Saturday, 13 February 2010

post-Synod opinion

The Comment is Free section of The Guardian has several General Synod related articles.

Christina Rees Faith in the future: This 35-year debate has become tortuous. But one day soon, women will become bishops.

Judith Maltby Synod: messy, imperfect, but ours: General Synod is a product of a tumultuous history. Flawed as it is, it is rooted in and reflects our traditions.

Andrew Brown Why is the Synod so boring? A reflection on this most urgent question; submitted for wider consultation.

Rosemary Hartill The adversarial model doesn’t help The General Synod suffers because of the way it replicates Parliament – it breeds factions, and disagreement.

Andrew Brown Recoiling from nastiness The General Synod has shown that the Church of England rejects homophobia even if it can’t accept gay people on their own terms.

Andrew Brown Are science and atheism compatible? Science brings no comfort to to anyone with dogmatic beliefs about world.

Dave Walker General Synod The general synod as observed from a lofty vantage point.

And here’s some comment on other topics and from elsewhere.

Giles Fraser in the Church Times Face to face with a man I’ve just had a pop at.

Roderick Strange in a Credo column in the Times We need a blessed filter to make sense of our lives How can wealth, comfort, pleasure and a good name be suspect?

Aaron Taylor in The Guardian A season of bright sadness For Orthodox Christians, the penitential season of Lent means much more than fasting.

Nick Spencer in The Guardian Cherie Booth, faith and religion Why it was reasonable for Cherie Booth to take Shamso Miah’s religious committment into account when sentencing him.

Christopher Howse in the Telegraph Our Sound Is Our Wound by Lucy Winkett: Hearing alarms, listening for angels What we can hear, or choose to hear forms a theme in the Lent book of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

And finally a leading article in The Independent The ignored gospel message

Posted by Peter Owen on Saturday, 13 February 2010 at 11:50am GMT | TrackBack
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Christina Rees’ article “Faith in the Future” is linked to this site. It is an insightful article. Rees writes in her conclusion “It will come. Within a few years there will be women taking their place among their brothers. As women have been integrated as priests over the last 15 years, now representing nearly 40% of all Church of England clergy, so too will women be appointed as bishops. When that happens, there will at last be parity for women, but what will remain is the more important work of transforming people's understanding of what it means to be human in the light of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.” We have had female bishops in Canada for some time now. They enjoy virtual complete acceptance--almost. There remain a few instances in Canada of female bishops being blocked from celebrating the Eucharist in a few of the parishes under her oversight. The usual subterfuge is offered up by male clergy, and accepted by the wider church, as a rationale for such a state of affairs.Such isolated local action undermines the commitment of the church as a whole to gender equality. Females will likely be ordained to episcopal ministry in England. Notwithstanding, the notion that in Christ there is neither male nor female will still take much more time to gain acceptance by all clergymen.
-Chuck Inglis

Posted by: Chuck Inglis on Saturday, 13 February 2010 at 4:17pm GMT

I want to have a go at my friend Giles here. Living in Washington I observe a dynamic that is precisely the opposite of what he describes here. The talking heads who excoriated one another on television go out to dinner together afterwards. How nice for them that they get along. But who is served by this comity? Not the people they represent. Same holds true in church fights. The fact that I got along well with David Virtue at our General Convention came as a pleasant surprise, and made those two weeks pass more easily, but it didn't help any of the folks I am sometimes asked to speak for achieve their goals. No one who is excluded has been included because he and I thought about having a drink together. I say all of this because as Rowan Williams and others attempt to focus attention on the character of the debate on LGBT issues rather than on the injustice that gives rise to the debate, we move toward a point at which which calling someone a bigot is considered a greater sin than bigotry.

Posted by: Jim Naughton on Saturday, 13 February 2010 at 5:54pm GMT

@Chuck Inglis (who bears the name of Canada's first bishop, Charles Inglis).

I think, though, that the active opposition to women generally, including women bishops, is losing its steam. Edmonton, hardly a hotbed of liberal or progressive thinking (except in comparison to the rest of Alberta) has now elected two women in a row as diocesan, and the previous +Edmonton led through three ballots in the last primatial election. (Though, yes, it's possible that her sex made the difference in the narrow fourth ballot.) Nova Scotia, formerly a hotbed of WO opponents, now has a female diocesan.

Seems to me that the handful of women bishops are tactically correct to be charitable to their fading opponents. A less charitable response would be counterproductive.

Posted by: Malcolm+ on Saturday, 13 February 2010 at 6:59pm GMT

"No one who is excluded has been included because he and I thought about having a drink together."

Maybe not. But maybe the way that the process is carried out in the wider world is made better by the both of you putting more of a human face on the other side. Maybe if we got to know people more in person over a drink we would treat each other more like siblings in the Church.

I acknowledge it might take buying mutliple rounds in many cases...

Posted by: BillyD/Bill Dilworth on Saturday, 13 February 2010 at 11:48pm GMT

Malcolm + wrote, “Seems to me that the handful of [Canadian] women bishops are tactically correct to be charitable to their fading opponents. A less charitable response would be counterproductive.” This is a telling way of analyzing the situation. It is analysis from the perspective of the individuals involved. This way of sizing up the situation is most helpful if avoiding conflict at all costs in one’s goal. There is another way to evaluate the situation and that is from the perspective of the church as community and society. Preventing one’s bishop from presiding at the parish Communion Service has consequences for that community. A bishop has responsibilities to all members of a parish, not just the cranky types who have problems with the gender of the bishops elected by their diocese. Besides, it’s a kind of parochial “never land” isn’t it? If we don’t have the (female) bishop at our holy Table then we can live in denial, for example, with regard to the ordinations she performs elsewhere. Likewise, the ability of a clergyman to block the full expression of a bishop’s sacramental ministry also says something about the status of every baptized female member of the church—which was a point well made by Christina Rees in the article referenced in my original posting. The episcopate is supposed to be a principal symbol of unity in for the church. Limiting the ministry of female bishops so as not to rile the lads compromises one of the primary functions of the office. Political tactics of appeasement can undermine strategic justice and equality. Vociferous voices in the debate in England about women bishops are attempting to insure for themselves their own “never land” situation when the inevitable happens.
–Chuck Inglis

Posted by: Chuck Inglis on Saturday, 13 February 2010 at 11:58pm GMT

" A church that acknowledges that women should be allowed to be bishops cannot also say that it has doubts about it." - Christina Rees -

And this is why any special accommodation for the opponents of women bishops must be resisted - in the interests of the very 'Church Order' premise on which opponents appear to state their case.

In today's climate of gender equality, to ordain women as priests without the possibility of them becoming bishops is, at best irrational, and at the worst an ecclesial disaster. To give them a different status, where their episcope extends only to those who accept their authority, is a gross insult to their sharing in the Image and Likeness of the God they will represent in their ministry.

Either the Church fully accepts women as equals with men in the sight of God - in which case, their share in the episcopate should be accepted; or the Church will continue to be seen as a barrier to the fullness of Christian discipleship of all the Baptized. "In Christ there is neither male nor female." We do not have to accede to the Roman Magisterium to 'Do Justice'.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Sunday, 14 February 2010 at 5:19am GMT

Giles’ story reminds me why I became an Anglican, the sheer diversity of opinion was its crowning glory – though I do not remember the “bonds of affection” were ever a visible characteristic, rather a deeply frosty acceptance of the others existence hardly verging on tolerance. No, what characterised the relationship between Fr Dan Sonderier and The Revd Mr Ian M Northend was the certainty the other was barely Christian and leading their flocks into Hells of varying temperatures.

But I have more than a modicum of sympathy for Jim’s position – in fact I would say that I have moved somewhat further than he.

Many of those I called friend – I will not even acknowledge these days. I shun them.

In my heart and mind I can reason why they are where they are, say what they say and do what they do - and my love for them has never changed. But now what they say, do or represent threatens not just me, but my whole family. This deserves an appropriate response – a response that acknowledges that truth and does not overwhelm it with – “well, he’s a decent chap really.” A response that tells THEM how important my family is and how I am unwilling to see them damaged or sacrificed to any deeper purpose they think they may have. Of course Giles is not in my position.

Indeed I think the promulgation of the evil and foully misnamed doctrine of “gracious restraint” means it is time not only to I shun them but it is time to discomfort them – and to discomfort sharply – so I am now game for sitting on a strategic bishop’s roof or throwing a little bag of pink poster paint at a processing mitre or two any suggestions would be welcome.

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Sunday, 14 February 2010 at 12:42pm GMT

I don't disagree with you on the overall principle, Chuck. I described the matter as tactical for precisely that reason.

In Canada, the opposition to the ordination of women is a fringe element with no particular breadth and certainly without the destructive influence we see them exercising in the Church of England.

It isn't (as I see it) about "avoiding conflict at all costs," so much as declining to humiliate the already defeated.

Posted by: Malcolm+ on Sunday, 14 February 2010 at 3:30pm GMT

I'm strongly with Malcolm +.

Christina Rees' is a typical piece of overstatement. 'Provision' for those unable to accept women priests and bishops does not imply 'doubts': it merely gives space to those who in good conscience are opposed to them.

As for bishops and unity, if that unity does not exist 100%, as it does not, you cannot simply coerce people into acceptance of majority policy.

I am always surprised at how liberals (of whom I am one), who constantly avail themselves of liberal freedoms, cannot see the absolute moral requirement to extend that same freedom to non-liberals, or at how they suddenly come over all reverent for bishops (of whom they usually have a healthy suspicion) when they happen to agree with them.

If hundreds, perhaps thousands (including congregations), of FiF people leave the C of E because they do not secure 'provision', I think they will be wrong to do so, but I also think a heavy burden of guilt will rest on the shoulders of those who did not give them 'provision'. Think of the disruption and upheaval, of the lives blighted, of the sadness, of the dislocation, and the sheer mess. It's not worth it. This 'liberal' cause is won. We should show some compassion to our fellow-Anglicans, many of whose priests run very good churches and many of whose people are (if you like, in other respects) very virtuous.

Posted by: john on Sunday, 14 February 2010 at 3:41pm GMT

Father Ron is correct that opponents of women as bishops must be resisted along with their premise regarding “church order.” The Baptismal covenant demands that we “respect the dignity of every human being”. This demand is to be taken seriously; it is a demand that is at odds with patriarchy and all of its special pleading. Once women gain a real credible numerically strong voice in the episcopate of the Communion a lot of the homophobia, that is male driven in the first place, will subside. In fact, we may see far more emphasis on genuine Communion and far less emphasis on hegemony and other male power games. –Rod Gillis

Posted by: Rod Gillis on Sunday, 14 February 2010 at 5:25pm GMT

The problem Jim speaks of is one of the personal and the public. With the ABC, his personal has been used time and again to set aside his use of words that others take as permission for contempt toward lgbt persons. This disconnect of personal and public, or as the ABC puts it, personal and ecclesial won't do. And to argue for the disconnect means to argue for it fully. I don't give a rats fig how nice the ABC is in the personal if he continues to use words in the public light that allow for dehumanization and contempt shown toward my person, relationship, and partner. I don't care whether or not he likes me personally. I care that I am treated with equity.

Either personal and public cohere or they do not, but this playing the middle of see how nice I am so keep with me while speaking unkind words to the press and church public gatherings must stop: "the gay bishop", "chosen lifestyle" "sacrificial" "conversion". +Robinson rebuked him for this sort of thing in New Orleans, but he has continued with it. Many of the ABC's words allow for abstracting us into something less than three-dimensional persons. I am more than a sacrificial love and so is my life with my partner. Again, he cannot seem to get past reducing us to pith.

Posted by: Christopher on Sunday, 14 February 2010 at 5:26pm GMT

I'd like to add:

For historical reasons (descent from the Oxford Movement revival, e.g.), many FiF churches are in poor inner-city areas. Against the odds, they maintain a church presence. As a whole, the C of E is pathetically, disgracefully, criminally (etc. etc.) incompetent at engaging with society at large. Paradoxically, and against liberal prejudices, many of these churches do so. Can the C of E afford to throw them out? Absolutely, certainly, NOT.

