Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 12 November 2022

Martyn Percy Anglicanism.org Dear Heart-broken, Dear Confused – Agony Aunts and Problem Pages as Implicit Religion

Colin Coward Unadulterated Love Thinking about God and the challenge of evolution

Martine Oborne ViaMedia.News Thirty Years On
The Guardian Where is discrimination against women still allowed in the UK? The church

Kelvin Holdsworth What’s in Kelvin’s Head It was 30 years ago today…

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Susannah Clark
Susannah Clark
1 year ago

Martine: “I serve in a church where parishes can still advertise for a new vicar and ask for men only to apply, where bishops who are women are required to delegate their authority of oversight to male bishops for some of their parishes.” I strongly believe that women can be priests, but hang on a minute… the Church agreed to recognise there was a place at all levels for those who in conscience believe (like the Roman Catholic Church) that priesthood is male. That’s not my view, but the Church committed to that arrangement, so as to protect rather than… Read more »

Geoff M.
Geoff M.
Reply to  Susannah Clark
1 year ago

“Are you saying the Church should welch on that promise?”

How many decades would have to pass before you would consider that promise to have been fulfilled? The present arrangements can’t go on forever but no timeline has ever been established, so no matter how long the church waits there will undoubtedly be some who feel the goalposts have been moved.

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
Reply to  Geoff M.
1 year ago

I seem to remember a time line of 25 years was suggested, but GS voted against it. Or did I imagine this?

Fr Dexter Bracey
Fr Dexter Bracey
Reply to  Perry Butler
1 year ago

The fifth of the Five Guiding Principles behind the settlement reached in 2014 states: “Pastoral and sacramental provision for the minority within the Church of England will be made without specifying a limit of time…”. That’s what GS signed up to.

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Fr Dexter Bracey
1 year ago

Parse that carefully. No time limit is “specified” but that doesn’t mean that it is a permanent arrangement. I think many of us see it as transitional and something which needs to be gradually phased out – as bishops who won’t ordain women retire they should not be replaced.

Fr Dexter Bracey
Fr Dexter Bracey
Reply to  Kate
1 year ago

Kate, you tend to be very free with your assertions as to what should or should not happen. Until or unless the C of E, through its synodical processes, decides to specify a time limit your wish that traditionalist bishops “should not be replaced” is nothing more than wishful thinking on your part, no matter how often or how boldly you assert it.

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Fr Dexter Bracey
1 year ago

Should as in the moral position

Charles Read
Charles Read
Reply to  Fr Dexter Bracey
1 year ago

An amendment which would have given a sunset clause to the ordaining of men opposed to women’s ordination was put to GS and did not pass. I would be interested to be reminded of the voting figures.

Susannah Clark
Susannah Clark
Reply to  Perry Butler
1 year ago

The Church has made a commitment. On that basis, young men have devoted their lives to ministry, and the Church can’t just say “Soz, we’re reneging on what we promised, your kind of male-only priesthood no longer fits in our Church.” If the Church did decide that it eventually wants to exclude priests and church communities with these kind of beliefs (and personally I don’t support that exclusion – there should be place in the Church for that conscience and catholic tradition) then change would need to be flagged up now, and presented as something that would become operative in… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Susannah Clark
Kate
Kate
Reply to  Susannah Clark
1 year ago

“Soz, we’re reneging on what we promised, your kind of male-only priesthood no longer fits in our Church.”

But it is OK for that male-only priesthood to refuse to put forward women in their parish for ordination? That doesn’t work and is a large part of the problem. They want their calling respected but won’t respect the calling of women in their parishes by supporting them to ordination. Such one-sided accommodation isn’t what was envisaged and clearly can’t continue.

Geoff M.
Geoff M.
Reply to  Susannah Clark
1 year ago

change would need to be flagged up now, and presented as something that would become operative in a generation’s time… 30 years or 50 years This is more or less the line I’m thinking along. It’s inconceivable to me that the present arrangements can survive until 2122 but it will have to be a very long phase-out given how open-ended a commitment the CofE made. Not adopting a timeline at the time may have gotten the legislation passed, but you can’t kick the can down the road indefinitely. Like evangelicals who oppose gay sexuality, like charismatics, like theological liberals, like… Read more »

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Susannah Clark
1 year ago

I find it fascinating that the C of E is still divided on the priesthood of women, after more than seven decades of the supreme governor of said church being a woman and three women prime ministers in the past 50 years. In that same period, the USA has never had a woman as head of state or government, but TEC has resolved its issues over women priests and bishops (not always peacefully, but it has ceased to be an over-riding issue) to the point of having had a Presiding Bishop who was a woman. That there is still an… Read more »

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Susannah Clark
1 year ago

It seems to me that we have been around this question over and over again at TA. The same people have made the same arguments. Has anyone’s mind been changed by those arguments? Genuinely interested to know.

