on Friday, 23 January 2015 at 8.26 am by Simon Sarmiento
categorised as Church of England
Church Times Sentamu exercises ‘gracious restraint’ over traditionalist bishop’s consecration
BBC No ‘taint’ over first female bishop, archbishop says
Telegraph Sentamu rejects ‘taint’ claim in women bishops row
Christian Today John Sentamu: Hand-laying for traditionalist bishop is for ‘prayer not politics’
Bosco Peters Anglo-Donatism
Oliver Coss The Suffragan See of Burnley
Earlier articles here.
Only two bishops will lay hands on the candidate? I thought it required three. Is this the normal practice or were they only able to find two who were not tainted by their past practice?
There will be three. If you view the Archbishop’s statement, there are separate references to the Archbishop delegating his role as chief consecrator, and his choice of two assistants.
[See paras 5 and 7 under arrangements.]
The Archbishop’s account is both high-handed and ham-handed.
He can say it’s not about taint — but ’tain’t necessarily so.
“Mutual flourishing” does not require creating a new, ultra-pure sect within the church. That’s what this nonsense will lead to.
I hope some serious questions are asked soon in both Houses of Parliament.
TA readers from overseas might like to know that this was the story at the top of the front page of The Times yesterday. I know my American friends are constantly amazed that the happenings in the Church attracts such widespread media interest. Reading the earlier threads one is left with the impression that this was a deal done behind closed doors some time ago. It may have been part of the negotiations that saw the vote go through in the English Synod. Fr North would not have to ask for that which had already been agreed. One is left… Read more »
The much vaunted Five Guiding Principles are getting an early outing, but as I have said on other TA threads the real underlying issue is that fact that this appointment is of a suffragan bishop. No amount of ecclesial gymnastics (personality and evident qualities apart) will enable a non-ordainer to be in full communion with his episcopal colleagues, and what kind of ministry is expected to clergy in the diocese, especially women clergy? Let’s hope that, going forward, no currently serving diocesan bishop (including +Londin re the vacant see of Edmonton) nominates a traditionalist to be a suffragan or area… Read more »
The planned liturgical circus is an example of,
“Liturgy is politics dramatized.” The C of E appears to be channeling Machiavelli, i.e. ” Keep your Metropolitan close, but your patriarchal friends closer”.
@Martin Reynolds: I once heard apostolic succession referred to as a charismatic daisy-chain.
Perhaps if those who are so vociferously objecting to the February 2nd consecration were to put themselves in Bishop Henderson’s shoes they might see the reason for appointing a Traditionalist Anglo-Catholic to the Suffragan See of Burnley. I suspect that the Diocesan Bishop is not welcome in many of the parishes within the diocese of Blackburn, therefore in order to ensure full episcopal oversight throughout the entire diocese he made the wise decision to appoint the Traditionalist Fr. Philip North as one of his suffragan bishops. The blame for this unholy mess is laid firmly at the feet of the… Read more »
The WB bishops legislation is intended to be the final legislation in this area. The CofE has made its decision once and for all. +Ebor is thus not responding to the situation as it is on the ground today but to the canonical reality of the CofE as it now exists. He is making arrangements for a consecration which cater not only for the present situation but also for the future. +Ebor is 65 and must retire in the next five years. His successor could be a woman. If that is so, there will be no need to revisit the… Read more »
Just a thought..to whom is the Royal Mandate addressed?
You’re wrong, Father David. The ‘blame’ etc. falls on those who do not conduct themselves with integrity. Sentamu is certainly suspect number 1 here. But so are you, because on TA it was you who first broached the possibility that Sentamu would not consecrate/celebrate. In any case, if you radically hold the view that the ‘blame’ lies with Synod for accepting women bishops, you should leave this church. No other course is open to you if you wish to maintain your moral credentials.
“The blame for this unholy mess is laid firmly at the feet of the General Synod for so disastrously departing from Scripture and Tradition.” It is indeed an unholy mess, but one wonders how big the mess is? If this is an isolated incident, or one of a few, it remains unholy, but reflects only a small reaction to the wisdom and prayerful soul-searching of the Synod. Formerly, bishops were burned right and left, but the church changed, moved on, and throve – until recently, when the unholy and unedifying spectacle of sex-obsessed reactionaries, coupled with the irrelevancy/boredom factor, contributed… Read more »
Well if this is the kind of liturgical choreography that the WB bishop’s legislation requires, then, to quote Dickens’ Mr. Bumble, “If the law supposes that, …the law is a ass—a idiot”.
