Thinking Anglicans

women bishops: a new website

A new website has been launched. It describes itself thus:

Fair Measure 2012

Welcome to the Fair Measure 2012 blog.

On this website we will be posting a number of papers, links and comments about the Draft Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure which is due to be debated by the General Synod of the Church of England on 20 November 2012.

We will show that the Measure as it stands is not fit for purpose, because of its unjust treatment of significant minorities within the Church of England. It must be stopped before it damages the Church irreparably, and replaced with a new, fairer Measure which enables us all to go forward together.

The website can be found here: Replace the Measure where the following paragraph has been added:

Contributors to this site include members of General Synod, and Anglicans from around the Church of England, who are united in their desire to hold together both those in favour and those opposed to the ordination and consecration of women.

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Miranda
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Miranda

‘Unjust treatment of significant minorities’. Breathtaking arrogance and wilful rewriting of history.

Mark Bennet
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Mark Bennet

As opposed to unjust treatment of the majority …

Father Ron Smith
Guest

“Until this injustice is remedied, no-one should vote for a Measure which serves only part of the Church of England, and excludes the other.” This statement, from the article which questions Fulcrum’s advice to the General Synod for those who oppose the Draft Measure to simply ‘abstain’, I believe, overstates the case for voting ‘No’. The injustice to Women in the Church, if they are not allowed to move forward to episcopal sharing of responsibility, far outweighs the perceived injustice to those parties in the Church who do not believe that Women should have a voice in leadership – whether… Read more »

Alastair Newman
Guest

Anyone know who’s behind this?

Jeremy Pemberton
Guest
Jeremy Pemberton

Who are these anonymous people who are so concerned for fairness? I think we should be told. Then we would be better able to judge for ourselves just how fair any fairer Measure that they might support would be.

Anthony Archer
Guest
Anthony Archer

The promoters of this website are acting like prisoners on death row, trying every last trick with their lawyers as they realise that they have reached the end of the road. However, in their panic, they are ignoring the simple fact that there can be a stay of execution and that it is in their hands to obtain it: just abstain on Final Approval. They should be in no doubt that if they are seen to be party to Final Approval being lost, then they will have voted for their own execution. The Church of England will not forgive them,… Read more »

Chuchu Nwagu
Guest
Chuchu Nwagu

“In Christ, there is neither male nor female”; one needs to decide whether – or not – excluding Women from the role of Bishop in the Church is now credible – or, indeed, theologically sustainable. The CofE will have women bishops, so the whole issue of excluding women from the role of Bishop is not relevant as they will get there but their are many more hurdles left to jump through before we as a church can get their. The church has now embraced the ministry of women and we should continue to do that in good faith but within… Read more »

Daniel Lamont
Guest
Daniel Lamont

I simply cannot give any credence to a website such as this where the owners/backers/supporters are not identified. This lack of information is deeply unChristian where we are called to be open to one another and it means that there cannot be honest debate. I thought after the notorious Crockford’s Preface of 1987 we had moved on from this kind of anonymity.

Anne Le Bas
Guest
Anne Le Bas

Like Jeremy, I am most disquieted by the total lack of any identification of those behind this blog. If, as it suggests, some of them are General Synod members then it seems to me that it is particularly incumbent on them to come clean about their identities, so that members of the Dioceses they represent can contact them. We need to know where we stand with those who will be voting on this issue in our name.

Anne
Guest
Anne

If you look at the links on the front page, you get back to the Anglican Mainstream page, where you will find them in the left hand column, implying that ‘fairmeasure2012’ comes from this particular stable.

Shame they were not prepared to say so.

Ross Northing
Guest
Ross Northing

Mr Archer’s comment that “The Church of England will not forgive them,” if true, is hardly Christian and lays the blame at the feet of the wrong people. Traditional Catholics and Evangelicals have consistently argued that they be allowed a “permanent and honoured place” within the Church of their Baptism, and that this be secured by its inclusion within the Proposed Measure. A Code of Practice has no guarantee of permanence, and this is clearly evidenced by the fact that “The Act of Synod 1993” (which is a Code of Practice) will be removed as part of the process of… Read more »

Fr John E. Harris-White
Guest
Fr John E. Harris-White

Let these people who hide behind a web site do one of two things. Do the decent thing, come out into the open, name themselves and speak up.
Or remain hidden and shut up.

