Comments: WATCH responds to Revision Committee

I'm so glad to see this. It's long past time that people got angry about the way women are treated by politicians in synod. Let's hope there's the same sort of righteous angry response soon about the treatment of LGBT people in the church.

Posted by toby forward at Friday, 30 October 2009 at 6:56pm GMT

About the C of E - "which exists to serve all in the land and which is supposed to give Christian leadership on matters of ethics and justice."

That claim went out the door after a little wind sucked it out in a long time ago.

Posted by Pluralist at Friday, 30 October 2009 at 7:20pm GMT

It is a bit rich for WATCH to criticise the revision committee for adopting a solution synod rejected when WATCH submitted to that same committee a proposal for a single clause measure which is, itself......a solution the synod rejected!

As for the claim it provides for 2% of priests- what about the laity who seek provision? WATCH is adopting a shameful clericalism!

Enough is enough! Let's go with provision which allows WB; makes full provision for opponents and honours promisses made. Does Ms Rees seriously believe that we can accept promisses for care from someone who has consistently argued that former promisses should be broken?

Posted by David Malloch at Friday, 30 October 2009 at 8:10pm GMT

It has often been stated on these pages that nobody is actualy going to leave. Rome has made a generous offer and many will take it. The exact number depends on the provision synod makes. Rees & co will be to blame if the floodgates are opened and thousands go. It may be hard for priests to leave because of financial implications, but they will be ministering in empty churches! The traditionalist laity have had enough - many of us, including thousands of WOMEN are not going to remain under WATCH terms!!!!!!!!

Posted by Rose Gaudete at Friday, 30 October 2009 at 8:16pm GMT

"For the Church to be equivocating on the ability or desirability of women to hold positions of leadership is to send out a damaging message about all women, and one which is at odds with the Church's understanding of humanity" - WATCH -

This so obvious truth - at the heart of the Press Statement by WATCH - ought to be the spiritual basis on which the Church of England should make a decision on the ordination in the Church of England of suitable female candidates to be accepted as Bishops in the Church.

The theologically-based arguments have already been settled by other Provinces of the world-wide Anglican Communion, which have welcomed the ordination and preferment of women into their Churches.

This delay on the part of our English *Mother Church* only serves to stimulate a culture of disbelief in the minds of ordinary citizens of the U.K. in the lack of justice, and the exclusivist policies of the C.of E. - not to mention those other Partners in the Communion which have long-since abandoned the patriarchal notion of ecclesiastical sexism.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Friday, 30 October 2009 at 9:54pm GMT

Then, Rose, people like that will never be happy anywhere. Sooner or later, Rome will do something you don't like and you'll leave in a huff - at most, a minute-and-a-huff.

If thousands go, then we get the "smaller, purer" church and Benny da Bavarian gets those unwilling to accept ecclesial authority.

Go, already!

Posted by MarkBrunson at Saturday, 31 October 2009 at 4:17am GMT

"Rees & co will be to blame if the floodgates are opened and thousands go. - Rose Gaudete -

Obviously, not much joy and gladness (Gaudete) for you and your anti-WO here Rose.

Christina Rees and her fellow women clergy are only asking for what General Synod has already agreed to provide - the ordination of women who are called by God and the Church to be bishops.

You cannot blame them for your determination to leave your birthright in the Church of England. Indeed, if you were loyal to her patronage you would gladly welcome this prophetic move in the Anglican Communion - already affirmed in other Provinces of the Communion. You seem determined to leave; then Go with God, with joy & gladness.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Saturday, 31 October 2009 at 9:57am GMT

Fr Ron: No. Rees et al are not only asking for for the ordination of women as bishops. They are asking for promisses made by synod to be broken - so much for synod sticking to what it has agreed. WATCH sent its own submission to the revision committee trying to overturn the synodical remit with a single clause measure - so they are duplicitous to now argue that alterations are not acceptable.

Posted by Rose Gaudete at Saturday, 31 October 2009 at 3:58pm GMT

Rose Gaudete

Two questions and a comment:

(i) Can you please identify me the specific promises made by General Synod, which are supposed to be being broken, and how they were made, and who by?

(ii) Is it possible for a legislative body like General Synod to bind its successors (bearing in mind, for example, the rule that the same Synod cannot generally revisit the same issue, but the next one can)?

Comment: There are some members of the Church of England who seem to be arguing, using a curious idea of 'reception' that the decision to ordain women was wrong and could be reversed. What does that do to the promises made to women when they are ordained, to the church that women are welcome in this ministry and to our nation that women and their gifts and vocations are regarded in the same way as men?

Personally, I believe I have consistently argued for pastoral provision consistent with catholic order, rather than legal provision which breaks catholic order. To me this is the difference between providing for dissent and legislating for division.

