Comments: General Synod - Wednesday

From all accounts, the leadership of Bishop James Langstaff has enabled the prospect of Women Bishops in the Church of England to jump the first hurdle towards its goal - that of equality of women and men in the ministry of the Church of England. Let's hope that those who still have doubts about this will have their scruples washed away in the realisation that God actually does empower women for ministry.
Deo gratias!

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Wednesday, 20 November 2013 at 10:21pm GMT

I, being of the Anglo-Catholic persuasion - which would appear to be almost poles apart from the originators of this post - likewise applaud the principled traditional Anglo-Catholics, who have graciously allowed this motion to go forward in General Synod, by either their positive vote or their withholding of a negative vote on the motion.

My prayer is that, in the fullness of time, all Anglicans will come to understand Paul's dictum that "In Christ, their is neither female nor male" - even in the realm of ministry and leadership in the Body of Christ.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Wednesday, 20 November 2013 at 10:36pm GMT

Now thank we all* our God!

http://youtu.be/_Z2_JLqOjNY

* Not blind optimism, but Christian Hope. :-)

Posted by JCF at Thursday, 21 November 2013 at 1:28am GMT

Are those evangelicals really so devious? I don't actually think so. I would agree with Andrew Brown's point about the potential wipe-out of conservative evangelicals in General Synod if they block women bishops again, but I hope that many who have decided not to block the legislation this time are doing it out of grace.

However, as one who supports full acceptance of Gay and Lesbian people in the life of the Church, a vote against women bishops might, ironically, help. Most ordinary Anglicans would be so angry that those they elect would be far more likely to be accepting of diversity. On the other hand, it would be a painful disaster, so I would not want it to happen, whatever the good unintended consequences.

Instead, we must hope and pray that the spirit of care and mutual respect, that appears to have developed, continues as new controversial subjects are addressed.

Posted by Iain Baxter at Thursday, 21 November 2013 at 3:48am GMT

Lost in all this is the emasculation of report of the Elections Review Group, deleting the provision for an electoral college and retaining only a couple of provisions relating to on-line voting.

Now, the proposal that elections to GS should be by an electoral college is no better than the arrangements we currently have, why can the Church not trust its members, that is those on the electoral roll, with the right and privilege of voting directly for its representatives on GS. I can't believe that in this age of mass indifference to the church anyone thinks that Electoral Rolls will be so packed with non church goers that the mind of the Church will not be expressed.

Synod seems to have failed to grasp the issues that the current system is broken and discredited, that it doesn't represent the laity in any way and is in the maw of the ideologically committed. The only possible way forward is one person one vote for lay members with proper openness, hustings and clear information about all the candidates along with a declaration of their membership of party groups. Nothing else will do. Anything else continues the infantalisation of the laity which is so convenient for the activists.

Posted by Richard Ashby at Thursday, 21 November 2013 at 3:41pm GMT

An oft quoted in word in this debate seems to be the word "flourish". The only possible way in which those who hold fast to Catholic faith and doctrine can possibly hope to flourish within the modern CofE is if the wider Church continues to provide and willingly consecrate Traditionalist bishops. Otherwise the future looks pretty bleak indeed.

Posted by Father David at Thursday, 21 November 2013 at 4:35pm GMT

Father David, if your faith depends on the ministry of male-only bishops within the Church of England, rather than the 'Real Presence' of Christ in the Eucharist, I wonder where your treasure lies. The gender of a clergy-person can surely have very little effect upon the authenticity of the Incarnate Word.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Friday, 22 November 2013 at 12:10am GMT

"The only possible way in which those who hold fast to Catholic faith and doctrine can possibly hope to flourish within the modern CofE is if the wider Church continues to provide and willingly consecrate Traditionalist bishops. Otherwise the future looks pretty bleak indeed." - what utter rubish

Posted by Confused sussex at Friday, 22 November 2013 at 12:20am GMT

"The only possible way in which those who hold fast to Catholic faith and doctrine can possibly hope to flourish within the modern CofE is if the wider Church continues to provide and willingly consecrate Traditionalist bishops."

"Catholic". "Traditionalist". One of these words is not like (well, not coterminous with) the other. God is working God's purpose out, so the flourishing of Catholic faith and doctrine isn't really in doubt.

Further consecration of Traditionalist (i.e., non-female/anti-WO) bishops? Hmmm. Let's see how the current batch takes episcopal counsel together w/ their soon-coming sister bishops. That may tell us a lot.

Posted by JCF at Friday, 22 November 2013 at 6:09am GMT

@Father David, for many years (prior to her translation to NZ) the traditional Anglo-Catholic stalwart of the Canadian house of bishops was +Victoria Matthews, also a devotee of the Via de Compostella. Just sayin'.

Posted by Geoff at Friday, 22 November 2013 at 6:41am GMT

Like Richard Ashby, I was dismayed by the outcome of the elections review group debate. Philip French had 3 sensible amendments down, all of which were lost with hardly any support, whereas Gerald O'Brien's wrecking amendment was passed (and he a member of the business committee which brought the proposals forward - no collegiality there!). The debate was started in July and left uncompleted then through lack of time. Had it completed in July, there might well have been a different outcome. There was still a raw sense of anger then at what had transpired last November, and a sense that change was needed. But now, peace having broken out (at least superficially) over women bishops, the feeling seemed to have changed to 'we're fine as we are'. Wrong again!
Philip Giddings need never have worried that his fellow ConEvos would be wiped out at the next elections if they voted against the women bishops package. Some chance! They so dominate deanery synods, and are so much more biddable than we 'woolly liberals', that I greatly doubt that the composition of the next HoL will be noticeably different from the present one.

Posted by Malcolm Dixon at Friday, 22 November 2013 at 11:09am GMT
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