Fr Dexter Bracey
Fr Dexter Bracey
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
1 year ago

I suspect that, as is the case with much of what appears online, the comments thread on TA is a dialogue of the deaf, in which each commenter simply assumes that if they say the same thing one more time, at even greater length, the whole world will be convinced of the truth of their position.

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
1 year ago

Mine has changed.

I was adamant that we couldn’t continue to allow people to preach against same sex relationships because of the danger to vulnerable people, particularly LGBT youth. I have been persuaded, however, that it would be possible to retain it in a separate province so long as there was full geographical coverage of affirming parishes.

Susannah Clark
Susannah Clark
1 year ago

(contd)… Martine: “the old discredited arguments and theologies” That is sweeping and… when you look at the Catholic and Orthodox Churches… pretty dismissive of alternative points of view. There is a place in the Church of England for a variety of conscientiously-held beliefs and views, and two different views (as with sexuality) can be held with theological seriousness, and we agree to disagree. For what it’s worth, I believe the Roman Catholic tradition of celibate male priesthood has beauty of its own, even though I personally hope that women will one day be accepted as priests in that tradition. In… Read more »

Charles Read
Charles Read
Reply to  Susannah Clark
1 year ago

We affirmed the flourishing of people not necessarily of viewpoints. Some of us raised in the GS debate the dangers of leaving things too open-ended. What Martine is pointing to inter alia are practices not envisaged in the GS debates such as churches not being open about their (their vicar’s? ) views on women in leadership.

James Byron
James Byron
Reply to  Susannah Clark
1 year ago

Everything Susannah said.

Even if the principled case has no purchase, I’d ask those seeking to overturn the settlement to consider the pragmatic one: throwing it out will make future reform much harder.

Yes, toleration imposes unfair burdens: but so too does its absence.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  James Byron
1 year ago

The burden isn’t being imposed on you. Might you feel differently if it were?

I think the voices of those who are staggering under the burden should be heard.

James Byron
James Byron
Reply to  Janet Fife
1 year ago

This particular burden isn’t being placed directly on me, no. It is however being placed on people I care a great deal about, and by inclination, I’d take the opposite position.

Other burdens are however imposed if, out of a fear that all accomodations are fleeting, those taking a traditional position block reform in other areas.

Of course we should hear everyone’s voice. If as a result of that yet another schism is inevitable, so be it, but in this instance, I hope there’s an alternative.

Warwickensis
Warwickensis
Reply to  Susannah Clark
1 year ago

Oh Susannah!
how you speak for me!
If your voice were better heard
I’d still be with the CofE.

Apologies. My singing voice is rather rusty.

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Susannah Clark
1 year ago

I think you are missing the point. If the Church discriminates (on sex, sexual orientation or gender identity) it loses the moral high ground to talk about discrimination altogether. No wonder the church is pretty awful in terms of race and disability equality too.

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
Reply to  Kate
1 year ago

I’m with you here Kate . I fear that these short term pragmatic fixes will have long term damaging consequences for the people who will continue to suffer the effects of ongoing (now authorised and official) discrimination. Not only women priests, but also young children who will continue to grow up in churches which teach that homosexuality is wrong. Yet again (like with the safeguarding failures) we are failing to protect children and putting the needs of the church first. Sadly I have recently returned my LLM licence to my bishop, as I cannot find a way of being an… Read more »

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Simon Dawson
1 year ago

“Yet again (like with the safeguarding failures) we are failing to protect children and putting the needs of the church first.”

That phrase really resonated with me. That’s exactly it. It’s selfishly putting the church ahead of the people it impacts and the Gospels are very, very clear that’s not right.

“Sadly I have recently returned my LLM licence to my bishop, as I cannot find a way of being an official part of a Church of England that is moving in this direction.”

I am sorry to hear that but huge respect for refusing to be complicit.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Simon Dawson
1 year ago

That’s a brave move, Simon. At least it shows your bishop what integrity looks like.

Ronnie Smith
Reply to  Kate
1 year ago

Thank you, Kate. Discrimination is still discrimination – no matter how, for pragmatic reasons, we try to excuse it. Jesus was much more forthright about this. That’s why he suffered crucifixion.