It still remains true that the Archbishop of York will not consecrate Philip North because 2 weeks before he will have consecrated a woman. To let someone else consecrate Philip North and ask all the other bishops to refrain as well sets up another line of Bishops not truly that of the Church of England.
“The WB bishops legislation is intended to be the final legislation in this area. The CofE has made its decision once and for all.” Oh, really? You think people who weren’t in this Synod will feel bound forever by its immutable decisions? Just watch what happens when the new Synod takes over. It’s the idea that “what is being set up now will hold” that has most people up in arms. Obviously this patchwork compromise (which I denounced at the time) was the best that the current Synod was capable of. But if Parliament doesn’t step in, future Synods can,… Read more »
[Cross-posted to the Purgstall blog, where I’m far from confident it will actually be published there]
“That all the CofE bishops who happen to be male take part in this consecration, and ****Bishop Libby be forced**** to sit at the back?”
That opposition to ordination equality is *entirely* due to misogyny: Q.E.D.
A thought which may change some minds in this increasingly bitter and repetitive multi-thread: Will the Rt Revd Libby Lane be present at the consecration on the 2nd Feb? If she is, then it is possible to see the non-laying of hands by most bishops and +Ebor quite differently. They will not only be deferring to Philip and his fellow-traditionalists’ convictions, they will be standing apart in solidarity with her. Furthermore, even if she isn’t, this pattern could be replicated in the future, when a large proportion of the bishops can be expected to be female. And most strikingly of… Read more »
Will Monday’s novel innovation in’ York Minster be followed by “a period of reception”?
Lest my publication of JCF’s comment on my (relatively modestly-read) blog go unmentioned on this (relatively well-read) blog, I thought I’d point out here that I publish all comments without hesistation. I am not afraid of hearing the views of people who disagree with me and, if you care to see the comment-rate on other posts, am actually quite gratified to get comments. If I may, I would suggest that the tenor of this whole debate, and the likelihood of dialogue occurring at all, can be vastly improved if we drop the near-assumption (such as the one made here of… Read more »
The hymn below expresses a mindset that would be entirely appropriate to the touching moments for every bishop at an episcopal consecration ceremony. It surely emphasises that touching ought to be a normative process for every bishop present. We reach out to touch the hem of Christ’s robe, his garment of wide spreading grace, forgiven forgiving that we may become, a touching a healing place. Now we are the hem of his garment today, his garment that spreads the world round; to share the good news of his healing and love, a place where his peace may be found. And… Read more »
I observe that FinF has not issued a scathing press release about Libby Lane’s consecration of the kind that was issued when Pat Storey was consecrated as Bishop of Meath. Instead they have expressed good wishes and the assurance of prayers and some of them will be present on Monday. Within the limits of what they feel is possible I think the present leadership of FinF is trying to be both gracious and restrained, and at the risk of alienating some of their own more passionate adherents. This seems to me a significant and hopeful change and it would be… Read more »
‘Gracious Restraint’ as I understand it is the means whereby the Rt Rev John Sentamu is working within the guidelines of the new legislation which now requires mutual respect.
By refraining from laying hands on the future Bishop of Burnley, Philip North, he is surely respecting the wishes of the candidate who would not (as I understand it)wish to be touched by one who has laid hands on a woman in the course of the ordination ceremony.Incorrigible as it may seem,we are simply witnessing the new law in action. How else could it be done?
…as I thanked The Vicar for said publication. No more cross-posting, promise! 🙂
I must confess, all this talk of “gracious restraint” also grates, because of its history in the Aughts in TEC. At the 2006 General Convention, this concept was (essentially) imposed upon TEC, by the then-ABC, vis-a-vis ordaining another bishop-who-happened-to-be-gay (rescinded 3 years later, TBTG!). Coercion is coercion, and there’s nothing “gracious” about it, IMO.
‘By refraining from laying hands on the future Bishop of Burnley, Philip North, he is surely respecting the wishes of the candidate who would not (as I understand it) wish to be touched by one who has laid hands on a woman in the course of the ordination ceremony.’ While this may have been what traditional catholics thought in the past and for all I know some of them still do, it is not the position of the current leadership of FinF who would strongly deny any theology of ‘taint’. Unfortunately what they believe instead is so complex and technical… Read more »
Well our actions as a Church could be undergirded by doctrine/theology rather than pragmatism…We have a Doctrine Commission….have they been consulted about the theological integrity of the five principles and their congruence with ecumenical agreements on the nature of the episcopate we have signed with other Churches?
