Comments: reports on the new proposals for women bishops

The Mail says, "The Synod can reject the Archbishops’ proposals in July, but observers said the mood is now strongly in favour of introducing women bishops as quickly as possible and that the traditionalists will try only to gain favourable terms."

The "mood?"

What about the House of Laity? What has changed there?

Why not dissolve Synod now?

Posted by Jeremy at Sunday, 26 May 2013 at 7:58pm BST

The early dissolution of the Ninth General Synod is not a new idea, but this may give it more oxygen. I think it a highly unlikely option. It could not be taken now as it is important to take the temperature in York in July. It seems that Proper Provision, who seem to have rushed out a statement (other groups are taking counsel), have got the message.

Posted by Anthony Archer at Sunday, 26 May 2013 at 9:51pm BST

Early dissolution was discussed here back in November.

"It could not be taken now as it is important to take the temperature in York in July."

Non sequitur alert....

Why is it "important" to run this proposal by the same Synod that voted against women bishops in November?

Posted by Jeremy at Sunday, 26 May 2013 at 11:54pm BST

"Since those within the Church of England who, on grounds of theological conviction, are unable to receive the ministry of women bishops or priests will continue to be within the spectrum of teaching and tradition of the Anglican Communion, the Church of England will remain committed to enabling them to flourish within its life and structures."

So . . . the Church of England is allowing bad (and in my own view, sinful) theology elsewhere in the Communion to dictate the CofE's internal theological "commit[ments]" as to the equality of men and women before God.

Why allow the Communion tail wag the CofE dog in this way?

Surely Canterbury's convening role is not that important.

Posted by Jeremy at Monday, 27 May 2013 at 4:41am BST

Jeremy, I think we see other parts of the communion as our brothers and sisters in Christ, even if we are in different places theologically, no doubt there are areas in which they feel we are woefully inadequate and sinful too. It is not about who gets to be the dog or the tail, it is understanding that God is revealed in some part through each of us. Hopefully what we act upon will be a witness that will change hearts and minds elsewhere and undoubtedly the reverse will be true in some areas...

Posted by Lindsay Southern at Monday, 27 May 2013 at 9:32am BST

I'd like this put to Synod in July, a lot of water has passed under bridges since then and while the same people are still on Synods, hearts and minds may well be open to change, not least now the cost of that terrible decision is being counted and acknowledged. Clearly some positions have hardened, but it would be a mistake to assume that was the case for everyone. The first proposition may still offer a way forward...

Posted by Lindsay Southern at Monday, 27 May 2013 at 9:35am BST

"Since it will continue to share the historic episcopate with other Churches, including the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church and those provinces of the Anglican Communion which continue to ordain only men as priests or bishops, the Church of England will acknowledge that its own clear decision on ministry and gender is set within a broader process of discernment within the Anglican Communion and the whole Church of God;"

I'm not sure what this means. Does it imply that the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches are engaged in a broader process of discernment re WO? If so, that is not correct.

Posted by Arthur Samuels at Monday, 27 May 2013 at 1:09pm BST

There is an article about women deacons in the Tablet this weekend. Also, I heard from about movements towards women deacons in the RC church from a French priest and a German Jesuit last weekend.

Posted by Susan Cooper at Monday, 27 May 2013 at 5:54pm BST

I think it implies that some provinces of the Communion are in such a process and some are not; that some other bodies of the wider Church of Christ are in such a process and some are not; and that the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches ought to be. Thank heavens for a little confidence in ourselves at last.

Posted by Francis at Monday, 27 May 2013 at 6:14pm BST

I suppose the really big issue - if women are able to be consecrated bishops in the Church of England, and opponents are allowed to continue to demonstrate their opposition without structured provision - will be centred around the question of 'What Authority will the dissidents recognise as the episcopal enablement in their dioceses?

Will they still be able to refuse to be confirmed by the local (female) bishop? And if so, what will this actually mean for the episcopal collegiality of the Church of England?

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Tuesday, 28 May 2013 at 3:34am BST

What is 'Proper Provision'? Can anyone clarify? I recall that it was the title of a petition organised by Reform prior to the vote last November and signed by some conservative evangelical women but I'm not aware that it has any other existence. Julian Mann in the above article says that 'Campaign group for the traditional integrity, Proper Provision, has just issued a statement ...' but the link he gives only takes one back to the petition.

So is there a group? How is it separate from Reform? Is it just women? Is Julian Mann their official spokesperson? Who wrote the statement and on behalf of whom? With so many questions it is difficult to know what weight to attach to any of this.

Posted by Jane Charman at Tuesday, 28 May 2013 at 5:55pm BST

Did cranmer's curate really use the word "homosexualist"? Wow.

Posted by Alastair Newman at Tuesday, 28 May 2013 at 9:47pm BST

Can the Act of Synod be repealed more quickly than 2015?

Posted by Jeremy at Wednesday, 29 May 2013 at 10:52am BST

"[I]t is understanding that God is revealed in some part through each of us."

Not when we discriminate on the basis of gender.

Posted by Jeremy at Wednesday, 29 May 2013 at 10:59am BST

I believe the position is that the Act of Synod cannot be repealed yet. It is the subject of at least one diocesan motion tabled for debate by the General Synod. However, the motion is "parked", as the substantive issue to which it relates (the women bishops legislation itself) is still before the Synod. While many would wish to see the Act repealed as soon as possible (including me, having changed my mind on the subject), even I take review that to debate it at his sensitive juncture would be unhelpful.

Posted by Anthony Archer at Thursday, 30 May 2013 at 9:41pm BST

@Jeremy, I think you're going too far.

Are you really going to say that God can't accept or work through anyone who doesn't accept women bishops? So the majority of "Christians" around the world aren't really Christians and have nothing to teach anyone about Christ? Sorry. Not buying it.

After reading your comment, the first thing that popped into my head was the story a few years ago of a man who walked into an Amish school and killed and injured several children before killing himself. The Amish response? "We must not think evil of this man." Another Amish father noted, "He had a mother and a wife and a soul and now he's standing before a just God." They also went to comfort the killer's wife and children. Just think if we had that kind of forgiveness and faith. Or perhaps not, they don't allow women to teach, so they know nothing, right? Of course, if we had that kind of faith, websites like this on both the left and the right wouldn't need to exist and fighting can be so much fun.

Posted by Chris H. at Friday, 31 May 2013 at 2:50am BST
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