Thinking Anglicans

Resignation of the Bishop of Ebbsfleet

It has been announced from Lambeth Palace that the Bishop of Ebbsfleet, Jonathan Goodall, one of the Provincial Episcopal Visitors, is to step down and will be received into communion with the See of Rome. In the statement, Bishop Jonathan writes:

I have arrived at the decision to step down as Bishop of Ebbsfleet, in order to be received into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church, only after a long period of prayer, which has been among the most testing periods of my life. … I trust you all to believe that I have made my decision as a way of saying yes to God’s present call and invitation, and not of saying no to what I have known and experienced in the Church of England, to which I owe such a deep debt.

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Toby Forward
Toby Forward
20 days ago

Good news. Don’t replace him, or any of the others when they retire or leave. End this uncatholic and abusive arrangement.

Kurt T Hill
Kurt T Hill
20 days ago

For centuries some have swum the Tiber, others have swum the Thames. In the case of my Episcopal diocese (Long Island) my bishop, my parish priest and my parish deacon have all come over to us from the Roman Communion.

Barrie McKenzie
Barrie McKenzie
Reply to  Kurt T Hill
20 days ago

Swimming the Thames is a strange description, both Lambeth and Canterbury being south of the said river. Nonetheless, it’s hardly surprising as the CofE collapses around our ears – theologically and ecclesiologically incoherent, completely captive to the woke agenda of the world and with nothing to say about the core message of the Bible: human sin, our need for forgiveness, and forgiveness found in a personal faith in Christ and Christ alone. That being said, I have no recollection of Bishop Goodall having ever put his head above the parapet on any issue. Perhaps if he and his ilk occasionally… Read more »

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Barrie McKenzie
20 days ago

For some of us, what you call the “woke agenda of the world” is the true voice of the Holy Spirit calling to the church and to the world as a whole to mend its ways in the treatment of the disparaged among us.

Warwickensis
Warwickensis
Reply to  Pat ONeill
20 days ago

It seems that both sides of the controversy surrounding the ordination of women are good at using name-calling. One side is labelled “woke” for holding beliefs that it sincerely thinks come from the Holy Ghost, the other is labelled “misogynist” for holding beliefs that it sincerely thinks come from the Holy Ghost.

Perhaps both sides should stop the labelling and get on with a better, more charitable and more efficient dialogue within that other odd label known as “mutual flourishing” that neither side thinks is being applied to them.

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Warwickensis
19 days ago

For those of us on the “woke” side (and FTR, I hate the word, but will use it in this context), the idea of a Holy Spirit that restricts worship and service in any way is simply a contradiction.

Warwickensis
Warwickensis
Reply to  Pat ONeill
19 days ago

I understand that but, on the other side, the “Misogynist” side might have a different interpretation which may have a validity in a different theological paradigm in which the “woke” side is the restriction.

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Warwickensis
19 days ago

In what dictionary can “restricted” be defined to include the opening of opportunity to others?

Warwickensis
Warwickensis
Reply to  Pat ONeill
19 days ago

When one “restricts” the opportunities of one group to the flourishing of their opponents?

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Warwickensis
19 days ago

Or restricts one group’s opportunities to discriminate against another?

Warwickensis
Warwickensis
Reply to  Janet Fife
19 days ago

Sorry, Janet, that wasn’t quite the point I was making. It seems to me, as an observer to what’s going on in the CofE, that there is a reflexive principle between two opposing binary interpretations of the work of the Holy Ghost. It seems to me that one restriction is a horizontal restriction across the human spectrum and another a vertical one across a spiritual axis – probably symptomatic of the human species being an animal with a rational soul. Again, as an outsider, what I hear from both sides is six of one and half a dozen of the… Read more »

Barrie McKenzie
Barrie McKenzie
Reply to  Pat ONeill
19 days ago

But you restrict the Holy Spirit by reducing him to an inner feeling based on your own prejudices, rather than meeting him on his own terms in the Bible which he breathed. You choke off the Holy Spirit whenever you decide, nope, he can’t have breathed that because I, Pat O’Neill, disagree with it.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Barrie McKenzie
19 days ago

Surely, in the Old Testament the Holy Spirit is a she?

Warwickensis
Warwickensis
Reply to  Janet Fife
19 days ago

That’s debatable. A feminine grammatical gender does not necessarily determine an identification with a feminine social gender.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Warwickensis
19 days ago

But God is not human, and does not have a ‘social gender’, any more than God has a sex. So if the Old Testament uses the feminine grammatical gender of the Holy Spirit, shouldn’t we?

Warwickensis
Warwickensis
Reply to  Janet Fife
19 days ago

I’m sure you mean that God is not in the category of things which have a biological sex. That’s fine.

