Sunday, 9 May 2010

Women bishops - press reports

Martha Linden of the Press Association via The Independent Church faces fresh turmoil over women bishops

Christian Today CofE gears up for debate on women bishops at July Synod

Ruth Gledhill and Jack Grimston in the Times Draft law opens way for first women bishops by 2014

Jonathan Wynne-Jones in the Telegraph Church faces turmoil over plans for women bishops

Posted by Peter Owen on Sunday, 9 May 2010 at 11:48am BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England | General Synod
Comments

Typo in title of second item: for Christianity Today read Christian Today

Posted by: Chip on Sunday, 9 May 2010 at 6:38pm BST

Thanks Chip. I've corrected my mistake.

Posted by: Peter Owen on Sunday, 9 May 2010 at 8:31pm BST

After reading such beautiful comments in support of the two women to be consecrated as bishops in Los Angeles, it is disconcerting to me, that it will still take three and half years for The Church of England to consecrate its' first women bishops. I know the clocks of church bureaucracy move slowly in every Christian community, but it seems so painful a process for all concerned. I hope the Church of England Synod does the right thing by eliminating even the discussion of so called "flying bishops". This would be so very unfair and un-Christ like to inflict this pain on the women who have waited so long. Sound theology is on the side of women on this issue. There are so many examples in the New Testament and even some in the old Testament to back this up. After two thousand years of Christianity, one would think it's about time for women to share equal status with men in all roles of leadership in the Church. This will be a defining moment for The Church of England. I would love to see the rules for selecting and electing bishops in The Church of England change. It would be wonderful if lay people and clergy from each diocese could select candidates and put them up for election by an equal number of lay and clergy persons. I wonder if this is even possible in The Church of England? The primitive Church elected bishops this way. I have always wondered why this was never even a topic at one of the General Synods of the Church of England? Does this have something to do with the Queen being the final arbiter of who becomes a bishop in The Church of England? I would be interested in any comments on this topic.

Posted by: Chris Smith on Sunday, 9 May 2010 at 9:30pm BST

"I know the clocks of church bureaucracy move slowly in every Christian community, but it seems so painful a process for all concerned."
- Chris Smith on Sunday -

You are right, of course Chris. However, it has been said that only the devil wants us to rush into important decisions. Perhaps this is why your own branch of the Church (R.C.) is taking so long to accept women to be co-equal with men as bearers of the image and likeness of God. HOWEVER. The speed with which successive Popes have regressed from the visionary hopes of Blessed Pope John XXIII's Vatican II Council deliberations has been positively record-breaking (and depressing).

Happy Easter-tide, Chris. Keep on truckin'.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Monday, 10 May 2010 at 12:12am BST

I often wonder if those against WO have ever been a regular communicant at a church served by a female priest. I'll even say the best situation is a parish church with the luxury of more than one priest, with the ordained of both sexes serving. I like the idea of parish members requesting alternative oversight. It may well be that much of this fuss about female bishops isn't coming from the average person in the pew. I guess we will find out soon enough.

Meanwhile, I hope those wishing to cross the Tiber realize that's not a decision to make lightly. I can't imagine someone doing that without the full RCIA process.

Posted by: Lynn on Monday, 10 May 2010 at 3:26am BST

"They claimed that the proposals were designed to 'wipe out' those on the Anglo-Catholic and evangelical wings of the Church who do not believe it is in accordance with biblical teaching for women to be bishops."

- Jonathan Wynne-Jones, Telegraph -

The anti-women bishops sodality making such claims are obviously not aware of the fact that - though their prejudices have not been totally accepted by this proposed legislation allowing women to be ordained bishops - their tender consciences have been given some leeway. In the proposal that any parish which balks at the idea, they may, with the permission of their Ordinary (presumably a female bishop) receive ministry from another (male) bishop.

This, if allowed in the subsequent legislation, may not completely assuage their fear of women in the sanctuary, or on the episcopal throne, but it would ensure that they do not have to suffer the touch of a female in the course of receiving the sacraments of the Church. At least in this way, the clergy get to keep their houses and stipends within the Church of England.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Monday, 10 May 2010 at 11:39am BST

Father Ron,

FiF people have explained again and again why the procedure you outline is not acceptable to them. You take no account of their objections, and you sneer at them as people. It's lazy, and it is also offensive.

You probably know that I am just as much in favour of women bishops in the C of E as you are and just as eager that it should happen quickly. But I also think that the FiF arguments are not formally refutable, that they fall acceptably within the range of Anglican thinking, that the disruption and unhappiness of their (from their point of view) being forced to leave are intolerable, and that many of them run (if you like, in other respects) exemplary churches, which the C of E should be glad to have (especially considering the manifest disfunctionalism of large swathes of its operations). Check out Ed Tomlinson's or T E Jones blogs. As I have said many times before on this site, proper moral decision-making involves weighing up a whole range of considerations. Women bishops, yes, of course; adequate structural provision for dissenters, yes, of course. That is the Anglican way, and, funnily enough, many FiF people, whom one might otherwise have considered to be absolutists, have come to see that it is so, and that it is better than any of the alternatives. We should treat them with sympathy and compassion and not just tolerate them but allow them to flourish.

Posted by: john on Monday, 10 May 2010 at 3:54pm BST

FIF people should always be treated with sympathy and compassion as well as toleration. No argument there. The problem lies in the basic failure of these people to grasp the solid and healthy theological grounds for women as equal to men in service to the Church as priests and bishops. It has taken nearly two thousand years for women to gain a foot in the door of these roles in the Church. Flying bishops is not a healthy or dignified option. It treats women as second class citizens. This is not acceptable. I believe it is better for all concerned that FIF accept Rome's invitation or join another Christian community. It is time for The Church of England to move on and promote women to all ordained ministries. Nothing else will do. I do not say this uncharitably.

Posted by: Chris Smith on Monday, 10 May 2010 at 6:00pm BST

Praise God that some real liberals still exist John. Thank you for having taken the time to not only listen to us and understand our arguments ut also to realise that it is possible to co-exist when we do honour each other's positions. What a shame yours is a lone voice on this site...as i suspect it will be come July.

Posted by: Ed Tomlinson on Monday, 10 May 2010 at 7:48pm BST

Well gee john, next you'll see parishes in the AC that are/need to be LGBT-free and require that in their leadership structure.

See where that road leads?

Posted by: evensongjunkie (formerly cbfh) on Monday, 10 May 2010 at 8:46pm BST

"Women bishops, yes, of course; adequate structural provision for dissenters, yes, of course. That is the Anglican way, and, funnily enough, many FiF people, whom one might otherwise have considered to be absolutists, have come to see that it is so, and that it is better than any of the alternatives. We should treat them with sympathy and compassion and not just tolerate them but allow them to flourish."

In regard to both the first and last sentences...for how long? For how long must women priests and bishops be forced to go about their callings as "second-class clerics" in the eyes of the Church? And, yes, when a sizable number of the Church's members must have their objections "accommodated," then the Church, as an institution, clearly views them as "second-class," unworthy of ministering to all its members.

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Monday, 10 May 2010 at 9:02pm BST

If the FiF people have been willing to stay and live with women priests and Flying Bishops, why should they not be willing to do so with women bishops? After all, the difference between tolerating women as priests but not as bishops is difficult to understand.

Posted by: Adam Armstrong on Monday, 10 May 2010 at 11:11pm BST

I should say as an addendum that separate but equal doesn't work. The tension will always be legitimized in the structure; and it will ultimately be unfair to both parties. Both FiF types and women will be seen as second-class citizens.

Posted by: evensongjunkie (formerly cbfh) on Tuesday, 11 May 2010 at 12:34am BST

"adequate structural provision for dissenters.... That is the Anglican way"

Sorry, it seems to be the Church of England way, but I suggest it is not the Anglican way. It is an innovation which has opened the door to all manner of abuse, to demands for "alternative oversight," to incursions across borders by foreign bishops and Primates. Structural firewalls designed to protect dissidents were well-intentioned, but they have undermined catholic order and created havoc. It is time the Church of England accepts that its innovation did more harm than good, and ends it as the Church in Wales has.

