Comments: WATCH press release on Generosity

"generosity does not always mean giving people what they want: it means weighing up the issues and coming to a judgement about the best way forward for as many as possible."

Since when was this a definition of generosity?

And why are they still bleating on about the problem of no-go areas for women? The alternative is for them to force themselves on parishes which don't want them.

Posted by Fr James at Saturday, 17 July 2010 at 9:35am BST

Fr. James, See the letter from Mavis Jacobs from the Church Times which is linked in the article below on women bishops. Some women priests(and some men too I dare say) don't care a bit what the parishioner wants. It's their parish,or diocese(eventually), their turf, them or nothing.

Posted by Chris H. at Saturday, 17 July 2010 at 1:39pm BST

The crucial issue is the Synod election in September and FIF and Reform,Giddings and Sugden etc are already massing their support.

I can see the measure failing at the last hurdle, because the aforementioned groups are disproportionately represented.

Posted by Robert Ian Williams at Saturday, 17 July 2010 at 2:39pm BST

"I can see the measure failing at the last hurdle, because the aforementioned groups are disproportionately represented."

- Robert Ian Williams -

Thank you for warning us about what you see as inevitable, Robert. However, speaking as you now do from your Roman Catholic viewpoint, you may not quite convince us that you are in the best position to forecast events in the way you so confidently do on this site.

My pick is that the general Synod of the Church of England - composed of whatever variety of political or spiritual opinion, will be open to God's gracious leading to bring about the best and most felicitous outcome from the women-as-bishops debate. This is possible in the Church of England whereas in your own faith community, this would definitely never happen.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Saturday, 17 July 2010 at 7:31pm BST

"Fr. James, See the letter from Mavis Jacobs from the Church Times which is linked in the article below on women bishops. Some women priests(and some men too I dare say) don't care a bit what the parishioner wants. It's their parish,or diocese(eventually), their turf, them or nothing."

This is, to my mind, why the American method of the parish calling the rector and the parish being his employer is superior to any system in which the rector is assigned by some higher authority.

Posted by Pat O'Neill at Saturday, 17 July 2010 at 8:51pm BST

And that, Pat O'Neill, is why we in the Church of England are not Congregationalists. The parish is not the manifestation of the local Church - the diocese is. That is why a CofE diocese deploys its clergy, rather than the way you describe the American system, and why (to my mind) women shouldn't be complaining about no-go areas.

Posted by Fr James at Saturday, 17 July 2010 at 11:36pm BST

TEC is *not* congregationalist, Fr James.

The method by which parish and clergy in TEC choose each other varies from diocese to diocese . . . and is determined BY THE BISHOP (some bishops are VERY hands-on; others, less so).

AFAIK, every clergy selection in TEC is REQUIRED to be signed off, by the diocesan bishop. A good way for a parish to remain clergy-less (or worse!) is to ignore their diocesan bishop's chosen process. ;-/

Posted by JCF at Sunday, 18 July 2010 at 12:40am BST

JCF:

I've lived in two different dioceses--Pennsylvania and New York--and the process for getting a new rector seemed to be the same in each. Upon the rector's position becoming empty, the diocese appoints an interim rector, who assists the parish vestry and wardens in the search for a new rector. The vestry and wardens put out a call for applicants and interview those who respond. When they have a choice, that person is put up to a vote at a special parish meeting.

Yes, the bishop must license the rector; yes, he signs off on the choice; yes, the rector must vow to obey the canons of the diocese and the national church. But I am unaware of any time in recent memory when a bishop has refused a parish's choice.

Posted by Pat O'Neill at Sunday, 18 July 2010 at 11:56am BST

"And why are they still bleating on about the problem of no-go areas for women? The alternative is for them to force themselves on parishes which don't want them."

- Fr. James -

Well, dear Father, Pope Benny's recent statement - that ordaining women is a sin equivalent to the ecnoruagement of paedophilia (which he would know something about), shows a similar disregard for God's call upon the lives of his female children. Are you of that opinion?

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Sunday, 18 July 2010 at 12:22pm BST

I'm sorry, Fr Ron, but I don't really see what your post has got to do with my comment about women perceiving ABC parishes as somehow hindering their ministry.

As it happens, I do not agree with the Pope's recent pronouncement. But then again, I am an Anglican, not a Roman Catholic, and am therefore not required to agree with what the Pope says. You don't seem to understand, dear Father, no matter how many times you are told - Anglicans with whom you disagree are not simply Roman Catholics in disguise.