If you wish to refer to the Holy Ghost as “She” I don’t see anything wrong with that personally but do wonder if you refer to tables, houses and other objects as “she” for the same reason?

Warwickensis
Warwickensis
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
19 days ago

But the principle still holds, does it not?

What about a midwife? The word is clearly feminine, but a midwife can be male, can he not?

Warwickensis
Warwickensis
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
18 days ago

Further, the grammatical gender applies to more than just inanimate objects, does it not, but to all nouns. The Holy Ghost is a noun, albeit a proper one.

Warwickensis
Warwickensis
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
18 days ago

I am just illustrating my point that grammatical gender does not necessarily determine social gender and that we cannot infer the femininity of the Holy Ghost by mere grammar. Others have also demonstrated that the Holy Ghost may very well identify with the English pronoun “he”, to use a modern idiom.

Warwickensis
Warwickensis
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
18 days ago

Sorry, I don’t seem to be making myself very clear on this thread given the numbers of misunderstandings. I will have to do better!

αnδrεw
αnδrεw
Reply to  Janet Fife
18 days ago

‘In Christian theology, the gender of the Holy Spirit has been the subject of some debate in recent times. The grammatical gender of the word for “spirit” is feminine in Hebrew (רוּחַ, rūaḥ), neuter in Greek (πνεῦμα, pneûma) and masculine in Latin (spiritus).’ (Wikipedia)
 
In German and Spanish, masculine: Der Heilige Geist, El Espíritu Santo. English has the option of choosing either.

Last edited 18 days ago by αnδrεw
αnδrεw
αnδrεw
Reply to  Janet Fife
18 days ago

Bianco da Siena (tr. R. F. Littledale), in that wonderful Whitsuntide hymn Come down, O Love divine, concludes with the line: Wherein the Holy Spirit makes his dwelling.

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Warwickensis
18 days ago

I think possibly the danger lies in us attributing God with an exclusively male gender or an exclusively female gender. I believe God transcends gender while knowing and feeling what it is like to be female and what it is like to be male, what it is to be Father and what it is to be Mother. The real danger comes if people conclude that because God is allegedly male not female, therefore men are more directly like God than women are, justifying things like headship and other aspects of patriarchy in religion… “Well God’s male, so women should reflect… Read more »

Barrie McKenzie
Barrie McKenzie
Reply to  Janet Fife
18 days ago

No, Jesus refers to the Holy Spirit with masculine pronouns

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Barrie McKenzie
17 days ago

In translation; how does it read in Aramaic?

Barrie McKenzie
Barrie McKenzie
Reply to  Pat ONeill
16 days ago

The NT was written in Greek, and again, the pronoun is masculine.

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Barrie McKenzie
16 days ago

The NT was first written down in Greek…but Jesus spoke Aramaic.

αnδrεw
αnδrεw
Reply to  Barrie McKenzie
16 days ago

What governs the gender of pronouns in English? Maybe given that the Germanic origin of Holy Ghost, (or from Latin, Spirit) assigns a masculine gender, we could infer the same for English, notwithstanding its greater inherent flexibility. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (John 14:26) (KJV) The sun is masculine in the Romance languages, but feminine in German – Die Sonne. Could this have something to do with its relative strength… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Barrie McKenzie
19 days ago

Inner feelings may not always be prejudiced. They may be authentic. The bible may not always represent how we use our God-given consciences (and respond to the Holy Spirit) in our own times and our own societies. The Holy Spirit may well have used Her dunamis to reach and touch biblical authors, but when they wrote their narratives, they had to try to make sense of mystery and encounter in their own human and fallible ways, and within the limits of their cultural contexts, or scientific knowledge, or prejudices which they, too, may have had. When you say “the Bible… Read more »

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Barrie McKenzie
19 days ago

But how else am I (or anyone) to determine what is the true voice of the Holy Spirit? By the authority of Scripture? According to whose interpretation? The Holy Spirit didn’t dictate the Bible word for word; it spoke to the authors (as it does to all of us today) and those authors transcribed what they heard in the context of their own understanding (or lack thereof). And in assembling the canonical books, the assemblers were likewise guided by both the Spirit and their own understanding. It is all filtered through fallible human minds, just as it is today. How… Read more »

Warwickensis
Warwickensis
Reply to  Pat ONeill
18 days ago

Scripture, Tradition (i.e. the consensus fidei of the Church Fathers) and Reason have long been the Anglican sources of authority in the past. The BCP certainly points to them.

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Warwickensis
17 days ago

But which of the three is pre-eminent? By Scripture and Tradition, the sun revolves around the earth; by reason, the earth revolves around the sun.

Warwickensis
Warwickensis
Reply to  Pat ONeill
17 days ago

Scripture first, then the Church Fathers and then reasoning therefrom.