Posted by: Nom de Plume on Tuesday, 11 May 2010 at 2:00am BST

In reply to John, on Monday: as 'evensongjunkie' has already pointed out, those if F.i.F. who happen to be gay - and yet opposed to women in the sanctuary - what would happen if anti-gay parishioners (and there may be some in Anglo-Catholic parishes in the U.K.) were to insist on their right to exclusive ministry from a non-gay male priest/bishop, and one who had not been ordained by a gay (M/F) bishop?
I suppose that they would claim that this is not a matter of 'core doctrine'. Would that make it so?

It seems to me that most Anglicans might just consider both gay and female clergy did not involve any departure from 'core doctrine'. All I'm asking for here is a little even-handedness.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Tuesday, 11 May 2010 at 4:50am BST

Adam
the difference between tolerating female priests and female bishops is not difficult to understand.
From an FiF point of view, once a female bishop starts to ordain priests, it will not be long before it becomes impossible to work out which male priest was validly ordained and which wasn't. If one of those priests ever becomes a bishop, all male priests ordained by him will, in the yes of FiF, be invalidly ordained – and you end up with a terrible muddle and the prospect of having to set up complex systems to work out which priest is valid and which isn’t.
Also, if a priest takes the Episcopate seriously, and if he does not believe in female bishops, he will not be able to remain in a diocese that is served by a woman.

It's a purely practical thing - you can ignore and tolerate women priests even if they're in a church next to you, but you cannot do the same with female bishops.

I fully understand FiF's reasoning, why they feel squeezed out, and I can see why John calls for continued accommodation.

My difficulty with it is rests precisely in that same complexity: Once something becomes so widespread and accepted, it is increasingly impossible to accommodate a minority group without in effect creating a church within a church, thereby perverting the traditional Anglicanism they, and we, are rightly proud of.
Anglicanism as was simply is no longer. Either we all move forward with female priests and bishops, in which case the traditional male only understanding of priesthood is dead and we no longer tolerate those who still support it. Or we create tighter and tighter enclaves for the traditionalists and thereby create structures that are completely alien to Anglicanism and which would not be recognised by those who came before us.

The only thing we can do, in the face of this changed Anglicanism, is to decide which way its future lies.

As Pat says - for how long do you accommodate people's dissenting views that are increasingly anachronistic in your church? And the real question has been captured by evensongjunkie - would you be willing to make the same provisions for any other grouping that happened to want to exclude any other section of the church for what it believes to be valid theological reasons?

Where to do you stop?

Posted by: Erika Baker on Tuesday, 11 May 2010 at 8:03am BST

Erika is right that it becomes more and more difficult to find any sort of accommodation that isn't, in fact, a church within a church...which is esp difficult in a parochially ordered national church.As it is a FIF church doesnt mean a uniformly FIF congregation.Its sad when people feel they have to leave, but it isnt exactly new..Separatists in the 1580's+, historic dissent in 1662, non-jurors in 1689, unitarians in the 18c, methodists in the 1790's, Tractarians from 1845...etc. it seems to me that the problem was that many in FIF quickly interpreted extended episcopal care into alternative episcopal oversight and "two integrities" as meaning the Church of England as a church had two positions on the ordination of women as opposed to two positions of integrity i.e women priests and conscientious dissent from that decision.This was never really the case. In the last 17yrs large numbers of male priests have retired and ordinations now are probably 40% female.the gender balance has shifted more quickly than expected. Many felt the Act of Synod made for ecclesiological incoherence and to continue along those lines would add to the incoherence.The Revision Committee seems to have done its best and attempts to substantially revise what they have done on the floor of the Synod will simply create a dogs breakfast.I cant see any alternative but to move forward and see what happens.Clearly 2 of the PEV's and +Fulham are likely to jump ship whatever...after all anyone who accepts the RC magisterium as the Ordinate requires is already outside anything recognisably anglican.