Posted by: john on Sunday, 14 February 2010 at 7:44pm GMT

As a rejoinder to john (writing in support of Malcolm) I’d like to focus on the article by Christina Rees. I don’t find the article to be an example of overstatement. Rather, I find it to be a concise piece that requires careful reading. The heart of the matter, with regard to female bishops, is not about “liberal freedoms” being “extended by liberals” or anyone else—certainly not the church. It’s not a situation in which “I’ll give you this if you give me that”. The issue is about recognizing the fundamental equality of persons. Ms. Rees writes in her article “The observation is made repeatedly that if one were to replace the word "women" in these discussions with "black" or even "French", the breathtaking offence of these views would become obvious. This verbal offence indicates a much deeper issue: females are still considered by some to be unable to represent Christ at the altar and as not being made fully in the image of God.” The dilemma is more sharply focused than john seems to allow. Are provisions which allow opponents to stay a good thing, or are provisions which by definition fudge and hedge equality on the basis of gender a bad thing, not just for a few but for the many? --Chuck Inglis

Posted by: Chuck Inglis on Sunday, 14 February 2010 at 8:28pm GMT

just a note to Rod Gillis:

We in TEC, baptized or confirmed according to the rites of our 1979 BCP, are covenanted to “respect the dignity of every human being.”

Other Anglicans are not so obliged by their baptismal covenants. This is sadly evident.

Posted by: Oriscus on Sunday, 14 February 2010 at 8:37pm GMT

I agree with you with you Malcolm + that the opposition to the ordination of women is a fringe element in Canada in the south (well perhaps with the exception of New Brunswick). However I can’t agree with your observation about declining to humiliate the already defeated. Remember the “conscience clause” in Canada? One of the reasons it was grand-fathered (no pun intended) was because guys were using the clause, not simply to quiet their conscience but as cover in a continuing battle over the nature of the holy orders of female colleagues. When a bishop, or a priest for that matter, cannot enter a parish with full expression of their sacramental ministry, because of their gender, one might reasonably ask who is humiliating whom? In fact, it kind of makes a statement about women in general, does it not? –Chuck Inglis

Posted by: Chuck Inglis on Sunday, 14 February 2010 at 8:46pm GMT

"I say all of this because as Rowan Williams and others attempt to focus attention on the character of the debate on LGBT issues rather than on the injustice that gives rise to the debate, we move toward a point at which which ***calling someone a bigot is considered a greater sin than bigotry***."

Fantastically well-said, Jim . . . and the problem is far larger than just Rowan Cantuar and the "character of the debate" at the CofE's General Synod.

As in the ACNAist (thread below) who characterized TEC's and the AngChCanada's polity as "atrocities", as the Bishop of Rome complains about Equal Rights legislation as equaling "discrimination", as those who would defend California's same-sex marriage ban are demanding "anonymity for their protection", rhetoric is becoming seriously *disconnected from reality*.

When we disconnect rhetoric from reality, our ethics become similarly *disconnected from the Gospel*.

To wit:

"FiF people ... many of whose priests run very good churches and many of whose people are (if you like, in other respects) very virtuous."

"in other respects"? The road to HELL is paved with "in other respects"! From Mussolini making the trains run on time; to SS officers who were wonderful, caring parents; to a soon-to-be-retired Archbishop of Abuja and his noted stand against governmental corruption!

"Be perfect as you Father in heaven is perfect": THAT is the ethic we ought to STRIVE for (even if all we sinners constantly fail). There is NO (compartmentalized) "in other respects"!

Posted by: JCF on Sunday, 14 February 2010 at 9:02pm GMT

John, thanks for agreeing with me, but I don't think I agree with the me that you're referencing.

I think it is entirely appropriate for the female diocesan in Canada not to insist on being the principal celebrant of a Sunday morning at that FiFish (we don't really have FiF here) parish.

I'm not convinced that it makes any sense - strategically or tactically - to create ghetto structures for the propagation and preservation of the perverse theology behind opposition to the ordination of women to the episcopate.

In Canada, all there ever was was a conscience clause. The world did not come to an end.