Perhaps reading Fr Richard Hooker’s work on Ecclesiastical Polity might help?

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Warwickensis
17 days ago

But if we only reason from Scripture and the Church Fathers, then the sun revolves around the earth…because their knowledge ended before Copernicus and Galileo. Surely reason must include modern reasoning and modern science?

Warwickensis
Warwickensis
Reply to  Pat ONeill
17 days ago

Theology is not a physical science. Science is an incomplete epistemological system because it cannot justify its own reasoning scientifically. Indeed much of the physical sciences’ motivation is to reason God out of existence by assuming His non-existence first. Planetary orbits are fascinating and point to God, but they only have something to say about the dignity of being human through Scripture, Tradition and reasoning therefrom. Reason does not mean Physics. It means drawing conclusions from the revelation granted to us by God through Scripture and the Fathers whose proximity to God is greater than our proximity to understanding Quantum… Read more »

Last edited 17 days ago by Warwickensis
T Pott
T Pott
Reply to  Pat ONeill
17 days ago

It is simply a question of perspective. For practical purposes we measure motion relative to the surface of the earth, around which the sun revolves. For the purposes of theoretical physics we may say the earth revolves around the sun, but only really if we neglect the fact that the entire solar system is hurtling round the galaxy.

Angusian
Angusian
Reply to  Barrie McKenzie
19 days ago

surely that is the true blasphemy of the HS?

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Barrie McKenzie
20 days ago

completely captive to the woke agenda of the world”

What even IS woke? (as you define it)

peterpi - Peter Gross
peterpi - Peter Gross
Reply to  Susannah Clark
20 days ago

Susannah, As far as I’m concerned, “woke” is a word someone on the liberal side coined for whatever reason — possibly to describe people attuned to the needs of racial, ethnic, or sexual minorities — and now, just like the phrase “Critical Race Theory”, is primarily used by conservatives as yet another weapon to clobber the heads of liberals with. I doubt Barrie McKenzie can even tell you what “woke culture” is, other than he or she is against it. Similar to conservatives and Republicans in the USA denouncing Critical Race Theory and passing laws against teaching it to government-funded… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Reply to  Barrie McKenzie
20 days ago

Perhaps, brother, you need to become aware of the recent message of Pope Francis to an audience of young people at the Vatican recently. He warned them against ‘Fundamentalism;, where grace is placed second to law. Sin is a fact in the life of every human being. Christ has redeemed us – despite that reality!
“Jesu, Mercy; MaryPray”. (“There is plentiful redemption in the Blood that has been shed” – E.H.)

Kurt T Hill
Kurt T Hill
Reply to  Barrie McKenzie
17 days ago

There is also “swim the Mississippi” which means one has switched from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to the more conservative Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.

A (not so) humble parishioner
A (not so) humble parishioner
20 days ago

It seems that most people who swim the Tiber say that they are drawn to a “calling” rather than leaving a church they disagree with because they are sexists who don’t think women can undertake ordained ministry. Mmm, not sure I believe it.

Inga
Inga
Reply to  A (not so) humble parishioner
20 days ago

I am an ordained woman who has worked alongside +Jonathan. He is not a sexist and was a very supportive colleague to me and other women, as well as being a kind man with a deep knowledge of theology, music and the liturgy that made him very interesting to talk to. He does not deserve the opprobrium thrown at him here.

Toby Forward
Toby Forward
Reply to  Inga
20 days ago

However smiley the face may be if the person behind the smile teaches that women who are validly and lawfully ordained to the priesthood should be barred from celebrating the Eucharist at Anglican altars simply because they are women, then that person is a sexist. They keep the ‘meat pie theology’ behind closed doors now, but it hasn’t gone away.

Warwickensis
Warwickensis
Reply to  Toby Forward
19 days ago

Again, Mr Forward, you are making an assumption about another’s theology. You affirm that a woman can be validly ordained. Bishop Jonathan cannot and one must suppose, by virtue that he is ordained, that he has formulated his position based on theological reflection. I am sure that you have done the same to arrive at your position. If it is therefore *possible* that women cannot be valid priests then that position should not be denounced as “sexist” – it has been a position held for centuries by good bishops and priests. Likewise, if it is *possible* that women can be… Read more »

Toby Forward
Toby Forward
Reply to  Warwickensis
19 days ago

Clearly, we disagree. But it’s clear that there can be no such thing as ‘mutual flourishing’ when one gender enjoys all the privileges and responsibilities of priesthood while the other only has partial ownership of those. That’s a sexist arrangement, supported by sexists.

