Thursday, 1 July 2010

Women in the Episcopate - Archbishops' Amendment - the text

Updated to include (below the fold) the text of the measure after amendment
Updated Thursday evening to correct extent of struck through text below the fold

The Archbishops have today released the text of their proposed amendments to the Women in the Episcopate legislation. We have copied this below.

We have put the text of the draft measure online here. There is also a pdf version available from the CofE website.

We linked to the Archbishops’ original announcement of their proposals here.

General Synod Draft Legislation: Women in the Episcopate amendments

Thursday 01 July 2010

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have submitted the following amendments to the Draft Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure, GS1708A, to be considered at the forthcoming July sessions of the General Synod of the Church of England.

DRAFT BISHOPS AND PRIESTS (CONSECRATION AND ORDINATION OF WOMEN) MEASURE

Draft amendments to omit reference to delegation

Co-ordinate Jurisdiction

Clause 2

1. In subsection (1) leave out the words “way of delegation to”.

2. After subsection (1) insert –

“(2) The episcopal ministry referred to in subsections (1), (3) and (5) shall be exercisable by virtue of this section and shall not divest the bishop of the diocese of any of his or her functions.

Clause 5

In section 5(1)(b), at the end, insert the words “and, in particular, arrangements for co-ordinating the exercise of episcopal ministry under section 2(1), (3) and (5) by the bishop of the diocese and any other bishop who exercises episcopal ministry in accordance with those subsections”.

+Rowan Cantuar +Sentamu Ebor

We show below the fold the effect of these amendments on the text of the measure.

Here are the relevant sections of the measure showing the effect of the archbishops’ amendments. Deleted text is struck through and added text is in bold

2 Duty of diocesan bishop to make arrangements

(1) The bishop of each diocese shall be under a duty to make and publish a scheme containing arrangements in his or her diocese for the exercise by way of delegation to a male bishop who is a member of the House of Bishops of the diocesan synod of that or another diocese of episcopal ministry which appears to the bishop of the diocese to relate to —

(a) the celebration of the sacraments and other divine service in parishes which request such arrangements in accordance with section 3, or

(b) the provision of pastoral care to the clergy and parishioners in those parishes.

(2) The episcopal ministry referred to in subsections (1), (3) and (5) shall be exercisable by virtue of this section and shall not divest the bishop of the diocese of any of his or her functions.

(3) A scheme made under this section may include such additional arrangements for the exercise of episcopal ministry as the bishop of the diocese thinks fit.

(5) Where a scheme made under this section includes a statement by the bishop that he will not ordain women to the office of priest, the scheme shall make provision —

(a) for the ordination of female candidates for the office of priest, and

(b) for the support of the ministry of clergy who are women and their pastoral care.

5 Code of Practice

(1) The House of Bishops shall draw up, and promulgate, guidance in a Code of Practice as to —

(a) the making of schemes under section 2,

(b) the exercise of episcopal ministry in accordance with the arrangements contained in such schemes and, in particular, arrangements for co-ordinating the exercise of episcopal ministry under section 2(1), (3) and (5) by the bishop of the diocese and any other bishop who exercises episcopal ministry in accordance with those subsections,

(c) the exercise, by those involved in the making of an appointment of an incumbent of and a priest in charge for a benefice, of their functions in that regard where a Letter of Request is issued under section 3(3),

(d) the matters referred to in section 2(5), and

(e) such other matters as the House of Bishops considers appropriate to give effect to this Measure.

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Comments

Thanks for setting it all out so clearly and helpfully for us.

Posted by: Pantycelyn on Thursday, 1 July 2010 at 4:19pm BST

Yes, thanks, Peter. It still is undesirable, but at least more clearly undesirable. . .

Posted by: susan hedges on Thursday, 1 July 2010 at 6:34pm BST

Those who were expecting that the amendment would clear up what the archbishops said earlier about their (then) not produced amendment must be disappointed.

The changes here are so incremental you'd think they meant very little if anything. In short, these amendments mean whatever the archbishops said they would mean.

