Thursday, 26 September 2013
Consecration of the Bishops of Ebbsfleet and Tewkesbury
The Lambeth Palace website reports on the consecration of two suffragan bishops yesterday. See Archbishop ordains and consecrates Bishops of Ebbsfleet and Tewkesbury.
Somewhat unusually, the article contains both a transcript, and links to an audio recording, of the sermon, which was delivered by Lord Williams of Oystermouth.
Posted by Simon Sarmiento on
Thursday, 26 September 2013 at 2:38pm BST
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Church of England
Last week the Church in Wales voted to allow women bishops. This week the Church of Ireland appointed a woman bishop, and this week the Church of South India appointed a woman bishop. And the Church of England? This week the Church of England ordained a new Bishop of Ebbsfleet, a so-called 'flying bishop,' specifically to minister to those who do not accept women as priests, never mind bishops. Says it all really!
Until they get rid of the Act of Synod 1993, the CofE, +Sentamu Ebor and +Welby Cantuar have an obligation to appoint a +Ebbsfleet, +Richborough and +Beverley when the Sees fall vacant.
We've always known this, so why are people complaining unless things have changed that +Cantuar and +Ebor don't know about.
Appointing PEV's has nothing to do with the CofE's belief in women's ministry, they are just fulfilling their obligations.
Whilst I may accept the plea to "fulfilling obligations", why are these PEV's appointed and consecrated at such speed when compared with other episcopal appointments?
Fulfilling obligations? To a minority group who lost the argument by the required two-thirds majority but kicked up such a fuss that an 'Act of Synod' was created to placate them, thus institutionalizing discrimination (call it what you like!) against women priests? The appointment of a new Bishop of Ebbsfleet is just confirmation that those with the power to do so will continue to discriminate against women priests. How about the Church of England showing some urgency in 'fulfilling its obligations' to the more than one-third of its parish priests, to whom this appointment is just another in a long line of slights and insults? Another blow upon a bruise, to slightly misquote Evelyn Waugh!
"Whilst I may accept the plea to "fulfilling obligations", why are these PEV's appointed and consecrated at such speed when compared with other episcopal appointments?" - christian @ 1405, 27/09/2013.
Because they are bishops suffragan and therefore are selected and appointed by the relevant diocesan and do not involve the Crown Nominations Committee?
Indeed they are suffragans to the Archbishops. Yet other suffragan sees under both Archbishops are held vacant longer. The departing Lord Williams was in an unseemly haste to fill PEV vacancies before he retired. Why do we not allow the General Synod to come to a mind on these issues in the run up to the voting on the admission of women to the episcopate? It feels very much like the Archbishops intervention over the legislation before the General Synod that the Dioceses had voted on.
By all means rescind the Act of Synod. Until that moment,however, there is an obligation to honour it.
With regard to Ian's comment on the Act of Synod, a motion from Southwark to Rescind the Act of Synod was passed up to General Synod in March 2003. Ten years later it has still not been debated pending a decision on how we get to make women bishops (the principle of the thing has been agreed). If the women bishops legislation ever goes off the active agenda the Southwark motion will [almost certainly - there will be no plausible argument against] have to be debated. It requires a simple majority. It has simply not been tested, and "the powers that be" have resisted it being tested. If it were tested there would be some synodical scrutiny of the track record of the bishops appointed under the Act of Synod.