Friday, 2 August 2013

New Bishop of Tewkesbury is announced

10 Downing Street has announced:

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Venerable Martyn James Snow, BSc, BTh, MA, Archdeacon of Sheffield and Rotherham in the diocese of Sheffield to the Suffragan See of Tewkesbury, in the Diocese of Gloucester, in succession to the Right Reverend John Stewart Went, MA, on his resignation on 16 April 2013…

The Diocese of Gloucester has The New Bishop of Tewkesbury has been announced.

The Diocese of Sheffield has Archdeacon Martyn Snow appointed as The New Bishop of Tewkesbury.

Posted by Peter Owen on Friday, 2 August 2013 at 9:20pm BST | TrackBack
You can make a Permalink to this if you like
Categorised as: Church of England
Comments

How come, to date, the appointment of the Bishop of Ebbsfleet merits 15 comments and the appointment of the Bishop of Tewkesbury garners nil comments? Is it perhaps because Ebbsfleet is an hairy man but Tewkesbury is clear shaven?

Posted by: Father David on Saturday, 3 August 2013 at 9:36am BST

Father David
Maybe that's because most of us see absolutely no need for a Bishop of Ebbsfleet. They are, after all, in communion with the rest of the bishops and archbishops. So what can be the only reason for the existence of such a peculiar and unCatholic institution as a flying bishop? The offensive notion of taint is the only answer...

Posted by: Andrew Godsall on Saturday, 3 August 2013 at 12:55pm BST

Also, the Ebbsfleet announcement was posted on here at mid-day, Tewkesbury in the late evening.

I wish our Archdeacon well in his new position.

Posted by: John Roch on Saturday, 3 August 2013 at 2:32pm BST

Canon Godsall Most may not appreciate the need for a Bishop of Ebbsfleet but thankfully Justin Welby does and his website currently includes a most charming photograph of himself with the soon to be consecrated fifth bishop of that see.

Posted by: Father David on Saturday, 3 August 2013 at 3:12pm BST

Good for you Canon Godsall for having the courage to post under your own name and speak the truth.

The old argument against 'Flying Bishops', usually dismissed by them, is that as it is inconceivable that you would have a Bishop to cater for those who don't want ethnic minorities in the priesthood (some do exist), so you shouldn't have one for those who don't want women.

Anyway, since the Ordinariate there is now absolutely no need whatsoever for the Church of England to go on with this expensive charade of Bishops for those who don't like women as priests.

Posted by: Concerned Anglican on Saturday, 3 August 2013 at 10:24pm BST

Concerned Anglican,
it didn't require the Ordinariate, there was never any need for alternative episcopal oversight. Anglo-Catholics are, apparently, only concerned with sacramental assurance.
And every single bishop currently in place guarantees that.
Choosing bishops according to their theology is profoundly un-Catholic and should never have happened.

Andrew Godsall is absolutely right - there is no need at all for a Bishop of Ebbsfleet.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Saturday, 3 August 2013 at 11:02pm BST

Spare a prayer for our new bishop of Tewkesbury and this warm friendly diocese with its partnership of women and men in ministry at every level except the episcopate. Why? - because the consecration of our bishop is to be shared with the consecration of the new Bishop of Ebbsfleet! Requests to change this have been turned down
It means in particular that those ordained women who wish to attend to honour and support their new bishop will have no option but to share the event side by side with the latest high profile provision for that wing of the church that does not actually believe they should even exist.
The insensitivity in this is breathtaking and once again the public honouring and integrity of the ministry of women in the church is being given second place.

Posted by: David on Monday, 5 August 2013 at 7:09am BST

But David, if the new Bishop of Ebbsfleet were consecrated in a separate ceremony, it would surely only feed the notion that PEVs are free to be part of a Church within a Church. The planned arrangements make it very clear that the PEV will be part of a Church which ordains women - he will be consecrated by a bishop who has ordained women, alongside a new bishop who will ordain women and in the midst of ordained women. For goodness sake don't argue for anything less!

Posted by: Rose on Monday, 5 August 2013 at 11:21am BST

Canon Godsell mentions "The offensive notion of taint"! Really, I thought we were all mature enough to have progressed beyond such banal slurs. However in reading David's comment it would appear that I am wrong in my assumption as he wishes to have a separate consecration for the Bishop of Tewkesbury elect so that the people from the "warm friendly" diocese of Gloucester be liberated from any connection whatsoever with the Bishop elect of Ebbsfleet. Thankfully the powers that be have refused to agree to such an offensive request.

Posted by: Father David on Monday, 5 August 2013 at 12:23pm BST

Hear hear to Rose's posting.

Posted by: Geoffrey on Monday, 5 August 2013 at 2:01pm BST

Rose
You are right and I wish I had waited longer before pressing send! Sorry to those who entered a demanding week with blood pressure levels higher than needed. There is enough heat around.
I am also aware that the intention was to make clear that PEVs and their dispersed flock are not a separate church. But once again this kind of institutional thinking is addressed in one direction - as it so often is. If we are serious about two integrities then we might start making decisions and communicating our intentions as if both integrities deserve respect and understanding - rather than expecting one side to just graciously turn up.

Fr David - er remind me just who it is that is asking for and choosing to accept separate episcopal provision in our present church?

Posted by: David on Monday, 5 August 2013 at 2:58pm BST

David I think you are in a better position than I am to answer your own question as it was you who wrote "Requests to change this have been turned down". Perhaps you can enlighten us all as to who made the requests that the next Bishops of Tewkesbury and Ebbsfleet be not consecrated together at the same act of worship? Or is your original comment either erroneous or a mere supposition? I think we should be told.

Posted by: Father David on Monday, 5 August 2013 at 11:31pm BST

Fr David
You have not answered my question.
And why would I make this up? It would be seriously surprising if there were not questions about this scheduling from the Traditionalist side as well. But I don't need names to believe it.
This will be a very uncomfortable gathering for all concerned for very obvious reasons - and perhaps that is as it should be and ++J is right to insist on the sharing of this occasion.
I will be there. I will seek the grace this event will need. I will pray for all there and for both bishops. But perhaps you will understand if I pray especially for my fellow priests who are women. For all the differences of opinion that divide us one thing no male priest ever has to ever face in the church is open questioning about or explicit rejection of the actual validity of their priesthood.

Posted by: David on Tuesday, 6 August 2013 at 9:06am BST

Am I correct in thinking that at one time the authorities at Westminster Abbey refused to host the consecration of a PEV and in response the then Archbishop of Canterbury declined to use the Abbey as a venue for any future episcopal consecrations preferring instead to use St. Paul's and Southwark cathedrals for such occasions? If that indeed be the case how good it is that both Ebbsfleet and Tewkesbury are to be consecrated together in the Abbey and let us all pray for them both as they begin an exciting new phase in their respective ministries.

Posted by: Father David on Tuesday, 6 August 2013 at 11:33am BST

Father David,

Some years ago there was a FiF bash at Durham Cathedral. The then Stephen Conway, as a gesture of goodwill, expressed a desire to attend. He was told he would not be welcome. Some years after that, the then new bishop of Durham, Tom Wright, as a gesture of good will, visited a prominent FiF church in Durham as one of his first acts as new bishop. No prayers were offered for him, in his presence, in contrast to those offered for the non-present bishop of Beverley.

There is crassness and boorishness on both sides. Time it stopped, as indeed your good self seems here to imply.

Posted by: John on Tuesday, 6 August 2013 at 9:47pm BST

We, in the far-flung Provinces of the Anglican Communion, are still wondering why the Church of England needs two types of Bishop, to deliver episcopal ministry to two very different types of congregation? This seems to be the continuing ethos of legerdemain: where a small percentage of members can actually pretend that women bishops do not exist in their Church. If this were not so serious a breach of catholic collegiality, it would just be accounted ridiculous. This really perpetuates the sort of hypocrisy that pretends there are no gay clergy in the Church. No wonder we ex-colonials are losing faith in Mother Church.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Tuesday, 6 August 2013 at 10:43pm BST

I suppose the answer to David's earlier question is. The General Synod and the Ecclesiastical Committee of Parliament who voted in favour of provision for those who in all conscience could not accept the innovation of women priests. So the Act of Synod came to birth; alas now moves are afoot to rescind this Act and renage on promises made! Would that we had someone on the current bench as sage as Archbishop Habgood to steer us through the current morass and thus arrive at a happy solution. I would most certainly agree with John - courtesy in all things, that surely is the Christian way. I am left wondering why we don't now hear much about the "Better Together" campaign which seeks to promote tolerance and understanding of different theological perspectives inspired by the principles of freedom, respect, diversity and unity? A far better approach than what might be called Ecclesiastical Cleansing where one side in the debate seeks to completely eradicate the other.

Posted by: Father David on Wednesday, 7 August 2013 at 6:54am BST

But Father David that doesn't at all answer the question - why do you need a flying bishop? Why is a bishop who happens to disagree with you unable to minister to and with you? What renders their sacraments unreliable? What have they done to prevent them being a bishop to you?
I'm sure we'd all love to have bishops who simply agreed with us - but we don't all get to pick and choose.

Posted by: Andrew Godsall on Wednesday, 7 August 2013 at 10:52am BST

Dear Father David,

I really don't understand how you can call for "courtesy in all things" and then accuse your opponents of wanting to commit "Ecclesiastical Cleansing" and to "eradicate the other." Do you not consider such phrases to be impolite?

