(Telegraph) Church warned over women bishops
MPs, who must approve any Synod decision before it receives Royal Assent, warned that a failure to approve the proposal could undermine the Church of England’s position as the established Church. Chris Bryant, the Labour MP and a former Anglican priest, said the legislation would face a “rough ride” in Parliament if there were any further concessions to traditionalists. “If the legislation leans too far towards the traditionalist that won’t please the Commons and the legislation would have trouble,” he said.
“There are quite a few of us who think that the way this is leaning is entrenching forever a religious apartheid within the Church of England.”
He added that a rejection would “undoubtedly undermine” support for aspects of establishment, including bishops in the Lords and the role of Parliament approving Church laws.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal
Church of England (CoE)
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England / UK
Posted November 20, 2012 at 6:15 am
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The URL for this article is http://www.kendallharmon.net/t19/index.php/t19/article/46158/
1. Mark Baddeley wrote:
Frank Field, a former Labour minister who sits on the parliamentary ecclesiastical committee, said that in the event of a no vote, he would table a motion to remove the Church’s special exemptions from equality laws.
“It would mean that they couldn’t continue to discriminate against women,” he said.
There’s the real stick. Either voluntarily fall into line with our values or we will remove provisions integral to the free exercise of the religion of the Church of England - once again the established nature of the church resulting in it having to line up with the state, rather than influencing the state in its direction. The threat is somewhat incoherent - we’ll lose support for having bishops in the house of lords and other privileges, combined with a threat of removing exemption from equality laws: an odd bit of cross-purpose. Why would you both remove the CoE’s privileged position in the structure of government *and* bind it with law simultaneously? Surely it is one or the other. The combination of the two from the one person suggests that this is bluster designed to intimidate, not an actual statement of the future.
And of course, if the CoE does fall into line on this issue, then the exact same argument about apartheid and discrimination, with the threat of tabling legislation to remove special examption from equality laws will be used again on the homosexuality issue.
Undoubtedly this will lead to some English delegates supporting the motion - the CoE members find it very hard to imagine a future without establishment as whole in my experience. But what the threat should do is galvanize all but the most committed proponents to vote against - a threat like this really needs to be called out.
November 20, 8:51 am | [comment link]
2. Terry Tee wrote:
Mark, I agree (sadly) that the great bulk of General Synod members would be bewildered, indeed, horrified, at the idea of the church not being established. Way back in I think 1989 or 88 there was a proposal to sell Church House and perhaps even move HQ out of London. The uproar on Synod was incredible. The very idea! Why, the Church and its representatives had to be close to Parliament, Whitehall, and the movers and shakers. Also I noticed the bizarre convention in Synod speeches (does it still continue?) of referring to the Commons or Lords as ‘another place’ rather than by name. This piece of arcanae will not be familiar to North Americans so bear with me: Members of the House of Commons do not refer within parliament to the House of Lords; they call it ‘another place’. And vice versa. So Synod members in calling either ‘another place’ were echoing this language and implicitly making Synod a third chamber of parliament, an idea that does actually have some historical precedent but which in the present day and age is utterly inappropriate. I think that disestablishment would actually strengthen the C of E, and I think that the strong and growing evangelical movement within it sits lightly to these attachments and would not weep if they were dissolved.
November 20, 11:42 am | [comment link]
3. Ross Gill wrote:
So the state is trying to intimidate the church. It isn’t the first time and it won’t be the last. This is one of those times when the church maybe has to say what it will regardless of what the state threatens to do in response. As Bishop Wright said in the video posted above, “The day the church ceases to be able to say we must obey God rather than human authorities we cease to be the church.”
November 20, 2:48 pm | [comment link]
4. MichaelA wrote:
“Chris Bryant, the Labour MP and a former Anglican priest, said the legislation would face a “rough ride” in Parliament if there were any further concessions to traditionalists.”
Indeed. Here is the problem for incoming ABC Welby - the best way to get this legislation passed is to throw a few bones to the traditionalists, win over the waverers and get it passed. Then, over the next couple of years, use political machinations and loopholes to nullify the effect of the protections given to traditionalists. They will thus be left with protection in theory but nothing in practice. This is much better *style* from the point of view of a typical English bishop (and the POV of Screwtape for that matter).
November 20, 7:08 pm | [comment link]
5. MichaelA wrote:
“Frank Field, a former Labour minister who sits on the parliamentary ecclesiastical committee, said that in the event of a no vote, he would table a motion to remove the Church’s special exemptions from equality laws.”
Really?! Don’t throw me in the briar patch, Brer Ifield!!!!
Oh that he would be so stupid. Nothing would galvanise religious opposition like this. And orthodox Anglicans, Roman Catholics and many others would be united. Even those churches that permit women leaders would be affronted.
Go ahead, Frank, make our day.
November 20, 7:11 pm | [comment link]
6. uscetae wrote:
And orthodox Anglicans, Roman Catholics and many others would be united.
The Church of England seeking support from (I won’t say unity with) the Catholic Church because of Parliamentary oppression? ::facepalm::
November 20, 10:29 pm | [comment link]
7. MichaelA wrote:
Not the Church of England, but rather orthodox Anglicans within the Church of England. There is a significant difference.
And its not a matter of seeking support from - something like that would mean mutual effort without any need to seek support.
November 20, 10:53 pm | [comment link]
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