Thinking Anglicans

Further news and comment on women bishops

Update Wednesday morning
Frank Field MP tweeted at 6.02 pm on Tuesday that “Ecclesiastical Committee, of which I am a Member, has just unanimously approved the women bishops measure. Hurrah!”

Update Wednesday afternoon
The agenda of yesterday’s meeting of the Ecclesiastical Committee, originally linked below, is no longer available.
A transcript of the Archbishop’s opening speech to the Committee is here.

The Ecclesiastical Committee of Parliament met today (Tuesday) to consider the Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure. There is a recording of the public part of their meeting here [1 hour 16 minutes].

John Bingham of The Telegraph reports on the meeting: Church of England to use positive discrimination to boost women bishops.

We have reported news and comments on last Monday’s votes at General Synod here, here, here and here. There is more.

Linda Woodhead The Conversation Yes vote for women bishops challenges the Church of England to embed equality

WATCH Synod Voted Yes!

The Ordinariate in England and Wales: Statement from the Ordinary – Women Bishops

David Pocklington Law & Religion UK Women in the episcopate: legislation and its adoption

The Primate of Uganda Church of Uganda applauds CoE women bishops vote

Moses Talemwa The Observer (Uganda) Uganda Hails Vote On Women Bishops

Ian Paul asks What are (women) bishops for?

90
Leave a Reply

avatar
3000
90 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
35 Comment authors
cseitzRod GillisMalcolm French+Pat O'NeillMalcolm French Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify of
The Revd Canon Peter Edwards
Guest
The Revd Canon Peter Edwards

It really shouldn’t surprise me that Mgr Keith Newton has to have his say, and repeat the same old tune which he whistled as he swam the Tiber. But to use it as an advert for following his example, so that people can feel as if they can really only be One together as Roman Catholics is – I have to say – equally unsurprising! When WILL the RC hierarchy (and some in the lowerarchy of the Ordinariate) not realise and/or admit that we are already one in Christ; and that the institutional stubborn insistence by Rome that we can… Read more »

Joseph Golightly
Guest
Joseph Golightly

Dear Canon. The tone of your comments is not particularly Christian. It’s obvious you have a deep hatred of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches Your own church has up to now said that is part of the One Holy Catholic Church but by ignoring what they have to say I think that the claim has now been repudiated. The CoE was a new invention and like for example the Baptist and Methodists should now admit that that it has nothing to do with the One Holy Church become Protestant and get on with winning souls – it has over the… Read more »

Stuart, Devon
Guest
Stuart, Devon

Canon Edwards, my impression is that the Ordinariate is so desperate for lay people and for cash that they would use the opening of the proverbial paper bag as an excuse to bang the drum (or rattle the collecting tin).

ian
Guest
ian

Ever since the Yes vote for women bishops, quite a few commentators on threads have decided they no longer need to pretend to be nice to each other. Its not mutual flourishing, but behave yourself ( play nicely) or go. ‘ Couldn’t give a monkeys’, ‘anglo banglo’ and so on. Not surprising but a bit depressing really. ‘Some in the lowerarchy of the ordinariate’ – really!

Anne
Guest
Anne

Thank you Peter Edwards. Well said. “… the Church of England is fully and unequivocally committed to all orders of ministry being open equally to all, without reference to gender, and holds that those whom it has duly ordained and appointed to office are the true and lawful holders of the office which they occupy and thus deserve due respect and canonical obedience.” The first Guiding Principle underpinning the vote on the Episcopate. Jesus is indeed bigger than the barriers we erect. I was also taught, a long time ago, by Canon Eric James, that when we erect barriers to… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Can I reiterate and support Ian’s comment above, that commenters should work very hard to be polite to each other. Or their comments may not get published.

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

I was fortunate to be able to spend time watching the meeting of the Ecclesiastical committee with the Archbishop and his team. By the way the Archbishop was incisive and clear . The most meaningful message came from the Archdeacon on his team. She said from now on we have the orders of Deacon , Priest and Bishop without reference to gender.

