Friday, October 19, 2012

Women Bishops - a comment

Hi everyone!

The parish newsletter of St. Matilda's,, has a useful comment on its "News" page. The commentator looks at the proposed legislation and finds that he is in accord with the ABC on the urgent desirablity of our getting leglisation through General Synod so that we can get with the task of serving the nation without distraction over this particular item.

The entry reads as follows:

"Women Bishops Looming

 After the record turn out for the Prayer Vigil about the debate on Women and the Episcopate, debate has been simmering, to use the best word, throughout the parishes.

The general feeling is that we have had quite enough of picky postering from extremists on all sides of the matter. It is time to get on with it and then see if it will work.

What angers people is that the squabbling presents an unpleasant picture of the church as a set of slightly lunatic bigots. If we have women priests then women bishops become a matter of course.

The problem is accommodating those who feel diffident over women in the episcopate.

Our view, expressed forcibly by the Rector at a recent meeting of the Parochial Church Council is that the patrimony of male bishops should be retained in some way or other within the Church of England.

The Bishops wish to have a motion passed that insists that those taking this view should be respected. