Thinking Anglicans

the figleaf of "reception"

The penetrating analysis of the Catholic Herald interview, and its spinoffs in the Telegraph and The Times, that appeared in the Church Times, is now on public view: Press: What Dr Williams didn’t mean by Andrew Brown.

Everyone who has followed the story of women priests knows that every archbishop has to pretend that there is a chance that the decision to ordain women might be reversed. That is the figleaf of “reception”, which allows Forward in Faith and Reform, in their turn, to pretend to be part of the Church of England.

You may think that this is a silly bargain, but it is the one that the Synod and the Church as a whole have signed up to. This is well understood by all the journalists who, despite that, wrote last week’s story as if it were significantly true: Ruth Gledhill, Jonathan Petre, and its originator, Damian Thompson. They all covered the vote in 1992. Ruth, on her blog, and Jonathan, in the course of his story, made it quite clear that they saw no truth in their own headlines.

Much of the Catholic Herald material has rotated off its website. But you can still find the interview itself here (third URL since inception).

And also, there was this article by Damian Thompson which appeared in the Guardian No wonder the Archbishop of Canterbury chose to speak to us. For background on another Catholic Herald columnist go here.

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17 years ago

I like the idea of reception as a way of imaging a different future. But I wouldnt see it as a monolithic proces. Don’t forget fig-leaves may rise waving at us ! .

I think this reception began in 1943 when Florence Lee Tim Oi was priested by the bishop of Hong Kong, for the sake of pastoral necessity, in war torn lands. An Oriental solution to a western problem perhaps

Martin Reynolds
Martin Reynolds
17 years ago


OOh, I can almost taste the blood, Simon …

Andrew Brown at his best.

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