And if you claim that you must make be allowed to make such statements because they are "the truth", than can you not accept that your opponents may also consider the harsh words they sometimes say about those opposed to WO to be true?

Posted by: magistra on Wednesday, 7 August 2013 at 12:07pm BST

Canon Godsall - questions, questions , questions. Thankfully I personally am in a position now where I do not need to resort to the ministrations of a Flying Bishop but formerly when I did have cause to resort to their ministry I found their pastoral care to be second to none. In an earlier comment you alluded to the creation of PEVs as being "profoundly un-Catholic"; I can' t quite see how Flying Bishops who take the doctrine of Apostolic Succession with utmost seriousness as being so? Surely what can be described as being profoundly un-Catholic is the innovation and creation of women bishops. As the holy Father himself has said so recently with regard to women's ordination - that is "a closed door" . So how does our Anglican innovation assist in the great ecumenical quest for greater unity which, from my reading of Holy Writ, is very much in accordance with our Blessed Lord's will and desire?

Posted by: Father David on Wednesday, 7 August 2013 at 12:18pm BST

Magistra - I believe I was referring to mutual "Ecclesiastical Cleansing" - although, at present, those who are in favour of the innovation seem to very much have the upper hand as can be seen in their not wishing to allow any real provision for those with whom they so profoundly disagree. Hopefully, the main thrust of that particular comment was to emphasise the "Better Together" campaign which now, alas, seems to have been placed on the back burner.

Posted by: Father David on Wednesday, 7 August 2013 at 12:38pm BST

Profoundly unCatholic Fr David because they can't even be a bishop for the whole of the Church of England, let alone the whole of the wider Church.
But why are other bishops not acceptable? What have they done that renders them unacceptable?

Posted by: Andrew Godsall on Wednesday, 7 August 2013 at 12:48pm BST

Fr David,
every single current bishop has been validly ordained deacon, priest and bishop by another male bishop. Sacramental assurance has never once been in question in the last 20 years.

There was never any need at all for Flying Bishops, it was simply a case of wanting (and for some strange reason getting away with) a bishop who agrees with Anglo-Catholics on the ordination of women.

The situation will change with women bishops but not before then.
And if traditional Anglo-Catholics now find it hard to convince people that they are only motivated by theology and not by the misogynistic notion of taint, they have a very very hard time of it precisely because the whole PEV scheme was motivated by nothing but the un-Catholic theology of taint.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Wednesday, 7 August 2013 at 1:21pm BST

I can actually follow the basic argument for "sacramental assurance." If one does not accept the validity of women's ordination, then the sacrament celebrated by a woman (or a man ordained by a woman) would be invalid.

What I cannot follow is the (it seems to me) entirely heretical position that sacraments celebrated by a man who accepts the ordination of women are invalid - or at least of dubious validity.

Since that argument is obviously nonsense, one is left with an even more curious heresy: that holders of a minority theological position are entitled by right to have a bishop who agrees with their minority view. This is not a view that can be validated by an appeal to the Fathers of the early Church, nor even by appeal to the Oxford Fathers. I am not aware that Mr. Pusey, for example, was ever blessed with a bishop who agreed with his catholic views - nor, more importantly, did he ever see fit to demand one.

I am not entitled to have a bishop who agrees with me. I've never had a bishop who agreed with me on everything, nor has any other priest or layperson in the history of the Church.

Posted by: Malcolm French+ on Wednesday, 7 August 2013 at 3:57pm BST

Canon Godsall aren't the flying bishops just as much bishops of the Church of England as any other bishop having been duly consecrated? Indeed I was truly amazed to see photographs taken at the consecration of the present Bishop of Beverley with such a tremendous array of bishops assisting the Archbishop of York ! Most bishops are restricted to ministering within their own diocese but PEVs operate, as the their name implies, within the context of an entire Province - a much larger area of operation than any other Diocesan or Suffragan bishop. Geographically they are on a par with the two Archbishops whose Provincial Suffragans they are - long may it be so. It will be interesting to see who is appointed in your own diocese as the next Bishop of Plymouth.

Posted by: Father David on Wednesday, 7 August 2013 at 4:06pm BST

Fr David - I don't think they are just as much a bishop actually because they can't ordain about half the people who are ordained these days. And they declare themselves out of communion with quite a lot of the Church of England.

You still avoid answering the question but Malcolm and Erika have done so for you.

Posted by: Andrew Godsall on Wednesday, 7 August 2013 at 4:46pm BST

Fr David I am genuinely pleased for you if you experienced high quality care from your bishop. Nor do I doubt for a minute that those chosen to be PEVs are skilled and dedicated pastors. I have friends whose experience of their PEVs has been yours - 'everything a bishop should be' is one phrase that recurs.
But there are very practical reasons why this may be so. PEVs are not Diocesans. They have no territory ('See' or not). They do not carry anything like the oversight or administrative load - locally or nationally - of diocesan bishops. They have fewer clergy and congregations top care for. And those churches and priests indwell a particular tradition and all share one very specific conviction about the ministry of women. PEVs function effectively as chaplains - and clearly do it very well. But it is not a fair comparison. (And I stress my comparison intends no demeaning of their ministry).

Posted by: David on Wednesday, 7 August 2013 at 4:57pm BST

Dear Canon Godsall Why are the PEVs out of communion with "quite a lot of the Church of England"? Quite simply because the Church of England has chosen to depart from a centuries old tradition concerning our Catholic understanding of ministry. Alas so many other bishops are now so overburdened with administration that the time allowed for more important episcopal duties is inevitably restricted. Liberated from time consuming diocesan administration our Flying Bishops can devote the majority of their time to actually being and doing what a bishop in the Ordinal and the New Testament expect them to be and to do.

Posted by: Father David on Wednesday, 7 August 2013 at 6:24pm BST

In other words, Canon Godsall, both Erika and Malcolm agree with your point of view! However, I don't think they advance the discussion in a very constructive manner by using such words and phrases as "the misogynistic notion of taint" - "the un-Catholic theology of taint" and the "entirely heretical position" in describing those with whom they disagree. Until we abandon the use of such inflamatory words and phrases then no real progress can be made in finding a solution to this seemingly intractable issue.

Posted by: Father David on Wednesday, 7 August 2013 at 7:27pm BST

Fr David,
It's not entirely fair to refuse to answer Andrew Godsall because I use language you don't like.
But let's abandon all those words you object to.

Let me say that according to my understanding, evangelicals are worried about male headship while Anglo Catholics are worried about sacramental assurance.

Why, then, did you need Alternative Episcopal Oversight when every single current bishop is validly ordained?
Why, when the CoE Diocesan system means that Liberals, Evangelicals and Anglo-Catholics gather under one Diocesan and have done so without problems since the beginning of the CoE?
When you have accepted other episcopal departures from Rome, such as Bishops who tolerate the remarrying of divorcees?

Why did this stop when the CoE ordained women as priests, when every one of those bishops who ordained them or agreed with their ordination still guarantees the validity of the sacraments?


Posted by: Erika Baker on Wednesday, 7 August 2013 at 8:54pm BST

This alternative episcopate is a big problem. It says that that CoE does not see women as equally created in the image of God, equally called to ministry, and equally deserving of all the dignity and decency inherent in God's good creation.

It is humiliating and unnecessary overkill that undermines CoE on the great moral issue of our time, inequality.

The ABC has nothing to say to me about the Good News with that going on. I can't even begin to express how knowledge of "Flying Bishops" makes me seethe even more on the thought of Rowan's meddling in our church (TEC).

Ultimately, you guys can make your choices. But there is a road that makes the message less relevant. CoE is at a very interesting crossroad. I hold you all in my prayers. How I would love to see CoE become a beacon of the Good News for all. How healing and redemptive that would be.

Posted by: Cynthia on Thursday, 8 August 2013 at 1:58am BST

Oh, Erika, Erika!

Have you still not learned that "progress toward a solution" - for conservatives - is "you do what I want?"

Stop trying, already. It'll just cost soul and sanity.

Posted by: MarkBrunson on Thursday, 8 August 2013 at 5:39am BST

Erika, I understand that Canon Godsall is perfectly content with the answer to his questions which both you and Malcolm have kindly supplied. However PEVs are needed and necessary simply because the Established Church in altering the make up of the three fold ministry has so dramatically departed from Scripture and Tradition and has thus put itself out of kilter with other great churches with which hitherto we have shared a common understanding of the make up of the ancient three-fold ministry. Congratulations to the next Bishop of Tewkesbury as the comments on the TA blog announcing his appointment now outnumber the number of comments announcing the appointment of the next Bishop of Ebbsfleet 30 to 29! I wish them both well and God's blessing.

Posted by: Father David on Thursday, 8 August 2013 at 6:06am BST

Obviously Fr David you don't have any other explanation of the theology of a flying bishop than that which Erika and Malcolm have provided then.
Even if one were to agree with your viewpoint about the Church of Enlgand's departure, that does not explain why any of the current diocesan bishops are unable to provide episcopal ministry, and so why the flying bishops are necessary. We note your inability to answer this crucial question.

Posted by: Andrew Godsall on Thursday, 8 August 2013 at 7:48am BST

Father David,

In the sixteenth century, the Church of England decided that celibacy was not required for either priests or bishops. This was contrary to the teaching and practice of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches for more than a millennium. (It is irrelevant to say that the Roman Catholic church now allows married priests in some circumstances. It did not do so in the sixteenth century).

