Saturday, 24 November 2012
All my choice of Opinion articles this week have been prompted by General Synod’s decision on women bishops, but they also have a wider relevance.
Simon Barrow Ekklesia Time to set church and state free
Zoe Williams Guardian Female bishops row: where could feminist Christians defect to?
Giles Fraser Guardian The puritans who scuppered female bishops revel in our criticism of them
Posted by Peter Owen on
Saturday, 24 November 2012 at 11:00am GMT
You can make a Permalink to this if you like
Zoe William's raises an interesting question. Where would feminists defect to? Hopefully feminists will stay and help the church finish the march to equality. There are additional questions for the feminists who do stay i.e. can they be more vocal and activist? There is a wealth of first class feminist critical scholarship available. We need to hear more of it. It's astounding that, in the many popular articles and posts, so little of feminist critical reading of scripture and tradition has found its way into the debate. Almost makes one thing that feminists have already defected.
Speaking as one 100% in favour of female bishops, I find Giles Fraser's attitude in his column extremely depressing. Whether what he says of conservative evangelicals is true or not, there is an unpleasant taste - at least for me - about the way he says it.
Thank God for the wisdom of people like Stephen Croft - a far more measured, considered response in my opinion.
Mr. Barrow is spot on!
If the Liberal Jews set a marriage or civil partnerships policy, it harms no one outside their faith.
Likewise, the Quakers.
But some obdurate Lords Spiritual can lord it over everybody.
Likewise, in the name of the Crown, some people feel they, and they alone, are right, and others are inferior.
Set the Church free.
I must confess, I mostly admire Fr. Giles Fraser's articles in The Guardian. In this one, on the failure of the Women Bishops Draft Measure at last week's General synod of the Church of England, though; I'm left wondering whether Giles hasn't put too much of the blame onto the likes of the 'Reform' Evangelicals, whose stance really is - 'NO Reform - at any price'.
There is also an opposite polarity of Anglican churchmanship involved here - those, among the more esoteric Anglo-Catholics, who will not have a bar of Women in any sort of sacerdotal ministry - also, at any price. What they were aiming for though - those who haven't yet sought refuge from women in the Roman Catholic Ordinariate - was a much more water-tight arrangement in the church of England that would have guaranteed them immunity from any sort of authority from a Woman Bishop - even that authority that would have allowed them the sort of ministry they want - from an untainted Male Bishop!
Maybe the defeated (amended) legislation would have been too open to a continuing sexist ethos in the Church of England. Maybe God actually wants women to have unfettered episcopal insight! Anyway that what I'm going to be praying for.
You're right to wonder about this, Father Ron, not least because we still don't know for certain whether the vote was actually scuppered by a split amongst the pro-women laity; on the one hand nervous supporters made uneasy by the 'lack of provision' argument, middle-grounders sensitive to the worries of their traditionalist and evangelical friends; and on the other those hard-line supporters who refuse to countenance concessions on the question of principle. Until we know that, there's not a lot of point in Giles venting spleen. It would be a bit rich if he had to turn his fire elsewhere in a few days ...
Agree entirely with Chris Routlege. Giles Fraser's language is loutish (as indeed is the language of many contributors to this site).