Thinking Anglicans

Wales to vote on women as bishops

Update Wednesday evening
The vote was lost. Official report of the results here.

Ruth Gledhill has comment from Archbishop Barry Morgan here. And also here.

——-
The Church in Wales is voting today on whether or not to allow women priests to be ordained as bishops.

See the official press release here, and the agenda of the Governing Body here.

The presidential address of the Archbishop of Wales, Barry Morgan, is here.

The article he wrote for the Guardian today is titled At odds with the gospel:

In an age when women have broken through the glass ceiling in most professions in Britain, it is strange that they still face discrimination in a church that believes there is “no male or female” in Christ. Women can become judges, surgeons, chief executives and heads of state, but in the Church in Wales – which waited until 1997 to ordain women as priests – they are as yet unable to become bishops.

I do not see how, having agreed to ordaining women to both the diaconate and priesthood, the church can logically exclude women from the episcopate. That is why I and my fellow bishops will be asking members of the church’s legislative body today to vote in favour of a bill to allow women clerics to become bishops. It’s a move that Anglican churches have made in other countries – Scotland, Ireland, New Zealand, Canada and the US, though not yet England. I believe Wales is now willing to embrace this important change too…

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Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

I support both the ordination of women and their consecration as bishops. But I take issue with Bp. Morgan on the strangeness of there being no women bishops in a world that recognizes women’s equality. First, it isn’t about equality. I am no less equal before God because I do not have a miter. If this is all about empowering women, there are better ways to do it. If the conservatives are right and a woman can’t be a bishop, we can say what words over them we like and they still won’t be bishops, no matter how empowered they… Read more »

BobinSwPA
BobinSwPA
13 years ago

I’ve lften wondered if the Supreme Governor of the Church of England can be a women why is it that women can’t be Bishops. If the head of state can be a woman why can’t a head of a dioces or a national church? Of course the queen isn’t ordained but still she is titular head of the CofE. None of this makes sense in these times.

Martin Reynolds
Martin Reynolds
13 years ago

Robert Ian Williams has just rung me from the vote and it was lost by a narrow margin (3%) in the House of Clergy.

It must be remembered that this also happened when the first vote came on women priests here in Wales, the Bishops broke convention and a few Canons and reintroduced it immediately and it went through the second time.

Robert will doubtless tell more later when he completes his 4 hour drive back to the North!

He owes me £5

JCF
JCF
13 years ago

’bout blessed time! 🙂

Josh
13 years ago

Sorry to say that the bill did not pass:

http://www.churchinwales.org.uk/bill_results.html

Sigh. God help us.

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
13 years ago

I visited the Governing Body out of interest to hear the debate. The Archbishop of Wales was magnificent, so was the Bishop of Monmouth and the Bishop of St Asaph also spoke well. All the bench of bishops fought off the ammendment that would have institutionalised a provincial bishop, and a Church within a Church. This was easily defeated. 71 to 41 The Bill was voted for by all the diocesan bishops 100 per cent. The laity voted 52 for, 19 against with one abstention. The clergy voted 27 yes and 18 against with one abstention. This is a much… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
13 years ago

Royal Supremacy…yes the Queen is the ordinary of both the Archbishop of York and Canterbury…their appointment and jurisdiction comes from the Crown.

JCF
JCF
13 years ago

To clarify, my “’bout blessed time!” was about the proposed change, not the later defeat.

What Josh said. 🙁

Martin Reynolds
Martin Reynolds
13 years ago

Robert Ian Wiliams is right to remind us of the pecking order in England! But “Of course the queen isn’t ordained” ….. hmmm, she very certainly was consecrated and the vestments she put on looked familiar! What depressed me most of all was to see so many of my fellow gay priests in the “no” lobby – in fact all of the ones I knew! Wales offers gay priests and their partners such a warm welcome but it doesn’t mean that welcome runs on …… Then to hear the Provincial Assistant bishop (flying sort) mumble rubbish about not wanting a… Read more »

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
13 years ago

Martin

“Then to hear the Provincial Assistant bishop (flying sort) mumble rubbish about not wanting a “gay bishop” when we have had at least four in recent times and remembering his constituency is over 60% gay led ….. Lord have mercy !!!”

