Thinking Anglicans

Church Times on women bishops

The full reports of General Synod debates in this week’s newspaper are subscriber-only until next week.

The following news reports by Bill Bowder are available:

Will Catholics stay? The answer is in code

Cracking the code

And, there is a leader column: Not the time for hasty reactions:

THERE ARE, of course, no women bishops in the Church of England; nor will there be for several years. This means that there is a long time in which to reflect on the outcome of Monday’s vote in the General Synod. It is clear that the mind of the majority in Synod was against introducing a legally separate body for those unable to accept the ministry of women bishops, and who is to say that this does not reflect the mind of the Church at large? Apart from the wish to represent generally the view of those in the pews, it is probable that last week’s talks of splits relating to the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) made the Synod even warier than it might formerly have been of anything that looked as if it encouraged formal division. At issue now is whether the manner in which women bishops will be introduced will lead to just such a division in any case…


  • drdanfee says:

    Given the heated preachments against women (and, yes, say, against queer folks, too), coming from the most extremely traditionalist believers. Given that these heated preachments are mainly narrated in categorical -i.e., no nuance, no exemptions, no contexts – terms, if not even harder-minded presuppositional conservative terms. If not in even harder-minded reconstructionist and dominionist terms. … I do not hear a great deal of context or nuance in either the anti-women-leadership preachments of evangelicals or catholics so far … Pope Benedict is clearly on a nearer continuum with, say, Peter Akinola of Nigerian fame, than with, say, Desmond Tutu …

    We all must believe: God frowns, God retches, definitely, according to these preachments – upon any woman or queer citizen who would dare to entertain the notion that their honest gifts and callings are welcome in Anglican church life, from the bottom to the top, from the lefts to the middles to the rights, graciously, thankfully, and – gasp – joyously with bright angels and saints as cloud of witnesses, singing.

    The constant refrain is: that, now we must be newly and more dramatically tested, that we must show we trust these same traditionalist believers – and credit them (again, often via categorical and presuppositionalistic closed positions) with no motive or feeling or belief save that of sheer god-blessed love of the most shining and eternal sort for both uppity women and queer folks, no holds barred. We must prove that we love and trust them, no holds barred, while they simply must be given love credits unqualified for preaching demeaning and alarming paragraphs about women or somebody else, and for promising so conscientiously to engage in the most carefully shaded mistreatments of such target folks.

    Well, all this is odd, odd, odd, odd, odd. The Anglican conservatives agreeing to disagree is a fine one-way street that always goes in their particular directions. Odd, odd, odd, odd.

    In what other sorts of flat earth narratives – let alone shared community life practices? – would we fall for such offers and such categories and such presuppositions? Such backwards looking reconstructions? Such superior and privileged moves, to the point that any sacramental associations with women or with those who have been touched by women will render somebody else contaminated and left fearing for their eternal salvation and souls?

  • Robert Ian Williams says:

    One thing saddening me is that the Media think that the vote to allow women bishops has occured and has been a success…but that is not the case. I think this weakens the women’s case…they still have an uphill fight against the opposition, who are raalying even as we blog!

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