Posted by: John B. Chilton on Thursday, 1 July 2010 at 7:15pm BST

FiF has posted an article headed: Catholic Group reacts to Archbishops' amendments
http://www.forwardinfaith.com/artman/publish/article_511.shtml
A STATEMENT ISSUED BY THE CATHOLIC GROUP IN GENERAL SYNOD

We welcome the publication of these amendments by the Archbishops and recognise that they may provide a framework for a way forward for the Church of England.

Their availability in advance of General Synod next week will enable all Members of the Synod to evaluate, consult, reflect and prayerfully consider the implications of the amendments.

There are a number of areas of uncertainty, including the need for all bishops to be real leaders in mission and ministry. It is also vital that we are able to hold a principled theological position, looking to the faith and order of the undivided Church.

We are grateful for the recognition of the need for bishops with jurisdiction in their own right to minister to all those faithful Anglicans who in conscience cannot accept the ministry of women priests and bishops.

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 1 July 2010 at 7:27pm BST

The Catholic Group are clearly in a painful position, one I don't mean to make light of. It does seem to me, however, that position grows out of some fuzzy thinking dating back to the 16th century. The thing is, there is no real scriptural justification for separating out the exercise of authority by women in the Church from the exercise of authority by women in society at large. John Knox realized this and used it as an argument against Queen Mary in _The Monstrous Regiment of Women_ (though the book was awkwardly not published until the reign of Elizabeth); stuck by Henry VIII's genetic lottery with two ruling queens in a row, the English had to weasel out of the plain meaning of scripture (as did the Scots). Knox's way of thought was still at play when Lucretia Mott and other women delegates were not seated at the World Anti-Slavery Convention in 1840, an event that helped spur modern feminism. If one can accept the oversight of Mrs. Smithers in Sunday School (or of Mrs. Mountbatten-Windsor in Parliament), one has already given up the _principle_ that a woman ought not to exercise _episcope_.

Posted by: 4 May 1535+ on Thursday, 1 July 2010 at 8:20pm BST

Church Society has today issued this letter:
http://www.churchsociety.org/press/pr_2010-07_SynodLetter.htm

Open Letter
1 July 2010
Legislation to consecrate women as Bishops
To members of the General Synod
June 2010

We write to you as the Council of Church Society in advance of your further consideration of the legislation to consecrate women as Bishops.

We believe that God’s will, revealed in Scripture, is that leadership in the Church should be exercised by men. In the practice of the Church of England, as it has developed, this means that presbyters (priests) and bishops should be male. We therefore reiterate our opposition to the proposed legislation...

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 1 July 2010 at 9:34pm BST

Reform issued this note about the forthcoming debate
http://www.anglican-mainstream.net/2010/06/30/resources-for-the-debate-over-women-bishops/

...Alasdair Paine has written a very helpful briefing paper for his own PCC and this can be downloaded from the Reform web site – http://www.reform.org.uk/pdf/womenbsps.pdf

Lorna Ashworth has written a booklet ‘Beyond Equal Rights. Women and Men in the Church. This has been sent to all members of General Synod. She writes: 'with regards to this issue I have come to firmly believe that this is not about gender injustice, but about how God, in his perfect wisdom, has chosen to order His Church. For me, this has been a liberating discovery; something that goes beyond equal rights.' This booklet is an ideal summary of the various arguments and advocates the complementarian position. To order a copy contact the Reform office. (administrator@reform.org.uk)

‘Why are there objections to women bishops?’ This short booklet was written by Mark Burkill in 2007. The booklet is in a 'question and answer' format with a helpful bibliography at the end. It is designed to help discussion in PCCs and Synods. It also addresses the question of how the Church of England can be kept together. To view it see http://www.reform.org.uk/pages/bb/objections.php and to get hold of copies contact the Reform office (administrator@reform.org.uk)

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 1 July 2010 at 9:39pm BST

"Beyond Equal rights," yuck.

Posted by: bobinswpa on Thursday, 1 July 2010 at 10:09pm BST

There seems to be a wish, both to have; and not to have women in the ordained ministries, especially the episcopate.

It can't be had both ways. You can't both remain virgin and have intercourse.

Something's gotta give ...