Posted by: Perry Butler on Tuesday, 11 May 2010 at 12:34pm BST

Once you start playing the game of determining whose ordination is valid (and I do believe in Apostolic Succession), it becomes more a matter of ecclesiastical "bloodlines" and less a matter of trusting and relying on the Holy Spirit. Declaring someone's orders valid or invalid is as old as the Church itself, much to our shame. You would probably want a "genealogical chart or certificate proving ordination by males" for every priest in the Anglican Communion so we would know whether or not their sacraments are valid. I think we can trust ion the grace and power of the Holy Spirit more than such a mechanical and graceless approach. I'm all for Holy Tradition, but sometimes reality should matter just as much. Such a "Tradition" as male-only priesthood and episcopate comes from a culture where women were non-persons and mere chattel. Oddly, the Gospels and much of the New Testament points us away from that. We cannot assume that we can, with any integrity or even human compassion, treat women that way forever. The dignity of every human being is clearly God's Will and no one is inferior in His Kingdom, His economy, or His Church. By our Baptism, we have all been made to drink of the One Spirit. No one chooses to be born male or female, so why should an accident of birth determine whether or not one is suitable for Holy Orders? The truth is that the ministries of ordained women have brought great benefits and many gifts to the Church and we cannot deny that God is at work and has blessed this. If the sacraments or ordained women have given grace to many, how can this not be true of the sacraments of women bishops? We cannot deny that God will continue to bless the Church with women as bishops. Gamaliel had a point. Who are we to tell God what is good for His purpose and for His Church?

Posted by: Adam Armstrong on Tuesday, 11 May 2010 at 1:56pm BST

With you Erika. So why do many in the liberal wing not only actively hate us for staying but also mock us when we look elsewhere for our future? Just witness the condemnation of the flying bishops on previous posts for daring to have spoken with the Vatican!

It seems I am unable to stay and yet- if I try and move my parish into the ordinariate (so far over 90% favour this route) I am accused of being a deserter and told I can expect no hold, no building, nothing.

Seems I am just hated and worthy of contempt and abuse by many on here no matter what I seek to do. THAT is what hurts and makes us so angry

Posted by: Ed Tomlinson on Tuesday, 11 May 2010 at 2:29pm BST

Erika,

I profoundly disagree with you.

(1) You don't seem to give any weight at all to 'the counter-arguments'.

(2) You ask: 'Where will it all end?' This is a version of 'the slippery slope' argument, which has no logical force, although it can, I admit, have practical force.

(3) You (and others like you) seem to imply (can you really mean it?) that similarity and difference are constituted only in the present issue and similar issues and in the structures which deal with them. This is nonsense. I do not agree with FiF people about women priests and bishops; I am a lot happier in some of their churches (on visits) than I am in some of the churches with which I happen to be in agreement on these issues. Personally, beyond a certain point, I can't stand Evangelical churches, though I am completely happy that they should co-exist with us within the C of E. I have been to FiF churches whose buildings are achingly beautiful and whose services speak profoundly to me. I bet the same is true of you.

(4) It is far from being the case that the 'two camps' are completely separate and water-tight entities.

(5) Perhaps I'm deceiving myself, but I truly believe that if you and I showed up, identifiably, at Ed Tomlinson's or Father T E Jones' churches we would be welcome and we would be well treated. Ed, it is true, may well have decided to depart, but elsewhere I think there is much yearning within FiF ranks for continued co-existence.

Posted by: john on Tuesday, 11 May 2010 at 3:33pm BST

".... Ed, it is true, may well have decided to depart, but elsewhere I think there is much yearning within FiF ranks for continued co-existence."

Then stop fighting city hall. Do you think for a moment "we" thought of bailing out for Rome/Geneva/wherever when the Jeffery Johns incident erupted? That some of us traditionalists felt like when sung matins were taken away by "more catholic" bishops in the 1980's here in the states? The advent of the 1979 (American) BCP?

You didn't see most of us throwing tantrums and threatening to take the property.

Yes, my slippery slope argument is all about practicality; that's what it's all about for realistic survival today.

Here's another hypothetical question: What would you all do if the RC church had already accepted women to the ordinate at this present time? Are you waiting for "monkey see, monkey do" then it's nothing to do with outdated and limited interpretation of Scripture and worn-out theology.

I observe with sadness the last "high-church" Anglo-Catholic parish in my metropolitan area. It broke away from TEC over the women priest issue back in 1976. They kept the property (Bishops strangely can be more generous than one can imagine). Now it's attendance is under the paid choir's (they are well endowed, from one deceased parishioner). The gang at the altar is all male and I'll let you guess at what gay bar they hang out at after mass. And absolutely no outreach in the impoverished neighborhood the church sits smack dab in the middle, contrary to the tenets of Newman/Pusey/et al. The place has a nickname-"Our Lady of Raging Queens".

