Thinking Anglicans

update on #mitregate

Updated Monday morning

We reported the recent incident at Southwark Cathedral, and related matters, in several previous articles:

Presiding Bishop visits the UK
Presiding Bishop at Southwark Cathedral
more from Southwark Cathedral
mitres in Gloucester
Lambeth Palace explains the Southwark episode
Church Times reports on Southwark episode

At the recent General Synod in York, two Questions were asked about this. The full text of the Q and A is given below the fold. The questions were for written reply only, and in any event the block of questions in which they came was not reached before the end of the session, so there were no supplementary answers.

Readers will recall that the letter sent from Lambeth Palace referred to “The agreed approach of the English bishops…”

Incidentally, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori is preaching tomorrow at St Paul’s Cathedral, at the 11.00 Choral Eucharist.

Update ENS has a full report of the service, with photos, and links to the sermon. See Presiding bishop preaches at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.

Q 78, Miss Rachel Beck (Lincoln) to ask the Chairman of the House of Bishops:

Q. Has any advice been issued recently to members of the House of Bishops, relating to the procedures for giving permission under the Overseas and Other Clergy (Ministry and Ordination) Measure 1967 to overseas clergy who wish to make short-term visits to England, and if so what was the reason for doing so? Will this advice or any further advice that may be issued be made public?

The Archbishop of Canterbury to reply:

A. No general advice has been issued recently to the House of Bishops on the procedures for obtaining permission under the Measure. The provincial registrars and staff in the Archbishops’ offices offer advice on those procedures to diocesan bishops and others, as required. Active consideration is being given to whether it would be desirable to issue fuller – and publicly available – guidance on the procedures under the Measure and associated issues.

Q 79, Miss Rachel Beck (Lincoln) to ask the Chairman of the House of Bishops:

Q. Does the House of Bishops have an ‘agreed approach’ to ‘the issue of vesture’ for women bishops from other Anglican provinces when preaching or officiating in England, and if so will this be made public?

The Archbishop of Canterbury to reply:

A. The House of Bishops has not considered the issue of vesture of female bishops from other Anglican provinces who preach or officiate in England. But a female “overseas bishop” can only be given permission under the Overseas and Other Clergy (Ministry and Ordination) Measure 1967 to officiate in England as a priest. By virtue of s. 1 of the 1967 Measure, a female “overseas bishop” with an archbishop’s permission to officiate as a priest is subject to the same obligations as a priest of the Church of England – including in relation to matters of vesture (for which provision is made in Canon B 8). The 1967 Measure has not been understood as applying to those whose ministry in England will be confined to preaching.

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Lapinbizarre
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Lapinbizarre

“The 1967 Measure has not been understood as applying to those whose ministry in England will be confined to preaching. ” Unbelievable nit-picking. Interesting to see what happens tomorrow at St Paul’s.

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

“Active consideration is being given to whether it would be desirable to issue fuller – and publicly available – guidance on the procedures under the Measure and associated issues.”

Wow! They are ‘thinking about’ issuing fuller and public guidelines. I guess that replaces the sketchy and hidden guidelines that let someone say “Gotcha!” What a concept.

Neel Smtih
Guest
Neel Smtih

With that kind of inspired and visionary leadership, is it really any wonder that Canterbury and York could not persuade a majority of the clergy to follow their proposed “compromise” on women bishops?

Fr Mark
Guest
Fr Mark

Neel Smith “With that kind of inspired and visionary leadership, is it really any wonder that Canterbury and York could not persuade a majority of the clergy to follow their proposed “compromise” on women bishops?”

Quite. More importantly, though, such an inward-looking and petty-minded mindset is also not much good at reaching out to the great mass of English people beyond the church doors, and one can see exactly why that is from this whole silly story.

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

Don’t worry be happy. Apparently neither Canterbury nor York was present and/or involved in the recent Mitre-Gate episode; nor do they seem concerned about it. Somebody else must have written letters and/or released public media statements in Canterbury’s name without actually involving him. The tone makes all this clear, in typical foggy Canterburgensian fashion? Meanwhile, perhaps clear guidelines should be published, and all should be able to read them who care to know. PS all this is a matter of UK Laws, so really the common sense implication is that it is all Parliament’s Doing. I should have figured all… Read more »

Mark Bennet
Guest
Mark Bennet

Are answers to questions available on the General Synod website? I can’t even find the questions listed or linked, but maybe I’m looking in the wrong place.

