Saturday, 17 May 2014
Women in the Episcopate - diocesan synod votes 8
Updated Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon
Since I last posted on this, four more dioceses (Chichester, Durham, Exeter and Leicester, all today) have voted, all in favour. 40 dioceses have now voted in favour of the draft legislation, and none against. For a diocese to be in favour, its house of clergy and laity must each vote in favour. The votes of the bishops, although recorded, are ignored.
Chichester was one of the two diocese that voted against in 2011. Today their synod voted (for/against/abstention): Bishops 1-1-1, Clergy 36-22-2, Laity 54-20-0. In 2011 the figures were Bishops 0-2-0, Clergy 30-35-0, Laity 37-41-0.
Detailed voting figures for all dioceses are here. Please send any corrections to the email address at the bottom of that table.
I have corrected the Leicester figures, which were completely wrong. Somebody tweeted the 2011 figures as though they were today’s and I believed them!
I have also corrected the figures for abstentions in Exeter.
Posted by Peter Owen on
Saturday, 17 May 2014 at 5:00pm BST
And now I have recorrected the Exeter abstentions back to what they were in the first place.
You can make a Permalink to this if you like
Church of England
We now have a trinity of bishops who have voted against the current legislation wending its way through the dioceses. We know that Pontefract and Burnley voted against but who is the third man?
At The Chichester Diocesan Synod the three bishops voted three different ways - For Against, Abstention. We can presume that the newly consecrated Lewes voted in favour as he was appointed on the understanding that he would be someone who was indeed in favour of women being ordained into all three orders of ministry. But out of Chichester and Horsham, who voted against and who abstained? My guess would be that the Diocesan abstained and the suffragan voted against thus becoming the third person of the episcopal trinity seeking to uphold the orthodox view but it would be good to have this suspicion confirmed?
So the Chichester bishops are split three ways. Perhaps someone could tell me which one is the 'focus of unity'?
Richard, surely it is clearly the one who abstained. And if this was not your diocesan, I will be very surprised.
But in any case, bishops voting at diocesan synod in this matter does not count in the analysis.
I understand from someone who was there yesterday that the Diocesan voted against, Lewes was for and it was Horsham who abstained.
I can also confirm from someone who was there, what Richard Ashby has reported that
+ Martin voted No
+ Horsham Abstained
+ Lewes voted Yes
I can also confirm from someone who was there that it all became a little "tetchy".
So much for firm episcopal leadership. So which of the three Chichester diocesan shepherds are we to follow? + Martin is the only Diocesan to vote against this innovation and the only Diocesan to uphold the orthodox and traditional view. So now we have the identity of the third person of the episcopal trinity - Pontefract. Burnley and Chichester. Three brave men to swim against the strong incoming tide.
I'd be intrigued to know when being against the ordination of women became a touchstone of orthodoxy in the Church of England, which has repeatedly affirmed through its synodical structures that the ordination of women is doctrinally acceptable. I'm not sure bravery is the appropriate descriptor either - it's not as if there are likely to be major repercussions for those Bishops involved. Bravery generally involved facing some sort of danger.
If I understand Peter Owen's spreadsheet analysis of voting on the Feb 2014 votes on http://www.thinkinganglicans.org.uk/archives/006465.html correctly, the Bishop of Chichester appears to have abstained on the legislation at the General Synod vote, but voted against at the Diocesan Synod.
If other traditional catholics also follow that pattern again at the July General Synod, along with the conservative evangelicals who have already made it clear they will vote against rather than abstain, the final voting will remain very close again.
There was no announcement of which Bishop voted which way at Chichester's Diocesan Synod. However the Bishop of Lewes stated he thought that having women Bishops was a 'terrific' proposal, and the Bishop of Horsham explained why he intended to abstain. It seems right to assume that the three voted in the way that has been stated. I did not vote in the same way as my Diocesan Bishop, but I do not think this disqualifies him from being a 'focus of unity' within this Diocese. We only have a Bishop who voted for this legislation because our Diocesan Bishop chose to appoint someone who could expected to vote that way. I also think that the debate became tetchy, but there were a few speakers who were tetchy including a speaker who may have been tetchy since the last meeting of General Synod.
Fr David. Bishop Martin didn't 'vote against this innovation'. The time for that us long past. As I remarked earlier this week the vote was about the legislatin to enable this to happen, not the principle, no matter that some people still want to argue for that lost cause. Bishop Martin voted against the proposed legislation. Why he should want to do that when he was part of the body which helped to draft the way forward following the 'car crash' of 2012 is anybody's guess, especially because all the indications over the past year have been that he would abstain in order to let the legislation go through swiftly.