Posted by Fr James at Sunday, 18 July 2010 at 6:11pm BST

"Yes, the bishop must license the rector; yes, he signs off on the choice; yes, the rector must vow to obey the canons of the diocese and the national church. But I am unaware of any time in recent memory when a bishop has refused a parish's choice."
(Pat O'Neill on Sunday, 18 July 2010 at 11:56am BST)

There wouldn't be many times a bishop would object to a parish's selection, since capable people are (usually) guiding the process. But that doesn't mean there isn't due diligence at the diocesean level,including background checks and interviews. If a parish needs more assistance, they ask. I'm sure there are times when the process doesn't work as it should - but that's true with a top-down system, too.

Posted by Lynn at Sunday, 18 July 2010 at 7:51pm BST

Fr James

You might like to consider the case of a parish in an area overseen by a bishop who does not believe that women can be priests. The parish may be ready to welcome a woman, or a man who supports the ordination of women - but the bishop may urge on such a parish a candidate who agrees with the bishop on this matter. In such a way, parishes which might be open to the appointment of a woman as vicar might, as a matter of practice, be closed to women.

I don't think anyone is seriously suggesting that female priests should be forced on parishes which disagree - what kind of a ministry is that? What kind of provision does it represent?

Given the chance at General Synod to debate "Clause 2" there were many powerful voices of those in favour of the full equality of women in the church - many women's voices too - speaking on behalf of their brothers and sisters in Christ - affirming the need for provision.

The point on "no go" areas is whether women will be considered for appointment in any parish which would welcome a woman as its priest.

Posted by Mark Bennet at Sunday, 18 July 2010 at 9:45pm BST

I believe that a few years ago the bishop of Southern Virginia refused to induct Peter Toon to a parish that had elected him. As I recall there was an effort to assert that a bishop could not refuse to accept a rector selected by the parish. The bishop prevailed, I believe.

Posted by Burl at Sunday, 18 July 2010 at 11:11pm BST

If the bishop has standards/restrictions he probably tells the parish before or during the search before a priest is chosen. I know our bishop won't hire priests from certain conservaative seminaries--one reason a group broke off for ACNA. I'm sure he checks backgrounds etc. as well.

Posted by Chris H. at Monday, 19 July 2010 at 12:29am BST

*Two* different dioceses? Piker, Pat! ;-) [I'm an Episcopal lifer, age 48, and have lived in at least *6*. And I've no doubt there are (TA-regular) Episcopalians who can best me there.]

An example: I've lived in a diocese where all applications (for an opening for rector) get sent *directly to the bishop* and he (in that case, it was a he---and not an arch-conservative OR arch-liberal "he" either!) pre-screens them and forwards only the "acceptable" candidates to the search committee!

Under the above system, a vestry's choice is extremely unlikely to be rejected---but only because the parish never saw the "Pre-rejected" to begin with! O_o

Like I said, it really varies from diocese to diocese.

Posted by JCF at Monday, 19 July 2010 at 5:33am BST

I've just popped over from Mark Harris' blog Preludium where he links to a long think paper from Durham and Salisbury, discussing WO.

See: http://www.fulcrum-anglican.org.uk/news/2006/20060721kasper.cfm?doc=126

What's interesting is their way of parsing the tradition, and of reading scripture ... and they come out positively in support of WO. The really, really, really odd thing is that their ways run quite parallel to the methods and manners which allow us to rethink, not only gender and ministry, but also sexual orientation. But I rather doubt they would follow a similar path of conclusions of inclusion about queer folks which would no doubt upset their apple carts. Fulcrum after all just doesn't think queer folks are as good as naturally straight folks, period.

If we can rethink for good reasons, we can rethink.

Posted by drdanfee at Monday, 19 July 2010 at 7:25pm BST

Thank you, Dr. Dan, for providing this important link (on Monday, 19 July) with the theological response of the Bishops of Durham and Salisbury to the challenge of Cardinal Kaspar on the Roman view of Anglican calims to share the apostolic and catholic natrue of the Church.

The 2 Anglican Bishops provide some very cogent reasons for differing from the Cardinal on his stated arguments for the non-inclusion of women in the ordained ministries of the Christian Church. There is no doubt, that at this level, even +Tom was able successfuly to argue the case of women as priests and bishops within the Anglican Church.


He and +Salisbury have obviously given Rome some reason to re-think the static Roman case for a male-only sacerdotal ministry. Good for them! But will Rome be listening? After the pope's recent statement on the equivalence between paedophilia and the ordination of women, one doubts that.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Tuesday, 20 July 2010 at 10:39am BST

"The parish is not the manifestation of the local Church - the diocese is."

In that case, the objection to women bishops "forcing themselves on parishes who don't want them" is utterly irrelevant, and undermines the objection to complaints about alternate oversight. In that case, it is more than mere generosity, it is absolute largesse to allow the objecting parishes *anything* other than what their properly-appointed bishop decrees for them.

Why, then, are traditionalists bleating?

Posted by MarkBrunson at Wednesday, 21 July 2010 at 5:54am BST
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