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Mark
No, the answers are not yet online. The answers were however all made available on paper to the press at the time.

chenier1
Guest
chenier1

‘Incidentally, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori is preaching tomorrow at St Paul’s Cathedral, at the 11.00 Choral Eucharist.’

Rather worryingly the St Paul’s website does not mention this at first sight; it simply has ‘July Orchestral Eucharists’, without the usual ‘All welcome’. Further investigation via the Music downloads for services does reveal her intended presence as a preacher, so I hope the absence of the ‘all welcome’ is simply an oversight…

Giles Fraser
Guest
Giles Fraser

Just to say, Lapinbizarre, the situation with Bishop Katharine is very different tomorrow at St Paul’s. No Bishop wears a mitre to preach at St Paul’s. Bishop Katharine will be treated exactly the same as every other Bishop who preaches here. Exactly the same. A mitre would have been appropriate had she been celebrating – but she was invited to preach. I will be celebrating the Eucharist.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

“But a female ‘overseas bishop’ can only be given permission under the Overseas and Other Clergy (Ministry and Ordination) Measure 1967 to officiate in England as a priest. By virtue of s. 1 of the 1967 Measure, a female ‘overseas bishop’ with an archbishop’s permission to officiate as a priest is subject to the same obligations as a priest of the Church of England – including in relation to matters of vesture (for which provision is made in Canon B 8).” Could someone please post section 1 of the 1967 Measure? I seriously doubt that it makes explicit provision for… Read more »

bobinswpa
Guest
bobinswpa

Do other primates get to wear their mitres when performing the same functions as KJS whilst visiting England?

Scot Peterson
Guest
Scot Peterson

Canon (Rev/Dr/??) Giles,
But won’t you process? And if you process, as the highest ranking (?) member of the clergy, won’t she be last in the procession? And won’t she get to wear a mitre then? (And doesn’t she properly give the blessing at the end of the service, no matter who is celebrating?) Or are all of these practices limited to the Episcopal Church in the US?
Cheers,
Scot

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

And our BCP has a rubric that says a Bishop if present [say, in the congregation or as preacher] pronounces the absolution after the general confessiion. [my prayer book not to hand – cansomeone else quote this?]Is this the case in England also?

Peter Owen
Admin

Jeremy

The Overseas and Other Clergy (Ministry and Ordination) Measure 1967 is online here:

http://tinyurl.com/3yjssv4

And the canons are here:

http://www.cofe.anglican.org/about/churchlawlegis/canons/

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

In the congregation ……?

But it is a fair question to ask who presides ….

Mark Bennet
Guest
Mark Bennet

Cynthia – 1662 BCP has

“Then shall the Priest (or the Bishop, being present,) stand up and turning himself to the people, pronounce this Absolution”

and later

“Then the Priest (or Bishop if he be present) shall let them depart with this Blessing.”

The first refers to “the” Bishop, not ‘any’ bishop or ‘a’ bishop. There are also male pronouns in both texts, which may be significant in interpretation.

chenier1
Guest
chenier1

Simon

Thank you for the heads up; it was a great service with some inspiring prayers, wonderful music -Mozart’s Mass in C minor- and an excellent sermon.

The Order of Service simply refers to the President, who was presumably Giles Fraser; the only person named in it is

‘The Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church of the USA’

as preaching the sermon. The congregation was very diverse, and very young; the chap sitting next to me took notes during the sermon because, as he told me afterwards, he liked it so much!

Peter Owen
Admin

Cynthia The American 1979 BCP has “The Bishop when present, or the Priest, stands and says” before the absolution in the Eucharist (pages 320 and 353). As Mark writes, the 1662 BCP has “Then shall the Priest (or the Bishop, being present,) stand up, and turning himself to the people, pronounce this Absolution”. I note that both of these have “the Bishop” and not “a bishop”. I understand that to mean the diocesan bishop (or his suffragan) but not a visiting bishop from another diocese. There is no significance to the use of “he” and “himself” in 1662 as that… Read more »

Simon Kershaw
Admin

Peter wrote: ‘There is no significance to the use of “he” and “himself” in 1662 as that was the only possibility then.’

