Comments: Women Bishops - more from the revision committee

I think the trad ACs can thank the Holy See's mistimed intervention for this sudden about-face.

Posted by MJ at Saturday, 14 November 2009 at 11:06am GMT

I would have thought that the Statutory Code of Practice, as asked for by the Synod, would be the best way forward and would offer greater protection to opponents than the 'put up or shut up' option of single clause legislation.

Posted by Wilf at Saturday, 14 November 2009 at 11:18am GMT

So it would seem that the church of my birth will not use the Pope's generous and graciuous offer as a wonderful example of what can be done, but as a stone to hammer us again. No matter what we do the one message that returns is this:

We really dont value or want you. Praise God it seems he does....

Posted by Ed Tomlinson at Saturday, 14 November 2009 at 12:00pm GMT

At last, some good news! I happened to be listening to the B Minor Mass when I read this and the Sanctus - Osanna in Excelsis perfectly reflect my mood.

Posted by Olivia at Saturday, 14 November 2009 at 12:07pm GMT

I'm bewildered (and perhaps even amused) by the phrasing "unable to receive the episcopal ministry of women"...as though this were some form of physical disability, like being unable to see or hear. Is it rather that these individuals are UNWILLING to accept this ministry?

Posted by Pat O'Neill at Saturday, 14 November 2009 at 12:36pm GMT

Olivia, your comment is sickening! I am ever so glad you feel so ecstatic about the potential of effectively unchurching a significant minority of Anglicans, many of whom have been so from the cradle. Your perspective confirms Father Ed's contribution.

Posted by Bromenblue at Saturday, 14 November 2009 at 12:48pm GMT

I don’t mean to be pedantic, but I don’t see how one can see the pope’s offer as ‘generous and gracious’ and still want to stay in the Church of England. As all the documentation makes clears, Benedict’s offer (which completely, and significantly, side-stepped Cardinal Kasper’s office) is clearly predicated on the theology that the we are not a church, and not part of THE Church. Is this not correct?

Posted by Grumpy High Church Woman at Saturday, 14 November 2009 at 1:06pm GMT

Brian Bell. There's no need to see Olivia's comment as negative. She celebrates (as I do) the start of a proper arrangement for women in the Church. If some people can't accept that, then that's a separate issue.

Posted by toby forward at Saturday, 14 November 2009 at 1:17pm GMT

Ed, the Pope's offer seems generous and gracious to you because you are a male priest. It might not look quite so rosy if you were, say, a lay woman member of General Synod and committed to your role in the governance of the Church who, on going over, would relinquish for ever any part in the legislative process or, say, someone who is divorced and remarried and who, on going over, 'cannot receive eucharistic communion' (Catechism para 1665).

A lot will be given by some with one hand and taken from others with the other.

Posted by Wilf at Saturday, 14 November 2009 at 1:19pm GMT

There appears to be a case of wilful blindness among so-called Anglican Catholics over the recent machinations of Pope Benedict. He does not accept their present catholicity, nor the catholicity of the Church fom which they come. He does not accept their Orders; they are laymen dressed up until they are ordained, not re-ordained, and that includes the Bishop of Fulham, and all the flying bishops. The pope will decide which forms of Anglican worship are kosher;(of course, many of the Fraternity have never used most of the Anglican ritual, seeing it as inferior to the Roman Rite.) And, of course, no homosexuals will be ordained! I write as someone who was generously received into the C of E in 1974 without reordination or retraining, and has been happy here since. The pope is not being generous; he is being his usual dictatorial self.


Posted by Gerry Reilly at Saturday, 14 November 2009 at 1:37pm GMT

"No matter what we do the one message that returns is this:

We really dont value or want you."

Does Ed really not see that this is what it feels like for women both lay and ordained when demands are made for those who choose to be "protected" from the ministry of women?
And that this is why it is impossible to find a form of words or statutory code (fudge?) that will in itself allow everyone to feel accepted. Acceptance comes from growing relationships, not from rules that create permanent barriers. Seems ironic to have to say this a few days after the anniversary of the collagpse of the Berlin Wall......

Posted by Rosalind at Saturday, 14 November 2009 at 2:24pm GMT

Um, OK I know I may be a little thick, but how does relying on the putative female bishop to delegate certain roles in certain circumstances make it any harder for those who don't accept her episcopal authority to stay in the church? I mean, as I understand it, those who don't accept her will be looked after by a bloke? Yes?

Posted by Rosemary Hannah at Saturday, 14 November 2009 at 2:48pm GMT

The revision committee will face similar problems deciding what should go into a code of practice. Therefore they will end up with a single clause measure.

The only possible result will be either for the legislation to fall - which helps nobody - or to pass the single clause which will please some and render others unable to remain.

There will, therefore be 3 "anglican" provisions in England: The CofE; the Ordinariate; and some form of evangelical anglicanism under the umbrella of GAFCON. What needs to be addressed now is the relationship between those 3 bodies and the means by which folk align themselves to them.

The revision committee has proved that institutional unity cannot be maintained - there needs to be very serious consideration of how the new system is organised and whether or not it is best to try to make arrangements which prevent actions in the civil courts.

Posted by David Malloch at Saturday, 14 November 2009 at 2:57pm GMT

Gerry, I'm not so sure the pope misunderstands a certain segment of Anglo-Catholics after all. I refer to the provision for Anglican "bishops" who can't be bishop ordinaries in the new scheme because of their marital status to continue to dress up as bishops in their regalia (or should that be episcopalia?). I wonder if this sartorial offer may tip the scale for some. Clothes make the [most definitely] the _man_.

Meanwhile, here's to the committee for showing some grit and consistency, and accepting that episcopate without episkopé is an assault on truly catholic notions of church governance.

Posted by Tobias Haller at Saturday, 14 November 2009 at 3:24pm GMT

I don’t mean to be pedantic, but I don’t see how one can see the pope’s offer as ‘generous and gracious’ and still want to stay in the Church of England. As all the documentation makes clears, Benedict’s offer (which completely, and significantly, side-stepped Cardinal Kasper’s office) is clearly predicated on the theology that the we are not a church, and not part THE Church. Is this not correct?

Posted by Grumpy High Church Woman at Saturday, 14 November 2009 at 3:28pm GMT

I have added a link to some Q and A on the press release, which may be of interest to readers.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Saturday, 14 November 2009 at 3:55pm GMT

A 'generous and gracious' invitation from Ratzinger would be an invitation to the Anglican Communion to come on board, with no strings attached - married clergy, women priests and bishops, partnered LGBT folk, with a variety of liturgies. A 'generous and gracious' invitation would be one that said the things that unite us are more and greater than the tihngs that divide us, let's work them out together, in communion with one another. On the contrary, his invitation was opportunistic, mean-spirited and narrow. It was an invitation for negative people to join up to a negative view of humankind, to huddle together for warmth. Let those who like such things accept it.

