Monday, 12 July 2010

Forward in Faith responds to Monday's debate

A Statement from Forward in Faith Jul 12, 2010

The draft Measure to permit the ordination women as bishops, approved today by the General Synod and sent for discussion and approval by Diocesan Synods, contains nothing which can satisfy the legitimate needs of members of Forward in Faith.

Now, though, is not the time for precipitate action. There will be ample opportunity for priests to take counsel together at the Sacred Synods called by the Catholic Bishops in each province in September, and for Forward in Faith to take stock at the National Assembly in October.

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Categorised as: Church of England | General Synod
Comments

Could they make this sound any more pompous and condescending?
That their own leadership helped write this script by going to the GAFCON conference in Jerusalem and then get caught sniffing around +Kaspar in Rome right before the votes two years ago is apparently not going to be a part of their conversations .
At long lat someone has stood up to them and their emotional blackmail and called their bluff. Now all they can do is try and salvage some sort of specious high ground with overblown rhetoric.

Posted by: John R Robison on Monday, 12 July 2010 at 8:44pm BST

Simple person trying to follow the biblical examples for women in leadership. has anyone read an short article which uses everyday language and lots of biblical references that flows?

Posted by: andy penney on Monday, 12 July 2010 at 9:32pm BST

Having forged an ungodly alliance with Reform (that is FIF holds a contradictory Gospel to that of Reform on the very essence of what constitutes Christianity..yet they insist on calling each other Biblical and Orthodox), and now having their bluff called about their threatened exodus...FIF deserve to stew in their own juices.

Is there any integrity in a group who regard women bishops as invalid, but will say we will vote for them if you grant us a church within a church, with our Protestant brethren, who thirty years ago denounced us as heretics!

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Monday, 12 July 2010 at 9:39pm BST

Of course, this presumes these people have "legitimate needs" and not simply the "wants" of people who cannot accept that the Spirit has spoken to the church in ways they cannot accept.

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Monday, 12 July 2010 at 10:26pm BST

"In Christ, there is no male or female": is that simple, everyday and flowing enough for you, andy p?

Posted by: JCF on Monday, 12 July 2010 at 10:29pm BST

John, because they've kept to the understanding of apostolic succession that the Church of England held from 500AD - 1990s they've been de-churched. By a vote. I'd be sad and angry too.

Posted by: Tristan on Monday, 12 July 2010 at 10:36pm BST

How long does it take for a few men to "take counsel"? FiF have been taking stock for years. Presumably they will still be taking stock in 2012 if women are finally consecrated. What are they waiting for? At least Ed Tomlinson has said he's definitely going. After he's negotiated taking his bulding. Is that what "taking stock" means?

Posted by: Rev Sidney Jensen on Monday, 12 July 2010 at 10:49pm BST

Oh please John R Robison! I think you'll find that FiF were not of one mind in approaching Rome in the way it happened. Neither is the rhetoric of this statement 'condescending'. Some way will have to be found through this mess. Just imagine an ABC parish - priest and people united in their approach to Catholic order and mission - having their bishop of 18 years 'removed' from them almost overnight by dint of Synod. It is a recipe for many a conflict I'm afraid, which is why the Archbishops and the majority of Synod voted for a compromise. You see, by refusing to 'grant' compromise does not make the issue go away, and whatever is 'agreed' by Synod, if not acceptable, will simply not be accepted. Simple as that!

Posted by: Neil on Monday, 12 July 2010 at 11:44pm BST

FAO Robison
Writing as one of those now contemplating my departure from the Church of England, pompous and overblown statements like those of Robison himself come as sickening bile to the stomach. Does he realise just how much this has affected people? Does he really believe there's some sort of emotional sideshow going on and that it's not genuinely felt? God help us, if he's supposed to be a Christian. Without anything constructive to say, I suggest he keeps his opinions to himself, and that he sticks to supporting the revisionist agenda which has led to such upheaval in the Church of England.

Posted by: Benedict on Tuesday, 13 July 2010 at 12:00am BST

FAO Robison
Writing as one of those now contemplating my departure from the Church of England, pompous and overblown statements like those of Robison himself come as sickening bile to the stomach. Does he realise just how much this has affected people? Does he really believe there's some sort of emotional sideshow going on and that it's not genuinely felt? God help us, if he's supposed to be a Christian. Without anything constructive to say, I suggest he keeps his opinions to himself, and that he sticks to supporting the revisionist agenda which has led to such upheaval in the Church of England.

Posted by: Benedict on Tuesday, 13 July 2010 at 12:19am BST

could the pension and lack of employment be a reason for this "let's go slow" attitude?

Posted by: Ann on Tuesday, 13 July 2010 at 4:05am BST

"the Sacred Synods called by the Catholic Bishops"

To be contrasted to that perhaps tricameral Erastian wotsit that just met where bishops are mere Protestant functionaries?

Posted by: Pluralist on Tuesday, 13 July 2010 at 7:40am BST

This still has to get two thirds in each house if a majority of dioceses approve. The blocking by one house of the Archbishops' amendment doesn't auger well for a two thirds majority in each, even assuming relatively successful elections. This is what the opposition will aim for - blocking.

Posted by: Pluralist on Tuesday, 13 July 2010 at 7:49am BST

Tristan - your fantasy about Anglicans having held to some kind of "manual transfer" Apostolic succession from Augustine to Runcie is just that - a fantasy. Hardly anyone inside the Church of England from Cranmer to Sancroft would have believed it - and it has only been held by some bits sometimes since - and has always been vehenently opposed by the calvinist protestants on the evangelical side. Newman showed that it was possible to interpret the Articles in a catholic direction entirely ignoring the intention of their calvinist authors - but mainstream Anglicanism has not held anything like your view of Apostolic Succession ever.