The sixteenth century C of E did not forbid celibacy to its priests, but it allowed sexually-active married priests, and it made no provision for celibate bishops to be made available for those who could not in conscience accept the change. It claimed the right to make such changes from Roman Catholic and Orthodox understandings of the priesthood, and it expected those who were Anglicans to accept its provisions. No special provision of celibate priests or bishops has ever been made subsequently.

In other words, the Church of England has never required the agreement of the Roman Catholic church or the Orthodox church to change its doctrine or practices, and to claim that it does is to misunderstand the history of Anglicanism completely. If parts of the C of E wish at an individual/parish level to continue practices that they feel are in accord with Catholic teaching, they can do so. But the demand that they *must* be accommodated by those who do not share their views has no conceivable basis in church history.

Posted by: magistra on Thursday, 8 August 2013 at 8:54am BST

Canon Godsall I think it would be difficult, nay impossible, to disagree with the viewpoint that the Church of England has seriously departed from a traditional understanding of the given nature of the three-fold ministry with the introduction of recent novel innovations. With the anticipated further introduction of women bishops I can think, in ministerial terms, of nothing so profoundly un-Catholic as this serious departure from the received Tradition thus making any Christ inspired reunion with the great Churches of Christendom, sadly, virtually impossible.

Posted by: Father David on Thursday, 8 August 2013 at 9:45am BST

Fr David,

The formal separation of the Catholic and Orthodox churches has subsisted since 1054. So far as the Roman Catholic church is concerned, you are no more a priest than I am, and the eucharists you celebrate are no more valid than the ones I celebrate. I am deeply saddened that such is the case, but the Church of England's decision to ordain women arises out of our post-Reformation heritage, it is not the cause of this particular faultline in western Christianity.

Posted by: Hannah on Thursday, 8 August 2013 at 11:17am BST

Fr David - if you are correct, what are you or these flying bishops doing remaining in the Church of England at all?

Posted by: Andrew Godsall on Thursday, 8 August 2013 at 1:09pm BST

It's just so puzzling to hear that WO (and WB) is a much more "serious departure from the received Tradition" than married priests, divorce, birth control, and the ceasing of selling indulgences and burning heretics. And to know that some believe the sacraments are perfectly valid when administered by male pedophiles but not fine women.

The reasoning of this is seriously flawed, cherry picked, and very much in keeping with the long tradition of oppressing women.

Maintaining a separate episcopacy for this "logic" is very strange.

Posted by: Cynthia on Thursday, 8 August 2013 at 4:26pm BST

'....However PEVs are needed and necessary simply because the Established Church in altering the make up of the three fold ministry has so dramatically departed from Scripture and Tradition and has thus put itself out of kilter with other great churches with which hitherto we have shared a common understanding of the make up of the ancient three-fold ministry...'

Posted by: Father David on Thursday, 8 August 2013

I cannot, for the life of me, understand how any one, or any congregation or constituency holding such views, as these, can remain in the Church of England, at all - let alone with a clear conscience or sense of theological or ecclesial integrity.

Truly.

I cannot accept that any sacrament is 'invalid' - what would that mean or look like. The sacraments are actions, and nothing can halt their unfolding - surely. Fr Andrew in his letters speaaks helpfully here; sometimes with hints and sometimes explicitly. Having been baptised into Christ, into Christ's Body The Catholic Church, the gates of hell cannot prevail against It in thine own soul.

Where is the joy, the peace, the rooted and groundedness ? That is what I would want for one and all. At Transfiguration-tide the illumination of all things by an inexhaustable (source of ) light, is set before us, aided by the warmth and light of the summer sun. I cannot bear the thought of such spiritual and psychic pain in those following however falteringly (like me), The Impenetrable Light.

I think Fr Andrew SDC would have advised his spiritual children and penitents to 'follow the peace.'

Posted by: The Reverend Laurence J. Roberts on Thursday, 8 August 2013 at 4:27pm BST

I agree wholeheartedly with you Hannah when you say that the great division between East and West occurred as long ago as the 11th century but surely the most remarkable ecclesiological happening of the 20th century was the Ecumenical movement.when great progress was made in healing the many rifts but now alas parts of the Anglican Communion have chosen to put barriers and obstacles in the way thus hampering the great progress that was made in the last century towards the fulfilling of the Divine command "that they may all be one". I must further say that I don't care greatly for Canon Godsall's approach to Church Growth which appears to be - if you don't agree with me then I'd like to drum you out of the Church. Honestly, that it should descend to such a level as this!

Posted by: Father David on Thursday, 8 August 2013 at 4:50pm BST

Yes, Fr David, but the ecumenical movement also includes the churches of the Porvoo Agreement and our Methodist Covenant partners, and for those churches our hesitation over women in the episcopate is proving an obstacle to greater unity. Or does that not matter?

I don't much care for an approach that wants to drum people out of the church either, as it happens, but I do sometimes wonder what we sacrifice in the name of a unity which - on a lot of objective measures - does not really exist anyway.

Posted by: Hannah on Thursday, 8 August 2013 at 6:24pm BST

> It's just so puzzling to hear that WO (and WB) is a much more "serious departure from the received Tradition" than married priests, divorce, birth control, and the ceasing of selling indulgences and burning heretics. And to know that some believe the sacraments are perfectly valid when administered by male pedophiles but not fine women.

As a one-time traditionalist fortified by having received communion earlier today from a priest who happened to be a woman, may I have a try at explaining this?

The marriage of priests is a matter of discipline, not of doctrine. The Orthodox are well used to them, as are the Eastern Catholics in communion with Rome, and Rome has also embraced them in the Ordinariate. So that's no problem.

Divorce is more of a problem (Our Lord spoke against it pretty forcefully), and it puzzles me, too, that the divorce and remarriage of priests and bishops attracts so little attention; but I don't think it would render existing orders invalid.

Birth control, selling indulgences and burning heretics do not have bearing on the validity or otherwise of holy orders, whatever may be one's views on them.

In accordance with the church's teaching on the indelibility of holy orders, had Stalin or Hitler been ordained priest before they became dictators and mass murderers, sacraments they celebrated even after the Holocaust or the institution of the Gulag would have been perfectly valid, whereas if fine men like, say, St Joseph or St Thomas More or William Wilberforce had purported to celebrate the Eucharist those Eucharists would have been invalid.

This may be hard to understand and seem objectionable or daft, but it is the church's teaching and is set out clearly in Article XXVI: Of the unworthiness of the ministers, which hinders not the effect of the sacraments. This is indisputably the Anglican doctrine of validity of the sacraments, which accords also with that of Rome and Orthodoxy.

Posted by: Veuster on Thursday, 8 August 2013 at 6:47pm BST

In many dioceses where the PEV/Provincial Arrangements are used the bishop is an Assistant Bishop in that diocese, much in the same way as the assistant bishops in the dioceses of Leicester and Newcastle, and are part of the diocesan bishops staff team.

I don't think that any traditional catholic or conservative evangelist would deny that the Eucharist that any ordained bishop celebrates is the Eucharist. However, one part of the PEVs ministry that has become invaluable is in his role as "spokesman and adviser for those who are opposed [to the ordination of women]". There have been and continue to be instances where diocesan bishops and senior clergy have been difficult to priests as individuals and to parishes who need the support given to them under diocesan, regional or provincial arrangements.

Posted by: James on Thursday, 8 August 2013 at 10:13pm BST

Just to be clear - I don't want to drum anyone out of any church. My question to Fr David - yet another he seems to have no answer for - was why he and others wished to remain in a church they believed had departed so far from orthodoxy. I can only assume they don't actually believe that.

Posted by: Andrew Godsall on Thursday, 8 August 2013 at 10:16pm BST

Hannah, of course, all members of the Body of Christ "matter" but I think in recent decades the Church of England has with the ARCIC statements often looked towards the rock from which we were hewn. I seem to remember that Archbishops Fisher, Ramsey, Coggan, Runcie, Carey, Williams and Welby have all made significant pilgrimages to Rome in order to strengthen the bonds between our two Communions. I am sure that at some point in meetings with Popes John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis the conversations must have touched upon Church Unity, in accordance with the expressed will of Christ.

Posted by: Father David on Thursday, 8 August 2013 at 10:20pm BST

Thank you for your explanation, Veuster. This is particularly interesting "but it is the church's teaching and is set out clearly in Article XXVI: Of the unworthiness of the ministers, which hinders not the effect of the sacraments. This is indisputably the Anglican doctrine of validity of the sacraments, which accords also with that of Rome and Orthodoxy."

Some are claiming that a separate episcopacy is needed so that there are bishops who won't ordain women. However, If the unworthiness of the ministers doesn't hinder the effect of the sacrament, then there should be absolutely no problem with a single episcopate. Male line clergy will surely be around for quite some time, and the sacrament of ordination is surely not hindered when performed by male bishops who ordain women.

Even with the distinctions between discipline and doctrine, the traditionalists in the CoE give every appearance of cherry picking. Isn't papal infallibility doctrine? Is one choosing not to accept papal infallibility while accepting the doctrine about a male only priesthood, and meanwhile choosing a newly created doctrine that male bishops who support WO and WB have cooties that hinder the sacraments?

And doesn't this whole line of argument absolutely prove that this is not about WB's, it's about WO?

I never really understood what was meant by the phrase "loyal Anglicans" because some traditionalists seem to have their allegiance to Rome. And hammer "unity" with Rome and the East over our Protestant sisters and brothers.