Posted by toby forward at Saturday, 14 November 2009 at 4:21pm GMT

"We really don't value or want you."
Gee, Ed Tomlinson, that's what women and their supporters feel like when certain anti-WO types speak out.
For my two cents, it's the anti-WO folks who are unwilling to work in any reasonable capacity with WO folks.
As far as some anti-WO folks are concerned, a woman bishop is a little girl playing dress-up. To them, not only are women bishops bad, but so are women priests, and men who support women priests. The only bishops they're satisfied with is male bishops with properly heterosexual male thoughts. Anyone else must be granted inferior authority to the supreme authority of a properly heterosexually-thinking male bishop. Even the age old courtesy of asking permission from the diocesan bishop must be shoved aside if the bishop is female, or is not properly male enough.
"We don't really value you or want you", indeed is the subtext of many anti-WO people, Ed

Posted by peterpi at Saturday, 14 November 2009 at 6:39pm GMT

What I rarely read on these and other pages is how Anglicans on either side of the WO issue can work together to accommodate their brothers and sisters across the aisle. Can this not be done with charity?

Posted by Davis d'Ambly at Saturday, 14 November 2009 at 7:27pm GMT

No Toby, that would be a complete surrendering of the Pope's entire belief system and the tradition of his church- as unrealistic a suggestion as it is outrageous. Do you really suggest that people are only generous when they capitulate to your world view?

Your post is as ludicrous as my suggesting that WATCH should join FIF and sign up to our statements of belief.

Come on, you can do better than that. And if not you shouldnt be posting

Posted by Ed Tomlinson at Saturday, 14 November 2009 at 8:04pm GMT

"I mean, as I understand it, those who don't accept her will be looked after by a bloke? Yes?" - Posted by: Rosemary Hannah

...but it will be a chosen-by-a-bishop-who-is-FEMALE-bloke, Rosemary. And therefore, Girl-Cooties-by-transference! [Oy, if only those cooties could be innoculated against as easily as H1N1! ;-/]

*****

"Olivia, your comment is sickening! I am ever so glad you feel so ecstatic..."

@ Bromenblue: "the Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Behold, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds." [Matt.11:19]

Posted by JCF at Saturday, 14 November 2009 at 8:58pm GMT

Well I am at a loss, completely. First the Males First Males Only AngloCatholic believers seem to have carefully and deliberately painted themselves in a no exit corner, all the while loudly preaching that God wanted them to be free from women and gays, too.

Then just about the same folks lobbied successfully for what they viewed as utterly separate arrangements in church life. I guess the reported large number of covertly gay AngloCatholic priests was subterranean enough to be ruled out from their official purity calculations? Only to find that avoiding competent women and gays was difficult in modern British society, given how basic effective citizenship leads to women and/or gays thriving?

Thus, obtaining significant authority, based on effectiveness and competence.

Then gotten a rushed-hashed up invite from the Vatican to become Roman Catholics, subject however to something vaguely similar to what they believe is the eternal, lower or lesser basic lot of women and gay men.

Now lamenting the impending loss of (A) their Anglican leeway wherein they took advantage of leeway and space to claim categorically horrid things about women and gays, plus the loss of (B) their highly superior status claims, as compared to regular Roman Catholics the Anglican Ordinariates will clearly be newbies. Seems to me the pope threw them quite a surprise curve ball: Anglicans can be free from women and gays, but only if they are willing to surrender their erstwhile insular superior status as the only proper Anglican believers on the planet.

I'm sure I missed lots in my gloss. Just don't really get it. Glad to get women bishops back out of the lower dungeons, though. Ed T wants to cast the moment as all about godliness; but of course, clearly, that is not the pointed point. Clearly the pointed point is really about believers and change. The God to whom Anglican Ordinairiates will be praying will most likely be the same God who will be working through the ministries of women priests and women bishops and honest gay bishops like New Hampshire's Gene Robinson. Not even the big likes of Ed T or the Vatican can keep God from working through whomsoever will? So far, God's rain falls wetly on the Anglican evangelicals, the Anglican Catholics, and the Anglican progressives, no matter.

Posted by drdanfee at Saturday, 14 November 2009 at 10:16pm GMT

"There remain important issues for the Committee to determine at its forthcoming meetings over the shape of the proposed legislation in the light of this decision, in particular whether to retain a statutory code of practice or adopt the simplest possible legislation." - Revision Committee -

It seems that the Holy Spirit has been allowed into the corridors of power within this Revision Committee - to the extent that 'the simplest possible legislation' is still on the table for discussion by the General Synod. To have outlawed such a provision would certainly have put the Church back into the era of 'Men Only' to decide on Church polity'.

Let's now hope that this emerging inclusive ethic in the Church of England will free it from the dogmatic approach of the Roman Catholic Church, which will be more than happy to absorb those of the clergy who have always wanted to be Roman Catholics, but didn't want to give up their wives and the relatively comfortable life-style presently available to them as Anglicans.

Single clergy who want to secede to Rome will now have the perfect excuse for doing so. That only leaves those married clergy who really believe that we should slavishly follow the Roman Catholic Magisterial exclusion of female clerics -despite the fact that the Church they currently belong to have come to another, and different, way of providing ministry - through every human being called by God to minister.

Married clergy will very soon have to be allowed into the dwindling supply of Mass priests within the R.C. Church - certainly in England - so that the R.C. embargo may soon fall to necessity.

The few Anglican clergy who might secede to Rome just won't be enough to meet the demand. It may be that para-liturgies, where a Nun or Deacon dispenses the Blessed Sacrament from the Tabernacle will become the norm, rather than an occasional necessity, as at present.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Sunday, 15 November 2009 at 12:01am GMT

"Do you really suggest that people are only generous when they capitulate to your world view?"
- Ed Tomlinson, on Saturday -

Now that's hilarious, Ed, copming from you of all people. Especially when you suggest that generosity of your cradle-Church of England does not match up to the generosity you perceive within the Roman Catholic - which which you now identify. Let's have a little clarity here.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Sunday, 15 November 2009 at 12:55am GMT

Come, come, Fr. Ed, Bromenblue: the Vatican's offer was not nearly that good. Certainly, it wasn't a sort of "Anglican Uniate" position. With Roman control over celibacy of seminarians, this arrangement would last perhaps a generation, before Anglican "heritage" would be a lost liturgy, and nothing more - certainly the distinctives of Anglican ecclesiology would be lost.

It doesn't require the Vatican's offer for negotiations to fail between those who seek a firewall between themselves and women and the episcopate and those who see the matter of the sacrament as human being rather than human male. An absolutist on either side, and negotiations fail.

In fact the Vatican's offer wasn't about the Anglo-Catholics in the Church of England or elsewhere in the Anglican Communion. It was about the folks in TAC, who left the Communion long ago, and who have already accepted the terms that the Vatican has proposed. They have been willing to give up their orders, and to accept the Roman primacy, lock, stock, and barrel.

Posted by Marshall Scott at Sunday, 15 November 2009 at 1:16am GMT

Jesus said a house divided against itself cannot stand. The Buddha's last words were that nothing put together from parts can last indefinitely. From a viewpoint a long way away, I have a great deal of sympathy for all three sides in this unfortunate dispute. They all have equally rational points of view given their premises. The current battles consist of bashing each others' conclusions. If concord is to be achieved, it can only come about by reaching agreement on fundamental premises, then redeveloping the conclusions step by step with agreement at each step. Possible but improbable. Unity will not be achieved during a historical moment when most people want to pull apart. As Hegel noted.

