Thinking Anglicans

WATCH press release on Generosity

Press Statement from WATCH (Women and the Church) 17 July

Generosity Offered to those Opposed as Draft Legislation Overwhelmingly Endorsed by Synod

General Synod overwhelmingly agreed last weekend to have women as bishops alongside provisions for those opposed. The decision to include provisions was passed by 373 votes to 14. This was urged on Synod by senior clergywomen who, despite the consistent demands on them to ‘be gracious’ towards opponents in the past 16 years, still want to offer those who disagree with them an honoured place.

Hilary Cotton, WATCH Campaign Coordinator commented, “This has been described as uncharitable by the opponents because it does not give them what they say they need. But generosity does not always mean giving people what they want: it means weighing up the issues and coming to a judgement about the best way forward for as many as possible. Women had made it clear in the debates that they could not accept appointment as bishops under the conditions of the Archbishops’ amendment. The provisions in the legislation ARE generous: no parish will have to have a female bishop or priest – meaning there will still be no-go areas for ordained women”.

Elections for General Synod take place in September. WATCH hopes that the new Synod will be truly representative of the majority of Church people who want women bishops and want to be generous to those opposed. This legislation has been given overwhelming endorsement as the will of this Synod. We trust that will be confirmed by the next Synod, and that women will be appointed bishops by 2014.

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Fr James
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Fr James

“generosity does not always mean giving people what they want: it means weighing up the issues and coming to a judgement about the best way forward for as many as possible.”

Since when was this a definition of generosity?

And why are they still bleating on about the problem of no-go areas for women? The alternative is for them to force themselves on parishes which don’t want them.

Chris H.
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Chris H.

Fr. James, See the letter from Mavis Jacobs from the Church Times which is linked in the article below on women bishops. Some women priests(and some men too I dare say) don’t care a bit what the parishioner wants. It’s their parish,or diocese(eventually), their turf, them or nothing.

Robert Ian Williams
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Robert Ian Williams

The crucial issue is the Synod election in September and FIF and Reform,Giddings and Sugden etc are already massing their support.

I can see the measure failing at the last hurdle, because the aforementioned groups are disproportionately represented.

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“I can see the measure failing at the last hurdle, because the aforementioned groups are disproportionately represented.” – Robert Ian Williams – Thank you for warning us about what you see as inevitable, Robert. However, speaking as you now do from your Roman Catholic viewpoint, you may not quite convince us that you are in the best position to forecast events in the way you so confidently do on this site. My pick is that the general Synod of the Church of England – composed of whatever variety of political or spiritual opinion, will be open to God’s gracious leading… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
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Pat O'Neill

“Fr. James, See the letter from Mavis Jacobs from the Church Times which is linked in the article below on women bishops. Some women priests(and some men too I dare say) don’t care a bit what the parishioner wants. It’s their parish,or diocese(eventually), their turf, them or nothing.”

This is, to my mind, why the American method of the parish calling the rector and the parish being his employer is superior to any system in which the rector is assigned by some higher authority.

Fr James
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Fr James

And that, Pat O’Neill, is why we in the Church of England are not Congregationalists. The parish is not the manifestation of the local Church – the diocese is. That is why a CofE diocese deploys its clergy, rather than the way you describe the American system, and why (to my mind) women shouldn’t be complaining about no-go areas.

JCF
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JCF

TEC is *not* congregationalist, Fr James.

The method by which parish and clergy in TEC choose each other varies from diocese to diocese . . . and is determined BY THE BISHOP (some bishops are VERY hands-on; others, less so).

AFAIK, every clergy selection in TEC is REQUIRED to be signed off, by the diocesan bishop. A good way for a parish to remain clergy-less (or worse!) is to ignore their diocesan bishop’s chosen process. ;-/

Pat O'Neill
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Pat O'Neill

JCF: I’ve lived in two different dioceses–Pennsylvania and New York–and the process for getting a new rector seemed to be the same in each. Upon the rector’s position becoming empty, the diocese appoints an interim rector, who assists the parish vestry and wardens in the search for a new rector. The vestry and wardens put out a call for applicants and interview those who respond. When they have a choice, that person is put up to a vote at a special parish meeting. Yes, the bishop must license the rector; yes, he signs off on the choice; yes, the rector… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“And why are they still bleating on about the problem of no-go areas for women? The alternative is for them to force themselves on parishes which don’t want them.”