Praise the Lord

Fr John

RJ
Guest
RJ

The underlying question in these and similar threads has nothing to do with women bishops. It’s about how people see the Church of England, and explains why debate on these threads so often seems to be at cross purposes, or a dialogue of the deaf. To some, the Church of England is “the Church” – autonomous in every respect, and free to make its own decisions about doctrine, ministry, etc, without reference to other Churches throughout the world. To others, it is only a part of the Church, tragically separated from Rome and Orthodoxy by an historical accident which was… Read more »

Simon Butler
Guest
Simon Butler

The matter of which part of Christ’s Body someone belongs to will always be a matter of theology and conscience. I wish anyone well who has, or intends to, join the Ordinariate, although the Five Principles which I endorsed last week with my Yes vote at Synod makes the need to do so less likely, it seems to me. Trad Catholic friends in the Church seem content to stay, by and large, with a number of ex-Ordinariate folk returning too. Similarly, any of us who are anglican parish priests know that the traffic across the Tiber is definitely two-way and… Read more »

John
Guest
John

The point about politeness is well taken, here and on another thread. However, I think it also needs to be acknowledged by everyone here that there is a certain sort of formal politeness which acts as a cloak for gross misrepresentation of other people’s arguments and positions – and that is actually far more offensive than the occasional heated words.

Father David
Guest
Father David

Simon, I fully endorse your comment on two threads where you issue a plea for politeness on the part of the T. A. Commentators. My own comments often result in a number of responses offering an alternative view to my own. I sincerely hope that what I write is not lacking in basic Christian courtesy. Personal abuse and down right rudeness in no way advances an argument nor enhances the discussion.

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

Re the ordinariate, its members seem like they have a foot in two worlds but are members of none. Not happy being an Anglican, and wish to become Roman Catholic? Just convert to The Roman Catholic Church and enjoy the English Mass in the vernacular. Those of us who support gender equality and full inclusion for Anglicanism are staying and moving on with the Church we are committed to despite the fact that it is not perfect. Anglicans who wish they were Roman Catholics may find that fully converting and side stepping the ordinariate will give them the same sense… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

RJ “It’s about how people see the Church of England, and explains why debate on these threads so often seems to be at cross purposes, or a dialogue of the deaf.” And people often have these debates with their eyes firmly closed to the reality of the CoE’s Canons. They will tell you firmly that the church “cannot” do something it clearly is doing. And they will question the authority the church has for doing whatever it is, when the CoE is basing its authority simply on what its own legal framework allows it to do and on its internal… Read more »

robert Ian williams
Guest
robert Ian williams

A sad day in that it creates two castes in the Church of England..clergy who will preserve an ” untainted” masculine pretence to apostolic succession and male and female clergy ordained by women bishops looked on as being less than kosher( excuse the use of that other faith term for want of a better word)

WATCH must ensure that this measure does not make a de facto third province.For instance I hope the line of “pure” bishops is still consecrated by Canterbury, even though he will have consecrated women bishops separately. Anything else will be total apartheid.

Clive
Guest
Clive

Rod: I think that there is something in what you say, although I think it’s a little harsh to suggest that members of an Ordinariate are in any sense second class Catholics. All the RC hierarchy have been at pains to be very clear that this is not the case. Nonetheless, as someone who crossed the Tiber after moving to Canada, where there is no tolerance for traditionalists in the Anglican church and certainly no “mutual flourishing”, I think that there are significant differences between the situations in England and here. In England, most of those who joined an Ordinariate… Read more »

RJ
Guest
RJ

> And people often have these debates with their eyes firmly closed to the reality of the CoE’s Canons. They will tell you firmly that the church “cannot” do something it clearly is doing. And they will question the authority the church has for doing whatever it is, when the CoE is basing its authority simply on what its own legal framework allows it to do and on its internal discernment structures. Agreed. If the Church of England were what such people once believed it to be, it indeed would not have the authority to do what it is now… Read more »

Old Father William
Guest
Old Father William

“The dream of Catholic reunion with Rome and Orthodoxy has gone for ever.” I ceased to care about all that years ago. To think that God really cares about lines of succession and the gender of clergy is to make God very much in our own image and likeness.

robert Ian williams
Guest
robert Ian williams

It really is sad. I was in the Catholic cathedral in Cardiff, and there is a recently set aside Ordinariate chapel to the right of the high altar…it has an altar facing the wall for eastward celebration, and less space for congregants than in an average utility room! I do hope people will focus , not on the shortcomings of the Ordinariate, but on the new ” untouchable ” class, Archbishop Justin Welby has created in the Church of England, by allowing the impossibilists to flourish forever! In the celebrations following the vote, few people are taking in the consequences… Read more »

JCF
Guest
JCF

“the ‘branch Church’ theory, as it used to be described – now seems barely, if at all, tenable unless one believes that Rome and the Orthodox will one day ordain women – which, going by their own official statements at any rate, is impossible.”