Posted by anthony at Sunday, 15 November 2009 at 2:04am GMT

I'm sorry, Mr. Tomlinson, but you seem to relish avoiding statements that are charitable. Yes, you are a Christian, and yes, you and I are both imperfect, but I would not suggest that someone "shouldnt be posting" because I disagreed with their logic.

Yes, I would try to point out what I believed their errors to be, and why I had different beliefs, but as annoying and ill-conceived as I regard many of your postings, I would not suggest that you refrain from posting.

Posted by Jerry Hannon at Sunday, 15 November 2009 at 2:24am GMT

When the Book of Common Prayer was introduced, and 2000 Puritan ministers left, they met in houses under conditions of oppression, and built their own chapels, some before and some after the Act of Toleration.

When the Methodists found themselves outside the Church of England, they built their own meeting places and chapels, and built up their own funds and numbers.

Today's traditionalist Anglo-Catholics and far right Evangelicals on their way out might try the same.

Posted by Pluralist at Sunday, 15 November 2009 at 3:58am GMT

Mr Tomlinson, I think you've been answered, so I've nothing more to add.

Posted by toby forward at Sunday, 15 November 2009 at 8:52am GMT

I don't understand why this has happened. (Of course, it will become clear later when specific proposals and subsequent votes are published.) But if it is decisive, as it seems to be, I wish it hadn't happened.

Posted by john at Sunday, 15 November 2009 at 1:45pm GMT

".but it will be a chosen-by-a-bishop-who-is-FEMALE-bloke, Rosemary. And therefore, Girl-Cooties-by-transference! [Oy, if only those cooties could be innoculated against as easily as H1N1! ;-/]"

Well, yes I have heard this said, but it is illogical - making executive decisions is a lay function. Lay people do it all the time. Indeed on paper a lay woman appoints all bishops. This would be, from a certain stand point, only another lay woman making other appointments. There is too much Mr Spock in me to see the argument.

Posted by Rosemary Hannah at Sunday, 15 November 2009 at 5:36pm GMT

Well Spocky my friend- why not add the gifts of memory and learning to your logic!

As I have repeatedly explained -our problem with women bishops is not that they are women as you liberals stubbonly refuse to accept. That would be a truly sexist position easily remedied by a man visiting instead as offered in the sexist code of practice.

No our problem is that we do not believe she is an authentic bishop. That is not ontologically changed due to the theological reasons whch I have oft supplied and never recieved satisfactory answer to. That means that any man coming as her commisary is equally invalid- as they are there 'in cathedra' in her place- AS her - and that still wont do.

Our problem is ecclesiogical and that is why we have consistently asked for an ecclesiastical problem. Now most reasonable people can accept our argument and respect it even if they dont agree with us. Why do you find it so difficult?

Posted by Ed Tomlinson at Sunday, 15 November 2009 at 8:39pm GMT

I think that there will be a Code of Practice. After all, the revision committee almost went down the road of statutory transfer, I think they will want guidelines with some kind of force for the delegation by diocesan bishop. Either way, there will be safeguard and provisos put in place for those opposed to the ministry of women - even if it is a bloke tainted by being chosen by a woman! Traditionalists should remember this is a lot more than you get in the secular world, where if you object to a boss on the ground of their gender you are in trouble - people don't run around and pander to you!

Posted by Sue at Sunday, 15 November 2009 at 10:08pm GMT

'As I have repeatedly explained -our problem with women bishops is not that they are women as you liberals stubbonly refuse to accept - Ed Tomlinson

Such twaddle I find it hard to credit even you with, Ed. Your whole argument is against females becoming priests and bishops. What other special characteristic, other than that of being female, are you actually 'against' here? Please explain, so that we, who are only mortal, can understand.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Sunday, 15 November 2009 at 11:05pm GMT

Ed -

you don't have a simple sexist problem with a woman bishop because she is a woman. No, you have an ecclesiological problem with a woman bishop who can't be a real bishop, because.....SHE IS A WOMAN, and therefore can't be a real bishop. Or am I missing something?

So the answer is that this is a problem of sexist ecclesiology. You can dress it up any way you like - but that is the problem - she aint got the right bits.

Roll on the single clause measure and the end of this folly!!

Posted by Jeremy Pemberton at Sunday, 15 November 2009 at 11:07pm GMT

There should of course be a proper provision within as well as without the CofE for faithful Anglicans. However, I do think people should have at least started to get their heads around the reality that the CofE loosened its claims to Catholicity in 1992 with the vote to permit women priests. The sooner everybody can accept the reality that we are more-or-less the same as Methodists (except just as the convert Bishops to Rome at least we still pretend to have Bishops who dress up) the better. And also, for all the deficiencies of Methodist 'orders'...there is still a lot in the residue of Christianity they and the CofE has to be immensely thankful for.

Posted by Neil at Sunday, 15 November 2009 at 11:17pm GMT

"As I have repeatedly explained -our problem with women bishops is not that they are women as you liberals stubbonly refuse to accept. That would be a truly sexist position easily remedied by a man visiting instead as offered in the sexist code of practice.

No our problem is that we do not believe she is an authentic bishop."

But WHY do you believe she is not an authentic bishop? Is it not because she is a woman?

Posted by Pat O'Neill at Monday, 16 November 2009 at 12:13am GMT

"As I have repeatedly explained -our problem with women bishops is not that they are women as you liberals stubbonly refuse to accept...No our problem is that we do not believe she is an authentic bishop."

As others point out, this will not do. The reason you don't believe that she is an authentic bishop is precisely because she is a woman (although you still haven't made clear exactly what your definition of "woman" is).

Posted by BillyD at Monday, 16 November 2009 at 12:19am GMT

'Protestantism is essentially liberal. It permits and encourages dissent, freedom of conscience, and toleration of diversity. It insists on a fraternity and fellowship that includes those who disagree. It affirms that the one thing that matters is personal commitment to the person of Christ. All else is open to discussion and debate. I am an Anglican partly because I can live together in faith with people whose interpretation of the Bible seems to me completely wrong.'

Thus the great Keith Ward in 2005. Couldn't have put it better myself.

For myself, the two greatest virtues are kindness and compassion. Not that they should not sometimes be overriden by other virtues: justice, for example.

Perhaps it's too late. But even if it is, we 'liberals' should still we straining every sinew to accommodate (continue to give a home to) self-styled 'Catholic Anglicans', just as they should to us. For surely the demands of justice (as we conceive it - as we, in my opinion, rightly conceive it) have been sufficiently satisfied in this instance: there will be women bishops, just as there are now already many women priests.

Posted by john at Monday, 16 November 2009 at 4:54am GMT

Ed
I understand what you're saying and I don't think it's sexist, or at least, I believe that you genuinely do not think it is.

My problem is a question I have repeatedly asked and to which I have been given no satisfactory answer. Indeed, I have been given absolutely no answer, satisfactory or otherwise.