This no way for genuine Christians to behave, and if members of the synod;should be revealed, named and shamed

David Keen
Guest
David Keen

Just what we need, another lobby group. As this rate we’ll have more pressure groups than members.

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

If the women bishops measure I is voted down in General Synod, pray, what will be offered to those who wanted women bishops to meet their needs and preserve integrity ?

OR, will the provision be the same as was given after the votes for women priests failed ?

that is – ABSOLUTELY zilch !

Father Ron Smith
Guest

“there ought to be much soul searching on the part of those who have ditched every opportunity at delivering a “permanent and honoured place” in a determination simply to provide terminal care.
– Ross Northing –

PRECISELY, Fr Northing. This has been the situation regarding the reluctance to accept women in the church on a basis equal to men. This is the much larger inequality of opportunity – for women to be whom God has created them to be equal partners in the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Original Observer
Guest
Original Observer

Anthony Archer – your post sounds like a threat to me. However, what you say in your post is probably more like wishful thinking. If the Measure fails the issue will have to be set aside until the next Synod at the earliest. A new ‘single clause’ Measure would likely fail too in the face the same intractable reality – while there is support for having women bishops, there is not support for having them in a manner which denies those opposed a position which is secure ecclesiologically and theologically. Numbers are not the be all and end all –… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

“Traditional Catholics and Evangelicals have consistently argued that they be allowed a “permanent and honoured place” within the Church of their Baptism, and that this be secured by its inclusion within the Proposed Measure. “

Try replacing “traditional Catholics and Evangelicals” with “those who believe non-whites should not be ordained”. Anyone think that measure should have been passed some 150 years ago when THAT was the issue at hand?

Nancy Wallace
Guest

Not only is the Fair Measure 2012 blog anonymous it has disabled comments. I find this secrecy and lack of openness to debate a strange way for Christians (who value truth) to behave. What are they afraid of?

Lionel Deimel
Guest

When I first saw this TA post, I visited the new Web site and left the following comment: “Who is behind this site? Why is there no information about sponsors here?” Now (and perhaps a result of that comment), there is that vague notice about the backers of the site, as well as this notice: “[Comments have been disabled]”

The advent of Replace The Measure is in stark contrast to the introduction of the No Anglican Covenant site two years ago. A list of the members of the No Anglican Covenant Coalition appeared on the site on day one.

Susannah
Guest
Susannah

For 2000 years it was regarded as ‘best’ to exclude women from the priesthood and episcopacy (as Pat O’Neill says above, imagine people were excluded because of their race – is gender any less integral than race?). During those long centuries, was any compromise promoted to allow dissident women to have their own mechanisms for women priests and bishops? No. So to portray the dominant patriarchy of 2000 years as an ‘oppressed minority’ is a bit rum. Personally, I think in a Church that has both male and female priests, and where 50% of churches will therefore have a male… Read more »

Susannah
Guest
Susannah

David Ould, in one of the links from that blog, writes: “Evangelicals have found this whole process very difficult. Those that oppose the principle of women bishops fear they will be increasingly marginalised.” Those two statements set me thinking. Firstly, I have attended evangelical churches for the past 33 years. In the evangelical circles I know, there is a near-universal acceptance of women priests, and a majority who – having seen the blessing and efficacy of women priests – feel that female bishops would also be a welcome blessing. Secondly, women have been marginalised in all kinds of ways, both… Read more »

