Thinking Anglicans

WATCH opposes the archbishops' amendment

Press Statement from WATCH (Women and the Church) 5th July 2010

WATCH Opposes Archbishops’ Amendment Regarding Women Bishops

The text of the Archbishops’ amendment on women bishops appears innocuously brief and simple. However, their proposed small alterations to the draft legislation hide some changes for the Church that WATCH sees as highly contentious.

In removing the reference to ‘delegation’ we are returned to the idea of ‘transfer’ of jurisdiction: a female bishop will have some of her job automatically removed as soon as she is appointed. This was rejected (as TEA) by the House of Bishops in 2006, and found unworkable in practice after detailed examination by the Revision Committee.

When it comes to having ‘coordinate jurisdiction’, the Archbishops appear to be seeking to create, in effect, two Diocesan bishops in each Diocese: one to minister to those who accept ordained women, and one to minister to those who don’t. This is a step further even than flying bishops. Such an innovation must not be accepted without serious examination of the consequences.

Senior clergywomen have written in the last week to the Archbishops asking them to withdraw their amendment. They say that the proposed amendment ‘brings dismay and despair amongst women priests, and many have voiced their reaction by saying how deeply undermining it is of their ministry as ordained women.’ WATCH remains opposed to the Archbishops’ amendment.

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Tristan
Tristan
11 years ago

I don’t like the implication that the opinions of senior women over rule that of traditionalists just because they are senior women. There’s the ominous feeling of threat here and it turns me more and more against WATCH. if it said, yes here’s why we should go against the received understanding of the undivided faith (rc, orthodox – and to an extent Anglicanism) then I’d be more convinced, but every time I see another of these releases, I get more and more opposed, and I’m not a member of FiF.

Fr John
Fr John
11 years ago

I fully support the statement by WATCH. They have been more than patient over many long years. Seeing their sisters in other provinces of the Communion being consecrated to the episcopate. Seeing visiting women bishops visiting the Church of England being treated less than what and who they are. Many moons ago now, after many years of prayer and deliberation the Church of England chose to ordain women to the priesthood, in the fulll knowledge that this must lead to consecration to Bishop. Those who have long apposed this decision were clearly in a minority with the will of the… Read more »

Jeremy Pemberton
Jeremy Pemberton
11 years ago

I couldn’t disagree with you more, Tristan. There is no threat here at all – simply a recognition that any solution that creates any kind of second-class bishop, one who does not have proper episcopal jurisdiction in her own diocese, would be completely undermining and impossible for so many people in our church, women and men. The Archbishops’ amendment will not help; it is a classic anglican fudge, to try and make everyone happy. But everyone can’t be happy with the result of this: one lot say X equals Y and the others say X can’t and doesn’t equal Y.… Read more »

Pantycelyn
Pantycelyn
11 years ago

why we should go against the received understanding of the undivided faith (rc, orthodox – and to an extent Anglicanism) then I’d be more convinced, but every time I see another of these releases, I get more and more opposed, and I’m not a member of FiF.

Posted by: Tristan on Monday, 5 July 2010 at 2:02pm BST

There IS no undivided church. Was there ever ?

chenier1
chenier1
11 years ago

Tristan I think you meant senior clergywomen, not senior women. You appear to be overlooking the fact that it is the senior clergywomen who are most likely to be ordained bishops at some time in the future; if they keep silent on the ABs proposed amendment now then they will be attacked by people like FiF for failing to show the leadership qualities necessary in a bishop. And frankly, if you think that there’s ‘ominous feeling of threat’ in the press release then I suggest you try reading the Pentecostal letter dispatched by Lambeth Palace for something which genuinely is… Read more »

Dennis
Dennis
11 years ago

“the received understanding of the undivided faith” The only thing that would apply to that phrase is the Nicene Creed. And there is a little debate there, too. Let’s be honest: there is no such creature. Look, whatever the Orthodox and the Romans and the Protestants and the Pentecostals do is entirely up to them and between them and God. The “broadly agreed upon understanding” in Anglicanism seems to be that gender is not an impediment to ministry or leadership. Catch up, Tristan. Simply stating where we are isn’t a threat. Saying that it is only says something about the… Read more »

Grandmère Mimi
11 years ago

“Tristan

I think you meant senior clergywomen, not senior women.”

chenier1, perhaps Tristan does not believe the clergywomen are “real” clergy? Or perhaps his choice of the word was simply an honest mistake.

Chris Smith
Chris Smith
11 years ago

I believe the Archbishop’s proposed amendment is both cowardly and partly a tipping of the hat to the Vatican men who do not want to see women in the CofE consecrated as bishops. Think about it. If women are full bishops in the Church of England it brings the reality of women’s ordination to the priesthood that much closer to the front burner on the Roman stove. Rowan has most likely made a few promises to Rome that are going to make him look foolish when this synod has completed its’ work. As a Vatican II Catholic I am praying… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
11 years ago

Dennis notes “The only thing that would apply to that phrase is the Nicene Creed. And there is a little debate there, too.” How true. When I attend mass in the Episcopal Church (Rites I & II), I am reminded of this. The text for the mass in the Canadian BAS does not have filioque . The introductory article to The Eucharist in the BAS explains “The Words “and the son” filioque have been removed from the Nicene Creed in accordance with the Lambeth 1978 Statement[Lambeth citation then follows}. General Synod meeting at Peterborough in 1980 sated that the omission… Read more »