Posted by Mark Bennet at Saturday, 31 October 2009 at 11:23pm GMT

Just whom, I ask, are Christina Rees and her allies speaking for, in such invective?? For the life of me, I wonder where on earth their Christian heart is in their seemingly obsessive behaviour and antics, not to mention their constant display of intolerance and bigotry, the very accusation they level against those they disagree with. Do they not imagine that there may in fact be Anglicans and Church of England members out there, and a significant number, who actually find their words and behaviour absolutely intolerable, irrespective of opinions over the ordination of women to the episcopate. Rees and co would do well to come down off their soap boxes.

Posted by Bromenblue at Saturday, 31 October 2009 at 11:26pm GMT

Rees and WATCH are speaking out for a Church in which women can practise their calling, gifts and ministries without legally imposed restrictions, which would be likely to humiliate them and undermine their authority. WATCH believe that it would be storing up all sorts of trouble and divisions to allow women as bishops but on the basis that they remain second class within the Church. It is not morally acceptable, nor is it practically workable. It is an act of dignity, in my view, to say "accept us as equals or not at all."

Posted by Sue at Sunday, 1 November 2009 at 1:14pm GMT

I am afraid I found WATCH's reaction very disproportionate. If FiF is only 2%, one cannot maintain that women's episcopacy would be gravely undermined. On the other hand, I also think that the reaction of the FiF leadership and many of its members to the Pope's 'offer' was badly out of kilter. If they (most of them) can't muster more loyalty to the C of E, they don't deserve separate treatment. That reaction has badly undermined the position of such as 'Bromenblue' who (correct me if I am wrong) is not Pope-fixated.

Posted by john at Sunday, 1 November 2009 at 10:12pm GMT

A thank you to John for his comments. I am one of those Anglo-Catholics in the Church of England who, although I have a huge affection for the Pope as a great spiritual leader, desperately hope and pray that, despite WATCH's unwelcome invective and intervention, a structural way forward may yet be found. I am sure members of the Revision Committee are far more temperate and less ill-disciplined than seems to be the case with members of WATCH. I am confident that they are not representative of most sensible and right thinking Anglicans.

Posted by Bromenblue at Monday, 2 November 2009 at 5:58pm GMT

Revisiting the website, I've just read Ron's comment to Rose:"You seem determined to leave. Then go with God, with joy and gladness." Such a comment sums up, for me, the absolute illiberality of so-called liberals! In other words, conform to our way of thinking, or get out. No doubt Ron will attempt to put some kind of theological spin on his comments. I'm just glad he never ministered in any parishes I've been in with that sort of attitude. Does he, I wonder, say to those parishioners who are out of line with his way of thinking, "Go with God, with joy and gladness"? Some might deem it arrogance.

Posted by Bromenblue at Monday, 2 November 2009 at 6:50pm GMT

Bromenblue,

Thanks. I hope you get what you need. So also Fr Simon Killwick (and Frs Ed Tomlinson and T E Jones in their better moments [as I regard them]). Now of course AffCath (whom I generally agree with) have weighed in against the Revision Committee. What we need is some proper '"live and let live" under the C of E umbrella' heavyweight leadership, plus a commitment by both sides to permanent cessation of hostilities. Will it happen? God knows.

Posted by john at Monday, 2 November 2009 at 9:03pm GMT

John, at last someone who is just what the label says: a true Liberal. You actually said you hope we get what we need. Yes, what we need, not simply what we want, to be able to remain as loyal Anglicans within the fold of the Church of England. Sadly, it seems there are those less temperate and tolerant than yourself who simply refuse to try to understand our needs. I suspect you've come from the same sort of stable as myself and can therefore sympathise, even though you may not agree. Would that some members of WATCH and Aff Cath did the same. Thank you again. It's reassuring to know that there are those out there who, despite a different perspective, are willing still to allow for a Church of England which gives space to us.

Posted by Bromenblue at Monday, 2 November 2009 at 11:59pm GMT

"Anyway, the point is, I do think it's time people finally understood that the liberals really don't want FinF people in the CofE any longer. You want them out, so why not just admit it and let the parting be as friendly as possible?" - Clive -

Clive (& Bromenblue), this is just not so! What some of us, who are both Catholic and Reformed in the Anglican Communion, would like of you and your fellows (generally fellows and, rarely, women), is that you would consider the females of the Church as possible participants of the *Persona Christi* at the altars and in the episcopal sedia of your churches and cathedrals.

The very title 'Forward in Faith' ought to mark you out as people who are open to reformation in the Church, in ways that reflect the charisma of Christ in the Gospels; whose open-ness to women as well as men was manifest in Scripture.

You do not have to be tied to the Vatican's ideas about patriarchalism - when Jesus' example was so forthright - if we can believe his commissioning of Mary Magdalen as Apostle of the Resurrection to his male Apostles, as related in Scripture.