People believe all sorts of things, and that's fine. But for an institution to humiliate women over this kind of reasoning and project more of the Bad News to women and girls doesn't make much sense. And it so unkind.

Posted by: Cynthia on Thursday, 8 August 2013 at 10:58pm BST

Father David may find my characterization unkind or unhelpful, but he declines to present any coherent argument that it is inaccurate.

If one begins by granting the necessity of "sacramental assurance" to those who dissent from the majority view on the ordination of women, one can certainly make the case for the alphabet soup of resolutions by which a parish may indicate its unwillingness to accept the ministry of an ordained woman.

One cannot, however, make an orthodox case for the creation of the so-called flying bishops.

Every single bishop in the Church of England is male. Every single bishop in the Church of England was ordained by male bishops. Even if the next Primate of England and the next Primate of All England (and thus the chief consecrators of subsequent bishops) were both women, there would still be other validly ordained male bishops involved in the consecration of every ensuing bishop, thus ensuring that the male bishops (at least) would be validly ordained. Indeed, that is the basis of the traditional requirement for at least three consecrators at ever consecration; so that any defect in the orders of one of the bishops, even the chief consecrator, would be made up by the others. Every male priest ordained by a male bishop would be, by any orthodox understanding, validly ordained. Sacramental assurance in spades.

So clearly it is not the sacramental line nor the ordination process which is the problem for the supporters of this heretical innovation of flying bishops. What, then, is the problem?

There remain only two possibilities.

1. That the mere fact of believing in women's ordination invalidates the orders of the bishop who so believes. This is manifestly heretical.

2. That opponents of women's ordination are entitled to deal only with bishops who agree with them on that point. If not heretical, it is certainly barking mad.

So, Father, please provide me with an authoritative orthodox source from anywhere in the tradition which would validate either the proposition that holding an erroneous view, of itself, invalidates one's orders or that holders of minority viewpoints are entitled by right to be ministered to only by those who agree with them.

In Canada, yesterday was the commoration of Oxford Father John Mason Neale. I don't recall having read previously that his bishop inhibited Mr. Neale from celebrating the eucharist for almost 15 years because the bishop disapproved of Mr. Neale's ritualistic tendencies. Apparently Mr. Neale did not understand that he was entitled to the ministry of another bishop who agreed with him ... since he never asked and all.

Posted by: Malcolm French+ on Friday, 9 August 2013 at 3:50am BST

Well that's very gracious of the good Canon from Exeter - allowing us to remain within the Church of our birth and baptism - or would he really, rather, in his heart of hearts, like to see us go, thus allowing heterodoxy to take over the Established Church completely? Certainly the thrust of his comments to date seem to suggest that to be the case!

Posted by: Father David on Friday, 9 August 2013 at 7:04am BST

Ah, John Mason Neale what a great orthodox priest he was - founding the Community of Sisters of St. Margaret of Antioch at East Grinstead (now transferred to Uckfield). His great catholic influence is still with us in that within the New English Hymnal there are no fewer than 39 hymns (same number as the Articles of Religion) assciated with his name. From the 39 at yesterday's celebration we marked his feast day by singing one of them - "O happy band of pilgrims"

Posted by: Father David on Friday, 9 August 2013 at 8:18am BST

Malcolm hypothesizes: '1. That the mere fact of believing in women's ordination invalidates the orders of the bishop who so believes. This is manifestly heretical.'

There is a variation on this, that some of those opposed to women priests would advance: that a bishop who ordains women takes such a different view of what a priest is that his intention in ordaining is not the same as the ['wider'] Church's, and therefore it is not possible to be a member of his 'college of presbyters'.

Whilst I don't buy into this line of argument either, it is a bit more subtle than your first hypothesis.

Posted by: Simon Kershaw on Friday, 9 August 2013 at 9:21am BST

I am proud to be a member of St Margaret of Antioch in Durham.

I don't like the goading of the afflicted and think it's wrong.

I think there are obvious reasons why many/most FiF people and similar have not - and will not leave - the C of E. The most obvious of all - to anyone with a scintilla of imagination or compassion - is that they love their church. So do we. Of course, we are not loving exactly the same thing, but that is always the case. So we are bound together and have to make the best of it.

Posted by: John on Friday, 9 August 2013 at 11:20am BST

John: I didn't realise that Fr David was afflicted. I assumed it was a straightforward question, and not goading or indeed with any hint of suggestion that he should leave.
Fr David has failed to present any theology of the flying bishops and, whilst suggesting that the C of E has departed so disastrously from orthodoxy, can't quite provide a theological rationale for wanting a stake in its future.
I agree that we are bound together. Being bound together means having conversations so that you can understand each other better, doesn't it?

Posted by: Andrew Godsall on Friday, 9 August 2013 at 12:33pm BST

Cynthia,

> Some are claiming that a separate episcopacy is needed so that there are bishops who won't ordain women. However, If the unworthiness of the ministers doesn't hinder the effect of the sacrament, then there should be absolutely no problem with a single episcopate. Male line clergy will surely be around for quite some time, and the sacrament of ordination is surely not hindered when performed by male bishops who ordain women.

Agreed. However, Simon Kershaw raises a point that needs to be considered:

> Some of those opposed to women priests would advance: that a bishop who ordains women takes such a different view of what a priest is that his intention in ordaining is not the same as the ['wider'] Church's, and therefore it is not possible to be a member of his 'college of presbyters'.

Neither Simon nor I hold this view ourselves, but others do; and as a former traditionalist myself I can understand why they hold it.

> Even with the distinctions between discipline and doctrine, the traditionalists in the CoE give every appearance of cherry picking. Isn't papal infallibility doctrine?

Traditionalists who believe that the teaching of the universal church is that only men may become priests or bishops but do not believe in doctrines such as Papal Infallibility have a real dilemma. They are truly between the frying pan and the fire, and whether they go or stay they will have to sacrifice some part of their beliefs.

Posted by: Veuster on Friday, 9 August 2013 at 1:50pm BST

Cynthia,

> some traditionalists seem to have their allegiance to Rome. And hammer "unity" with Rome and the East over our Protestant sisters and brothers.

I would once have justified this by saying that the breach with Rome was a tragedy which should never have happened, which was primarily our own fault, and the healing of which we should make a high priority.

I would then have added that a new difficulty had arisen since the time of the Reformation, which was that even though at the time of the Reformation it was the CofE which was primarily to blame for the breach, Rome since then had also put herself in the wrong by defining as necessary to salvation various new doctrines which in the sixteenth century did not have that status, or were perhaps no more than pious opinions.

And I would then have argued that in ordaining women as priests and bishops we were doing exactly the same thing as we criticised Rome for doing in e.g. defining Papal Infallibility - unilaterally changing our doctrine in a way that would make reunion more difficult, if not impossible.

Posted by: Veuster on Friday, 9 August 2013 at 2:13pm BST

Andrew,

I think love is a very good theological reason - the best there is, according to some authorities (such as Jesus and Paul).

But see also Veuster's comments.

Posted by: John on Friday, 9 August 2013 at 3:58pm BST

Good explanations, Veuster, thank you!

I would say that birth control and abortion alone absolutely bar the way to any unification with Rome. This is decidedly two sided, as you said.

I appreciate the arguments raised by Simon Kershaw about the view of what a priest is and therefore the intention behind ordination. However, we have an article that is ancient doctrine that says that the character of the minister doesn't hinder the sacraments. The strength of that doctrine ought to preclude "flying bishops." Malcolm French+ makes short work of the poor theology for their existence, as well as the practicality of the multiple consecrators.

The fruits of the humiliation of women and girls are most unkind. To continue that on such specious grounds is destructive. Very sobering.

Posted by: Cynthia on Friday, 9 August 2013 at 4:27pm BST

"I think love is a very good theological reason"

John - I don't disagree with you. The problem in this case is that the theological reason for flying bishops has involved the very opposite of love for women who are called to be priests. It involves a form of hatred - discrimination - that we should no longer allow. Fortunately, in supporting option 1 of the recent four options, the House of Bishops have begun to recognise this.

Posted by: Andrew Godsall on Friday, 9 August 2013 at 4:51pm BST

I don't agree with the suggestion that disagreeing with the ordination of women makes you a Roman Catholic in Church of England clothing and, therefore, that that issue alone is what changes you from being CofE to RC. What about conservative evangelicals? What if a similar suggestion was made that those proponents of women's ordination should find a home in the Methodist Church?

I know a lot of CofE priests and ordinands, male and female, who are comfortable with women's ordination but their theology is a lot closer to that of the Roman Catholic Church than that espoused by the Thirty-Nine Articles or the Book of Common Prayer. Should they leave the Church of England?

Posted by: James on Friday, 9 August 2013 at 4:58pm BST

Had it not occurred to the good Canon that FinF John might just possibly be referring to the goading him? Although I would never suggest that he was afflicted in any way. Don't the clergy talk to one another in the Diocese of Exeter? I'm sure that he would enjoy a constructive conversation with the Bishop of Plymouth before he sets off for the Antipodes. I'm sure that he would satisfactorily answer all his persistent questions.

Posted by: Father David on Friday, 9 August 2013 at 5:22pm BST

The provision of the PEV Ministry is merely made available so that traditionalists may be in full and unimpaired sacramental communion with a Church of England bishop. Non-traditionalists are already in full and unimpaired communion with the Diocesan who ordains women as priests.It just means that all members of the CofE, irrespective of their views on women priests and bishops, can enjoy full communion with a CofE bishop and it reflects the fact the College of Bishops of the CofE is itself in a state of impaired communion.This is the only way in which we can prevent a much more decisive fracturing of the CofE.

