Thursday, 5 May 2011

Two new "flying bishops" appointed

Updated Friday

Two press notices from 10 Downing Street:
Suffragan See of Ebbsfleet
Suffragan See of Richborough

Lambeth Palace has issued this press release:

New Provincial Episcopal Visitors announced

Downing Street has today announced the appointment of the Reverend Jonathan Baker as Bishop of Ebbsfleet and the Reverend Norman Banks as the Bishop of Richborough, both of whom will be consecrated at a service at Southwark Cathedral on 16th June.

In line with the 1993 Act of Synod, the Archbishop of Canterbury has commissioned the Provincial Episcopal Visitors to work with the diocesan bishops to provide extended pastoral care and sacramental ministry, as well as acting as spokesmen and advisors, to ensure that ‘the integrity of differing beliefs and positions concerning the ordination of women to the priesthood should be mutually recognised and respected’.

The Revd Jonathan Baker who is currently Principal of Pusey House succeeds Bishop Andrew Burnham as Bishop of Ebbsfleet.

Commenting on his appointment, Jonathan Baker said:

‘The appointment of two new PEVs for the Southern Province is a real sign of commitment by the Church of England to the growth and renewal of every aspect of its common life, particularly its catholic tradition which I know and love. I look forward immensely to serving as Bishop of Ebbsfleet and to leading the clergy and lay people in my care to have confidence in their faith and in proclaiming the Gospel to all.’

The Revd Norman Banks who is currently Vicar of Walsingham, Houghton and Barsham, succeeds Bishop Keith Newton as Bishop of Richborough.

Commenting on his appointment, Norman Banks said:

‘One of the real pleasures and privileges of being Vicar of S. Mary’s is getting to know so many of the people who visit Walsingham regularly and make the Parish Church part of their pilgrimage.
I am both delighted and honoured that for those in the Richborough area I am about to have the opportunity and privilege of becoming their bishop and visiting them where they regularly worship. From the many recent conversations I have had, I believe that there is real desire across the Church of England to find a way for us to hold together with integrity and generosity. I hope the appointment of two new PEV’s will be seen as both ‘gift’ and ‘sign’ at this crucial time in the life of our Church.’

Welcoming the news, Dr Williams said:

‘I am very happy to welcome two such faithful and gifted priests as colleagues. They are taking up a very demanding pastoral ministry at a time of much upheaval and uncertainty, and will need our prayers and friendship as we work in the Church of England for a future in which there is full mutual respect and constructive work in mission to be undertaken together.

I am deeply grateful to those who have exercised pastoral care for traditionalist priests and parishes in recent months, especially Bishops John Ford, Mark Sowerby and Lindsay Urwin.’

ENDS

Notes to editors:

Revd Jonathan Baker

The Reverend Jonathan Baker (aged 44), studied at St John’s College, Oxford and then trained for the ordained ministry at St Stephen’s House, Oxford. He served his first curacy at Ascot Heath, in Oxford Diocese from 1993 to 1996. From 1996 he was firstly Curate at Reading St Mark before becoming Priest-in-Charge from 1996 to 1999, and then Vicar from 1999 to 2002. From 1996 to 1999 he was also Priest-in-Charge at Reading Holy Trinity and from 1999 to 2002 he was Vicar. Since 2003 he has been Principal at Pusey House in the diocese of Oxford and Honorary Curate at Oxford St Thomas in the diocese of Oxford.

Reverend Jonathan Baker is married to Jacqueline who is an academic publisher and they have three children, Dominic aged 16, William aged 12 and Caris aged 9.

Revd Norman Banks

The Reverend Norman Banks (aged 57), studied at Oriel College, Oxford and then trained for the ordained ministry at St Stephen’s House, Oxford. He served his first curacy at Newcastle Christ Church with St Ann from 1982 to 1987 and then Priest-in-Charge from 1987 to 1990 in the Diocese of Newcastle. From 1990 to 2000 he was Vicar of Tynemouth, Cullercoats St Paul in Newcastle Diocese. Since 2000 he has been Vicar of Walsingham, Houghton and Barsham in the diocese of Norwich and Rural Dean of Burnham and Walsingham from 2008. Since 2009 he has also been Chaplain to The Queen.

Press reports:

Riazat Butt Guardian Archbishop of Canterbury appoints flying bishops

…Mindful of the rows convulsing sections of the church, Williams welcomed Baker and Banks, describing them as “faithful and gifted”.

“They are taking up a very demanding pastoral ministry at a time of much upheaval and uncertainty, and will need our prayers and friendship as we work in the Church of England for a future in which there is full mutual respect and constructive work in mission to be undertaken together.”

He said they would be a permanent fixture in the Church of England, even though the draft law on women bishops does away with the positions.

At a press conference at Lambeth Palace, Williams said: “I have two new suffragans and General Synod can’t simply take them away. The pastoral need will not go away.”