If it's merely about an ontological change that God confers only to men, then you cannot accept women priests, women bishops and male priests ordained by a woman bishop.

But what you are all asking is permission to reject even a male bishop who has ordained women priests or consecrated women bishops.

But if this is about something God does or doesn't do, then it completely irrelevant what the male bishop thinks. The male priests he ordains will be valid, the women priests won't be, however much the bishop might believe them to be.

And yet - you're also rejecting the valid male priests, apparently simply because you don't like the male bishop's theology.

That's no longer theological or ecclesiological or any other logical.
What is it?

Posted by Erika Baker at Monday, 16 November 2009 at 8:20am GMT

I think Ed's issue is clearly that a woman cannot be a bishop (or priest) because she is a woman. The argument that the C of E does not have the authority to make this step is spurious and I am glad it has not been used in the last couple of days.

The issue is one of biological determinism (i.e. you can't do certain things because you are a man or a woman) - this is clear in such areas as human reproduction. However, the mistake is pulling this into the sphere of Christian Anthropology. Opponents say that because of biology women and men are different in spiritual giftings and vocatio; that somehow the eternal God in whom there is no male nor female and in whose image men and women were created, chooses to distinguish according to biological determinism which spiritual and jurisdictional functions can be exercised by whom.

If there is something unifyingly human about us, that allows men and women to be baptised and a to be saved it is not logical to then limit certain functions and orders in the church according to the limits of biology. There will always be different people with different gifts and callings to different ministries, but to set up arbitrary gendered boundaries does not work.

Posted by Wilf at Monday, 16 November 2009 at 8:30am GMT

I think that Bishop Spong is right about this. It's time to stop discussing it, to refuse to engage in the argument, just as we would refuse to engage if the argument was about whether black people should be ordained. You can't win an argument with someone who begins from the position that black people aren't 'suitable matter' for ordination, and to begin to enter into that argument dignifies it with a status it doesn't deserve. Let's just get on with it, ordain women bishops, and allow those who have a problem with it find a place where it doesn't happen. After a while, there won't be any places left for them, except on the extremes of church life, which will be so diminishingly small as to make no difference.

Posted by toby forward at Monday, 16 November 2009 at 8:45am GMT

Erika and others ask what the problem is with male bishops who ordain women. I think it is important to stress the he is still a real bishop and there is not a problem with the validity of his sacraments. The problem lies in a catholic understanding of the bishop as the focus of unity and the interchangeability of his college of priests. Try seeing this in relation to the present WB arguments - one of the major problems of provision is that (appart from a free province) it creates a house of bishops within which there is impaired communion and a doubt by some as to the validity of others. Now, translate this to a diocesan level and ypou have the same divisions within the college of priests. It is not possible to separate a bishop from his presbyterate - there needs to be a parallel college of priests around a different bishop.

Posted by David Malloch at Monday, 16 November 2009 at 9:04am GMT

I believe in the same faith of the Anglican Church as being the One Holy Catholic and Apsotolic Church that my parents declared for me at my Baptism, which I myself declared at my Confirmation and for which I promised to uphold at my ordination. My faith and belief in the Anglican Church has not altered. It is those who in 1992 who decided to introduce `innovations' (women priests) into the Church of England who have altered the faith and belief of the Anglican Church. People like myself, who have not changed, should not be forced out of the Church they love, they should be properly protected and cared for. This can only be done with a seperate province within the Church of England. The Anglican Church is becoming nothing more than an institution of `rights' for humanistic (and secular) issues. Even God, through non acceptance or reinterpretataion of the Holy Scriptures, is being pushed out of the Church of England!

Posted by FrJohn at Monday, 16 November 2009 at 9:17am GMT

The point is Ed, that a lay woman (aka the Queen) appoints all bishops - she is the governor of the church - so why can't another woman tell a male bishop to exercise certain roles???????????

Posted by Rosemary Hannah at Monday, 16 November 2009 at 11:09am GMT

FrJohn:

Is the church forbidden (in your view) to innovate at all? Did the Holy Spirit stop talking to us 500 years ago when the CoE split from Rome?

Posted by Pat O'Neill at Monday, 16 November 2009 at 11:10am GMT

"I believe in the same faith of the Anglican Church as being the One Holy Catholic and Apsotolic Church that my parents declared for me at my Baptism..."

It's odd, but neither at my baptism nor my confirmation was the theory that only men may be ordained presented as an article of faith.

Posted by BillyD at Monday, 16 November 2009 at 11:35am GMT

David Malloch: "The problem lies in a catholic understanding of the bishop as the focus of unity and the interchangeability of his college of priests."

Is that really so? I doubt very much whether many conservative Anglo-Catholic clergy regard themselves as "interchangeable" on a Sunday morning with the conservative Evangelical vicar down the road, who doesn't think of himself as being a priest at all but a minister of religion. And I also doubt whether either conservative Anglo-Catholic or Conservative Evangelical bishops are ever regarded as a focus of unity by those of the other persuasion, more a focus of suspicion, in my experience.

Posted by Fr Mark at Monday, 16 November 2009 at 12:06pm GMT

Ed's position seems to be that it is not simply that the C of E doesn't have the authority to change the gender of the recipient of holy order but that it is impossible. Inevitably that is an increasingly difficult position to hold in practical terms, as the church changes around you. But I cant see how the answer can be some sort of provincial structure with a curious geography and probably far more clergy than will be necessary for the number of laity... and at a time of financial constraint it is difficult to see how it could work. Cardinal Manning as he became, said that at the reformation the C of E left a ship for a boat, he didn't want to leave a boat for a tub... Its difficult to see how anything but the Roman option can be of any help. Churches do change. If the C of E was like it was before the Oxford Movt Ed wouldn't be in it.. and it seems he believes it has little intrinsic authority to change things... yet in the 16th c it made mammoth changes in the direction of protestantization.. Anglo-Papalism has never fitted easily into the Anglican spectrum because of its own internal contradictions, and how can you really be happy or flourish spiritually when you are so alienated from the Church you are working for unless you become a total congregationalist, pull up the drawbridge and sit it out til retirement.. no fun it seems to me..

Posted by Perry Butler at Monday, 16 November 2009 at 12:28pm GMT

"It is those who in 1992 who decided to introduce `innovations' (women priests) into the Church of England who have altered the faith and belief of the Anglican Church."

It is interesting that the different changes the Church has made down the centuries - expanding to include non-Jews, the branching off of the priesthood from the episcopate, the legitimization of monetary interest - are generally seen by traditionalists as legitimate developments, whereas WO is termed an "innovation" (as if all innovation were forbidden and sinful). If it weren't for "innovations," the Church would be made up solely of Jews, pastored by a clergy made up exclusively of bishops.

Posted by BillyD at Monday, 16 November 2009 at 12:49pm GMT

BillyD

Try reading Holy Scriptures - It seems that most in the Anglican Church have appeared to stop reading them, or even re-interpreting them to their own liberal lifestyles; hence the total mess which is known at the Church of England - Mankind may Change, but the nature of God never does!