Mary Hancock
Mary Hancock
Reply to  Susannah Clark
1 year ago

Thank you, Susannah, for all the points you make, with which I agree. I’m an ordained woman priest and generally have been received as such with courtesy and grace (with the very occasional exception). However, I struggle to understand how a diocesan bishop who doesn’t accept female priesthood can share his cure of souls with people who are not ordained in his eyes. It isn’t my problem, of course, as I recognise and accept ordained men. And I’m not having a go at anyone – it’s a genuine puzzle to me. I’ve never seen an explanation of how such a… Read more »

Graham Watts
Reply to  Mary Hancock
1 year ago

I genuinely do not understand how any female would want to be ordained into a denomination that does not accept their minsitry as being valid. You might say that it is a minority that think that way however the Church of England submits to their predjudice. How can anyone think that this is acceptable? Please don’t tell me that there is some biblical justification as you know that that is nonsense and what that would mean if the whole bible was followed exactly and translated and published. It is just prejudice and should be unlawful. And people wonder why the… Read more »

Mary Hancock
Mary Hancock
Reply to  Graham Watts
1 year ago

Just to answer your question belatedly, Graham: the Church of England does recognise and accept the vocation and ministry of ordained women as valid. I don’t feel discrimimated against by the C of E but individuals and some congregations do discriminate. A small minority of people and clergy in C of E churches does not aceept the validity of the ordination of women, and provision has been made to accommodate this theological view. I don’t agree with this view or interpretation of the Bible but I accept that such people have the right to those views. It would be good… Read more »

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
Reply to  Mary Hancock
1 year ago

I don’t claim to be a theologian, but ref. my comments above, my personal opinion is that the CofE settlement on women bishops is a short term pragmatic fix, made for obvious and very tempting reasons, but which has little theological logic, for the very reasons that you raise. The question is not what is the theology here, there is none. The question is how to live with the fudge, and the resulting cognitive dissonance and emotional pain, in order to serve and minister in the Church of England. Many ministers will continue to serve, out a sense of vocation… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Simon Dawson
FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  Simon Dawson
1 year ago

‘Theology’ can mean whatever you want it to mean. FiF has a perfectly meaningful theology of an all-male priesthood in line with the RC and Orthodox Churches. Some people in the CofE have a different “theology”. To say ” there is none” shows how “theology” is simply a posh, academic-sounding word for “my opinion”.

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
Reply to  FrDavid H
1 year ago

Father David, sorry for the loose wording in my second paragraph.

The FiF position of an all male priesthood is an entirely understandable argument. I just can’t see any “theological logic”, rather than “theology”, in someone with such a belief acting as bishop for a diocesan team of women priests.

Kate
Kate
Reply to  FrDavid H
1 year ago

We have discussed that a new province might be needed for those who can’t support same sex relationships. It would make sense to move provision for FiF into that province too so that it supported all those with an orthodox theology. What doesn’t work is imposing that orthodox theology on others so that, for instance, some women aren’t properly supported in their own parish. It’s the co-mingling of traditional and progessive theologies which is problematic in a national church. I don’t agree that this is all just ‘opinion’. After Jesus’ resurrection the debate was whether He had come just for… Read more »

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  Kate
1 year ago

Your argument about “equality” could be encapsulated by the Human Rights Act, without any reference to theology. It is entirely rational to accept same-sex marriage whilst rejecting women clergy, and vice versa. It’s just a matter of opinion. With regard to Jesus’ Resurrection, people have different opinions on whether it was physical or “spiritual”, never mind if it was for everybody. I can’t see how a new province could possibly accommodate “unacceptable” shades of opinion more than the present CofE arrangements. Describing differences of opinions as different “theologies” is meaningless. I might not like your opinion. But I don’t suggest… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by FrDavid H
Kate
Kate
Reply to  FrDavid H
1 year ago

My biggest concern is safety of vulnerable LGBT Christians, particularly teenagers. I think in a separate province anyone vulnerable could easily avoid anything which might trigger them. At present the risk of wandering into the ‘wrong’ type of service is high.

Father Ron Smith
Reply to  Kate
1 year ago

Kate, you have said here that: “It would make sense to move provision for FiF into that province too so that it supported all those with an orthodox theology.” Here, you may not be aware, but you are supporting the GAFCON/ACNA supposition that they, alone in the Anglican Communion, are ‘Orthodox Anglican’. This is a profound mis-statement on behalf of GAFCON’s claim to solely represent what it considers to be ‘Right thinking’ on how Anglicanism – at its best – is configured. They, in fact, may be quite unorthodox in the way they ferment schism in the Anglican Communion –… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Father Ron Smith
Susannah Clark
Susannah Clark
Reply to  Kate
1 year ago

Kate, I highly doubt a province for evangelicals who oppose gay sex would be viable, because they already say, ‘why should we, who hold 2000 years of orthodoxy, and are coherent with most Anglicans worldwide, be shunted into the siding of a province. They won’t buy it. They already say that if diverse theologies were accommodated, then it’s the new gay-affirming group who should seek alternative arrangements, while the main block of the Church of England remains ‘orthodox’ and preaches the present status quo. I’m just telling you the realities from conversations I have had. Besides, I’m not at all… Read more »

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Susannah Clark
1 year ago

“I’m just telling you the realities from conversations I have had.”