Posted by: Geonokes on Friday, 9 August 2013 at 5:51pm BST

So if PEVs are necessary for full and unimpaired communion, what do women priests do in dioceses where all the bishops are opposed to women's ordination, such as Chichester? Why haven't supporters of PEVs been eagerly championing bishops who "fly the other way"?

Posted by: magistra on Friday, 9 August 2013 at 8:55pm BST

"The provision of the PEV Ministry is merely made available so that traditionalists may be in full and unimpaired sacramental communion with a Church of England bishop."

That is a heresy.

There is no theology to back this up. All of the doctrine on the sacraments indicate that the sacraments are valid irregardless of the wickedness or whatnot of the minister. The idea that sacramental assurance comes only from those you agree with is not valid. Talk about an "innovation." I understand about male line clergy, and I see no bar to that.

The idea that you are only in communion with bishops who agree with you is DEFINITELY heresy. The theology for a two tiered episcopacy for the sole purpose of catering to a heresy is not very strong. And it is soul crushing for women and girls.

I'm really glad to hear the ideas that are driving all of this

Posted by: Cynthia on Friday, 9 August 2013 at 11:58pm BST

While Simon presents a coherent argument for the invalidity of a sacrament celebrated by a bishop who ordains women, it fundamentally does not hold water.

If the authorized minister presiding at a sacrament uses an authorized form then the minister's intention is to do what the Church does. If the minister's theological understanding of what the Church does is faulty it makes no difference to he validity of the sacrament. Otherwise how would any person ever have sacramental assurance?

Indeed, do we have any reason to believe that (from an Anglo-Catholic perspective) that there were any valid ordinations at all into Church of England between circa 1559 and the latter part of the 19th century?

That, of course, is the essential argument of Apostolicae Curae - so effectively eviscerated in Saepius Officio.

Posted by: Malcolm French+ on Saturday, 10 August 2013 at 4:46am BST

Yes, John Mason Neale is quite marvellous. But I note, Father, that you have still not answered the question.

Posted by: Malcolm French+ on Saturday, 10 August 2013 at 4:50am BST

Well said Geonokes - quite a contrast to some of the more extreme Devonian comments that appear on this blog. A wise and sensible comment relating to togetherness rather than, as some would have it, greater separation! Perhaps magistra could suggest a diocese other than the oft quoted Chichester? With regard to the persistent questioning of the good Canon from Exeter - at every episcopal consecration, including those of the PEVs the Archbishop asks the question "Do you believe that God is calling you to this ministry?" to which the reply is given "I do so believe" is the Reverend Mr. Godsall suggestion that at this point in the service the prospective Flying Bishop is telling porkie pies - or is he even questioning the Divine - that It is not God's intention that these holy men have indeed a vocation to the episcopate and are merely deluding themselves? For with his constant interrogation the Canon Chancellor (mercifully not the Canon Theologian) seems to me to be questioning the very will of God. If dear Andrew Godsall wishes to see further evidence of the divinely inspired mission and ministry of the Flying Bishops then merely tune into the websites of the Sees of Ebbsfleet, Richborough and Beverley - or would he rather see all this wonderful work of extending Christ's Kingdom come tumbling down like a House of Cards? To date - Tewkesbury 62 comments Ebbsfleet 31 comments. How curious is that seeing as the thrust of the majority of the comments on the entry "New Bishop of Tewkesbury is announced" concerns whether or not we need Flying Bishops. But that's the CofE for you.

Posted by: Father David on Saturday, 10 August 2013 at 7:19am BST

What makes John Mason Neale so "marvellous" is surely the fact that he never diverted from the Faith once committed by Christ to the Apostles. Had he been an Apostate Erastian liberal his name would have been long forgotten. I think I have more than adequately addressed the questions concerning the the need for PEVs but some do not like or approve of the answers given.

Posted by: Father David on Saturday, 10 August 2013 at 8:49am BST

Father David
'at every episcopal consecration, including those of the PEVs the Archbishop asks the question "Do you believe that God is calling you to this ministry?" to which the reply is given "I do so believe"'
Does that mean anyone can turn up and ask to be consecrated then if they think they are called?
A candidate actually assents - does not choose. They respond to the choice and discernment of others.
There are two questions that keep surfacing on this thread.
1. What coherent theological/ecclesial basis does any chosen candidate have for understanding PEVs as bishops in the church at all? (and therefore assent to being asked to be one?)
2. What kind of church concocts something as incoherent (and costly) as a PEV system to a response to a (very genuine) issue of diversity and division over matters of ministry?

Posted by: David on Saturday, 10 August 2013 at 8:51am BST

Oh Fr David I'm sure they are lovely blokes with lovely websites but none of them give any clue as to how they are somehow more adequate for the 'traditionalists' than the diocesan bishops whom they seek to assist. This is especially true given that they were all ordained at the hands of the same archbishops - all of whom have ordained women and believed firmly in the ordination of women.
And - given one of your questions to me - are you suggesting that the women who have been ordained are deluding themselves about their vocation? Are they telling lies?

Posted by: Andrew Godsall on Saturday, 10 August 2013 at 9:03am BST

Given Canon Godsall's vehement objections to Flying Bishops can we expect him to be turning up at Westminster Abbey next month in order to raise an objection to the consecration of the next Bishop of Ebbsfleet? If so what just cause or impediment is he going to give when questioned about his objection by the Archbishop of Canterbury who seems only too keen to consecrate his new Provincial Episcopal Visitor?

Posted by: Father David on Saturday, 10 August 2013 at 9:32am BST

I really cannot understand Canon Godsall's passionate dislike of Flying Bishops when it is so obvious that these "lovely blokes" carry out such wonderful work for The Lord. Many diocesan bishops appear to welcome their ministry within their dioceses. For example in this Year of Faith Bishop Norman of Ebbsfleet will be preaching the Word of God at Festivals in no fewer than four of our great cathedrals - St. Albans, Lincoln, Winchester and Canterbury. Surely this is to be welcomed rather than scorned?

Posted by: Father David on Saturday, 10 August 2013 at 10:25am BST

I think it almost goes without saying that it is pretty pointless ordaining someone to a ministry unless they believe that God is calling them to it, therefore the Liturgical Commission's inclusion of "Do you believe that God is calling you to this ministry?" in the rite is not problematic and is seen as part of the Church's wider discernment. At no point is there a suggestion that anyone has a 'right' to be ordained if they feel like it.

Why people are trying to justify the role of PEVs in the Church, I think there are other appointments that can be justly fitted into this question: why do we need a Bishop to the Forces? Why can't they look to the diocesan of the diocese where their base is? Why do we need a Bishop for Urban Life? Why do Royal Peculiars not look to the diocesan bishop? What is the theological justification for having an area bishop scheme?

Posted by: James on Saturday, 10 August 2013 at 10:48am BST

In places this thread brings this video to mind: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prAhi7DcvzQ

Posted by: James on Saturday, 10 August 2013 at 10:49am BST

Well I don't know about the others, but as an ex serviceman, if I wasn't writing on a tablet I could give you a list of practical impediments as long as your arm to not having a bishop to the forces, before getting anywhere near anything so prosaic as pastoral ones. Some examples though: naval chaplain on a ship in the south Pacific? Army chaplain attached to a battalion in Canterbury, doing a six week exercise on Salisbury Plain which culminates in being flown to Northumberland for a couple of days then a quick trip to Germany?

I suppose you could plausibly abolish the bishopric, but you certainly wouldn't be then putting chaplains under their territorial diocesan unless you had literally no conception of the reality of life in the forces. Go anywhere at short notice, soft peddle on the niceties. Can't spend time sorting out PTO every 27 seconds.

Posted by: Primroseleague on Saturday, 10 August 2013 at 2:51pm BST

Quite so James and perhaps we could add to your list cathedral Residentiary Canons - how on earth can they be justified theologically? Recently in the gap between moving parishes I attended Sunday Eucharistic worship at four different cathedrals which were stiff with clergy with seemingly very little to do. When so many parishes are struggling to find priests this seems to me, to say the least, an anomaly or even worse a precious waste of clerical man power.

Posted by: Father David on Saturday, 10 August 2013 at 2:53pm BST

I forgot to add of course that military chaplains change posting every 18 months on average, which would mean often a new diocesan every 18 months. Given the diocesan is supposed to be a focus of unity and a source of support, it's much easier if that person stays the same throughout, rather than the poor old chaplains having to start again every time they move.... It's why we have a bishop to the armed forces, and not one to the NHS - our chaplains move. A lot. Around the world. At the moment, their bishop is the same wherever they go.

Even as one who currently looks to a PEV, about the last of all the questionable posts mentioned by James that I would abolish would be the Forces bishop.

Posted by: Primroseleague on Saturday, 10 August 2013 at 3:35pm BST

"I really cannot understand Canon Godsall's passionate dislike of Flying Bishops when it is so obvious that these "lovely blokes" carry out such wonderful work for The Lord. "

The problem, Father David, is that there is an army of female clergy doing wonderful work for the Lord as well. This would include female bishops and even our controversial Presiding Bishop. The existence of "flying bishops" sends the horrible, continuing message of Bad News to women and girls. And the Bad News is that the inequality affirms the powers that oppress women and girls the world over.