The real question is, of course, whether you are really open to new revelation by the Holy Spirit in the reformed tradition of Anglicanism; or are you conformed to the exclusive 'catholicity' of the Roman Pontiff? Only you are qualified to decide.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Tuesday, 3 November 2009 at 12:00am GMT

Sorry, but I stand by earlier:

Leave, already.

Rome's door is open. Here's Bromenblue, talking Anglo-Catholic and an internal solution. So, you only accept ecclesial authority so long as it doesn't inconvenience you? Is that why you won't trot along to Rome, because the RCC wouldn't put up with your complaining, wouldn't go making the huge concessions you expect?

Intolerance? You push, push, push, alienating everyone else, then want to cry "Brother!" when you get pushed back. Even tolerance has its limits - the same way bodies develop a fever. The same way crab traps don't catch sharks. You have not the slightest understanding of tolerance, so don't go expecting to use it as a shibboleth.

Posted by MarkBrunson at Tuesday, 3 November 2009 at 5:11am GMT

To Mark Brunson: You are wrong about the Roman Catholic Church. It has certainly been more generous than people like yourself, and has made enormous concessions. With your own comments, you have clearly shown yourself to be among the most intolerant of individuals. I and others like me will continue to be the "necessary abrasion" Rowan Williams has said is needed in the Church of England to ensure at least some semblance of faithfulness to its Catholic Roots. I will thus not, as you put it, "Leave already." By the way "Brother!" is not an expression I would choose to use, so please don't put such words into my mouth. You are clearly unable to work through and articulate arguments in a reasonable and thoughtful manner.

Posted by Bromenblue at Tuesday, 3 November 2009 at 12:56pm GMT

I wonder, when people say 'leave', whether they are members of the TEC or the CofE, because it sounds shrill and quite out of keeping with the gentle and kind tolerance which typifies the CofE. The tone within TEC, by contrast, often seems to be more shrill, and this may well have to do with the fact they are a mere denomination, and not the national Church. In England, those who attend, and those who do not attend can regard themselves as 'belonging' to the CofE and have equal rights and ownership thanks to the Parish system. We have a very different mindset, and wanting to excommunicate people by asking them to leave, or not making them welcome, (despite differences and disagreements) is anathema to us. Live and let live - with respect for genuinely and sincerely held theological convictions (on both sides).

Posted by Neil at Tuesday, 3 November 2009 at 3:09pm GMT

Neil, you might also consider how your last post would read if you began it - I wonder, when people say they are going to leave ...

Posted by Mark Bennet at Tuesday, 3 November 2009 at 5:18pm GMT

"those who attend, and those who do not attend can regard themselves as 'belonging' to the CofE and have equal rights and ownership thanks to the Parish system."

In my eyes, this is not a good thing. In this country, there is no sense that because one is Canadian one must be Anglican, regardless of one's actual beliefs. Here, there is more of what might be called a religious marketplace, though that's a revolting term. So, if I cannot accept what the Anglican Church teaches, I feel no nationalistic compulsion to stay with "our" national religion. I don't see that as a bad thing, though I admit, there is some benefit in being forced to at least make the effort to get along with those who differ.

But why in the name of God should those "who do not attend" have equal rights and ownership with those who do? I always thought that, living where I live, I had a pretty good understanding of Enlgish culture, but this attitude, which I guess is based on Establishment, is completely incomprehensible to me. If you do not attend the gatherings of an organization, sacred or secular, how can you with any integrity claim to be a member of that organization? By that definition, I must be a Jew because I've never been to a synagogue. What would such membership in the CofE be based on, birthplace? So, anyone born in England is a member of the Church of England? All those English born in India during the Raj must have been Hindus, then? By that definition, I must be a member of the Longhouse Religion. After all, it's native to Canada, and I was born in Canada!

Posted by Ford Elms at Tuesday, 3 November 2009 at 5:18pm GMT

Ford
if you've been baptised into the CoE you are a member, whether you attend church or not.
Is that really so different where you are?

Posted by Erika Baker at Tuesday, 3 November 2009 at 8:42pm GMT

Mark - I agree that threats to leave are equally shrill. If that is how people feel, and they want to leave, then they should get on with it. However, in the case of Bromenblue the intention is clearly to remain in the Church into which one was baptised.

Posted by Neil at Wednesday, 4 November 2009 at 7:26am GMT

Ford - lots of people (and this includes even the unbaptised) would still, when asked for example when admitted to hospital, assume that they are 'CofE'. Their position needs to be at least considered, and because we are the national Church we need to guard against one strand (or other) of theological opinion (eg that of WATCH) getting to define the position of others out of existence. Thereby reducing us merely to one denomination amongst others.

