Saturday, 24 November 2012

Women Bishops: online petitions

There are a number of online petitions protesting in various ways against the decision by General Synod not to approve the legislation to allow women to be bishops. Here are the ones I am aware of.

No women Bishops, no automatic seats in the House of Lords

Responsible department: Cabinet Office

The Church of England on 20th Nov 2012 voted not to allow women to be Bishops. Though that is within its rights to do, this should worry the Government as Church of England Bishops are awarded legislative power through seats in the House of Lords.

The Church has chosen to be a sexist organisation by refusing women the right to hold highest leadership positions and therefore should not be allowed automatic seats in the House of Lords, as this clearly does not comply with the spirit of UK Equality law.

We call on the Govt to remove the right of the Church of England to have automatic seats in the House of Lords, in line with its commitments to equality and non-discrimination, set out in the Equality Act (2010) and the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (1979)”

Women bishops - another vote

To: Church of England “Group of Six”

Please authorise another vote in this Synod in 2013, to allow the House of Laity to reconsider the results of their vote of 20 November 2012 in the light of clearly-expressed wishes of their electorate.

Why is this important?

42 out of 44 Dioceses have voted for women bishops; the House of Laity vote clearly did not reflect the democratic wishes of the membership they are supposed to represent. A year’s delay will enable Dioceses to reflect again, and make their views even clearer to their Synodical representatives.

Unconditionally ordain Women as Bishops in the Church of England

To: The General Synod of the Church of England

The Anglican Episcopacy should be open to women. Synod and the Dioceses of the CofE have agreed this. The vote at Novembers synod has been deeply hurtful to many women, and damaged the Church as a whole.

The next time this issue is voted on it should be as a single clause: The Church of England may ordain women as Bishops.

As well as a campaigning tool, this petition is a way of gathering together people, especially lay Anglicans, who can organize to elect new and representative Deanery, Diocesan and General synods that will effect this change.

No Confidence in General Synod: Calling for an Urgent Review

We the undersigned therefore hereby lodge a vote of no confidence in General Synod until such time as it can bring its affairs into order by effecting a genuinely democratic voting system that gives a fair and proper representation to its members in place of the current inequitable system.

The Petition

We call upon the Archbishops’ Council and the House of Bishops to conduct an urgent review into the rules of governance in Synod to correct this grossly unfair system; and if the matter is not resolved before his enthronement, we further call upon Archbishop Designate the Rt Revd Justin Welby to make addressing this inequitable situation one of his first priorities following his installation at Canterbury.

Posted by Peter Owen on Saturday, 24 November 2012 at 11:27pm GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England | General Synod
Comments

All very laudable, but really by far the most useful way to achieve women bishops is to join and support WATCH.

Posted by: Dan Barnes-Davies on Sunday, 25 November 2012 at 3:22pm GMT

With regard to the recent vote, it is often claimed on this site and indeed in the above reports, that the General Synod is somehow less democratic and representative than the more local Diocesan Synods. I would suggest that this is not necessarily the case. Diocesan Synod representatives, both clergy and lay, are, I believe, elected by Deanery Synod members, by either first past the post of single transferable vote. The electorate is small – of the order of a few tens approximately in each house, and in my experience the shortage of those prepared to be candidates often leads to uncontested elections. The ratio of the number of electors to the number of representatives is thus relatively small. Such a system is not necessarily conducive to a synod that is fully representative of the views of the church, and is indeed open to manipulation if desired. Minority candidates are less likely to be elected using such a procedure. General Synod elections have the same electorate in general from Deanery Synod members, who between them elect a small number of diocesan representatives to General Synod using the single transferable vote mechanism. These elections usually have a lengthy list of candidates. The ratio of the number of electors to the number of their representatives is thus much higher than for Diocesan Synods and the results likely to be more representative of the views of Deanery Synod members at least. Thus in my view there is a greater chance of General Synod being representative of its electorate than would be the case for Diocesan Synods.

Posted by: Chris Baker on Sunday, 25 November 2012 at 4:22pm GMT

Don't these people realise that by abandoning the democratic process and forcing women bishops on the C of E the result will be 'second-class' bishops!

Only if it is the clear will of Synod, which involves agreement on the right legislation, will women be accepted as bishops with any sort of credibility.

The pontificating of Liberal atheist MPs and the proposals of knee-jerk petitioners are doing more harm to the cause than good.

Posted by: Jonathan Edwards II on Sunday, 25 November 2012 at 11:01pm GMT

There are a number of Churches that rely on "women" to keep going.
The general synod should get moving into the 21st Century.

Posted by: Joan Carter on Monday, 26 November 2012 at 6:48pm GMT

"The pontificating of Liberal atheist MPs and the proposals of knee-jerk petitioners are doing more harm to the cause than good." - Jonathan Edwards -

The sad fact is, that the Church of England has to be brought 'up to standard' with human justice issues, and if it requires ordinary citizens and the civil government to pave the way; then maybe the Church needs to pull its ecclesiastical socks up.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Monday, 26 November 2012 at 8:42pm GMT

'the Church of England has to be brought 'up to standard' with human justice issues' - Fr Ron Smith

With respect Father the appointing of senior clergy is hardly a 'human justice issue.' It is the work of the Holy Spirit.

If we let politicians determine the outcome of this matter then why not the Church's mind on matters of gender, finance, and the sacraments etc.

The Church must listen carefully to what the Holy Spirit is saying through this debate. The Church must not be forced to conform to the so called 'standard' of secular society, whatever that is.

Or else the first century Christians might as well have sacrificed to the Roman gods after all. Thank God they didn't give in!

Posted by: Jonathan Edwards II on Monday, 26 November 2012 at 10:23pm GMT

"The Church must not be forced to conform to the so called 'standard' of secular society, whatever that is." - Jonathan Edwards -

You say, Jonathan, that the concept of human justice is not involved in this matter of Women in ministry. however, even the O.T. reminds us of God's intention towards all God's children - male and female - in this way: "The is what Yahweh asks of you: only this, to act justly; to love tenderly and to walk humbly with your God" (Micah 6:8) - and this is in pre-Christian patriarchal times, when Women were 'kept in their place'.

How much more might the Christ of the Gospels who 'sent' Mary Magdalene to 'tell the Good News' if His resurrection to the male Apostles, want women to be recognised as equal minister in His Church?

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 12:34am GMT

Father, then we must trust that the Holy Spirit will guide the way.

Posted by: Jonathan Edwards II on Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 10:23am GMT

It is unreasonable not allow women to become Bishops, our religion must accept that women offer as much knowledge compassion and support as men and in many cases have greater inner strength than many men. We need representation across all sectors and the church should be leading the way not inhibiting progress.

Posted by: Natalie Tiddy on Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 5:48pm GMT
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