[Church of England General Synod] Women in the Episcopate – the Final Legislative Lap

Posted by The_Elves

A consultation/discussion paper from William Fittall, General Secretary
2. The House of Bishops will meet on 12 September to reconsider that provision. The possibilities available to the House will be to:
+ Retain clause 5(1)(c)
+ Amend the draft Measure by removing clause 5(1)(c)
+ Amend the draft Measure by replacing clause 5(1)(c) with a different provision.
......
9. The main purpose of this discussion paper is to explore the possible approaches that the House could adopt. Of these it is the one that involves replacing clause 5(1)(c) with a new provision that requires the most innovative thinking at this stage.

10. This paper, therefore, offers and analyses as a basis for discussion - and without commending any of them – five initial possibilities, agreed with Standing Counsel to the Synod, for replacing clause 5(1)(c) with a new provision.

11. The hope is that these possibilities will stimulate further suggestions. At this stage it is more important to have proposals for possible elements of a new provision, and the objectives which they are designed to achieve, than detailed drafting suggestions.

12. Clearly the most important objective will be to identify an approach which can command a wide degree of support. But, above all, since it will form part of a statute, the effect of any new provision must be clear. It must also have a clear rationale, capable of being explained –including to the Ecclesiastical Committee of Parliament.

13. So, the starting point needs to be some analysis of what the present clause 5(1)(c), and any replacement of it, add to the rest of the Measure. Any new wording will, in the usual way, need to be agreed by Standing Counsel.

Read it all if you can be bothered and answers on an epostcard by August 24th. Thinking Anglicans have a stab at explaining it all here and there is comment on Anglican Mainstream here

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops

2 Comments
Posted July 25, 2012 at 1:25 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. MichaelA wrote:

Okay, so lots of options being put forward in the hope that there will be public discussion and debate.  As a commentator writes on Thinking Anglicans: “...it just might create a groundswell of support for one particular option and thereby improve the chances of Final Approval”.

But why is the Church of England in this position at all?  Because in May the bishops did the numbers and realised that there was a very real possibility that the measure would be voted down by General Synod in July.  The specific problem was the requirement to get a 2/3 majority in the House of Laity.

The possibility of such rejection was not acceptable to most bishops who could be termed “respectably liberal”, so tehy amended the measure in the hope of appeasing enough conservative evangelicals and anglo-catholics to pass it.

But they reckoned without the desires and aspirations of the extremist liberals, who did not want the measure amended at all.  This group were buoyed by the passage of the draft measure at 42 out of 44 diocesan Synods and therefore had convinced themselves that it was going to easily pass General Synod.  But this does not follow - representatives for the diocesan bodies and GS are chosen in different ways, and voting patterns at one are by no means indicative of how a measure will fare at the other. 

So now the bishops have a real problem:  The leaders of conservative evangelicals and anglo-catholics are still opposing the amended measure, which doesn’t mean all their members will do so, but if that is combined with a few disgruntled extremist liberals who vote it down out of spite, defeat is pretty likely.

And the majority of bishops are not aligned with either group - they are liberal and abhor the “discrimination” which they see inherent in the orthodox evangelical and anglo-catholic positions, but neither do they wish to cede any power to extremist liberals who will act like the incompetents leading TEC: Katherine Schori, Bonnie Anderson, Stacy Sauls etc.

Truly a cleft stick.

July 25, 8:36 pm | [comment link]
2. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

It fills me with dismay that the entire energy of so many in the church is going on who gets to wear a mitre.  You would think that is the mission of the church from the amount of hot air going into it.

Since we are talking of merging with the Methodists, is anyone thinking about whether just to get rid of bishops altogether, save for some residual sacramental functions and to save ourselves quite a lot of expense at the same time?  We have strayed a long way from being the servants of the servants of God.

July 26, 4:06 pm | [comment link]
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