And the greater reality is that the nation expects it’s national established church to support same sex relationships – and that cannot be achieved by parking those accepting off into a new province.

Geoff M.
Geoff M.
Reply to  Kate
1 year ago

*We have discussed that a new province might be needed for those who can’t support same sex relationships. It would make sense to move provision for FiF into that province too so that it supported all those with an orthodox theology.*

One would have thought that the existing CofE provinces should already be supporting “all those with an orthodox theology”. A “third province” of the sort that’s been punted here couldn’t possibly do so: at the very least it would exclude all those with an orthodox theology who celebrate the ordination of women and the marriage of same-gender couples.

Malcolm Dixon
Malcolm Dixon
Reply to  Mary Hancock
1 year ago

You are so right Mary. It is a logical and ecclesiological impossibility for a bishop who does not believe that women can be priests to share his cure of souls with the women priests in a diocese where he is the ordinary. The settlement of 2014 allowing women bishops fudged over this issue in an unsatisfactory way – provision of a suffragan bishop in the same diocese who does ordain women does not help in any way to overcome the impossibility. This is why the nomination of +Philip North to Sheffield failed in 2017 and why any similar nomination of… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
Reply to  Malcolm Dixon
1 year ago

Malcolm, what are we to make of the current situation in Chichester? There a diocesan who does not ordain women as priests has, as one of his suffragan bishops, a woman.

Malcolm Dixon
Malcolm Dixon
Reply to  Simon Sarmiento
1 year ago

What indeed, Simon? It is an even more extraordinary situation! One can only hope that the matter will be resolved when +Martin Warner retires, by the appointment of a bishop who will ordain women. There seemed to be an attempt ‘to shake things up’ all round when the current Chichester suffragans were appointed. Horsham, which had had a series of Anglo-Catholic bishops, had an evangelical appointed, and a lady at that, whereas Lewes, which had previously had the very evangelical Wallace Benn, with his ‘headship’ views, received an Anglo-Catholic. But things can change for the better- +Mark Sowerby, who for… Read more »

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Malcolm Dixon
1 year ago

The Anglo Catholic Peter Ball was a previous Bishop of Lewes; the post hasn’t always gone to evangelicals.

Susannah Clark
Susannah Clark
Reply to  Malcolm Dixon
1 year ago

Malcolm, an honest question as I do not know: what is ‘impossible’ about a suffragan being delegated to support and oversee priests who are women, in a diocese where the diocesan believes in a male-only priesthood?

Malcolm Dixon
Malcolm Dixon
Reply to  Susannah Clark
1 year ago

Because it is to the Ordinary (the diocesan bishop) that the priest is required to swear obedience (in all things lawful and honest), not to any suffragan, delegated or otherwise. And the words of Institution refer to the ‘cure of souls, which is both mine and yours’. Also, according to catholic ecclesiology, when a priest celebrates the Eucharist, he or she is doing so on behalf of the diocesan bishop. How can all that work, when he does not believe that she is a priest? And this is not, as has often been alleged, the inverse of the case where… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Susannah Clark
Reply to  Malcolm Dixon
1 year ago

Thanks Malcolm.

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
Reply to  Malcolm Dixon
1 year ago

At the time of the 1559 Settlement a position paper spoke of the danger of a ” mingle mangle”. But to some extent that is what the C of E is. It is a framework in which different ecclesiologies coexist.Not everyone sees the diocese as the basic unit, nor the priest celebrating as a delegate of the bishop. Wish that it was more coherent but the C of E can’t easily pin down its theology because it knows there would be little agreement. We can’t even produce a basic catechism of the faith as Anglicans understand it for ,as a… Read more »

Malcolm Dixon
Malcolm Dixon
Reply to  Perry Butler
1 year ago

Thanks for this clarification, Perry. From what you say, the situation is worse than I had imagined, and ripe for ‘balkanisation’. Some things puzzle me though:- if some priests don’t see the diocese as the basic unit, and don’t regard themselves as acting for the bishop, what is their relationship to the bishop, to whom they have presumably sworn obedience? Are there those who don’t consider the CofE to be an episcopal church?

