Today, the Church Times reports: Women drafts impress supporters, but not FiF by Pat Ashworth.
DRAFT legislation for women bishops has drawn cautious responses since its publication last week (News, 2 January). There is a prevailing desire not to question what the proposed Code of Practice could do before the General Synod examines it in detail in February.
The response of the traditionalist Catholic body Forward in Faith has been the most uncompromising. While it welcomed publication of the further report and associated documents, the organisation opposes in principle the Code that is at the heart of the proposals.
“We have consistently argued that a Code of Practice (with no transfer of jurisdiction) will not provide the security which tens of thousands of faithful and loyal Anglicans need in order to live with integrity in the Church of England after the ordina tion of women to the episcopate. Nothing in these documents changes that situation,” a terse statement on its website said last week…
The Forward in Faith statement is here.
And there is a Leader: Manchester’s plan.
…Taking the two sides in turn, supporters of women bishops have nothing to fear. This is a big, grown-up world, where every woman priest lives with the knowledge that her orders are questioned by a neighbouring priest or parish. After all, every C of E priest works (or should work) closely with Roman Catholics who cannot official recognise his or her orders; every Christian works (or should work) with people of other faiths who take issue with many of his or her central beliefs. In 21st-century Britain, any Christian — bishop, priest, or lay person — who is surrounded solely by affirming, unchallenging supporters needs to get out more. If women are confident that opposition will dwindle naturally over the years, then they need do nothing but wait.
One might be similarly robust with traditionalists. If they believe in the rightness of their position, it will thrive in the C of E whether hedged about by legal structures or not. The Manchester proposals contain firmer provisions for opponents of women bishops than had been thought, and it is conceivable that agreement might be reached on this basis. But there is a stumbling block. The 15 years since the passing of the Act of Synod have furnished traditionalists with a wealth of tales of pressure and shenanigans in some dioceses. These have brought them to the point where they simply do not trust bishops, or future bishops, to uphold the code of conduct…
Last week, The Times had It’s time to appoint Britain’s first woman bishop, says Canon Jane Hedges by Ruth Gledhill.
And Ruth’s blog asked: Women bishops: what’s the answer?
Jonathan Wynne-Jones wrote It’s time for a truce in battle over women bishops.
Notes of a meeting of Church of England bishops held at Lambeth Palace have been passed to me…