Benedict
Benedict
11 years ago

“It will make the church as a whole a women-accepting church in ministry” Pemberton. Mr Pemberton has made the classic implicit suggestion that traditionalists are not accepting either of women or women’s ministry. Another clear misrepresentation, if ever there were one. What about all those other ministries, apart from priesthood and the episcopate, in which women are fully supported by traditionalists? Readers, lay pastoral workers, lay chaplains, deacons etc. etc.? And no, if we are talking about women bishops and priests, the whole church will not be accepting of their ministry. As I stated at an earlier juncture, there are… Read more »

JCF
JCF
11 years ago

@Rod G: in several trial liturgies before the 1979 BCP was approved, the filioque WAS removed (to placate the Eastern Orthodox). But then it was restored (to placate the RCC). I *wish* that all the theologians, East and West, could admit that the inner workings of the Trinity are WAAAAAAAAY above *anyone’s* pay-grade! But no: the “I’m right, you’re wrong, neener-neener-neener” ‘tude continues… On-topic: Go WATCH! Preach it! Speaking of my wishes: I *wish* there would be some admission that the “traditionalist” opposition to women’s ordination dates all the way back to . . . the beginnings of women’s ordination!… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
11 years ago

“What about all those other ministries, apart from priesthood and the episcopate, in which women are fully supported by traditionalists? Readers, lay pastoral workers, lay chaplains, deacons etc. etc.?” So, you will accept women in any ministry except one that involves actual decision-making and leadership? “And no, if we are talking about women bishops and priests, the whole church will not be accepting of their ministry. As I stated at an earlier juncture, there are many traditionalists who will stay in the Church of England and simply refuse to accept such ministry. No amount of persuading or cajoling is going… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
11 years ago

I have a hard copy of “Authorized Services 1973” (Pew Edition)published by the Church Hymnal Corporation. After reading your post JCF, I pulled it off the shelf, blew the dust off, and checked the text of the Nicene Creed, and there it is (page 60), or is NOT actually, no filioque. You are correct. Thanks. What do you make of the claim by the Anglican Church of Canada that the removal of filioque “does not represent a change in belief or doctrine”? The way it works in Canada is, if you are using the Canadian Book of Common Prayer (or… Read more »

MarkBrunson
11 years ago

“Liberal dogma will always be resisted when it comes to matters of Christian conscience . . .”

This statement is clearly incomplete:

“. . because war is peace, freedom is slavery, and ignorance is strength.”

Fixed!

Jeremy Pemberton
Jeremy Pemberton
11 years ago

Benedict – Let me be more explicit. Traditionalists not accepting of women? You know (or if you don’t you must be going around with your eyes closed) and I know that amongst traditionalists (not all of them to be sure) there exists a camp, closeted, misogynistic, gin-soaked, theologically ultramontane subculture of skirt-twitching clergy who simply can’t abide women. They can cope with them in the parish as tea makers and flower arrangers. They have a special devotion to two women – who interestingly are as de-sexed as they can make them – Our Lady, and their mothers. Even more strangely… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
11 years ago

I’ve never been to a service that used “The Star-Spangled Banner” in church. Usually, if a church wants to use a “patriotic” hymn, say for Independence Day or the funeral of a military man, the choice will be “America the Beautiful” (“Oh, beautiful for spacious skies….”).

I can understand the problem with using the national anthem, with its warlike imagery…I suggest it is in the hymnal for the same reasons “God Save the Queen” is in the CoE hymnal.

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
11 years ago

Thanks Pat, for your post. I’ve also done some looking around at parish websites, those that make available Sunday leaflet downloads, and found one Episcopal parish, so far, that appears to have used the National Anthem Sunday past. The parish has historic connections, so that may be part of the explanation. Anyway, interesting issue, but I don’t want to “bunch up” the thread here. Thanks again for your reply.

Pantycelyn
Pantycelyn
11 years ago

‘Let me be more explicit. Traditionalists not accepting of women? You know (or if you don’t you must be going around with your eyes closed) and I know that amongst traditionalists (not all of them to be sure) there exists a camp, closeted, misogynistic, gin-soaked, theologically ultramontane subculture of skirt-twitching clergy who simply can’t abide women. They can cope with them in the parish as tea makers and flower arrangers. They have a special devotion to two women – who interestingly are as de-sexed as they can make them – Our Lady, and their mothers. Even more strangely they speak… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
11 years ago

Rod:

One last post on the topic–I checked my own parish’s order of service for July 4 (I was out of town and did not attend). We used “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” (sung to the tune of “God Save the Queen” for the Brits among us) and “America the Beautiful” as the processional and offertory hymns, respectively.

MarkBrunson
11 years ago

How strange.

I’m in the Deep ‘Murkan South, and the closest we got on the fourth was the Naval Hymn, largely because we have so many Marines in our parish.

Our new-ish choir director – a Lutheran who joined us – wanted to do “America the Beautiful” as an anthem, and both the priest and verger said it was inappropriate, and she agreed and we sang The Gift of Love. After the service, we had First Sunday Brunch as a 4th of July picnic, and a quartet sang various patriotic songs, but none in the context of the actual service.

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