Comments: women bishops: after the synod debate

Funny how those who wish to model the "catholic" side of Anglicanism seem to be most like the "protestants" in their tactics, or in the case of parishes withholding their assessments, "congregationalists".

This is a fight that died hard in the USA, but it surely will, and going backwards in bigotry will take you far from God.

Posted by choirboyfromhell at Saturday, 28 February 2009 at 2:46pm GMT

Tha Anglican mainstream article seems to have been air-brushed, .... or ....

Posted by Sara MacVane at Saturday, 28 February 2009 at 6:08pm GMT

Anglican Mainstream is a front for Reform and its agenda is also against women bishops as much as homosexuality.

As for FIF...Oswald Clark at 91 received a standing ovation...at 91 says everything.

Posted by Robert Ian Williams at Saturday, 28 February 2009 at 7:35pm GMT

"If FIF terminates its longstanding aim in trying to get a settlement for traditionalists by synodical means, what could take its place? The response has to be direct action, a type of action that has been used effectively in North America and elsewhere." - R.M. Virtue on line -

Mr Roland Mourant, writing for so-called 'Virtue on Line' - copied to web-site of so-called *Mainstream*, surely signals his idea of the way ahead for F.i.F. and other *Traditionalists* as being a possible way through for them to follow, like lemmings, the way of ACNA and other dissidents in USA and Canada.

The pity is that many Anglo-Catholics may see this as the only way, following on the fact that the English General Synod have moved inexorably towards the ordination of women Bishops. I hope that there will be a lot more theological debate on this issue in the local parishes and dioceses of the C.of E., so that the need for women to be given equivalent status in the ministry of the Church to that of men may be seen, not as just a justice issue, but also a practial necessity.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Saturday, 28 February 2009 at 8:39pm GMT

To paraphrase the country song, how can we miss them if they just won't go? ;-/

Posted by JCF at Sunday, 1 March 2009 at 1:31am GMT

I completely disagree with what Oswald Clark said, but, I disagree because he is wrong, not because he is 91.

It is unpleasant and foolish to suggest that a 91-year-old has no wisdom to pass on. On the other hand, as I have often noticed, it is a sad thing to grow old and not to grow wise.

Posted by toby forward at Sunday, 1 March 2009 at 9:41am GMT

I listened to all the talks and comments on the 'Forward in Faith' site. I tried to listen sympathetically and with empathy. I did find it very interesting. But I find I really don't trust FiF as a constituency -- I am not sure how sincere they are. Some of the individuals also leave me doubtful. I don't know if I am being unfair -- I don't think so. True, I am influenced by my disillusionment with anglo-catholicism. I find their stance on (their own) gayness dishonest (understatement), and in that context I find the camp asides (sharing a jaccuzzi with some bishop) stick in my craw.

The catholicity, orders and ministry of the CofE have surely never been as unproblematic as they suggest? They are afraid of losing a purity that never was.

Apart from the anglo-catholic public stance on sexuality and its distance from what actually happens on the ground, I also have great problems with the aping of Rome as if that denomination has the solution to all life's problems; and of course, the attitude to women.

I had a lot of sympathy for Sr Anne, but wonder why she is keeping such company. She was the sole female voice and picture of the day.

Posted by Rev L Roberts at Sunday, 1 March 2009 at 1:43pm GMT

Excellent comments, LR.

One good thing seems to me the public revelation that they too are at sixes and sevens. We have a FiF guy in our church. He and his wife (not FiF) are really excellent members, and when a woman celebrant comes, he just absents himself. He is, however, tremendously exercised that 'justice be done to the traditionalists', by which he means separate jurisdiction. I think the separateness has been a real problem. Many don't really see themselves as C of E. The constant sycophancy to this most unlovely Pope is pretty revolting - and itself excellent justification for the Reformation. On the other hand, there are FiF people who don't do this and who do believe in the 'equal integrity' within the C of E perspective. I'd like such people to be accommodated, though even with them I think there should be a bit more practical rapprochement.

