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"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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I think this is very poor. Let’s get to the core of what Stephen’s complaints are, bullet by bullet. Each point below is directly related to the bullet in the text above.
1. Philip Giddings disagreed with Justin Welby - How is this possibly a reason to have no confidence in someone?
2. Philip Giddings disagreed with the majority if Bishops - How is this possibly a reason to have no confidence in someone?
3. Philip Giddings convinced some people to vote no - How is this possibly a reason to have no confidence in someone?
4. Philip Giddings spoke as “Chair of the House” – This is possibly the only point of merit, but in his speech Giddings specifically referred to his role as Chair for two purposes only. First, to congratulate Justin Welby on his appointment and second, to reflect a minority view which he may or may not hold to. Is it Canon Stephen’s position that the Chair of the House should not try to represent minority positions?
5. Some people in the wider public didn’t like the decision of the Church - So what? How is this possibly a reason to have no confidence in someone unless he and he alone made the decision?
There might now be a vote on a Single Clause which will provide poorer provision then Philip Giddings wants – So what? There might not be. One cannot blame Giddings for something that “might happen”.
The only point of any merit is that Giddings used his role of Chair of the House inappropriately, but given the content of his speech, it is very clear that he felt he was representing a minority position. Indeed, Giddings’ speech is interesting in that he at no point mentions his own theological position on the issue (he does mention he voted yes in 1992) but rather his concern for others’.
Lay members of General Synod should reject this motion outright. I think it also behoves supporters of introducing Women Bishops (like I have become this year) to publicly point out how ridiculous and damaging these kind of procedural actions actually are.
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Next entry (above): (Washington Post) On road to modernization, Church of England finds crisis
Previous entry (below): Leicester Cathedral Lay Canon Stephen Barney attempts to Depose Dr Giddings over women bishops
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