Do you honestly think that this is Christian charity and proper proclamation of the Gospel?

Oh, and by the way, Ed, what does your bishop think about your planned actions? I should say which bishop....

Posted by: evensongjunkie (formerly cbfh) on Tuesday, 11 May 2010 at 8:20pm BST

John
I'm not aware that I offered an opinion on whether FiF should be accommodated or not. I thought I had simply sketched why it is a very difficult question with pros and cons on either side.

As it happens, I am completely torn about the issue. I do feel for Ed and people like him, I do not believe they are misogynistic and I do not think they deserve the smug bile directed at them.

On the other hand, as a bisexual woman I have often enough born the brunt of the church's official view on homosexuality and I have learned to accept the argument that if I stay in this church I have to allow it to govern itself according to its own canons while battling for change from within. Believe me, I know how Ed feels. Would I be happier if there was a place for me where people like me could safely be Readers, Churchwardens, Priests and Bishops? You bet.
But I would also not like the resulting church, because what I love about Anglicanism is that it is a broad tent that allows people to live together in unity but respecting difference. Creating official ghettos goes completely against the grain.

And so my head is torn in both directions as is my heart. I’m afraid that this is one of those instances where there is no black and white, no right or wrong, and where whatever happens will be a murky shade of grey that leaves a lot of pain and disillusion in its wake – for all sides.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Tuesday, 11 May 2010 at 8:51pm BST

Adam
I think the conversations on this thread and others like it are a little cross purpose.
I hear your arguments, as it happens, I share your views. But this is yesterday’s debate.
Today we are talking about accommodating people who do not share our theology, and simply repeating our beliefs doesn’t further this conversation.
We have to accept that there are irreconcilable beliefs. That is the starting point for trying to find a solution.
It would be good if we could simply accept that there are people who are genuinely deeply hurt and unsettled by the way the church is moving and that they do not see how they can stay in it nor how they can leave.
Why can we not believe that the way our church is moving is the right one, yet feel compassion, not contempt, for those who just cannot walk that same path?

Posted by: Erika Baker on Tuesday, 11 May 2010 at 9:33pm BST

"It seems I am unable to stay and yet- if I try and move my parish into the ordinariate (so far over 90% favour this route) I am accused of being a deserter and told I can expect no hold, no building, nothing"
- Ed Tomlinson -

Ed, the actual 'ability to stay' still rests with you. If you decide to depart that is your own decision, no-one is actually forcing you to become either a Roman Catholic or a member of the R.C. Ordinariates. Whatever 'John' may say in your favour and in your defence, it does not alter the fact that you have made yourself a prisoner of your own conscience and no-one can help you there.

The fact remains that, though you are able to discriminate between two 'catholic' doctrines - that of celibacy and the ordination of women - most of us are not. And the fact that you regard the Roman Catholic requirement for celibacy as being 'dispensible', while yet seeing the R.C. refusal to accept women clergy as 'doctrinal' and therefore 'indispensible' seems to create an odd situation of incompatibility with the tradition of the Roman Catholic Church - which you claim to be infallible in both theology and praxis.

Another reality that you don't seem to be able to fully understand, is that, if you move from mainstream Anglicanism you are not even morally entitled to take your parish and appurtenances with you - they belong to your present Anglican Church which is also your employer.

Finally, no-one is forcing you to move out of the Church into which you were ordained - after, it must be remembered, women priests were already a part of the Anglican structures. If your private conscience allowed you to go forward with priestly ordination - even though women were already being ordained into your chosen faith community - then your private conscience cannot claim to have been assaulted by the natural progression of women into the episcopate of your ordaining Church.

If the issue really is all about women in leader-ship in the Church, then do be honest about that, so that we can all try to understand better your real objections.

Remember, Saint Hilda of Whitby was a pretty powerful leader of the Catholic Church in England in her day and age - she was a mitred abbess with the staff of authority over both women and men in her double monastery in the north of England. I wonder how she would have viewed the present stand-off over women's ordination today?

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Wednesday, 12 May 2010 at 3:56am BST

Erika,

Sorry I misunderstood you.

Best.

