Friday, 19 October 2012

Women Bishops: Enough Waiting

Updated Saturday night

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has “begun a campaign to persuade General Synod members to back the new women bishops legislation when it returns to debate it next month” with this article in today’s Church Times

What is at stake in the Synod vote

that is also available on his website: Women Bishops: Enough Waiting. He concludes:

My hope for next month’s debate is that it will tackle what is really before us, not what it is assumed or even suspected to mean; that it will give us grounds for trusting one another more rather than less; that it will be rooted in a serious theological engagement with what makes for the good of the Church and its mission, a serious attempt to be obedient to God’s leading – and, perhaps most soberingly, that it will not ignore the sense of urgency about resolving this that is felt inside and outside the Church, often with real pain and bewilderment. As a Synod, we are asked to act not only as a legislature but as a body that serves the Kingdom of God and takes a spiritual and pastoral responsibility for its actions. And I know that Synod members, myself among them, will be praying hard about what this entails.

The Church Times also reports on the contents of the article: Williams urges waverers to back women-bishops Measure.


Lizzy Davies in The Guardian Rowan Williams issues warning over women bishops vote

Jerome Taylor in The Independent Vote for women bishops or face further turmoil within the Church, Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams warns

Posted by Peter Owen on Friday, 19 October 2012 at 12:32pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England | General Synod

"My hope for next month’s debate is that it will tackle what is really before us, not what it is assumed or even suspected to mean"

Isn't that the problem, that the wording is such that people can read a number of meanings into it? It probably must be so, otherwise you'd never get agreement.

But it would help if
a. the legal meaning of "Respect" was spelled out clearly and
b. someone explained what the HoB "meant" so that the rest of us can stop speculating.
c. someone legally trained explained the scope of the wording regardless of what the HoB "meant", but the way it can legally be interpreted once it has been passed.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Friday, 19 October 2012 at 12:45pm BST


Posted by: Alastair Newman on Friday, 19 October 2012 at 1:21pm BST

Could it be that, after his recent exposure to the Roman Catholic Synod of Bishops, ++Rowan has come to realise the infinite gulf there is between our two Churches on the Faith and Order consequences of Women's Ordination?

Despite the good relationship that exists between the Pope and this Archbishop of Canterbury, it must now be recognised that the prospect of any immediate convergence on the ministry of women in our respective Churches must seem as far away as ever.

Whatever the reason for ++Rowan's turnaround on
the urgency of the need For General Synod's vote, that would enable the Draft Measure to go forward, I am one person that applauds his decision to urge the members of G.S. to pass the legislation.

The rationale for this follow-up to the previous legislation that allowed women to become Priests in the Church ought, surely, to convince even the conservatives among us to take the plunge, and to go ahead with the Ordination of Women Bishops in the Church of England. The consequences of such a measure would help rid the Church of any thought of misogyny that might still obscure the fact that Women, as well as Men, are bearers of the Image and likeness of the Christ we serve.

This sounds more like the Rowan we once knew - an advocate of our commonality in Christ. Deo gratias

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Saturday, 20 October 2012 at 1:02am BST

Fr Ron Smith,

You're right, this is more like the Rowan we once knew and loved.

But why the shift to speaking his mind at last? Perhaps he's demob happy, after all he has little to lose now and everything to gain from snatching one major achievement at the very end of his archiepiscopate.

It'll be interesting to read what he writes once he's safely back in academia in Cambridge next year and free from the burdens of trying (fruitlessly) to appease conservative factions in the Anglican Communion. Will he then revert for example to his original views on the gay issue?

Posted by: Concerned Anglican on Saturday, 20 October 2012 at 10:53pm BST

Even if the current Measure is passed. there will still be years of internal wrangling and dissension. Traditionalists who remain in the Church of england, I imagine, will simply not comply. Conscience will not be overriden.

Posted by: Benedict on Sunday, 21 October 2012 at 12:34pm BST

The stuff about "the Rowan we once knew" is nonsense. He has always been utterly committed to women bishops and utterly committed to provision for those opposed.

We really don't do this stuff the way other Provinces do. Rowan has been consistent on trying to keep the opponents in and trying to get the legislation through. People on TA may not get the nuances of the debate (hence we get people on threads like these deploring the "fact" that we've sold opponents down the river and others deploring the "fact" that we've made provision for people whose views shouldn't be countenanced). Which probably means we've got it about right.

A lot of us will now be seeking to argue for that 2/3 majority in the face of some folk from both ends who are discomforted and feel that they can't vote for it. Rowan (and the vast majority of the rest of the House of Bishops) will be strong advocates for the legislation. The alternative (that it fails and we have to wait for women bishops - and that it comes back as a one clause measure with no provision at all) simply shouldn't be contemplated.

Posted by: Pete Broadbent on Sunday, 21 October 2012 at 2:30pm BST

Peter Broadbent said, "We really don't do this stuff the way other Provinces do."

And you think that's a virtue?

The current tendency to try to have it both ways may prove counterproductive and self-defeating.

Mark my words. The C of E will eventually need to resort to a strong doctrinal line in favor of women's ordination.

And when it happens, the rest of the country will applaud.

Most of modern society, after all, is wondering what is taking the C of E so long, and why the Church of England is bending over backwards to accommodate troglodytes.

Meanwhile the Anglican brand is damaged immeasurably.

Posted by: Jeremy on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 at 3:58am BST

"Conscience will not be overriden." - Benedict -

Which meme applies to both parties - whether for or against the Ordination of women Bishops. Justice cries out to be heard.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 at 10:11am BST
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