Actually there may be. The 1992 Measure explicitly states (section 9)

‘In any Canon, order, rule or regulation relating to priests, words importing the masculine gender include the feminine, unless the contrary intention appears.’

But that does not apply to any masculine words that refer to bishops. The draft Measure does include similar words which also apply to bishops. So, the use of the masculine in the 1662 book in reference to a bishop probably should be regarded as significant.

Simon K

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

Thanks for the explanation of the St Paul’s situation, which seems fair, Canon Fraser. The reply to General Synod broadly regarding the 1967 Measure and visiting bishops still strikes me as nitpicking.

Fr James
Guest
Fr James

Oh for goodness’ sake! Why can’t you just accept that the Church of England doesn’t officially and legally recognise women bishops *YET*? It will do by 2014, I’m sure, and then women bishops from other Provinces will be able to wear their mitres, celebrate the Eucharist and pronounce blessings to their hearts’ content. But for now, according to the law of the Church, which is the law of the land, we don’t recognise women bishops. Deal with it!

Counterlight
Guest
Counterlight

“But for now, according to the law of the Church, which is the law of the land, we don’t recognise women bishops. Deal with it!”

Certainly, but there is that little detail that +KJS is the Primate of our church and ++Canterbury’s equal in rank (as far as we are concerned).

Fr James
Guest
Fr James

“+KJS is the Primate of our church”

Indeed she is, but she doesn’t wear a mitre or carry a crosier by virtue of her status as Primate, but because she is a bishop in TEC.

All this quibbling about being allowed to wear a mitre, or walk at the back of a procession, or pronounce the blessing or celebrate the eucharist simply because she is present at the service is moot. The CofE doesn’t recognise women bishops, ergo women cannot function as bishops in any church of the CofE.

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

Don’t see much nitpicking about what the bishop of Rome will be wearing in a few weeks’ time, Fr. James.

chenier1
Guest
chenier1

And there’s also the point that visiting female bishops have been be-mitred in the past without any problems; this present kerfuffle appears to have been a direct result of the ill-judged effort by Lambeth Palace in specifically pointing, in notes to the press release on the AB’s Pentecostal Letter, to the election and consecration of Mary Glasspool. The unfortunate fact is that Rowan Williams will never be able to assuage the demands of the fundamentalists; they have no interest in sitting at a common table. As far as they are concerned the feast is for them, and for them alone,… Read more »

Bill Dilworth
Guest

“Why can’t you just accept that the Church of England doesn’t officially and legally recognise women bishops *YET*?”

Wouldn’t it make more sense for the CofE to accept that just because it doesn’t have women bishops, it doesn’t mean that women bishops don’t exist? Surely there’s a way for you to safeguard your own legislative process without pretending that you are the *ONLY* Anglican Church on the planet. Besides being an incredibly arrogant posture, from the POV of an outsider, the current practice is simply contrary to reality.

David da Silva Cornell
Guest
David da Silva Cornell

“But for now, according to the law of the Church, which is the law of the land, we don’t recognise women bishops. Deal with it!” Actually, Fr. James, it isn’t that the C of E does not recognize women bishops; it is that it does not permit them to exercise episcopal functions within its jurisdiction. That’s an important distinction. There are plenty of photos of “overseas female bishops” in mitre, or in rochet and chimere, or with pectoral cross, on English territory, being addressed as Rt. Rev. or (in the case of our Presiding Bishop) Most Rev., etc etc. In… Read more »

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Thanks, Peter Owen, for those links. The 1967 Measure defines “bishop” without reference to gender. The 1967 Measure also uses the term “clergyman” but presumably no one would argue that the Measure does not extend to female priests as well as male priests. The relevant portion of the 1967 Measure seems to be this: 4. Performance of episcopal functions by overseas bishops. — (1) An overseas bishop or a bishop consecrated in a Church not in Communion with the Church of England whose Orders are recognised and accepted by the Church of England may, on the request and by the… Read more »

Malcolm+
Guest

I went and looked at Canon B8. There is no rational way to claim that this canon prevents a female overseas bishop wearing a mitre. The answer given by Cantuar is categorically false.

