Monday, 9 July 2012

General Synod - press reports of Monday morning's business

BBC Women bishops: Church’s General Synod delays vote

Jerome Taylor in The Independent Church backs away from women bishops debate

Lizzy Davies in The Guardian Church of England postpones vote on female bishops

Ed Thornton, Gavin Drake and Madeleine Davies in the Church Times Synod postpones final decision on women bishops

In addition, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s contribution to this morning’s debate is now online, both as an audio recording and a transcript.

Posted by Peter Owen on Monday, 9 July 2012 at 2:22pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England | General Synod

Now we shall see whether or not the House of Bishops have indeed had their backbones removed at their consecrations.

Posted by: Father David on Monday, 9 July 2012 at 2:43pm BST

Per the BBC: "But the amendment went further, specifying that the stand-in bishop should exercise their ministry in accordance with the parish's opinions on the issue."

Amazing! Not only do they want noting to do with a woman bishop, they want to be able to tell whatever bishop they get what to do and what to believe.

Why not just become congrationalists?

Posted by: Deacon Charlie Perrin on Monday, 9 July 2012 at 2:44pm BST

Why isn't the provision symmetrical? If one were in a diocese where the bishop does not believe in the ordination of women,will one be able to ask for the provision of alternative episcopal oversight from a woman bishop?

Posted by: copyhold on Monday, 9 July 2012 at 3:23pm BST

I signed the WATCH petition on this, but find myself thinking that maybe the Bishops were right.

It's not just a male bishop some require, but a male bishop ordained by male bishops (i.e. exercising "their ministry in accordance with the parish's opinions on the issue.") If we are serious about accommodating them we must do it properly, even at the expense of bishops having to carry pedigree cards. If that's what the bishops meant, it would have helped if they said so more clearly.

Posted by: Ian Arch on Monday, 9 July 2012 at 3:36pm BST

Deacon Charlie makes a very good point. The unhealthy and immoral position that women can't be bishops has absolutely no theological "backbone" to support such a position. It is both a political argument and a misogynistic argument.

Posted by: Chris Smith on Monday, 9 July 2012 at 3:55pm BST

Are there any compelling biblical or theological reasons left as to why gender should override catholic ecclesiology? No--this has been argued for years. We are almost to the point of "no women, no bishops", which is a sorry state for the church of Reformed catholicity and the historical episcopate. I wonder if many feel their own ordination is provisional somehow in relation to Orthodoxy or Roman Catholicism, and if so, they are not capable of leading the church of Cranmer or Hooker.

Posted by: Rebecca Lyman on Monday, 9 July 2012 at 4:56pm BST

"It's not just a male bishop some require, but a male bishop ordained by male bishops (i.e. exercising "their ministry in accordance with the parish's opinions on the issue.")"

WATCH have no problem with this.
The bishop's amendment goes further, though, and will give parishes the right to reject a male bishop ordained by a male bishop if he happens to approve of women priest and if he ordains them. That's what it means to share the parish's opinion. The bishop must not only be validly ordained and consecrated, he must also be right thinking.

That's what "taint" is about.

But to be fair to WATCH, they agreed even to that! Because that is what was in the original proposed Measure.

What they cannot agree to is that this should now be enshrined not in a Code of Practice but in actual church law.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Monday, 9 July 2012 at 5:25pm BST

As someone in the chamber during the debate, can i just make a couple of observations? Firstly, there has to be more to the provision of another bishop other than maleness, otherwise the legislation makes no sense; a male bishop would be forced to delegate to another male bishop! aS for Chris Smith's comment, i find it hurtful and unchristian, We may disagree with our brothers and sisters, but this language does no good. Also, just because he doesn't agree with the theological position of opponents, doesn't make it " no theological backbone" One more thing. If it were congregationalism such people were after, they probably wouldn't care less what Synod decided anyway.

Graeme Buttery

Posted by: Graeme Buttery on Monday, 9 July 2012 at 6:41pm BST

"Also, just because he doesn't agree with the theological position of opponents, doesn't make it " no theological backbone"

I believe Chris' point was that there _is_ no "theological position" to dignify sexism. I have yet to see anything from apologists for a male priesthood to convince me otherwise, and certainly not to reconcile their opinion with Chalcedonian christology.

You may protest that it is mean of Chris to expect people to have reasons for making the claims they do - and I realize in this postmodern era the "right to my opinion" reigns supreme and any attempt to submit it to outside rational scrutiny is a trespass on everyone's equally valid reality - but you'll forgive me for not taking that protest as a substitute for an argument. If proponents of a male priesthood have sound theological grounds for their assertion and the charge of sexism is so unjustified, then why are they so coy about those grounds?

Frankly the whole MO smacks of the antigay crowd, who for years have insisted up and down that there are reasons beyond common bigotry for their misgivings and undoubtedly will let us know at once just as soon they've decided what those reasons are! It's the theological and intellectual equivalent of an "I.O.U." and I find know value in it.

Posted by: Geoff on Tuesday, 10 July 2012 at 2:03am BST

Thanks Erica. I had not read taint into it - but I think you are right that it is still there. In fact, any 'theological convictions' about women's ministry seem acceptable to the legislation, but maleness and taint are those with precedent. In which case, the problem is not this legislation, but the problems created by the introduction of the flying bishops.

Posted by: Ian Arch on Tuesday, 10 July 2012 at 10:44am BST
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