Posted by: Jeremy Pemberton on Tuesday, 13 July 2010 at 9:31am BST

A question for those who oppose the ordination of women, but have stayed in the Church of England. What efforts have you made in the last 16 years to work together with women priests, even though you don't think their orders are valid? (After all, you presumably have cordial relations with other denominations who don't believe any Anglican orders are valid). The women priests I've seen have made considerable efforts to co-operate with those who don't fully accept them. I'm not sure whether FiF etc have done the same. If they have, I'd like to hear more about it.

Posted by: magistra on Tuesday, 13 July 2010 at 9:36am BST

Yes Ann the loss of my pension by vote and the loss of my income does make me go slow. Perhaps you would like to visit my vicarage and take a look at my two small children and explain to them that daddy is no longer wanted and that they are therefore going to lose their bedrooms, home and security.

How cruel and heartless some posters here are. Shameful that people can vote others into being dechurched at a time of economic uncertainty and then mock them for going slowly

Posted by: Ed Tomlinson on Tuesday, 13 July 2010 at 9:47am BST

ANN - "Could the pension and lack of employment be a reason for this "let's go slow" attitude?

Realistically speaking, Ann, as an individual who is preparing to leave, yes, it does take time. Did you really expect us Anglo-Catholics to disappear the day after the vote on Saturday???? I might say that when you have a family to consider, a house and a job to find, which has to happen even if you're ordained a Roman Catholic priest, that doesn't occur within minutes. You and your like now have what you want, and at no small cost, both to traditionalists and the Church of England as a whole. Why can't you simply be gracious towards your Christian brothers and sisters at what is a very painful, trying and difficult time. Is there at least an ounce of Christian charity in you? Judging by your swift snipe, perhaps not.

Posted by: Benedict on Tuesday, 13 July 2010 at 9:52am BST

As he asks, I'm prepared to visit Ed Tomlinson's house and tell his children that their father chose to be ordained into a church that ordains women priests, that the same church, as was expected, now intends to ordain women bishops, that there should be no bolt-holes for people who won't engaged sacramentally with their fellow clergy. I'm prepared to tell them that for seven months, by his own account, he has not believed that he is a priest, that he has trailed his coat in public for all to see on his blog, that he has been content to remain in his vicarage, and to receive his stipend, paid for by anglicans who do believe that he is a priest. I'm prepared to tell them that he is welcome to stay with us, to minister here, to be paid by us, if he will only share at the altar with any and all of the priests and bishops of this communion.

Posted by: junius on Tuesday, 13 July 2010 at 10:38am BST

I have no idea how typical my church is. We are an ABC parish with PEV oversight but we have also taken good care over the years to retain close pastoral links with our diocesan bishop. Our congregation is split on the issue of women's ordination/consecration. Our people have strong views on both sides and occasionally we have strong debate. However, we have so far, with very small exceptions, stayed together. Why ? Because we believe that the imperative to love one another trumps all other cards on the table. I have no idea what will happen now, and things aren't getting any easier, but, God willing, we will continue in this vein. Because in the end, it is the parishes that will decide whether the CofE breaks up and ours, for one, will make every effort to ensure that we stay together as a unified witness in a place where prayer has been valid for the last 700 years. I don't doubt the hurt and bad blood on both sides but, really, isn't it a betrayal of Christ to allow such an issue to endanger so much ?

Posted by: Abbot on Tuesday, 13 July 2010 at 10:41am BST

The first Christians - perhaps the only actual ones - were willing to leave behind all, embrace torture and death, and, in the case of later martyrs, sacrificed themselves and their entire families for their convictions. Now, it is true that some of them grumbled about what they'd left behind - like the 12 - or played shamelessly on the emotions of their flocks - like Paul - but they still left everything behind and even laid down their lives.

Perhaps the "conviction" of these conservative Christians really isn't that much of a conviction? It certainly hasn't the fervor or urgency of actual faith, and, at best, a reluctant intellectual assent. You can hardly expect people to be too sympathetic with those who say "We want to live by our convictions, but you have to keep paying us to do so and make sure we don't go through any inconvenience or doubt or pain!" Childish. Absurd.

Posted by: MarkBrunson on Tuesday, 13 July 2010 at 10:47am BST

Pluralist is right; the blocking of the Archbishops' ammendment has opened up the possiblity of blocking, though I doubt that it will come to that right at the end. The earlier vote did, though, result in a classic cleft stick; the position we now have is that Synod can be represented as moving forward on the basis of a minority view of the detail.

Magistra - yes, I have witnessed FiF priests doing everything they can to support and uphold the ministry of women even though they cannot fully receive it. I have seen wonderful graciousness on both sides.


And, for heaven's sake, some of the posters on this thread make it clear that liberal nastiness is just as unforgiving, unpastoral, blinkered, triumphalistic as the other sort of nastiness.

Go and pray, some of you, and ask who your neighbour is.


Posted by: Jonathan Jennings on Tuesday, 13 July 2010 at 11:01am BST

Ed and Benedict
I believe the right decision has been made, but I am also very much aware of the major emotional and practical consequences this has for you. I agree that a bit more compassion and practical help wouldn't go amiss. I do hope you will all find economic stability and, eventually, feel truly settled in your new spiritual home.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Tuesday, 13 July 2010 at 11:05am BST

Tristan:

"John, because they've kept to the understanding of apostolic succession that the Church of England held from 500AD - 1990s they've been de-churched. By a vote. I'd be sad and angry too."

First of all, just because we've understood something for 1400-some years doesn't mean we've understood it correctly. For a lot longer than that, we understood the earth to be the center of the universe.