Posted by john at Sunday, 1 March 2009 at 3:40pm GMT

L Roberts, were you at the meeting? If so, you must have been asleep! Please note:

1) "Gayness" was not discussed - it is others who seem to want to bring sex into everything.

2) The speaker joking about the jaccuzzi was sending himself up - he had been on holiday at the time of the previous assembly and so had been listening in on line - literally on a beach, by a pool & in a jaccuzzi by virtue of an iPod.

3) Sr Anne was by no means the only female voice - of particular mention was Emma Forward, who just happens to be the youngest member of synod!

Posted by rose gaudete at Sunday, 1 March 2009 at 6:30pm GMT

Michael Brown's article is more than a little misleading. The FiF assembly showed a remarkable degree of unity - everyone totally agreed that the proposed code of practice was totally unacceptable and that only a structural solution will do. Furthermore, there was a motion passed in 2006 stating that when final legislation is produced, if it is not satisfactory, quota should be witheld (on the simple basis that people are not going to fund an organisation which is not going to provide for them).

The differences of view relate to whether or not the synodical process is likely to deliver the desired structural solution. Some feel all is lost on that front, others think there is still a chance. By next February we will know, until then some will need to work within the synodical process, others will need to work on possible courses of action if that process does not provide.

A difference of perspective as to the likelihood of synod agreeing to structural provision cannot really be spun as a group in disarray, if all agree that the provision is necessary and all agree that their place within the church of england depends upon that provision.

Posted by david malloch at Sunday, 1 March 2009 at 6:42pm GMT

David,

Your view is one. Another is that of Jeff Steel (hardly an eirenic personality), who on his blog immediately after the event said that there didn't seem to be unity.

On withdrawal of parish share, I strongly suspect that, if and when FiF priests propose this, in many cases they will find that their PCCs and parishioners won't support them. There is this general assumption of simple polarities -'traditionalists' vs 'liberals' - and of united blocks within these polarities which simply doesn't seem to me to correspond to frequently messy realities.

Posted by john at Sunday, 1 March 2009 at 7:25pm GMT

"if it is not satisfactory, quota should be witheld (on the simple basis that people are not going to fund an organisation which is not going to provide for them)."

Blackmail shows remarkably scant respect for the polity of ones church.

Wouldn't it be more honest to leave an organisation one has lost respect for?

Posted by Erika Baker at Sunday, 1 March 2009 at 8:00pm GMT

Any separate accomodation would have to place FIF and Reform together..as no one in their right mind would have two separate anti-women jurisdictions. Just imagine the resulting fight over liturgical practice and Marian devotion. However Reform people have stated they do not want to marginalised into an Anglo-catholic sect.

The diocese of Chichester would be decimated by a move to the separate jurisdiction. How much of it would be left, if a pro woman diocesan bishop was appointed . the effect of Bishop kemp and the present occupant wil be felt for many years to come.

Why be inclusive of a group which is exclusive?

Delay the vote by another five years and many FIF supporters will have disapperared.

There is a third province for the Anglo-Catholics..and its called the Roman Catholic Church.

Posted by Robert Ian Williams at Sunday, 1 March 2009 at 8:51pm GMT

"Furthermore, there was a motion passed in 2006 stating that when final legislation is produced, if it is not satisfactory, quota should be witheld (on the simple basis that people are not going to fund an organisation which is not going to provide for them)." - David Malloch -

With all due respect, David, if such a course has already been taken by the F.i.F sodality, then this clearly indicates that opting out from the Church of England - on the basis of withholding the contributions of the various congregations involved - appears to be the option preferred if you do not get your own way on this matter.

