Comments: women bishops: some views from Fulcrum

On an earlier thread I (cynically) predicted that Fulcrumites would uncritically and grovelingly welcome the last minute revision by the bishops. After several short, but well thought out, statements this (rather sneering) prediction has proved to be 100% wrong.

I humbly apologise.

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Thursday, 14 June 2012 at 7:56am BST

Stephen Kuhrt says that the introduction of women bishops will change the church forever. Precisely so and that surely is the reason why so many are opposed to this ministerial innovation in that the Church will no longer be the same Church that Jesus entrusted to the Apostles of old.

Posted by Father David at Thursday, 14 June 2012 at 8:27am BST

Nice to find something encouraging among the news of the past few days. Will the arrogance of the bishops, culminating in their unilateral revision of this measure, and in the confused and undisguisedly reactionary response to the government's gay marriage proposal that they have approved, backfire when Synod meets?

Posted by Lapinbizarre/Roger Mortimer at Thursday, 14 June 2012 at 8:46am BST

Never did I think I would be in a position to congratulate Fulcrum on the article appearing on their web-site. however, I must say that on this occasion - with articles by Elaine Storkey and Fr. Stephen Kuhrt - they have done us proud.

Both articles have carefully stated their reasons for criticism of the amendments made by the House of Bishops to the Draft Measure passed by the last General Synod of the Church of England, and by a majority of diocesan Synods thereafter.

The effect of the amendment, as Fr. Stephen says, reflects the fear of the male bishops having to give way to women as co-episcopal leaders in the Church - thus ending the rule of patriarchy in the Church of England. Stephen goes so far as to applaud the differences that would make - to the Church's advantage in the future - in terms of humane and more caring legislative polity and praxis that would result.

I tip my hat to Fulcrum on this occasion. May we all have cause to compliment them again soon.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Thursday, 14 June 2012 at 11:53am BST

For what its worth, my comments on this are in my latest blog.
http://604andallthat.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/604-on-women-bishops.html

Posted by Mark Beach at Thursday, 14 June 2012 at 2:17pm BST

But Father David, surely there are many instances in history where the church has been changed forever. Does anybody still think that the Church now anywhere in the world is identical with that of the first Apostles?

Didn't events such as S. Paul's expansion of the church to the gentiles; Constantine's conversion; the Chalcedonian settlement and resulting schism; the Great Schism; the reformation in its many guises; evangelical renewal; and pentecostal revival all change the nature of the "entrusted" church in many ways?

Posted by Alastair Newman at Thursday, 14 June 2012 at 5:04pm BST

"Stephen goes so far as to applaud the differences that would make - to the Church's advantage in the future - in terms of humane and more caring legislative polity" Father Ron Smith referencing Stephen Kuhrt.

Some women bishops will be "more caring", others may not be. It will depend entirely upon the personality of the particular woman bishop and not upon any supposed gender-based traits. A positive stereotype is still a stereotype.

Posted by Laurence C. at Thursday, 14 June 2012 at 5:22pm BST

Dean of Durham on the bishops' revisions - http://decanalwoolgatherer.blogspot.com/2012/06/where-are-we-now-on-women-as-bishops.html?spref=fb

Posted by Lapinbizarre/Roger Mortimer at Thursday, 14 June 2012 at 5:23pm BST

'the same Church that Jesus entrusted to the Apostles of old.'

The FACT is as you know well, Jesus entrusted no church to 'the apostles'.

And if he had, it most certainly was not the Church of England.

Time to grow up and put aside fairy tales ?

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Thursday, 14 June 2012 at 10:24pm BST

"the Church will no longer be the same Church that Jesus entrusted to the Apostles of old"

The same church that Jesus apparently entrusted to...
Henry VIII
The Borgias
The many instigators/perpetrators of the Spanish Inquisition
All those pedophile priests
All the bishops and archbishops and popes (including the current one) that covered up said abuse

yeah, maybe the church won't be quite the same - in a good way

Posted by Dave Paisley at Friday, 15 June 2012 at 2:27am BST

Jesus was a Jew, you know.

Shocking fact, but it should be noted. If there was a Church He entrusted of old, it ceased when we stopped going to temple on Friday night.

Posted by MarkBrunson at Friday, 15 June 2012 at 4:28am BST

"the same Church that Jesus entrusted to the Apostles of old"
I used the word Church because Stephen originally wrote that "the gifts and insights of women will revitalise the church and change it forever".
Would Alistair and Laurence be happier if I substituted the word Faith for Church so that it would read:- "No longer the same Faith that Jesus entrusted to the Apostles of old"?
Which thought reminds me of that stirring hymn
"Faith of our fathers, taught of old by faithful shepherds of the fold".
It seems clear to me that even within my life time - that which has been entrusted to us of old is indeed in the process of being changed forever.
Bishops, whom we regard as successors to the Apostles, are, after all, primarily Guardians of the Faith. In seeking to uphold this sacred duty they are currently on the receiving end of much flak.
"Time to grow up and put aside fairy tales?"
Alas, more and more, Thinking Anglicans is becoming a Blog which is bristling with Christian hostility.