Just some clarification please – what do you mean by “constituency” in this context?

thanks

Simon

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

“if the Supreme Governor of the Church of England can be a women why is it that women can’t be Bishops” Because, while her position is anomalous, the Queen is not a priest. First, I support the ordination of women, so the argument I am about to lay out is what I understand the issue to be. A bishop is THE priest in his/her diocese. Now the question is: can a woman fulfill the role of priest? Is there something in the nature of priesthood that means only men can be priests, like there is something in the nature of… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
13 years ago

Martin Reynolds wrote: “But “Of course the queen isn’t ordained” ….. hmmm, she very certainly was consecrated and the vestments she put on looked familiar!”

So they did…

Emperor Constantine the Great once said, it is reported:’

“You are Bishops in the Church,
whereas I am Bishop in the World.”

To the chagrin of Gregorius VIII of Rome the Emperor/King as Vicarius Christi remained the official theology/ecclesiology in East and West, well beyond the 1073 Dictatus papae ; = )

It may be argued that this was restated in the Reformation.

Hence the ongoing similarity of Imperial and Episcopal vestments…

Weiwen
13 years ago

I’m a little torn over the fact that the alternative oversight provision was defeated. on one hand, the CoE has done it. I don’t think to assume that alternative oversight provisions make any change in the rate at which the Anglican Communion and individual provinces are disintegrating, either positive or negative. ergo, if oversight provisions were the only way to get women consecrated, they should have been considered. on the other hand, the don’t consecrate folks are on the wrong side of history. women will be consecrated eventually, then best not to make provisions that would interrupt a church structure.… Read more »

Dan
Dan
13 years ago

This “conservative” does not care if a bishop is a man or woman. It is not a conservative issue so much as it is an “catholic” issue. Personally, I don’t think we need bishops at all, but that is a different subject all together.

Martin Reynolds
Martin Reynolds
13 years ago

Simon sorry not to respond to you earlier,

Some say that over two thirds of those clerics using the services of our flying bishop are gay. I am somewhat more conservative in my estimate.

We must catch up sometime

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

“I don’t think we need bishops at all”

You being a conservative, I will assume that you believe the conservative side is defending traditional Christianity. If I am wrong, correct me, but if I am right, how do you square that belief with the above statement?

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
13 years ago

The idea that each theological opinion or prejudice can have its own bishop, is the awful legacy of Carey and Habgood in the Church of England. The Church in Wales has been wiser to decide that a Church within a church and a second class order of women bishops, and male and female clergy ordained by her is totally unacceptable.

Would that the Church of England bishops had the same courage and convictions as the Welsh bishops.

Dan
Dan
13 years ago

For the same reason, Ford, that The Salvation Army, Free Methodists, Wesleyans, Church of the Nazarene, Pentecostals, Baptists, Quakers, etc., etc., don’t need bishops. The world and the Christian faith can function quite well without them. The poor can be fed, prisoners, visited, the sick healed — and all without the approval of a bishop.

Leslie Fletcher
Leslie Fletcher
13 years ago

I have just returned from the Parish Eucharist at a church at the head of remote valley in North Wales. There was deep resentment at the outcome of the vote, at how foolish the nay-saying clergy make the Church look and at the misogyny implicit in some of their comments.

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

“For the same reason, Ford, that The Salvation Army, Free Methodists, Wesleyans, Church of the Nazarene, Pentecostals, Baptists, Quakers, etc., etc., don’t need bishops.”

So why should a radical innovation from the Reformation era take precedence over the Tradition of the Church? I mean no disrespect to any of the groups you mentioned, but the Threefold Order has been a part of the “faith once and for all delivered to the saints” from the beginning. How anyone can claim we don’t need it and still claim to be “orthodox” is beyond me.

Dan
Dan
13 years ago

Why should a radical innovation of some in the the post-modern church with respect to acceptance of same sex relationships take precedence over the Tradition of the church? The moral teaching of the church regarding the exclusivity of marriage between one man and one woman has been “part of the faith once and for all delivered to the saints from the beginning.” In fact, the evolution of the episcopacy took several hundred years to develop. initially, “bishops” were simply the spiritual leaders of local congregations, much as priests or pastors are today. The role expanded to resemble the forms of… Read more »

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