That does seem rather provocative in view of the fact that there are obviously those, within F.i.F., who might want to consider remaining with the C.of E. no matter what the outcome. Perhaps there needs to be a lot more theological study, on your part, into the relative merits of women as bishops, versus the proposed schismatic action proposed in your preferred option - if the General Synod of the Church of England goes against you.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Sunday, 1 March 2009 at 10:17pm GMT

"There is a third province for the Anglo-Catholics..and its called the Roman Catholic Church. - Posted by Robert Ian Williams"

{Take a picture of it}

I am in whole-hearted agreement, RIW! ;-)

[Now, please to EXIT the medieval Ecclesia Anglicana parishes, for the 19th c. (and later) Roman constructions, thank you!]

Posted by JCF at Monday, 2 March 2009 at 2:16am GMT

David Malloch, and everyone in F.i.F. who really wants to become a Roman Catholic, follow Robert Ian Williams' constant hints on this site, and, like him, become a convert to his not-so-subtly advertised 'Fourth Province' - the R.C. Church (in, not of) England.
But, please don't take the property!

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Monday, 2 March 2009 at 9:48am GMT

Does Rome really want a bunch of people who have spent decades rebelling against their bishops and only might want to come to Rome in the first place because they oppose women's ordination?

The Romans are not fools, you know.

Posted by JPM at Monday, 2 March 2009 at 3:22pm GMT

Ron , we had to concede all claims to the property as a prerequisite to the British Parliament granting Catholic emancipation in 1829.

Posted by Robert Ian Williams at Monday, 2 March 2009 at 6:07pm GMT

L Roberts, were you at the meeting? If so, you must have been asleep! Please note:

1) "Gayness" was not discussed - it is others who seem to want to bring sex into everything.

2) The speaker joking about the jaccuzzi was sending himself up - he had been on holiday at the time of the previous assembly and so had been listening in on line - literally on a beach, by a pool & in a jaccuzzi by virtue of an iPod.

3) Sr Anne was by no means the only female voice - of particular mention was Emma Forward, who just happens to be the youngest member of synod!

Posted by: rose gaudete on Sunday, 1 March 2009 at 6:30pm GMT

Response :

Thanks for the message.

No I was responding to the link to the FiF website, as I said in my opening sentence !

I mentioned gayness. It is a principal cause of my disenchantment with and distrust of FiF in particular, and anglo-catholicism in general. And for ME, totally linked with the present 'crisis'. (How can I trust what FiF say on any subject in the light of their dishonesty on sexuality ?)

I know the context of the jacuzzi comment -that sort of camp remark offends me, in the context of those who disemble on sexuality; and whose hypocrisy harms others. I am not laughing. (He did say he was sharing a jacuzzi with one of the bishops, and I take exception to it in this context - Given all the angst gays in the in the anglican world have been put thru.). As for those who wish to 'bring sex into everything', the jaccuzzi comment was a double entendre.

I had no idea who else spoke, until I read your message here. I could only go by what the offical FiF site (linked to here) made available to the public -- 1 picture of a woman and one short comment from the floor.
LR

Posted by Rev L Roberts at Monday, 2 March 2009 at 9:49pm GMT

I also found the comment of the bishop who heads up FiF offensive. Talk of sin and wickedness and how there can be no compromising with it. So those who favour the ordination of women are sinful. Very unpleasant and simplistic.

I also found the reference of another speaker, to the late Bishop ("Mervyn Stockwood") and Canon "Paul Oestricher" uncalled for. Both ministers giants of faith in their own ways. Both did, and in Paul's case still do a lot of good. Also the good bishop saw himself as standing for and with the Catholic Faith. He always used that Blessing at ordinations with the lines

'May He nourish you with the riches of the Catholic Faith ... '.

May it be so even yet ...


LR

Posted by Rev L Roberts at Monday, 2 March 2009 at 10:01pm GMT

Several comments here border on being unchristian, not to say unanglican. Strange for a website with the name "Thinking Anglicans".