Second, as for voting, they knew going in that voting is how the church determines things--it's the church's chosen method of discernment. At least they got to participate in the process; would they prefer the Roman Catholic method, where new policies, procedures, and doctrine are simply handed down from on high?

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Tuesday, 13 July 2010 at 11:29am BST

Here's an anecdote. It's true, but I won't give names or places. A few years ago my local Roman Catholic priest left. He was replaced by an ex-anglican, with wife. The ex-anglican had been a prominent campaigner against the ordination of women. It was a nice parish, and we had good ecumenical relations with them. They had an educated and professional congregation.
Within months, there were rumblings of discontent within the RC parish. Father seemed to preach about little else than the place of women. Many of his flock were pretty keen on women's ministry. They weren't happy. It dragged on for about a year, then the priest developed a bad back. He retired from the parish to live in a house he owned about fifty miles away, and he and his wife lived on his pension and her earnings.
Read between the lines.
It will be different with the Ordinariate. The converts won't, I think, be able to take over existing parishes, which is where the need for priests is. I doubt they'll like being told what to do by an RC bishop. I doubt they'll like strong laity. And I don't know what elements of anglican tradition they'll want to cling on to. Most of them exclusively use RC liturgical material at the monent. Will the terms of acceptance force themn to use BCP or Common Worship?
Interesting times ahead.

Posted by: junius on Tuesday, 13 July 2010 at 11:31am BST

Ed:

"Perhaps you would like to visit my vicarage and take a look at my two small children and explain to them that daddy is no longer wanted and that they are therefore going to lose their bedrooms, home and security."

I'm sorry, Ed, this sounds terrifically like self-pity. "They don't want me anymore...." Is it perhaps that you cannot bear the idea that your church has moved on beyond the narrow view you hold of ministry, that the Spirit has shown us a new way to look at it. Have you asked yourself, at all, "Why is the church as a whole hearing the Spirit in a way I am not?"

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Tuesday, 13 July 2010 at 11:34am BST

Ed -

dechurched? Too strong. Nothing Synod did dechurched you.

It voted positively to take forward the legislation regarding women and the episcopate to the dioceses, and it wouldn't pass anything that made a differentiation in status and authority between male and female bishops. There is a clear understanding that a minority of people in the church will find women bishops unacceptable to themselves and a Code of Practice is being devised to make sure that people like you are not driven out. That is what happened.

I know you are very upset about it, and I can to some extent understand why - though I don't share your mindset about it at all - but on any fair reading I can't think that that all adds up to anyone being dechurched.

If you go it will be because you decide in conscience that you can't and won't live in that kind of a Church of England any more, and that in conscience you are now a catholic who wants to be in full communion with the Bishop of Rome. It will be your choice - so you need to explain that to your children when they wonder why they are losing their familiar surroundings. No one else will be doing it to them but their father.

And before you think I am being callous or heartless let me add that I know what I am talking about. I have had to resign and leave over matters of conscience - with all that that means for families. It is important is that this is owned as being the action of the agent - not pushed off onto some mythical scapegoat (Synod, liberals, bishops, whoever).

Posted by: Jeremy Pemberton on Tuesday, 13 July 2010 at 11:53am BST

Ed Tomlinson

I would suggest that you refrain from displaying such an extraordinary degree of self-pity, never an attractive sight, and start thinking. Treasury figures suggest that around between 600,000 and 1,300,000 people will lose their jobs in the next few years, through no fault of their own.

They too have small children, yet you are so obsessed with yourself that none of that registers with you; the only thing that matters to you is yourself.

That is all very well in the confines of the cloister you are pottering happily along in, but if you hope for an upswelling of sympathy in the wider world then you are in for what used to be called a short, sharp, shock.

You have already proved that you are not a loyal member of our church; you may not have the guts to swim the Tiber, but you are certainly happy to frolic in the paddling pool of the Ordinariate.

The Church of England is our national church; there are a lot of people around who, whilst they may not be regular church-goers, turn to it for help when they most need it.

And as the economic purgatory unfolds there are going to be a lot more turning to it for that reason; it is difficult to see how you could offer them pastoral care when you are so obviously convinced that the only suffering worth sympathising with is your own...

Posted by: chenier1 on Tuesday, 13 July 2010 at 12:43pm BST

1. "You and your like now have what you want, and at no small cost, both to traditionalists and the Church of England as a whole."

Traditionalists, as the term implies, have had what they wanted for a long time. At great cost to individuals, to churches, and to society.

Of course it's hard for traditionalists to see this, because their affinity for the tradition places them happily at the center of it -- until the tradition changes.

Then the traditionalists get to feel what it's like to be nearer the margin. The margin is an uncomfortable place. Some others have been there all their lives.

But that doesn't make it easier for the traditionalists -- for them the experience is new. And the new can be threatening.

2. "Daddy is no longer wanted."

You keep posting this "Daddy" phrase. It's an interesting description of the situation.

I know the image you are using relates to your own family, but the image also -- and I don't think you meant this; I am reading it in -- seems to equate priesthood with fatherhood. In other words, the phrase implies that a priest is or must be to the parishioners as a father is to his children.

There are other ways of looking at it, surely, and other metaphors to use.

As a lay person myself, perhaps I'm sensitive to the sometimes-infantilizing language of a hierarchical church. Then again, I'm not sure the shepherd-sheep metaphor is much better from the sheep's point of view -- although it at least acknowledges my agency to stray! Perhaps captain-crew?

The "Daddy" phrase is also quite a personalization of a very slow and careful institutional shift that has been 20 years in that making; that won't happen until 2014, if then; and that will happen with some provision -- granted as yet unknown -- for people like you.

It can be hard to lose an important vote. But nobody's sense of being wanted or needed in the Church should have depended on the Archbishops' amendment. Much too weak a reed!