Susannah
Guest
Susannah

Sometimes we marginalise ourselves by not buying into changes in circumstances. So yes, there is a small minority that is saying ‘We won’t buy into these changes.’ They can still find male priests in most parishes. They can still pray, serve God, love their neighbours, and if the rest of the Church moves on to accommodate women (made in the image of God) in positions of authority in the Church, then dissenters can make choices, but a time has to come when women are no longer marginalised. In reality, priesthood is being enlarged and blessed, by embracing more of the… Read more »

Susannah
Guest
Susannah

(concluding…) Most evangelical anglicans in England *want* female priests and bishops. Those who don’t, are in a sense finding themselves on the margins of history here, but the subordination they propose has left women on the margins of church authority for twenty centuries, and it is clearly time to embrace the *whole* of the image of God, as much mother as father, in which image men and women (according to Genesis) are both made. It is reasonable to seek a male priest if you still hold to the old subordination. But the church should not institutionally embrace the marginalisation of… Read more »

Ross Northing
Guest
Ross Northing

Fr Smith: I understand fully the desire to embrace equality, but where traditional Evangelicals and Catholics would disagree with you is that this does not mean that difference disappears. I can understand that for some the arguments against the ordination of women are problematic, and I don’t have an issue with people disagreeing with them; but similarly, I would hope that those who do disagree with traditionalists’ arguments would understand that the arguments in favour can be seen as essentially being driven by the spirit of the age rather than by Scripture or The Tradition. What we have not properly… Read more »

Jean Mayland
Guest
Jean Mayland

Father Northing- we women clergy really wanted a single clause measure. We heard your protest and have ceased to fight for that.We have made huge concessions to you. You do have an honoured place and you have pushed us further than we wanted to go. We have accepted this.Please accept us and go on in faith and trust.

Randal Oulton
Guest
Randal Oulton

Many of the individual pages indicate on them the author of that particular pages.

Alan T Perry
Guest
Alan T Perry

Interesting. There is an invitation to “Be the first to like this.” Evidently no-one has accepted the invitation yet.

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

Father Northing:

You completely misread my intent. I am not calling the traditionalists racist. I am merely noting that a similar stance on another, equally controversial, issue in the past would be considered appalling today.

Alastair Newman
Guest

I don’t think anyone here is calling people who hold to a “traditional” position racist. They are asking how people would feel if a segment of the Church of England were requesting (with theological justification) to be given a safe and honoured space within the Church where they would not be ministered to by priests and bishops of ethnicity other than white British. I don’t actually think it is entirely unreasonable to ask this question. Christians in the past have openly supported segregation and opposed mixed marriage, particularly in the USA. Christians also played a pivotal role opposing segregation in… Read more »

Chuchu Nwagu
Guest
Chuchu Nwagu

Mother Jean Mayland – You have not made any concessions for us, instead of giving you are rather taking something away from us. We accepted women clergy in 1992 and we have worked with you in faithfulness. We’ve been put in the effort and have given up so much in order to keep peace in the Church of England It should not be “further than we wanted to go” but what the church should give us. For the legislation to succeed we must make sure that those opposed are fully catered for regardless of what we want but out of… Read more »

JCF
Guest
JCF

“I would hope that those who do disagree with traditionalists’ arguments would understand that the arguments in favour can be seen as essentially being driven by the spirit of the age rather than by Scripture or The Tradition.”

Anglican discernment has been been defined, since Hooker, as “Scripture, Tradition and Reason”.

“Traditionalist” catholics seem to want to dismiss Reason—the only means by which we are even capable of understanding Scripture and Tradition—as “the spirit of the age”.

If they would prefer to DROP Reason in favor of, say, a single voice with um, “magisterial” authority, there’s a Church for that.