So now we have the identity of the third person of the episcopal trinity - Pontefract. Burnley and Chichester.
We have to be up with the times, Fr David, I think. Bishop Tony is no longer Pontefract, but Area Bishop of Wakefield
Ian, I am well aware that Tony Robinson has now changed his title but at the time that he voted on this proposed legislation he was still the Bishop of Pontefract as the poll took place during the very last gathering of the Wakefield Diocesan Synod.
The decisive vote in favour of this innovation means that, alas, the bridge between the Church of England and the Latin Church has been further broken. At one time the hopes for unity between us looked hopeful but now I fear that the divide will soon prove to be too wide ever to be breached.
Fairly depressing that any diocesan should not vote in favour (or at best abstain) give the stage we are at (if this be the case). He will have to show his hand again at Final Approval in July (unless he plays the London card and does not show up). This confirms the now widely held view that there will never again be a person nominated for a diocesan bishopric who is a non-ordainer.
"+ Martin is the only Diocesan to vote against this innovation and the only Diocesan to uphold the orthodox and traditional view. So now we have the identity of the third person of the episcopal trinity - Pontefract. Burnley and Chichester. Three brave men to swim against the strong incoming tide.
Posted by: Father David on Sunday, 18 May 2014
So, Father David, you would claim fellowship with those who deny the place of women in ordained ministry in the C. of e. as the exclusively
'Orthodox' Anglican in the Anglican Communion?
This sounds very much like the propaganda of the GAFCON, ACNA and AMiE sodalities, who claim their own assumed 'orthodoxy', as against that of all other faithful members of the Anglican Communion!
Or are you only claiming orthodoxy on the grounds of your opposition to women's ordination, and not on those of the LGBTI issue?
Oh dear, what can the matter be, Mr. Archer? Whatever happened to all those promises sincerely given but obviously with fingers crossed behind the back that there would always be an honoured and an honourable place for Traditionalists within the Church of England? Since the Reformation and the Elizabethan Settlement there has existed a fine balance within the Established Church between Catholic and Reformed; in more recent years this balance has shewn itself to be between Traditionalists and Liberals. If, as Mr. Archer suggests, there are to be no more Traditionalist Catholic Diocesan Bishops appointed in future our Church will be like a bird with a broken wing and such a poor creature simply won't be able to take flight following the loss of this essential and age old equilibrium.
A question is puzzling me T. A, - if + Horsham had voted Against the proposal instead of abstaining, thus giving a 2 to 1 majority Against in the Chichester H of Bs, would the motion have been lost in the Chichester Diocesan Synod, or, is all that is required for victory a simple overall majority by all present and voting?
"The decisive vote in favour of this innovation"
I see it as a RESTORATION. The restoration of the dignity of the Imago-Dei-Made-Female that their call to the episcopacy be discerned ***on the same terms*** as that of the Imago-Dei-Made-Male.
And here in the Episcopal Church (USA et al), for 26 years now, we've discerned God knows precisely who, male & female, She's calling. TBTG! :-)
"alas, the bridge between the Church of England and the Latin Church has been further broken. At one time the hopes for unity between us looked hopeful but now I fear that the divide will soon prove to be too wide ever to be breached."
Oh ye of little faith, Father David. Not even the colonnades of the Vatican can keep the (liberating & reconciling) Holy Spirit out. Alleluia!
"alas, the bridge between the Church of England and the Latin Church has been further broken"
Given that many appear to want the CofE to give veto over any policy change to both the Vatican and to each and every African bishop, what decisions does the CofE unambiguously claim for itself? The choice between bourbons and custard creams?
Now come on Fr. Ron, I'm sure you don't think I regard a traditional view of a male only priesthood and episcopacy as the exclusive test of orthodoxy, you know as well as I do that it is simply one aspect of orthodoxy among many. I'm sure that my T A antipodean pen-pal can come up with more reasoned comments than that?
JCF I have no doubt that the liberating and reconciling Holy Spirit is active and at work in the Vatican. One merely has to look to the tremendous ministry of the present Pontiff to see the truth of that. How glorious it will be to see His Holiness Pope Francis greet His All Holiness Bartholomew, the Ecumenical Patriarch at Bethlehem this coming Sunday. It is surely a cause of deep ecumenical regret that by recent innovations and actions we seem to be sailing away in our little Anglican boat from all of that great working of the Holy Spirit, who surely yearns and longs for the unity of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
In answer to Fr David @4.43 - at diocesan level the votes of the bishops are recorded, but do not count. For article 8 business to pass in a diocese, a simple majority is required in both clergy and laity.