Posted by: Pantycelyn on Thursday, 1 July 2010 at 11:15pm BST

This is "looking glass" legislation where words mean what anyone wants them to mean - this of course, is the hope of the ABs - that the words wil allow a mojorioty to vote for the amendment, all reading it slightly differently. But it is eitehr naive, disingenous or irresponsilbe to sugges tha these are minor amendments when they try to redefine episcopacy./ All that will hapnen if it is passsed is tha the arguments of the Revision committee wil be repeated when the Code of practice is worked on, and it will not be possible to agree.

here are the crucial areas wher the conflcits wil surface;
and, in particular, arrangements for co-ordinating the exercise of episcopal ministry under section 2(1), (3) and (5) by the bishop of the diocese and any other bishop who exercises episcopal ministry in accordance with those subsections,
Easy to talk glibly aabout arrangelments - but this was the point wher the Revison Committee came to a full stop when looking at exactly this sort of solution, and could go no further because ther was no agreement.
And already the cracks are there: this is what the amendment says:
"The episcopal ministry referred to in subsections (1), (3) and (5) shall be exercisable by virtue of this section and shall not divest the bishop of the diocese of any of his or her functions."
Note tha the diocesan is not divested of any functions, then look at this from Fif:
"We are grateful for the recognition of the need for bishops with jurisdiction in their own right to minister to all those faithful Anglicans who in conscience cannot accept the ministry of women priests and bishops."

Peace in our time????

Posted by: Rosalind on Friday, 2 July 2010 at 12:15am BST

"There are a number of areas of uncertainty, including the need for all bishops to be real leaders in mission and ministry. It is also vital that we are able to hold a principled theological position, looking to the faith and order of the undivided Church. - F.i.F. response -

The phrase "looking to the faith and order of the undivided Church" is a little bit ingenuous in the circumstances. One might ask 'Why are F.i.F. people still in the Church of England, which was/is a product of the Reformation, which separated the C.of E. out from Rome in the 16th century.

Was that not a decisive movement in conflict with 'the undivided Church'? If, indeed, it was not, then why are we still having to seek ecumenical ties with Rome - the sodality with which F.i.F. clergy ought to be physically united, in order to authenticate the assertion they are making here?

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Friday, 2 July 2010 at 12:22am BST

These amendments enshrine systemic injustice towards women in a subtle way, but that subtlety is exposed by some of the conclusions of those who support the archbishops.

The Church of England has included laity in it's decision making structures - at long lost, some of us said when it happened - laity who are baptised Christians just as men are - anointed in the same Holy Spirit as men are - thank God for both I say. Sudden removal of the exercise of authority from one section of an episcopate is a sign of profound distrust in their consecration as bishops who exercise authority. In time this untheological restrictiveness of their due authority may spread to all bishops over various other forms of discrimination. I smell a whiff of arguments formerly applied to black citizens elsewhere, also through distrust of the God given humanity of all those made in his image. Una

Posted by: Una Kroll on Friday, 2 July 2010 at 6:51am BST

I am with Panycelyn on this one. You really cannot have it both ways and only misery can follow any fudge. No matter how you dress it up there must be a loser in this one....hence

I am wise enought to see that the game is up for me. How nice it would be to have an honest church that helped me move elsewhere with generosity. Instead I will be asked to pretend the unworkable will work and treated as deeply dishonourable when I do the only reasonable thing and leave holding the views that I do.

It is particularly rotten that this happens just after the compensation deal runs out meaning that those who trusted synod foolishly will be left with nothing. Not easy when you have a young family

Posted by: Ed Tomlinson on Friday, 2 July 2010 at 7:49am BST

Hello
What are the archbishops actually proposing? In English? In my defence, I was off work for 10 weeks and am looking at this, scratching my head...

Posted by: riazat on Friday, 2 July 2010 at 9:19am BST

I have followed the links above to the various articles and am still bemused by the whimsicality of the arguments put forward by the anti brigade. "God has given a beautiful pattern for family life". What rot!

The fictional account of adam and eve was written to explain the existing patriarchal system then extant. The original Hebrew describes eve as a spiritual mentor, not a dutiful wife. Family life was imposed as punishment and God remains antipathetical to family life throughout the rest of the Bible.

