Comments: women bishops: Parliamentary questions

What huberis for secular politicians to deign to dictate to the church!

Posted by Ed tomlinson at Wednesday, 28 July 2010 at 2:30pm BST

I thank God that the Episcopal Church is not an "Established Church." To think of the debates that would go on in the House and the Senate about any changes in Church practices boggles the mind.

Posted by Deacon Charlie Perrin at Wednesday, 28 July 2010 at 3:39pm BST

The above makes me very glad indeed that TEC is not "the established church," especially looking at how poorly our legislative branch is functioning these days. I will greet the first woman CoE bishop with great cheers, but have not got the longevity of Methusalah to give me patience.

Posted by Cynthjia Gilliatt at Wednesday, 28 July 2010 at 3:59pm BST

Dear Ed, Parliament's involvement with the C of E is incredibly light touch now compared with what it was in the past...think 1530's/ 1550's/ 1662/ 1689/ 1830's and of course the Public Worship Regulation Act......I'm surprised you ever got ordained in such a church...didn't you study much church history??
On a different note..I never realised Church of Scotland "cathedrals " received direct state aid...might we know more Simon??

Posted by Perry Butler at Wednesday, 28 July 2010 at 4:12pm BST

Ed T: "What hubris for secular politicians to deign to dictate to the church!"

I'm not sure that it is as bad as unelected bishops in the Lords making laws for everyone else... at least someone elected the MPs!

Posted by Fr Mark at Wednesday, 28 July 2010 at 4:25pm BST

'What huberis for secular politicians to deign to dictate to the church!'


Allow me to commend to you the use of a dictionary; I don't think that word means what you think it means.

And hubris is usually spelled hubris...

Posted by chenier1 at Wednesday, 28 July 2010 at 4:59pm BST

Ed - what are you going on about? How ridiculous you make yourself look, when you have been ordained into an Erastian church knowing full well that that is what it was.

Disestablishment of the Churches of Ireland and Wales and the deposited Prayer Book of 1928 and a host of other measures relating to changes in the running of the Church of England were all effected by Parliament: establishment is not only there in theory, it is there in practice. It aint hubris for politicians to speak and act like this - it is their duty, and how things are in the Church of England at the moment. Establishment may well not last that much longer, but your expostulations as if this were something extraordinary just sound like silly posturing.

Posted by Jeremy Pemberton at Wednesday, 28 July 2010 at 5:28pm BST

The sovreign is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, and as the mind of the Sovreign is expressed through Parliament I don't see how else Ed Tomlinson expects government of the Church to be carried out. Did he not take oaths of obedience to her at his ordination and his installation as parish priest? What did he think he was doing? Far from indulging in an act of hubris (no E, please), Parliament is carrying out its duty. And I don't understand the verb 'deign' in Ed Tomlinson's attack.

Posted by junius at Wednesday, 28 July 2010 at 5:42pm BST


Is it not equally hubristic (or perhaps more so) for an unelected church heirarchy to dictate to a secular public?

Posted by Pat O'Neill at Wednesday, 28 July 2010 at 6:13pm BST

Note the wit and irony in the questions and answers. We do not see such clever repartee in the US Senate, much less the House of Representatives. Are the British smarter than we are? Or do they just get smarter people in public life?

Posted by Andrew at Wednesday, 28 July 2010 at 6:15pm BST

The length of the process is due to the Church's synodical system and has very little to do with Establishment. If it had been up to Parliament we should have had women bishops long ago.

No doubt various people will be displeased about this for very different reasons.

Posted by Lister Tonge at Wednesday, 28 July 2010 at 6:35pm BST

Ed - secular politicians 'dictating' to the church is part of what it means to be an established church; after all, the monarch has been the Supreme Governor of the Church of England for 400+ years. (And disestablishing the church would be a far more complex procedure than establishing women bishops ever could be).

Posted by magistra at Wednesday, 28 July 2010 at 8:41pm BST

People may enjoy this slant on Ed's position.

Posted by junius at Wednesday, 28 July 2010 at 9:20pm BST

The arrangements for Parliamentary scrutiny of Measures are set out at where there is also a link to a fact sheet.

Whether or not these are good arrangements has been the topic of debate in the Church for some time, and it is no surprise to see that the weight of vocal opinion shifts depending which way Parliament seems to be going on an issue.

For example, Parliament did exercise some influence on the legislation which enabled women to be ordained as priests.

Posted by Mark Bennet at Wednesday, 28 July 2010 at 9:44pm BST

Well, at least things are proceeding in an orderly fashion. The women's ordination movement in the Roman Catholic Church, in constrast, is a formula for division and chaos.

Posted by Spirit of Vatican II at Thursday, 29 July 2010 at 5:27am BST

Ed should realise that the Church of England was created by two acts of Parliament.

That the Crown of England ( currently held by a lady) is the ordinary source of jurisdiction for the Archbishops of York and Canterbury.

That when the Queen visits Scotland she becomes a Presbyterian and communicant member of the Church of Scotland. Scots, because of their less servile view of the establishment ( unlike the English) have ensured over the years that their established Church of Scotland is not ultimately controlled by either the Scottish parliament or Westminster.

Posted by Robert Ian Williams at Thursday, 29 July 2010 at 6:45am BST

Robert Ian Williams - off topic but please do not generalise about the English (or the Scots, for that matter) in this way; my family goes back to a Herefordshire parish, recorded around 1640. On the whole I would not say my relatives are servile, TYVM. I am sure that, as a Welshman, you are of course fully sensitive to questions of ethnic identity.

Posted by Achilles at Thursday, 29 July 2010 at 11:56am BST

Father Ed, I was thinking how sad it was that the Church finds herself having to follow the lead of the wider of the society in matters of equality. It could have led, but chose not to.

Posted by Bill Dilworth at Thursday, 29 July 2010 at 2:14pm BST

Are you all following the modest discussion at Anglican Journal in Canada about women bishops?
It is very interesting. Some things appear to transcend international boundaries. Talk about the reality of glass ceilings!

Posted by Rod Gillis at Thursday, 29 July 2010 at 11:43pm BST

Andrew, I have had the pleasure of meeting one of the hon. Gentlemen involved in the discussion and do indeed find him to be much smarter than any professional politician I have met in these United States, with one notable exception. The gentleman's family has a history of public service and I find those family members whom I have met to be remarkably down to Earth, with perhaps a few eccentricities thrown in for general interest.

Posted by annski at Friday, 30 July 2010 at 5:10pm BST

"Tony Baldry: I am sure that all appointments in the Church of England, including that of the Second Church Estates Commissioner, are made on merit."

"Tony Baldry: I thank my hon. Friend for that. I made it clear in York at the General Synod that I did not think I could get through this House any legislation in which there was a scintilla of a suggestion of women bishops in any way being second-class bishops."

These statements by Church Commissioner Tony Baldry make quite clear the Church/Parliamentary attitude towards the prospect of ordaining Women into the Episcopate of the Church of England. This is very heartening for those of us in the Church who truly believe that God has called and is calling women to be Bishops in the C.of E. This reveals quite clearly that "The Church of Rome hath no jurisdiction (here) in England".

That there should be 'no scintilla' of a suggestion that women should be given any sort of diminished episcopal role in the C.of E. is a very strong statement of a belief that there should be no differentiation between the authority of women and men in the House of Bishops

Such a stance bodes well for the implementation of justice towards women's ministry in the Church

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Wednesday, 4 August 2010 at 7:16pm BST

".... the Crown of England (currently held by a lady)...." - Robert I Williams -

How does this relate, Robert, to 'Queen of Heaven'?

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Thursday, 5 August 2010 at 11:01am BST
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