Thinking Anglicans

Women bishops – more responses

Updated Tuesday afternoon

We linked to the announcement of the publication of the report of the revision committee on the legislation to enable women to be bishops in the Church of England on Saturday.

The Church Mouse has some comments from Pete Broadbent, one of the members of the committee: Bishop Pete Broadbent on the draft measures to allow women bishops

Mouse draws our attention to two statements issued by Forward in Faith UK.
FiF reacts to Revision Committee Report
Further reaction to Revision Committee Report
The second of these is from three members of the revision committee.

We have already posted the views of WATCH and some early press reports.

Update
Reform has said that Report on Women in the Episcopate “provides no adequate framework” and sent a letter to every bishop.

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Chris Smith
Chris Smith
11 years ago

The problem I have with FIF comments about Women’s Ordination is their lack of conscience and their lack of understanding of the truly sound theological foundations for women in the priesthood and episcopate. I have never found their “arguments” persuasive or remotely intelligent. I have, however, found many of the comments quite mean spirited and insincere. I do not say this to be uncharitable. There is always an undertone of either misogyny or homophobia. Their arguments simply do not make sense or carry any logical reasoning. All are equal in Christ. The Church has every reason under Christ to give… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
11 years ago

So, Chris., no great advantage then for F.i.F. people who anticipate crossing to the Holy See? However, a clear conscience (as they see it) may just possibly be worth all the aggravation they may get from their new spiritual home. So sad they couldn’t have taken ‘the road much travelled’ before all this – when they realised that the Church that is presently their habitation actually already authorised the ordination of women whom God happens to call into the Holy Order of priests – even though they pretended not to notice at the time. One wonders what will happen when… Read more »

Joe
Joe
11 years ago

I have a problem with the FiF claim not to be dissenters. The CofE recognises the ordination of women priests. There is no ‘maybe’ about it — no more than about anything else. The C of E has made provision for those who disagree with this decision, and the C of E has said that this position can be held with integrity. But why do they eschew the dissenter title? It is honourable after all. I presume it’s because they realise that a church would not build structures that incorporate or institutionalise dissent, that create parallel structures. But is there… Read more »

Ed Tomlinson
11 years ago

Chris your post demonstrates SO much ignorance it is almost amusing. FIF shun modernity? Most (though not me) worship according to very modern practice with westward altars and choruses. Have you been to the national youth pilgrimage or heard +Lindsay Urwin preach? NO- I thought not. Why not worship with us for a few months instead of projecting onto us. Catholicism imploding? You read the NY Times too much! 1.4billion members and rising. Record numbers of youth turning up for the youth rallies. A church in London with over 1000 young people every Sunday. The secular press may not report… Read more »

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
11 years ago

Ed, Just because theologian Ratzinger says something doesn’t make it true or necessarily intelligent. He has written and said some palpable nonsense about homosexuality in recent years, and as a married father of two, I expect you will not be persuaded by the RC theology on compulsory celibacy for priests. There are many RC theologians who would love to see women priests and who have excellent theology on their side. It’s just that the tight structures of the Roman church don’t allow those voices to be heard as clearly as they could be, but that has more to do with… Read more »

Mark Wharton
Mark Wharton
11 years ago

I think this has all gone on long enough: the Church of England has decided to ordain women to all levels. Those who disagree with this move, for good, honest, theological reasons, must now make pilgrimage to the Holy See (from where they came) and come home with all thier passion and love and zeal for the Gospel to use it to help us transform England back into a Catholic Country. Christ is calling you home to His Holy Church, we long for your return

Justin
Justin
11 years ago

I really don’t think you understand the distress of those who are being forced out of the church. And they are. They are holding to Catholic order which the church has held since the earliest days. I’m not saying women can’t be ordained. I’m saying that a vote in Synod cannot decide something that goes against the teaching of the greater church. Are all the Rc and orthodox wrong? Were all our ancestors wrong? I want to weep.

Nom de Plume
Nom de Plume
11 years ago

Joe,

It seems to me that the rejection of the term “dissenters” is essentially the typical claim of all dissident and schismatic minorities through history to be the “true church” whilst the majority, who actually are the ones moving forward in faith, can then be written off as “innovators”. I suspect they are positioning themselves on what they perceive to be the moral high ground, which will allow for future leverage in General Synod debate and, should it come to that, in property disputes.

