Friday, 13 August 2010

still more on women bishops

Updated Friday evening

Last week’s Church Times contained many letters responding to the article about sacramental assurance by Canon Simon Killwick which was linked here earlier.

These letters are now available at RC disapproval undermines sacramental assurance.

The Irish Times recently carried a letter from Canon Dr Virginia Kennerley which was published under the title Women’s ordination.

…On reading the Synod reports it struck me that the demand for “sacramental assurance” – the guarantee that the priest celebrating the Eucharist has not been ordained by a woman bishop, or even by a bishop originally ordained by a woman – is a demonstration of “magical thinking” at its most primitive, akin to ritual rain-making ceremonies and tribal rituals designed to control the uncontrollable…

This letter refers to a sermon on the same theme by Canon Kennerley, delivered at Christ Church Dublin a few days earlier.

Update

The G2 section of the Guardian carried this feature article last Monday: Women bishops of the future?

As the Church of England moves ever closer to allowing the ordination of women bishops, three woman [sic] priests talk about what it would mean to them.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 13 August 2010 at 7:34am BST | TrackBack
You can make a Permalink to this if you like
Categorised as: Church of England
Comments

It's Gnosticism!

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Friday, 13 August 2010 at 8:31am BST

An interesting sermon from the Protestant anti- Romanist Church of Ireland, adapted to the mores of the 21st century. Given by an English woman in an Irish Anglican cathedral , whose Dean is a former Catholic priest who left to get married.

In the sermon it is mentioned that the Church of Ireland consented to women bishops 20 years ago and still does not have women bishops, because they have to be elected.

That's one reason for keeping the present Church of England selection system ,as once women bishops are approved it will be much easier for the women to be chosen and selected. Even in TEC the odds against women and gay candidates are heavily stacked against them, due to the electoral system.

Can we have some discussion of this , rather than Rome bashing!

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Friday, 13 August 2010 at 8:42am BST

Prebendary Desmond Tillyer's fine letter to the Church Times expresses what many Anglo-Catholics in Churches around the world feel about the need - or otherwise - of Roman Catholic approval of Anglican Orders as they have been received and acted upon through time and experience of the grace of the Holy Spirit at work in Anglicanism.

The fact that Rome steadfastly denies (in their opinion) the validity of Anglican Orders, only serves to validate our traditional position as a catholic and reformed branch of the Apostolic Church. To be seen to 'give in' to Roman Catholic efforts to proselytise Anglicans into their own magisterial understanding of Papal Rule would compromise the very forward-looking theological process of the ordination of all who are called by God into the ministry of the Christian Church.

F.i.F. absolutists need to understand that their current and past ministries as Anglican clergy are seen by Rome to still be null and void. The only way for them to avoid the natural progression of the ordination of women in the Church of England is to renounce their Anglican Orders completely and submit to the Roman Magisterium. They can no longer pretend to be priests according to the Roman Catholic Church in their present situation, so they must expect to proceed, under obedience, as Baptized Laypersons into their new situation.

Meanwhile, the Church of England, and all other Churches of the Anglican Communion which have been influenced by the grace of the Holy spirit to expand the role of sacramental orders to ALL the Baptized - including women - will continue to obey the call of The Spirit upon them to allow God's call to be answered by 'anyone whom the Lord our God may call'.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Friday, 13 August 2010 at 10:31am BST

"That's one reason for keeping the present Church of England selection system ,as once women bishops are approved it will be much easier for the women to be chosen and selected."

And easier for those opposed to WO to claim that women couldn't possibly make it without help. No, I'd change the system if it were up to me.

"Even in TEC the odds against women and gay candidates are heavily stacked against them, due to the electoral system."

That would depend very much on the individual diocese, wouldn't it?

Posted by: Bill Dilworth on Friday, 13 August 2010 at 1:05pm BST

It would be good if those who wish others to avoid 'bashing' set a good example by avoiding it themselves.

Posted by: Sara MacVane on Friday, 13 August 2010 at 1:10pm BST

Goran,

Could you please expand on your "It's Gnosticism" comment. I would be intersted to hear what exactly was Gnostic in this currect debate, and why?

Thank you

Simon Dwason

Posted by: Simon Dawson on Friday, 13 August 2010 at 1:47pm BST

Ian R. Williams ended a post with "Can we have some discussion of this , rather than Rome bashing!"