Still no other UK MSM coverage of this announcement, but some reactions from church organisations:

Forward in Faith UK

A Statement from the Chairman of the Catholic Group in General Synod

A Statement issued by the Master General of The Society of the Holy Cross

Women and the Church (WATCH)

Two New Provincial Episcopal Visitors Announced

WATCH is deeply disappointed at the appointment of two new Provincial Episcopal Visitors. They will be bishops who do not recognise women as priests, and oppose the appointment of women as bishops. The vast majority of people inside and outside the Church of England want to see the Church led by women as well as men. The risk of these two appointments is that they will haul us back to a position where women priests and bishops are ‘nearly but not quite’ on a par with their male colleagues.

However the legislation for women bishops is currently out for consultation across the Dioceses. It contains generous provisions for those opposed to women bishops. These two new PEVs will no doubt be invited to play their part in pastoral and sacramental ministry in accordance with the provisions in the draft legislation. In appointing such bishops, who will remain permanently in place (though not as PEVs) after the legislation has been approved, the Archbishop is reinforcing the generosity and adequacy of those provisions.

Women priests, along with countless others, will have been inspired during the royal wedding last Friday when the Bishop of London, quoting St Catherine of Siena, said, “Be who God wants you to be and you will set the world on fire”. We hope that the Church of England will very soon set free women as well as men to become all that God calls them to be.

Group for Rescinding the Act of Synod - copied below the fold.

GRAS press release:

Appointment of two “flying bishops”

Appointing two new PEVs at this stage in the Women Bishop’s Legislation consultation
is deeply undermining of that synodical process and a further institutionalisation of the
fearful ecclesiology underlying the ‘Act of Synod’, the spirit of which will be perpetuated
by these appointments.

At Easter we celebrate the Risen Christ refusing to be locked out by his frightened
followers. So why has this very moment been chosen to appoint two new Bishops whose
reason for existence is to protect a small number of clergy and laity from their fear of
women mediating the Risen Christ in their midst and offering them Peace?

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Comments

Interesting! Baker, is a freemason. Banks has kept his distance from the See of Richborough!!

Posted by: Rose on Thursday, 5 May 2011 at 8:26am BST

Congratulations to these two but it's perhaps a little odd that they have both been "raised up" from places which are not under the very Extended Episcopal Oversight which they will be expected to provide for others. There is a lesson here (not a new one!), petitioning for Extended Episcopal Oversight is not a good career move!

Posted by: Swish new Church on Thursday, 5 May 2011 at 8:43am BST

@Rose - How do you know that? Is there a way of finding out?

Posted by: Richard on Thursday, 5 May 2011 at 10:53am BST

At 44, Jonathan Baker has 26 years before retirement (and Norman Banks has 13). The Archbishop (acting unilaterally?) is therefore saddling his successors for the next 26 years with a perpetual dissentient and quite possibly disillusioned voice on the bench of bishops as women also join it and rise through its ranks. Is that wise, I wonder?

It sounds as if a Non-juring episcopate (a future Pusey Province?) is being given life by the Archbishop. Were the faithful in the pews asked what they think about it?

Posted by: Fr Mark on Thursday, 5 May 2011 at 12:11pm BST

Fr Mark - just because the legislation for women bishops is 'in process' it doesn't mean that the current legal situation is in any way different. The Episcopal Ministry Act of Synod is still in effect, and so 'resolution C' parishes are still entitled to extended episcopal care.

Do you not think it would be extraordinarily arrogant to not appoint any PEVs based on what *might* happen? The future is not set in stone, as they say...

Posted by: Fr James on Thursday, 5 May 2011 at 2:00pm BST

Father James is absolutely right in his observations concerning comments posted by Father Mark. WATCH, too, has sought, in the past, to scupper the appointment of two new flying bishops, when it was announced Bishops Newton and Burnham would be replaced. We are not yet in that place where everything has been decided and finalised. Dictatorship has not yet got a stranglehold on the Church, thankfully!

Posted by: Benedict on Thursday, 5 May 2011 at 4:44pm BST

I think this is a good thing. I don't see why, Father Mark, JB has to be described as a 'perpetual dissentient voice'. He just disagrees on this one issue. Is he disrespectful/boorish to women priests? I know no evidence that he is. His behaviour at Synod over the last few years has shown that he is deeply committed to the C of E, as, indeed, this appointment confirms. He is also a very clever person. This should provide considerable encouragement to those FiF people - still the very considerable majority - who do not want to jump ship. I am glad.

Posted by: John on Thursday, 5 May 2011 at 5:11pm BST

Fr James: do we think the same legislative framework currently in place regarding PEVs is likely to be still there in 26 years' time, though? Honestly?

I wasn't saying that no PEV-equivalent provision should be made at present, merely that setting in stone the current "church within a church" arrangement may not be what the rest of the C of E actually wants. Based on how badly things went with the three former PEVs' departure for the Ordinariate, I would think it highly unlikely that most Anglicans wish to see replicated or continued the "See of Ebbsfleet" separatist mentality which led to it.