Posted by: Malcolm+ on Sunday, 14 February 2010 at 9:43pm GMT

"If hundreds, perhaps thousands (including congregations), of FiF people leave the C of E because they do not secure 'provision', I think they will be wrong to do so, but I also think a heavy burden of guilt will rest on the shoulders of those who did not give them 'provision'"
- John, on Sunday -

John, with all due respect, I doubt very much that 'thousands (including congregationas) of F.i.F. people' will leave the C.of E. 'because they do not secure provision' - simply because many of these Anglo-Catholic clergy and people will think very hard before such a movement is made. When a humanly-decided doctrinal stance against women as fit to share the ministry of the Gospel as clergy is weighed against God's call on the lives of suitable women candidates to come forward for ordination; there is simply no contest.

If one's actual livelihood is threatened by an out-dated theological position on the equality of women with men - especially in today's climate of 'equal rights' of Christians based on our common Baptism into Christ - where neither male nor female can be considered the inferior - then one's conscience, rather than the presenting reality of women as clergy, has to be the ruling factor.

The pragmatic reality is, that women have been priests and bishops within the Anglican Churches now for more than twenty years. F.i.F. priests have lived with that reality - some of them being ordained well after women were ordained priests.

The problem with the Church of England hitherto, has been the unedifying practice of allowing two different 'theologies' to exist at one and the same time: One, where women are accepted as called by God into sacerdotal ministry; and the other, where this is considered to be a breach of Catholic Order.

In the interim, many catholics like myself have been persuaded, by experience of their ministry and further theological reflection on the Pauline statement that: "In Christ, there is neither male nor female", that a woman's place in the Church - both as members of the congregation or as ordained ministers - is equal to that of the male of the species.

The fact that the Roman Magisterium has not yet acceded to this view does not affect me as an Anglican. R.C. prohibition of contraception, same-sex relationship, and enforced celibacy in the priesthood are other 'doctrinal' requirements that Anglicans are, also, not committed to - all without having to abandon one's catholicity as an Anglican.

To be consistent, I believe, F.i.F. clergy who oppose women as priests or bishops on grounds of breaking with tradition, ought also to remain celibate, denounce divorce, deny contraception and obey all aspects of the Roman Magisterium. In other words; they should either accept what the Church of England has decided, or become Roman Catholics. There can be no middle path.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Sunday, 14 February 2010 at 10:06pm GMT

Oriscus wrote:"...We in TEC, baptized or confirmed according to the rites of our 1979 BCP, are covenanted to 'respect the dignity of every human being.'Other Anglicans are not so obliged by their baptismal covenants. This is sadly evident." Thanks, point taken. You likely are aware that The baptismal covenant found in the 1979 American BCP was imported into the Book of Alternative Services of the Anglican Church of Canada in 1985. This particular rite of Holy Baptism is virtually the norm in Canada. As in the American BCP so in the Canadian BAS it also forms the basis for the renewal of baptismal vows, including renewal at the Easter Vigil. So we have ample opportunity to commit ourselves to “respect the dignity of every human being”. I take your point that other Anglicans (sadly) are not so obliged. In fact, I note some influences from the American baptismal covenant on the baptismal covenant in “Common Worship” in the rites of The Church of England (p. 359). Curiously the reference to “respect the dignity of every human” is absent from the differently worded last question. Only in North America you say? Pity.
–Rod Gillis

Posted by: Rod Gillis on Monday, 15 February 2010 at 12:35am GMT

'the perverse theology behind opposition to the ordination of women to the episcopate'

I happen to agree with you that the theology is wrong. But when you are arguing with someone, you only do justice to their arguments, if (a) you take them (themselves) as sincere, and (b) you take their arguments in their best forms. Your description here does not do that. In fact, I think it profoundly uncharitable, especially as coming from a priest.

The facts of the matter, I still believe, are that (a) theology is very plastic (intellectually, it's a rotten discipline), (b) people are very selective in what they emphasise, (c) they're very inconsistent, according to what suits particular agendas, and (d) it is therefore extremely easy for people of good will and intelligence to disagree about many theological matters. Consequently, no theological case at all is logically provable. That being so, although a particular community may decide "x", and for very good reasons, there may be people within that community who should be absolved from observance of "x", particularly if they are a small minority and pose no threat to "x", because they too have their reasons and some of them are not contemptible.