If anyone's notion of being wanted or needed in the Church truly depends on the episcopacy remaining all-male, then obviously that's a difficult place to be right now. Saturday's voting must be raising all sorts of implications -- not just economic, but psychological and hermeneutic as well.

Posted by: Jeremy on Tuesday, 13 July 2010 at 12:52pm BST

"Perhaps you would like to visit my vicarage and take a look at my two small children and explain to them that daddy is no longer wanted and that they are therefore going to lose their bedrooms, home and security" Ed Tomlinson

Yes, please. I would be delighted to explain to them the reasons why their father has chosen to leave his employment.

Posted by: Laurence on Tuesday, 13 July 2010 at 1:17pm BST

Benedict, Ed, Tristan, Neil: we went through all this when women were ordained to the priesthood. Many Anglo-Catholics then felt dechurched by synodical vote, and those with high principles over women's ordination just moved on and left at that time.

Speaking as one who did precisely that, viz. crossed the Tiber, and later came back (like many others) when I came to see the matter differently, I would say just get on with it, go, and stop whining. It's not a tragedy: the Roman Church is a fine place to be if you never want to have communio in sacris with any women priests, any out gay people, any remarried divorcees or any contraceiving couples.

If you have high principles, then you should not make a big deal of the loss of an income, house etc from the Church of England. Jesus told his disciples to drop their fishing nets, leave everything and follow him immediately. Just do that gladly, and you and those who remain in the C of E will all be happier.

If your principles are not so high, then stay in the C of E and accommodate yourself to the new reality, but don't whinge or melodramatise. This is not callousness, merely a reality-check. Going to the RC Church is not a loss, but a gain for all concerned: there is nothing to shed tears over.

One former Anglican priest friend now teaches RS in a Catholic school, and supports his family that way: there is plenty of need for
RS teachers in Roman Catholic schools (all paid for generously by the taxpayer), so no need to worry about being deprived of an income.

Posted by: Fr Mark on Tuesday, 13 July 2010 at 1:26pm BST

I guess I thought it was about principles not money. I am sorry you will lose your house and pension. But as a woman priest - I saw women sacrifice too. Being pushed physically off the altar area or spit upon in the mass - did not help your cause in the US. Women still make a little over half of what men clergy make - affecting our pensions in the long run here. They take jobs no one else wants. My comment does not come from heartlessness - just from wondering about how firm you believe women are not able to be bishops. You can stay as far as I am concerned - it it your choice - if you church wants to keep you.

Posted by: Ann on Tuesday, 13 July 2010 at 1:34pm BST

Why doesn't FiF organise a petition in the church at large: something along the lines of:

'We are loyal Anglicans. We wish to remain so. A majority in Synod supported the Archbishops' Amendment. We call upon the majority of the Church of England to support that case'?

Posted by: john on Tuesday, 13 July 2010 at 1:45pm BST

Ed Tomlinson: "Yes Ann the loss of my pension by vote and the loss of my income does make me go slow. Perhaps you would like to visit my vicarage and take a look at my two small children and explain to them that daddy is no longer wanted and that they are therefore going to lose their bedrooms, home and security."

Ed, I don't fully understand the anguish you feel, but I am trying. And even if I don't understand it, I acknowledge it. So I say this with the greatest charity:

It seems to me that the General Synod has said clearly that there will be women bishops on fundamentally the same basis as there are male bishops. There will be no distinction between them, thus rejecting proposals that would have created a second-class form of bishop. That done, there will still be some form of code of practice to allow clergy who, such as you, reject the ministry of women bishops, to request male ministry should the occasion arise.

I accept that you don't believe this approach to meet your objections, but please try to see it as a way forward for you.

You say "daddy is no longer wanted", but if that were truly the case there would be no Code of Practice.

Posted by: Nom de Plume on Tuesday, 13 July 2010 at 1:46pm BST

'... because they've kept to the understanding of apostolic succession that the Church of England held from 500AD - 1990s they've been de-churched. By a vote. I'd be sad and angry too.

Posted by: Tristan on Monday, 12 July 2010

Don't forget please, the tiny matter of the Protestant Reformation, which abandoned the Roman theory and practice - a few hundred years ago now !

Posted by: Pantycelyn on Tuesday, 13 July 2010 at 1:47pm BST

'they've been de-churched'

Not so. Their protestant, national Church is still there for them, as before.

But oh but, are they here for it ?

The Church is as Catholick as ever it was.

Posted by: Pantycelyn on Tuesday, 13 July 2010 at 1:52pm BST

'Just imagine an ABC parish - priest and people united in their approach to Catholic order and mission - ..'

I'm trying hard to imagine it ! Will it help if I try to screw up my eyes ?

Their context for these lovely imaginings, remains the national, protestant church ..

n'est pas ?

Posted by: Pantycelyn on Tuesday, 13 July 2010 at 1:56pm BST

If they have, I'd like to hear more about it.

Posted by: magistra on Tuesday, 13 July 2010 at 9:36am BST

Me too !

Posted by: Pantycelyn on Tuesday, 13 July 2010 at 1:59pm BST

No one is throwing any one out. Let's be honest here. We are talking about adults who have the power to make decisions in their own lives. Anyone who leaves does so on their own. They are not victims, they act on their own and are responsible for the consequences. If you are walking out or staying, fine. But whatever direction you select, know that only you are responsible for the results that follow.