Posted by: Fr Mark on Thursday, 5 May 2011 at 5:20pm BST

THese appointments are despicable. In response to an advert from his Appointments Secretary many of us wrote asking that that he wait until next year when the new legislation will, God willing be approved and hopefully such posts disappear. He has nevertheless appointed them - maybe in the hope that next time he and Sentamu will push through their heretical amendment. It is a slap in the face for faithful women priests

Jean Mayland

Posted by: Jean Mary Mayland on Thursday, 5 May 2011 at 5:27pm BST

It's likely that there will be some provisions for those who cannot accept female bishops, even if maybe ony informal ones. Unless there is a surprising vote against any provisions, these 2 bishops will be needed for many years to come.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Thursday, 5 May 2011 at 6:01pm BST

It would have been perfectly possible as the legislation is being discussed and voted on by the end of the year to have waited. It usually takes far longer to appoint bishops anyway. Why this unseemly haste? There are other bishops in the College of Bishops who would "qualify" to cover for these posts. Now they are permanent the spirit of the Act of Synod will live on and be just as undermining/damaging as it has been for the past 17 years acting as a barrier for those who could have experienced the ministry of women and may have changed their minds about it So much for the concept of reception which has been blocked at every level. It also shows the level of commitment that exists in the hierarchy of the church for women's priesthood.

Posted by: sally Barnes on Thursday, 5 May 2011 at 7:04pm BST

No Evangelical flying bishop..what a slap in the face for Reform.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Thursday, 5 May 2011 at 7:17pm BST

'At a press conference at Lambeth Palace, Williams said: "I have two new suffragans and General Synod can't simply take them away. The pastoral need will not go away."'

Well, that is General Synod put back in its box, I guess. But could Synod refuse to pay for them ...?

Posted by: Grumpy High Church Woman on Thursday, 5 May 2011 at 10:03pm BST

True: he's a Mason and doesn't hide it. Not an ideal recruit for the the Ordinariate, perhaps.

Is it true he's to be part-time / non-stipendiary?

Posted by: commentator on Thursday, 5 May 2011 at 10:09pm BST

"The Revd Norman Banks who is currently Vicar of Walsingham, Houghton and Barsham, succeeds Bishop Keith Newton as Bishop of Richborough."

Does this mean that the Anglican Shrine of our Lady at Walsingham will become a PEV Peculiar, where women will forever be forbidden to celebrate the Eucharist at this very English Shrine celebrating the remarkable ministry of a female?

In view of the fact that General Synod has not yet determined how they will vote on the subject of women bishops, this action may seem just a wee bit provocative, No? Is this the first step in the determination of Canterbury to accommodate the dissidents in the Church of England who seem determined to bar women from the Sacred Ministry?
It would be a sad day for the Anglican Communion if this proves to have been the case.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Thursday, 5 May 2011 at 10:20pm BST

"Do you not think it would be extraordinarily arrogant to not appoint any PEVs based on what *might* happen?"

As Fr Mark suggests, there are many poles between "not appointing" and picking. It can hardly be that there were no candidates of that persuasion of a more advanced age! Even Rome showed that it is not beyond electing a "caretaker" in the last conclave.

Posted by: Geoff on Friday, 6 May 2011 at 3:14am BST

"Does this mean that the Anglican Shrine of our Lady at Walsingham will become a PEV Peculiar, where women will forever be forbidden to celebrate the Eucharist at this very English Shrine celebrating the remarkable ministry of a female?"

If so, THAT would be a cause for ecclesial disobedience if ever I heard one!

From a TEC Yank POV, this is beyond bizarre (and not in a good way).

Posted by: JCF on Friday, 6 May 2011 at 4:03am BST

"God willing" says Jean Maryland. What if He is not willing....

Posted by: mark wharton on Friday, 6 May 2011 at 7:46am BST

I think this is a good thing. I don't see why, Father Mark, JB has to be described as a 'perpetual dissentient voice'. He just disagrees on this one issue. Is he disrespectful/boorish to women priests? I know no evidence that he is. His behaviour at Synod over the last few years has shown that he is deeply committed to the C of E, as, indeed, this appointment confirms. He is also a very clever person. This should provide considerable encouragement to those FiF people - still the very considerable majority - who do not want to jump ship. I am glad.

Posted by: John on Friday, 6 May 2011 at 8:57am BST

I should say I am in favour of the consecration of women to the episcopate. But I think these appointments are clearly necessary. It is not yet clear whether the legislation for women bishops will be enacted, or what form of provision might be incorporated, or the impact of any change on the wider church. To let these appointments lapse would leave a significant portion of the Church of England without episcopal pastoral care of the kind they were promised in 1992. One cannot leave a group of clergy and parishes without episcopal oversight while we wait for the outcome of the synodical and parliamentary processes.

