Comments: General Synod - reports on day one

Depressing piece by Andrew Brown. Depressing because such attitudes are widespread. But they're also, I believe, profoundly wrong. Disagreements of the kind that beset the C of E and the Anglican Communion are absolutely inevitable and indeed occur in just the same way (though admittedly less loudly) in other Christian denominations. We need to keep trumpeting that good old unity-in-diversity line and to keep insisting that it is a virtue. And forget about official Catholicism. Too few C of E people have self-respect.

Posted by name at Tuesday, 10 February 2009 at 1:01am GMT

Lots of belligerent Catholic sectarianism on the combox to Damian Thompson's piece. Benedict XVI seems to receive vocal support only from such wacky quarters. Anglicans do well to ignore this new virulence of sectarian measles and to go on building church in the midst of modern society, with its real problems and real promise.

Posted by Spirit of Vatican II at Tuesday, 10 February 2009 at 2:49am GMT

"The Anglo-Catholic opponents of women priests have dreamed of this moment for 20 years. The rumours that they will be received as a body, under their present leaders, have been around for at least that long. But the question is whether they are inside the Church of England now in any meaningful sense. Their leaders do not regard themselves as being in communion with women priests – of course – but neither do they regard themselves as being in communion with bishops who will ordain women, and that includes the Archbishop of Canterbury" - Andrew Brown -

Andrew Brown, to my mind, is here stating what ought to be obvious to the rest of the members of the C.of E. - and perhaps more importantly, to the membership of General Synod.

There is already a coterie within the Church that sees itself as 'out of Eucharistic communion' with the rest of the Church - in its refusal to acknowledge the priesthood of women. That this situation has been allowed to flourish, and be
tolerated by the main body of the C.of E. is one of the reasons why the same coterie wants to extend this shameful impasse to the prospect of recognising God's call upon women clergy to be raised to the espicopate.

One of the reasons given is that Rome would never countenance such a possibility. The truth is, that since its inception as a separate part of the Body of Christ, the Church of England has no need to ask permission of the Pope to do what it sees, in all good conscience, it needs to do to enhance the outreach of the Gospel to all people.

One suspects that these 'Anglo-Catholics' who look to Rome for a model of discipline, may not be 'Anglo' at all, but rather Roman Catholics - as would seem to be evidenced by their constantly looking towards Rome for rescue from what they consider to be the rather disreputable and questionable catholicity of their parent Church.

To refuse to ordain women to the episcopate at this time in the history of the Church would be to denigrate the ministry of those faithful women who are already providing much-needng ministry as priest and deacons. The degree of misogyny that this implies is altogether anachronistic in the modern world - where women take their rightful place as co-leaders, together with men, in any meaningful enterprise - even the law, which used to be the last bastion of male chauvinism.

Christ's treatment of women in the New Testament, which was revolutionary in his day, ought to tell the Church how it should harness all the human resources God has provided for the Gospel mission which Christ initiated and augmented by his own example. Good Pope John XXIII was not averse to thinking of this particular motif for the mission of the Church - 'Semper Reformanda'. Rome is resiling from that challenge, must Anglicanism do the same?

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Tuesday, 10 February 2009 at 9:10am GMT

I can't be the only one here to be sustained and emboldened by 'Spirit''s support. Many thanks.

Posted by john at Tuesday, 10 February 2009 at 6:31pm GMT

Fr Ron Smith appears to led by the spirit of the age rather than the Holy Spirit, given what he has said. It's not just Anglo-Catholics, but Conservative Evangelicals too - are they too bound and awestruck whenever the Pope opens his mouth? No. They are Bible-believing Christians. It's either ignorant or blasé to call it misogyny, showing a lack of understanding or consideration for the issue. Please please please, particularly with your reverent attributes and titleage, think about what you have written concerning your fellow believers.

Posted by Mike Smith at Sunday, 1 March 2009 at 10:37pm GMT
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