Ed Tomlinson
11 years ago

Celibacy is not a matter of theology Erikka but discipline. Furthermore it is not the teaching or practice of the entire RC church but only the Latin Rite. They adopted it to minimise costs, deploy clergy easily and to try and ensure priests were totally dedicated to their people.

It is precisely because it is not in the realm of doctrine that the ordinariate will welcome married priests

EmilyH
EmilyH
11 years ago

I often wonder if the “teaching of the greater church” would have been different if those deciding its teaching had included females.

Cynthia Gilliatt
Cynthia Gilliatt
11 years ago

“Were all our ancestors wrong?”

Yes. Just as were the ones who owned and trafficked in slaves.

Yes. Just as were the ones who would punish disobedient children by stoning them to death.

I could go on.

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
11 years ago

Ed The Catechism of the Catholic Church says: 915 Christ proposes the evangelical counsels, in their great variety, to every disciple. The perfection of charity, to which all the faithful are called, entails for those who freely follow the call to consecrated life the obligation of practicing chastity in celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom, poverty and obedience. It is the profession of these counsels, within a permanent state of life recognized by the Church, that characterizes the life consecrated to God. 916 The state of consecrated life is thus one way of experiencing a “more intimate” consecration, rooted… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
11 years ago

“I really don’t think you understand the distress of those who are being forced out of the church. And they are. They are holding to Catholic order which the church has held since the earliest days. I’m not saying women can’t be ordained. I’m saying that a vote in Synod cannot decide something that goes against the teaching of the greater church. Are all the Rc and orthodox wrong? Were all our ancestors wrong? I want to weep.” Not wrong–just not ready to accept what we have learned about the differences between the sexes. You want us to wait until… Read more »

Counterlight
Counterlight
11 years ago

“Were all our ancestors wrong?”

Our ancestors were people just like us trying to find their way through the world. We should neither reverently genuflect to their ideas, nor casually discard them. We should consider their ideas on their merits.

Let’s not forget that all venerable ancient traditions began as innovations.

I’m dumbfounded that women’s ordination is still an issue anywhere beyond those fortified bastions against modernity in Rome and Constantinople (and in Cairo for that matter). In the USA, even a lot of the evangelicals now ordain women.

Father Ron Smith
11 years ago

“It is precisely because it is not in the realm of doctrine that the ordinariate will welcome married priests” – Ed Tomlinson, on Tuesday – Well, you just tell that to the Pope! If celibacy is not a Roman Catholic area of ‘doctrine’ why are they still enforcing this discipline – which has rendered the UK enrolment of future clergy almost null and void in the R.C.Church – only 7 ordinands over the last year? If celibacy in the Roman Catholic Church in the UK is not a matter of doctrine, then why bother with it? You will notice that… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
11 years ago

“100 Reform clergy have signed a letter sent to every bishop in advance of the House of Bishops’ meeting next week. This follows a similar letter signed by 50 of the clergy sent in February, and sets out why “the consecration of women bishops would be a mistake and would raise for us great difficulties of conscience and practice, as well as being wrong for our Church as a whole.” – Reform – SO. Here we have the real issue: Reform Clergy are not just wanting ‘special provisions’ to cover their opposition to women as bishops in the Church. What… Read more »

MarkBrunson
11 years ago

Teaching of the “greater church” vs. “innovation.” So, you would choose one group of human teachings over another and try to call them holy, simply because they accord with your prejudice and are comfortably “unchanged?” There is no choice here of God’s Will over Man’s will, simply two very human interpretations. You claim the “greater” church, then plead for clemency based on the view of the “greater” church being in the minority. How can one believe you have a holy intent in such obvious self-contradiction and emotional pandering? You threaten on one hand and shed crocodile tears on the other.… Read more »

Ed Tomlinson
11 years ago

“are all our current people wrong?”

Yes. Just as they are when they slaughter countless thousands of unborn children.

Yes. Just as they are when they build a society of self that destroys the family and neglects the vulnerable.

I could also go on Cynthia. Seems to me that history and present life contains sins as well as virtues. Being modern is no garauntee that you are in the moral high ground on this one.

MarkBrunson
11 years ago

“Seems to me that history and present life contains sins as well as virtues.”

Then your choices are no more a matter of Truth than you claim ours to be . . . with, of course, one difference; your approach has led to no great change to the good in humanity as proven over the centuries. If you wish to stay with a broken system, do so, but stop crying foul because others have learned the lesson and moved on and won’t suffer for *you*.

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
11 years ago

Ed
“Being modern is no garauntee that you are in the moral high ground on this one.”