It seems to me that this is simply putting in place arrangements to maintain the present system unless and until changes are enacted.

Posted by: Philip Hobday on Friday, 6 May 2011 at 9:00am BST

'the dissidents in the Church of England who seem determined to bar women from the Sacred Ministry?'

Come on, Father Ron, this is the language of the Politburo. 'Dissidents'? And there are woman priests, don't you know? They're not determined to bar women bishops: they know and acknowledge they will come: they disagree with the theology; they're trying to reach an accommodation: on one level, unsatisfactory both to them and 'us'. But that's the nature of accommodation. It's better than the alternative which is folly and needless destruction.

Posted by: John on Friday, 6 May 2011 at 9:08am BST

I, too, don't understand why these bishops have been replaced with such haste. It was only the other month that temporary arrangements were announced to cover their predecessors' resignations. Surely those arrangements could have sufficed until the future was a bit clearer?

With regard to Walsingham, this has already returned to the state of being a sectarian shrine with its continuing refusal to allow women to celebrate the Eucharist there. The Glastonbury Pilgrimage has been cancelled this year, ostensibly because of the increasing cost of travel. Newspapers have speculated that falling attendances are the real reason, caused by the Pilgrimage Committee's refusal to allow women priests to celebrate and thus the increasing reluctance of parished to support it. Will Walsinham go the same way?

Posted by: Richard Ashby on Friday, 6 May 2011 at 9:12am BST

Isnt the Roman rite used at Pusey House? Not the ethos it had when i worshipped there in the 1970's when Fr Cheslyn Jones was Principal.

Posted by: Perry Butler on Friday, 6 May 2011 at 9:41am BST

Richard,
There's nothing to stop non-FIF Anglicans to organise a Glastonbury Pilgrimage. Some would be quite glad if it become a more open event!

Posted by: Erika Baker on Friday, 6 May 2011 at 10:00am BST

Geoff: "Even Rome showed that it is not beyond electing a "caretaker" in the last conclave" what on earth does that mean?

Posted by: Mark Wharton on Friday, 6 May 2011 at 12:05pm BST

Richard Ashby - 'Will Walsingham go the same way?' I love the conspiracy theory about Glastonbury. Nonsense. Speculation is exactly that, stirred up by a media who thrive on opportunities to see dissent where there is none. And as to whether Walsingham will go the same way, how do you account for the fact that, despite its position on the ordination of women, numbers of pilgrims are actually increasing and not declining? Our parish goes every year, and the annual waiting time becomes ever longer, because of the growth.

Posted by: Benedict on Friday, 6 May 2011 at 12:13pm BST

Erica,
I personally no longer care for these triumphalist and anachronistic demonstrations of religious fervour.

The Glastonbury Pilgrimage dates from 1924, the height of the Anglo Catholic movement which no longer has either the influence or the respect it once had. In 2011 the organising Pilgrimage Committee perhaps ought to be more reflective of the CofE in the West of England as it actually is today and could then organise a pilgrimage which would be more open and indeed more hospitable, less sectarian and hopefully more popular and successful.

Posted by: Richard Ashby on Friday, 6 May 2011 at 1:51pm BST

I don't think anyone is saying do not provide support or "protection" for those opposed. There is plenty of provision proposed in the legislation for them. But it would have been perfectly possible for two already serving bishops to have been appointed to cover for these roles until the outcome of the legislation is clear. I can think of at least two in the College of Bishops who would qualify right now. It does appear an unseemly rush and shows a real begrudging and half hearted attitude towards ordained women - and how women generally are perceived. "Becoming what God means us to be" is a real struggle in the Church of England!

Posted by: sally barnes on Friday, 6 May 2011 at 6:12pm BST

Can I gently remind the commentators of Thinking Anglicans that those who do not accept the ministry of women are loyal Anglicans and are following the same precepts which The Church of England and the rest of Christendom has followed only until recent decades. The level of hostility shown on this blog is horrific and I fear one of the most uncharitable sites I've seen in years (Simon, please take note of this - I've been a reader for years.). Why don't you just come out and say that you despise them and hope they leave, out into the outer darkness, where they presumably belong.

Horrific.

Posted by: Tristan on Friday, 6 May 2011 at 9:30pm BST

People who make the kind of comments posted by Jean Mayland make me deeply ashamed to be a member of the Church of England. I appreciate that feelings are running high in some quarters, but such downright rude and uncharitable comments are quite unacceptable. They do a great disservice to the ministry of women. Most of the women priests I know are sympathetic and understanding of those who in conscience cannot accept their ministry. Many I know are quite appalled at the lack of provision for those opposed in the current proposed legislation. Given the make up of the new General Synod, I have grave doubts as to whether it will receive the necessary majority.
Comments like Jean's won't help it either!