Posted by Father David at Friday, 15 June 2012 at 4:50am BST

Aren't many of the examples of change cited by Alastair, through the great Christian centuries of the past, attempts to return the Church, in one way or another, to its original primitive pristine state? Over two millenia the Church has often erred and been led astray - in reaction to which - God has raised up those whose aim and purpose is to ensure that that which has been entrusted is not lost or forgotten.

Posted by Father David at Friday, 15 June 2012 at 7:56am BST

Mark, correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't the Temple destroyed in 70 A.D.? Since then Judaism is not what it was in the days of Jesus in that the sacrificial element was lost and what remains is merely the Rabbinical teaching element.

Posted by Father David at Friday, 15 June 2012 at 8:09am BST

Father David:

Part of our faith is that the Holy Spirit speaks to us even today, as it did on the first Pentecost. Is it too much for you to believe that the Holy Spirit is telling us now that we have been wrong in our treatment of women for the past two milennia? That we have taken what were cultural biases of an ancient agrarian society and enshrined them in scripture?

Posted by Pat O'Neill at Friday, 15 June 2012 at 11:12am BST

"Alas, more and more, Thinking Anglicans is becoming a Blog which is bristling with Christian hostility."

- FatherDavid -

Dear Father, we would love to love you - if you would let us. Sadly your entrenched objection to any liberalisation in the Church - led by the Holy Spirit in many ways - makes you seem hostile to any form of renewal - even in the manner of Pope John XXIII, who advocated 'Semper Reformanda'

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Friday, 15 June 2012 at 12:07pm BST

Father Ron, I'm all for renewal which is in keeping with Holy Writ and is consistent with that which is proclaimed in the gospels. I note that the present Holy Father is very keen on the Reform of the Reform which his predecessor John XXIII initiated.
With regard to some of the hostile remarks published on the Thinking Anglican Blog - a friend has written - "If this is how Christians treat one another is it any wonder that most of the rest of the kingdom want nothing to do with any of them".

Posted by Father David at Friday, 15 June 2012 at 6:42pm BST

Come on, Fr Ron - we've had this before.

It's unconditional, remember; you should love despite the hostility you seem to see in Fr David. He's not wrong to point out that the value of tolerance so much prized by liberals is the one they find hardest to practice when they encounter folk who aren't as liberal and tolerant as they are. As it stands, your post seems to say; 'you need to be more like us - then we can love you properly.'

You love opponents of women bishops anyway, right? And if they can't love you back, then you keep on loving them anyway.

And I'm sure there was a bit somewhere about not judging ...

Posted by Jonathan Jennings at Friday, 15 June 2012 at 11:39pm BST

Jonathan, you are recalling all of us on this blog to the unwavering tolerance you have shown yourself to practice here. Mea Maxima Culpa! Christ have mercy on me, a Sinner!

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Monday, 18 June 2012 at 12:26pm BST

Noting the hilarity and bonhomie exchanged between those who contribute to Thinking Anglicans
it is hard to believe that we are days away from removing the Church of England in large part from its allegiance to the Church founded by Christ whose principle see is in Rome under the present stewardship of Pope Benedict XVI.A woman at the altar will always be a blasphemy, making nonsense of the Christian faith as the Church is the Bride of Christ,forever!

Posted by Alba Thorning at Tuesday, 3 July 2012 at 7:34pm BST

9.7.12 'Prayer for the day 'BBC Radio 4 featured Rev Peter Baker who reminded us that in 1550 Archbishop Cranmer was burned to death together with bishops Latimer and Ridley.May I remind Rev Baker of another Archbishop, William Laud, who was beheaded at Tower Hill in 1645 who was accused of opposition to radical forms of Puritanism.
Thank God Christians today can discuss our differences amicably making Christian Unity a real possibility in our time.

Posted by Alba Thorning at Monday, 9 July 2012 at 8:47am BST

Christians today need to be reminded that the two greatest enemies we have to fight for our spiritual good is our own weak self, the other is Satan, who encourages our divisions.
In its long history the Church, in spite of the guidance of The Holy Spirit, has suffered due to the weakness of mankind...we are all sinners in need of the healing help Christ gives us through the Sacraments.That is why the Apostolic succession is of vital importance for our salvation.

Posted by Alba Thorning at Tuesday, 10 July 2012 at 2:08pm BST
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