Saturday, 10 July 2010

General Synod - more press reports

BBC Women bishop row compromise plan fails in synod vote and Archbishop John Sentamu calls for end to ‘spin’

Telegraph Archbishop of York appeals for end of attacks on Archbishop of Canterbury and Split looms for Church over women bishops

Guardian Church of England faces crisis as Synod rejects concession on women bishops

Press Association Synod rejects compromise on bishops

AFP Sentamu urges end to ‘spin’ in Church of England

Ruth Gledhill’s blog is now behind a paywall, but her latest entry is copied in part below the fold.

Mitre versus Right: Clergy defeat Archbishops over women
Ms Ruth Gledhill

…So in the end it was neither laity nor bishops, but the clergy who defeated the bishops. This is a terrible blow to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York. Their personal and archiepiscopal authority is massively diminished.

Canon Celia Thomson of Gloucester gave one of the best speeches illustrating the problems with what the Archbishops proposed:

‘This is the source of such sadness, such dismay among the ordained women at all stages of their ministry. The effect would be to legislate for the automatic transfer of episcopal authority in law in a way that would not only damage the authority of a woman bishop but also undermine the whole nature of episcopacy in the Church of England.’ She said the nominated bishops were ‘flying bishops’ by another name and that concept had not worked, in particular for women. It could also open up demands for alternative episcopal oversight in other areas where people did not agree with the diocesan bishop.

But even worse, it would send out a ‘damaging message’ about the Church to the wider world.

‘If the Church is seen to discriminate against women by law, not only will it compromise the ministry of women bishops in future and by default of all its women priests, but more fatally, the mission of the Church in the 21st century. Many people will despair of the Church. Most people under 40 simply cannot understand it and so dismiss our beloved Church as irrelevant in our life and in attitudes towards the world.

‘One-third of all clergy are now women.

‘If and when women become bishops they must be allowed to be bishops. The Church cannot have two categories of bishop.’

She warned that women called to be bishops might not have wished to serve under such circumstances.

I had also been given to understand that Parliament might reject a measure as amended by the Archbishops, and that the women themselves might vote against it and defeat it in the end had the Archbishops been successful…

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 10 July 2010 at 9:01pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England | General Synod

Is Sugden's statement that the measure required a 2/3 majority in all three houses correct? If so, the measure failed in every house including, barely, the House of Bishops.

Posted by: Lapinbizarre on Saturday, 10 July 2010 at 10:11pm BST

I join Ruth Gledhill in commending the clerical members of the General Synod. Good on them!

Posted by: Nom de Plume on Saturday, 10 July 2010 at 10:19pm BST

Already, the voice of Women in general Synod helps the Gentlemen of Synod to understand the need to avoid duplicity in a policy of Episcopal jurisdiction which would aid and abet a two-tier system of jurisdiction within the Church - to the disadvantage of Women Bishops and the ministry of women at large in the Church. Thank God for women of principle whom God has given the grace of Orders!

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Saturday, 10 July 2010 at 10:36pm BST

I did not want the Archbishops' amendment to be carried. Wanting to see Synod vote against our Archbishops went against my every theological and ecclesiological grain. I was deeply impressed by Abp Rowan's speech in favour of the amendment. But I am still glad it was not carried.

However, I cannot rejoice that Synod is so divided, even though I believe the Church made a good decision this afternoon. But, to my Anglo-Catholic and conservative evangelical brothers and sisters I would like to say this: Synod has not rejected a compromise; it has rejected this compromise. The proposed legislation put forward by the Revision Committee is a compromise. I understand that for many of you it is not an acceptable compromise, but it is not my preferred option either.

But I will continue to pray earnestly for grace and wisdom as we discern the way ahead together.

Posted by: Hannah on Saturday, 10 July 2010 at 11:10pm BST

Wot Our Ruth said: TBTG! (and the CofE clergy!)

Posted by: JCF on Sunday, 11 July 2010 at 12:06am BST

'Following the Vote, Fr Jonathan Baker, Principal of Pusey House, Oxford, immediately called for a "Pause for reflection and prayer".
"We're in a remarkable place" he said'

- Jonathan Wynne-Jones, Telegraph -

I really do suspect that God's Holy Spirit has been busy listening to the Prayers of The Faithful on this issue for a long time now.

We certainly are 'in a remarkable place' - that place where many Provinces of the world-wide Anglican Communion have 'gone before' - a place where Gospel Truth and justice demands that women and men are seen to be equally used by God in the Ministry of God's Church. To have given in to the prejudice of a minority in the Church, even in the quest for 'UNITY' - at the price it was asking - the compromise would have been too great.

If women are acceptable as priests, why should their leadership as Bishops be denied them - or the Church? Misogyny & homophobia have no place in today's Church, or in God's World. If there has to be a 'leaner Church' because of women being given their rightful place in ministry, then so be it!

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Sunday, 11 July 2010 at 3:34am BST

I understand Sentamu's frustration but it's the Princess Diana syndrome - if you use the media, it will use you, and he has not been shy of the camera or the soundbite:

Genie, bottle, I am afraid.

Posted by: Achilles on Sunday, 11 July 2010 at 9:00am BST

"Spin" "a remarkable, gifted and much-maligned"... Bad loser.

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Sunday, 11 July 2010 at 9:12am BST

One cannot avoid the impression that "co-ordinate" powers mean sub-ordinate. And the sub-ordination is already in place - only not in women.

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Sunday, 11 July 2010 at 9:29am BST

"I call a dear friend and trusted colleague"

I wouldn't.

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Sunday, 11 July 2010 at 9:31am BST

Guardian :'Crisis' ?

What crisis ? It's called democracy. It's called church government. It's voting. It's following rules and standing orders and procedures agreed in advance.

Hysterical press posturing and late night meetings with archbishops ain't a standard part of the usual non-manipulative adult way of going about things.

Posted by: Pantycelyn on Sunday, 11 July 2010 at 6:09pm BST

I really am pretty surprised that this is as big of a deal as it is. It was pretty obvious to me back in the 70s when we started priesting women that having women bishops was an inevitable consequence of that action. The Brits have had women priests since the 90s, but an outsider might be forgiven for thinking that the CofE had only thought of the possibility of women bishops last week.

Posted by: Bill Dilworth on Sunday, 11 July 2010 at 8:47pm BST

May I just say that I find the use of "priest" as a verb to be truly abhorrent?

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Monday, 12 July 2010 at 1:14am BST

"May I just say that I find the use of "priest" as a verb to be truly abhorrent?"

You may, but it doesn't create a sense of obligation in me.

Posted by: Bill Dilworth on Monday, 12 July 2010 at 11:11am BST
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