And didn’t Geoffrey Fisher say in 1951 that the CofE has no doctrine of its own, but subscribes to the Catholic creeds without addition or diminution?

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
1 year ago

Let me begin by stressing I want provision in the church for those opposed to the ordination of women. But I find little that is ‘mutual’ in the settlement as presently agreed. I never have. My wife was one of the first women ordained priest at St Paul’s Cathedral. The Bishop of London would not ordain them. He attended but sat at the back. Furthermore, despite the tortuously long process to arrive at agreement, a well known campaigner against the ordination of women was granted time to interrupt the service and appeal to everyone to abandon the whole idea. What… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Susannah Clark
Reply to  David Runcorn
1 year ago

I always pay careful attention to anything you write, David, and respect you enough to listen hard. I may even share your views on women’s ministry and affirmation of gay sexual relationships. I strongly affirm them both. However, I take the uncomfortable position of asking for respect and inclusion for those Christians who hold the opposing views. I do so because I believe we should seek church unity in diversity, not in imposed uniformity, which overrules one group’s consciences with the consciences of the other group. I believe in a ‘broad church’ tradition within the Church of England, which accommodates… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Susannah Clark
Reply to  David Runcorn
1 year ago

However: … I read your post with dismay, not because I disagree, but because I fear it is true. Not that I think we should generalise the behaviours of people whose consciences we disagree with… but where there is unkindness, malice, or failure in the settlement’s working… then I agree with very active steps being taken to clamp down on (for example) the pathway to ordination process. Surely it is not impossible for the Church and people of goodwill to agree processes, where in a local church which opposes women’s ordination, or where the priest does, aspirant ordinands have a… Read more »

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Susannah Clark
1 year ago

Susannah, don’t you think that a situation where some members of the clergy and bishops simply cannot accept the validity of the ordination of a huge number of their colleagues – and therefore truly believe that their eucharists and/or their leadership role in their local churches are a lie, and that the churches they serve actually have no parish priests – puts this disagreement in a whole different category than the theological disagreements spanned by the Elizabethan Settlement?

Susannah Clark
Susannah Clark
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
1 year ago

Well it’s certainly a different category, Tim. The principle of seeking ‘settlement’ to ‘include’ more people is very similar though. Under Elizabeth, she had autocratic wherewithal to have imposed a more extreme uniformity (more like her brothers, or beyond) but she was faced (a) with the recognition that the spectrum of views existed, in strong conscience, in the Church of England; and (b) a more extreme position might have made the danger of foreign intervention and support for internal conspiracy even greater than it already was. It was certainly not a less serious situation. I explored vocation to the priesthood… Read more »

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Susannah Clark
1 year ago

“…I do have to recognise, accept, and respect that in some cases people’s reception of me has been constrained by genuine, and well-founded, theological conviction, rather than transphobia…” My problem with this stand is that I fear, almost all the time, that “genuine, and well-founded, theological conviction” is merely a cover for transphobia (or in other circumstances, homophobia or mysogyny). It is far too easy to use such “convictions” as an explanation for an opinion that is based in prejudice, social preference or ignorance. I remind you that, not that long ago, racial bigotry was widely supported (in your country… Read more »

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Pat ONeill
1 year ago

Pat: I can’t generalize about this because the only person whose experience I really know on this question is myself. I used to be on the conservative side of the LGBTQ+ question. Today, I am on the other side. When I was a conservative, if someone accused me of being homophobic, I denied it. And I still think ‘homophobia’ is a confusing term, because every other use of ‘phobia’ in English understands it as what it actually means: fear (even irrational fear). But with ‘homophobia’ alone, we are now instructed that it also means hatred and opposition. Still, in the… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Tim Chesterton
Susannah Clark
Susannah Clark
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
1 year ago

Thank you so much for sharing this, Tim. I come from an evangelical background myself. It distresses me when people pin the label ‘homophobic’ on fellow Christians who are trying to live good Christian lives, and want to obey the Bible, and may show goodwill towards gay and lesbian friends, but simply believe the Bible tells them that sex should only be inside marriage of one man and one woman. There are coherent theological arguments to support that conviction and, although I (obviously) hold a different set of arguments and affirm gay and lesbian sex in devoted relationships, I believe… Read more »

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  Susannah Clark
1 year ago

Whilst I appreciate your willingness to accept those who want to “obey the Bible” , is it not time for the CofE to declare that a literalist view of scripture isn’t an acceptable way of being an Anglican? Why should the Church be so “broad” that it allows evangelical fundamentalists to make moral decisions which negatively damage the lives of others?