I sometimes wonder why I fight this fight. Perhaps it's partly because I was born and raised in Northern Ireland and have a most visceral but also grounded hatred of totalism.

But also, I think, someone said 'Blessed are the peace-makers'.

Posted by: john on Monday, 15 February 2010 at 1:23pm GMT

In my work on Great Lakes ships I befriended a priest in East Chicago, Indiana. To say he was a high-churchman was an understatement, he came complete with a maniple for a low mass he said in is small (but effective) parish in what was largely a forgotten ghetto in the shadow of steel mills and refineries.

When I first met him, he was dead set against women's ordination. Through the years of our continuing long-distance friendship he has come around, and I can only attribute that to not my gift (or lack of, more precisely) of persuasion, but my telling him stories of the trials and tribulations of the everyday life of my few female priest friends. It is through the identification and realized comradery with female clerics that he quietly accepted their validity.

When I came out to my parents painfully many years ago, the one question that made them ponder and think was "do you think that what you were taught was wrong?" I think only time help change others minds on this subject and we'd all better accept that there are many good people that have wrong ideas on WO. We can't write off places such as West Croydon, East Chicago or someplace in Surrey, but realize that coming around isn't going to be quick. A few may walk, but my guess is that most will come around, if not for the fact that they know that they were sadly mistaken.

By the way, the last time I drove out there, he was still using the maniple!

Posted by: choirboyfromhell on Monday, 15 February 2010 at 5:42pm GMT

"a particular community may decide "x", and for very good reasons, there may be people within that community who should be absolved from observance of "x", particularly if they are a small minority and pose no threat to "x", because they too have their reasons and some of them are not contemptible." - John on Monday -

John, while I agree with the sentiment behind your argument here, I have to take issue with your ecclesiology. If the issue of women clergy is so offensive to the anglican conscience, then it behoves the offended not to allow themselves to be offended - whatever that means in the way of their Church allegiance.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Monday, 15 February 2010 at 6:14pm GMT

Chuck, I don't disagree that any refusal to have a woman bishop preside in a parish is a problem. All I'm saying is that the given woman bishop is in a better place to decide what might be gained - or lost - by getting drawn into a fight about it. Most often, in most of Canada, it would probably be counterproductive.

Since the office of ordinary does not depend on episcopal orders, so long as they give her due and canonical obedience as ordinary, it may make perfect sense to be gracious on the orders issue. (That works for catholic-minded OW-skeptics. Not so much for evangelical-minded ones, but they're few and far between here.)

Posted by: Malcolm+ on Monday, 15 February 2010 at 7:10pm GMT

Well Malcolm if you're saying that expediency and "why can't we all just get along" are a pair of Canadian traits,it's hard to disagree. Yet look at what happened in Eastern Newfoundland. Don Harvey retires from the Anglican Church of Canada, gets himself transferred canonically to another ecclesiastical jurisdiction, and proceeds to pontificate.The outcome? The clergy who used to serve under him while he was diocesan are required to attend a mandatory renewal of ordination vows as a condition for keeping their licenses. The common denominator is what is good and expedient for a particular bishop is good for the whole community. Is that what you are arguing for? -Chuck Inglis

Posted by: Chuck Inglis on Monday, 15 February 2010 at 8:59pm GMT

Chuck said: "The common denominator is what is good and expedient for a particular bishop is good for the whole community. Is that what you are arguing for?"

Malcolm responds: I probably wouldn't push it that far, no. But I do think expediency is not always a bad thing. And I'm saying that I trust Sue Moxley and Jane Alexander to judge when to push the issue and when it isn't helpful.

From the outside, Cy Pitman's action in ENL seems a trifle extreme, but I gather from a couple of contacts there that there were reasons for his to assert his authority in that way. I don't know the situation on the ground well enough to judge. Unless I'm given a reason not to do so, I'm inclined to defer to +Cyrus's judgement.