Also, James mis-states the facts. According to the law of the Church and the law of the Land, the Church of England does not HAVE women bishops. Both civil and canon law are silent on their existence outwith the CofE.

Fr James
Guest
Fr James

No Malcolm, you mis-state the facts. We may recognise that other provinces have women bishops, but the fact that we don’t have them in our church yet means that we cannot allow one of your women bishops to function as a bishop in our churches, because it wouldn’t make any sense. All the talk on here about making KJS walk at the back of a procession or say the parts of the service specifically reserved for the bishop – it’s impossible because she cannot function legally as a bishop. David mentions only surface details like mitres, rochets, and pectoral crosses… Read more »

chenier1
Guest
chenier1

Fr James As Michael Perham, Bishop of Gloucester, noted ‘However, with all the present tensions in the Communion and with some people prepared to use legal processes to challenge bishops and others who do not follow the letter of the law, the Archbishop’s office has thought it best to ensure that the rule is strictly adhered to. Thus I have sought and obtained permission for Bishop Mary for preside at the Eucharist in Gloucester Cathedral.’ He went on to say: ‘The triangular partnership that draws the dioceses of Western Tanganyika, El Camino Real and Gloucester into a companion relationship emerged… Read more »

Fr Mark
Guest

Fr James: “The ABC wears his purple cassock and pectoral cross when visiting the Pope, doesn’t he? It’s the same thing. The Pope recognises that Rowan is a bishop in his own church, but cannot let him function as a bishop in RC churches.” No, Rowan goes further than that. As I posted when we were all so exercised about mitres a month or so ago, here is Abp Rowan wearing mitre next to Cardinal Kasper at the Roman Catholic shrine at Lourdes, actually in the grotto, viz, in an RC Church setting when the RC Church does not recognise… Read more »

Prior Aelred
Guest

Fr James is correct — the position of the C of E doesn’t make any sense — bishops who happen to be women cannot function in the C of E (nor can priests [men or women] who have been ordained by bishops who happen to be women) — BUT as soon as bishops (who happen to be women) ARE consecrated (or appointed by the Crown [or something]) THEN are sacraments become retroactively valid.

chenier1
Guest
chenier1

And further to my comment about the the Partnership of the Dioceses of El Camino Real, Gloucester and Western Tanganyika, I see there is a joint letter from the bishops to Rowan Williams:

http://www.edecr.org/sitefiles/file/newsdocs/NEWS-Ltr2ArchbpREpartnDio-20100622.pdf

which goes to the heart of these issues…

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Seems to me that the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church qualifies as an “overseas bishop” under the 1967 Measure and therefore could perform episcopal functions in England by “commission.” Unless one defines the term “overseas bishop” to mean men only. The 1967 Measure seems to make the term depend on whether the person is a bishop in the Anglican Communion: 6. Interpretation. — (1) In this Measure, unless the context otherwise requires— . . . “overseas bishop” means a bishop of the Church of England or a Church in Communion with the Church of England having a diocese or… Read more »

David da Silva Cornell
Guest
David da Silva Cornell

Fr James, you undermine your own argument. “The ABC wears his purple cassock and pectoral cross when visiting the Pope, doesn’t he? It’s the same thing. The Pope recognises that Rowan is a bishop in his own church, but cannot let him function as a bishop in RC churches.” Precisely, and when the ABC visits Westminster Cathedral he is presumably not told to remove his mitre, or that he can’t wear one in the first place. The dignity (and existence) of his office as a bishop in his own church is respected by the RCs, even if he won’t be… Read more »

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

“….but cannot let him function as a bishop in RC churches.” Sure he can, Fr James. But he won’t.