Posted by FrJohn at Monday, 16 November 2009 at 2:40pm GMT

Perry B: Quite.

My worry is not so much the personal struggles of someone like Fr Ed - if anyone christens their child Peter Benedict, I think it's blindingly obvious where he'd be happier - as the way in which the word "Catholic" has been hijacked by those who would like it mean "anti-ordained women." It seems to me a terrible impoverishment of the Catholic tradition in the Church of England that is has become so reduced, when Catholics should be thinking more in terms of what we can positively offer in the context of a post-exclusively-male-run world and Church. Just hating them and hiding from them ain't worthy of our courageously outgoing inheritance.

Posted by Fr Mark at Monday, 16 November 2009 at 3:31pm GMT

Fr John, 'Mankind'???
Nuff said.

Posted by toby forward at Monday, 16 November 2009 at 3:39pm GMT

David
thank you for your explanation. I still don't really understand it. If you are now talking of impaired communion and no longer merely the ontological impossibility of a woman administering valid sacraments, then surely, there is no way at all that FIF people and those in the CoE who accept women priests can ever live side by side.

The walls you need to erect around anto-WO people are so high that you are virtually creating a church within a church, which has the effect of leaving the CoE in all but name.

If you need that level of apartheid from the pro-women priest section of the church, to what extent is it credible to speak of still being members of the same church?
And why would you want to be?

Posted by Erika Baker at Monday, 16 November 2009 at 4:28pm GMT

@ FrJohn: "Try reading Holy Scriptures - It seems that most in the Anglican Church have appeared to stop reading them, or even re-interpreting them to their own liberal lifestyles; hence the total mess which is known at the Church of England - Mankind may Change, but the nature of God never does!"

Like the way the Pontifical Biblical Commission tried reading the Holy Scriptures and in 1976 found there was nothing in them to prohibit women from being ordained? Of course that wasn't what the CDF wanted to hear was it?

But Romes itself declares the insufficiency of purely Scriptural objections to women's ordination:

"It is true that these facts do not make the matter immediately obvious. This is no surprise, for the questions that the Word of God brings before us go beyond the obvious. In order to reach the ultimate meaning of the mission of Jesus and the ultimate meaning of Scripture, a purely historical exegesis of the texts cannot suffice..." [Inter Insigniores]

And the CDF agrees, in its commentary on the document:

"This brings us to a fundamental observation: we must not expect the New Testament on its own to resolve in a clear fashion the question of the possibility of women acceding to the priesthood, in the same way that it does not on its own enable us to give an account of certain sacraments, and especially of the structure of the sacrament of order."

The Anglican approach to Scripture has always been based on Article 6:

"Scriptures containeth all things necessary to salvation: so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation."

That women cannot, or should not, be ordained is nowhere written in Scripture, nor can it be proved solely from Scripture, as Rome itself has admitted. Therefore, solely on Scriptural grounds, Anglicans are not bound to accept that only men may be ordained.

Posted by MJ at Monday, 16 November 2009 at 4:30pm GMT

Ed Tomlinson, careful with that ontology argument. If you want to stick with function, fine, but getting into ontology will lead to a Christological heresy, since the human nature of Jesus derives entirely from his Blessed Mother. Gender is accident, not essence, when it comes to human nature. And as only the human nature is visible, the typology argument (that a priest must visually "re-present" the male Jesus) also founders on the same ground.

BTW, the magisterium has officially dropped the ontology and typology arguments, and reverted to the authority argument: the tradition going back to Christ is such and such, and the church lacks the capacity to change it. Fine and reasonable, and officially the end of the discussion -- for Rome. But the Church of England does not feel itself to be so constrained. It took Rome close to 400 years to catch up with the Reformation "innovations" of vernacular liturgy, common cup, episcopate as a separate order (not merely a higher form of priesthood), and so on. Will it be that long before we see women priests and bishops in the RCC? I think not; and perhaps even in our lifetime. The theology is there, and the loophole has been placed ("we do not feel competent" can easily be changed to "now we do"!)

Posted by Tobias Haller at Monday, 16 November 2009 at 4:37pm GMT

Mark - I am enraged that you bring my choice of child's name into these discussions. That is an invasion of my privacy and I resent it.

For a start you have NO idea who he was named after- for the record it was NOT the Pope but the original saint. The very suggestion I would use my son to make a theological statement deeply offends me. Shame on you sir.

And Shame on you for deciding where I belong when you do not even know me. I have as much right to belong to the Anglican Church as you do.

Posted by Ed Tomlinson at Monday, 16 November 2009 at 5:38pm GMT

Perry Butler is right Churches DO change, and the CofE become more Protestant - and what is wrong with that? I post again what I said earlier
... I do think people should have at least started to get their heads around the reality that the CofE loosened its claims to Catholicity in 1992 with the vote to permit women priests. The sooner everybody can accept the reality that we are more-or-less the same as Methodists (except just as the convert Bishops to Rome at least we still pretend to have Bishops who dress up) the better. And also, for all the deficiencies of Methodist 'orders'...there is still a lot in the residue of Christianity they and the CofE has to be immensely thankful for.

Posted by Neil at Monday, 16 November 2009 at 5:47pm GMT

Toby

Yes `Mankind' - the problem with political correctness - re NSRV - is that it alters the original Greek to be politically correct - do we know better then God???. Catholic is not anti-women, it means the world wide Church that the good old C of E claims to be part of. What makes a Church `catholic' is the upholding of `catholic orders' re Deacon, Priest & Bishop whose origins are in the Church of the First Millenia. Therefore, if the C of E claims to be `catholic', it cannot unilaterally alter the order of ministry or the sacraments of the Church to suit itself; if it does that (as it is doing), that makes the C of E nothing more than a protestant sect - Sunday School stuff really!

Posted by frjohn at Monday, 16 November 2009 at 6:27pm GMT

Let's be clear about this. If someone sets up a blog and does everything he can to get as many readers as possible, and if that person then chooses to post information about his family on that blog, including photographs and personal details, then those family members have had their lives made part of the public domain. So, such a person would have no right to squeal if someone else makes mention of them. If you put information out there on the internet it will return to you in forms you don't expect and may not like. Those are the rules. If you don't want people to discuss your family, don't post them on your blog. I make this as a general point for all of us here.

Posted by toby forward at Monday, 16 November 2009 at 6:28pm GMT

"Mark - I am enraged that you bring my choice of child's name into these discussions. That is an invasion of my privacy and I resent it."

The impossible has happened. I agree with something that Ed Tomlinson has posted.

Posted by Laurence C. at Monday, 16 November 2009 at 6:35pm GMT

"That is an invasion of my privacy and I resent it."

Exactly how, Father? Do you think that he found out the name of your son by hacking your computer, or going through your wastepaper baskets, or bugging the baptistry of your church? Ah, no - you yourself announced it to the world, in the blog you have so helpfully linked to your signature.

Posted by BillyD at Monday, 16 November 2009 at 6:39pm GMT

"... I do think people should have at least started to get their heads around the reality that the CofE loosened its claims to Catholicity in 1992 with the vote to permit women priests."

