Friday, 22 March 2013

Further comments on Archbishop Welby's views

The Church Times carries this news report of its own interview with the archbishop: No ‘chucking out’ over women.

The actual interview with Ed Thornton is available in full here: ‘You don’t have to agree to be in the same Church’.

Anglican Mainstream has published this: Primates of Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda, Sudan and Southern Cone write to Archbishop Welby.

Today’s Guardian has this editorial: Archbishop of Canterbury: good and God.

At the Telegraph Damian Thompson writes on his blog The new Archbishop of Canterbury, enthroned today, must wish the gay issue would go away. But it won’t.

Colin Coward wrote at Changing Attitude Justin Welby speaks of stunning quality of gay relationships.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 22 March 2013 at 12:30pm GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England
Comments

"It's just not Christian. It's not what we do. We're bound together by a common baptism through the work of the Holy Spirit, and I don't think we should have the liberty of saying to people: 'This is how it's going to be, and that's just too bad if you don't like it.'" -ABC

This statement is a mine of contradictions, non-sequiturs, and unctuous clerical baffle-gab. We may be bound by a common baptism, but some of the baptized (males) are more equal than others (females). If women can be baptized then they can be made bishops. But that's not what we do. What we do is ask the victims of discrimination to wait and to tolerate their discrimination as part of organizational appeasement. It would appear in this muddled equivocation that the only thing that is unchristian is equality i.e. Christianity will have none of it for its members. And if you are female, that's just too bad if you don't like it.

Posted by: Rod Gillis on Friday, 22 March 2013 at 10:44pm GMT

Regarding what is 'Christian'; one wonders what our new Archbishop thinks about the prospect of allowing structural discrimination against women who, eventually, may be made Bishops in his Church?

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Saturday, 23 March 2013 at 9:13am GMT

"This statement is a mine of contradictions, non sequiturs . . . ." Rod Gillis. It's only that in your view, Mr Gillis, because you disagree with it!

Posted by: Benedict on Saturday, 23 March 2013 at 4:11pm GMT

"and I don't think we should have the liberty of saying to people: 'This is how it's going to be, and that's just too bad if you don't like it.'"

which is exactly what they're saying to women and lgbt people at the moment.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Saturday, 23 March 2013 at 5:47pm GMT

Re Benedict, yes I certainly do disagree with the Archbishop's statement, and I disagree with the same old tired and ineffective pastoral and political strategy behind it.

I think I have also pointed out, successfully, the non-sequiturs and the contradictions. We are indeed bound by one Lord, one faith, one baptism, but that does not obviate the systemic ingrained discrimination by one group of the baptized over against another. That there is truly neither male nor female does not necessarily follow in practice--quite the opposite. The statement contradicts itself by claiming to champion unity based on inclusion with the tacit assumption that full inclusion of social conservatives is non-negotiable while a principled unequivocal stand on gender equality is negotiable. I also happen to think that the church should stand on gender equality over against holding its place on the continuum of religious oppression of women. That may mean that some opponents of women's equality will have to take their business elsewhere. While such is a radical view in Anglican circles, there is nothing particularly "unchristian" about it. Read some of the parables directed at choices in the kingdom.

Isn't that just what you expect from a post, an individual opinion? I just happen to believe its the correct one based on a critical feminist friendly analysis of the situation.

Posted by: Rod Gillis on Saturday, 23 March 2013 at 5:56pm GMT

>> "This statement is a mine of contradictions, non sequiturs . . . ." Rod Gillis. It's only that in your view, Mr Gillis, because you disagree with it! <<

Actually, Benedict, it is a mine of contradictions, non sequiturs, etc. simply because it *is* a mine of contradictions, non sequiturs, etc., Mr Gillis' views wholly aside.

Let's take, for example, just the most obvious contradiction: "...I don't think we should have the liberty of saying to people: 'This is how it's going to be, and that's just too bad if you don't like it.'"

Well, actually, the way things are, that's precisely what is already being said to proponents of opening the episcopate to women, unless they agree to the specific terms demanded by their opponents.

They are not able simply to proceed as the majority wishes; they are held hostage by a minority. One can dispute whether or not that stance is justified, but it's the reality, is it not? And so, while one set of people is not being told 'This is how it's going to be, and that's just too bad if you don't like it,' the result is that *another* set of people *is*.

The second most obvious flaw is that the good Archbishop surely knows that, depending on the specific issue, the Church in fact does say precisely 'This is how it's going to be, and that's just too bad if you don't like it' on any number of issues. It says it about the baptismal formula, it says it about the text of this or that liturgy, it says it about not having priests ordaining priests and about not having lay presidency of the Eucharist, it says it about any number of theological formulations, and so on, ad infinitum.

There's more that parsing yields, but these two alone ought suffice to demonstrate the flawed nature of the statement.

Posted by: David da Silva Cornell on Saturday, 23 March 2013 at 6:31pm GMT

I have posted some thoughts at http://modernchurchblog.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/what-to-say-to-justin-welby.html

Posted by: Dave Marshall on Saturday, 23 March 2013 at 6:50pm GMT

The statement is short-hand. It contains a number of unexpressed conditions. Everybody here knows this (though some profess not to). I agree with the statement, thus understood. I am glad that the new ABP, fervent supporter of women priests and women bishop as he is, still wants to make space for those who (in good conscience, etc.) do not accept them/have difficulty with them. I am glad that such people for their part still want to stay with us. Glad.