Warwickensis
Warwickensis
Reply to  Toby Forward
19 days ago

Again, I think you’ve missed my point which is more an indictment of how I am expressing myself. You judge that FiF is “sexist” on the grounds that it cannot, in conscience, accept that women can be priests. I would have said, “in good conscience” but I rather suspect you would object to such a conscientious position being good. Does this mean that you judge that position to be sexist on the assumption that these folk, both men and women, intend to belittle and subordinate women which would certainly be sexist? Or do you believe that these folk, both men… Read more »

Toby Forward
Toby Forward
Reply to  Warwickensis
18 days ago

Consciences have to be educated, or they’re just prejudices.

Warwickensis
Warwickensis
Reply to  Toby Forward
18 days ago

First, that doesn’t really answer the question, does it?

Second, how can you be sure that Bishop Jonathan has not informed and educated his conscience and arrived at his theological position through diligent education? How can you be sure that you have informed your conscience sufficiently and that, actually, your position is not prejudiced? What is your confidence? Strength of numbers? An alignment with social mores?

Obum
Obum
Reply to  Toby Forward
18 days ago

Mr Forward, you are making yourself a judge in this matter. A female priest here who serves under Jonathan tried to correct your wrong assumptions, and nowhere did she mentioned being given small portion of the faculty of Priesthood, yet you are hell bent on passing your sentence on the Bishop and those who share the same conviction with him. In my observation, there’s no win-win situation here as long as this question of mutual flourishing is concerned. Traditionalists are left out in top hierarchy and appointments of the CofE but we are yet to see them disturb the peace… Read more »

Toby Forward
Toby Forward
Reply to  Obum
18 days ago

Whatever she mentioned she didn’t mention that he would not allow her at the altar in any of the churches over which he has oversight. Smiley faces make warm feelings but they don’t change cold reality. It’s a sexist arrangement.

Inga
Inga
Reply to  Toby Forward
18 days ago

I have often been to churches of that tendency and have frequently been invited to robe as a priest and sit in the Sanctuary. I am not going to speak further about my experiences with +Jonathan directly out of respect to him, but while I acknowledge I cannot celebrate the Mass in such churches, I have always felt my priesthood and my humanity entirely respected there, probably at least in part because I go in with an attitude of trying to model mutual respect. Some of the best and most faithful Anglican priests I know work in that part of… Read more »

Alison Menage
Alison Menage
Reply to  Toby Forward
18 days ago

Of course there can. CofE in the past has always been all encompassing, tolerant and non dogmatic but us ‘plebs’ who wish to remain faithful traditionalists according to our interpretation of the scriptures have felt betrayed, sidelined and accused, having been promised safeguarding under flying Bishop’s. It has been a surreptitious undermining by the way. And now you’re all jumping on the ‘debate agenda as the church slowly and inexorably descends into chaos! The devil is abroad my friends, sisters, brothers and fathers. Trouble is you’re so wrapped up in your own positioning and arguments that you are blind to… Read more »

Toby Forward
Toby Forward
Reply to  Alison Menage
18 days ago

‘all-encompassing’? No, it hasn’t or there would, for example, be methodism. Lines are drawn and always have been, and it is wrong to include this arrangement.

George
George
Reply to  Warwickensis
18 days ago

I’m not sure that’s absolutely correct. There are probably some in the FiF tendency who are ‘impossibilists’; they believe a woman can no more be ordained priest than my cat can. But there are many others, I get the impression the majority and I think probably including +Jonathan, who hold that it’s not impossible women could be ordained priest, or even that those women ordained priest in the CofE are validly-ordained priests, it’s just that for ecumenical reasons they don’t think that the CofE should have made the decision to ordain women, and that the decision to do so gets… Read more »

Warwickensis
Warwickensis
Reply to  George
18 days ago

Sorry, quite right! I was too simplistic in my statement. In my defence I did restrict to possibilities elsewhere.

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Warwickensis
18 days ago

I am in agreement: I believe it is possible in good faith and integrity – while believing in women’s gifts and flourishing – to believe in conscience that only men are supposed to be priests. Such people may even find that awkward to embrace in our society, but I don’t think a universal link can be made to imply that anyone with this position of faith is sexist. Personally I disagree with that view of a male-only priesthood, but I am willing to respect a sincerely-held theological conviction, and I would hope that my own faith and integrity would be… Read more »

Malcolm Gray
Malcolm Gray
Reply to  Inga
20 days ago

well said, some of the comments on here are not kind

Last edited 19 days ago by Simon Sarmiento
Angusian
Angusian
Reply to  Inga
19 days ago

Hear hear; a kind, and loyal supporter of ++Rowan throughout his ministry

Chris
Chris
Reply to  Inga
18 days ago

Absolutely true Inga and well done for saying so. In my limited experience +Jonathan is a deep and clear thinker who communicates brilliantly. That’s a rare combination.