Just because you pronounce a thing to be so does not make it reality.

Posted by BillyD at Monday, 16 November 2009 at 7:11pm GMT

@Ed "That is an invasion of my privacy and I resent it."

That's a bit rich when you've posted every detail, with pics, on your public blog. Bit late to claim 'privacy' now.

Posted by MJ at Monday, 16 November 2009 at 7:16pm GMT

"Gender is accident, not essence, when it comes to human nature." Thank you, Tobias Haller! If the Church never had any -- gasp! -- innovations, bishops and priests would still be circumcised Jewish males, to carry one line of imago Christi argument to an ultimate conclusion.
Ed, your complaint and greivance about the allegedly dastardly actions of 1992 still sounds to me like "Heads I win, tails you lose." "I'm right and you're wrong!"
"The Roman Catholic Church has decreed that priests and bishops are celibate males -- and that's final!!!!!", which is how I interprest Pope John Paul II's argument, at least has the merit of honesty.
As far as belonging to the Anglican Church, I wish the anti-WO crowd would recognize that the pro-WO crowd are Anglicans also. Too many of the anti-WO crowd think they have a monopoly on Truth.

Posted by peterpi at Monday, 16 November 2009 at 7:25pm GMT

Fr Ed: sorry if I have enraged you, but you have posted the name (and, indeed, photographs) of your son on your blog, to which you provide a link with each contribution here. Isn't it protesting a trifle too much to say that your privacy in being invaded?

If you don't want anyone to know the name of your child, that's fine but then what are you doing posting up photos of him on a publicly accessible blog?

One does wonder whether the endless outrage and offence-taking of conservative lobby in the Church at the moment is not altogether rather staged melodrama sometimes.

Anyway, for what it's worth, Fr Ed, I was one of those who crossed the Tiber years ago when women were ordained and later came back when I saw things differently, so I think I do have every right to recommend the same course of action to you. It's not a fate worse than death, and nor is it an insult to suggest that you would be happier as Roman!

Posted by Fr Mark at Monday, 16 November 2009 at 8:38pm GMT

"The problem lies in a catholic understanding of the bishop as the focus of unity and the interchangeability of his college of priests."
- David Malloch -

It seems to me, David, that you have your understanding of what precisely is 'catholic order', and I have mine. At the Rformation, those Churches departing the provenance of Rome, were still careful to affirm their understanding of what 'catholic order' required of them - the Church of England was one of these institutions.
Now that the Church of England has decided to utilise the great resource of Christian women to undertake and exercise the sacerdotal ministry of the Church, this, to members of that Church, is part and parecel of it catholic and apostolic heritage. Collegiality is not disturbed by adding an additional ingredient to the mix.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Monday, 16 November 2009 at 11:18pm GMT

"A woman is only a woman, but a good cigar is a smoke."

The esteemed RK expresses my final reaction to this long dialogue.

And so, seeking respite, to a good cigar I now turn . . .

anthony

Posted by anthony at Monday, 16 November 2009 at 11:48pm GMT

First time I knew 'mankind' was Greek - I always thought it was English. Things you learn! And there was me thinking catholic was all about believing Jesus was the Son of God begotten, not made, and not an Arian son-by-adoption-because-he-is-good-enough. Shucks - me and Athanasius both wrong then.

Posted by Rosemary Hannah at Monday, 16 November 2009 at 11:53pm GMT

"And Shame on you for deciding where I belong when you do not even know me. I have as much right to belong to the Anglican Church as you do."
- Ed Tomlinson -

Ed, with all due respect, your desire to make public on the word-wide-web the name and photograph of your baby son has sort pre-empted your latent desire for privacy on the matter. And as for 'not knowing you' when you publicly blog on this and other web-sites, you are only partially correct. We only know what you have been pleased to show us of your self - and on this blog alone, that is quite a great deal. You don't know me either, but that hasn't stopped you questioning the authenticity of my priesthood on this site. I guess really private persons just don't blog!!. Or, perhaps they oughtn't.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Tuesday, 17 November 2009 at 12:30am GMT

Initially, I felt uncomfortable and sympathetic as did Lawrence C., assuming that Mr. Tomlinson's family privacy had been violated by Fr. Mark.

But now, having learned of his own publicizing things about his child in his own blog, one has to wonder if Mr. Tomlinson "doth protest too much."

Mr. Tomlinson seems to be more than a bit disingenuous about this, and I wonder if that also pertains to various other matters about which he has posted.

Posted by Jerry Hannon at Tuesday, 17 November 2009 at 12:31am GMT

I know that the CEO of the now-defunct Netscape once (in)famously declared that "There is no privacy on the Internet", nevertheless on one point I agree with Fr. Ed: I don't think the names of his children are suitable for discussion. He's open to all comers on any discussion on this site, but what he calls his children, even if he posts about them online, is not part of the batgain.
I disagree with Fr. Ed about "mankind". I don't care if the ancient Greeks or Hebrews didn't include women and children, we do. I agree that sometimes inclusive language can be cluncky, but that's more due to lack of linguistic beauty than the concept itself. Substituting "humanity" for "mankind" makes the Bible more universal. How does the argument "Oh, but when we say 'womankind', of course we mean to include men as well" appeal, Fr. Ed?
Peace on earth, good will to all!

Posted by peterpi at Tuesday, 17 November 2009 at 2:18am GMT

WOAH, woah....time to take the Jester's hat off and put down the pint!!!! Cool down...!

Posted by choirboyfromhell at Tuesday, 17 November 2009 at 2:59am GMT

My blog is read by my parish and freinds and it is only natural that it contains personal as well as theological content. whilst I was and am happy for all of you to share this what I resented was the use of my personal news- the birth of a child- being twisted to make a theological point. It is widely known that the Camerons lost a child that would not make it reasonable for parliament to use that in debate to make a point.

I commend Nick Baines blog to you. There I find a man who shares your view but is able to show respect, sympathy and love to those being unchurched at teh same time. I might also learn from that lesson. Perhaps in all of this more charity and manners need to be shown....and arguably espexially to those who really are now facing the loss of home and
income. Rejoice in the total domination of liberalism. Your victory really is complete...all that remains is to turn us out of our church without budings or homes and I an certain you have the political might to achieve that too

Posted by Ed Tomlinson at Tuesday, 17 November 2009 at 7:36am GMT

Ed

You are asking for respect for your views.
When everyone has finished talking about baby names on this forum, maybe you could do me the courtesy and answer the question about not accepting male bishops who ordain women priests, which I have asked you on 3 occasions now without getting a reply?
David Malloch is the only one who has at least attempted to make a case.

Respect doesn't come because people demand it but because they are able to make a clear case as to why their position is to be respected.

Posted by Erika Baker at Tuesday, 17 November 2009 at 8:08am GMT

OK, I agree with Ed, more charity all around please. And if I have erred in allowing through some contentious comments I also apologise.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Tuesday, 17 November 2009 at 8:11am GMT

If we might have the passage in which mankind appears we could perhaps find out whether we are referring to humanity or to masculine kind? Greek being rather less a blunt instrument than English.

