Updated Friday evening and Saturday morning
Bill Bowder has a report on the Church Times website, Women bishops: hope for traditionalists.
THE COMMITTEE responsible for the progress of the women-bishops legislation through Synod is seeking to reverse the decision made in July 2008 to proceed by code of conduct only. Those who cannot accept the authority of women bishops have argued that their position should be protected by statute.
A statement issued on Thursday by the revision committee, chaired by the Bishop of Manchester, the Rt Revd Nigel McCulloch, suggests that it agrees…
Reuters has a report, Anglicans, in row, may cut women bishops’ powers. A later copy has the headline changed to Church of England moves to heal row over women bishops.
Andrew Brown has written an explanation of what it means at Cif belief The church loses its nerve, again. He writes (emphasis added by TA):
Women can’t be part of that chain. So a woman not only can’t be a priest herself: she can’t, if promoted, make other priests, as a bishop must. So for Anglo-Catholics to go on believing that they are priests, they must be able to exclude women from their lineage. They must also shun male bishops who ordain women priests, because such men don’t share their understanding of the priesthood. So what happens when such a priest finds that his bishop – to whom he swore obedience in all things lawful when he took his post – does ordain women?
Favourable reactions have come from Reform (see earlier news reports) and from Forward in Faith. See Statement by FiF in response to news from the Revision Committee.
There is now also a response from WATCH [Please note that this is the final version (added by us on Saturday); we accidentally published a draft on Friday.]:
WATCH EXPRESSES DISAPPOINTMENT AT REVISION COMMITTEE’S VOTE & CONTINUES TO PRESS FOR WOMEN BISHOPS ON EQUAL TERMS
WATCH (Women and the Church) issues the following response to the press release of 8th October by the Committee established by General Synod to consider the draft legislation enabling women to become bishops.
In that press release we were informed that the Revision Committee has voted to amend the draft legislation so as ‘to provide for certain functions to be vested in male bishops by statute rather than by delegation from the diocesan bishop under a statutory code of practice’.
WATCH is very disappointed that the Revision Committee has come to this decision. In the Church of England, as in society as a whole, people want to see women able to serve as bishops on the same basis as men. WATCH has long been campaigning for the adoption of the simplest possible legislation to this effect.
What is being proposed by the Revision Committee needs further clarification but we do not believe that statutory transfer can avoid creating a two tier episcopate. This would be demeaning to women and would fundamentally damage the office of bishop in our church.
Moreover, were such proposals to pass through our church synods, the Church of England would be in the extraordinary position of asking Parliament to ratify legislation that institutionally discriminates against women.
There will be opportunity for detailed scrutiny of the Revision Committee’s proposals, including the tabling of amendments, when the draft legislation returns to Synod in February. WATCH is confident that Synod will, on further consideration, adopt legislation which reflects the mainstream theology of our church: that men and women are equally made in the image of God and equally graced to hold the offices of priest and bishop.