Saturday, 3 July 2010

Fulcrum statement on Women Bishops

Fulcrum has published this Fulcrum Press Statement.

WOMEN BISHOPS AND THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND
Statement by the Fulcrum Leadership Team

3 July 2010
(read the Commentary on this Statement here)

The Bible supports ending restrictions on the ministry of women by making women bishops and the mission challenges of our times require it. It is vital that the General Synod debate later this month does not produce a stalemate. We need to move forward now toward women bishops in the life of the Church of England and we need them serving from 2014 and not 2018 or 2025.

We recognise that those who dissent from, as well as those who assent to, the ordination of women to the priesthood and episcopate are loyal Anglicans. Those who oppose this development need a space and a future in the Church of England. We believe this would be best served by appending a Code of Pastoral Practice to the Measure, not permanent legislation.

We believe the new legislation must not be framed to create what might be deemed to be a second class of bishops based on gender or a “Church within a Church”.

For these reasons we believe the legislation as proposed by the Revision Committee provides the best framework for a practical way forward.

Comment on the relationship between the work of the Revision Committee and the alternatives suggested by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York is posted on the Fulcrum Website.

Do read the full commentary.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 3 July 2010 at 2:59pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England | General Synod
Comments

"The Bible supports ending restrictions on the ministry of women by making women bishops."

Good heavens, these people can be flexible with their biblical interpretation, and sit very lightly to St Paul, when the occasion demands!

Posted by: Fr Mark on Saturday, 3 July 2010 at 5:24pm BST

The Bible supports ending restrictions on the ministry of women by making women bishops."

Good heavens, these people can be flexible with their biblical interpretation, and sit very lightly to St Paul, when the occasion demands!

Posted by: Fr Mark on Saturday, 3 July 2010 at

Yes,especially given that bishops and ordination are not to be found in the NT.

Posted by: Pantycelyn on Saturday, 3 July 2010 at 7:20pm BST

Have they fallen out with Rowan Williams? At one point he could do no wrong.

Posted by: Pluralist on Saturday, 3 July 2010 at 7:52pm BST

Fr Mark

Well, given all the other things which the Bible supports, a certain flexibility is required. As David Plotz notes:

'I began the Bible as a hopeful, but indifferent, agnostic. I wished for a God, but I didn't really care. I leave the Bible as a hopeless and angry agnostic. I'm brokenhearted about God.

After reading about the genocides, the plagues, the murders, the mass enslavements, the ruthless vengeance for minor sins (or none at all), and all that smiting—every bit of it directly performed, authorized, or approved by God—I can only conclude that the God of the Hebrew Bible, if He existed, was awful, cruel, and capricious. He gives us moments of beauty—such sublime beauty and grace!—but taken as a whole, He is no God I want to obey and no God I can love.'

If you believe the Bible to be the inerrant word of God then you have a lot more to worry about than the appointment of women as bishops...

Posted by: chenier1 on Saturday, 3 July 2010 at 9:07pm BST

Well said.

It seems to me that the amendment should cause the proposed Measure to read "alternative bishop" rather than "male bishop". This would allow a parish which objects to not have a female bishop to request one under their diocesan scheme. Then there would actually be gender-equality of bishops.

Are we to look foward to a patchwork quilt of diocesan schemes?

Posted by: Nom de Plume on Saturday, 3 July 2010 at 10:14pm BST

Good Lord! These Evangelicals are supporting the consecration of women bishops, and the only thing you people can do is have a go at them for their biblical interpretation?

Why not try for some gratitude that an Evangelical organisation is supporting your way forward?

Unbelievable...

Posted by: Fr James on Saturday, 3 July 2010 at 11:31pm BST

"Does this intervention by the Archbishops (notwithstanding their seniority and leadership role in the church) not simply disregard and over-turn the committee’s careful work and short-circuit debate on its proposal?" - Fulcrum -

And the answer is, of course, YES IT DOES!

Despite Fr. James' comment, I think that many of us who are in favour of Women Bishops do, in fact, applaud this statement. Obviously, to go along with the Archbishops' Amendments would course jurisdictional ramifications for the Church of England in the future, which far outweigh any short-term gain. What is being questioned here, by Fulcrum, and many of us in the Communion, is the integrity of, on the one hand giving the Diocesan Bishop full jurisdiction in her/his diocese; while at the same time, withholding that jurisdiction when it does not suit a parish that refuses to accept the diocesan Bishop's direction & ministry.