Posted by: Fr John on Friday, 6 May 2011 at 9:53pm BST

"Their appointments will bring joy and a renewed sense of confidence to many, who will look to them to give to the whole of the Church of England an understanding and recognition of its Catholic identity." - Fr. David Houlding SHC -

David Houlding here infers that the recognition of further 'Flying Bishops' in the Church of England will somehow "give to the whole of the C.of E. an understanding and recognition of its Catholic identity". Well, excuse my asking this; but was the Catholic identity of the Church of England actually dependant on its recognition of the necessity of PEVs to minister to protesters against the ministry of women?

What does this say about the integrity of those of us Anglo-Catholics who feel that the Holy Spirit has moved the Church of England - and other churches of the Anglican Communion - in the direction of Women's Ordination?

The implication of Prebendary Houlding is that women clergy do not belong in the Church of England - which claims to be part of the 'One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church'. And yet, the General Synod of the Church of England has already embraced the priestly ministry of women, and is in the process of discerning the ministry of women in the episcopate.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Saturday, 7 May 2011 at 12:45am BST

Tristan
I don’t think anyone here would cast them out ‘into outer darkness where they belong’ but there is an important point in that those who are at odds with the direction the Church of England is going do have other options. One is to take advantage of the RC Ordinariate, another is to stay and accept what is happening and to make the best of it – as many of us have to do over all sorts of issues. Furthermore, as has been well expressed here, the perpetuation of the system of flying bishops is feared to undermine the ministry of women and create a sort of two tiered ministry in which those in the top tier can hold to their belief that women priests and those who support them do not really belong in the Church of England at all.

There may well be a lot of good will between members of the opposing camps but it is not much in evidence on the ground and I may say that the antagonism works both ways too. At the Chrism mass at my cathedral in Holy Week I met a priest who I hadn’t seen for more than twenty years who introduced me to another who had recently taken up a new parish in the Diocese as a successor to a ‘disastrous’ woman. I knew nothing about this priest or about his parish and they both knew nothing about me, but it was quite plain that the disaster was attributed to her gender not her abilities. There seemed to be a sort of smug satisfaction about this which attempted to draw me into their embattled minority and was most unpleasant.

Posted by: Richard Ashby on Saturday, 7 May 2011 at 9:36am BST

Pusey House does not use the Roman Rite. Unlike the vast majority of Parishes which are under the care of PEVs.

Posted by: George on Saturday, 7 May 2011 at 11:19am BST

I'm not sure anyone will ever get anywhere by complaining about the use of the Roman Rite. Bishops generally don't put a stop to it because a) there are lots of evangelical parishes which don't use any formal liturgy at all (and I know they have lay presidency at communion!) and b) some bishops ask their clergy to use Methodist communion rites on a regular basis, in LEPs and such things.

Posted by: Fr James on Saturday, 7 May 2011 at 2:42pm BST

I wonder whether the action of the ABC in approving the appointment of further PEVs could be likened in any way to the actions of TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada in their approval of SSBs and the ordination of Gay Bishops?

In other words, under the new Covenant discipline, could this action on PEVs be considered contrary to the intention of any other Province of the Anglican Communion, that might cause the C.of E. to be relegated to a 2nd tier membership?
Just asking!

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Sunday, 8 May 2011 at 11:36am BST

"what on earth does that mean?"

It's one thing to appoint a successor as required by the as yet unchanged legal situation but one hardly needs to pick such a youthful candidate who could have trouble functioning as a CoE bishop after his "integrity" is no longer formally recognized. Contra Fr James, I don't think there's any arrogance in noting that a candidate of a "safer" age could be chosen in the present climate of uncertainty, or that Fr Mark's comments necessarily imply that the position should not be filled *at all.* I think His Holiness would take exception to the suggestion that his pontificate doesn't count simply because he isn't going to be having the same tenure as his beatified predecessor.

Posted by: Geoff on Sunday, 8 May 2011 at 9:31pm BST

It seems to me as though Mrs. Mayland has lost it by using one of the most abusive words in the ecclesiastical lexicon - "heretical" - to describe the Archbishops' amendment. By implication does she also regard the Pope and the Ecumenical Patriarch as "heretical" by failing to support her unorthodox innovation?

Posted by: Father David on Monday, 9 May 2011 at 8:56am BST

Geoff et al,
I believe that you are advocating an illegal action - discrimination on the grounds of age. The Church does not enjoy an exemption from that piece of legislation and so a 44 year old is just as entitled to be considered as a 64 year old. To attempt to appoint a "night-watchman" would be illegal.

Furthermore, one cannot "rig" the appointment just to suit the anticipated result of a legislative process and "Integrity" does not need quotation marks. Under the 1993 Act of Synod both integrities are equally valued and recognised in the Church of England in the same way that, many years prior to the vote in 1992 the minority who believed in the Ordination of Women were given a valued place and argued and, indeed, eventually won the vote in Synod. For the winners of the vote to be so intolerant of a minority who dissent is distinctly un-Anglican and gives rise to the notion of a form of liberal-fascism which abounds where dissent from the liberal agenda is not tolerated and the liberals themselves, as we read each day here (Jean Mayland's little note is unworthy of her cause), are the judge and jury of the matter.

