Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Women Bishops amendments: the actual texts

AMENDMENTS MADE BY THE HOUSE OF BISHOPS TO THE DRAFT BISHOPS AND PRIESTS (CONSECRATION AND ORDINATION OF WOMEN) MEASURE

Clause 5

After subsection (1)(b) insert—

“( ) the selection of male bishops or male priests the exercise of ministry by whom is consistent with the theological convictions as to the consecration or ordination of women on grounds of which parochial church councils have issued Letters of Request under section 3,”.

[Note: As amended, clause 5(1) will accordingly read:

“5 (1) The House of Bishops shall draw up, and promulgate, guidance in a Code of Practice as to—

(a) the making of schemes under section 2,
(b) the exercise of episcopal ministry in accordance with the arrangements contained in such schemes,
(c) the selection of male bishops or male priests the exercise of ministry by whom is consistent with the theological convictions as to the consecration or ordination of women on grounds of which parochial church councils have issued Letters of Request under section 3,
(d) the exercise by those involved in the making of an appointment of an incumbent and of a priest in charge for the benefice, of their functions in that regard where a Letter of Request is issued under section 3(3),
(e) the matters referred to in section 2(5), and
(f) such other matters as the House of Bishops considers appropriate to give effect to this Measure.”]

Clause 8

After clause 8(1) insert the following subsection—

“(2) Where a male bishop exercises episcopal ministry in a diocese by way of delegation in accordance with arrangements contained in a scheme made under section 2—

(a) the legal authority which he has by virtue of such delegation does not affect, and is distinct from, the authority to exercise the functions of the office of bishop which that bishop has by virtue of his holy orders; and

(b) any such delegation shall not be taken as divesting the bishop of the diocese of any of his or her authority or functions.”

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 22 May 2012 at 12:25pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England
Comments

Whilst 5,1,c (bolded) is understandable under the code of purity (or untaintedness), and is the status quo for PEVs and non-juring diocesans and suffragans, it is an innovation for parish incumbents. I do indeed hope that this is correctly handled by the group of six (whatever the implications are for delays and re-debates). The only thing to commend it is its connection with the future employment of clergy from the other persuasion - or as we say, jobs for the boys. That itself raises the question of how open an 'inclusive' parish would be (and is now) to having an incumbent who happens not to approve of women priests and bishops. It cuts both ways. In 1990, when meeting with 2 CWs prior to being appointed, I was asked what my views were; and being told that each of them held firmly different opinions! At that stage, I did a Runcie, and nailed my colours to the fence...

I remember Tony Davies (the last Archdeacon of Croydon, and a non-juror) telling the possibly apocryphal story of a parish whose criteria for their new priest included that he should not have a beard - and them being sent a woman!

Posted by: Peter Edwards on Wednesday, 23 May 2012 at 12:47am BST

A sad reflection that casuistry is not confined to our Roman Catholic sisters and brothers.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Wednesday, 23 May 2012 at 1:16am BST

Is 5(1)(c) actually the status quo for PEVs?

It states the male bishop exercises ministry that is "consistent with the theological convictions as to the consecration or ordination of women"

A complaint of some conservative evangelicals is that the PEVs reach the same conclusion (ie. no women) but on completely different grounds. Does this open the door for them to demand oversight from a conservative evangelical bishop?

I agree that the extension of this to incumbent level is new. It means that many male Priests will now be in the same position as women Priests in that they cannot be appointed to every benefice in the country.

Posted by: Peter on Wednesday, 23 May 2012 at 8:42am BST

The Chichester website describes the amendment as:

"The House also accepted an amendment to express in the Measure one of the three principles which the House had agreed in December. Crucial to how the legislation will actually be applied is the Code of Practice which will have to be drawn up. It will now need to include guidance on the selection by the diocesan bishop of the male bishops and priests who will minister in parishes whose parochial church council (PCC) has issued a Letter of Request under the Measure. Thus a parish opposed to women's ordnation cannot have sent to it a bishop of differing theology."

(http://www.diochi.org.uk/index.cfm?fuseaction=news.story&newsid=328&view=current)

Naturally a parish supporting women's ordination has no protection should the bishop send someone of differing theology. Possibly no bishop outside the Ordinariate of Chichester would seek to do that, but it happens here.

Posted by: Peter on Wednesday, 23 May 2012 at 8:57am BST

The Bishops have smuggled into the rules for the Code of Practice the amendment that was twice rejected in General Synod, firmly resisted by the Revision Committee and voted down by the great majority of the Dioceses in the Church of England. Over this matter and the Covenant they seem to think that they are right and everyone else is wrong. In so doing they not only hurt gay people and ordained women but deny the very principles of Synodical Government itself. They completely ignore the debates and votes of the other two houses. We may be episcopally led ( often astray) but we ARE ALSO Synodically governed.Some of us care about that and worked hard to see it established. They leave no other alternative but to vote this whole Measure down. I shall probably now never see women bishops in the Church of England but when they come it will be hopefully with the honesty and integrity of male bishops sadly lacking at the moment- especially in our two Archbishops.

Posted by: Jean Mary Mayland on Wednesday, 23 May 2012 at 4:33pm BST

They leave no other alternative but to vote this whole Measure down. I shall probably now never see women bishops in the Church of England but when they come it will be hopefully with the honesty and integrity of male bishops sadly lacking at the moment- especially in our two Archbishops.

Posted by: Jean Mary Mayland on Wednesday, 23 May 2012 at 4:33pm BST

What Jean said. I completely agree with your analysis.

I suspect I shan't live to see them either - at this rate.

Meantime let's have no further ordinations of bishops. There are far too many of them anyway, and a good many parishes and ministers are neglected by them-- as they spend time at London meetings, the trappings of the state and various forms of 'high life'.

So many parishes or ministers struck by tragedy, where the bishop does nt even lift a telephone, or text - let alone turn up on the doorstep with genuine ministry of real much needed support.

Perhaps women would have been better at avoiding some of these pitfalls ? I am unsure.

Posted by: LaurenceR on Thursday, 24 May 2012 at 7:54pm BST

"Perhaps women would have been better at avoiding some of these pitfalls ?" LaurenceR

Some women would have been. And some not. It would have depended upon the individual woman.

Posted by: Laurence C. on Wednesday, 30 May 2012 at 8:20am BST
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