Was it not FiF policy that in these votes people should vote in accordance with their true consciences on the principle itself (but with no intent of actually derailing the process)? If so, Warner has voted correctly and non-divisively (that aspect of his persona also being revealed in his acceptance of a woman-ordaining suffragan). That being so, I see no reason why a non-woman-ordaining 'traditionalist' should not be appointed as a diocesan in the future. These are the delicate compromises required of the settlement. I renew my appeal for all sides to 'get a grip' and recommit to making this thing work. It's eminently workable. As for the Latin Church (which I greatly like), many of its members greatly like and approve of women priests (as was borne in to us at a recent event).
The Roman Church regards all Anglican orders as absolutely null and void, and shows no sign and has never shown any sign of rescinding this anathema. In the light of this, what the Church of England chooses to do is of little relevance to prospect for organic unity with a Chuch which hardly recognises other churches as such but has taken to calling them 'ecclesial communities' in order not to compromise its own claim to be the only 'true' church. So can we at last stop looking over our shoulder at the unattainable and get on with our own Chuch life. Please.
John. If this is the case surely the effect could well be to derail the process itself whatever the motivation of the voter. As it happens the Biships' vote doesn't count at this stage and simple majorities are all that are required in the houses of clergy and laity. However, when it comes to the General Synod later in the year Bishops' votes will count and two thirds majorities are required. Voting against the principle when what is required is a vote for the process could well derail the process itself yet again. If that happens the Church is in for an even bigger car crash the consequences of which cannot yet be imagined.
And although the votes of diocesan HoBs do not count when determining the outcome of an Article 8 reference, it is perhaps worth pointing out that even with Horsham's abstention, the motion failed to gain approval in the Chichester HoB. A tie (1 for, 1 against) is not approval of a motion. Similarly the motion was not carried in the Wakefield HoB (1 for, 1 against) or the Southwell HoB (no votes recorded).
I recall in the reference on the proposed Anglican Covenant that our (Ely) HoL vote was tied, and thus approval was withheld.
Richard and Simon,
My maths are lousy, but wasn't it the case that Warner abstained at Synod? I do agree that another failure at Synod would be very bad and would also put recent rapprochements under great strain. I also agree (Richard) that constant appeals to the Pope across the water are not the way to go, unless of course one wants to go that way. But on that note, a recent ceremony in our church was attended by two lots of Italians. They all said how lovely the service was, to which I replied that it was basically Catholic, to which they replied, yes, but it's always better than what we get at home. There are lots of (R) Catholics to whom the C of E is the voice of their conscience.
The decisive vote in favour of this innovation means that, alas, the bridge between the Church of England and the Latin Church has been further broken.
posted by Fr.David.
Too true, father. perhaps it is time to take the plunge and 'cross the Tiber' I did, and have never regretted it for a minute.
'Perhaps it is time to take the plunge and cross the Tiber...'
But why now? why not when the CofE resolved that there were no theological objections to the ordination of women, or when the first ordinations took place, or when the 'ordinariate' was established, or when the principle of the consecration of women bishops was accepted, or the various recent rounds of voting on the subject. Or perhaps there will be a final exit when the first women are consecrated. Since the trajectory has been clear for more than twenty years surely those who stay have to accept that they are in a Church which ordains women and will consecrate them bishops shortly. The bridges were burned a long time ago.
But why now?
Good question. I went 13 years ago.
In any case, it's never too late.
The invitation "to take the plunge and cross the Tiber" suggests to me that there is now no bridge on which to cross and that the only way to get to Rome is by swimming and getting a soaking. As Richard Ashby suggests we have burnt our bridges long ago but aren't we as followers of Christ meant to be bridge builders rather than bridge burners? Alas, Richard may quite possibly be correct as the weight of the obstacles placed upon the bridge over the years has proved to be too much for the ancient pont to bear and has caused it, like London Bridge of old, to fall down.
It is also rather tiresome if not totally discourteous to be told time and time again that if you don't agree with me then - please go! The rapid decline in the number of the Church of England's attendants over the last 20 years has been so dramatic that it is surely inadvisable to encourage any more loyal and faithful Anglicans to abandon ship. Surely we should be doing all in our power, in accordance with the Lord's will, to encourage growth and to further His Kingdom, on earth as it is in heaven?