Posted by Rosemary Hannah at Tuesday, 17 November 2009 at 8:24am GMT

I'm happy to agree with Simon that we should have charity here, but may I ask that it be coupled with honesty? On 17th November Mr Tomlinson wrote here:'My blog is read by my parish and freinds and it is only natural that it contains personal as well as theological content.' (sic)

Yet, on his blog on 19th October this year he wrote: 'Great news for the S. Barnabas blog! I have just noticed that the hit count has risen above one hundred thousand, 101115 to be precise. Not bad for just fourteen and a half months of life. Thank you to everybody who reads regularly and contributes to all the debates. I must say I am impressed by the scarcity of abusive responses and the high quality of postings. Lets keep it going together….'

It can't be both, can it? I find his logic about the readership about as convincing as his logic about the nature of the church and church order.

Posted by toby forward at Tuesday, 17 November 2009 at 8:29am GMT

"Rejoice in the total domination of liberalism. Your victory really is complete...all that remains is to turn us out of our church without budings or homes and I an certain you have the political might to achieve that too"
- Ed Tomlinson -

Thanks, Ed, for the thought. But really, you do need to think again. Some of us on this site who long for women and gays to be fully recognised as persona grata in Church and Parish Life, and acceptable as candidates for the Sacred Ministry of the Anglican (not R.C. Church, which forbids such a move) Church, are not seeing this as a starkly 'win or lose' tussle to the death, but rather, a plea for openness towards some sort of theological discussion based on practicality - not just some entrenched understanding of 'what has been must be, now and for ever, amen'.

I am not happy about the fact that some good Anglo-Catholic clergy are so incensed by the idea of women priests and bishops being part of their common landscape in the Church of England - with identical sacerdotal; (or episcopal) credibility, that they would rather run off to Rome than stay and live with what they see as purely an idiosyncratic ministerial irregularity.

As someone on this site has already pointed out, the Sacraments are not invalidated by the sinfulness or other seeming unsuitability (for you, perhaps, the gender) of the priest or bishop. If your Church sees fit to include whomever in the ranks of its ministerial officers, then who are you - as individual clergy persons ordained into and by that Church - to 'kick against the pricks' so to speak?

I personally would like you and your friends in F. i. F. to stay the course. But your own conscience in this matter is, of course, to be inviolate. If you feel the Church you have been ordained into is our of order in ordaining women, then only you can make the decision most likely to salve your conscience. Please Stay!

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Tuesday, 17 November 2009 at 10:12am GMT

Thank you Simon.

Erika- The answer is that what you suggest is not a reality. I have never believed in, promoted or accepted the so-called doctrine of taint.

When I go to local deanery services and Diocesan ones I am happy to receive the sacrament when the Mass is presided over by a man. His orders are not in question. That said i declined on the last occasion- but only because I was revolted by the flu pandemic notion of placing intincted mighty white bread into the hands of people creating a gooey mess!

Where a woman celebrates I do not stay away as a sign of disliking her but because I cannot be certain that what she is doing is authentic.

As regards the notion of sending a man in place of the woman bishop- this would be unbearable not because of taint but because any bishop visiting on behalf of a Diocesan does so as an emissary. that is they stand in the place of. The power remains vested in the Diocesan regardless of their genitals....and again I would have doubts over the validity of that Diocesan.

Hope that helps. Where I - for example - attend the Bishop of Fulham's Chrism instead of Rochester's- well that is only natural. It would be very odd for the C of E to have provided me with a flying bishop and then not look to him for my sacramental provision!!

Posted by Ed Tomlinson at Tuesday, 17 November 2009 at 10:13am GMT

Erika:

I think we probably agree on the problems you have identified. Delegation, Transfer, New Dioceses all have the flaw that they fail to address the issue that they create a house of bishops where all the bishops are not in communion with each other. That is why we argued for a new province - not ideal by any means but it would be the only form of structural provision why did not cause disunity in a house of bishops. Within each province there would be a full recognition of orders and between provinces no greater breakdown of communion than is already the case between some provinces in the Anglican Communion.

It does seem to me that the offer from Rome provides something of a solution to this problem because, if enough people go into it, it will leave the CofE to move forwards without making provision for us. I hear rumours that some of the more liberal bishops are starting to think that way and that they are prepared to work to enable the ordinariates to be established with a smooth and just transition. It may well be that this is of God and a better method than pragmatic attempts to square a circle??

Posted by David Malloch at Tuesday, 17 November 2009 at 11:07am GMT

"My blog is read by my parish and freinds and it is only natural that it contains personal as well as theological content. whilst I was and am happy for all of you to share this what I resented was the use of my personal news- the birth of a child- being twisted to make a theological point."

But surely this is a different point than claiming that your privacy has been violated?

Posted by BillyD at Tuesday, 17 November 2009 at 11:37am GMT

"As regards the notion of sending a man in place of the woman bishop- this would be unbearable not because of taint but because any bishop visiting on behalf of a Diocesan does so as an emissary. that is they stand in the place of. The power remains vested in the Diocesan regardless of their genitals....and again I would have doubts over the validity of that Diocesan."

I'm sorry, but this makes little sense. What you doubt is a female Diocesan's ability to confirm or celebrate Mass. You don't doubt that she would be legally appointed to the office of bishop, or that she was in fact in charge of oversight, would you? Her legally occupying the office of bishop and the validity of her orders are two different things, it would seem, and the sacramental actions of a "properly" ordained delegate shouldn't enter into the picture. A Suffragan may be acting on behalf of the Diocesan, but whether or not his acts are sacramentally valid do not depend on that relationship.

Posted by BillyD at Tuesday, 17 November 2009 at 2:11pm GMT

Ed
thank you. I must admit, I don't much care for the term "theology of taint" as it denies the possibility that there may be valid theological objections. I'd like to think that those who disagree with me generally have some level of valid theology behind them with which one might disagree, but which is at least grounded in genuine thought and has its own integrity. That's the only way it is possible to respect dissenting views, after all.

David
Thank you again.
I'm not sure whether we're not talking cross purposes?
You are asking that your diocese is not headed up by a woman bishop, because every priest within the diocese would be representing her.
That I can understand.

But, maybe I'm wrong and misunderstood some of the points made by the revision committee, I thought there were also objections to male bishops merely on the ground that they ordain woman priests, although the individual parish may not be served by one of those women priests, and the bishop himself is male.

Very few commenters here seem to share that view, but it does exist, does it not? And if so, what is the theology behind it?

Posted by Erika Baker at Tuesday, 17 November 2009 at 2:46pm GMT

'As regards the notion of sending a man in place of the woman bishop- this would be unbearable not because of taint but because any bishop visiting on behalf of a Diocesan does so as an emissary. that is they stand in the place of. The power remains vested in the Diocesan regardless of their genitals....and again I would have doubts over the validity of that Diocesan.'

Surly a bishop is a bishop. If they consecrate oil, or whatever it is being done by a bishop? Being asked to do it by a non-bishop does not un-bishop them? How ever could it? The authority comes form the office. A bishop on a desert island in dear knows what diocese does not suddenly become unable to confirm? Does he?