What we now know that the early Hebrews didn't is that all human beings are created female. Men are a by-product of women, physically inferior with higher infant mortality and shorter life expectancy.

Christianity is incarnational. It exists within the reality of Creation. And women as created are fully endowed to fill positions of headship in the Church as well as out in the real world.

Sorry, but I sometimes get so cross with all the patriarchal rubbish we have to put up with.


Posted by: Terence Dear on Friday, 2 July 2010 at 9:56am BST

@ Fr Ed,

I agree that this is unworkable, but I for one would not regard you as in any way dishonourable if you have come to feel that the mind of the Church as expressed through Synod is such that you could no longer stay and minister in our Church. I wish that there were a way we could do this that would satisfy the consciences and theological convictions of all sides of the debate, but I suspect that it this is simply not possible.

The thing I regret most deeply about the debate is that we are modelling to the world a Church where fellow members are unable to trust one another. We should all be better than that.

Posted by: Hannah on Friday, 2 July 2010 at 10:58am BST

I do find the Church Society's paper odd. If the ordination of women to the presbyterate, let alone the episcopate, is clearly contrary to the expressed will of God, how can they remain in such an apostate institution? How will an Evangelical PEV help? He will have to be consecrated by "apostate" Bible denying Archbishops who have flouted Gods word!....all these zealous young men will be entering an apostate church where within 20 yrs probably 40% or more of the clergy will be women, prob 10% 0f the episcopate and 10% of male priests will have been ordained by women bishops. How on earth could they actually be happy in such a church??...the only way they will be able to cope is to be a "church within a church" having next to nothing to do with fellow Anglicans..how does that fit with a parochial and national church? It just fragments the C of E more and more, wastes valuable financial resources, saps emotional energy...and just how many of the laity feel as strongly as the clergy? The problem for conservative evangelicals has always been that they need the Establishment because they know as a "Free Church of England" outside it, they are unlikely to prosper..there were a couple of 19c evangelical schisms but what happened to them? And if some of the younger clergy ( who in my experience have little Anglican identity ) drift off into community churches / evangelical fellowships etc ,it is their choice.Many of them came from these sort of churches in the first place...often joining the C of E a year or so before they started the process towards ordination. The arrangements post 1993 were inherently unstable and I'm surprised more "Traditionalists" didnt realise this.For Anglican Papalists the Ordinariate is the logical answer in any case...its what they have been praying for,for the last 150 years. I seem to remember there was originally a plan that no bishop was to be consecrated who wouldnt ordain women after 25 yrs...Perhaps it would have been kinder if the Synod moved ,I think, by speeches by +David Hope and Preb Pearce, had not rejected it...many might have been spared a lot of anguish.

Posted by: Perry Butler on Friday, 2 July 2010 at 11:21am BST

As I read comment after comment on this website, I continue to be staggered at both the lack of understanding, or even attempts to understand, the theology and ecclesiology lying behind the arguments of the traditionalists. In one fell swoop they are summarily dismissed. There is clearly no real desire at all on the part of liberals in our Church to engage with deep theological thinking. It is like watching a pack of hounds descend on a fox whenever anyone on this website dares to speak up for something that regular liberal contrbutors do not agree with. I myself was met with the comment "Grow up" from Pantycelyn recently. I just hope members of the Synod adopt less of a divisive attitude and get behind the Archbishops to sort out once and for all the potential mess that could arise from an unwillingness to listen and hear what is being said.

Posted by: Benedict on Friday, 2 July 2010 at 11:27am BST

"It is also vital that we are able to hold a principled theological position, looking to the faith and order of the undivided Church. - F.i.F. response -"

No no no - they must mean the REALLY undivided church, not Rome, but before the east/west split! Go on back and keep on going, is what I say. Just leave the rest of us alone.

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Friday, 2 July 2010 at 12:00pm BST

Benedict
so where have you been reading lately? I have just spent 2 days getting into trouble with my fellow liberals for supporting parts of your view.

Perry is absolutely right, one of the main objections to special provisions has to be that it creates a separate church within a church, which to my mind, is not traditional Anglican theology or any theology at all.