It really does sound a bit like 'Alice through the Looking Glass', and unworthy of further dispute. The theology is there to back up the need of women bishops. Why waste further time?

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Sunday, 4 July 2010 at 3:29am BST

[Disclaimer: this is rather off-topic]

"'I began the Bible..."

With this, um, beginning, it's no wonder that David Plotz concluded as he did.

The whole notion of "beginning the Bible" (as in "I'll read Genesis Ch 1, V1, and continue through Revelation") is ALREADY *surrendering* to the FUNDAMENTALIST conception of what the Bible IS: a book like any other book, to be read "literally," like any other book.

But what if it isn't? What if the LAST way to read the Bible, is to begin w/ Genesis? What if "The Bible" is collection of books written over a THOUSAND YEARS apart, with its myriad authors having little or no concept of their works being read in the context of other works?

As I reject Fundamentalism---theist OR atheist!---so do I reject the Fundamentalists' approach to the Bible (Open to page 1, and it will disclose itself).

The Bible requires CONTEXT and a COMMUNITY (and CRITICAL-THINKING). If one doesn't have those things, better leave it to gather dust on the shelf!

Posted by: JCF on Sunday, 4 July 2010 at 6:44am BST

"Good Lord! These Evangelicals are supporting the consecration of women bishops, and the only thing you people can do is have a go at them for their biblical interpretation?

Why not try for some gratitude that an Evangelical organisation is supporting your way forward?

Unbelievable..."

The falsehood, the falsehood!

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Sunday, 4 July 2010 at 9:33am BST

Fr James: I was being ironic.

Conservative Evangelicals can be surprisingly flexible and sit light to traditional biblical interpretation when it suits them (i.e. here regarding women bishops, or remarriage after divorce, etc: in short, when dealing with everyone except gay people, it seems).

Posted by: Fr Mark on Sunday, 4 July 2010 at 9:53am BST

It seems to me that the amendment should cause the proposed Measure to read "alternative bishop" rather than "male bishop". This would allow a parish which objects to not have a female bishop to request one under their diocesan scheme. Then there would actually be gender-equality of bishops ...

Posted by: Nom de Plume on Saturday, 3 July 2010 at 10:14pm BST

This is of course, essential.

Posted by: Pantycelyn on Sunday, 4 July 2010 at 1:18pm BST

The whole notion of "beginning the Bible" (as in "I'll read Genesis Ch 1, V1, and continue through Revelation") is ALREADY *surrendering* to the FUNDAMENTALIST conception of what the Bible IS: a book like any other book, to be read "literally," like any other book.

But what if it isn't? What if the LAST way to read the Bible, is to begin w/ Genesis? What if "The Bible" is collection of books written over a THOUSAND YEARS apart, with its myriad authors having little or no concept of their works being read in the context of other works?

As I reject Fundamentalism---theist OR atheist!---so do I reject the Fundamentalists' approach to the Bible.'

Another point is that Christian sponsored versions of the Bible, have the books of the Hebrew Bible printed in the wrong order. That is they re-arrange the Hebrew Bible order for purely doctrinaire reasons.

The Hebrew Bible as published by the Jewish Authorities has a set order which is intentional and is in fact anti-fundamentalist in its effect.

Posted by: Pantycelyn on Sunday, 4 July 2010 at 1:24pm BST

This is good news. What it is showing us is that there is theological and practical consensus in the mainstream of the Church of England.

Most evangelicals in the Church of England are of the 'Fulcrum' type rather than the very conservative type; just as most catholics in the Church of England are not Forward in Faith.

God-willing this means that there can be a truly inclusive central groundswell of support for the legislation as drafted. This is what the theological argument supports and what the church generally supports. The conservative fringes on both wings are small, but loud. Hopefully they will not be able to derail this God-given opportunity.

Posted by: Wilf on Sunday, 4 July 2010 at 3:08pm BST

Since David Plotz was reading the Hebrew Bible, I think we can acquit him of getting himself into a muddle because Christians have re-ordered it...

Posted by: chenier1 on Sunday, 4 July 2010 at 6:18pm BST
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