Wednesday, 25 September 2013
Women bishops and the recognition of Orders
The recent decision of the Church in Wales to allow women to be consecrated as bishops, and the election of a woman bishop in the Church of Ireland have prompted an article, Women bishops and the recognition of Orders, by Will Adam, editor of the Ecclesiastical Law Journal, in Law and Religion UK about the implications for the Church of England.
… This is bound to bring up again the question of the recognition in a Church which does not permit the ordination of women as bishop of episcopal acts performed by a bishop who is a woman …
However, the consecration of a woman as a bishop in the Church of Ireland changes the situation. Deacons, priests and bishops of the Church of Ireland, Church in Wales and Scottish Episcopal Church are not considered as “overseas” clergy by the law applying to the Church of England. This is significant, because the permission of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York is not required for such ministers to be invited to exercise the ministry of their orders in England …
The article refers to this 2004 opinion from the Legal Advisory Commission of the Church of England: The Effect of Acts by women Bishops of Churches in Communion with the Church of England.
Kelvin Holdswoth writes about the same topic in Taint. He concludes with
Posted by Peter Owen on
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 at 2:22pm BST
What I’m interested in is that with respect of our current bishops in Scotland, all of them have either had a female co-consecrator present at their consecration, joined in consecrating someone with a female co-consecrator present or have been consecrated by someone who has had a female co-consecrator present at their own consecration.
What I wonder is whether those who apply the theology of taint believe that anyone at all (bishops, priests or deacons) now ordained in Scotland is legit.
Oh, and by the way an English bishop was present and joining in when this situation began. I was there – I saw it with my own eyes.
Where does this leave the Scottish Episcopal Church in relation to those who would deny the legitimacy of women to act as bishops? …
Do we, or do we not, remain in full communion with [all of] the Church of England?
You can make a Permalink to this if you like
| Church in Wales
| Church of England
| Church of Ireland
| Scottish Episcopal Church
Indeed, what are we meant to take "maintaining communion" to mean?
The "do we remain in communion" question is also highly relevant to the Church of Ireland, who are committed by the "Preamble and Declaration" (the unchangeable bit of their constitution) to maintaining communion with the C of E.
Perhaps maintaining communion is a directional thing - C of I maintains communion with C of E but not vice versa... Aargh. No.
This is all wonderful stuff. Without anyone currently doing anything, all our chickens are coming home to roost. The C of E is looking ridiculous yet again - and no one has mentioned gay marriage or sexual orientation.
I am glad that I am not an archbishop!
I hope someone sorts this out before we get round to asking questions at General Synod.
"This is significant, because the permission of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York is not required for such ministers to be invited to exercise the ministry of their orders in England …"
Hmmm.... This is an interesting point. I'm not ecclesiastically knowledgeable, so forgive my ignorance.
Does this mean that a parish or diocese located in an area currently "lead" by an anti-woman (misogynistic?) bishop could request alternative oversight from a woman Bishop ordained in the CofI or CofS?
Does this mean that when progressive and women supportive parishes in England get tired of the misogynistic falderal they can simply go their separate ways in peace and justice?
Does this mean that a collection of women Bishops and/or women supportive bishops could consecrate an alternative bishop in some area of England (much as some African Bishops have claimed to have done in the US)?
Does this over-rule the current (not very consistently enforced) rules about women bishops wearing their mitres (sp?) in England when invited to preach?
And what happens if the presiding bishop at the consecration is a woman..who says the actual words?
No wonder Mark lawrence did not want episcopal ordination from Bishop Jefferts Schori. She was foolish enough to grant him his wish.
Within a year he had declared UDI.
Surely this is so much nonsense, The CofE has already fully accepted the ordination of female bishops in theory, and is supposedly only now talking about how it is to be done.
Once you accept that female bishops are legitimate -- as the CofE as a church has done, despite reservations from some groups within it -- how can the involvement of a woman bishop in any of the ways mentioned so far be thought to impair communion.
We leave aside the fact that at the present rate, if not having actual women bishops preserves the CofE intact in perfection, there's a whole lot of the world with which it's no longer in ful communion -- South India now. Not to mention other churches like some of those in Africa which have accepted the possibility but have not as yet actually ordained one.
Actually, at the current rate, if the comments made so far are valid, a cynic might conclude that the CofE is soon going to be in communion only with itself, given the speed with which it appear to be moving on this issue.
Robert. You've no need to worry about all of this. I can't imagine Pope Francis is going to allow you a woman bishop in the Welsh Catholic Church anytime in the near future!
And as for the future of the hegemony of the Church of England in the world-wide Anglican Communion? Unless it pulls its ecclesiastical socks up over the issue of Women Bishops, it may find itself on the outer with more than the GAFCON Provinces.
"a cynic might conclude that the CofE is soon going to be in communion only with itself"
Ever since the institution of the PEV scheme the CoE has not been fully in communion with itself.
bookguybaltmd: `...request alternative oversight from a woman Bishop ordained in the CofI or CofS?'
That would be hard, since the CoS doesn't have bishops.
Of course. You are obviously right. CoS is Presby, right? So confusing. ECofS is what I should have said. But then, of course, the rest of the question stands, eh?
'The CofE has already fully accepted the ordination of female bishops in theory.'
Let's campaign to change the present situation, but let's not whitewash it.
At the moment the CofE has refused to ordain women bishops. Much as we might wish matters were otherwise, there is no 'acceptance' yet.