Posted by: john on Wednesday, 12 May 2010 at 11:46am BST

Thank you, Erika. I have no problem with being accepting and compassionate and allowing accomodation for different views. That's not my issue. I do mind when we hear the same old reasons for it going unchallenged. The "pipeline" theory of ordination with the assumption that only male hands can consecrate valid sacraments may be sincerely held, but it is impossible to let it pass as a solid argument.

Posted by: Adam Armstrong on Wednesday, 12 May 2010 at 3:13pm BST

Oh Ron you really do need to grasp some very basic facts.

1) I am NOT choosing to make celibacy discipline and women priests doctrine...that is the OFFICIAL position of the RC church itself. Hence the Syriac tradition has always had married priests and is in communion with peter quite without problem.

2) Saying this all rests with me is very dishonest. I was ordained into a church which had promised provision for oppponents...that is now being withdrawn. In effect the church is breaking a promise and not me.

3) Why does my parish belong to the diocese? It was built by the Anglo-Catholic visionaries to teach the very faith I am no longer allowed to teach. It was paid for, cleaned, maintained and served by people who espoused the same Catholic faith. It has only ever been in that tradition and took resolution C as soon as that was possible. Only two people object to the ordinariate proposal ALL others are giving their assent. SO why prey does the fabric suddenly belong to those who believe something entirely different and who have never paid anything to it? Indeed the diocese stages a mass protest when the foundation stone was laid and petitioned for its closure - against all odds it opened because +Edward King came all the way from Lincoln to lay the stone. How DARE you assume ownership simply because you have POWER on your side. WHat an unChristian sentiment. Sorry to get passionate but for the supporters of WO to boot us out and steal our building would be an act of the most disgusting proportions.

Let us go but don't you dare lay claim to something you never established, cared for, paid for or even set foot in.

Posted by: Ed Tomlinson on Wednesday, 12 May 2010 at 6:17pm BST

"2) Saying this all rests with me is very dishonest. I was ordained into a church which had promised provision for oppponents...that is now being withdrawn. In effect the church is breaking a promise and not me." - Ed Tomlinson -

Ed. Are you saying that you offered yourself for ordination into the Church of England - on the basis that your opposition to women priests would be permanently accommodated? I do find that hard to believe, Ed. I had thought, I must confess, that the provision of 'alternate oversight' in the church of england was officially declared to have been only a temporary measure - until such time as the situation of women's ministry had been 'given time' to have been incorporated into the Church as being a permanent situation. Am I wrong? Would someone else on this thread be able to enlighten me, please?

Another point at issue here is that, on joining the clergy of the C.of E., were you not aware that the general Synod of that Church has the right and the canonical authority to make new decisions about how the gospel is best proclaimed - into the society in which is called to minister? After all, your friends in the Roman Catholic Church have had to accommodate to several different papal edicts (e.g. The Assumption of Our Lady) which was not agreed to by the whole Church. This did not cause a mass defection, though, from its clergy. Was that a matter of less importance, do you think, than the ordination of women?

In continuing this dialogue, Ed., I want you to know that I am a dyed-in-the-wool Anglo-Catholic, a 'Real Presence' advocate, and as my fellow NZ clergy know, my devotion to Our Lady is consonant with my firm belief (after some time of struggle) that women have the same capacity for leadership in the Church as the other half of humanity we know to be male. So I am not opposing you on grounds of incompatibility with you on issues of Anglican Catholicity. What motivates my current questioning is why a member of the Church of England - not under the Roman Magisterium - is claiming to be more 'catholic', by his opposition to women clergy, than fellow Anglo-Catholics who believe the opposite.

I really do think that your ordination as a priest in the Church of England requires you to be loyal to the determinations of General Synod; and this is what you are seemingly unable to accept.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Thursday, 13 May 2010 at 12:33am BST

Ed: Your parish property belongs to your diocese because the Anglican Church is a hierarchical church. It is held in trust by the Anglican Church for the benefit of the whole. You are sounding more and more like a child who no longer wishes to play in your fellow Anglican's sandbox. I'm beginning to wonder if you will be happy anywhere. You have several issues to deal with. You might wish to begin with this simple idea: Love They Neighbor

Posted by: Chris Smith on Thursday, 13 May 2010 at 12:42am BST

Chris,

Can you provide a legal basis for your claim that property belongs to the Diocese. My understanding is that it is held in trust by the Vicar & PCC for the benefit of the entire community (anglican or not/christian or not)?