Posted by: Swish new church on Monday, 9 May 2011 at 11:01am BST

I've just trawled through all the comments on this thread. The most important thing I've learned is that some seem to find it harder to be gracious in victory than others find it to be gracious in defeat. Women bishops will soon be a reality in the CofE - is it really so much to ask that those who have difficulty with this decision should continue to have a place in their Church?

Posted by: Fr Levi on Monday, 9 May 2011 at 4:11pm BST

Swish new church: "I believe that you are advocating an illegal action - discrimination on the grounds of age."

Canon C2.3 already does legislate for discrimination in the episcopate on the grounds of age (though not Jonathan Baker's particular age, of course!), in fact: "No person shall be consecrated bishop except he be at least 30 years of age"

Posted by: Fr Mark on Monday, 9 May 2011 at 4:21pm BST

Fr Levi: "Women bishops will soon be a reality in the CofE - is it really so much to ask that those who have difficulty with this decision should continue to have a place in their Church?"

That is not the issue I was intending to raise. My point was that it is perhaps unwise of the Archbishop (and I think he should have asked Synod first anyway) to write a 26-year future into the current episcopal oversight arrangements as they stand. There are other ways to provide episcopal oversight at present for the disaffected.

There has been a problem with the See of Ebbsfleet having developed a very separatist mentality - with Pusey House fulfilling some of the functions of a cathedral for it already - and this led to the Ordinariate trans-Tiburtine move by a bloc of bishops and clergy as one result; and poor relations, indeed a very impaired state of communion, with the other diocesan clergy as another.

How often does a 44 year-old ever get appointed to any diocese anyway?

Posted by: Fr Mark on Monday, 9 May 2011 at 9:05pm BST

What really is at issue in all of these arguments, of course, is whether God intended women to be eternally barred from priestly ministry. The other matter is whether God never intended women to have any authority in the Church (as bishops). When these two questions are settled (if ever), perhaps a more dispassionate argument could be mounted - especially by the anti-women-clergy sodality.

Scripturally, there is still the (minor?) matter of what was Jesus' intention when he sent Mary Magdalene to inform his disciples of his resurrection. Or was that just a convenience? The Brothers didn't believe her then, and some of them have problems with female apostolic ministry now.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Monday, 9 May 2011 at 10:32pm BST

I use quotation marks not to impugn the integrity of those in question, but to indicate that I was using "integrity" in the "insider" sense that has become a bit of a buzzword in the CoE. The original reference to respect for integrity of those who disagree with the CoE's ordination of women has often been spun into a kind "One Country Two Systems" policy of both ordaining and not ordaining priests. This is a mindset that the provincial episcopi vagantes can promote, witness the exception taken to the use of "dissidents." So cozy is the "accommodation" made for dissent that the dissidents have been lulled into forgetting that they are to begin with!

Posted by: Geoff on Tuesday, 10 May 2011 at 1:03am BST

"episcopi vagantes" - bit insulting innit, Geoff?

Posted by: Father David on Tuesday, 10 May 2011 at 9:30am BST

I find this whole argument fascenating; I left the anglican church to join the Catholic Church some time ago now. I was NOT convinced that women were not called to the priesthood, but I was unsure. I think that all those involved in this debate need to be less sure of thier position, less ready to condemn those who disagree with them and finally to take down the barriers. All people in this debate have to accept that they may be wrong, in favour of the move or not. We simply do not know.

Posted by: Mark Wharton on Tuesday, 10 May 2011 at 9:53am BST

Presumably if PEV's are abolished, they can move across and become suffragans in a diocese and presumably can be used as "acceptable" bishops in those parishes which will not receive their women ordaining diocesan.It might have been better to have simply designated 3 suffragan sees as sees that would normally have a "traditionalist" bishop in 1993 and spared us the expence of the PEV's. It is surely interesting that the Bishop of Beverley who had previously been a suffragan in the Blackburn diocese has not crossed the Tiber nor have hardly any clergy and people in his care. I doubt if Mnsgs Burnham and Newton would ever have been bishops if women hadnt been ordained ,and I rather doubt that John Broadhurst was the first choice for +Fulham.

Posted by: Perry Butler on Tuesday, 10 May 2011 at 11:22am BST

Hi Geoff,

isn't the term 'dissidents' a little harsh (or did you mean it to be tongue in cheek?)? Those opposed to women bishops are the minority within the CofE, but they are the majority in terms of the wider Church. And if the CofE can't find a way of meeting their needs, what message does that send to the wider Church & what are the implications for the unity which we are all called to work towards?

Posted by: Fr Levi on Tuesday, 10 May 2011 at 6:58pm BST

"bit insulting innit, Geoff?"