Quite.
By the same token, nor is being ancient.

Each issue has to be evaluated on its own merit when it arises. And whatever we do, we always run the risk of getting it wrong. That’s what it means to be human, doesn’t it?

So, really, neither “but we’ve always done it like this” nor “it’s time to be modern” are reasonable arguments.

BobinSWPA
BobinSWPA
11 years ago

I guess if you’re married then you can’t devote ample time to your flock??? My local Episcopal Priest is always checking in with his flock. The local RC priest don’t even visit the sick in the hospital. I worked at a parish where the priest didn’t even know who was in the choir. He only knew who gave the most.

rick allen
11 years ago

Erika, please note that the paragraphs on “consecrated life” you quoted from the Catechism are not descriptive of the clergy, but rather refer to those Christians who choose to follow the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience either individually or corporately, apart from whether or not they are ordained.

Richard Ashby
Richard Ashby
11 years ago

Reform say that they are not making any financial threats but they make sure that their financial contribution is spelt out. I wonder why?

No surprise that the semi detached Bishop of Lewes wishes to be associated with this letter.

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
11 years ago

Rick
so when you say “whether ordained or not”, are you saying that not all ordained clergy have to lead a consecrated life? And that poverty, chastity and obedience are optional for them?

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
11 years ago

Rick and there is this: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/audiences/alpha/data/aud19930714en.html General Audience July 14, 1993 In the Gospels, when Jesus called his first apostles to make them “fishers of men” (cf. Mt 4:19; Mk 1:17; Lk 5:10), they “left everything and followed him” (Lk 5:11; cf. Mt 4:20, 22; Mk 1:18, 20). One day Peter remembered this aspect of the apostolic vocation and said to Jesus: “We have given up everything and followed you” (Mt 19:27; Mk 10:28; cf. Lk 18:28). Jesus then listed all the necessary detachments “for my sake,” and “for the sake of the Gospel” (Mk 10:29). This did not only… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
11 years ago

The Church of England is not alone in its diverse opinions about the issue of women’s ministry. The following item from ‘Virtue-on-line’ – headed by the former Baptist, David Virtue – has this to say today, about the burgeoning divisiveness in ACNA: “One thing is clear, the period of open reception that sees ACNA Archbishop Robert Duncan who stands for the ordination of women and Bishop Jack Iker, a staunch Anglo-Catholic who does not, (and who has said he would pull out of ACNA if it ever ordained a woman bishop,) cannot go unresolved indefinitely. The ordination of women to… Read more »

rick allen
11 years ago

“Rick, so when you say “whether ordained or not”, are you saying that not all ordained clergy have to lead a consecrated life? And that poverty, chastity and obedience are optional for them?” What I intended to say was that the choice to lead a consecrated life, or, as it is sometimes expressed, to join “the religious,” those who follow the evangelical counsels in a religious order or individually, is not one for clergy only. Obviously nuns are not clergy. Neither was St. Francis. I honestly don’t know exactly what the situation is for priests. There is a division of… Read more »

Geoff
11 years ago

@Erika: Now, now! While all clergy presumably lead “a” consecrated life, “the consecrated (or religious) life” as such is indeed distinct from the ordained ministry. While it is certainly possible for a monk (or nun, in the Anglican case) to be ordained, or for a priest to make religious profession, either can be pursued as a vocation in its own right unaccompanied by the other (i.e. a “secular” priest or a “lay” religious).

Jakian Thomist
11 years ago

Ron,

For once I actually agree with you about something! Yes, the ACNA is essentially on the road to repeating exactly what happened in TEC years ago. The same will happen in another 20 years when the yet to be formed split from ACNA debate the issue again, and on and on…

That’s what happens when those without authority try to make up their own rules.

JCF
JCF
11 years ago

“Obviously nuns are not clergy.”

Um Rick, in TEC they both can be, and ARE (“Obviously” and “Obviously to the Vatican” are very different things!)

***

And speaking of the Vatican:

“That’s what happens when those without authority try to make up their own rules.” While I agree w/ you re ACNA, I’m guessing that that—re “those without authority”—Rome is w/ whom you’re making the contrast, JakThom?

The seemingly infinite rubber-band-like S-T-R-E-T-C-H-I-N-G of “Peter” (the concept—not the former-fisherman nee’ Simon 2000 years ago) never ceases to gobsmack… [But all rubber-bands eventually CRACK!, and behold…]

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