Well Ian, anyone-bashing is not a good thing; but looking at your posts, from a Roman Catholic, using Rome as a norm, and your posture towards Anglican issues as expressed on this site, you might want to take some responsibility for the ailment you protest about?

Posted by: Rod Gillis on Friday, 13 August 2010 at 2:17pm BST

Oh I just want you to think...but when the Catholic Church is attacked by Ron, I shall respond in love and charity.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Friday, 13 August 2010 at 3:56pm BST

Perhaps it's a comment at 90 degrees to the conversation, but I can't imagine how a priest in Anglican orders (or Anglican "orders" if RIW prefers;-) ) can seek ordination in the RC tradition without a sense of betrayal of his (and it would be his) people.
I could cope with being a lay RC if calvinistic elements in the Anglican tradition were to win the day - but to seek ordination would be tantamount to proclaiming that every mass I've offered (and more significantly, every confession I've heard) are pretences and playing. I owe my people more fidelity than that.

Posted by: mynsterpreost (= David Rowett) on Friday, 13 August 2010 at 5:40pm BST

The RC Church disapproval of women bishops would have a great deal more credibility if they acknowledged the validity of Anglican priesthood to begin with.

They consider _all_ Anglican priests to be glorified laypeople in nice clothes, so I don't see what the difference is, in their eyes, between a male Fake Priest and a woman Fake Priest.

I respect the RC church a lot and they're entitled to their opinion, certainly, but by the fact of joining or remaining in the Anglican Church, we are implicitly agreeing with the principle that Rome can be wrong, even about such important things as what makes a priest. If Rome can be wrong (and by extension Constantinople, Antioch, Armenia and the other ancient churches as well, individually and in concert) then I don't see why they couldn't be wrong about the male-only priesthood either.

Posted by: Hector on Friday, 13 August 2010 at 6:15pm BST

Careful with the magic talk. To dismiss magic in some areas might undermine the 'magic' in others that some would like to keep.

When you are 'in' on some magic, walking round the back, you are rapidly in on all of it.

Posted by: Pluralist on Saturday, 14 August 2010 at 6:29am BST

Hector the reason for the seeming inconsistency... is that , yes Anglican male orders are invalid, but if the Anglican Communion had reconciled.... these orders could have been corrected by re-ordination. However it is impossible for a woman to be ordained.

The Anglican communion ever true to its Protestant roots has taken the "logical" Protestant path.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Saturday, 14 August 2010 at 6:50am BST

'The Anglican communion ever true to its Protestant roots has taken the "logical" Protestant path.'

Meissen, Porvoo, Fetter Lane, Ruilly and others yet to come - spot on.

Posted by: William Tighe on Saturday, 14 August 2010 at 12:02pm BST

Fr. Ron: I don't think you will see anyone asked to renounce their orders by Rome as the C of E will require anyone leaving to abandon their orders prior to their being received as laypeople into the RC churches.

Having been present at several reception ceremonies for former Anglican priests who left the C of E in 1992 to 1994, I can also categorically say that they were never asked to deny previous ministry, but rather to regard their future ordinations as the perfection of it. Cardinal Basil Hume preached several very moving sermons on this theme and explicitly stated the "no denial" point several times.

Posted by: Clive on Saturday, 14 August 2010 at 4:37pm BST

Robert Ian Williams, I just noticed my mistake in getting your name wrong. My apologies. This is what happens when I get trigger happy. ( : -Rod

Posted by: Rod Gillis on Saturday, 14 August 2010 at 8:45pm BST

Re: these orders could have been corrected by re-ordination

Which would have involved submission to all that the RC church believes and teaches. No thanks. Most Anglicans, priests and laypeople alike, are more interested in staying Anglican then in becoming RC. I am all for 'reconciling' if that means living together in concord and friendship, and learning from each other, but I don't want to be Roman Catholic; if I did, I would simply convert (or more likely, I'd never have converted to Anglicanism in the first place).

To be an Anglican is to concede that Rome can be wrong. Not often, perhaps, but sometimes.

Posted by: Hector on Saturday, 14 August 2010 at 9:57pm BST

"Fr. Ron: I don't think you will see anyone asked to renounce their orders by Rome as the C of E will require anyone leaving to abandon their orders prior to their being received as laypeople into the RC churches."