It’s just not Anglican.

david rowett
Guest

Ummm, I’m a traditionalist catholic, and so’s my curate. It’s just that both she and I believe that it’s right to ordain women to the episcopate. Any chance of the ‘anti-‘ brigade coming clean and acknowledging that they’re simply ‘anti-‘? Or is the issue of the ordination of women the only thing which connotes ‘traditional catholic’, and not (say) belief in the Real Presence, the use of the Seven Sacraments, the historic threefold ministry, the sacrifice of the Mass and the acceptance of Our Lady as one’s personal co-redemptrix:-) It’s like the Evangelical thing where ‘orthodox’ actually means not much… Read more »

Anthony Archer
Guest
Anthony Archer

Numbers are not the be all and end all – the church is NOT a democracy – Original Observer The Church of England is episcopally led and synodically governed. The House of Bishops has given the clearest possible lead on this and now it it up to the General Synod, where actually numbers do matter because the only way to determine the outcome of the legislative process is by voting (in this case with the requirement for a two-thirds majority in each House – the resultant Measure becoming the law of the land). As to whether my post was a… Read more »

Jeremy Pemberton
Guest
Jeremy Pemberton

The latest post is signed Chris Sugden. So this new website appears be linked to Anglican Mainstream (and perhaps Reform and Church Society as well?), and is them being all concerned for minorities. I love the way he plays the “you can tell what kind of a church we are by how we treat our minorities” card. I’ll tell you how the church has treated its LGBT minority; disgracefully. And AM are the homophobic worst of the lot. They have a right nerve to stand there and tell us that people who aren’t even going to have to deal day… Read more »

JCF
Guest
JCF

“Mother Jean Mayland – You have not made any concessions for us”

You don’t get to decide when someone else has made a concession, Chuchu.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Chugu “We’ve been put in the effort and have given up so much in order to keep peace in the Church of England” Maybe you can explain to me what other traditionalists have not explained yet although I did ask on several occasions. As far as I can see, you have accepted that the Church of England can have women priests, provided it has absolutely no impact on you. And so provisions for traditionalists have included a Flying Bishop scheme that has changed the traditional and orthodox definition of the Episcopate and separated bishops into those parishes will accept and… Read more »

Original Observer
Guest
Original Observer

Anthony Archer – numbers are of course important in a strict technical sense. My point is that where there the issue at stake is one which could lead some Anglicans to feel that the fundamental order of their church had been disrupted, simply pushing through a Measure on the basis of a headcount is unsatisfactory. The search for a way forward which will enact women bishops without unchurching some people needs to continue because the solution has clearly not yet been found. As to whether the ‘threat’ referred to in your earlier post is aimed at particular groups or merely… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

“We accepted women clergy in 1992 and we have worked with you in faithfulness” – Chuchu Nwagu –

One Question, Chuchu: did your ‘acceptance” include receiving Sacraments from a women priest? Because this would signify your real ‘acceptance’ of Women’s priesthood in the Church.

On the question of Women Bishops, the main objectors would not be willing to ‘accept’ them – in terms of their willingness to receive the Sacraments at the hands of a Women Bishop – thus dividing the Church into a 2-tiered episcopate. This certainly would not be ‘catholic’.

primroseleague
Guest
primroseleague

Erika, I’ll have a go, although I’m not really qualified to argue this in any way, but I’m a Res ABC parishioner and I can tell you what I feel. I’d like the assembled masses to not shoot me down please as I’m not special pleading, or claiming any privilege for my opinions, just my gut feeling. I am broadly supportive of the ordination of women bishops in the CofE, so long as they don’t affect me or other traditionalists. Supportive because it is clearly the mind of the majority. However, ontologically I don’t know if women can be priests,… Read more »

primroseleague
Guest
primroseleague

cont.. however I don’t believe that a man ordained by a woman is necessarily a priest, so need the male bishop. As an anglo catholic, I suppose what we have given up implicitly is: – the catholicity of the diocese (and given how much weight I suppose we put on succession that is painful) – the reconversion of England; we have had to accept our ghettoisation and our place as a minority – that the Church of England should not have women priests, regardless of whether it affects us or not (I’ve already said I think the mind of the… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Primroseleague
thank you!
This makes perfect sense and I can at least begin to understand where you feel you have compromised.
I really appreciate your reply.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Primroseleague, may I ask you another question I have asked here before and that I really don’t quite understand yet? If the concern of traditionalists is the ontological status of their bishops (and of the priests those bishops consecrate), then why were Flying Bishops ever necessary? Every single current bishop has been validly ordained deacon, priest and bishop by other validly ordained male bishops. What was the Catholic rationale behind the Flying Bishop scheme? I find that a really interesting question because to chose your own bishop according to his theology is a real break with episcopal tradition and the… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

“However, ontologically I don’t know if women can be priests, so “at best not proven, at worst no” to quote a late bishop….”

