Monday, 11 July 2011

General Synod - chair of the business committee

Updated Monday evening
Updated Tuesday morning

Synod was due to vote on a motion to appoint the Bishop of Dover as the chair of its business committee this morning. This followed the adjournment of a debate on a similar motion in February. There is a lot of opposition in Synod to any bishop chairing this committee.

But instead the Bishop of Dover made a personal statement to Synod saying that he was withdrawing his name from consideration. The Archbishop of Canterbury then effectively told Synod off for putting the bishop in this position.

Pete Broadbent, the Bishop of Willesden, has written about the background to choosing the chair of the business committee and why it should not be a bishop. Do read his article.
On Chairing the Business Committee.

Monday evening updates

Riazat Butt has obtained the full text of Rowan Williams’ remarks this morning, and they can be found at the bottom of this page of her live blog of the Synod. See item timed at 6.11 pm.

There is another transcription of both the Bishop of Dover and the Archbishop of Canterbury over here at TitusOneNine.

Tuesday morning update

Tim Ross writes in the Telegraph Archbishop of Canterbury rebukes senior Anglicans in row over Bishop of Dover appointment

Posted by Peter Owen on Monday, 11 July 2011 at 11:00am BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England | General Synod
Comments

More proof that Dr. Williams is temperamentally unsuited to his post. He just can't handle it when people don't do what he tells them to.

Posted by: Jeremy on Monday, 11 July 2011 at 1:26pm BST

In what bizzaro world is it the job of the General Synod to do as it is instructed by the Archbishop of Canterbury?

Whatever claim this man may have had to being a "hairy lefty," all he's got left is the hair.

Posted by: Malcolm French+ on Monday, 11 July 2011 at 5:48pm BST

+Willesden completely on message here. How crass of the civil servants at Church House to think that this device had a cat in hell's chance of passing. The National Institutions Measure might need looking at, but this was not the way to do it.

Posted by: Anthony Archer on Monday, 11 July 2011 at 10:34pm BST

JUST A MINUTE!

What's this?

Dover is his suffragan and the man DID say this:
"I understand however, that there are some who question the appropriateness of a member of the House of Bishops chairing the Business Committee of this Synod and perhaps, dare I say, even this bishop in particular.


"I want to say it is a role which I have not sought. I will not speculate on the reasoning behind these views, partly because I am ashamed to say, many of them have been spoken in the darkness!"

Good God the man says its personal and there are dark forces gathered against him!

Now I know he was a bit of a twit trying to ban Civil Partnerships at the University in Canterbury and said some rather odd things then - but this does seem a little paranoid.

But if Rowan believes it too .... then no wonder he was picking up cudgels on his behalf.

If this is true not quite the unemotional unvarnished account as Pete Broadbent would have us believe ....

"


Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Monday, 11 July 2011 at 11:21pm BST

But I think Rowan's rebuttal is rather more nuanced .......... but then, isn't it always!

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Monday, 11 July 2011 at 11:28pm BST

Another day another tantrum from ++Rowan...this is getting more tiresomer and extra thin tiresomer (or someth´n like that)...one thing he, the ABC, is always consistant about is the importance of being Dr. Rowan Williams although he clearly has a ¨listening/hearing¨ problem.

Posted by: Leonardo Ricardo on Tuesday, 12 July 2011 at 12:39am BST

My suggestion is that he wanted his nearby Bishop in place so that bishops could indeed lead (and manipulate) when it comes to the business of the Anglican Communion Covenant.

Posted by: Pluralist on Tuesday, 12 July 2011 at 1:56am BST

Can I just say that I find the following passage from the Archbishop's scolding rather ironic, given his apparent penchant for urging in secret that others be disqualified from certain posts because of their sexuality:

"If it is the view of Synod that membership of the House of Bishops precludes someone from taking an office like this then Synod needs to say so, after a proper and open discussion. I think we've been quite properly embarrassed by what we've just heard - and so we should be. If it's assumed that the perspective of a bishop is inimical to the interests of the Synod as expressed through the Business Committee - that is a perception that needs dealing with I think rather seriously. I suggest to those who think it might be the case they should perhaps read the ordinal and remind themselves what bishops should be there for. It's also rather disturbing if it's assumed somehow that not not only a bishop's perspective is inimical to the interests of Synod but that House of Bishops or the presidents of the Synod would habitually seek to interfere in the proper business of the Business Committee or the Synod. If that is the perception then again I would like that to be said openly rather than privately."