Jane, Your comments have been very clarifying. I’m still fairly sure in my own mind that the thing has been badly handled by the ABP of York especially but others too and that elements of his wording are pretty disingenuous to the point of xxxxx. The actual result seems to me liveable with, because the traditionalists are having to suffer too. But here’s a question: would your traditionalist friends ever take communion from bishops who had consecrated women priests/bishops? Does the phenomenon of women bishops mark a decisive boundary here? I agree entirely with you that the present FinF leadership… Read more »
I have looked today in “Together”, the online magazine of the Society of St Wilfrid and St Hilda, at the ‘Declaration’ which priests of the Society are enjoined to sign, so as to give ‘Sacramental Assurance’ to their followers. According to the two bullet points relevant to this present discussion, Society priests are to declare that they: “• have been ordained by a male bishop in the apostolic succession of bishops at whose ordination male bishops presided • will themselves not receive or join in the sacramental ministry of women priests and bishops or those whom they have ordained” In… Read more »
Jane, I was careful to add the qualifying phrase ‘As I understand it’ in case there is something I have overlooked or misconceived. Yes FinF have re-invented themselves (Society of Wilfred and Hilda) and adjusted the language to be more suitably positive in preparation for the new inclusive legislation. The Church of England has turned itself inside out to avoid excluding any of its members in the new legislative process….hence the clause on Mutual Respect. I still maintain that the ABY is honouring that requirement in standing down for the new Bishop of Burnley’s consecration.I’m sure he would like to… Read more »
Several people have expressed the view that the Abp of York has got this wrong. Do they also think that the Abp acted alone in coming to this decision — or is it more likely that this is a joint position agreed with the Primate and Metropolitan of the southern province?
It’s a good question, Simon, and I wish I knew the answer. I am waiting (but not holding my breath) for a reply to my complaint to the Primate of All England about what is to happen in the Northern Province next week.
John – yes, I do think traditional catholics think that the advent of women bishops marks a decisive boundary and that we are all now in a different set of relationships as a result. And they will often speak as though this is something that the whole Church of England now recognises and accepts, but that isn’t the case at all. Ecclesial communion is something that exists between churches not between members of churches. Members of churches may disagree with one another, to the extent of refusing to receive one another’s ministries, but that does not mean that communion between… Read more »
Thank you, Jane. I agree with you.
A few years ago, something called the ‘Blackburn compromise’ (or something like that) was proposed. (It meant that people who didn’t accept the priesthood of the celebrant could take the elements as pre-consecrated by an acceptable priest.) I, low pragmatist that I am, supported it. very few others on either side did. Of course, my views are completely irrelevant, but why couldn’t it now with profit be revived? Why wouldn’t it allow everybody sometimes to share virtually the same Eucharist?
I have no idea who Jane Charman is, but thank you, Jane, for injecting a voice of normality into the comments of TA – which is, for some, a place very difficult to recognise as Anglican or even Christian at times.
Jane, thank you for this. Do you mind a few more questions please? Why does this state of impaired communion arise with women bishops, why did not arise to the same extent with women priests? Why was it acceptable for an Archbishop who had ordained women to consecrate PEV bishops, but it is not acceptable for the same Archbishop to consecrate a conservative area bishop now that he as consecrated a woman bishop? And if that state of Impaired Communion exists, how does it impact on the priests in charge of the new area bishops? Is he in Impaired Communion… Read more »
“Ecclesially there are four possibilities: either traditional catholics are in full communion with the Church of England, or they are in full communion with another church, or they are a separate church or they are a breakaway group. Since FinF’s own answer to b,c, and d is ‘no’ then a is the only possibility. Traditional catholics are in full communion with the Church of England.” Jane, I completely agree with your statement above. The problem with the arrangements for the consecration of the bishop of Burnley next week is that the Archbishop’s practical arrangements provide not for the answer “a”… Read more »
‘Sadly, the new bishop of Burnley will in effect be pushed into the realm of ‘c’ or ‘d’ whether he wishes or not’ Paul, and all who are committed to seeking true unity in the CoE, forgive me if I am overlooking something obvious here, but is it not a fact that the Rev. Philip North has chosen to belong to the traditionalist group which cannot in conscience accept the leadership of women in the church. If it were that simple to arrange full communion for them, in every sense, I’m sure the legislation would have been arranged long ago.… Read more »
Paul Richardson makes a good point. There was a time only recently when those who were bothered about these things would compare how many Old Catholics featured in someone’s pedigree. Indeed, for many, the whole basis of sacramental assurance had the intervention of the Old Catholic bishops at heart. No longer, it seems. As with dogs the decreasing number of bishops available will inevitably damage the breed and inbreeding, as we know, while preserving pure blood lines has deeper consequences. I wonder if there will be the resources to keep a sort of Kennel Club register, perhaps that will be… Read more »
Tristan – I’m a priest currently serving as Director of Ministry in the Diocese of Salisbury. I was a member of the steering committee which put together the legislation that enabled Bishop Libby to be consecrated yesterday. So I have sat close to these issues but blogging here in my personal capacity only and well aware that others may see things very differently.