Well OF COURSE we Anglicans/Episcopalians believe the RCC and EOs will eventually (“while the Lord tarry”) ordain women. I would think that goes w/o saying. Impossible? My Bible still says “ALL things are possible w/ Christ”! 🙂

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

@ Clive, thanks for your interesting perspective. You note, “I think it’s a little harsh to suggest that members of an Ordinariate are in any sense second class Catholics. All the RC hierarchy have been at pains to be very clear that this is not the case.” Members of the hierarchy may be saying that, but then they would have to, no? A comparable situation exists with regard to married Anglican priest converts to Rome. The few conversations I have had with R.C. priests about this sounded a frustrated note. I’m told the convert priests can’t be put in R.C.… Read more »

Dennis
Guest
Dennis

I’m rather fascinated by the dream for corporate reunion with Rome by many in the Church of England. In the US, where Roman Catholicism is but one of many options on the denominational buffet of faith, one sees almost nothing of this among Episcopalians. Catholicism is just an option some people take. In most places we don’t see anti Catholicism (you would never see Orange Order walks in the US) and we don’t see people in one denomination secretly wanting to be part of another. If one wants to become a Baptist, one becomes a Baptist. Or a Methodist, or… Read more »

ian
Guest
ian

The ordinariate and its members will never be more than an oddity to most Catholics, never more than second class citizens of their own choosing. I am not a member of the ordinariate, I am, however a roman catholic ex anglican. As far as I am aware there is no such category as second class citizen in the Roman Catholic Church. You are either in communion or you are not. Members of the ordinatiate are in communion. Therefore they are ( like me and Pope Francis ) first class citizens. Rod, you may not like the ordinariate, but then ,if… Read more »

Jo
Guest
Jo

I would suggest that the 50% of Roman Catholics who are barred from ever receiving one of the sacraments are de facto 2nd class citizens.

Given how long it took for Rome to come round on mass in the the vernacular, I’d give it at least 2-3 centuries before they ordain women. I do think it will happen, though.

John
Guest
John

Meanwhile, in my part of the C of E, this seems a very good way to go: http://www.durham.anglican.org/news-and-events/news-article.aspx?id=2642 St John’s was FiF for many years (Jeff Steel’s church, incidentally), run by two outstanding priests. One died, the other retired shortly afterwards. In the interregnum, the PCC apparently decided they could accept women priests. No compulsion on anyone here. The diocese has obviously behaved well. St Luke’s seems happy. So does Bishop Glyn. So – more eloquently – does Bishop Mark. Common sense and charity all round. One had almost despaired of seeing them any more in the C of E.… Read more »

Robert ain Willaims
Guest
Robert ain Willaims

Is anyone prepared to stop focusing on the tiny ordinariate and facing the reality that the July 14 measure and bishops declaration effectively creates “untouchables” in the Church of England and is more damaging than the 1993 Act of Synod.

I give you an example.Prior to this “settlement”, Reform and FIF accepted women deacons, but now they will not recognise even male deacons ordained by a woman bishop. lets have theological discussion, not the usual tirade against Rome.

John Swanson
Guest
John Swanson

As a non-conformist (albeit one who has worshipped at my CofE parish church for twenty years) I’m struggling to understand why a decision to consecrate female bishops puts union with Rome any further out of reach than it currently is? Surely Rome does not accept the validity of Anglican orders anyway – are those orders any further invalidated by the involvement of females in future (non)ordinations? And surely the presence of female priests already effectively means that union could only take place once Rome is also ordaining women?

Andrew Godsall
Guest
Andrew Godsall

“As far as I am aware there is no such category as second class citizen in the Roman Catholic Church. You are either in communion or you are not.” Ian: I don’t think there are first and second class citizens in relation to Jesus Christ. The Roman Catholic Church might give the impression of being that little bit better or more faithful or whatever, but in the real world outside of petty church politics no one is interested. It’s not Christianity either. It’s just playing church isn’t it? If people are used to taking holy communion and they wish to… Read more »

ian
Guest
ian

I would suggest that the 50% of Roman Catholics who are barred from ever receiving one of the sacraments are de facto 2nd class citizens. Point taken, however I can’t think, for the life of me why anyone would think being a lay person was any lower in class than being a priest, or a pope for that matter. Andrew, my comments were in response to the less than complimentary comments about the ordinariate, perhaps you should ask Rod why he wanted to use ‘second class citizen.’ Yes, yes Israel/Palestine, bombings and children’s cancer all more important. Nevertheless, I am… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