And how, exactly, could this supposition be proven to your satisfaction?

Al Marsh
Guest
Al Marsh

“Episcopal tradition and the practice of the Catholic churches” require the choice of bishops who will teach and administer the Catholic faith and Catholic order.

When bishops in the Church of England began to ordain women it was no longer clear that they were maintaining Catholic or Evangelical faith and order.

Provincial Episcopal Visitors were created so that those with doubts about the orthodoxy of their diocesan bishop could receive the ministry of another bishop about whom no such doubts existed.

primroseleague
Guest
primroseleague

Pat, I don’t know, as I said. At least I’m honest enough to admit that openly rather than settling for an easy life. My local vicar is a woman, and I go regularly to her services, hoping that something will change, and I will feel able to receive. I accept that inability may well say more about me than her, but I am open minded. Prayerfully, sadly, it hasn’t happened yet. She is a deeply good woman, I would almost go so far as to say holy. I want to support her fervently. But to date the small voice of… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

‘”Episcopal tradition and the practice of the Catholic churches” require the choice of bishops who will teach and administer the Catholic faith and Catholic order.”‘ I can see that it would be preferable. But “requires”? Isn’t that Donatism? I understood the concern of Anglo-Catholic traditionalists to be about the efficacy of the sacraments and about needing to be sure that consecrated bread and wine are truly consecrated, for example. That, at least, I can understand. But this does not require a right thinking priest or bishop. If it did, how could Catholic parishes possibly cope with Evangelical bishops who do… Read more »

Al Marsh
Guest
Al Marsh

The Catholic churches (RC and Orthodox) most certainly DO require of their bishops that they hold to, teach and practise Catholic faith and order. This is not “Donatism”: this is Catholicism. The notion of appointing bishops who do not would be incomprehensible – especially since one of the functions of a bishop (as it is also stated in the CofE ordinal) is “to banish and drive away all erroneous and strange doctrine.” The fact that the CofE has tolerated the appointment of those who embody erroneous and strange doctrines does not mean that this constitutes Catholic faith or order in… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Al Marsh thank you. This is really helping. But I’m still not sure I understand, please bear with me, if you don’t mind. “The Catholic churches (RC and Orthodox) most certainly DO require of their bishops that they hold to, teach and practise Catholic faith and order. This is not “Donatism”: this is Catholicism.” Yes, that is completely true, and you rightly do not mention the CoE in that list. More than half of the bishops serving in the CoE would not be bishops in catholic churches, precisely because they do not hold to, teach or practice all aspects of… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

“When the CofE not only ordains women, but proposes to admit them also into the episcopate, it is therefore hardly surprising that those of its members who look for teaching authority and Catholic order to the Catholic church of East and West entertain doubts as to the competence of a local Synod to authorise such a step. “ The next question, obviously (to me, anyway), is why are their members of the CofE (or of any Anglican Communion church) who “who look for teaching authority and Catholic order to the Catholic church of East and West”? If they sincerely believe… Read more »

Anne
Guest
Anne

Al Marsh says: “The vast majority of the world’s Catholic and Orthodox Christians adhere to the teaching of the Church throughout the ages that only men, after the example of the Apostles, can be admitted to holy orders.” 1. Jesus didn’t admit anyone to “holy orders” in the sense that we understand it now, neither men nor women. 2. St Paul himself refers to at least one woman, Junia, as an apostle – Romans 16.7(and no serious commentator would now suggest that this was actually “Junias” which never appears as a male name in antiquity).In the same chapter, as in… Read more »