Bishop (of Ebbsfleet) Jonathan Baker—The General Synod vote on Women Bishops
After the General Synod failed to give Final Approval to the draft legislation on the ordination of women to the episcopate, I had hoped for a period of calm, prayer and reflection all round; and perhaps some sense of regret, on the part of the proponents of the Measure, that they had not got the legislation right. Of course, as we now know, this was very far from the case: instead, a media furore, and a sense from some quarters that those who had voted against the Measure need to be punished in the future for daring to step out of line.
We need to say very clearly, that we understand, and deeply regret, the pain, hurt and anger felt on the part of many women clergy and their supporters; that we value the huge contribution of ordained women to the life of the Church of England; and that we recognise the gifts which God has given in and through their ministries.
However, we also need to challenge some errors and misunderstandings which have been widespread since the vote was taken....
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal
- Anglican: Commentary
Church of England (CoE)
Posted December 6, 2012 at 3:59 pm
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1. MichaelA wrote:
Good to see some common sense being stated here by the Bishop of Ebbsfleet, instead of the recent emanations of liberal fluff and faux outrage:
“At every step of the way, provision for the traditionalist minority was withdrawn altogether or significantly watered down.”
And no, there was no manipulation by the traditionalists:
“The second misunderstanding is that the Synod’s processes were somehow abused or manipulated to produce this result. Again, we need to say clearly that this is not the case. Every member of General Synod understands very well what the processes are which are followed in order to pass legislation: processes which, in matters of doctrine, are designed precisely to ensure a high level of consensus, such as is surely appropriate for a Christian community.”
He also takes aim at the canard of an ‘unholy alliance’ and pinpoints why the measure failed:
“...of course anglo-catholics and evangelicals will have different – often, markedly different – theological instincts and insights, what mattered in this case was only the fact that Synod members from both traditions found the draft Measure wanting. We also know now that a significant number of Synod members who are wholly supportive of women in the episcopate nevertheless voted against this draft legislation; they did so out of concern for their brothers and sisters in the Church of England with whom they disagree, but whose flourishing they desire: surely a model for us all.”
Despite insinuations by the liberals, it does not seem that anyone in Synod voted against this measure because it made too many concessions to traditionalists. Rather, the problem for every one of the ‘No’ voters was that it did not make enough concessions.
It will be interesting to see if the liberals repeat this mistake again next time around.
December 6, 10:34 pm | [comment link]
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