(Living Church) How Did Church of England General Synod Get Here?

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It is worth noting that at no stage of the proceedings has there been a two-thirds majority in the House of Laity in favour of the proposals. After traditionalists repeatedly told the Synod that the proposed Code of Practice simply was not an adequate response to the substance of their theological objections to women bishops, it should have come as no surprise that the legislation was defeated. Advocates of women bishops should have realised that, much as they might have wished it otherwise, the Synodical process did what it was designed to do: ensure that major changes cannot be made without consensus, and that the majority cannot exercise tyranny over a substantial minority.

Instead, those of us who in good conscience voted against the measure have been collectively subjected to an outpouring of vitriol, bile, misrepresentation, and contempt, including (I am sorry to say) in some cases from other members of General Synod, through the media and social networks. Suddenly, there are cries that the House of Laity is unrepresentative of the laity at large, that the system is “broken,” and even that Parliament should intervene to impose women bishops on the church. Opponents of the measure are told that we have damaged the Church of England; we are caricatured as “extremists” and worse. We are threatened with a “single-clause measure” next time around, without even a Code of Practice to provide for those who cannot accept women as bishops. If ever there was a question whether legislative provision was really necessary — whether what was required was, after all, just more generous mutual trust — such an aspiration seems hopelessly naïve now.

Read it all.

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

2 Comments
Posted December 10, 2012 at 11:26 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

Yes, there are some quite worrying things going on, and Prudence Daily is right, there are some vicious and unChristian things being said and done.  The articles I have been reading today give cause for concern that there is a concerted attempt to undermine the Conservative witness in the Church of England using TEC style abuse and litigation tactics:

- Hypocritical attack by Canon Christine Hardman, chairman of the house of clergy on her co-chair Philip Giddings, chairman of the house of laity, and attempts to oust him - report from Peter Ould
- Meeting deliberately set for 18th January on a Friday, when people are at work, to elect to receive Philip Gidding’s voluntary written request to resign his post - Anglican Mainstream
- Machinations by anti-provision Open Evangelicals to take over Wycliffe Hall where Giddings has been acting chairman - Julian Mann.

Are we going to end up going down the pan like TEC?  Certainly we are seeing TEC tactics appearing for the first time in the Church of England.

December 10, 6:05 pm | [comment link]
2. MichaelA wrote:

This article is entirely accurate.  The attacks on the orthodox in the Church of England have been vitriolic, showing that the same spirit that gave rise to Katherine Jefferts Schori in the USA is also present among many in the Church of England. 

Quite simply, promises were made back in 1992 when ordination of women was brought into the CofE, that the orthodox would be protected.  Then those promises were treated as though they did not exist when the time came for women bishops to be considered. 

“In 2006, the Synod voted overwhelmingly to “take note” of a report which included proposals for Transferred Episcopal Authority. But at the following House of Bishops meeting, “senior women” made representations that they would not be prepared to be bishops under such arrangements, so they were dropped.”

If the supporters of WO had let if be known in 1992 that this would be their attitude, the measure for women priests would never have passed.  As it was, the measure only passed by two votes.

December 11, 12:20 am | [comment link]
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