Geoff M.
Geoff M.
Reply to  Susannah Clark
1 year ago

My honest answer is, it would depend on their manners. That’s perhaps the most English statement I’ve ever read on this site! It distresses me when people pin the label ‘homophobic’ on fellow Christians who are trying to live good Christian lives… I’m genuinely curious as to why this would be distressing, and indeed what you think homophobia means. It’s entirely possible to be a sincere Christian who seeks to obey the Bible and believes that marriage must be between a man and a woman, and also homophobic. Nothing there is mutually exclusive. It’s an odd sort of no-true-Scotsman to… Read more »

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
1 year ago

In my experience, virtually all bigotry and discrimination is rooted in fear, fear of the “other”.

That person is not like me or my family and rather than take the time to get to know him/her and understand that “otherness,” it is easier to simply say, “They are not like us and therefore must be against us, and a corrupting influence on our society.”

Ultimately, as Oscar Hammerstein II wrote:
“You’ve got to be taught to hate and fear….”

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
1 year ago

Tim, what’s the title of the book by Karen Keen?

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Janet Fife
1 year ago

Karen R. Keen: ‘Scripture, Ethics, and the Possibility of Same-Sex Relationships’ (Eerdmans, Oct. 11th 2018). ISBN: 978-0802876546. See also Karen’s website: https://www.redwoodspiritualcare.com/

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
1 year ago

Thanks

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Susannah Clark
1 year ago

TA readers might find a little Canadian history interesting here. When our church approved the ordination of women as priests at the General Synod of 1975, the following conscience clause was also approved: “Be it resolved That no bishop, priest, deacon or lay person, including postulants for ordination of The Anglican Church of Canada should be penalized in any manner, or suffer any canonical disabilities, nor be forced into positions which violate or coerce his or her conscience as a result of General Synod’s action in affirming the principle of the ordination of women to the priesthood; and request those… Read more »

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
1 year ago

The story continues at the 1986 General Synod where the following motion was passed: That subject to the continued applicability of the 1975 Conscience Clause to those who have heretofore availed themselves of its provisions regarding ordination, this General Synod rescind the Conscience Clause and adopt the following position statement: 1) this General synod reaffirm its acceptance of ordination of women to the priesthood; 2) no action which questions the integrity of any priest or postulant on grounds of sex alone can be defended; 3) this General Synod honours all priests, upholds them in its prayers and desires that God’s… Read more »

Malcolm Dixon
Malcolm Dixon
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
1 year ago

Thanks, Tim for your lesson in Canadian church history. I think that your leaders have been wise in phasing out the discriminatory provision, whilst protecting the rights of those who were affected when it was originally passed. Much wiser than our leaders in the CofE, who have lumbered us here with such a provision ‘without limit of time’.

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Malcolm Dixon
1 year ago

Thanks, Malcolm. I should also have mentioned, for the benefit of those who aren’t aware of the vast geographical challenges we face, that our General Synod only meets once every three years, which explains the time lapse between some of the motions and actions above.

dr.primrose
dr.primrose
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
1 year ago

In the US, the Episcopal Church had a conscience clause with similar effect. The conscience of bishops opposing women’s ordination would be respected for those men who were bishops at the time that women’s ordination was approved. Provisions had to be made, however, for women from those dioceses to be ordained by other bishops. Bishops ordained after that time had to accede to the doctrine and discipline of the church, which included the ordination of women. This solution was not problem-free, of course, but (like Canada) it avoided the situation in the Church of England, which continues to fester, apparently… Read more »

Paul
Paul
1 year ago

The problem with the ongoing division on womens ministry is based on a magical thinking premise that the Anglican Church is both fully reformed and catholic. If it’s catholic we should not have ordained women and if it’s reformed it makes little difference as the local church is the focus. What we have is a system trying to placate everyone’s different theology that results in the usual Anglican confusion. Just wait for LLF to report.

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Paul
1 year ago

‘If it’s catholic we should not have ordained women’

I served for seven years with Bishop Victoria Matthews as my bishop, and I can tell you without a shadow of doubt that she is one of the strongest Anglo-Catholics I have ever known.

Paul
Paul
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
1 year ago

Exactly, “Anglo-catholic”. The very name belays the nonsense of the ordination of women in the Anglican Church. Not that they should not have been ordained, but that you cannot claim to be catholic and have a two tiered system of orders.

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  Paul
1 year ago

Agreed. To be an Anglo-Catholic and to accept women priests is an oxymoron.

Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
Reply to  FrDavid H
1 year ago

Surely it’s the pick-your-own bishop ecclesiology that is uncatholic?

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  Allan Sheath
1 year ago

Not if you join the Ordinariate.