Posted by: Malcolm+ on Monday, 15 February 2010 at 10:25pm GMT

so, Malcolm we are at an impasse. You're back to working the problem from the point of view of the individuals and variables involved. I prefer looking at the issue from how it affects the church as a community of the whole--which is why I support the analysis in the Rees article. Notwithstanding, I understand on the core values involved you seem to be in a similar place. -Chuck Inglis

Posted by: Chuck Inglis on Tuesday, 16 February 2010 at 12:43am GMT

Indeed, Chuck. Our difference is tactical, not strategic. It is about means, not ends.

Posted by: Malcolm+ on Tuesday, 16 February 2010 at 3:39pm GMT

'we'd all better accept that there are many good people that have wrong ideas on WO.'

Good sentiment, 'Choirboy'.

By the way, 'hombre', I'd like to know your name. I'm not intending to die any time soon, but one never knows. If you'd care to reveal it, I'm on:
j.l.moles@ncl.ac.uk.

Posted by: john on Tuesday, 16 February 2010 at 7:56pm GMT

Malcolm + "Our difference is tactical, not strategic. It is about means, not ends"
Means and ends have a dynamic relationship however. In the Canadian Church context the tendency to default to negotiated (and often non-transparent) face saving arrangements, as a means to tranquility, outweighs the advancement of ends in which principles are clarified (and transparent) for the common good. As a practical application, not upsetting the gentlemen usually trumps adherence to principles such as gender equality.Christina Rees is wise in pointing to the implications of this way of doing business. Speaking of transparent, my friends here in Ontario tell me the anxiety barometer General Synod 2010 is going up, and so is the heat behind the scenes. -Chuck Inglis

Posted by: Chuck Inglis on Tuesday, 16 February 2010 at 8:37pm GMT

Means and ends can often be in tension, and while generosity to a defeated adversary may sometimes be the right call, that isn't always the case.

I'm curious to know what you mean about the anxiety barometer for GS2010.

If you'd rather have that discussion offlist, let me know.

Posted by: Malcolm+ on Wednesday, 17 February 2010 at 4:47am GMT

Malcolm + asked about the barometric pressure for General Synod 2010.If you know anyone in the Canadian HoB and or CoGS you might ask them some pointed questions. Do you watch jeopardy? Under the category of human sexuality "What is micromanagement? -Chuck Inglis

Posted by: Chuck Inglis on Wednesday, 17 February 2010 at 1:46pm GMT

"I happen to agree with you that the theology is wrong. But when you are arguing with someone, you only do justice to their arguments, if (a) you take them (themselves) as sincere... Your description here does not do that. In fact, I think it profoundly uncharitable, especially as coming from a priest. "

I disagree. While there may be some arguments against the ordination of women that make sense (after all, there are people I admire and respect cannot accept it, so they must have their reasons) some of the theology behind it is, I believe, inimical to the Gospel and needs to be challenged more strongly than we have. For example, the idea that women cannot be ordained because they make for inferior representations of Christ owing to their gender does a tremendous disservice - not to them, not to justice, but to Christ. But because a power player like the RCC has endorsed this horrible theory it enjoys a certain air of legitimacy. I think while we can affirm that people genuinely and sincerely believe it, we emphasize that they are genuinely and sincerely wrong.

Posted by: BillyD/Bill Dilworth on Thursday, 18 February 2010 at 12:49pm GMT

Not sure what you're disagreeing with, BillyD. The theory you're talking about in the language you use does not fall within 'their best forms'. I'm perfectly happy to join with you in attacking it. To describe ALL the theology against WO as 'perverse' is just too broad-brush.

Posted by: john on Thursday, 18 February 2010 at 8:45pm GMT

Chuck, comments at Simple Massing Priest are moderated. If you'd leave me an email address as a comment over there, I won't publish it to the website, but I'll email you so we can carry this forward offline.

Posted by: Malcolm+ on Friday, 19 February 2010 at 6:53am GMT

Thanks to Malcolm+ for the offer but its not necessary. But,look forward for another Canadian GS in 2010 in which hours and hours will be devoted to human sexuality and related issues. Some of the same players who brought the Council of General Synod to deadlock on this issue last year now want a crack at General Synod. Now, this is where, like in the movies, I race out of the parking garage. "Follow the anxiety". -Chuck

Posted by: Chuck Inglis on Friday, 19 February 2010 at 12:44pm GMT
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