Posted by Rosemary Hannah at Tuesday, 17 November 2009 at 3:00pm GMT

"I thought there were also objections to male bishops merely on the ground that they ordain woman priests" -- Erika Baker

Or who even approve of ordaining women priests and bishops, is my understanding. So not only can't a bishop or priest be female, not only can't a male bishop ordain women priests, but that bishop or priest can't even approve of women's ordination. Why?
That's what makes me wonder whether there's more than just theology involved here. All right, so some feel that women priests or bishops are irregular, too innovative, not imago Christi, are a stumbling block to other churches (Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox), I disagree but can see the argument.
But why should it matter what the male bishop or priest thinks? Why should it matter that a male bishop has ordained female priests? Any male priests ordained by that bishop are still male. The bishop is still male. As others have pointed out, even bishops or priests who have committed serious wrongs will still have their celebration of the Eucharist be considered valid. What's so horrible about mere approval of women's ordination?

Posted by peterpi at Tuesday, 17 November 2009 at 6:11pm GMT

What? I boot up my computer on another day and this thread is still going on? What? You haven't settled this issue yet? Well, OK. I will introduce another question.

Where does the idea come from that a clergy person must exercise his or her office as a representative of the bishop? This is new to me, but I am not an ecclesiologist. Obedience to a bishop does not by itself make one a representative of that bishop, and does not make one's speech and acts the Bishop's speech and acts, surely.

Posted by anthony at Tuesday, 17 November 2009 at 9:21pm GMT

And although it's a little late....I must say that I'm disappointed in your choice to include a blogger's child in this discussion, Fr. Mark. That was, as we say in the states, beneath the belt.

I think an apology to Fr. Ed is in order.

And I must admit that joking about somebody's appearance on their own blogsite wasn't cricket either..apologies from myself.

Posted by choirboyfromhell at Tuesday, 17 November 2009 at 9:38pm GMT

"That is why we argued for a new province - not ideal by any means but it would be the only form of structural provision why did not cause disunity in a house of bishops. Within each province there would be a full recognition of orders and between provinces no greater breakdown of communion than is already the case between some provinces in the Anglican Communion."
- David Malloch, on Tuesday -

In this statement, David, you have really hit on the reason why providing a special 'province' for non-compliant Anglicans seems to many of us that the catholic ecclesiology of the Church of England is here being impugned. How could you possibly have a province of the Church, whose bishops were not 'in communion' with the bishops of that particular Church. This may be the way Rome manages its affairs, but it does seem to be peculiarly un-Anglican.

Perhaps the only way to accommodate those who take issue with the ecclesiology of the Church of England, is simply to remove themselves from its
'tainted' episcopal oversight (it's theological basis), and move to what Rome, seemingly, CAN and wants to, provide. Mind you, once there, don't expect to be able to question the ecclesiology of your Roman Catholic mentors. That's a no-go area. The 'Unity in Diversity' theory is stricly for Anglicans only. That's why we are generally known as the 'Bridge Church' - we are not a series, though, of satellite bridges.

The provinces that are already 'at-odds' with the rest of the Communion - and have stated this in their official Standing Orders - are certain provinces in Africa, which have already dissociated themselves from the See of Canterbury. It may be that they already see themselves as a 'different' community - not in any way 'pushed out', but self excommunicating.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Tuesday, 17 November 2009 at 11:19pm GMT

"Where a woman celebrates I do not stay away as a sign of disliking her but because I cannot be certain that what she is doing is authentic."

Just as much as the canard "We don't hate gays, we hate what they *do*" (esp. when what they "do" is seek to MARRY), I find the above to be a distinction utterly without a difference.

To "like" someone is not just a warm&fuzzy feeling . . . it conveys some sense of RESPECT. You do NOT respect the ordained woman: her OWN discernment of Holy Calling, nor the discernment of Holy Calling by the diocese/diocesan(s) that ordained her.

You can't have it both ways, EdT.

Posted by JCF at Wednesday, 18 November 2009 at 12:05am GMT

"Where does the idea come from that a clergy person must exercise his or her office as a representative of the bishop?"

As I understand it, it's based on the fact [or the supposed fact - I'm sure there's a revisionist version of this somewhere ;-) ] that the presbyterate itself was a development of the episcopate. In the early Church the bishop of each city normally presided over that city's one Eucharist until this became impractical because of growing numbers. To deal with the situation, the presbyters/priests, who were originally sort of a diocesan council, were deputized by the bishop to celebrate Mass and administer the sacraments. So the theory is that a priest is still a representative of *some* bishop.

Posted by BillyD at Wednesday, 18 November 2009 at 1:39am GMT

BillyD - Interesting. Thank you. Makes one wonder what a lot of priests think they are doing.

Posted by anthony at Wednesday, 18 November 2009 at 8:53am GMT

Choirboyfromhell/ Fr Ed:

Fair enough: I don't wish to offend anyone.

Fr Ed, I am sorry for mentioning your child's name on this thread.

Posted by Fr Mark at Wednesday, 18 November 2009 at 8:57am GMT

Apologies accepted.....

Posted by Ed Tomlinson at Wednesday, 18 November 2009 at 9:55am GMT

I still wish that opponents of WO would explain what it is about women that makes them "improper matter." This is NOT the question, "Why don't we ordain women?" but "What is it about women that makes it impossible to ordain them?"

I can't think of any other sort of Christian that "traditionalists" think is incapable of receiving the sacrament of Holy Orders, so it must be something specifically about women. What is it?

Posted by BillyD at Wednesday, 18 November 2009 at 1:23pm GMT

'Inauthentic' ? a good deal of the shinanikins in anglo-catholic churches seems , feels, inauthentic* to me too. But I don't harry the Synod and seek all kinds of 'protections' from it. ("Something for the weekend sir ?") I deal I deal with it in my own way, as far as I can manage it.

Btw whose 'privacy is infringed' (if at all ?)? The publicist parent or the child's ?

* Hardly any anglo-catholics will accept the offer from the Vatican --mark my words.

Since women have been consecrated all over the AC and women ministers in England, we are all affected by it -- and if there is any taint, (on that logic) we are all 'tainted' now and there is no logic in the position of those whose sole aim is to demand more and more, and never be satisfied.

And like the pig in Jesus' reported aphorism are ready to turn on the rest of us, to rend us. But to rend the sensibilities of women most of all.

And then present themselves as unwanted, badly done by, virtual martyrs, instead of very, very Badly Behaved ! (does the C of E do slapped legs ? --or is that reserved for gays who get too uppity ?)

Posted by Rev L Roberts at Wednesday, 18 November 2009 at 4:41pm GMT

"does the C of E do slapped legs ? "

Uh-oh, I gonna have to get that willow switch....

Maybe that's the problem....not enough spankings, and now they're all grown up. Worked for me...Dad took my one day out on the front steps of my parish church because I was giggling during the service. And I giggled even harder, but I got the message.

Posted by choirboyfromhell at Wednesday, 18 November 2009 at 8:12pm GMT
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