Kate
Kate
Reply to  A (not so) humble parishioner
20 days ago

If we believe people who say they are called to ordination why shouldn’t we then believe them if they later say that they are called to serve in a different church? It seems to me that we should believe both or neither.

Last edited 20 days ago by Kate
FrDavidH
FrDavidH
Reply to  Kate
20 days ago

It’s probably best to believe neither. Being “called” is simply a pompous and pious way of making a personal decision based on one’s personal beliefs and prejudices. If joining a Church which, at present, doesn’t ordain women makes Bishop Goodall happy that’s fine. Which is simply another way of saying he wants to. If he didn’t he’d stay.

Last edited 20 days ago by FrDavidH
Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  FrDavidH
20 days ago

I respectfully disagree. While no doubt some claims of “calling” can be self-serving, some have a definite *pull* from outside, often against the preferences and better judgment of the one being called.

FrDavidH
FrDavidH
Reply to  Jo B
20 days ago

Why is it God calls people only to religious jobs? Recently he may have ‘called’ thousands of people to leave Afghanistan. Some were blown up standing in a sewer. Do you really think He’s in the least interested in a man switching one Church for another? If so, He’s got His priorities wrong.

Alison Menage
Alison Menage
Reply to  FrDavidH
18 days ago

He doesn’t ONLY call people to religious jobs!!

FrDavidH
FrDavidH
Reply to  Alison Menage
18 days ago

How many ASDA shelf-stackers, bin men, sewerage workers, or millions of other valuable workers pompously say they’ve been called by God to their job? Precious few, I bet. No, it’s the clergy who think God has singled them out to be the Chosen Ones.

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  FrDavidH
18 days ago

Runners, too, according to Eric Liddell in ‘Chariots of Fire.’

“I believe God made me for a purpose—for China. But he also made me fast, and when I run, I feel his pleasure.”

Philip Hobday
Philip Hobday
Reply to  FrDavidH
18 days ago

The tendency to reduce the language of “calling” to those who are ordained is a huge failure and a huge problem. There are all sorts of callings, beginning with the call to be alive, and the call to follow Christ. There are callings to be children, partners, parents; to care for someone or to help them, for one particular encounter or for a long time; to all sorts of different jobs and tasks, paid or voluntary. Every human being is called to things, and these may change or evolve over time. Those of us who are ordained, and those who… Read more »

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  Philip Hobday
16 days ago

To a Christian, I agree that everyone is ‘called,’ but clergy seem to be the only people who describe themselves as such. The majority of ordinary people, however, don’t use religious language and don’t feel anyone beckoning them to a job except themselves.

Lister Tonge
Lister Tonge
Reply to  FrDavidH
20 days ago

So where does this leave the ‘listening’ element of prayer?

FrDavidH
FrDavidH
Reply to  Lister Tonge
19 days ago

There’s an old story about a vicar being offered a new parish. He got on his knees and prayed. Meanwhile his wife began packing the suitcases and furniture. We “listen” and then do what we want. People who do the opposite are in need of psychiatric help.

Lister Tonge
Lister Tonge
Reply to  FrDavidH
19 days ago

What should an ordination candidate respond at the Ordination when asked if she believes herself truly called (or whatever the words are)?

FrDavidH
FrDavidH
Reply to  Lister Tonge
19 days ago

She should say “yes”, because there wouldn’t be time to enter into a philosophical discussion on the existence (or not) of free-will, personal ambition and her job choice.

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
Reply to  FrDavidH
19 days ago

FrDavidH. So St Paul anticipated the possibility you raise some time ago. If we are mad, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you”. 2Cor 5.13. It is the verse just before the passage often read at ordinations – and really needs including. So JoB and others here are in very good company. Meanwhile your belief being as much a statement of faith as anyone else’s here – you may be in need of professional help yourself.

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  David Runcorn
19 days ago

But I can’t understand anyone applying to be ordained – or joining another Church – against their own will. Which healthy person would happily say “I feel called to a job I don’t want” For example, I’d prefer to be treated by a doctor who wanted to be one. And do people really think it matters to God if a man changes denominations? It’s about as significant to Him as a customer changing from shopping at Tesco for ASDA.

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  FrDavid H
18 days ago

Isn’t the story of Jonah precisely about that, though? That sometimes God can put us to use in ways we may not like.

And yes, I do believe God calls people to work that (at least initially) they do not want to do or do not feel themselves capable of. Saying “yes” to God can bring fear and even suffering, but it can be a source of greater joy and fulfillment.