Posted by: John on Saturday, 23 March 2013 at 7:59pm GMT

Thank you, John. I for one want to stay! The CofE is my home and I know I belong here. The Archbishop's words give me hope.

Posted by: Steven on Saturday, 23 March 2013 at 11:46pm GMT

Re John "The statement is short-hand. It contains a number of unexpressed conditions. Everybody here knows this (though some profess not to)"

A rather curious statement. An unexpressed condition, in fact, is essentially a tacit assumption. Here the tacit assumption, as noted previously, is the status quo of male privilege over gender equality, a question of who must be kept in the fold at virtually all costs, and who must wait for qualified acceptance.Its a mantra that has made gender equality more, not less, difficult for the church.

There is no dispute over Archbishop Welby's favoring women bishops--although as an aside its interesting to note, that its a male prelate who is the spokes person outlining the conditions under which female episcopal ordination ought to come about. However, if Welby's statement under discussion remains the dominant perspective, the equality alluded to under the banner of the "common bond of baptism" will remain qualified, hitched to kind of ecclesiastical segregation. That is something everybody knows, but not something that everyone wants to admit.

Posted by: Rod Gillis on Sunday, 24 March 2013 at 3:00am GMT

Over all the arguments to allow dissentients the privilege of disenfranchising future women bishops, perhaps the strongest opposition to this is based on the fact that the sin of 'discrimination against women' is involved. Does the Church of England want that to be part of our celebrated 'Unity'?

What sort of 'Unity' is it we are trying so desperately to preserve? Is it institutionalised discrimination? If so, that's not very Christian.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Sunday, 24 March 2013 at 10:29am GMT

Isn't it essential to acknowledge that the debate is rather more nuanced than the comments so far suggest?

It is not a simple binary choice between men who are against the consecration of women and women who are in favour. It is quite clear that a lot of women are against being obliged to accept a female bishop.

Nor is it right to speak of "women" as the "victims" of the current debates who are waiting and tolerating discrimination in the CofE-again lots of women are supportive of the status quo.

Nor is it right to say as a generalisation that women as a gender as less equal in the CofE than men because they are not bishops- lots of women clearly don't think that.

Surely, if gender equality means anything it means respecting the views of all women including those who do not accept female bishops. The alternative is to say that such women are all un-theological/delusional/victims of Stockholm Syndrome etc, which from what I can see is wholly unfair to a bunch intelligent and godly women.

As a man I am certainly not willing to judge women opposed to female bishops as somehow less entitled to their view than other women and I am surprised that other men are willing to condemn them.

Can we therefore acknowledge that the debate is rather more complex and recognise that "women" are rather more than a category who can all be assumed to have the same views/interests (least of all by men)?

johnny

Posted by: johnny may on Sunday, 24 March 2013 at 8:16pm GMT

Re johhny "As a man I am certainly not willing to judge women opposed to female bishops as somehow less entitled to their view than other women and I am surprised that other men are willing to condemn them."

This is red herring. One of the implications of gender equality is that women are equally entitled to a viewpoint and equally entitled to have said view challenged by either men or women. Women who do not feel called to an ordained office in the church are not required to seek one.

However, patriarchy, like all systemic forms of oppression, is more than the sum of individual opinions and view points. It is not qualified nor its impact on the wider society we call the church lessened simply because some women are content with some aspects of it. In sum, advocating for gender equality means treating arguments against it, whether by men or by women, as equally mistaken. It is not unheard of for persons laboring under colonialism to be in favor of colonial institutions in whole or in part. Nor is it unheard of for people to become complicit in their own oppression. Patriarchy is a negative for the whole social group. The fact that some women are not in favor of female ordination does not make such discrimination acceptable.

Posted by: Rod Gillis on Monday, 25 March 2013 at 4:38pm GMT

"lots of women are supportive of the status quo."

Lots? Really? If the anti-women, pro-discrimination crowd is even 25 percent, and half are women, that's 12.5 percent. That is not typically considered "lots." And not usually enough to drive policy.

Posted by: Cynthia on Tuesday, 26 March 2013 at 5:05pm GMT

Cynthia, thank you as ever for your response- it is most interesting.

Given the voting in both the English dioceses and in Synod I suspect your 12.5% is a bit low.

Nonetheless, 12.5% of the regular attenders of the CofE is equivalent to around 125,000 women.

As I understand it, 125,000 women is more than the total number of women in the TEC (assuming that TEC has retained equal membership of men and women).

Might I take it therefore that you think that on the basis that 125,000 is not "lots" the entire female composition of the TEC, including (sadly)yourself can be ignored in any Anglican conversation? Or do North American views somehow carry more weight per capita of women?


johnny

Posted by: johnny may on Wednesday, 27 March 2013 at 12:22am GMT

Jonathan Clatworthy has posted a comment on the Church Times interview here:
http://modernchurchblog.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/who-gets-ignored.html

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 27 March 2013 at 9:27am GMT

Re johnny, from a math point of view you may wish to brush up on the use of statistical data; but from a political point of view, the premise of your position is a divide and conquer strategy, similar to the culture wars approach we are familiar with here in Canadian politics.

Posted by: Rod Gillis on Wednesday, 27 March 2013 at 12:55pm GMT
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