Comments: first ten CofE dioceses all vote for women bishops

This is very good news and demonstrates, away from the hot house of the House of Bps and Synod, what grassroots Anglicans are thinking. Still early days, but this indicates not only wide support for women as bishops, but a confidence that the provision for those opposed in the existing measure is appropriate and generous. I hope that is taken note of by Synod and it goes some way to vindicate the defeat of the Archbishops' amendment last July.

Posted by Judith Maltby at Wednesday, 6 July 2011 at 7:05pm BST

Without opting to prophesy the end result, here; there is surely some trend being established by those dioceses that have so far announced` their preference for women bishops? Whether this will issue in overall approval will no doubt be affected by the power of the Archbishops to manage stalemate.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Wednesday, 6 July 2011 at 7:12pm BST

Dear Judith, is it really for the supporters of the measure, such as yourself, to determine whether the provision is generous? Generosity can only be truly assessed by the receiver. The problem is that your "generous" provision is dependent upon a Code of Practice nobody has seen - how can that be generous when we don't really know what the provision will contain?

Posted by Fr James at Wednesday, 6 July 2011 at 11:27pm BST


There is an exceedingly generous offer from the Holy Father to join the Ordinariate. Although I disagree with the motive - the opposition to women's ministry - it cannot be said of the movement that it is not motivated by faith of sorts.

We can be confident that this is so because the vanguardists are clearly not motivated by money, pension provisions or temporal concerns. Rather, it seems likely - given that they are, to a man, happily married - they will generate debate in the RC Church about celibacy and, paradoxically, women's ministry: a logical culmination of the Oxford Movement subverting the power-base of the Vatican.

Posted by A J Barford at Thursday, 7 July 2011 at 8:49am BST

A J Barford:

I disagree with you - whatever provision the Pope has made - the Church of England should still make adequate provision for its members.

However, if you see the Ordinariate as the place where those opposed to the Ordination of Women are best catered for; how can you not logically support CBS, with a consitution committing it to male only orders, from giving a substantial grant to support this project?

Posted by Rose at Thursday, 7 July 2011 at 10:46am BST

James - in the Bible, God's generosity is rejected many times, but that doesn't make God any less generous. I don't think that "generosity can only be truly assessed by the receiver", and I don't think the statement that it can is compatible with scripture or with Christian tradition.

Posted by Mark Bennet at Thursday, 7 July 2011 at 11:31am BST

I'm sorry Mark - you have proved my point. You are the receiver in your scenario - you are making an assessment of God's generosity - God does not claim to be generous (he doesn't need to!). Oh, and by the way, it's not for you to determine whether my statement is compatible with scripture or tradition...

Posted by Fr James at Thursday, 7 July 2011 at 11:29pm BST

Fr James -

You made a categorical statement "generosity can only be assessed". I replied "I don't think" - which is an expression of my view, not a determination of the matter.
I agree that I cannot determine the generosity of my action towards you, though I can test my heart. You cannot determine for me whether my intention is a generous one or not. You will remember Jesus' teaching about the woman giving her two small coins - there is no objective measure of generosity.
I was intending to invite you to reconsider your categorical statement in the light of a theological understanding of generosity which begins and ends with God.
You might also consider whether the Synodical structure of the Church of England might be the best way we have of discerning these matters together.

Posted by Mark Bennet at Friday, 8 July 2011 at 9:19am BST

"Generosity can only be truly assessed by the receiver."

Such a categorical statement is easily rejected by reference to everyday experience.

In everyday experience, do third parties--neither the receivers nor the givers--nevertheless assess a gift as "generous"? Of course. One might question the quality of their information, but their assessment suggests that generosity does have some objective quality to it.

One might make a case for the giver too. The giver knows what a gift truly costs. The giver knows what proportion that cost bears to the giver's other resources and capabilities. The giver is best placed to know what motivated the gift.

The receiver, of course, is best placed to know whether the gift matches what the receiver really wanted. Perhaps that is the issue here.

Posted by Jeremy at Friday, 8 July 2011 at 12:13pm BST

"Which of you, if a son asked for bread would give him a stone?" As James pointed out, nobody knows if it's generous or not until you see the code. Generosity can also depend on circumstance and need. If someone thirsting in the desert asks for water and I give him a fortune in gold, but no water, am I generous? Until the code is seen, there's no way to tell if it's generous or not. Or if it's only generous for a little while and then taken away...

Posted by Chris H. at Saturday, 9 July 2011 at 5:37am BST
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