The stubborn refusal to look real pain in the face, and reflect on the causes of the suffering, is most unfortunate. We are all created in the image of God, or none of us are. Women are called by God to ministry. And oppressed women in Africa and elsewhere have indeed fingered the church and its patriarchy as contributing to the degradation of women in girls. In extreme situations this includes, murder, rape, assault, and deprivation.

This is why it is a moral issue. It needs prayerful consideration. It is terribly painful to realize that our beliefs, actions, and emotional needs can cause horrific pain to others. But it does. The church is called to share the Good News, and those of us in the privileged and power positions (which can include all the well heeled of both of our cultures) need to reflect and exercise compassion in how our actions impact others.

Inequality creates suffering. I can't believe that God would on the side of causing the suffering. The example of Jesus was not one of upholding the Law and Tradition and using it against the oppressed.

Flying bishops were a big mistake. There is plenty of sacramental assurance to be had without humiliating women and girls.

Posted by: Cynthia on Saturday, 10 August 2013 at 4:47pm BST

Ah yes, Simon Kershaw, I well remember my then vicar (another Father David, as it happens, or perhaps the same one who contributes to this thread - who can tell when people don't use their full names?) telling his congregation in 1994 why he would have 'in conscience' to resign if the PCC did not pass all 3 resolutions, and the collegiality argument was the one he used. I didn't understand it then, and I still don't. Sacramental assurance was never mentioned, although it's that and not collegiality that gets all the attention today.
He got his way of course, and the matter was never allowed to be openly discussed again. Whilst I hope that Perry Butler is right in his suggestion on another thread that 25% of original Res C parishes have rescinded the resolution subsequently, my former parish is not one of them, and I am no longer a member of it.

Posted by: Malcolm Dixon on Saturday, 10 August 2013 at 5:34pm BST

Malcolm Dixon - Not Guilty - Father David

Posted by: Father David on Saturday, 10 August 2013 at 6:03pm BST

Father David argues like a politician, simply evading the clear question. Clearly he's the sort of fellow who could shore up David Cameron's front bench.

He refuses to provide a coherent or orthodox explanation why the ministry of a validly ordained bishop who happens to believe women may be ordained is not sufficient. Clearly he believes in one of two heresies. His refusal to come clean about which heresy he ascribes to does him no credit.

Posted by: Malcolm French+ on Sunday, 11 August 2013 at 7:00am BST


Fr David the 'persistent questions' about flying bishops have not just emerged and are hardly just Devonian. They have been around for 20 years. Robert Runcie spoke in the House of Lords.

“The assurances, the special provisions, the extraordinary episcopal oversight are all judged necessary—I accept that—but nevertheless they are symptoms of an illness which replaces trust and good will with the flawed logic of two integrities. It is a sad paradox that those most fearful of one development in the life of the Church should be blind to their collusion with another which seems far more obviously illegitimate within that same spiritual life.”

And it is because no theological justification has been presented that these things will all go in the near future. I don't think any of the other 29 provinces in the communion which ordain women have made such provision have they?

Posted by: Andrew Godsall on Sunday, 11 August 2013 at 8:04am BST

Canon Godsall I do believe that our neighbouring Province of Wales made provision under the wise guidance of Archbishop Rowan but the arch-liberal Archbisop Barry does not seem to exercise the same pastoral care for his Trationalist flocks and sadly the original PAB was not replaced. Traditionalists in Wales now have to rely upon Flying Bishops from England crossing Offa's Dyke thus making their ministry even more essential.

Posted by: Father David on Sunday, 11 August 2013 at 9:00am BST

Dear Canon Godsall is this the same Robert Runcie who in describing extraordinary episcopal oversight as "symptoms of an illness" the same Robert Runcie who described homosexuality as a "handicap"(27th February 1981)? Was Robert Runcie still Archbishop when he said the words you quote in The House of Lords or had he retired by then?

Posted by: Father David on Sunday, 11 August 2013 at 9:34am BST

A state of full sacramental communion implies a common unity in matters of faith, orders (hence the problems around WO and sacramental assurance)and morals(hence the problems around the ordination of non-celibate LGBT Christians). Impaired communion means that only some and not all elements of full communion are present within and between churches.

Traditionalists are in a state of impaired communion with a diocesan who ordains women as priests and would be with a diocesan who ordained non-celibate LGBT Christians. The provision of extended episcopal oversight such as the PEV ministry is intended to make pastoral provision to address this problem. Sacramental assurance is not the issue at present as any male bishops sacramental actions continue to be valid even if he does ordain women. The PEV ministry is a pastoral response to the problem of impaired communion that arises when not all members of the diocesan college of presbyters are in full communion with each other.

Posted by: geonokes on Sunday, 11 August 2013 at 2:02pm BST

"I don't think any of the other 29 provinces in the communion which ordain women have made such provision have they?"

No. None of us in the other 29 provinces have provision like that. Because theologically you can not simultaneously affirm and humiliate women. It's crazy.

Posted by: Cynthia on Sunday, 11 August 2013 at 3:07pm BST

Once again words of common sense and wisdom from geonnokes. Perhaps If PECUSA, or should that be ECUSA or as it is now known TEC had adopted a system of alternative episcopal oversight it wouldn't be in the mess it currently finds itself in! Heaven forfefend that we in England would want to follow the example of our brothers in sisters in Christ across the pond. But the very moment the first woman is ordained to the episcopate I fear that the situation in England will be just as chaotic as that which currently pertains in the good old U S of A.

Posted by: Father David on Sunday, 11 August 2013 at 3:25pm BST

Cynthia I am sure that when the Holy Father said that the door was closed with regard to the ordination of women to the priesthood he was in no way wishing to " humiliate women" he was simply being true to Scripture and Tradition.

Posted by: Father David on Sunday, 11 August 2013 at 3:47pm BST

Fr David: I'm sure the holy father was being true to his church's *interpretation* of scripture and tradition - but that is a shifting thing.
Our call is to be faith as Anglicans, and 29 Provinces have already ordained women. If you prefer to be more faithful to Rome than Canterbury then the ordinariate does offer another way.

As to Robert Runcie: does it make any difference whether he said that as Archbishop or not? I can't see how. And he was very clear that his views about homosexuality changed.

Posted by: Andrew Godsall on Sunday, 11 August 2013 at 6:41pm BST

Father David, you obviously know little about TEC except the schisms from arch conservatives. You should know that we are growing in 30 percent of our diocese in an age of decline, for example. CoE most certainly can't make that claim. And the biggest reason why we are growing is because we are gaining families who want to raise their children in an unbigoted atmosphere.

There is a cost for discipleship. CoE is going to pay a price either way. Given our (US) experience with Civil Rights, Native Americans, women, and LGBT liberation, I would suggest that CoE needs to decide whether you want to bear the cost of maintaining a private club, or bear the cost of finally spreading the Good News to women and girls.

You are terribly muddled about the schisms here. They are over LGBT inclusion, not women! That brouhaha happened 40 years ago here. So you are very far off in your comparison.

The provision that makes thinks work for the vast majority in TEC is that we call our rectors and elect our bishops. So there doesn't need to be a fuss about male line clergy at conservative parishes, or liberals at liberal parishes, etc.

TEC is on mission. We're feeding the hungry, protesting on Moral Monday in Raleigh, North Carolina, advocating for gun control, doing medical and educational missions to the third world, etc., etc,. etc.,

When CoE decides to fulfill it's prophetic mission to spread the Good News to all, instead of follow rigid rules of MEN - not God - CoE will also experience a renewal.

Am I sorry about the schisms? Yes. Guess what? Many of the parishioners who left are coming back. Attitudes towards LGBT persons have changed rapidly. Soon, no one will remember what the fuss was about.

We paid the price of discipleship. The reward is that listening to all the stories have increased our compassion, and that translates into action.

I can't compare the WO and WB experience of TEC vs. CoE. We are decades removed. The theology for liberation is overwhelming and has been received for my entire adult lifetime.

What a mess this flying bishop thing is.

Posted by: Cynthia on Sunday, 11 August 2013 at 10:06pm BST

"Cynthia I am sure that when the Holy Father said that the door was closed with regard to the ordination of women to the priesthood he was in no way wishing to " humiliate women" he was simply being true to Scripture and Tradition."

Father David, in Haiti they have an expression "the illiterate are not ignorant." Translation: the people know what oppresses them. The message for us is to LISTEN to them. In LISTENING we learn that US price supports for crappy domestic sugar (unhealthy corn syrup - ugh) decimated their sugar cane economy, etc. We learn that NGO's actually take Haitian jobs and inflate the costs of living for middle class Haitians, moving them out...

When women leaders from Africa go to a UN Conference on Women and state that the church has been a highly detrimental force in the degradation of women there, we need to LISTEN. When studies show that women suffer more from depression and can link it to being underpaid and suffering discrimination, we need to LISTEN. When girls don't have the same opportunities as boys, we need to LISTEN.

When women tell you that flying bishops are a humiliation that is harmful to women and girls, you need to listen.

As Christians we need to LISTEN to Jesus Christ and as Anglicans the "holy father" is absolutely irrelevant.

Jesus broke taboos to heal, teach, and include women. Women, or a woman, was the first witness to the Resurrection. Jesus most harsh words were for those using the Law, i.e. your Scripture and Tradition, to exclude and demean people.