@ Ian, re live and let let live, by all means. Converting to another denomination based on theological or other convictions is a part of the ethos of Christian denominationalism. Better to convert to an existing than further splinter the body of Christ with new groups. John Henry Newman converted and became a prince of the church, but of course he took the plunge in a day when there was no ordinariate.Even so, some biographers note that he was treated somewhat suspect by Rome. I really don’t think about the ordinariate much except when it surfaces, as it has here,… Read more »

ian
Guest
ian

Rome takes a number of our social conservatives off our hands,

Interesting. I was talking to a priest of the ordinariate the other day, who told me that when he went to tell his diocesan bishop of his decision to leave he was asked by him what he could do or give him in order to persuade him to stay.

And, do you know, I’m still not entirely sure you’ve signed up to the live and let live thing!

Geonokes
Guest
Geonokes

The CofE does not claim to be inerrant nor infallible and its own Articles affirm that General Councils do err and have erred. The argument that the CofE has irrevocably changed cannot therefore stand. It is still perfectly logical to hold that the CofE is only a part of the Church, tragically separated from Rome and Orthodoxy by an historical accident and its own actions. In ordaining women the CofE is offering a new insight for reception by the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.This is why the CofE has used the Bishops Declaration to make pastoral and sacramental provision during the… Read more »

William Moorhead
Guest
William Moorhead

Do “traditionalists” ever reflect on what Jesus himself said about the traditionalists of his own time?

Richard Ashby
Guest
Richard Ashby

I really don’t understand why last week’s vote has made the CofE any more ‘Protestant’ or less ‘Catholic’ than it was before. This is the tenor of Mr Golightly’s contribution above and also that of a letter in last week’s Church Times. Once the Church had decided that there were no theological objections to the ordination of women, which took place how many years ago? Twenty five was it? Then surely for those who believe such things the end was then. Why wait another 25 years for the working out of something which was so explicit all those years ago?… Read more »

Father David
Guest
Father David

“Do “traditionalists” ever reflect upon what Jesus himself said about traditionalists of his own time?”
Yes, constantly, because we have a high regard for what is written in Holy Scripture. We also often reflect upon who The Lord chose to be among the Twelve and we seek to follow faithfully in their footsteps.

Jeremy Pemberton
Guest
Jeremy Pemberton

Richard – it was in 1975. Thirty-nine years ago.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

I’m with Richard, I don’t understand this conversation either.
The CoE has always been protestant for evangelicals, catholic for Anglo-Catholics and liberal for liberals.
We’ve now added women bishops and most evangelicals and Anglo-Catholics have no problem with them.
The few on both sides who do have been given provisions that enable them to stay in the CoE and continue in their customary ways.
The CoE is still a church that is protestant for evangelicals, catholic for Anglo-Catholics and liberal liberal for Liberals.

Time to just get on with it?

CharlieS
Guest
CharlieS

“Prior to this “settlement”, Reform and FIF accepted women deacons, but now they will not recognise even male deacons ordained by a woman bishop.” (Robert Ian Williams) I’ve been puzzled for a while that Conservative Evangelicals became the main bogey-man on this issue (eg ‘con evos take over synod’ etc). Certainly it’s strange if recognition of orders is the issue. Reform-types will continue to recognise women & male deacons (and priests) regardless of who ordains them. The issue, for evangelicals, isn’t validity of orders (the 5 principles are genuinely welcome); the issue is personal conscience at the point of submission… Read more »

rjb
Guest
rjb

Given that I generally agree with what she has to say, I wonder why I invariably find Linda Woodhead’s contributions so irritating. I think perhaps it’s because of the language in which she couches her arguments – I usually arrive the same conclusions as she does, but from a diametrically-opposed angle. Unlike Dr Woodhead, I don’t think “equality” is or ought to be a Christian or an Anglican value in itself, though I do think it might be the indirect consequence of some other genuinely Christian values like compassion and justice. If we really wanted to espouse “equality” in the… Read more »

John
Guest
John

I’d like to comment on Linda Woodhead’s piece. Obviously, I largely agree with it, but with regard to the Church of Denmark, while it’s splendid they’ve had WO so long and splendid also that it’s one of the reasons why such a high percentage of the population remains willing to pay the church tax, it’s vital to take account of the fact (and it is a fact) that hardly anyone goes to church in Denmark and the working assumption in popular culture (e.g. Borgen) is that everyone is atheist. So, as I keep saying, liberals deceive themselves if they think… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

“some liberal secular value like “equality”

Some of us believe that equality is a deeply Christian value and that a God who would support inequality is a man made concept.
It is not necessary to explain that theology every single time. I think we would hope that, by now, even those who disagree with us know better than to dismiss the concept as “secular”.