Posted by: David Malloch on Thursday, 13 May 2010 at 10:51am BST

motes and beams Mr. Smith, and I think you will find that the point of livings etc is that, unlike in America, power is actually vested in the parish and PCC

Ron the act of synod was intended for a period of reception which we were assured would be over when ALL the universal Church (ROME included) found a common mind. That seems to have been conveniently forgotten.

What do you make of those supporters of WO who are publically admitting we have been betrayed? Why would they say this if it were not true at all? Even the Archbishop admits it. I was ordained under a promise which synod now finds it cannot honour without holding back its desires...that is an accurate assesment. We will be the collateral damage.

Posted by: Ed Tomlinson on Thursday, 13 May 2010 at 12:13pm BST

Bishop Pete Broadbent doesnt believe in male headship and nor do I, nor I suspect do the vast majority of C of E clergy and laity. In what sense therefore is it part of "the doctrine of the Christian faith as the Church of England has received it" to quote the question put to the potential deacon/priest in the ordinal.It may be a doctrine held by some IN the C of E but I cant see how it can be a doctrine OF the C of E..so do we have to pay that much attention to the Reform clergy? And how far is this "doctrine" taken? Does it extend to women archdeacons for example? I am genuinely puzzled as to how conservative evangelical churches deal with these matters at a practical level.Perhaps , given the nature of Establishment they just function in a rather semi-detached manner and are left to themselves on the "let sleeping dogs lie" philosophy. But this sort of luxury will become more problematic as the financial difficulties of the C of E worsen ,and necesssary pastoral/parochial re-thinking have to take place.

Posted by: Perry Butler on Thursday, 13 May 2010 at 12:13pm BST

Ed-In Canada, Anglo-Catholics have lived with the ordination of women as priests and bishops and no one has left with their property. No parishes have left at all, although some individuals may have gone to Rome or joined a breakaway group called the Anglican Catholic Church, now connected to the TAC and on its way to Rome after thirty-five years. At present, the more charismatic/fundamentalist groups are the consituency of the group that is now part of ACNA. They have tried to take their property and have been opposed and have lost in court. No diocese could, in conscience hand over properties that were built and endowed by people who assumed that the Church would hold their gifts in trust and who gave it in perpetuity to the Church they loved and trusted. The breakaway ACNA group uses many of the same arguments as you have, although their reasons(fundamentalist homophobia)are different from yours. Remember that the parish does not own its property-the diocese does. Trying to walk away with it is stealing. Some of these properties are worth large sums. What a windfall for people who have NOT contributed for decades or generations to their upkeep and want all the benefits to do what they please with it. Even if the present congregation is maintaining the property, they are certainly not entitled to all its value. Its illogical to pproject backwards onto past generations your current objections. You cannot speak for them as if they would absolutely agree with you now. Since you are suggesting that you would take the property with you into the Ordinariate, you are really saying that past generations would approve the gift of their legacy to the Roman Catholic Church and that's questionable. In Canada, we have congregations trying to take historic and valuable properties because the current priest and congregation has eliminated all opposition by driving out any opposition, especially from people who have been in these parishes for a long time, and attracting or installing newer people amenable to their position. Some have no historic connection to these properties and no claim to them. There is a commandment about stealing. If past generations were satisfied that their property belonged to the Diocese, don't use them as an excuse to steal it now.

Posted by: Adam Armstrong on Thursday, 13 May 2010 at 1:22pm BST

Ed, David et al - the parish property in the CofE is indeed held by a set corporation for the benefit of the whole community. t is, nonetheless, a part of "the Church of England by law established," and your pretense that a majority vote of the PCC can alienate the property from "the Church of England by law established" demonstrates either utter detachment from reality or utter dishonesty.

Posted by: Malcolm+ on Thursday, 13 May 2010 at 4:52pm BST

Adam I am not in Canada. As has been said the church belongs not to the Diocese in England. I might argue my Church was stolen by those who entered swearing oaths to a faith they did not believe and then changed it from within to move it ever further from whence it came and the majority Christian voice in the world today.