Cherry picking one line of Paul over the life, teaching, and actions of Jesus Christ is a highly questionable way to run a church. And we have to remember that our "Tradition" includes racism, anti-semitism, and burning witches. That's why in the Anglican Church we also put an emphasis on "Reason."

Jesus said we can tell the real prophets from the false ones by the fruits of their labor. What are the fruits of liberation? We know that the fruits of discrimination against women and girls are dreadful.

This is deeper than many want to admit. It is painful to find that our beliefs and whatnot can actually hurt others. Once our eyes are open, then what do we do?

Posted by: Cynthia on Sunday, 11 August 2013 at 10:25pm BST

"A state of full sacramental communion implies a common unity in matters of faith, orders (hence the problems around WO and sacramental assurance)and morals(hence the problems around the ordination of non-celibate LGBT Christians)."

God is not that stingy. If you prefer doctrine, Article 26:

"Although in the visible Church the evil be ever mingled with the good, and sometimes the evil have chief authority in the Ministration of the Word and Sacraments, yet forasmuch as they do not the same in their own name, but in Christ's, and do minister by his commission and authority, we may use their Ministry, both in hearing the Word of God, and in receiving the Sacraments. Neither is the effect of Christ's ordinance taken away by their wickedness, nor the grace of God's gifts diminished from such as by faith, and rightly, do receive the Sacraments ministered unto them; which be effectual, because of Christ's institution and promise, although they be ministered by evil men."

If wickedness doesn't impair the Sacrament, then being in disagreement surely doesn't. This "order" and "unity" is not essential to God's Grace. It's for people with OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder).

Posted by: Cynthia on Monday, 12 August 2013 at 12:10am BST

Alleluia!!!

Geonokes finally admits the entire sacramental assurance issue has absolutely nothing to do with the existence of the so-called flying bishops.

So the heresy to which CofE faux-traditionalists ascribe is the newly created English heresy that everyone is entitled to have a bishop who agrees with them.

Of course, the simple fact that John Mason Neale never asked for alternative episcopal oversight is effective proof that it is a 20th century heresy with no historic precedent in the Fathers or the Oxford movement.

Posted by: Malcolm French+ on Monday, 12 August 2013 at 1:50am BST

My new pen pal Canon Godsall seems not quite to understand how things work in our sister Church of Rome! I can detect no shift in what she officially teaches about either ordination nor homosexuality. Pope Francis is quite clear that he upholds Ordinatio Sacerdotalis of John Paul II - no shifting there for the issue remains a "closed door". Also the Pope's "Who am I to judge" comment implies no shift in teaching. In fact in saying those words the Holy Father was being true to Scripture "Judge not that ye be not judged" . His words may imply a greater understanding and a more loving pastoral caring - for the world has already been much impressed by his heart of love, especially for the poor, who will, of course, always be with us. In his latest comment geonokes wisely points out that the creation of the PEVs could also be regarded as a loving "pastoral response" shewing the care the Established Church has for its Traditionalist members. Further I think it does matter when Archbishop Runcie said what you quote him as saying and a date when the speech was delivered would be helpful for Archbishops out of office may sometimes say things that they might not have said while in office. However, that being said words like "illness" and "handicap" were, to say the least, unfortunate. Oh dear, yet again another encouragement from the Canon to depart from the CofE! Does he really want to drive out people who have stuck to the CofE through fire and tempest? Does he seriously want an Established Church completely devoid of anyone who values the traditions of the Oxford Movement - a CofE composed entirely of liberals?

Posted by: Father David on Monday, 12 August 2013 at 7:01am BST

Fr David,- as Malcolm says, you are like a politician who can't answer a question. And you remind me so much of the person in the videos clip that John posted - putting words in my mouth and simply sticking to a pre arranged script with no debate possible.
Best of luck whichever way you choose. But the House of Bishops have at least made it clear that the C of E has no doubts about women priests and bishops and the C of E is clear that women bishops are for us. Clarity is a good thing.

Posted by: Andrew Godsall on Monday, 12 August 2013 at 8:44am BST

Fr David
In this light of the fact you plainly believe the ordination of women to be grave error - and to bring it back to the thread topic ....
What is your message to all those priests attending the consecrations who happen to be women, ordained by the church? What would you want them to hear and receive on that occasion?
I am clear you believe those who share your convictions should be welcomed and honoured there ... but what of those who don't?

Posted by: David on Monday, 12 August 2013 at 9:32am BST

geonokes' theory about impaired communion just doesn't work. The Diocesans and the PEVs are in communion with each other and all with the archbishops - so talking about impaired communion is rather like saying we have impaired water pipes. But we all still get water.....the same water....

Posted by: Andrew Godsall on Monday, 12 August 2013 at 10:19am BST

David in all clarity I hope that those attending the consecration will all experience an occasion of great joy and celebration as two men are ordained as bishops to serve in the Church of God. This won't be the first time that a PEV bishop has been consecrated alongside those who willingly ordain women. I have in the past attended such consecrations and rejoiced in the act of worship. How curious that Canon Godsall recognised himself in that comic video.

Posted by: Father David on Monday, 12 August 2013 at 10:39am BST

Dear Father David,
I believe some Welsh Traditionalists come to England for the Chrism Masses of PEV's in England...but are you saying that C of E PEV's conduct sacramental acts in the Church in Wales?

Posted by: Perry Butler on Monday, 12 August 2013 at 12:17pm BST

Perry Butler In order to provide a balance to the former strength of the non-conformist chapels the Church in Wales tended to be rather on the High side (similar to the CofE in the West Country) I do hope that those who keep the flame of Faith alive in Wales are not left completely bereft. Perhaps the best person to ask about who offers alternative episcopal ministry in the Principality is the Webmaster of the excellent "Let nothing you dismay" Blog - Fr. Michael Gollop SSC . With regard to the quality of water - some prefer it hot others prefer it cold but both of which are preferable to Laodicean water which I seem to remember being described in Holy Writ as rather tepid.

Posted by: Father David on Monday, 12 August 2013 at 1:17pm BST

"Those who keep the flame of faith alive in Wales..." Gosh, Father D, what about the rest of us? Do you assume we have no faith? Who are the modern Laodiceans?
I guess Christ might say that if we all worked a bit harder to reduce the number of the poor who, "of course we have always with us" and spent a little less time on the petty issues of faith and order, for which Christ doesn't seem to have had any time at all, we would be living our faith in a way more commensurate with the kingdom of God.

Posted by: Helen on Monday, 12 August 2013 at 2:13pm BST

Helen I am all in favour of having a faith which is "more commensurate with the Kingdom Of God". This is what I have been trying to uphold in the comments that I have written on this blog. As for the state of Christianity in Wales just listen to the interview by the recently retired Bishop of Monmouth who sadly gives a very down beat assessment. Apparently those who now claim allegiance to Christianity across the border have dropped by a not inconsiderable 14 percent. I wonder why this is so?

Posted by: Father David on Monday, 12 August 2013 at 3:11pm BST

I'm just trying to follow this: the Bishop of Ebbsfleet is going to be consecrated by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby (among others), but his communion with that archbishop is impaired, because Justin Welby believes that women can be ordained, and therefore has a fundamentally different understanding of the three orders from the Bishop of Ebbsfleet. So you can be consecrated by someone with whom you're in impaired communion, but you can't be ordained by them? Or am I missing some further subtlety?

But meanwhile, the PEVs are necessary for pastoral care to traditionalists when there isn't a suitable bishop in the diocese, but if you're a woman priest in a diocese with just traditionalist bishops, so you haven't got a suitable bishop, then that doesn't matter, because it's just one diocese, and how the Church of England cares for its minorities therefore doesn't apply in that case.

I'm not qualified to say whether all this is heresy or not, and I'm reluctant to use the term anyhow, but it's very hard for those who are pro-WO to produce a coherent solution for traditionalists when the traditionalists apparently have such contradictory principles to which to respond.

Posted by: magistra on Monday, 12 August 2013 at 3:48pm BST

Thank you magistra for so clearly stating what some of us have been trying to communicate on this thread.

Posted by: Andrew Godsall on Monday, 12 August 2013 at 4:40pm BST

Magistra I would agree with you in your reluctance to use the word "heresy" which some have been throwing around on this blog like confetti. However I think you are mistaken in your second paragraph when you single out "just one diocese" for within that diocese special provision has been made to ordain women by either a retired suffragan bishop living within the diocese or by a serving bishop from a neighbouring diocese. So pastoral and ministerial care has indeed been afforded. Also I do believe the diocese you are alluding to has recently appointed a Dean of Women's Ministry which again highlights the care and concern the Diocesan Bishop has for all those within his diocese. Indeed the same bishop when ministering as a Suffragan within the Northern Province exercised exemplary care for the women priests within his area and many will attest positively to the quality of pastoral care given.

Posted by: Father David on Monday, 12 August 2013 at 6:07pm BST

These exchanges fill me with despair.

Posted by: John on Monday, 12 August 2013 at 8:30pm BST

Father David,

I'm slightly confused by what you mean by "pastoral and ministerial care" in your last comment. If women priests in Chichester diocese can be supported effectively by a combination of an outside bishop to ordain them and then ongoing non-episcopal support within the diocese, why do traditionalists in dioceses without a traditionalist bishop need a PEV rather than an outside bishop to ordain them and ongoing non-episcopal support within the diocese?

What I'm trying to understand is exactly what roles require a flying bishop for traditionalists, that a sympathetic senior clergyman in every diocese could not fulfil. I can quite appreciate that you would prefer a bishop of your own, but is there some other option that would provide the kind of support traditionalist Anglo-Catholics need to flourish apart from such bishops? And if not, why not?