Why doesn't the Archbishop of Canterbury say openly, rather than privately, whether he thinks gay people should or should not be ordained as bishops?

It's almost too easy to paraphrase and to mock:

"If it is the view of [the Church of England] that [being in a sexual minority] precludes someone from taking a [seat in the House of Bishops] then Synod needs to say so, after a proper and open discussion."

Why, one wonders, do some objections to office merit "proper and open discussion," while other objections do not?

Posted by: Jeremy on Tuesday, 12 July 2011 at 2:19am BST

Under what circumstances in the past (post Reformation), has an Archbishop of Canterbury been removed from office? Are ABC's not required to serve for ten years? If so, isn't Rowan's tenure as ABC nearing an end? There is most likely that very practical issue for Rowan. He must serve his time in order to get his comfortable pension. I think this might be a factor for his remaining in this position. His lack of strong leadership is a disappointment.

Posted by: Chris Smith on Tuesday, 12 July 2011 at 3:26am BST

Martin, surely if someone questions 'the appropriateness of a member of the House of Bishops chairing the Business Committee of this Synod', that is not personal? Likewise, if there are particular questions about a suffragan of the Archbishop of Canterbury being appointed, this does not mean that there are 'dark forces' at work.

I was interested in Rowan's reference to the ordinal, and wondered what he meant. I hope he does not think that bishops should 'govern Christ's people' in a sense that interferes with Synod's function.

Posted by: Savi Hensman on Tuesday, 12 July 2011 at 11:37am BST

Martin: Was it not the PREVIOUS bishop of Dover who wanted a ban on civil partnership ceremonies at Christ Church Canterbury - not the present bishop ...?

And whatever happened on that front, I wonder.

Posted by: Grumpy High Church Woman on Tuesday, 12 July 2011 at 5:31pm BST

"Now I know he was a bit of a twit trying to ban Civil Partnerships at the University in Canterbury and said some rather odd things then - but this does seem a little paranoid." - Martin Reynolds

Just to clarify, Martin, you are referring to the former Bishop of Dover - Rt Revd Stephen Venner who was Chair of Governors at Christ Church University, Canterbury.

New broom...

Posted by: A J Barford on Tuesday, 12 July 2011 at 6:08pm BST

I am only repeating what the poor blighter (Dover) has said Savi. He says it's got personal.

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Tuesday, 12 July 2011 at 7:44pm BST

So it was, so it was. So sorry!

Then I know of no previous inanity of this man.

On the matter of Christ Church Canterbury University here is what the College has to say about that:
http://www.canterbury.ac.uk/about/equal-opportunities/FAQ.asp#Q7.

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Tuesday, 12 July 2011 at 11:10pm BST

The fact remains that the chair of the business committee is elected by the General Synod. It is completely inappropriate and highly unethical for the Archbishop to claim - as he effectively has once one cuts through the bullnuance - that Synod is obliged to elect whom he appoints.

@Chris - AFAIK, the only limitation on the term of an Archbishop of Canterbury is whatever the present rule is regarding the retirement age for bishops of the Church of England. Again, AFAIK, the last ABC to leave for reasons other than voluntary retirement or natural death was William Sancroft who was deposed for refusing to back the Williamite coup d'etat of 1688 (deposed 1690).

Posted by: Malcolm French+ on Wednesday, 13 July 2011 at 6:44am BST

"Then I know of no previous inanity of this man."

...and a self-declared fan of EastEnders to boot. Now if one has been following the plots as of late...get my drift?

Posted by: A J Barford on Wednesday, 13 July 2011 at 8:27pm BST

No

Posted by: John Roch on Thursday, 14 July 2011 at 6:51pm BST
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