Posted by: Dennis on Tuesday, 13 July 2010 at 2:02pm BST

One hopes that the vote on Monday is a major step towards the Church of England opening the ordination of bishops up to women in 2012. However, Anglo-Catholics who are opposed to this would be well advised to postpone any decision to leave until after the first women have been consecrated and are up and running for awhile. It will be the actual implementation of women bishops that will truly tell the the tale. Anglo-Catholics may find that they continue to be accommodated quite nicely, that actual existential moments of conscientious angst will be few, that the politics debate and decision are one thing but the politics conviviality are another. Actual experience may demonstrate that a campaign for women bishops does not translate into a campaign to purge the church of Anglo-Catholics. The Canadian experience has been that women in both priests' and bishops' orders have been disinterested in backing conservatives into a corner. Anglo-Catholics might ponder, as well, the extent to which their own rhetoric and intransigence results in a self-inflicted injury. In other words, stay cool, try not to pout, and remember that proponents of women's ordination are no more doctrinaire towards opponents than you are. I would also suggest that the introduction of the amendment (that subsequently failed)by the two Archbishops likely made the whole situation worse. Such is typical of good intentioned moves motivated by anxiety and a desire to engage in avoidance.

Posted by: Rod Gillis on Tuesday, 13 July 2010 at 2:12pm BST

I'm sorry, Ed but this is untrue:--

'...daddy is no longer wanted..'

You are free to stay- the choice is yours. You are welcome to stay is my impression listening to the debates (here).

'visit my vicarage and take a look at my two small children and explain to them that daddy is no longer wanted and that they are therefore going to lose their bedrooms, home and security.

How cruel and heartless some posters here are. Shameful that '

I'm sorry Ed, but I find this manipulative and vindictive.

You wish to keep women out of ministry and now you project that rejection. You are no victim.

When I think of what Lee Tim Oi, Phoebe Willetts, Elsie Baker, Una Kroll went through, and many others who have tried to serve - past and present - I want to say shame on you ! and on FiF.

Sorry to sound so critical but the FiF line is so transparently manipulative it makes my blood boil!

Stay put mate, and give us all --but especially those kids and yer missus a break-- for Christ's sake.


Posted by: Pantycelyn on Tuesday, 13 July 2010 at 2:13pm BST

This is the first time I've posted here, and I have a question which I hope will be treated in the spirit it's asked, because I genuinely want to understand why this decision is causing some posters so much pain.

As I understand it, provision will still be made for those who cannot accept women as bishops, but without it being set in law. I don't understand why expressions such as 'being dechurched' and 'no longer wanted' are being used. Why do you feel this way when you can still have alternative episcopal pastoral care?

I am sorry if this has been answered previously, but I am a relative newcomer to this site, hence my asking the question. But I do honestly want to understand why there is so much heartache around, and to be able to respond accordingly.

Blessings,
Chris

Posted by: Chris on Tuesday, 13 July 2010 at 2:18pm BST

Did you really expect us Anglo-Catholics to disappear the day after the vote on Saturday????
(Benedict)

'Oh but you don't go !"
"I go, I go" (Pirates)

You keep threatening to go -- but it's up to you ! Please yourself--literally.

But I don't think you'll like 'Rome' one little bit. I really don't -- and neither do you (it seems).

Btw there's nothing 'traditionalist' about ulta-Anglo-Catholics in the protestant, national Church.Is there ? After-all, it's quite a long time since the reign of Elizabeth 1.

Why not settle for an imperfect church set-up and ease up on yourself - and the rest of us.

Posted by: Pantycelyn on Tuesday, 13 July 2010 at 2:21pm BST

"Why can't you simply be gracious towards your Christian brothers and sisters at what is a very painful, trying and difficult time."

Maybe because your "side" has *never* done the same and we are tired of being bitten and kicked by you and yours?

(I've always found "turn the other cheek" to be the hardest of Jesus' commandments to follow. I'll keep working on it---but I'm not the only one who needs to keep trying. Pot, meet kettle.)

Or maybe because we have grown weary of your temper tantrums and threats to leave if you don't get your way. If you don't want to be treated like a tantruming toddler, stop acting like one. As a mother, there have simply been days when I have Had.Enough. of children behaving badly and say "No more." This is one of those "days."

Although I strongly disagree, I can respect the integrity of someone who, in conscience, cannot accept women in ministry and leaves for Rome or the Orthodox. But for you to have remained in a church which has already declared that women can be validly ordained when you believe that is heretical--and to insist that your views are so special that everyone else must accommodate them--smacks of opportunism and dishonesty.

And if Ed Tomlinson has two small children, he has most likely been ordained long since the decision to ordain women was made--which makes all of the temper-tantruming and special pleading in his case even more ludicrous. I can certainly feel sympathy for his family and pray for their welfare without granting the legitimacy of any of his arguments or complaints.

Bottom line--either have the integrity to follow your beliefs without whining about how badly you are being treated or shut up. It really is that simple.

Posted by: Doxy on Tuesday, 13 July 2010 at 2:33pm BST

Come on, Ed. Your "daddy is no longer wanted" attitude is undignified and untrue. I would venture that most progressive Anglo-Catholics like myself want you to stay and continue your minstry in the CofE. We pray that both you and Benedict will come to the view that, although you hold that the ordained ministry can only be exercised by men, nevertheless the Holy Spirit may just be leading the CofE into a greater understanding of God's plan for Creation and that in all humility you should be guided by the decisions of your Church in this matter.

A dear friend of mine converted to Rome when women were first ordained priests but he returned home to the CofE within two years. Nobody forced him to leave, though everybody welcomed him back. Nobody is forcing you to leave, either. If your children suffer, it will be your doing, nobody else's. It will be like an American going on a shooting spree and then blaming his country's gun laws for his murderous actions. Which is it to be? Are you going to sacrifice your children on the altar of your intransigence or stay, accept the compromise offered you, and run the risk that you might in time come to accept the validity of women's ordination?