I'd still like to understand why the special provisions at the time of women's ordination weren't limited to those already ordained and why the church continues even today to ordain anti-women priest.

Why is there no suggestion that we can have separate Bishops but only until those who are already in the church and who could reasonably have believed that they would always be accommodated, have retired?

Wouldn't that be the cleanest and fairest option?

Posted by: Erika Baker on Friday, 2 July 2010 at 12:46pm BST

Erika, thanks for your kindness. You and the small number of others like you on the site are indeed the exception that proves the rule. Just to answer the point about the church within a church, the Anglican Communion has operated on that basis for a number of years through the idea of provincial autonomy, hence earlier calls from traditionalists for a third province. Had that been granted we would not be in this current mess.

Posted by: Benedict on Friday, 2 July 2010 at 12:57pm BST

Benedict
I think we would still be in this mess. Answering one of my questions on his blog yesterday, Tobias Haller rightly pointed out that one of the criteria of a functioning church is the interchangeability of its ministers.

This has been impaired since the ordination of women priests, and a third province would not have dealt with the problem.

At some point we have to accept that segregation means precisely that, whether it takes place within a church or whether people leave and form another group outside the CoE.

My theological question remains: To what extent can we meaningfully speak of belonging to one church if we cannot freely worship together without special provisions?

That's not to deny your views and your desire to remain in the CoE.
But it is undeniable that, whichever route we take, the church as we know it will change irrevocably and something new will be created.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Friday, 2 July 2010 at 1:25pm BST

Fr Ron wrote:

Why are F.i.F. people still in the Church of England, which was/is a product of the Reformation, which separated the C.of E. out from Rome in the 16th century?

First of all, lets not pretend that the CofE separated from Rome over mighty theological convictions. A primary school history lesson on Henry VIII and his six wives is enough to rule out that lovely image.

Second, the answer to your question posed here is: because FiF people are Anglicans, not Roman Catholics. Now some may wish to go to Rome, either individually or through the ordinariate, but that is NOT the case for everyone. Anglo-Catholic does not necessarily mean Anglo-Papalist.

Posted by: Fr James on Friday, 2 July 2010 at 1:37pm BST

Interesting comment from Benedict "I continue to be staggered at both the lack of understanding, or even attempts to understand, the theology and ecclesiology lying behind the arguments of the traditionalists" Some of us understand their arguments very well, and are on to the political game. I wish you chaps luck with this over there. As I read the posts about, I'm reminded of the conversations we had here in Canada years ago. The nostalgia rolls over me like a wave. It's big of you to want to be generous, but my guess, based on our experience here is that these guys will gladly take the fruits of your generosity, but all the while they see will see provisions as an entitlement. After all, they are orthodox, they are the true church, and here are you liberals spoiling it all with all this talk of women priests and bishops. What's a true male icon of Christ to do?

Posted by: Rod Gillis on Friday, 2 July 2010 at 2:16pm BST

I cant imagine an autonomous province WITHIN the Church of England would have been acceptable to Parliament given the Established nature of the church. How would it relate to the historic provinces of the Church of England and what would its relationship be to the Archbishops? In any case there would have to be a fourth province to accomodate conservative evangelicals? And it would make a map of the C of E look like a swiss cheese...and how would it be funded? Whatever the ecclesiological rights or wrongs of a Third Province the House of Bishops were never going to support it nor the House of Clergy.Whatever happens there will be a mess but not for the first time in the post reformation history of the C of E.

Posted by: Perry Butler on Friday, 2 July 2010 at 2:29pm BST

Benedict, please, please point me in the direction of some "deep theological thinking" on the part of traditionalists and I will be happy to engage with it. The articles linked to this thread wouldn't earn a pass mark at O Level.

"In a world deeply confused about gender roles, riven by the battle of the sexes, we are called to witness to the right use of the beautiful pattern that God has created." Of course, whilst one half of the human race remains in a "beautiful pattern" of subjection to the other half, there will be no confusion about gender roles and no battle of the sexes.