Posted by: Ed Tomlinson on Thursday, 13 May 2010 at 5:05pm BST

David: The legal basis that a Diocese owns the property is past precedent. The Diocese is in communion with its' bishop or Archbishop who are a unit of The Church of England. It would be an act of outright THEFT if a priest or even a bishop tried to take that property with him to form another Church or become a part of an existing Church. In North America, entire fundamentalist breakaway diocese have tried this unethical move and they have failed in court case after court case. It is one thing to leave the Anglican Communion or to join another branch of Christianity but it is just wrong to think you can steal the assets of the Church you are leaving. By the way, the ACNA is not a recognized member of the Anglican Communion. It has the same status as the Anglican Catholic Church, another group that split off from the American Episcopal Church because they did not accept women's ordination. On another note for Ed Tomlinson: I have noticed your comments when someone posts something that you disagree with. You are not civil in the way you responds. This tells me more than I want to know about you but it also tells me that you tend to react like a spoiled child if someone dares have a different opinion than yours. We offer our opinions here not to be antagonistic or unkind to others but as a discourse so that we may try to have better communication with each other. You seem to be unable to handle such discourse without resorting to personal and snide attacks that at most are immature. It only weakens the positions you are trying to promote. Lighten up.

Posted by: Chris Smith on Thursday, 13 May 2010 at 10:38pm BST

"I might argue my Church was stolen by those who entered swearing oaths to a faith they did not believe and then changed it from within to move it ever further from whence it came and the majority Christian voice in the world today." - Ed Tomlinson

Ed. Now you have me puzzled. What are you actually saying here? Are you saying, in fact, that 'your Church' (the Church of England, or your parish church?) was stolen...etc.?

One might see this as your plea that the Church of England as now constituted stole your 'Church' (building?) from the Roman Catholic Church - your newly-desired affiliation!

If the latter argument is the case, one wonders why you would even attempt to remain C.of E.

A little more clarity in your arguments on this site Ed, might help us all to understand your real problem and try to at least sympathise with you.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Saturday, 15 May 2010 at 2:06am BST

'...it will not be long before it becomes impossible to work out which male priest was validly ordained and which wasn't. If one of those priests ever becomes a bishop, all male priests ordained by him will, in the yes of FiF, be invalidly ordained – and you end up with a terrible muddle and the prospect of having to set up complex systems to work out which priest is valid and which isn’t.'

Sorry, but I find this hilarious ! Am I very naughty ? Do i need to be shriven ?

What kind of 'god' do they subscribe to ? I'll not say 'beleive in'. And it does come across to me as a god rather than God or even G-d.

According to the offical Roman line I am not validly Ordained and what gave me anguish years ago (I guess my own 'god' was too small) I now find I can rejoice in! It throws me back on to Grace, or if you like the Tao - the Zen-like transmission dependent upon no human agent !

What a terrble impasse! What a mess the C of E has got itself into. I'm not laughing now. It is such a dilemma. But like Chris I wonder how sincere FiF are. I fear their mysogeny and homophobia. I've noticed how they have behaved over some decades now ...

Take the plunge lads -- give invalidity and big heartedness a Go !!


Posted by: Rev L Roberts on Sunday, 16 May 2010 at 4:40pm BST

Those of us whose Orders are declared to be invalid by FiF could wear some kind of uniform or symbol -- e.g. maybe a coloured star could be sown on our attire and vesture ?

Posted by: Rev L Roberts on Sunday, 16 May 2010 at 4:57pm BST

Those of us whose Orders are declared to be invalid by FiF could wear some kind of uniform or symbol -- e.g. maybe a coloured star could be sown on our attire and vesture ?"

Hmmm, how about a mitre with an upside down cross extending from beneath it? Nice girlish pink....

Posted by: evensongjunkie (formerly cbfh) on Monday, 17 May 2010 at 2:08am BST

Hmmm, how about a mitre with an upside down cross extending from beneath it? Nice girlish pink....

Posted by: evensongjunkie (formerly cbfh) on Monday

Well how about Laetare rose pink - but I can't see FiF surrendering it ! ...

Posted by: RevL Roberts on Monday, 17 May 2010 at 8:45pm BST
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