, but implies that the only "important" ministry worthy of the name is that carried out by ordained clergy. That sets the clock back at least forty years.

And "gender apartheid"? Normal up! Address the real issues, guys, not the politicization of those issues. Sorry to come out swinging at people I count as allies, but this is one issue where we part company.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Wednesday, 11 February 2009 at 4:33pm GMT

Gee, Ford, I wouldn't like to be your enemy!

All best,


Posted by: john on Wednesday, 11 February 2009 at 5:22pm GMT
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Please note that comments are limited to 400 words. Comments that are longer than 400 words will not be approved.

Cookies are used to remember your personal information between visits to the site. This information is stored on your computer and used to refill the text boxes on your next visit. Any cookie is deleted if you select 'No'. By ticking 'Yes' you agree to this use of a cookie by this site. No third-party cookies are used, and cookies are not used for analytical, advertising, or other purposes.