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

@ Ian “I’m still not entirely sure you’ve signed up to the live and let live thing!” Sure I have, except, except, when the members of the ordinariate step out and comment on what is happening with the church they claim to have left behind, as an opportunity to do some PR. Instance the statement from the ordinariate linked above. Msgr. Keith Newton’s statement is a good example of this kind of thing. By the by, a couple of interesting observations about the ordinariate, and women, and bishops. The ordinariate is named The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.… Read more »

Clive
Guest
Clive

Rod, again I think that your comments are more informed by the Canadian and US situation. In England the relationships between Anglo and Roman Catholic parishes were often very close and cooperative – joint Eucharistic celebrations were not unknown and we sometimes had an RC priest preach at my CofE parish. Don’t tell the bishop 🙂 So I think there are many people who are somewhere on a spectrum between staying in the CofE and trusting in the spirit of the Synod and becoming “regular” RCs for want of a better expression. It is hardly surprising, nor is it at… Read more »

Simon Dawson
Guest
Simon Dawson

RJB said “The real reason for supporting women priests and bishops is not because we believe in some liberal secular value like “equality,” however nice that might be, but because we believe that this is where God is leading His church”

Sure. But it is an amazing coincidence that when it comes to things like slavery, racism, women’s equality, homosexuality, contraception and many other things, we Christians tend to change our mind, and church teaching, on each issue a few decades after the rest of the liberal secular culture has led the way.

I wonder why that is?

JCF
Guest
JCF

“We also often reflect upon who The Lord chose to be among the Twelve and we seek to follow faithfully in their footsteps.”

Twelve Galilean Jews. Shouldn’t you be off fighting w/ the Israeli Army about now Fr David?

But SRSLY: those who would lift out *gender* over against any other human quality, can only be practicing a form of fetishism completely in CONTRADICTION to “No male or female…all are one in Christ”.

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

@ Clive, thanks for your posts, I appreciate your perspectives. You are correct that my observations are based on experience in North America, Canada particularly obviously. I have had experiences in parish ministry here with a few Roman Catholic priests con celebrating with me at weddings and such, but those were rare and largely due to personal rather than corporate relationships. I don’t think Canada has anywhere near the expanse of churchmanship that one would find in the U.K. However, I think one needs to be careful about where in Canada one is speaking of i.e., not sure where you… Read more »

Father David
Guest
Father David

A number of commentators on this blog have generously invited and encouraged me to leave the Church of England but they haven’t until now suggested where I should go to. But JCF has now suggested that I enlist to fight with the Israeli Army, presumably to kill Palestinians, for that, sadly, is the reality of the situation in the Middle East at present! Now, I’ve heard it all. A most unworthy and highly disrespectful comment JCF. Without a shadow of a doubt the most disgraceful comment ever to be posted on the T. A. blog.

John
Guest
John

Interesting comment from Clive. I’d like to offer a counter to his second paragraph (not in a spirit of rancour, but rather because I always will defend the C of E). Many such friendships have actually been broken as a result of the Ordinariate or as a result of ‘normal’ conversion to the RC church in response to the WO issue. Those who stay (the great majority) are frequently harried and bullied and sneered at by those who have found their true spiritual home (allegedly). That is one reason (among many) why I have for long believed that those who… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Fr David
I am sorry that you have taken offence at what I read as merely a lighthearted and ironic response to what you yourself had previously opined.

Father David
Guest
Father David

Dear Simon, thank you for your gracious apology which I, of course, accept. The current situation between Israel and Palestine is so desperately sad that it is not one to make light of and should be, as I am sure that it undoubtedly is, the cause for much prayer for peace. Similarly the tragic situation in Mosul must deeply concern us all as our brothers and sisters in Christ are being mercilessly slaughtered simply because of their faith in the Risen Lord. Personally, I have never suggested or requested that anyone leave the Church of England. Far from it, as… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

The back and forth by folks there familiar with the ordinariate in the UK are very informative. Most interesting.