Comments: Forward in Faith National Assembly 2013

I cannot see how the 'Forward in Faith' Resolution on the proposal to ordain Women as Bishops in the Church of England can possibly reconcile their statement in sections (a) and (b) - especially as quoted in (a) "reaffirm our aspiration to flourish within the structures of the Church of England and make our full contribution to its life and mission;" when their ultimate desire is to ignore the ministry of Women Bishops who will have been given due authority in the Church to exercise diocesan authority and episcopal care.

Surely, if they really think that women's ministry in their Church is invalid and unacceptable to them, they could not possibly live with that? Or are they accepting a continuance of the hypocrisy of 'Alternative Episcopal Oversight'?

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Thursday, 24 October 2013 at 10:44am BST

Surely it is time for people to embrace the present. Anglo-Catholicism that is as high in doctrine as practice is a spent force.

To say no to the Ordinariate and to General Synod seems to want to have ones cake and eat it. Here is my take

Posted by Ed Tomlinson at Thursday, 24 October 2013 at 10:53am BST

I am not convinced the double whammy of guarantees, without limits of time are wise. It is certainly a significant departure from the original Act of Synod which from the General Synod debates at the time was clearly intended to give temporary pastoral provision. Father Charles Razzall's interpretation of the words 'ensure' and 'continue' would guarantee continued division and alienation, continuing lack of integrity and dubious ecclesiology. It would close down any sense of continuing discernment leading to a common mind on the matter. I understand the longing for acceptance, affirmation and security, but guaranteeing disunity in perpetuity seems too high a price to pay and is unlikely to create a church in which both genders can flourish together.

Posted by Lindsay Southern at Thursday, 24 October 2013 at 11:40am BST

Jonathan Baker praises St Stephen's House and says that the Durham Common Awards initiative offers creative possibilities for the future re. ministry training. However, in the current issue of the St Stephen's House magazine, the Principal is dismissive of Durham and Common Awards. Shurely Shome Mishtake?

Plus, why does he regard ministry training which combines academic theological rigour with a focus on practical ministry reflection as an innovation? We've been doing this in most colleges and courses for decades! Is this just indicative of how far removed from reality FinF generally are?

Posted by Charles Read at Thursday, 24 October 2013 at 1:36pm BST

Lindsay Southern,

I see what you're saying, but there are certain implications within it which point out why this is so tortuous whilst also suggesting that old Manchester United saw (less appropriate this season), that "we never lose, we just run out of time."

What you appear to be proposing is time-limited guillotining. Ie make your mind up by x then it's game over. "So continued discernment...leading to a common mind" is either a) demonstrably false, or b) only ok so long as the common mind is your common mind not the alternative. I think we both know that a complete u-turn on the part of the CofE on WO is unlikely, which means that the choice would seem to be open ended accommodation or just saying now, "go away," and having a single clause and no charity. I'm only 32 so the need for palliative care could last quite some time. Frankly I want to be told now either a) you can stay, bring up your children to believe what you believe and perpetuate this, or b) go away, the care we're putting in place is for people in their 60s and will cease on a given date in the future so there is no point in someone in your position staying. I won't be going to Rome though, I'll just stop going to church - so, those that are left can flourish, but only because you've used some pretty strong weedkiller on those you don't agree with.

Posted by primroseleague at Thursday, 24 October 2013 at 1:36pm BST

Can't agree with any of the comments here. The tone of the FiF debate seemed to me extremely positive. 'Where your treasure is ...' And they're now showing their heart much more openly. I happened to be discussing this question with a well known and very liberal Anglican theologian on Sunday, and I said: 'for me, the personal is theological and I think FiF people should be given what they think they need', to which he instantly responded: 'I completely agree with you'.

Posted by John at Thursday, 24 October 2013 at 2:50pm BST

pace Ed Tomlinson, I don't think keeping women out of the priesthood is the central defining issue of Catholicism or not-Catholicism even for most Roman Catholics. That it is less and less so for Anglo Catholics is to be expected. Ed Tomlinson is clearly a die-hard on the issue, but the Ordinariate's lack of impact in his new denomination as in his old one suggests that he is not one of many.

Here is what the Pope said a couple of weeks ago:

"What presence does woman have in the church? Can it be better valued? It's a reality that I hold much in my heart..."

Posted by badman at Thursday, 24 October 2013 at 3:11pm BST

When will people realise it is ultimately not about souls but money and endowments.They want to stay in an heretical body ( as they must perceive it)for the cash, the houses etc

Posted by robert Ian Williams at Thursday, 24 October 2013 at 5:00pm BST

"‘All that we ask’, he added, ‘is that at the end of this process our church gives us the space in which we can live a catholic life, looked after by catholic bishops, catholic priests and catholic deacons’."

"catholic" = No Girl Parts? [Nor men OK w girl parts]

Posted by JCF at Thursday, 24 October 2013 at 9:17pm BST

" I won't be going to Rome though, I'll just stop going to church - so, those that are left can flourish," - 'Primroseleague -

A question here: Does one's faith in God and one's worship of God depend on one's determination that Women will have no part in ministry to me?

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Friday, 25 October 2013 at 1:08am BST

I wonder why Father Ed Tomlinson continues to take such an interest in the affairs of the Church of England. Father, you made the decision to leave for the ordinariate. Shouldn't you be more concerned with addressing the issues you face there rather than constantly seeing fit to criticise and judge the colleagues and people you left behind?

Posted by Benedict at Friday, 25 October 2013 at 9:16am BST

Charles Read says that I am dismissive of the Common Awards. Here is what I wrote: 'I am more sceptical about whether Durham will have the will and financial commitment to persevere with the common award scheme, given the way in which ministerial training manages to generate complexity and cost in a way out of all proportion to the student cohort size. It will seem very odd to be delivering qualifications for one university two hundred miles away for students who will have no access to facilities of either university in Oxford itself. But in the end cost will be the deciding factor, both for the Church and for Durham.' You can judge.

Posted by Robin Ward at Friday, 25 October 2013 at 10:18am BST

"Win souls for Christ"? That phrase alone takes me back to at least 1980, probably more like 1880. Have we not moved on since then? Have we not realised that the aim of the game is not just to persuade people to sign on our particular brand of dotted line but actually to live a Christ-like life?


Posted by Tim at Friday, 25 October 2013 at 11:40am BST
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