Tobias Haller
Guest

I”ve noted in the past that the Act of Parliament which allowed the bestowal of the episcopate on the Americans (White and Provoost) specifically stated that neither they nor anyone they ordained or consecrated would ever be allowed to exercise any ministry in English dominions. Does anyone know when this “law of the land” was explicitly amended — or did the 1967 Measure effectively accomplish that? I’m virtually positive US bishops have functioned as such in England prior to 1967. Was there a predecessor Measure? Help from an English historian or canonist would be welcome.
Tobias+

american piskie
Guest
american piskie

Why do (some) American anglicans refuse to take on board the simple fact that on the whole the Church of England does not understand itself as Anglican, and certainly doesn’t see itself as part of an “Anglican Church” capable of making decisions binding on the C of E? The fact that many Anglican churches have ordained women to the episcopate is essentially irrelevant to the position here: in the Church of England women bishops quite simply don’t exist whatever the barrack room lawyers are trying to tell us the Prayer Book really meant to say, and moreover they can’t exist… Read more »

Bill Dilworth
Guest

“bishops who happen to be women cannot function in the C of E (nor can priests [men or women] who have been ordained by bishops who happen to be women) — BUT as soon as bishops (who happen to be women) ARE consecrated (or appointed by the Crown [or something]) THEN are sacraments become retroactively valid.”

This is all very picturesque (“Oh, look, honey – a solipsistic Church!”), but it’s a hell of a way to run a railroad.

Malcolm+
Guest

Actually, James, I’m spot on. The FACT is that the CofE does not HAVE women bishops. The CofE acknowledges that there are woman bishops elsewhere in the Communion, so it is not a case of not RECOGNIZING woman bishops.

While the restriction that a female bishop would not be allowed to perform episcopal functions at present in the CofE is theologically bunkum, it is at least comprehensible bunkum.

The silly attempt to impose regulations about haberdashery, by contrast, are merely the childish antics of little boys who have no manners.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Malcolm, it’s also legal bunkum.

The Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church is, by definition, an “overseas bishop.”

Like any other overseas bishop, she could perform episcopal functions in England if given the metropolitan’s permission to do so.

Please see the passages quoted above.

Pantycelyn
Guest
Pantycelyn

I do not think it is true that ministers ordained by women cannot celebrate sacraments in England.

No C of E body has said this as far as I know. How would anyone know, anyway… It would be unworkable.

Bill Dilworth
Guest

“How would anyone know, anyway… It would be unworkable.”

From the ordination certificates that the clergyperson has to present in order to get a license?

Malcolm+
Guest

Jeremy, I agree that it is also legal bunkum, even though that wasn’t really my point.

But given that there are actually no regulations about the wearing or not wearing of mitres, any suggestion that Dr. Jefferts Schori could not wear one because the CofE has no female bishops isn’t so much bunkum as a blatant lie.

Mark Bennet
Guest
Mark Bennet

Sometimes women choose to do extraordinary things – things which are not legally required of them – in order to observe protocols, or to avoid causing problems. Sometimes they are asked to do such things, when they would rather do something else. More often than most people realise, women are asked to do things which would never be asked of men.

Such actions often go unnoticed and unacknowledged. But they can be prophetic – maybe here is a bishop saying that Christ is more important than what she wears on a particular occasion.

David Hathaway
Guest
David Hathaway

When the Rt Revd Christina Odenberg, Bishop of Lund, celebrated in Llandaff Cathedral in 2007 she functioned and dressed as a priest, graciously respecting the hospitality of the Church in Wales – no petulant carrying of mitre. Maybe this “mitre gate” (which has gone on long enough) has more to do with celebrity and not enough to think about, which in today’s CofE and TEC is no surprise.

Fr Mark
Guest

David Hathaway: “Maybe this “mitre gate” (which has gone on long enough) has more to do with celebrity and not enough to think about,” No, David, it has to do with whether we show an expansive, warm and inviting model of church to a world in need of the all-embracing love of God; or whether we peddle a model that is to do with small-minded rule-obsessed excluding narrowness. That is quite an important attitude for the Church to get right, isn’t it, because there is a whole approach to theology and personhood being reflected in it? As I demonstrated above,… Read more »

Bill Dilworth
Guest

“no petulant carrying of mitre”

I think it bizarre that critics of the Presiding Bishop think that she should not only have complied with the Archbishop of Canterbury’s request that she not act as bishop but that she should have gone further and pretended that she wasn’t a bishop at all. I’ve even seen people complain about the fact that she wore a bishop’s shirt under her alb.

The whole episode shows a strange concern for appearance over substance, as if pretending that female bishops don’t exist makes it so.