Posted by: Terence Dear on Tuesday, 13 July 2010 at 2:35pm BST

Well, I am not a member of the C of E as I live north of the border. I have no wish to see Ed or his fellows leave. But on the other hand, I have to say that they are not being forced to leave, other than by their consciences. What is more, as one who had to re-start in a very poorly paid job when circumstances landed me paddle-less up the creek, I have also to say that it is surprising the blessings that a low paid and low status job can confer on one.

I know most cannot say this, because they have something approaching an average wage - I don't. While I would urge those who feel obliged to leave the C of E because a woman touches the chain of command in order to pass the baton of command to another (a position I struggle to keep my patience with) to seriously re-consider their position, I would also say that I have seen more children ruined by their parent's affluence than by their poverty. What matters is the interest that parents show. Bluntly, there are very often tedious low status jobs available.

Posted by: Rosemary Hannah on Tuesday, 13 July 2010 at 4:11pm BST

Ed, as Eric Mascall wrote Lo These Many Years Ago, "I should have gone last Tuesday week, had not my wife objected." If you care about your kids, you will do what lots of other clergy of all sorts have done for a wide variety of reasons: Go find a job. Neither Canterbury, nor Rome, nor Jesus himself owes you a living.

(Incidentally, in the US Episcopal Church clergy who "abandon the communion" receive no further pension credits, but they do not lose what they already have accrued. If this is not the case in the Church of England, then that needs to be fixed Right Now.)

Posted by: William Moorhead on Tuesday, 13 July 2010 at 4:18pm BST

Yes, Jeremy, I believe in Apostolic Succession - in the same manner as the Orthodox and RC (which make up the majority of Christians in history.) Men, in the three fold order, ordaining other men in tactile succession from Augustine onwards.

That's what I was taught in Sunday school and later at University. And, now I think about it affirmed by York and Canterbury in Saepius Officio 1.10 (1897)

Posted by: Tristan on Tuesday, 13 July 2010 at 6:19pm BST

There will be so few Anglican laity who convert, the handful of convert Anglican clergy ( who are ordained as Catholic priests..and this will not be all of them ) will have to minister elsewhere.

the excuses that Benedict gives ( above ) sound just like the guests to the wedding feast or the rich young man.

I have a friend whose father was a Vicar.His father became convinced of the truths of the Catholic Church, and on the same day left with his family. That very night the Luftwaffe bombed Portsmouth and both the vicarage and church were flattened!

Benedict..you can't play with God.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Tuesday, 13 July 2010 at 8:40pm BST

"I don't doubt the hurt and bad blood on both sides but, really, isn't it a betrayal of Christ to allow such an issue to endanger so much ? - Posted by Abbot"

Is that who women-with-calls are to you, Abbot? "An issue"? Should women who perceive a Call from God to the altar, BURY that Call, just so as not to upset ("endanger") your safe little status quo?

[I can just envision you, Abbot, being demanded by Joshua to "choose this day who you will serve": "Ah, but by making us choose, you're endangering so much!" O_o]

Posted by: JCF on Tuesday, 13 July 2010 at 10:19pm BST

Junius makes a valid set of arguments and it might be helpful for Ed Tomlinson and Benedict to read the post in this thread by "Junius." I too, am a Vatican II Catholic and I guarantee you that the discussion and eventual implementation of women priests and bishops, right up to and including the future Bishops of Rome, will be forthcoming in this century and most likely within the next two decades. It's really all about the sound theological arguments FOR admitting women to all levels of ordained ministries within the institutional Catholic Churches. It has to happen and in actuality, it MUST happen if there is to be any justice and credibility to institutional Catholicism. I do not have a great deal of empathy for those Anglican clerics who feel the need to whine about the loss of their pensions, housing and futures for their families if they jump over to our side of the river. Your reasons for leaving lack a great deal of insight about what it means to follow Jesus and the premise that there is indeed no male or female in Christ. You have chosen the path of the hard liners in Roman Catholicism and this is a battle that is just beginning in Rome. Joe Ratzinger is so out of touch with the vast majority of Catholics worldwide that his papacy is seen as a last and fatal attempt to restore the Catholic Church to the model that was present before the Second Vatican Council. It has failed and will continue to fail. The proverbial genie has long since left the bottle. Women have already been ordained as priests by Roman Catholic bishops and the episcopate will follow. Sure, these are considered "irregular" by Rome and the theats of excommunication are real, but that has not stopped the process that has already begun. I think Anglicans who are trying to stop the consecration of women bishops are sadly out of touch with the hundreds of millions of People of God world wide. The very idea diminishes women in a way that I believe would be totally unacceptable to Jesus. The time has come to right the wrong that has been perpetrated on women for two thousand years of Christianity. Those who can't accept this are destined to be very unhappy human beings because the winds of change have already begun to blow.

Posted by: Chris Smith on Tuesday, 13 July 2010 at 10:21pm BST

On Wednesday 14 July, aside from being Bastille Day, Anglicans around the world will be invited via the Anglican Cycle of Prayer to pray for the Diocese of Edmonton (Alberta, Canada). This is, I think, the first diocese anywhere to have two women bishops in succession: Bishop Victoria Matthews (now in New Zealand) and Bishop Jane Alexander.

Pray for Edmonton, and for Bishop Jane.

Posted by: Nom de Plume on Wednesday, 14 July 2010 at 2:14am BST

"As I understand it, provision will still be made for those who cannot accept women as bishops . . . Why do you feel this way when you can still have alternative episcopal pastoral care?"

As I (Ignorant Yank) understand it, Chris, it's because that "provision" will involve paperwork: "St Pope Pio Nono Anglican Church shall receive AEPC from [Boy Bishop]. Signed, Bishop Jane Doe."

