Comments: Women bishops: WATCH continues to call for complete withdrawal of Clause 5(1)c

Rachel Weir and members of WATCH have conveniently forgotten that a significant minority of the 44 Dioceses also passed following motions expressing a desire for a proper form of provision for traditionalists. What kind of a church are we developing into, I wonder, where majority rule becomes the order of the day, and there is no place for conscience or space for those with whom we disagree. The Church of England has never been of that ilk, and I suspect that Ms Weir will actually (hopefully) discover that the Bishops will remiain mindful of their pastoral imperative to care for ALL in their respective dioceses. If the current unyielding and unbending position of WATCH is any guide to the future with women Bishops, I fear not only for traditionalists but for the Church as a whole. It is definitely not the sort of pastoral care I or others in our local church would wish to receive. Many in the congregation (of both genders) are becoming increasingly irritated at the stance of WATCH. Irritation will lead to refutation and refusal, so WATCH members need to be careful what they wish for. Conscience will never be overriden in these matters.

Posted by Benedict at Tuesday, 28 August 2012 at 1:02pm BST

Benedict:
My conscience has been continuously overridden by ++Rowan Williams and ++John Sentamu in relation to my conscientious conviction that I would have wished to have the Very Reverend Dr Jeffrey John 'elected' to the See of Southwark and to serve him as my bishop.

Posted by commentator at Tuesday, 28 August 2012 at 7:01pm BST

"What kind of a church are we developing into, I wonder, where majority rule becomes the order of the day, and there is no place for conscience or space for those with whom we disagree." - Benedict -

One might ask 'what kind of Church would we be if we obeyed the conscience of the Minority?'

The conscience of everyone is entirely their own affair, but if they do not go along with the majority that determines Church Order (in this case, allowing Women's Ordination), they have the choice to 'suffer with' the majority, or find comfort in another ecclesial community - like the Ordinariate, that Roman Catholic sympathisers in the Church of England have been given by the Pope.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Wednesday, 29 August 2012 at 1:05am BST

I believe that WATCH is right on the ball here. It seems that only the withdrawal of Amendment 5.1.c. is likely to bring a positive result for the upcoming General Synod on Women Bishops.

The ball is in the House of Bishops' court.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Wednesday, 29 August 2012 at 1:16am BST

But Benedict, what about the significant minority in 1978 who were narrowly defeated in a motion to bring forward legislation to remove the barriers to ordaining women to the priesthood and consecrating them to the episcopate? That particular motion passed in the House of Bishops and Laity but was defeated in the House of clergy 149 to 94. A very narrow defeat: a very significant minority.

The "significant minority" in 1978 then had to wait 14 years until 1992 for legislation to be passed allowing women to be ordained to the priesthood. The "significant minority" back in 1978 is still waiting for legislation allowing women to be consecrated into the episcopate.

What about THAT significant minority? Majority rule was the order of the day then, and I don't suppose too many traditionalists back then were of a view to accommodate the wishes of those who supported the ordination and consecration of women. A "no" was a "no", it did not include a Resolution A or B; it did not make a concession of flying bishops for those who accepted the orders of women; it did not allow for letters of protest from parishes who supported women's orders requesting them alternative episcopal oversight. "No" meant "no" and that was majority rule pure and simple.

Posted by Alastair Newman at Wednesday, 29 August 2012 at 3:44pm BST

Just a question: does this amendment 'cut both ways?'

For example, if a liberal parish should disagrees with a conservative Bishop and come to feel that the conservative nature and actions of that Bishop has somehow invalidated his ministry as it relates to that particular liberal parish, may that liberal parish, under this proposed or some other canon, request alternative oversight from a, to them, more 'orthodox' (aka liberal) Bishop? If not, why not?

What is the distinction between the objection of some to women Bishops or, for that matter, to a Bishop who supports the ordination of women, and the other way around?

For example, if a parish decides, in catholic good conscience, that the nature and traditions of the (very) early church included mostly or even only women leaders and therefor only women and/or women-friendly bishops are valid for them, might they request oversight by a woman Bishop or woman-friendly Bishop of their own choosing under this proposed amendment?

What would be the implications for the apostolic episcopate of such a request?

Posted by bookguybaltmd at Wednesday, 29 August 2012 at 9:04pm BST

"...may that liberal parish, under this proposed or some other canon, request alternative oversight from a, to them, more 'orthodox' (aka liberal) Bishop? If not, why not?" - bookguyaltmd -

A very valid point here. If 'special arrangements' are to be set in stone for 'anti-women bishops' parishes; is there going to be a complementary 'special arrangement' made for pro-women bishops' parishes? That would be only fair and just.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Thursday, 30 August 2012 at 12:25am BST

I still think WATCH are bending over backwards to accommodate people who would not and will not bend at all in their direction. The unamended Measure should be the limit. If that clause stays in I hope the whole thing gets voted down. Next time, a one clause measure.

I thought I was getting softer in my old age. On this, I'm not.

Posted by Jeremy Pemberton at Thursday, 30 August 2012 at 7:22am BST

No, the amendment does not cut both ways. Provision can only be made for those who will not accept the ordained ministry of women (or men who accept it). So, if you live in a diocese where the bishop does not ordain women, you can't seek provision from someone who shares your theological convictions on the matter.

Posted by Hannah at Thursday, 30 August 2012 at 12:11pm BST

The whole thing deserves to fail as it has been so poorly thought through. Unless a clear theology of how the Church can live with women bishops while accommodating another integrity which holds them to be invalid can be defined, then passing this legislation, whether amended or not, and with its unspecified code of practice, would be nothing but a reckless shot in the dark.

Posted by Original Observer at Thursday, 30 August 2012 at 3:29pm BST

Is it possible to offer a "substitute motion/clause" that would make the possibility for objection/alternative oversight more evenly split? Or would that be something that could only originate with the Bishops? Is there room for dialog or compromise between the two bodies? (noting that it has already been pointed out that the advocates of women's episcopate have already compromised endlessly and with enormous patience).

Forgive my ignorance of English polity. But, raised by an English mother, I had been trained to believe in a certain English even-handedness and sense of fair play.

But, perhaps that idea is yet another myth originating in the nostalgic fantasy of an English ex-patriot, lost in the wilds of the US, surrounded by barbaric Americans....

Posted by bookguybaltmd at Thursday, 30 August 2012 at 4:09pm BST

"lost in the wilds of the US, surrounded by barbaric Americans...."

Posted by: bookguybaltmd on Thursday, 30 August 2012 at 4:09pm BST

The US, 'barbaric'? - Not so! at least, as far as common human rights are concerned, they seem to be way ahead of the English Bishops

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Sunday, 2 September 2012 at 11:24am BST

"The US, 'barbaric'? - Not so! at least, as far as common human rights are concerned, they seem to be way ahead of the English Bishops"

...Perhaps that, too, was part of the myth originating in the nostalgic fantasy of an English ex-patriot....

Posted by bookguybaltmd at Tuesday, 4 September 2012 at 3:08pm BST
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