Comments: House of Bishops agree next steps towards Women in the Episcopate

Any leaks on what they said about Pilling?

Posted by Richard Ashby at Tuesday, 10 December 2013 at 8:49pm GMT

"The House also agreed to begin at the February Synod the process for rescinding the 1993 Act of Synod so that all the elements of the new package could be agreed by the synod in July 2014."

I'm intrigued by the intention to rescind the 1993 Act of synod. It would be interesting, at this point in the proceedings, to know what that would entail. And, how will it affect the arrangement surrounding the provision/or not/ for those in the Church of England who don't want Women clergy or bishops on their patch but still want to be part of the Church of England?

If 'special provision' will be voluntary (on the part of the diocesan bishop), will this satisfy those who believe that women cannot be bishops?
That will surely influence the outcome of the ongoing conversations.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Thursday, 12 December 2013 at 9:48am GMT

You have misunderstood the proposals Father Ron. The provision will not be voluntary, it will be regulated, underpinned by a Solemn Act of Declaration from the House of Bishops, which has more teeth than the current Act of Synod.

Posted by Benedict at Thursday, 12 December 2013 at 1:52pm GMT

To clarify further, see Annex A of GS 1924 for the initial draft House of Bishops' Declaration on the Ministry of Bishops and Priests.
http://www.churchofengland.org/media/1872454/gs%201924%20-%20report%20of%20the%20steering%20committee%20for%20the%20draft%20legislation%20on%20women%20in%20the%20episcopate.pdf

This provides, inter alia, the arrangement which will replace the 1993 Act of Synod. Other parts of it will replace certain provisions in the Priests (Ordination of Women) Measure 1993 which is expressly repealed by the proposed new measure.

The rescinding of an Act of Synod requires only a simple majority, not a two-thirds.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Thursday, 12 December 2013 at 3:36pm GMT

"Provision" for those who deny the ordination of women is at-odds with both catholicity and geographical parishes. A congregation that's allowed to bar half the human race from leadership is acting more like exclusive brethren than a parish church. "Provision" imposes beliefs on everyone who lives in a square of the map. Liberalism is tolerating behavior you disagree with *provided it doesn't harm others against their will*. The qualification has been forgotten.

These measures will diminish gender discrimination in the priesthood, but at the price of entrenching freedom of oppression within the church.

Posted by James Byron at Thursday, 12 December 2013 at 10:17pm GMT

It seems James Byron's brand of liberalism only allows for his own point of view. That is not liberalism at all.

Posted by Benedict at Friday, 13 December 2013 at 3:37pm GMT

I believe, Benedict, that anyone has the right to hold and express any view they like. That does not extend to office holders having the right to impose their views on everyone with the misfortune to be within their jurisdiction.

Would you defend the right of a racist minister, a devout believer in the curse of Ham, to implement segregation on his watch? If not, you accept the principle, and we disagree only about details.

Posted by James Byron at Friday, 13 December 2013 at 11:52pm GMT

"The provision will not be voluntary, it will be regulated, underpinned by a Solemn Act of Declaration from the House of Bishops, which has more teeth than the current Act of Synod."
- Benedict -

First of all; thank you Simon for allowing access to the actual report on the intended legislation

However, in the light of Benedict's continuing insistence that the diocesan bishop's consent is, perforce; "regulated, underpinned by a Solemn Act of Declaration from the House of Bishops, which has more teeth than the current Act of Synod." ;
how does this square with the expectation that the diocesan bishop (whether he or she) will still have the authority to say 'yes' or 'no' to the arrangement being requested?

In other words, will the diocesan still have un-compromised authority, to say yes or no? to the alternative episcopal identity requested? Or will the legislation actually undermine that authority?

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Friday, 13 December 2013 at 11:58pm GMT

James Byron, by the terms of your own argument, what about parishioners within a particular jurisdiction who are opposed to the ordination of women and yet are overseen by a female priest?? Are we to ride roughshod over them? That can also be seen as an imposition of views.

Posted by Benedict at Saturday, 14 December 2013 at 1:37pm GMT

If a person can't bear to be ministered to by a woman, they should look elsewhere for their spiritual needs, and lobby the church to reverse course.

Yes Benedict, it's an imposition, just as it's an imposition to deny a devout racist a segregated congregation. The CofE's in the mess it is out of a refusal to take a decision and stand by it. "Two integrities" is the theological and practical nonsense you get when you refuse to face conflict head-on.

Now, back to my question: should believers in the curse of Ham be given provision? I say no. What do you say?

Posted by James Byron at Saturday, 14 December 2013 at 7:03pm GMT
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