For the for the (self-proclaimed) Traditionalists, it might as well say "Signed, Bishop Pink Paisley Unicorn." A signature by a Fictional Creature (the "bishop" wot lack a Y chromosome) renders the deal moot. OCICBW.

Posted by: JCF on Wednesday, 14 July 2010 at 5:12am BST

You ask if I have contemplated "Why is the church as a whole hearing the Spirit in a way I am not?"

But it is not. 90%+ of the Church universal stands with me and all of the church down the ages. Do not mistake a national and secularised synod with the voice of the church!!!

Chris I am being driven out because under the arrangement I will simply be send a man and not somebody guaranteed to be in the apostolic tradition

Posted by: Ed Tomlinson on Wednesday, 14 July 2010 at 8:28am BST

I would also point out to the person criticising me for remaining in post that my stipend is paid in full by my parish who are- thus far- right behind me. I am their priest and they remain happy to pay for me

Posted by: Ed Tomlinson on Wednesday, 14 July 2010 at 9:19am BST

Jonathan Jennings. I felt the same as you a few months or even weeks ago, but having heard Chris Sugden recently and yesterday Bishop John Broadhurst speak once given the opportunity to tell the nation directly, I am not able so sanguinely to share your view.

The former person argued on the basis that there was an analogy between homosexuality in the church and fiddling ones expenses; Broadhurst said clearly that Synod had lied to Parliament about the level of provision.

This type of thought and language betrays what is fundamentally going on here. These are not the sentiments of genuinely anguished people searching carefully and adroitly for a way forward. They are the angry, resentful and almost vindictive tones of those who cannot get their own way. They both threaten and wheedle, their rhetoric and rationalizing is about as variable as that of the UK Government over why we are in Afghanistan - taken as a whole, there may be some truth to each individual strand but the overall argument is utterly flawed.

The outside world is not demanding that rapists or murderers or thieves be eligible for sacramental office; it's saying very clearly, as one poster on the Guardian's CiF put it yesterday (and please excuse the original 'French'):

'If the Church cannot recognise truth and justice, what f*cking use is it'

So, in effect, 'Daddy' will in time probably reduce his chances of remaining in gainful employ by continuing to make the National Church look, sound and feel completely irrelevant to the nation that it is supposed to serve to a far greater extent than he is ever likely to be forcibly removed by some sort of 'Liberal Mafia' if he continues to opine in the manner that he does.

When this Monarch goes, the ground on which the CofE currently exists will be absolutely and fundamentally shifted, mark my words. But you are more likely to be disestablished over these issues than you are because Her successor wants rather to become the 'Defender of Faith' merely.

Posted by: achilles on Wednesday, 14 July 2010 at 10:23am BST

The provision of a code of practice was supported by several senior women clergy as an act of gracious generosity, despite the fact that many supporters of ordained ministry would have preferred a single clause measure. They supported this compromise precisely so that those unable at this time to accept the priestly and episcopal ministry of women would know that they were still very welcome in the church and the church is committed to making provision for them in a way that doesn't change the whole nature of episcopal ministry. Furthermore the debates and proposals made it clear that some form of financial support for those who face hardship IF they choose to leave will be considered - but it will be left to a later stage. If financial arrangements had been made in the measure it would have been like signing a blank cheque in law - without any idea of how it would have been financed,or what the cost would be. The Church of England has no intention of leaving anyone destitute. Furthermore, the code of practice has not yet been written by the Bishops and the provision may well be enough to enable people to remain within the Church of England. Finally, the measure was sent to the Diocese by Synod with very significant majority - there is no reason to think that they would change their minds on its return. Unless of course plans are afoot to flood Synod with opponents of women's ministry during this years synod elections, purely in order to sink this legislation, without regard to the damage that would cause to the Church's mission and witness?

Posted by: Lindsay Southern on Wednesday, 14 July 2010 at 1:03pm BST

I doubt very much if Ed's livelihood is paid for in full by his parish. The stipend, NI, pension contribution, expenses of office, cost of providing and maintaining the clergy house, paying diocesan share, upkeep of church and provision of services will be a hefty bill. Ed, does your parish pay all of this? Are parish accounts available online? I'm sure you could publish them on your blog.

Posted by: junius on Wednesday, 14 July 2010 at 2:32pm BST

For those Priests/Bishops who wish to leave and keep their pensions and housing, I would just remind them of how many times I've heard them gush about the generosity of the Pope's offer. Well, maybe it wasn't generous enough. The CofE isn't going to pay the Pope's bills. The Pope should have counted the costs beforehand. I wish no one any harm, but there are too many loyal Anglican clergy who could use the support.

Posted by: Doug on Wednesday, 14 July 2010 at 2:52pm BST

"I doubt very much if Ed's livelihood is paid for in full by his parish. The stipend, NI, pension contribution, expenses of office, cost of providing and maintaining the clergy house, paying diocesan share, upkeep of church and provision of services will be a hefty bill. Ed, does your parish pay all of this? Are parish accounts available online? I'm sure you could publish them on your blog."
Posted by: junius on Wednesday, 14 July 2010 at 2:32pm BST


It quite likely does. S. Barnabas, Tunbridge Wells is in the diocese of Rochester which for many years has had a system which requires its parishes to guarantee all the above. PCCs make monthly standing order payments to the Church Commissioners to cover the stipend, NI, pension etc. and are fully responsible for the costs of housing and expenses of office. It makes for a very small "diocesan share", quota, "family purse" or whatever name you give to payments for diocesan and national church expenditure. Parishes that cannot guarantee this are linked with neighbours for the provision of clergy and there is a small central "mission fund" which may be used to support those parishes which can prove their need for clergy *and* the ongoing impossibility of being able to pay for them. This system is, I think, unique in the CofE but I wouldn't doubt Ed's claim at all.

Posted by: RPNewark on Wednesday, 14 July 2010 at 4:00pm BST

I have a friend whose father was a Vicar.His father became convinced of the truths of the Catholic Church, and on the same day left with his family. That very night the Luftwaffe bombed Portsmouth and both the vicarage and church were flattened!

Benedict..you can't play with God.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Tuesday, 13

We have been warned ! Oh the LORD works so mysteriously and wonderfully. This version of religion is so compelling ...

I feel compelled to run 1000 miles from such tosh.

Posted by: Pantycelyn on Wednesday, 14 July 2010 at 6:11pm BST


@ Doxy on Tuesday, 13 July 2010 at 2:33pm BST

"And if Ed Tomlinson has two small children, he has most likely been ordained long since the decision to ordain women was made--which makes all of the temper-tantruming and special pleading in his case even more ludicrous."

What's a decade between friends?

TOMLINSON, Edward James. b 74. Homerton Coll Cam BEd96. Westcott Ho Cam 99. d 02 p 03. C Brentwood St Thos Chelmsf 02-06; V Tunbridge Wells St Barn Roch from 06.


Posted by: John Roch on Wednesday, 14 July 2010 at 6:15pm BST

Well Tristan - that is very interesting. What the Orthodox and the RCs have taught and held, eh? Fine - then go and be Orthodox or RC if that belief is so important to you. My point, which still stands, is that believing this in the form you have proposed it is not, nor ever has been, a cornerstone of Anglican teaching about apostolicity.

Posted by: Jeremy Pemberton on Wednesday, 14 July 2010 at 7:14pm BST

"Yes, Jeremy, I believe in Apostolic Succession - in the same manner as the Orthodox and RC (which make up the majority of Christians in history.) Men, in the three fold order, ordaining other men in tactile succession from Augustine onwards.

That's what I was taught in Sunday school and later at University. And, now I think about it affirmed by York and Canterbury in Saepius Officio 1.10 (1897)"

Shame that the RC and Orthodox don't hold the same view...since neither consider you a priest, Tristan. Why do you continue to value the opinions of those who do not value yours?

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Wednesday, 14 July 2010 at 9:24pm BST

"You ask if I have contemplated "Why is the church as a whole hearing the Spirit in a way I am not?"

But it is not. 90%+ of the Church universal stands with me and all of the church down the ages. Do not mistake a national and secularised synod with the voice of the church!!!"

If you have this view of the CoE, why do you remain in it, Ed? If you object to its secularization (I presume because it includes laity?), why in heaven's name were you ever ordained? The CoE has had such a "secularized" Synod for ages. If you want a clergy-only decision-making process, it is right over there, on the other side of the Tiber.

"Chris I am being driven out because under the arrangement I will simply be send a man and not somebody guaranteed to be in the apostolic tradition."

In your opinion...which you place above that of all others in the church you are pledged to serve.

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Wednesday, 14 July 2010 at 9:30pm BST

The point is, Ed, if you think the C of E is hardly part of the universal church, and that its genuinely representative council is heading in totally the wrong direction, you are really saying you would rather be in a church you can respect - in which case your decision is made irrespective of the sex of your bishops.

However, given the (lack of) speed of change you might have to wait for another twenty years until there actually WAS a female bishop in charge of you.

And frankly, I have never understood how being told to do something by a pink paisley unicorn (lovely image)could, in fact, invalidate what one actually DID. Suppose a Dr who had forged his medical degree told another Dr to remove a dangerously swollen appendix, would the appendix not come out? Suppose Ed, and his male Bishop, were abandoned on a small station on Mars, along with a handful of his congregation, and the rest of humanity were wiped out, would he become unable to celebrate all the sacraments? So how would an illusory bishop, supposing the bishop WERE illusory, affect the actual real bishop??? My inner Mr Spock rebels.

Posted by: Rosemary Hannah on Wednesday, 14 July 2010 at 10:02pm BST

What is tosh,Pantycelyn ( by the way Pantacelyn was the birth place of one of the greatest Welsh hymn writers...William Williams) is the fantasy that there is going to be an influx of Anglo Catholics into the Catholic Church. Its not going to happen..and there is no financial package either.

Priests in the Wrexham Diocese get just over £5,000 a year....

I know one young curate whose Mum had to buy him a car.

Welcome to the real world.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Wednesday, 14 July 2010 at 11:03pm BST

Why does my date of ordination matter? I was ordained into a church that ordained women AND which honoured those unable to accept their ministry. My sending parish was ABC, I did my placement at S. Peter's Plymouth and my first living was ABC. The Church of England allowed me- indeed told me I was honourable- to accept the traditional Catholic line.

Now they remove that assurance. Today I would not have gone to theological college. FACT. I was lied to and it stinks

Posted by: Ed Tomlinson on Wednesday, 14 July 2010 at 11:46pm BST

I notice that Ed is a teacher by trade. Basic Stipend starts at about £20,000.

However no free house, no rates paid, parish expenses, (other perks like a private clergy medical scheme) and scholarships to the leading public schools.

At present there are about 100 applicants per job.

As I keep stating the ordinariate is going to be tiny. the most significant moment at the recent Synod was the rejection of 1994 style payments.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Thursday, 15 July 2010 at 6:29am BST

You continue to be honoured, and there is every intention of providing for you - there is no insistence you look to female clergy to provide for you Ed. What you cannot have is a situation where there is no guarantee of even a momentary touch of a female hand on a baton of power.

Calm down.

Posted by: Rosemary Hannah on Thursday, 15 July 2010 at 10:11pm BST
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