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Jo B
18 days ago

I think most people have to take jobs they don’t want sometimes, and not just because they think God is calling them to it. For instance, I left the Diocese of the Arctic (after working really hard at learning an indigenous language, which I really enjoyed), because my kids were of an age when they needed a different education system. I really didn’t want to leave, but I did it because of my family obligations. And eventually, it turned out to be the right thing, but I can’t deny that in the first couple of years in my new parish… Read more »

FrDavidH
FrDavidH
Reply to  Jo B
18 days ago

For the vast majority of people in the UK, I don’t think it enters their heads they have a job which God decided to give them.

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  David Runcorn
19 days ago

Exactly right, David; ‘There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt in your philosophy.’ A couple of things. Every single place that Marci and I have ever lived, she has dreamed about before we lived there. Sometimes in detail. In our last parish, after we had been there a couple of years, someone in the community who was not a member of our church told Marci that God had brought us to that community to help one specific family. That Fall, a new family joined our parish, and it turned out that the wife had Multiple… Read more »

Alison Menage
Alison Menage
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
18 days ago

Well said Sir!!

Richard
Richard
Reply to  FrDavidH
18 days ago

I recently read someone’s claim (on another Anglican website) that God called him to go to seminary, but the Holy Spirit “told” him he didn’t need to study Hebrew or Greek.

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  Richard
17 days ago

Quite right. Why on earth would an Anglican Holy Spirit not just speak proper English?

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Lister Tonge
19 days ago

Yes. Listening is clearly a really deep part of discerning God’s call on your life. You can listen in a life of prayer. You can listen to people who know you. You can listen to your own heart and knowledge about your strengths and weaknesses. With regard to a ‘call’ to a role in community, that can’t just be about ‘what I want’ or ‘what I believe’. It also, crucially, involves the community which is the ‘whole’ in which you are wondering about serving as a ‘part’. The community has a say too. They get to understand what they need,… Read more »

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Lister Tonge
18 days ago

This quote from Christopher Landau seems quite relevant to me:

”Too much church life risks becoming functionally atheist, in relation to actual reliance on the prompting and presence of God to shape how we choose to spend our time or money.”

See https://www.psephizo.com/life-ministry/what-does-charismatic-renewal-bring-to-the-church/

Alison Menage
Alison Menage
Reply to  FrDavidH
18 days ago

Oops ! Father that statement is simply shocking and especially from you

Sam Jones
Sam Jones
20 days ago

Good luck to him. I have considerably more respect for someone joining the RC’s while still a bishop then waiting to retire and collect a pension before converting.

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
19 days ago

He does, however lose his income as he goes from the office of bishop to lay status.

Jonathan Jamal
Jonathan Jamal
20 days ago

For the information of Correspondents, as Someone who has myself 17 years ago been received into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church, we do not speak strictly of “Conversion” but of someone being received into full Communion with the Catholic Church, and we are not by Canon Law allowed to repeat the Sacrament of Baptism, if a person has been Baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity and has produced documentary evidence to the effect. However we do not recognise Anglican Confirmation and anybody who is being received into the Catholic Church has to be confirmed again. We… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
20 days ago

So + Jonathan Goodall has gone to Rome. Before I read this article, I’d never heard of him; but the story is familiar. Father has gone to Rome and the parish is in a tizzy. Aside from the fact that assigning motivation often leads to sin, the swimming of rivers metaphor has its limits. A better metaphor is that it is a two way street. Canon Joe Cassidy FRSA is a former Jesuit who became both an Anglican and a treasurer in the C of E. I’ve attached a link to his address on Radical Anglicanism (2009). “In the end,… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
Reply to  Rod Gillis
19 days ago

Above, ” treasurer”, that should read, “Canon Joe Cassidy FRSA is a former Jesuit who became both an Anglican and a treasure in the C of E.”

Paul
Paul
Reply to  Rod Gillis
18 days ago

I might have guessed that he would be a Jesuit.

Peter Down Under
Peter Down Under
20 days ago

And just 6 months until Keith Newton turns 70. Coincidence, of course … It’ll be interesting to see if Pope Francis sticks to his guns about not dolling out monsignorships or the right to episcopal regalia to former Anglican (or faux/para/quasi Anglican, having been consecrated by separated brethren not in communion, as the Ordinariate has in Oz) bishops. Fingers crossed!

Angusian
Angusian
Reply to  Peter Down Under
19 days ago

but remember Graham Leonard’s case?

Dan Barnes-Davies
20 days ago

I look forward to Save the Parish’s campaign to not fill this unnecessary central post.

Michael Mulhern
Michael Mulhern
20 days ago

I am sure Bishop Jonathan is relieved that this news is now public and that the parishes and clergy of the Ebbsfleet episcopal area share in that relief. This is not the time or place for post-mortems (and what Justin Welby’s intentions were when his inherited domestic chaplain was speedily appointed to this role) but, perhaps, it is right to observe that a combination of circumstances (as highlighted by Simon Kershaw) and eight years of a particular style of oversight have enabled this journey now to continue into new territory, both for Bishop Jonathan and the parishes in his care.