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  FrDavid H
1 year ago

I disagree. A priesthood reserved for men is not a core component of the catholic faith. Anglo-Catholic ≠ Anglo-Papalist.

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  FrDavid H
1 year ago

I’m sorry, but I’m not going to engage with that level of insult toward a person I respect so highly.

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
1 year ago

I was just agreeing with Paul: “Anglo-catholic”. The very name belays the nonsense of the ordination of women in the Anglican Church.

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
Reply to  FrDavid H
1 year ago

I think you mean Anglo-Catholic always used to mean men only. And plainly you still think it should. OK. But that hasn’t been the belief about priesthood in the Church of England for some time now. Though it is still committed to honouring your presence and beliefs. ‘Mutual flourishing’ implies something reciprocal coming from your side too?

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  FrDavid H
1 year ago

My apologies if I have misinterpreted your comment, FrDavidH. I mentioned that my former Bishop Victoria was an Anglo-Catholic. Paul’s response related to that. So when you responded that ‘To be an Anglo-Catholic and to accept women priests is an oxymoron’, it was pretty hard for me not to draw the conclusion that you were questioning Bishop Victoria’s theological integrity.

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
1 year ago

I would not wish to question the personal integrity or spiritual leadership of Bishop Victoria in any way whatsoever.

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  FrDavid H
1 year ago

Thank you.

Simon Kershaw
Reply to  FrDavid H
1 year ago

I read Paul’s comment as supporting the ordination of women. To paraphrase: you can’t call yourself Anglo-Catholic and then say that some who have been ordained aren’t really ordained.

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Paul
1 year ago

“but that you cannot claim to be catholic and have a two tiered system of orders”

And that right there is a large part of the problem. Women are seen as a separate – lesser – order of minister or bishop. Some like Paul are honest enough to say it; the majority just demonstrate it by refusing to minister alongside a woman or accept their ministration in services. Not surprisingly many women find it unacceptable.

Homeless Anglican
Homeless Anglican
Reply to  Paul
1 year ago

I call myself a Christian. Tribal labels get us nowhere. The grandeur of God is stifled and demeaned by all these ghettoes that no one else outside of the church is talking about. Ironically, the meaning of the word Catholic is about wholeness, not about the fragmented parts.

Father Ron Smith
1 year ago

The problem some people here on T.A. have – who find the term ‘Anglo-Catholic’ to be exclusive of the possibility of accepting women as priests in the Church – is, I believe, a gross misunderstanding. Those of us who still claim the cachet ‘Anglo-Catholic’ while accepting the fact that “In Christ, there is neither male nor female…” (St. Paul – often considered to be misogynistic), would argue that, to exclude half of the world’s population from bearing witness to Christ as ordained priests is no longer either viable or acceptable. This position – I believe – is quite tenable, for… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Father Ron Smith
Kate
Kate
Reply to  Father Ron Smith
1 year ago

Personally I have always understood Anglo Catholic to refer to a particular liturgical style rather than a particular set of beliefs. Am I wrong?

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  Kate
1 year ago

There’s a difference between being “High” Church and being an Anglo-Catholic. Beliefs about the seven sacraments – including the all-male priesthood – plus the Immaculate Conception, the Assumption, Rosary, Benediction etc. are more than simply a style of worship.

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  FrDavid H
1 year ago

Anglo-Catholicism isn’t about adherence to Roman dogmas as I understand it. It’s about accepting that Anglicanism is part of the Church Catholic and has continuity with the pre-reformation and pre-Great Schism church. It means taking seriously the notion that the Church has preserved some things by Tradition which, while not “necessary for salvation” are nonetheless beneficial, and accepting that scriptural authority comes through the Church and does not stand on its own.

You’re using a very narrow definition of Anglo-Catholicism that wouldn’t fit most Anglo-Catholics in the CofE today.

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  Jo B
1 year ago

Thank you for your opinion.

Father Ron Smith
Reply to  Jo B
1 year ago

Jo; thank you for your definition of ‘Anglo-Catholic’ – as not being, slavishly, Roman Catholic – but rather, Reformed as well as catholic in outlook, especially with regard to the primary sacraments of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion. We believe in the ‘Real Presence of Christ in the Mass (con- rather than trans-substantiation – believing that – together with the bread and the wine, Christ is truly present). I, an Anglo-Catholic priest, believe that the term ‘Immaculate Conception’ might better be applied to the divinity of Christ – rather that the attempted ‘divinisation’ of His Blessed Mother, Mary, who, however,… Read more »

Warwickensis
Warwickensis
Reply to  Jo B
1 year ago

Forgive me, but isn’t the point of a definition to be narrow in order for it to function as a discriminator of a thing or a property from what it isn’t?