Posted by Neil at Wednesday, 4 November 2009 at 7:32am GMT

Ford, if you are an English citizen living in England, you have certain rights with regard to your parish church, whether or not you are baptized or believe anything. As an unbaptized, non-believing resident you have to the right to demand baptism for your children, the right to demand marriage in the parish church (I stress again, as an unbaptized, non-believing resident), and the right to attend the annual Meeting and to vote for the Church Wardens. I'm not sure about this, but I think you may even have the right to be elected as a Church Warden. Some clergy see this as an outrage and they resist, for instance, taking the funerals of non church members. Others see it as a privilege, a holy duty and an opportunity. With all its anomalies and opportunities for abuse, I prefer the latter approach. Reform parishes tend to prefer the former. Forward in Faith parishes also, by default, have to prefer the former in some ways, because they impose a genital inspection on those who would approach the altar to celebrate the eucharist.

Posted by toby forward at Wednesday, 4 November 2009 at 8:52am GMT

Toby Forward has stooped to new lows with his comments about genital inspection. It is just the kind of crass statement one might expect from those unable to articulate a coherent theological argument. Is this website really for "Thinking" Anglicans?

Posted by Bromenblue at Wednesday, 4 November 2009 at 9:58am GMT

Toby
People attending the APCM have to be on the Electoral Roll of the respective parish. And to qualify for the electoral roll, a person has to be:
(a) a member of the Church of England (or a Church ‘in commuion’ with the Church of England),
(b) baptised,
(c) 16 years of age or over,
(d) a resident of the parish (or if not a resident, has ‘habitually attended public worship in the church’ for six months),
(e) as signed the electoral roll application form.

As regards marriage, I don’t know if it is a legal requirement, but all the churches I know make it a requirement for at least one of the partners to be on the electoral roll.

Posted by Erika Baker at Wednesday, 4 November 2009 at 11:15am GMT

"Toby Forward has stooped to new lows with his comments about genital inspection"

So, what do you do - genetic testing?

Posted by BillyD at Wednesday, 4 November 2009 at 2:42pm GMT

Bromenblue (whoever you are), I think you misunderstood when you said I 'stooped to new lows with (my) comments about genital inspection'. I don't do the inspecting myself. In fact, I object to its being done at all.

Erika, thanks for your correction. Are you right however about attending, or are those the rules for voting?
As far as marriage is concerned, I know that you are right about the requirement that some clergy make, but I think that I am right that canon law does not permit them to make that requirement. The official document says:

'Q/ I’m not baptised. I don’t go to church. Can I still get married in church?
A/ Yes! Normally the parish priest will want to get to know you a bit and might ask you to some preparation meetings or church services before you get married.'

Residence alone is enough. It's part of the deal about Establishment.

Posted by toby forward at Wednesday, 4 November 2009 at 2:57pm GMT

It is interesting to me, given the mutual recognition of Baptism, and the difficulties in recognising orders, that that there is a tendency for people to suggest that Church into which they are baptised is the Church of England, but those ordained are priests in the Church of God/catholic Church/Church universal.

Posted by Mark Bennet at Wednesday, 4 November 2009 at 3:10pm GMT

Lest my last comment to "Bromenblue" be written off as mere flippancy, let me expand it: exactly what is it about females that disqualifies them from the priesthood? How male do you have to be for the Sacrament of Orders to "take"? Would a female to male transsexual fit the bill? How about someone who was born with both male and female sexual characteristics, and had surgery to appear unambiguously male: male enough? How about people who *look* like women but have male chromosomes, or vice versa? I assume that neither FiF nor the SSC has yet developed an apparatus that can scan for the presence of the male soul you seem to think exists, so you must be basing your judgment on something physical. Well, what is it?

Posted by BillyD at Wednesday, 4 November 2009 at 3:42pm GMT

"if you've been baptised into the CoE you are a member, whether you attend church or not."

Yes, actually. We would use the phrase "nominally Anglican" and there is the growing belief that if one does not take part in the Church one is not part of the Church. It's nothing close to widespread yet, but it is there. It isn't possible to negate one's baptism, but it isn't logical to claim that one can be part of something in which one never actually takes part. It's about acknowledging that Christianity is not the societal religion, we are at best one among many. Christian faith is not something one is born with. My attitude towards people I meet is that they are NOT Christian. That's not a judgement, it's a logical assumption. I know a lot of people who would be insulted if you assumed they were Christians. In regard to baptised Christians, I get the idea that Methodists, say, in the UK are also considered members of the CofE. That is incomprehensible to me. It's one of the many oddities caused by Establishment. This must sound to you like exclusion of people. To me, it's about acknowledging that people have every right NOT to be Christians if they don't want to, and we have to set them free to follow the path they choose, and not feel some cultural obligation to be a part of something they really have no interest in or couldn't be bothered to understand, or even hate. We wouldn't turn people away for anything. My parish has often buried people who had no where else to bury them, we even had a nonreligious funeral for a secular Jew. But I think more and more clergy would ask non-practicing people who come requesting marriage or baptism for their kids or something why they are asking. I think the difference is that in England the assumption is that everyone is a member by right, and thus there is great unwillingness in some quarters to avoid being seen to be kicking people out, while here the attitude is more that the majority are not members, and it's our job to bring them in. That has pretty far reaching implications for our attitudes to things like doctrine. For you, the concern is that being too strict on that will force people out. To me it's about being clear on what we are offering people in order for them to choose whether or not they want to come in.