Last edited 19 days ago by Simon Sarmiento
Thomas G. Reilly
Thomas G. Reilly
19 days ago

As someone who made the journey of faith the other way, I would like to congratulate Bishop Jonathan in having the courage of his convictions and making the concomitant sacrifices. I was a Roman Catholic Friar and Priest who was received into the Church of England as a worker-priest in 1973, and I have been happy amidst the wonderful varieties of Anglicanism ever since. I have honoured, but never understood the ecclesiology of Forward in Faith, and saw many of their practices as a throw-back to pre-Vatican II Catholic practice, but without the strong theological and historical basis. The worry… Read more »

Robert Warren
Robert Warren
19 days ago

As somebody who now lives a hundred meters from the Tiber I must say that the invitation to swim in it or across it has lost some of its lustre.

Gordon
Gordon
19 days ago

This must be the time to let the flying bishops die. More than 25 years after the ordination of women in the CofE, and 10 years after the pretensions of the ordinariate, can’t the CofE just draw a line under the misogyny of the past?

Roland
Roland
Reply to  Gordon
19 days ago

I am pleased to experience Anglo Catholic worship which for me has expressed the truth in a sea of confusion. I am sorry at the loss but the tradition provides the solution.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Roland
19 days ago

Many Anglo Catholics welcome the ordination of women. You can have the AC tradition, and female deacons and priests too.

Warwickensis
Warwickensis
Reply to  Janet Fife
19 days ago

“An” AC tradition. Clearly it is not the only one in the CofE.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Gordon
19 days ago

It’s 34 years since women were first ordained deacon, and 27 years since the first female priests were ordained.

Judith Maltby
Judith Maltby
19 days ago

A friend recently drew my attention to the Converts Aid Society, now renamed the St Barnabas Society. Fascinating website and history. Does anyone know how active it is?
https://stbarnabassociety.org.uk/history

Peter Owen
Admin
Reply to  Judith Maltby
19 days ago

Income in the year ending 31 May 2020 was £549,421 and expenditure £701,007. During the year the Society has made 379(2019—436) net grants totalling £334,000 (2019—£384,187) to 30 (2019—38) individual beneficiaries. I’ve taken this from the annual report which you can find on the Charity Commission website.

Judith Maltby
Judith Maltby
Reply to  Peter Owen
19 days ago

Thank you, Peter. That’s very interesting. Clearly still a going concern.

Sara MacVane
Sara MacVane
18 days ago

When I was close to being priested (in Rome, Diocese in Europe), I heard that Jonathan Goodall made a strong objection to our Diocesan bishop, (who did not ordain women himself, but did allow women in the diocese to be ordained). I wasn’t the first Anglican woman to be ordained in Rome (nor the last), but I was certainly the first woman in the C-of-E to be first deaconed and then priested there. So in fact you might think that I would be if not glad, at least satisfied by Jonathan Goodall’s decision to change his ecclesiastical affiliation. But I… Read more »

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
18 days ago

We seem to have drifted some way from the resignation of the Bishop of Ebbsfleet, but I need to disappoint those who see this as any kind of opportunity to review the House of Bishops’ Declaration on the Ministry of Bishops and Priests, which includes the Five Guiding Principles, and the ministries of the PEVs and the Bishop of Maidstone. These are kept under constant review and were debated by General Synod as recently as July 2021. Unless I am very much mistaken, fresh appointments will be made to both Beverley and Ebbsfleet. Some of us might not like the… Read more »

Martyn Griffiths
Martyn Griffiths
17 days ago

Well done everyone. Yet again the proclamation of the Gospel has been abandoned in favour of pugnacious arguing over the status quo. No matter which side of the argument you are on, would your fervour not be better used in bringing souls to Jesus. I write as a member of (the former) Bishop Jonathan’s Ebbsfleet Clergy, exasperated and exhausted with the arguing that has prevented us doing our primary task for decades.

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Martyn Griffiths
17 days ago

I believe the argument is over whether the Gospel can truly be proclaimed by anyone who believes one half of the human race incapable of doing so with authority.

Warwickensis
Warwickensis
Reply to  Pat ONeill
17 days ago

Well, no, the argument is whether one who does not accept the priesthood of women is necessarily sexist and therefore persona non grata within the CofE and thus unable to preach the Gospel in the eyes of those who deem them sexist.

Even Forward in Faith believe that ALL Christians – men and women equally – can and indeed have a duty to preach the Gospel. That is the ministry and high calling of the laity.