The very fact that they were re-ordained, and not conditionally ordained, would seem to be a de facto renunciation.

Posted by: Bill Dilworth on Saturday, 14 August 2010 at 9:58pm BST

A friend of mine who is a Catholic Bishop assures me that Rome make very careful choice of who they will accept for ordination from convert clerics. By the way we have also accepted Methodist ministers and, Presbyterians and Lutherans. With the Anglicans they are all made to admit intheir personal sunbmissions to Rome that they do not accept the validity of their previous orders, as otherwise it would be a sacrilege to have then unconditionally ordained.

Again we distinguish between their former ministry and Holy order.

In some rare cases an Anglican , can show like Doctor Leonard did that he came to a private arrangement with an Old Catholic bishop, who said supplementary and audible words at his consecration in 1964. Then conditional ordination could be offered, as there are still serious doubts.

Most modern Anglicans now have old Catholic lineage, but it has not been done in the contrived way as Leonard.The participating Old Catholic bishop merely participated in the laying on of hands at an episcopal consecration. The Anglican bishop then ordained his clergy according to the Anglican rite, where the words are voided of their true Catholic meaning, because even with modern Anglican ordination rites they are still in the context of the 39 articles and other heretical developments.

One of the reasons given in the judgement of Apostolicae Curae was the native character and spirit if the ordinal..then it was Protestantism...now it is things like women's ordination.

Also note that Rome are now becoming doubtful about Old Catholic Orders, because apart from the Polish branch, the Union of Utrecht is now very liberal.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Sunday, 15 August 2010 at 6:12am BST

" However it is impossible for a woman to be ordained." - Robert I. Williams -

This is just one more bit of evidence that R.I.W has capitulated completely to the Roman Catholic understanding of the integrity of Holy Orders. What he needs to understand - if he is going to continue to try to teach us anything on this blog - is that most of us are actually 'Thinking Anglicans'; which mean - per se - that we do not necessarily agree with his understanding of the call of God upon the Baptized to share in the ministry of Christ's Church.

Women have been and are being ordained. This is a fact! The fullness of Christ cannot be totally contained by Roman dogma.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Sunday, 15 August 2010 at 9:19am BST

Thank you, Fr. Ron Smith. This reminds me of the old story of the bishop who was asked, "Do you believe in infant baptism?" and responded, "Believe in it? I've _seen_ it!"

Posted by: Tobias Haller on Sunday, 15 August 2010 at 6:21pm BST

"Also note that Rome are now becoming doubtful about Old Catholic Orders..."

Heavens! How *will* the Old Catholics muddle through without approval from the Vatican?

Posted by: Bill Dilworth on Sunday, 15 August 2010 at 8:35pm BST

"The participating Old Catholic bishop merely participated in the laying on of hands at an episcopal consecration."

Robert Ian Williams, I do not believe that your information is correct. Do you have any proofs?

Posted by: PeterK on Sunday, 15 August 2010 at 9:56pm BST

Vatican II recognized that a radical "reformation" of Catholicism was needed. They called it "renewal" in most instances. People like Robert Ian Williams are in for a rude awakening when the next progressive thinker happens to be elected as Bishop of Rome. Most Catholics I know expect this to happen and when it does, either a Vatican III will happen or the groundwork for radical reform started at Vatican II will resume its' natural process of bringing the Catholic Church into the modern world. It is very important to understand that the past thirty two years of Catholicism have tried to restore the Church to pre-Vatican II mode and it is a failed strategy. Anglican Orders are as valid as Roman or Orthodox orders to all but the very narrowest minds and hearts. Rome has been wrong on many issues and there will be a day when the restorationist movement comes to an end.

Posted by: Chris Smith on Monday, 16 August 2010 at 12:52am BST

I hope you are correct, Chris Smith.

However, Rome needs to understand that it ought to recognize Anglican orders (ALL of those called to them!) for *Rome's* (and Christian unity's) sake, not ours.

***

"according to the Anglican rite, where the words are voided of their true Catholic meaning, because even with modern Anglican ordination rites they are still in the context of the 39 articles and other heretical developments."

Sell it all you want to, RIW: we ain't buying.