– Fr. James –

Well, dear Father, Pope Benny’s recent statement – that ordaining women is a sin equivalent to the ecnoruagement of paedophilia (which he would know something about), shows a similar disregard for God’s call upon the lives of his female children. Are you of that opinion?

Fr James
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Fr James

I’m sorry, Fr Ron, but I don’t really see what your post has got to do with my comment about women perceiving ABC parishes as somehow hindering their ministry.

As it happens, I do not agree with the Pope’s recent pronouncement. But then again, I am an Anglican, not a Roman Catholic, and am therefore not required to agree with what the Pope says. You don’t seem to understand, dear Father, no matter how many times you are told – Anglicans with whom you disagree are not simply Roman Catholics in disguise.

Lynn
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Lynn

“Yes, the bishop must license the rector; yes, he signs off on the choice; yes, the rector must vow to obey the canons of the diocese and the national church. But I am unaware of any time in recent memory when a bishop has refused a parish’s choice.” (Pat O’Neill on Sunday, 18 July 2010 at 11:56am BST) There wouldn’t be many times a bishop would object to a parish’s selection, since capable people are (usually) guiding the process. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t due diligence at the diocesean level,including background checks and interviews. If a parish needs more… Read more »

Mark Bennet
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Mark Bennet

Fr James You might like to consider the case of a parish in an area overseen by a bishop who does not believe that women can be priests. The parish may be ready to welcome a woman, or a man who supports the ordination of women – but the bishop may urge on such a parish a candidate who agrees with the bishop on this matter. In such a way, parishes which might be open to the appointment of a woman as vicar might, as a matter of practice, be closed to women. I don’t think anyone is seriously suggesting… Read more »

Burl
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Burl

I believe that a few years ago the bishop of Southern Virginia refused to induct Peter Toon to a parish that had elected him. As I recall there was an effort to assert that a bishop could not refuse to accept a rector selected by the parish. The bishop prevailed, I believe.

Chris H.
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Chris H.

If the bishop has standards/restrictions he probably tells the parish before or during the search before a priest is chosen. I know our bishop won’t hire priests from certain conservaative seminaries–one reason a group broke off for ACNA. I’m sure he checks backgrounds etc. as well.

JCF
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JCF

*Two* different dioceses? Piker, Pat! 😉 [I’m an Episcopal lifer, age 48, and have lived in at least *6*. And I’ve no doubt there are (TA-regular) Episcopalians who can best me there.] An example: I’ve lived in a diocese where all applications (for an opening for rector) get sent *directly to the bishop* and he (in that case, it was a he—and not an arch-conservative OR arch-liberal “he” either!) pre-screens them and forwards only the “acceptable” candidates to the search committee! Under the above system, a vestry’s choice is extremely unlikely to be rejected—but only because the parish never saw… Read more »

drdanfee
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drdanfee

I’ve just popped over from Mark Harris’ blog Preludium where he links to a long think paper from Durham and Salisbury, discussing WO. See: http://www.fulcrum-anglican.org.uk/news/2006/20060721kasper.cfm?doc=126 What’s interesting is their way of parsing the tradition, and of reading scripture … and they come out positively in support of WO. The really, really, really odd thing is that their ways run quite parallel to the methods and manners which allow us to rethink, not only gender and ministry, but also sexual orientation. But I rather doubt they would follow a similar path of conclusions of inclusion about queer folks which would no… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

Thank you, Dr. Dan, for providing this important link (on Monday, 19 July) with the theological response of the Bishops of Durham and Salisbury to the challenge of Cardinal Kaspar on the Roman view of Anglican calims to share the apostolic and catholic natrue of the Church. The 2 Anglican Bishops provide some very cogent reasons for differing from the Cardinal on his stated arguments for the non-inclusion of women in the ordained ministries of the Christian Church. There is no doubt, that at this level, even +Tom was able successfuly to argue the case of women as priests and… Read more »

MarkBrunson
Guest

“The parish is not the manifestation of the local Church – the diocese is.”

In that case, the objection to women bishops “forcing themselves on parishes who don’t want them” is utterly irrelevant, and undermines the objection to complaints about alternate oversight. In that case, it is more than mere generosity, it is absolute largesse to allow the objecting parishes *anything* other than what their properly-appointed bishop decrees for them.

Why, then, are traditionalists bleating?