This whole discussion seems to be evidence of the downside of accepting Wittgenstein over Aristotle.

What does “Catholic” mean? Is it the same meaning that it had in 381AD?

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  Warwickensis
1 year ago

A good definition should contain all things necessary and nothing unnecessary for a particular categorisation. Of course, not all things have such clear definitions, especially when it is an identity that is largely self-applied. Narrowness in itself is not helpful, precision (where possible) is. Excessive narrowness is simply the “no true Scotsman” fallacy.

Homeless Anglican
Homeless Anglican
Reply to  FrDavid H
1 year ago

Another tribal distinction. Are you now going to define difference between the length of lace on my cotta or how I hold my hands in procession? Oh pleeeeese! There is no difference. We are all one in Christ.

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  Homeless Anglican
1 year ago

Christians can be as divisive and as nasty to one another as anyone else. I suppose Donald Trump’s evangelical supporters, Patriarch Kirill’s friend Putin and Christian Concern‘s homophobes are “all one in Christ”. Pleeeease! Open your eyes to the reality.

Peter S
Peter S
1 year ago

Meanwhile delighted to see the new Primate of Brazil is the Bishop of Amazonia, Mariana Bassotto. The Communion’s third female Primate, and the first time the Communion has had two women as Primates. And this from the Province which surprised everyone at Lambeth because half of their bishops were women, and it was so normal for them the more recent appointments had not been reported. With over 130 women having been consecrated on every continent (ok not Antartica) in the last 32 years, there is now roughly one woman becoming a bishop every month.

Janet Henderson
1 year ago

The Church of England does discriminate against women. It treats their vocations differently from men and denies them access to and authority in some areas of its life. That is discrimination. It does so because it understands respect for the theological objections of a minority who cannot accept women priests and bishops as more important than full recognition of women priests and bishops. The Church of England’s Synod took decisions that it’s better to place these constraints on women than to admit them fully to the priesthood. It’s important for every parish to be up front about the fact discrimination… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Susannah Clark
Reply to  Janet Henderson
1 year ago

Janet, You state problems of process and problems of principle. To start with the problems of process, you cite: 1.”It’s important for every parish to be up front about the fact discrimination is required and practiced”. I’ll reserve discussion about ‘discrimination’ until later. You are absolutely right: every church should be open and honest about where it stands on priests who are women. They should do the same on sexuality issues. That’s an issue of process, and if the Church wills it can be addressed, and disclosure processes be made mandatory and tightened up. 2.The accommodation of priests and churches… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Susannah Clark
Reply to  Janet Henderson
1 year ago

Then there is the issue of principles. You claim that the Church of England “discriminates” against women (on the basis of the Guiding Principles). Of course, discriminate has more than one meaning. It can just mean ‘tell the difference between one thing/person or another. It can also mean exercising hateful or unjust actions because some thing/person is different. I assume you mean the latter. You seem to base this view on the fact (and it is fact) that some church communities believe priesthood should only be male, and the Church allows them to do that (aka exercise their conscience and… Read more »

Janet Henderson
Reply to  Susannah Clark
1 year ago

You say that ‘it’s pretty obviously sensible for male priests minister to communities who believe in male priests only, and would be devastated to the point of leaving, if it was otherwise.’ It seems obvious to me that this is a very clear example of discrimination-in-action. There’s no provision for women who feel devastated at having to serve under a bishop or with colleagues who believe she is not ‘really’ ordained! We expect people to accept the care of male and female practitioners in extremely intimate situations in other areas of life. I think we are probably not going to… Read more »

Paul
Paul
1 year ago

As Janet says it is discrimination which I accept even though I happen to be opposed. What I dislike is the inherent dishonesty in it, we are catholic in order except we have two separate orders. This is a theological nonsense unless we accept the Church of England is a Protestant sect in which the individual is the real arbiter of truth, be it biblical, tradition or inclusive. The reason this needs addressing is that the LLF process will push this even further and make any sense of the bishop as focus of unity a laughing stock when people refuse… Read more »

Janet Henderson
Reply to  Paul
1 year ago

I agree. I think the CofE has tried to hold irreconcilable positions at the expense of honesty and theological and psychological integrity. This will lead to further problems as Paul says. We now have a precedent for parishes picking their Bishop based on their theological position which undermines unity, episcopacy and discipline. On some of these profound issues of disagreement there has ultimately to be a way to deliberate, discern, vote, receive the decision that doesn’t endlessly hold together two contradictory potions .

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