Last edited 17 days ago by Warwickensis
Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Warwickensis
17 days ago

My comment was “preach with authority”…meaning with ordination.

Martyn Griffiths
Martyn Griffiths
Reply to  Pat ONeill
17 days ago

What a slight to all those lay women and men who have preached with authority throughout the ages! You have a somewhat too ‘high’ a theory of what ordination actually does!

Martyn Griffiths
Martyn Griffiths
Reply to  Pat ONeill
17 days ago

Oh Pat. The Anglican communion represents a tiny proportion of the Christian Church. Your thinking has just unchurched all Roman Catholics and all Orthodox (ie Eastern) Christians. Talk about Anglican arrogance!!!

Michael Doe
Michael Doe
17 days ago

Within our ecumenical fellowship with all Christians, that is, the Church Catholic, people will come and go between different traditions and communities, and if Jonathan has decided that he’s now more at home with Rome than Lambeth, he should go with our love and prayers. We must offer the same to those who “swim” in the opposite direction. And maybe he has come to accept, as Keith Newton has clearly articulated, that “flying bishops”, choosing those you like and rejecting others, has made the CofE less, rather than more, Catholic. My concern is what message he is sending to those… Read more »

FrDavidH
FrDavidH
Reply to  Michael Doe
17 days ago

No doubt he will seek re-ordination, which in itself speaks volumes. Everything he has performed heretofore is “absolutely null and utterly void”.

Jonathan Jamal
Jonathan Jamal
Reply to  FrDavidH
17 days ago

Father David, when I was a Monk at Roslin within the Community of the Transfiguration, an Ecumenical Monastic Community (now only one existing member the Revd Brother John Halsey, as Father Roland Walls their Founder and Sister Patty Burgess have died in recent years and Bishop Neil Russell died in May 1984), Father Roland had been received into full Communion with the Catholic Church after 45 years in the Anglican Priesthood, and was received in November 1981 by the Late Father John Dalrymple, when he was ordained as a Priest in November 1983,( I was present at this Ordination Mass,… Read more »

Jonathan Jamal
Jonathan Jamal
Reply to  Michael Doe
17 days ago

Bishop Michael at Roman Catholic ordinations of former Anglican Priests, they certaintly do not sweep under the carpet any previous ministry they have exercised in the Anglican Church at one ordination Mass I attended in Edinburgh in June 1995 of a former Anglican Franciscan Friar who had been an Anglican Priest, Father Juniper Adams, who had joined the Order of Friars Minor and is now a member of the Franciscans of the Renewal, (I had been present 10 years earlier in 1985 at his ordination as an Anglican Priest), the ordaining Bishop, the late Cardinal Keith Patrick O Brien, than… Read more »

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  Jonathan Jamal
17 days ago

Until Apostolicae curae is rescinded no amount of prayer over so-called Anglican “priests” is anything other than weasel words. How can a RC bishop give thanks for someone’s previous ministry which is “absolutely null and utterly void”?

Last edited 17 days ago by FrDavid H
Paul
Paul
Reply to  FrDavid H
17 days ago

An RC bishop can give thanks and praise for earlier ministry in the Anglican Church quite easily. The person in question may have preached the Gospel very effectively, despite his sacramental offerings being defective.

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  Paul
16 days ago

Preaching the gospel is what we are all called to do. Presumably the Masses offered. communions received, and ordinations conferred by former Anglican bishops were all “defective”. That makes us all feel better.

Clive
Reply to  FrDavid H
16 days ago

As another long ago RC convert, following a move to Canada, I’d simply observe that there is letter and there is spirit. And the RC church is a lot more open to spirit of the law than this mischaracterization. I’ve attended several ordinations of former Anglican clergy in both England and Canada and in all cases their former ministry was publicly acknowledged and affirmed. In a few cases by Cardinal Hume himself. “Let holy charity, mine outward vesture be.” Charity is in very short supply in this thread, and while I’ve long since departed Anglicanism, that makes me sad for… Read more »

Father David
Father David
16 days ago

Unlike the current Prime Minister and Government the Church of England is duty bound to keep its promise and the present Bishops of Ebbsfleet and Beverley can look forward to being replaced by successors.

David Rowett
David Rowett
16 days ago

On a slightly variant pastoral note unrelated to the various Measures and so on, I have always felt that to swim the proverbial Tiber and then seek (re) ordination would cause terrible hurt and distress to those whose confessions I had heard and who might therefore begin to fear that the absolution they’d received was not ‘valid.’ I knw there’s a huge raft of theological issues sitting there about “the power of the keys” and so on, but I wonder whether one responsibility of ordained ministry is to weigh the consequences of such a move on the well-being of our… Read more »

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
Reply to  David Rowett
15 days ago

Yes David, I often think of the Vicar of Morebath.

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