Comments: Vacancy in See guidance

The following description of the role of the Bishop in the diocese includes the following:

"Introduction to the Service
......the bishops are to gather God's people and celebrate with them the sacraments of the new covenant. Thus formed into a single communion of faith and love, the Church in each place and time is united with the Church in every place and time."

Hopefully, this will mean that a Woman Diocesan Bishop will, in fact, preside over 'a single communion of faith and love' - This would surely indicate the unity of the diocese over which God places her in charge. No room here for those who doubt her episcopal jurisdiction!

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Tuesday, 1 October 2013 at 10:20am BST

Look I don't post here very often, and I hope most of you regulars at least recognise I'm one of the more "thinking" ones of those who don't agree but when you see this:

"No room here for those who doubt her episcopal jurisdiction!"

Unbelievable. I'm assuming you're agreeing here, given the lack of any indication to the contrary and the tone of excitable pleasure.

I'm dangerously close to being unchurched here. And yes, I recognise the riposte about how many others have been unchurched by the actions of Trads in the past. The difference presumably is I see all as a tragedy.

Presumably some people on here will have felt themselves being broken on the wheel of the church at some point in their lives for whatever reason they have no control over? Well, it's happening to me now. Is that good? Payback? Regrettable but necessary? What?

Posted by primroseleague at Tuesday, 1 October 2013 at 2:37pm BST

primroseleague: The thing is that the House of Bishops made something clear in their paper of May this year:

"Once legislation has been passed to enable women to become bishops the Church of England will be fully and unequivocally committed to all orders of ministry being open equally to all, without reference to gender, and will hold that those whom it has duly ordained and appointed to office are the true and lawful holders of the office which they occupy and thus deserve due respect and canonical obedience;"

Doubting 'her episcopal jurisdiction' is not going to be an option, just as my doubting the episcopal jurisdiction of some of the bishops I have served with has not really been an option - even though I have been and still am tempted. If the ordination of women bishops does not happen in a 'simple' way, then a great many people are going to be un-churched. None of it is good, or payback or any of the other things you suggest.
'Traditionalists' (even though I believe they hijack that word) are going to have to be a great deal more coherent about 'sacramental assurance' if anyone is going to really get such an odd concept. It has always sounded like a 'how many angels can you get on a pin head' kind of argument. How can you actually be sure that ANY sacraments are assured? The apostolic succession argument simply makes God in a human image. Do you really think God can't jump over gaps or 'assure' any sacraments God chooses? Why are limits put on God's operation in this way?

None of this is said to un-church you or anyone. But many have been un-churched for a long time by the lack 50% of the human race in episcopal roles.

Posted by Andrew Godsall at Tuesday, 1 October 2013 at 3:29pm BST

I think I'm with primrose in finding Fr Ron's words about "no place for those who doubt...", grating.

Part of the glory of Anglicanism is that it is a section of the whole Church of God that seeks to welcome those who would follow Jesus Christ doubts and all. Indeed the journey into deeper faith and more profound prayer is often a journey into less certainty and sureness about anything, except the one who is love. Living and worshipping in fellowship with those who have different doubts is what forms us into the People of God.

In practical terms it will not be feasible for clergy or laity to ignore or reject the juridical actions of the diocesan as though they had not happened, but equally a bishop who is seeking to embody unity will know how to tread gently when close to the holy ground that is the doubts of faithful believers.

Posted by David Walker at Tuesday, 1 October 2013 at 9:20pm BST

'Living and worshipping in fellowship with those who have different doubts is what forms us into the People of God.'
Well this sounds very fine until we remember that this is a church that allows some who differ to legally exclude others from their worship completely. With all respect this needs earthing a bit more for our present context.

Posted by David Runcorn at Tuesday, 1 October 2013 at 9:35pm BST

Don't normally agree with a bishop.

primroseleague,

I think you're in absolutely no danger of being 'unchurched'. Father Ron isn't in charge here and our bishops and archbishops seem to me to be exercising a proper concern for persons such as your good self.

Posted by John at Wednesday, 2 October 2013 at 12:13pm BST

Is anyone else worried that someone involved in the appointments process for Bishops doesn't understand some of the basic Safeguarding terminology?

Posted by David Keen at Wednesday, 2 October 2013 at 4:49pm BST

I am more worried that the document has still not been corrected...

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Wednesday, 2 October 2013 at 6:40pm BST

What needs to be corrected? I must be missing something.

As for "I think I'm with primrose in finding Fr Ron's words about "no place for those who doubt...", grating."

There are two different aspects here, aren't there. One is that, as Andrew Godsall's quote shows, the church itself will have removed all doubt and that women will minister on the same terms as men.

That does not mean that individuals cannot retain their doubt and that the church will not find a way of accommodating that.

But I do think it's important to recognise that the CoE will be very clear on the matter.

Posted by Erika Baker at Wednesday, 2 October 2013 at 7:05pm BST

Erika, see point 3 in the original article above. There is an editorial error in the document issued by the Appointments Secretary, which appears to suggest that somebody drafting the document did not know what DBS stands for.
That's what worries David.
What worries me is that the document is dated July and this is October, and nobody has yet corrected the document.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Wednesday, 2 October 2013 at 10:16pm BST

It would be interesting to know which of the two famous David Walkers took exception to my comment about the probability of there being 'no place for those who doubt the jurisdiction of a woman bishop - should one be appointed according to the rules'.

If it is the cartoonist, then I can only say that the word 'respect' included in the rules would surely, in this instance, mean that a woman bishop would be respected for the fact that she is the diocesan bishop having jurisition.

If it was Bishop David Walker, I could only respectfully suggest that, as a bishop in the Church of England - that had approved of an unfettered episcopal ministry for a woman bishop - he, too, would acknowledge her need to be respected for her office in her diocese by all members of her flock.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Saturday, 5 October 2013 at 3:36am BST

What worries me is that the document is dated July and this is October, and nobody has yet corrected the document.
Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 2 October 2013 at 10:16pm BST

Someone has now.

Posted by RPNewark at Thursday, 10 October 2013 at 4:40pm BST
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