Firstly I'm a member of FiF, and do not wish to leave the church of my baptism, confirmation and ordination. I was ordained on the back of promises made in 1992-4 that the Act of Synod would exist "in perpetuity". I was ordained on the back of what the church has believed for all time, if I may paraphrase the Vincentian canon. It seems punitive in the extreme to take everything and give nothing back. some charity love and understanding wouldn't go amiss, neither would some accurate reporting of what took place at the FiF assembly on valentines day - there is certainly not much love on here

Posted by Ian at Monday, 2 March 2009 at 10:29pm GMT

'Firstly I'm a member of FiF, and do not wish to leave the church of my baptism, confirmation and ordination.'

That is good, Ian. It's far from true of many FiF. From some quarters (e.g. Jeff Steel), there is this unceasing denigration of Anglicanism and unceasing celebration of a type of Roman Catholicism which few members of that denomination (at any rate in the West) any longer have any time for. To such people it seems unthinkable that there are others who are actually proud of their church - and proud also of what it is doing re WO. I think if people such as yourself were more vocal deals would be done. I think they probably still will be done. It looks as if Rowan Williams (certainly) and John Sentamu and Tom Wright (probably) want that. Presumably also Chartres. But if and when it happens people on both sides will have to learn to 'park' their differences and cooperate more.

I very much hope you and people like you will be able to stay in good conscience - just as (I hope) you respect our consciences.

Posted by john at Tuesday, 3 March 2009 at 12:53am GMT

"I know the context of the jacuzzi comment -that sort of camp remark offends me, in the context of those who disemble on sexuality; and whose hypocrisy harms others. I am not laughing. (He did say he was sharing a jacuzzi with one of the bishops, and I take exception to it in this context - Given all the angst gays in the in the anglican world have been put thru.). As for those who wish to 'bring sex into everything', the jaccuzzi comment was a double entendre."

So, if I am in a jaccuzzi by the pool, listening to a Ruth Rendell novel on an i pod and joke that I was in a jaccuzzi with Ruth Rendell, this implies "gayness" and makes you uncomfortable. Then what about the 12 other people in the same jaccuzzi - an orgy???? - into which I fantasise Ms Rendell?????

No, a group of people in a holiday resort relaxing by the pool and a joke.

Posted by rose gaudete at Tuesday, 3 March 2009 at 10:09am GMT

Whilst one cannot help but sympathise with Ian... if he gets his way there will be two castes of clergy in the Cof E , and the discrimination will be extended to the men ordained by women bishops. Such a scenario is utterly ridiculous.

Women may have paut up with second class status, but I doubt if the men will.

What is needed is an AB with backbone..who can say...

"We have made our mind up, and we believe women should be ordained, and those who think it is heretical should leave with grace and unity.

I think FIF should leave with dignity and accept that Anglicanism is fundamentally Protestant in spirit.

Posted by Robert Ian Williams at Tuesday, 3 March 2009 at 6:11pm GMT

"if I am in a jaccuzzi by the pool, listening to a Ruth Rendell novel on an i pod and joke that I was in a jaccuzzi with Ruth Rendell, this implies "gayness" and makes you uncomfortable."

If it does make a person uncomfortable, that says something about what they think of gay people, no?

"We have made our mind up, and we believe women should be ordained, and those who think it is heretical should leave with grace and unity."

Ah, RIW, we know that's what you think. After all, you changed your coat to a communion where that kind of authority is the order of the day. You might through Scripture have become convinced of the rightness of the Papal claims, but in so doing, you gave Scripture the authority to tell you that actual authority lies with the Bishop of Rome and his magesterium. So Scripture has the authority to tell you Scripture DOESN'T have authority. Odd logic to me. But I'm glad you have found fulfillment of your need for strong clearly articulated authority that brooks no dissent. You once thought you had that in Scripture. Now you believe you have found it in Rome. Where to next?

Posted by Ford Elms at Wednesday, 4 March 2009 at 7:43pm GMT
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