Erika FinF would say that a state of ‘impaired communion’ existed within the College of Priests following the ordination of women priests, as priestly ministries were no longer fully interchangeable. The difficulty did not extend to the College of Bishops as there were no women bishops or men in whose consecration women had been involved. However, following the consecration of a woman bishop the state of ‘impaired communion’ extends to the whole College of Bishops too. So while it was ok for ABY to consecrate a traditionalist bishop before Monday he can now no longer do so. People are finding… Read more »
I appreciate that this is an English solution to an English problem, but the Archbishop’s arrangements seem very Irish to me. It certainly appears to institutionalise schism.
@Tristan, TA correspondents are not angelic, but they usually seem pretty Anglican to me. Sometimes even Christian.
Jane Charman states that some FiF members were to be present at York yesterday. If so, this would be a welcome indication of a commitment of at least some of their number to mutual, rather than separate, flourishing. Can any TA readers confirm if this was the case and, if so were they lay or ordained?
Jane, thank you! So the problem is not impaired communion as such but interchangeability of ministry within every single layer of hierarchy? But then it should still be possible for Fr North to be consecrated by the Archbishop of York because at that level, there would only be impaired communion if we had a female Archbishop? Thank you for taking the time to explain this! I do wonder how many conservative Anglo-Catholics actually understand their own theology and ecclesiology. I have asked for explanations so many times and no-one explained what you just explained. My latest Facebook post with precisely… Read more »
@John Re your reference to a ‘Blackburn compromise’: According to my GRAS Spring 2010 newsletter, back in 2010 Blackburn clergy received invitations to celebrate a Chrism Eucharist – a Renewal of Commitment to the Ministry of Deacons and Priests and a Blessing of the Oils. Apparently there was proposed a Eucharist for all on Maundy Thursday 1st April 2010 in Blackburn cathedral at which the Diocesan bishop would preside and the Suffragan Bishop of Lancaster would preach, with the Blessing of Oils and the Renewal of Ministerial Vows by the Diocesan Clergy. But there was also to be a Chrism… Read more »
Life is short. Too much time can be taken up with relative trivialities. In the end I think people like Philip North and FinF generally are playing too hard ball for their own good. Over and over again FinF parishes turn out to be ‘ghost’ parishes, over and over again when much-loved FinF priests retire, their churches ‘suddenly’ (but it’s not really sudden) discover they have no objections at all to women priests (or bishops). Even more than in the church at large (which is saying something), FinF priests and bishops are chiefs with vanishingly few Indians. They need to… Read more »
Erika – there isn’t a separate order of Archbishops but Archbishops are simply bishops in this equation. The good news is that there won’t therefore be a new problem when a women becomes ABC or ABY!
The comments following Bosco Peters Anglo Donatism article are well worth reading….esp that by Jesse
Clarification seems to be growing. It seems to me that there are certain asymmetries in FinF positions which require them to make certain concessions (like, for example, accepting communion from non-FinF male priests, bishops and archbishops). These asymmetries include: (1)themselves giving communion to C of E people who do accept women priests/bishops, or indeed to any baptised Christian (a Cof E position, not an RC or Orthodox one – though, of course, frequently disregarded in practice by RC and Orthodox priests); (2) themselves giving communion to those of their own parishioners who do accept women priests; (3) being trained up… Read more »
” TA – which is, for some, a place very difficult to recognise as Anglican or even Christian at times”
I suppose the reminder that wingnutry is ever with us is always welcome, but I should be genuinely afraid to meet anyone who sincerely struggled to recognize the very tame liberalism of TA as Christian. That way lies Viciosity and the like, it seems to me.
A belated thank you, Jane!