However, a great deal which is good and positive with regard to reconciliation and ecumenism has happened since the infamous null and void papal bull was first issued. Wasn't it the great William Temple who described the Ecumenical Movement as the greatest achievement of the Church in the 20th century? Has that all been in vain? Hasn't every Archbishop of Canterbury since Geoffrey Fisher to Justin Welby made the pilgrim trip to Rome to have ecumenical conversations with the Holy Father in the Vatican? Were they all to be considered to be of no or little account? Didn't Pope Paul VI take the papal ring from his finger and give it to Blessed Michael Ramsey? Was that simply an empty gesture? What about the two papal visits to England when John Paul II worshipped side by side with Robert Runcie and gave a joint blessing at the conclusion of the service in Canterbury cathedral? Or when Benedict XVI and Rowan Williams prayed and burnt incense together in Westminster Abbey. Were those two acts of worship to be seen in the eyes of God as totally null and void? What about all those ARCIC agreed statements - are they simply not worth the paper they were written on? Are all these great ecumenical achievements to be disregarded and thought to be of no account as the little Church of England throws away centuries of Christian tradition and stands light to the Word of God in Holy Scripture, containing, as it does, all that is necessary for our salvation? By the way isn't "ecclesial communities" simply another descriptive term for "churches"? If not, I cannot think of another definition for the words "ecclesial communities"?
"[Like Abraham leaving Ur, or the Israelites leaving bondage in Egypt, or the disciples leaving Palestine to carry the Gospel to all the Earth] we seem to be sailing away in our little Anglican boat ***TO*** all of that great working of the Holy Spirit": fixed it there for you, Fr David (you're welcome! ;-p)
But SRSLY: ecumenical reunion ala The Church @ Pentecost will come in and THROUGH our Anglican traditions (Scripture, Tradition and REASON, not subordination to a Roman "Magisterium" as currently constituted), not by abandoning them (as the Ordinariate emphatically does). Anyone is free to leave one church for another, but understand that to leave one's church (and I would say the same to an RC or EO or Protestant becoming Anglican) is antithetical to ecumenism.
If Christian unity requires us all to discriminate against women, then the price of Christian unity is too high.
Fr David. Reading the comments on the blog of an RC priest the other day I came across someone who said that twelve years ago he asked the advice from his (RC) priest and been told that it was not permitted to take an active part in a Church of England funeral service. It worth remembering that it us not much longer ago than that that the RC church forbade even saying the Lord's Prayer with other Christians. No. The various encounters between a Popes and Archbishops, the ARCIC reports etc have all been of value in promoting a better understanding between the churches. But Rome continues to claim that only it is the 'true' church, every other one is inferior or defective in some way and the recent invention of the phrase 'ecclesial communities', not a phrase it uses about itself, is a continuing indication that unity means conforming and submission.
I hesitate to point score but hasn't the decline of attendance at RC mass also been rather dramatic over the last years, and just how do numbers ordained in the RC and CofE compare?
"If Christian unity requires us all to discriminate against women, then the price of Christian unity is too high."
Ditto discrimination against LGBT people. If "Christian unity" means turning one's back on Jesus, and doing injustice to God's children, then it may be "unity," but I wonder how Christian it would be? Does anyone find in Jesus discrimination against women and LGBT people? I see Jesus breaking taboos to include people.
It is good to have a rainbow, an array, of diverse religions where in a free society people can choose. But a "unity" based on injustice? I think not. Go to Rome if that Papal stuff connects you to God. But I'll take Scripture, Tradition, and REASON, because in it I see a the possibility of a diverse Kingdom of God, not a straight, male Kingdom with female and LGBT serfs.
The age old fear of "otherness" seems to dominate this blog.
"The age old fear of "otherness" seems to dominate this blog."
Indeed. That is what the misogyny and homophobia are all about, fear of the other. It has driven cultures for centuries, always an "other," the Jews, the slaves, etc.
We are finally arriving at the conclusion that the "other" is actually another brother or sister in Christ, created in the Image of God. Alas, we are not all arriving at the same time.
So, let us hope that fear of the other does not dominate tomorrow's elections. For, as far as I can see the entire UKIP campaign has been based on promoting fear of the other, based on grossly exaggerated Faragian propaganda.
With Anglo Catholics and Cons Evangs. saying they will continue to vote against there is a real risk of it failing in the House of Laity at General Synod!