Priests elevated to the episcopate without the intention of serving any see, but rather to wander across a province serving a faction centred around a doctrinal conflict and in practice functioning as a quasi-church-within-a-church in only limited communion with the larger body: what would you call it? In Canada I could possibly understand the reasoning, since we have quite sensibly treated the question of women in orders "en banc" and those Anglicans of a non-Chalcedonian ("FiF" if you will, though the organization itself doesn't really exist here) persuasion on Holy Orders would have to know not only the gender of their ministering priest but also his entire pedigree.

In England, where all bishops are male, it hardly makes sense to have a subset of male bishops with "clean hands" - especially when FiF goes to great pains to distance themselves from the "theology of taint" even though their bishops' don't really have a raison d'etre apart from it.

So what if the PEVs weren't replaced? How would that rob those who cannot accept women clergy of their "place in the church"? They can continue to receive the sacraments from male priests ordained by male bishops until such time as women bishops *are* a reality, at which point the PEV scheme will have to be either replaced or discarded. (And for the record, I am in favour of the former and very much want my fellow Anglo-Catholics to continue in communion with me, whether or not they are sound on ordination!)

Posted by: Geoff on Tuesday, 10 May 2011 at 10:00pm BST

Mark Wharton: "All people in this debate have to accept that they may be wrong, in favour of the move or not. We simply do not know."

If I understand your comment correctly, then, you are so liberal or agnostic on this issue that you joined the RC Church (in which no difference of opinion on the matter is permitted)?

Posted by: Fr Mark on Tuesday, 10 May 2011 at 10:08pm BST

Like Fr Mark I am puzzled by those who join the Roman Catholic Church because of womens ordination. As RIW would no doubt insist..you join the RC Church because you believe it is the true church and accept tout court the papal claims and papal magesterial authority in faith and morals.That has been in place more or less in its present form since 1870..."Papalist" Anglicanism has always been a pretty curious phenomenon.

Posted by: Perry Butler on Wednesday, 11 May 2011 at 8:45am BST

Fr Levi:

What "Church" do you refer to? The "Anglican Church"? No such animal exists. The world-wide church...including all Christian denominations? I don't know about other countries, but here in the US, the Roman Catholic church is the only major denomination that still restricts the priesthood to males. Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians, Baptists (at least some), even most of the "non-denominational" churches, accept women as ministers.

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Wednesday, 11 May 2011 at 11:44am BST

This harks back a few days, I'm afraid.

Pusey House uses Roman Eucharistic Prayers much of the time. Since they started that, I will not go to mass there. It is unacceptable to me that our liturgy should be deemed defective or unsatisfactory, especially by clergy who have sworn oaths about this, as the bishop-designate of Ebbsfleet will soon do once again. 'Naughty-but-nice' is not what the liturgy is about and certainly not what we expect of bishops.

Let's not forget that the PEVs are suffragans of the diocese of Canterbury/York and could continue to minister as such if the PEV role were abolished. The sees would not then need to be filled again.

Since I am aiming at more than one target in this post, here is a good enough place to add that I hope that ALL diocesan bishops will stop letting PEVs ordain. The Donatist theology which this has encouraged needs firm handling and there has been too much fudging. Why one earth should one be exempt from ordination by one's diocesan bishop?

As for Jean Mayland's intemperate outburst, it reminds me of a letter to the Church Times about a week before The Vote in 1992. If my memory serves me, it challenged men who purported to support women's ordination to withdraw their sacramental ministrations in the event of a No vote. The writer is now Dean of Bury St Edmunds.

I find myself wanting to say to such protests, 'not everything is about you'.

Posted by: Lister Tonge on Wednesday, 11 May 2011 at 2:27pm BST

Come, come, Geoff - we all know that the term "Episcopi Vagantes" is a euphemism for Phoney Bishops.

Posted by: Father David on Wednesday, 11 May 2011 at 2:30pm BST

"Let's not forget that the PEVs are suffragans of the diocese of Canterbury/York and could continue to minister as such if the PEV role were abolished. "

The offices themselves could continue, but its hard to see how the incumbents themselves would if the rôle were abolished. What if one of the archbishops were herself female?

'we all know that the term "Episcopi Vagantes" is a euphemism for Phoney Bishops.'

I don't concede the point - in fact my research interest is related to the Independent Sacramental Movement and I certainly don't consider my own Independent Catholic chrismation "phoney." But certainly I think the ministry of the PEVs is certainly lacking something from an orthodox catholic ecclesiological standpoint. Indeed, part of my bafflement at the whole phenomenon is the willingness to throw not only Chalcedonian christology but also traditional episcopal polity under the bus in order to salvage gender as a criterion for ordination.

Posted by: Geoff on Thursday, 12 May 2011 at 7:27am BST

"But certainly I think the ministry of the PEVs is certainly lacking something from an orthodox catholic ecclesiological standpoint."
In spite of two mentions of "certainly", Geoff, I cannot concede that the ministry of the PEVs is "lacking" in any respect. Having attended the consecrations of former PEVs they were ordained, in the same manner, as every other bishop currently serving in the CofE - so what could possibly be "lacking" in their ministry?

