CofE: Statement from the House of Bishops on defeat of women bishops legislation
The House of Bishops of the Church of England met yesterday and today at Lambeth Palace and considered the implications of the General Synod's recent rejection of legislation to enable women to become bishops. The House had the benefit of participation in its discussion of the Very Rev Viv Faull, the Venerable Christine Hardman, Dr Paula Gooder, and Mrs Margaret Swinson, who had all previously served on the Steering Committee or Revision Committee for the legislation.
The House expressed its ongoing gratitude and appreciation for the ministry of ordained women in the Church of England, and its sadness that recent events should have left so many feeling undermined and undervalued. Effective response to this situation is a priority on which all are strongly agreed.
The House acknowledged the profound and widespread sense of anger, grief, and disappointment...
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal
Church of England (CoE)
Posted December 11, 2012 at 6:06 pm
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1. MichaelA wrote:
“The House endorsed the view of the Archbishops’ Council that the “Church of England now has to resolve this issue through its own processes as a matter of great urgency”.”
Yep, because despite the hoo haa going on among liberals in the media, it is most unlikely that UK Parliament will ever touch this. In other words, Parliament isn’t going to legislate for women bishops, or remove the CofE’s exemptions from European equality legislation, or remove all churches’ exemption etc. Granted, liberal Members of Parliament up to and including the Prime Minister will make re-assuring noises, as we have recently seen. But they won’t actually do anything.
So CofE is on its own with this one.
December 11, 10:20 pm | [comment link]
2. MichaelA wrote:
Okay, so the CofE bishops’ intention is now clear: They have cancelled the proposed February synod, and will instead use the time for intense negotiation for a new measure to go before Synod in July.
And the shape of the proposed measure is already clear:
“For any such proposals to command assent, the House believes that they will need (i) greater simplicity, (ii) a clear embodiment of the principle articulated by the 1998 Lambeth Conference “that those who dissent from as well as those who assent to, the ordination of women to the priesthood and episcopate are both loyal Anglicans” ...”
This will infuriate the hard-line liberals in CofE who are determined that there will be no concessions made to those who are anti-WO. Many of the proponents of women bishops have been calling (fatuously) for a single clause measure, in other words, women bishops with NO provision or protection for those opposed. The bishops have signalled that they aren’t going down this road.
The root of the issue is whether opponents of women bishops will get their right to exist *permanently* in CofE enshrined. Many proponents of women bishops will only accept temporary accomodation for opponents - something to make them happy for a few years before they are made extinct.
So, the irresistible force meets the immoveable object - with the bishops caught between.
And in the background, AMiE is watching, waiting to see whether a mis-step by the bishops will give it the opportunity to form a new Anglican body in England, one that has the endorsement of powerful Anglican primates overseas.
The way things are panning out, if such a new body is formed it will be no-WO from the start, something ACNA didn’t have.
December 11, 10:43 pm | [comment link]
3. Peter dH wrote:
This gives reason for some hope; at least at this point of time, the HoB does not appear to be giving in to some of the shriller demands.
For any such proposals to command assent, the House believes that they will need (i) greater simplicity,
Sounds good in principle, but might end up being at tension with (ii) and (iii).
(ii) a clear embodiment of the principle articulated by the 1998 Lambeth Conference “that those who dissent from as well as those who assent to, the ordination of women to the priesthood and episcopate are both loyal Anglicans”,
So there is some resolve not to backpedal on 1998 assurances, but to let “yes” to be “yes” and “no” to be “no”? This ought to be a relief to any follower of Jesus.
(iii) a broadly-based measure of agreement about the shape of the legislation in advance of the beginning of the actual legislative process.
This is the biggie, actually. The Synod vote represents a staggering failure of leadership. The “super-majority by houses” process is there to force consensus-building for major changes. It is a matter of objective fact that no consensus had been reached, yet the proposal was forced to come to a vote. It failed as indeed it ought to have done.
Why has this been allowed to happen? Has any leader - or pressure group, such as WATCH - taken any serious responsibility? Or are they all too busy pouring vitriol upon the House of Laity, FiF and Reform?
December 12, 5:03 am | [comment link]
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