Posted by Ford Elms at Wednesday, 4 November 2009 at 4:19pm GMT

Toby
The rules for attending and voting at the APCM came from "An ABC for the PCC - A Handbook for Church Council Members" bu John Pitchford. My edition was printed in 2001.

Posted by Erika Baker at Wednesday, 4 November 2009 at 4:51pm GMT

Election of Churchwardens takes place at the Annual Vestry Meeting -- all parishioners are entitled to attend and vote. The APCM follows immediately and only those on the Electoral Roll may vote (the others may well be invited to stay on for that meeting).

The APCM elects the Deanery Synod representatives, and they with the Churchwardens are ex officio members of the PCC. The remaining number of the PCC are then elected.

To be married in a particular church you need to reside in the parish or be on the electoral roll of that parish. So it is possible for a couple who live in different parishes and who each are on the ER of another parish to have four possiblities for their marriage - two parishes of residence and two parishes where they are on the ER.

Residence means (merely) residence; to be on the ER you need to attend worship.

I take no account of stories about fabricating residence by leaving a suitcase at an address within the parish.
:-)

Posted by John Roch at Wednesday, 4 November 2009 at 8:13pm GMT

"Is this website really for "Thinking" Anglicans?"
- Bromenblue, on Wednesday -

Well, Bromenblue. You are a prolific contributor, what do you think is the answer to your question?

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Wednesday, 4 November 2009 at 8:53pm GMT

John Roch

At the risk of thread drift.

The new marriage rules now also cover people having a qualifying connection with the parish (lived in the parish for six months, and so forth).

This helps us with people who live in the parish here, but move after booking their wedding, but before their service - for example.

Posted by Mark Bennet at Wednesday, 4 November 2009 at 9:44pm GMT

John Roch
This is interesting.
Leaving aside the fact that in most churches I know the Annual Vestry Meeting takes place immediately before the APCM, and that the same people attend both, if the provisions for the Vestry meeting are different, how are "parishioners" defined?

Posted by Erika Baker at Wednesday, 4 November 2009 at 9:49pm GMT

Ford
"For you, the concern is that being too strict on that will force people out. To me it's about being clear on what we are offering people in order for them to choose whether or not they want to come in."

No, my concern is not about being strict or lax. My concern is that we can never know why someone comes to church and that we do not have the right to judge.
"We" aren't offering anything, God is offering and people respond (or not).

But this is off topic again, I fear.

Posted by Erika Baker at Wednesday, 4 November 2009 at 9:51pm GMT

Anyone living in a parish has the right to marriage in the parish church, with the exception of divorcees, who may be married at the discretion of the priest. If clergy are insisting that one party has to be on the electoral roll or even baptised, they are in breach of the law.

Posted by David Malloch at Wednesday, 4 November 2009 at 10:10pm GMT

Revd Smith, if you look back on the site, you will see that I am not in fact a prolific contributor. I have occasionally offered a good number of thoughts on the issue of women bishops. The reason I posed the question about whether this is really a website for "Thinking" Anglicans stems from a very crass statement made by Toby Forward about genital inspection. Would you defend such as theological argument or suitable for sensible debate? Or is that perhaps the level of intelligent thinking we've now come to in the Church? Maybe that's why the Anglican Communion and Church of England are in such a mess. The liberal hold on reasoning, to the exclusion of Scripture and Tradition.

Posted by Bromenblue at Thursday, 5 November 2009 at 9:16am GMT

There is information here

on qualification to be a churchwarden
http://www.churchcare.co.uk/further.php?BADB


on the election of churchwardens.
http://www.churchcare.co.uk/further.php?BADC

I have not studied the detail of the changes to the marriage rules, as they have not affected us (2 straight-forward weddings in the last 12 months)


[necessary NB, perhaps - I'm not clergy]

Posted by John Roch at Thursday, 5 November 2009 at 10:22am GMT

"Would you defend such as theological argument or suitable for sensible debate? Or is that perhaps the level of intelligent thinking we've now come to in the Church? Maybe that's why the Anglican Communion and Church of England are in such a mess. The liberal hold on reasoning, to the exclusion of Scripture and Tradition."
- Bromenblue -

The wonderful thing about most of those who make comments on this site is that they are not averse to evidencing a refreshing sense of humour now and again - especially when the arguments get a little intense - as has this one about women in ministry. If you really want invective, just have a look at the American site: 'Virtue-on-line'!