Posted by: Terence Dear on Friday, 2 July 2010 at 2:58pm BST

Alas, I cannot accept the (unscrutinized? overly self-confident? ...ah? ) proferring of traditionalistic assertions about/against women (funny how our traditions and customary manners in theology-ethics nearly always combine that stuff, about women plus against women?) ... as 'deep' theology ... our implicit comparison being that, I guess, all the other modern alternatives are something far other than deep? Meaning, shallow?

Gee, our talk to date ... things like getting 'beyond equality' (in some necessary neglect of real womens' real competencies?) is actually scary ... indeed, just as so many of the revelaitons that women were meant to be mothers of children between birth and five or six or seven years - and not much else - nearly always caution us?

Basic Notions of equality and fairness ... which translate nicely in civic realms to notions of unimpeded access to citizen opportunities and resources for all? ... were such dear windows into the very heart of YHWH for the OT prophets that I hardly dare to call such ideas, other than profound and still visionary?

Ditto, for the traditionalistic notions which quickly collapse sex, gender, sexual orientation, fmily life, and civic life into punitive ideals - sooner or later needing force? Force of law, force of force? Our hallowed-venerated business of about/against basically boiling down to and decoding into this or that or the other definitive sacred call - which just happens to require that real, live women bear extra burdens, impediments, stains, special considerations (which men by traditional presuppositions do NOT have or embody).

The next orthodox step is nearly always some venerated practice of shutting doors, banning women from some space in life, imposing some heavy restraint, being carefully tangled up in some special complications ... laid fully upon the hearts-bodies-minds-lives-relationships of women so innately and sadly tripped up by how poorly God created them after all, given the huge range of opportunities-resources that otherwise would be available to women in modern society ... except of course for the oft-noted high excellence that women must incubate babies.

The claims being made about/against women are heavy and huge. If all that is essentially 'deep' I will accept being called a shallow-shallow-shallow fellow, indeed. Anything but that sort of 'deep'. Please.

Posted by: drdanfee on Friday, 2 July 2010 at 6:05pm BST

"Now some may wish to go to Rome, either individually or through the ordinariate, but that is NOT the case for everyone. Anglo-Catholic does not necessarily mean Anglo-Papalist.

- Fr James on Friday -

On this point, dear Father, we can be agreed: that 'Anglo-Catholic' does not necessarily mean 'Anglo-Papalist'. I, and many others - some of them on this site - are not, nor ever have been pseudo- Roman Catholics - simply because we consider ourselves to have been part of the Church of England's heritage from Apostolic times, and yet reformed into a non-Roman, valid, Catholicity.

This is one of the problems of F.i.F. referring to themselves as 'Catholics in Synod'. I would venture to suggest that most of the Anglo-Catholics in the Church of England (and maybe even in the General Synod) are open to the Ordination of Women - both as priests and bishops. SO, I am not arguing on the basis that all 'Anglo-Catholics are 'Papists', but that there are many of us who claim that honoured title (A/C) who actually believe that there is no longer any theological basis in the C.of E. to warrant the side-lining of women in the ministry of the Church. This ministry has already been debated, tested and affirmed by the broad majority of Anglicans.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Friday, 2 July 2010 at 11:12pm BST

"There is clearly no real desire at all on the part of liberals in our Church to engage with deep theological thinking."

Even though you anti-WOs keep reaching down from on high, trying to gift us shallow liberals with it!

Vaya con Dios, Benedict.

Posted by: JCF on Saturday, 3 July 2010 at 12:31am BST

Benedict said, "Just to answer the point about the church within a church, the Anglican Communion has operated on that basis for a number of years through the idea of provincial autonomy, hence earlier calls from traditionalists for a third province."

No.

The Anglican Communion is not a church.

It is a family of independent churches.

Like most families, the Anglican Communion shares a history, and it has family reunions from time to time.

But the Anglican Communion is not a unitary church. And despite Canterbury's efforts, it never will be.

So on this point, at least, the argument rests on a false premise.

"Provincial autonomy" is not an "idea." It is a fact.

Posted by: Jeremy on Saturday, 3 July 2010 at 12:27pm BST

Father Ed and many of his ideological opponents don't like 'fudge' and agree on this one thing. I like fudge, and only hypocrites deny that it is an utterly essential 'glue' in practically all aspects of human life, not just religious ones (not necessarily the most important: oh, heresy!).