Posted by: Father David on Thursday, 12 May 2011 at 8:37am BST

"Having attended the consecrations of former PEVs they were ordained, in the same manner, as every other bishop currently serving in the CofE - so what could possibly be "lacking" in their ministry?"

Well, that's precisely what episcopi vagantes say, isn't it? That they have meticulously observed the form, matter, and intention, and been consecrated by ministers themselves validly consecrated according to the same. The question becomes to what extent mechanical observance of the basic ingredients can be separated from the organic exercise of episcope. I certainly don't suspect the CoE of irregular ordinations but as noted the PEVs have a tendency to function more as floating diocesans than as suffragans - thus one meets ordinands who describe themselves as being from the "See of Ebbsfleet," celebrants who ignore their diocesan bishops in the Canon, and clergy who attend separate Chrism Masses without their diocesan confreres. I'm hard pressed to see how the PEVs' ministry fits with a recognizably catholic ecclesiology of the episcopate.

Posted by: Geoff on Thursday, 12 May 2011 at 6:55pm BST

"Having attended the consecrations of former PEVs they were ordained, in the same manner, as every other bishop currently serving in the CofE - so what could possibly be "lacking" in their ministry?"

And so if men are consecrated bishop by bishops who have ordained women to the priesthood; and in the future when/if women are consecrated bishops, in the same manner - what could possibly be "lacking" in their ministry?

Posted by: Rosalind on Thursday, 12 May 2011 at 8:36pm BST

Lister Tonge comments that Pusey House uses Roman Eucharistic Prayers much of the time. They also use Anglican Eucharistic Prayers from Common Worship and BCP. From that I take it that they do not regard Anglican liturgies as "defective and unsatisfactory" he suggests but that they regard Anglican and Roman usage as on a par, are the same and of the same effect.

Posted by: Peter ad Vincula on Friday, 13 May 2011 at 5:46pm BST

Geoff - the clue is in the title - PEV - Provincial - i.e. not restricted to a single or particular diocese.

Rosalind - Other than God's Word doth allow and 2000 years of Christian tradition, perhaps?

Posted by: Father David on Saturday, 14 May 2011 at 7:23am BST

But why USE Roman eucharistic prayers especially when you have made a promise only to use those forms of service that are authorized by canon? Having been partly educated at the Venerable English College in Rome I know only too well how laughable RC ordinands and clergy find anglicans who ape Rome like this.And it gives a certain sort of evangelical the go-ahead to abbreviate /omit and sometimes completely abandon some of the essentials of liturgical worship. In some parishes anything recognizably anglican has disappeared and so adds to the increasing fragmentation of Church life.

Posted by: Perry Butler on Saturday, 14 May 2011 at 8:53am BST

Peter ad Vincula:

Thanks for this. Yes, I stand happily corrected in other correspondence: no imputation of inadequacy implied by PH. I have known that opinion often amongst Anglo-Catholics and have mis-read the situation at PH. Apologies for that.

I refrain from engagement with questions begged by the rest of your post or by the PH practice.

Posted by: Lister Tonge on Saturday, 14 May 2011 at 10:50am BST

My happ'orth to this interminable - and irresolvable - debate: there is no justification whatever for sneering - from whatever perspective - at PEVs 'per se'; one may legitimately question the actual behaviour of some - Burnham certainly, Newton and Broadhurst to a lesser degree (I'm not referring to the fact they've 'poped' - rather to their behaviour beforehand - the constant equivocation, etc.); still, pretty well everyone, even on TA and even including women priests (some, I believe, gay), believes that Jarrett has played - and continues to play - an honourable hand. To Jarrett, we can now add Baker (and the other one, whose name eludes me). I must say (continue to say) that I admire and support them, even as I think they are wrong on the particular issue, as they think people like me wrong on the particular issue - but, it seems, are willing to 'buy' some sort of mutual stand-off. As good as it gets, I still believe.

Posted by: John on Saturday, 14 May 2011 at 8:09pm BST

"Does this mean that the Anglican Shrine of our Lady at Walsingham will become a PEV Peculiar, where women will forever be forbidden to celebrate the Eucharist at this very English Shrine celebrating the remarkable ministry of a female?"

Seeing as it is paid for by Traditionalists, then "Yes" is the logical answer.

And what has Our Lady's "ministry" got to do with it? I don't recall Her taking Holy Orders, unless that is revisionist doctrine?

Posted by: Pewperson on Monday, 1 August 2011 at 8:22pm BST

I note comments about the use of the Roman Rite in the C of E but what of those who use Methodist and other protestant Eucharistic rites? However, let us take note that there is a lot of good things in those rites.

Posted by: Fr. Geoffrey. on Monday, 17 November 2014 at 2:25am GMT
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