No, I do not think that the injection of the odd bit of humour is "why the Anglican Communion and the Church of England are in such a mess". That might be more due to the fact that some of the conservatives in the Church are intent on holding the Church to ransom on matters that many of us see as adiaphorous, and not essentially doctrinal.

Many of us are also Anglo-Catholic - a bit like yourself and members of F.i.F., but with the feeling that the Church needs to minister to the very real needs of the world, to and in which God has ordained us to minister. To believe that the Holy Spirit has ceased working in the Anglican Communion today, is to condemn it to irrelevance. *Behold, I am doing a new thing,* says the Lord.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Friday, 6 November 2009 at 10:10am GMT

Revd Smith, I haven't claimed humour is why we're in a mess. I wouldn't be so flippant.

Posted by Bromenblue at Friday, 6 November 2009 at 6:02pm GMT

By the way, isn't it rather tacky for a priest of the SSC to refer to another Anglican priest (and one who signs himself as "Father," at that) as "Revd."? Reverend is an adjective, not a title.

Posted by BillyD at Friday, 6 November 2009 at 7:55pm GMT

" Thank you BillyD, for that defence. Maybe Bromenblue finds it difficult to call me 'Father' simply because I have never begotten children. My children are all 'spiritual' - I joyfully baptised one of them this morning. God Bless! Keep up the good work.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Saturday, 7 November 2009 at 5:50am GMT

Billy D, the Revd Smith is neither my Father in God nor my spiritual Father. So no, it's not tacky, it has an integrity about it. I would, however, like to question how you have assumed I am a member of SSC, when nowhere in my contributions have I ever made mention of such membership, nor have I on this site ever signed myself "Father". Could you please elucidate me and other readers, as to how you can substantiate making such a comment, without ever having read it anywhere on "Thinking Anglicans"?

Posted by Bromenblue at Saturday, 7 November 2009 at 5:17pm GMT

Billy D, apologies, I misread your comment about "Father", but I would still like to know where you have read that I am a member of SSC.

Posted by Bromenblue at Saturday, 7 November 2009 at 5:19pm GMT

"Billy D, the Revd Smith is neither my Father in God nor my spiritual Father. So no, it's not tacky, it has an integrity about it."

See, I'm used to Anglo Catholic priests calling each other "Father" as a matter of course. I've never known a priest of any Catholic group, Western or Eastern, refer to another priest as anything but "Father." To make such a nice distinction as you are seems odd, and I find it hard to understand why you would want to do it unless you were somehow "othering" him, as it were.

"Could you please elucidate me and other readers, as to how you can substantiate making such a comment,"

"Substantiate"? It's hardly an accusation, Father. I said you were a member of the SSC, not the KKK.

"without ever having read it anywhere on "Thinking Anglicans"?"

I wasn't aware that reading it somewhere besides TA was cheating!

The explication is, to put it briefly, Google.

If I'm mistaken, or if you were using your nickname as some sort of secret identity, I apologize.

Posted by BillyD at Saturday, 7 November 2009 at 9:04pm GMT

Billy D, I do have to say it is rather disturbing that you have been trying to uncover my identity. I do have a right to privacy, and you may well be wrong in your assumptions about who I am anyway. However, in your point about Anglo-Catholic priests and use of the word "Father", I'd feel I was using the term rather loosely, as Revd Smith is clearly a liberal who enjoys Catholic ritual, but that's as about as far as it goes. He and I clearly come from very different stables and have widely differing views in terms of our understanding of Catholicity. I'm sorry it seems to stir up so many emotions, but surely the term Reverend is acknowledging his ministry as one who has been ordained. I don't see what the fuss is about. After all, I could have just called him Ron! Sadly, although I've enjoyed contributing to Thinking Anglicans, the thought that others are investigating my identity in the way that you have done leads to some uneasiness on my part, so I'll just continue to enjoy reading without offering any further thoughts. Enjoy the discussions!

Posted by Bromenblue at Saturday, 7 November 2009 at 10:53pm GMT

By the way, Bromenblue, I realy would like an answer to my post of 4 November 2009 at 3:42pm GMT. (Although I bet that I can guess what your answer is likely to be).

Posted by BillyD at Saturday, 7 November 2009 at 10:53pm GMT

"I'd feel I was using the term rather loosely, as Revd Smith is clearly a liberal who enjoys Catholic ritual, but that's as about as far as it goes. He and I clearly come from very different stables and have widely differing views in terms of our understanding of Catholicity."

Ah, so I was correct. You do *not* see him as an equal.


"Sadly, although I've enjoyed contributing to Thinking Anglicans, the thought that others are investigating my identity in the way that you have done leads to some uneasiness on my part, so I'll just continue to enjoy reading without offering any further thoughts."

I'm really very sorry about this, although I would hardly call googling a nickname "investigating [somebody's] identity."

"I do have a right to privacy,"

Indeed, you do have a right to privacy, although I'm not sure that looking for that privacy on the internet is reasonable. Certainly linking a nickname with your real name would seem to be a self-exploding privacy.