Posted by: magistra on Monday, 12 August 2013 at 9:23pm BST

Fr David
And just how do you know? I suggest you re-read the discussions on TA that followed the withdrawal of Philip North as a 'suffragan within a Northern Province'. This extract from a women priest there contradicts your claims about the quality of episcopal care they received:
‘As a woman priest in Cleveland Archdeaconry ... you have to bear in mind the practicalities of having a bishop who does not recognise your vocation and your sacramental ministry. I was licensed as priest in charge by a bishop who refused ever to use the word 'priest' during the licensing service. He had to go through considerable verbal gymnastics to achieve this feat! We are expected also to undergo regular ministry reviews from someone who does not recognise that we are priests at all - how is that supposed to work? And there are women here who have never had experience of working with a bishop who accepted that they were genuine priests.’

Posted by: David on Monday, 12 August 2013 at 9:42pm BST

The reasons for the decline of professed Christianity in Monmouth are no doubt complex, Father D, but I doubt if they have anything to do with the Archbishop's stance on flying bishops or women priests. I'm afraid the faith you have been trying to uphold on these posts seems to have a very narrow emphasis, if it enables you, by implication, to dismiss the faith of the rest of us. Jesus said nothing about sacramental assurance, priests, bishops or any of the rest of this paraphernalia. That doesn't mean that these issues don't have some importance- they are clearly very important to some people- but Jesus' silence surely ought to help us to put them in perspective.
The Church lost the respect of many members of the public last November. Justin Welby has managed to win some of that back by concentrating on a major issue that actually concerned Jesus- the issue of debt. He had nothing to say about priests or bishops.

Posted by: Helen on Monday, 12 August 2013 at 10:26pm BST

"Why are the PEVs out of communion with "quite a lot of the Church of England"? Quite simply because the Church of England has chosen to depart from a centuries old tradition concerning our Catholic understanding of ministry" - Father David -

Surely, Father, if the PEVs really are "out of communion with quite a lot of the Church of England" - for whatever reason; they cannot be called part of the episcopal college. Their title 'Flying Bishops' means, in this case, that they have nowhere to put their feet - except in parts of the Church that do not accept the discipline of that Church. What does that say about their much-vaunted 'catholicity'?

This makes all the more difficult the fact that such bishops may be seen to be protegees of the Archbishops - of a Church that they are not in communion with. You can't get much more mixed up in Church polity than that. It's time they were gone!

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Tuesday, 13 August 2013 at 2:20am BST

I think I too am beginning to sympathise with John's feelings of despair when reading some of the comments on this blog. What was it that Ozimandias once said said? Anyway, I'm off on me Hols so, I'll you all to it. Hey Ho. Fr. D.

Posted by: Father David on Tuesday, 13 August 2013 at 7:36am BST

Strangely this thread, which started off as the announcement of a normal suffragan appointment, has turned largely into a discussion of the need for, ecclesiology and polity of the PEVs. Whilst I can only agree that they are hard to justify, I am prepared to tolerate them for a while longer as the 'least worst' option for making provision for dissenters.
What I would find it much harder to tolerate would be the appointment of any further diocesans, or suffragans having devolved authority in particular areas, who will not ordain women. We cannot go on expecting the large number of women priests, and half of new ordinands, to swear allegiance to a bishop who does not accept the validity of their orders - it is too much to ask.
The diocese of Chichester has been referred to implicitly at least once earlier in this thread. It cannot be long now before a new Bishop of Lewes is appointed, and I hope and pray this will be someone who ordains women. If not, I fear there will be serious trouble, much worse than that over Whitby.

Posted by: Malcolm Dixon on Tuesday, 13 August 2013 at 12:12pm BST

I wasn't going to post anymore on this, but this link is crucial to the conversation, and decisions being made.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2390252/Women-airbrushed-early-Christianity-despite-having-crucial-spread-claims-leading-historian.html

Posted by: Cynthia on Tuesday, 13 August 2013 at 4:23pm BST

@Malcolm Dixon "We cannot go on expecting the large number of women priests, and half of new ordinands, to swear allegiance to a bishop who does not accept the validity of their orders - it is too much to ask."

Really? So what about those clergy who are socialists and have to pledge allegiance to the Crown (HM The Queen), should we stop that as well - The answer is No, because that is what they are suppose to do.

We serve and worship in the Church of Jesus Christ not in the church of man - If it is the will of God through the Holy Spirit that a man who happens to be a traditionalist is appointed Diocesan/Suffragan then it is the will of God.

The cheek of it is that for many years people have complained about Traditionalist demanding Bishop's who are of their integrity when this is exactly what you all are basically saying now.

"We cannot have a Bishop who does not ordain women because how does it feel to the Women priests and they don't match out integrity.

We must pray for the Holy Spirit to give us all the spirit of understanding and discernment

Posted by: Chuchu Nwagu on Saturday, 17 August 2013 at 11:58pm BST

Chuchu; what we really need on this matter of the acceptability (or not) of women clergy and bishops is honesty and integrity. If one really believes that women cannot be ordained in the Church of England, then, for integrity's sake, one should move aside - to another church that believe the same as one's-self. That's honesty and integrity!

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Monday, 19 August 2013 at 1:10am BST

Father Ron, you make it sound so easy for everyone to go to Rome! If everyone was told to move to a church where their beliefs was accepted we'd have no-one in the CofE

What makes the CofE work, it accepts/embraces diversity. The honesty/integrity that the CofE needs to realise is that we've got people of diverse views inside it.

The CofE should be embracing diversity rather than trying to make themselves an exclusive church!

If that's the line that members of the CofE wish to take then it seem only fitting that those who feel that the CofE should be disestablished should be asked to move to another church where they don't fall underneath the authority of the Queen

Those that feel that the CofE shouldn't allow openly gay priests should move to the RC Church were it's not spoken about and also those that feel that if you wish to use incense and chasubles you should go and join the RC Church!

The RC Church may not ordain women but they have supporters of the ordination of women in it, although it is the RC Church's official line on the issue not the whole church are fully in support of it

Let us pray for the spirit of Charity and Understanding as we are working/talking through the understanding of man and not of the Holy Spirit

Posted by: Chuchu Nwagu on Monday, 19 August 2013 at 10:23pm BST

"What makes the CofE work, it accepts/embraces diversity. - Chuchu -

How can you believe that, Chuchu, when a minority of Anglicans want nothing to do with the large number of women clergy in the Church of England? How is that what you call 'accepting/embracing diversity'?

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Tuesday, 20 August 2013 at 4:50am BST

Father Philip North would surely make an excellent Bishop of Lewes. Archbishop Sentamu definitely thought this fine priest a fit candidate for the episcopacy. If not Lewes then where?

Posted by: Father David on Tuesday, 20 August 2013 at 8:31am BST

Father David - Ebbsfleet, Richborough or Beverley, the next time they become vacant, that's where. Appointing Fr. North to Lewes would just be inviting a rerun of Whitby, with bells on!

Posted by: Malcolm Dixon on Tuesday, 20 August 2013 at 10:35am BST

Malcolm, if you have been following this blog closely you will doubtless have realised that many of the contributors wish to eliminate the Sees of Ebbsleet, Richborough and Beverley completely - where will good Catholic Bishops - upholders of the Apostlic Faith - go then?

Posted by: Father David on Tuesday, 20 August 2013 at 12:25pm BST

@Fr Ron Smith - I used the word Church of England not the word individuals within the Church of England.

The CofE as a Church/Organisation are very good at accepting/embracing the diversity it has within it and working to make sure everyone has a respected place.

How people can be so ignorant/one sided and only talk about the minority, when it is also those who support the ordination of women who don't want anything to do with those opposed.

Not accepting women's sacramental ministry is far different from not wanting to work them. Many of those opposed have female Archdeacons, female Area Deans, female clergy in their Episcopal Area/Archdeaconry and a rare few would have female clergy sit in Choir during big events

All because we look past the collar and still recognise each other as "brethren in Christ", which is what we all need to go back to realising.

Even those opposed have great devotion to Our Mother Mary, if we didn't think women were important or play an important part in the life of the Church, it would be hypocritical of us to hold Mary so dear

The realisation is people need to stop painting those opposed as women haters/misogynistic and either we work with each other to make the Church of England the best it can be or work against each other and show the world a Church of disunity and unrest

Posted by: Chuchu Nwagu on Wednesday, 21 August 2013 at 10:49am BST

Fr David - that is a more difficult question, and one I can't answer. However, for the present, it is hypothetical because the Archbishops have indicated their intention to maintain the provision of PEVs, and I do not oppose it, despite misgivings as to the logic and ecclesiology of it.
However I believe that there are many good Catholic bishops in the HoB already, and many more candidates waiting to be called to succeed them, but who also affirm women's priestly ministry.

Posted by: Malcolm Dixon on Thursday, 22 August 2013 at 9:50am BST
Post a comment









Remember personal info?

Please note that comments are limited to 400 words. Comments that are longer than 400 words will not be approved.

Cookies are used to remember your personal information between visits to the site. This information is stored on your computer and used to refill the text boxes on your next visit. Any cookie is deleted if you select 'No'. By ticking 'Yes' you agree to this use of a cookie by this site. No third-party cookies are used, and cookies are not used for analytical, advertising, or other purposes.