Furthermore, the notion that 'fudge' NECESSARILY leads to misery is only true 'if thinking makes it so'. But it doesn't have to: you can change your thinking. You can agree that your disagreements are RELATIVELY trivial and just get on with getting on. That's what most people do, in the Church of England, as in all other aspects of human life.

Posted by: john on Saturday, 3 July 2010 at 1:53pm BST

" It is particularly rotten that this happens just after the compensation deal runs out meaning that those who trusted synod foolishly will be left with nothing. Not easy when you have a young family "

- Ed Tomlinson, on Friday, 2 July -

Ed, have you not realized that, with the 'running out of the compensation deal', the Church of England is no longer able to afford a culture of institutional 'dissidence' on the issue of women clergy?

It has come to the point where the old idea of affording 'Two Integrities' in ministry - where those who opt out of the Church of England, as well as those who stay - as a consequence of its desire, after theological debate on the issue, to accept the ministry of women, are actually both paid, as if departing clergy were continuing in ministry in the C.of E.; no longer obtains.

We are in a new environment of Church, where women clergy are perceived as equal recipients of the grace of Holy Order as are men. To continue to be a priest of a Church that ordains women as well as men, while yet contending that women are not worthy of the grace of Orders, is perhaps an anomoly too far, for some F.i.F. members, and for you, personally. The current economic climate will not allow the Church to live beyond its means.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Monday, 5 July 2010 at 2:01am BST

Those who are determined not only to win but to grind so-called 'traditionalists' (a horrid word) into oblivion, will inter alia criticise this last ditch attempt of the Archbishops at a bit of compromise as being rather ‘Tweedle Dum, Tweedle Dee’.

Claiming for Church of England a purity of ecclesiology that it has never had, it is inconvenient for them to remember that in its ‘modern’ constitutional form the Church of England has always been a bit ‘Tweedle Dum, Tweedle Dee’.

The Elizabethan Settlement hoped to respond to the religious divisions created over the reigns of Henry, Edward and Mary. The Church of England was declared to be both ‘Catholic and Reformed’ - what could be more 'Tweedle Dum, Tweedle Dee'?!

The bold aspiration of the Elizabethan Settlement was to accommodate with integrity within the one national Church the wide breadth of theological viewpoints. And thus the Church of England, from the very outset of its 'modern' form in the Tudor period, has been built on coalition, compromise and the accommodation of a wide variety of sincerely-held views in conscience. In other words, COMPROMISE. And for most of 4+ centuries it has broadly worked.

Sitting on my wall, I have long argued for a ‘New Elizabethan Settlement’ during the reign of our present Queen Elizabeth to enable loyal Anglicans of widely-differing views held in good conscience to stay together within the one national Church today and the future.

Sadly, it has become increasingly clear that the Church of England feels unable and unwilling to do this.

Be in doubt, even the Archbishops' Amendments to the proposed provision is no more than a form of ‘hospice care’ for those who are ‘ecclesiastically terminally-ill’ as far as the Church of England is concerned, designed to offer some sort of pastoral framework until all those of a traditional theological integrity have, one way or another, - and inevitably - gone.

For some however, who are determined Jael-like to tent peg us into the dust, even this 'hospice care' is intolerable; only ecclesiastical ethnic cleansing will do ... whilst pretending, all the time, to be 'generous'.

"The Church of England is well-known for its comprehensiveness and willing tolerance." (Dean of Ely, Ely Ordination sermon, 3rd July 2010).
...Yeah, right...

Posted by: JWM on Monday, 5 July 2010 at 4:16pm BST

@Terence Dear 02.07.2010

"please, please point me in the direction of some "deep theological thinking" on the part of traditionalists and I will be happy to engage with it"

The work you are looking for is: "Consecrated Women?" (Canterbury Press, 2004) which is the theological report that 'traditionalists' were requested by the CofE to prepare and submit.

Being published by Canterbury, it was in the mainstream; sorry you don't seem to know about it.

Posted by: JWM on Wednesday, 7 July 2010 at 10:17am BST
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