"and you may well be wrong in your assumptions about who I am anyway."

Yeeesss, I may have been wrong in my assumptions, as I acknowledged might be the case a couple of comments ago. But if that were the case, wouldn't it make more sense for you to say something like, "You're wrong, Billy" rather than freaking out like this?

Posted by BillyD at Sunday, 8 November 2009 at 12:59am GMT

Billy
"Ah, so I was correct. You do *not* see him as an equal."

Isn't this going a bit far now?
Whatever you may thing of Bromenblue, he has revealed himself here in his conversations as entirely consistent and has conduced himself with dignity and with a huge integrity.

You and Ron may not like his thinking, but, guys, you are not going to convert him to accepting women priests, and slagging him off for that and for his understanding of faith is really not terribly grown up.

His view is different. I fail to see how accepting that people think differently makes them somehow more or less equal.

Isn't the whole point of our discussions that we are trying to work out how we can genuinely live together in our differences, without one or the other thinking they're any better because of their own "right" views?

Posted by Erika Baker at Sunday, 8 November 2009 at 8:34am GMT

"Isn't this going a bit far now?"

No, not at all. I'm not "slagging him off" for not accepting women priests. I'm commenting on his insistence that there is a such a difference between his priesthood and that of another Anglo Catholic priest who does accept women priests that he can't bring himself to call him "Father."

Posted by BillyD at Sunday, 8 November 2009 at 11:26am GMT

"You and Ron may not like his thinking, but, guys, you are not going to convert him to accepting women priests, and slagging him off for that and for his understanding of faith is really not terribly grown up."

As a followup, I remind you that I'm a communicant at a parish whose rector does not accept the ordination of women. I admire him greatly, and have no intention of trying to "convert" him or anyone else concerning women priests or bishops. I've gone on record on TA as being in favor of providing for those who disagree with the ordination of women to the priesthood or the episcopate. I think the system of flying bishops has been unneeded until this point, but that it makes sense now. Although I still can't see any promises made to that end in prior CofE agreements, providing some sort of alternate oversight seems to be in order now as a matter of Christian charity. My objection to Bromenblue's insistence on differentiating his priesthood from that Ron Smith has nothing to do with the ordination of women.


Posted by BillyD at Sunday, 8 November 2009 at 12:10pm GMT

Billy
Bromenblue is not saying that his priesthood is different (with our assumption that this might mean "better") to Ron's, but that his whole understanding of priesthood appears to be different from Ron's.

That's allowed.

Posted by Erika Baker at Sunday, 8 November 2009 at 3:16pm GMT

I did say I wasn't going to contribute any further, but I just want to say thank you to you, Erika, for your fair mindedness. I think you and I have had some good discussions, and although we may have differing views, the tenor of those discussions has been very reasonable and with a sense of good will and genuine openness. Thank you again. Continue to enjoy the lively discussions.

Posted by Bromenblue at Sunday, 8 November 2009 at 3:34pm GMT

"Bromenblue is not saying that his priesthood is different (with our assumption that this might mean "better") to Ron's, but that his whole understanding of priesthood appears to be different from Ron's.

That's allowed."

I'm afraid that we will have to disagree both about what Bromenblue is doing, and whether or not that's a good thing.

As far as I can see, what Bromenblue is trying to do is rope off the meaning of Anglican Catholicism so that it is more or less coterminous with FiF.

Again, I have never before known a Catholic priest refuse to call another one "Father" (well, another male one). If you look at Bromenblue's earlier post, Father Ron"is clearly a liberal who enjoys Catholic ritual, but that's as about as far as it goes." See he tells us, he's a real Anglican Catholic priest, whereas this Revd Smith person is just pretending.

I wonder if this is something that is easily understood by someone who is not an Anglo Catholic.

Posted by BillyD at Sunday, 8 November 2009 at 5:34pm GMT

What a charade Billy D, to coin a phrase from WATCH, and I never thought I'd find myself quoting that particular organisation!. Yes, I'm online again, but only because you are completely misrepresenting my standpoint and putting a spin on my arguments, as usual. Erika has hit the nail right on the head when she says I have a different understanding of the sacred priesthood to Revd Smith. His own views and understanding of history, ecclesiology, Church order and theology are completely at odds with my own, hence my reluctance to use the expression "Father". I can't actually see him in that light or as coming from the same stable at all. I have never suggested my own understanding is any "better", just different. I have a different understanding to my Methodist minister neighbour, as to what their ministry is about, but it is not necessarily "better" than theirs. We are simply coming from a completely different perspective, and surely that's allowed. Or maybe not, in the kind of Church you envisage, where all must be forced into submitting to the claims of a liberal theology that is at times staggering in its illiberality. Diversity was once a strength of Anglicanism. Now, it seems, we aren't allowed that privilege anymore.

