Thinking Anglicans

General Synod – more Friday press reports and comment

John Bingham reports in the Telegraph on what the Archbishop of Canterbury said to his convocation this afternoon: Women bishops: Church is looking into the abyss, says Archbishop of Canterbury.

Lizzy Davies writes for The Guardian: Rowan Williams urges speedy solution to row over women bishops and Debate on women bishops goes to General Synod.

Gavin Drake writes for the Church Times: Convocations and laity say preliminary yes to women bishops.

Steve Doughty writes for the Mail Online: Archbishop of Canterbury warns supporters of women bishops they face years of delay if they do not accept compromise.

Christian Today has Rowan Williams: I long to see women bishops in CofE.

Robert Pigott at the BBC has Church of England votes to allow women bishops vote.

The Guardian has published this editorial: Church of England: what women don’t want.

Christina Rees writes for The Guardian: Female bishops: this is about the church’s attitude to all women.

5 comments

  • rjb says:

    “Rowan Williams has no need to prove his progressive heart but, as his tenure at Lambeth Palace concludes, it is evident that he is a pluralist first and a liberal only second. His desire to respect every religious opinion is such that he leaves office without settling any arguments”

    I think the Graun may have intended this as a criticism. I’d be inclined to view it as high praise. I don’t for a moment think the Archbishop “respects” every opinion, but he seems determined to tolerate as much diversity of doctrine as possible. There was a time when we liberals viewed this as a virtue, but for some of us ‘tolerance of diversity’ and ‘freedom of conscience’ seem to have been replaced with ‘tyranny of the majority’ – at least for those we don’t like. Which was, incidentally, exactly what we opposed in the Anglican Covenant! Some consistency of principle here would be nice.

  • RPNewark says:

    Mail Online: “Archbishop of Canterbury … warned supporters of women bishops they face years of delay if they do not accept compromise”

    I hope this headline is of the Mail’s making and not an accurate summation of what +Rowan *actually* said.

    Bully-boy tactics will not be welcomed (by any “side”, I hope) in this issue which the Church of England *has* to get right. Leadership and persuasiveness are not just expected but required; comments that are perceived to be bullying are apt to bring about the opposite effect from that which was intended.

    Lord grant that the Holy Spirit will be heard, meditated upon and allowed to have Your way this weekend.

  • Pam Smith says:

    I don’t want to be unsympathetic, but for the Archbishop of Canterbury to say we were ‘looking into the abyss’ struck me as fairly unhelpful.

    What did it actually mean? It wasn’t a factual statement – at worst we were looking at 5 more years before women could be ordained as bishops. That might be disappointing, and indeed an embarrassment to some people, but how was it an ‘abyss’?

    Of course feelings do need to be recognised, not least because in many cases feelings affect how we act. And if the Archbishop feels he is looking into an abyss, we should all be concerned about that.

    But I really do feel it’s time that we differentiated between facts and feelings when we talk about things.

    If someone says ‘I feel as if we are looking into an abyss’ that might well help us to understand their actions. It’s a pretty desperate place to be.

    But ‘we are looking into an abyss’ – who is ‘we’? What is the nature of the ‘abyss’? Are we likely to fall into it? And if so, who will be affected?

  • Pam Smith says:

    I don’t want to be unsympathetic, but for the Archbishop of Canterbury to say we were ‘looking into the abyss’ struck me as fairly unhelpful.

    What did it actually mean? It wasn’t a factual statement – at worst we were looking at 5 more years before women could be ordained as bishops. That might be disappointing, and indeed an embarrassment to some people, but how was it an ‘abyss’?

    Of course feelings do need to be recognised, not least because in many cases feelings affect how we act. And if the Archbishop feels he is looking into an abyss, we should all be concerned about that.

    But I really do feel it’s time that we differentiated between facts and feelings when we talk about things.

    If someone says ‘I feel as if we are looking into an abyss’ that might well help us to understand their actions. It’s a pretty desperate place to be.

    But ‘we are looking into an abyss’ – who is ‘we’? What is the nature of the ‘abyss’? Are we likely to fall into it? And if so, who will be affected?

  • Father David says:

    Perhaps “the abyss” is rather like the Biblical ditch? For the York Synod seems to resemble “the blind leading the blind” and we all know where they ended up in!

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