Posted by: JCF on Monday, 16 August 2010 at 9:54am BST

Father Ron, I understand RIW to mean, when he writes, " However it is impossible for a woman to be ordained", that even though I have been ordained, with all the right words and the bishop and clergy laying on hands, I am still not ordained because, as Bp. Iker was understood to say, I am not of fit matter for the ordination to "take". I am willing to be corrected by RIW if that was not his meaning.

Posted by: Lois Keen on Monday, 16 August 2010 at 1:04pm BST

Simon Dawson, In this context mainly the identification of outer with inner, of form with essence, of Gender with this notion of "sacramental assurance".

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Monday, 16 August 2010 at 4:47pm BST

RIW simply repeats 115 year old talking points from that utter fid Merry del Val who, with Vaughn and Manning and the lot, had sold poor Leo XIII a bill of goods that a condemnation of Anglican orders would open a floodgate of conversions.

But to the matter of the Dutch Touch, it really wasn't necessary. Even if one accepts the dubious proposition that the Edwardian Ordinal was defective, even the curial theologians conceded that the Jacobean revisions, minor though they were, were sufficient to correct those deficiencies. From 1604, the curial argument is not that the rite was invalid, but rather than there were no longer any valid ministers (ie, properly ordained bishops) to perform the sacrament with the revised rite.

Subsequent to the revisions, the former Roman Catholic Bishop of Spoleto and Primate of Dalmatia, one Marco Antonio de Dominis, was received into the Church of England and was eventually appointed Dean of Windsor. He participated in several episcopal ordinations, including two of the six bishops who would later consecrate William Laud. (In addition, a third consecrator also derived episcopal orders, indirectly, from de Dominis.) Since all Anglican orders today derive through Archbishop Laud, it is clear that, even if one accepts the Edwardian / Elizabethan ordinal as defective, our validity was restored centuries before the Dutch Touch.

Posted by: Malcolm+ on Tuesday, 17 August 2010 at 3:21am BST

"Even if one accepts the dubious proposition that the Edwardian Ordinal was defective, even the curial theologians conceded that the Jacobean revisions, minor though they were, were sufficient to correct those deficiencies."

There were no "Jacobean revisions" to the Ordinal; no revisions of it at all until 1661, so Antonio de Dominis is a perfectly red herring.

Posted by: William Tighe on Tuesday, 17 August 2010 at 3:18pm BST

Several challenges..here are my replies...

lois I don't doubt your sincerity or integrity, but I have to obey the magisterium of the Church I know to be the voice of Christ...which says a woman cannot be ordained, and an Anglican male priest also is not a priest.

Chris. interesting thinking.but I think the next Pope is going to be even more conservative and tougher.Everything points in that direction.... vocations , growing orthodox religious orders, tightening of the liturgy,cooling of ecumenism with liberal Protestantism,sounder bishops, hope for reconciliation with the Lefevrists. Liberal orders and vocations imploding.Funny how the liberals thought the same as Chris in the days of John Paul the second.

Malcolm.. I am afraid the consecrators you mention used the Anglican form.. a validly consecrated bishop was also present at Archbishop Matttew Parker's consecration ( bishop Scory).. and the same was true of the Church of Ireland ( several apostate Catholic bishops).... but the invalid rite was employed, and the succession lost

Put simply in analogy..King Arthur wielding any sword does not make it Exalibur.

The Cranmerian rite is permanently stamped with a native character and spirit.

Even the revised ordinal of 1662 is still stamped with the defective spirit, and all subsequent Anglican rites are in the shadow of the 39 articles and do not repudiate the original ordinal.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Tuesday, 17 August 2010 at 8:37pm BST

Is the above discussion any evidence why theology might be leaving the universities?

Posted by: Pluralist on Wednesday, 18 August 2010 at 3:01am BST

I've decided not to approve a whole slew of comments on this thread which has veered from the subject of women bishops to the separate subject of the "validity" of Anglican orders.

If anybody still wants to comment specifically on women bishops, feel free. But I regard the "validity" topic as a dead horse, sorry.

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 19 August 2010 at 5:55pm BST
Post a comment









Remember personal info?

Please note that comments are limited to 400 words. Comments that are longer than 400 words will not be approved.

Cookies are used to remember your personal information between visits to the site. This information is stored on your computer and used to refill the text boxes on your next visit. Any cookie is deleted if you select 'No'. By ticking 'Yes' you agree to this use of a cookie by this site. No third-party cookies are used, and cookies are not used for analytical, advertising, or other purposes.