Posted by Bromenblue at Sunday, 8 November 2009 at 9:17pm GMT

Erika, I'm afraid that I must side with BillyD, regarding his dialogue with Bromenblue.

Even though I would, as a third party reference to Former Bishop of Pittsburgh Bob Duncan, speak of either xDuncan or Mr. Duncan or something like that, if I were in dialogue with him I would not address him as anything but Bishop Duncan.

BillyD has a very fair point about that.

Furthermore, Bromenblue is demonstrating surprising paranoia about someone trying to determine who he (presumably) is, since there have been some secretive posters to this site who have tried to foster divisive arguments or even create Red Herrings, hiding behind their shadowy identities.

Posted by Jerry Hannon at Sunday, 8 November 2009 at 10:58pm GMT

"However, in your point about Anglo-Catholic priests and use of the word "Father", I'd feel I was using the term rather loosely, as Revd Smith is clearly a liberal who enjoys Catholic ritual, but that's as about as far as it goes"
- Bromenblue, on Saturday -

I must say, Bromenblue, that I do find your remark here bordering on the slightly offensive. To say "Revd. Smith is clearly a liberal who enjoys Catholic ritual, but that's about as far as it goes" is, I feel, assuming to know more about me than you appear to want anyone else to know about you. How can you assume the true extent of my 'catholicity', if, as you say, I am neither your 'spiritual father or spiritual advisor'?

Your own desire for anonymity on this blog is clearly not matched by me. I accept you as your pseudonym claims, 'Bromenblue'. I neither seek to know what this might: mean, or be meant to mean; to high-light or simply to hide. I just accept it. My use of the title Father is to indicate that I am a priest of the Catholic Tradition within the Anglican Church - no more, no less!

I do not question the blueness of your Bromen. I do not expect you to question the catholic nature of my priesthood - as an Anglican.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Monday, 9 November 2009 at 8:03am GMT

"I can't actually see him in that light or as coming from the same stable at all."

Again, Bromenblue (I would call you by your proper title and name, but that would undoubtedly set off another hissy fit) I have never heard of Catholic priests - Anglican, RC, or EO - making such a fine distinction about the views of their fellow priests in deciding whether or not to call them "Father." The fact that you bring in a Methodist minister into the discussion merely confirms my point. You, you would have us believe, are a Real Anglo Catholic Priest™, whereas Father Smith is something along the lines of a Methodist in a chasuble with a taste for incense. The fact that this is fairly Standard Operating Procedure among right-wing Anglo Catholics does not excuse it.

"How can you assume the true extent of my 'catholicity'"

That's easy, Father Smith. See, he knows that you support the ordination of women to the priesthood and the episcopate, and that you are in favor of the full inclusion of gay people in the Church. These have become the litmus tests of Catholicity in the Anglican Communion.

The weird thing is that I've never heard traditionalist RC priests refusing to treat RC priests who support these same policies as peers. They may be viewed as "bad priests" or "bad Catholics," but priests and Catholics they remain. Evidently conservative Anglo Catholics now claim the right to read you out of the Catholic Movement if you disagree with their take.

Posted by BillyD at Monday, 9 November 2009 at 12:29pm GMT

"Or maybe not, in the kind of Church you envisage, where all must be forced into submitting to the claims of a liberal theology that is at times staggering in its illiberality."

Sorry, I should have addressed this in my last comment.

How exactly is expecting a Catholic priest to treat another priest with fraternal courtesy, forcing him to submit to the claims of anything, except whether or not the second priest’s orders are valid? Since when did your views on someone else's theology affect accepting him as a priest in the Church of God? Are you so sparing with the title "Father" when it comes to RC priests whose views are more liberal than yours? Do you habitually refrain from referring to non-Chalcedonian clergy as "Father" or "Bishop," because their sense of catholicity, history, and ecclesiology differs from yours? In short, Father, when did it become all about *you*?

Posted by BillyD at Monday, 9 November 2009 at 1:54pm GMT

Oh dear, all this bickering about whether one priest feels able to call the other 'Father' or not. It's ineffably sad. Such side-tracking gets away from the point. I am a traditionalist Anglican Catholic, who is unable to accept the ordination of women. It is not a feminist/ sexist/equal ops issue. For those who think like me, it is a matter of Catholic Order and the validity of the sacraments. I agree that there is bigotry in some traditionalists.That is their problem, not mine. But traditionalists in general feel that we are being given a 'take it or leave it' ultimatum, and being forced out of our own church, by the illiberal liberals.
The offer from Rome has come at a bad time, as it plays into the hands of those who feel we should go: 'Well, they can always go to Rome,so why should we make provision for them'.
Has the C of E abandoned any idea of being part of the one, holy catholic church? Or is it happy to be just a protestant sect? That is the real question we should be asking ourselves.

Posted by Tony at Saturday, 14 November 2009 at 2:40pm GMT
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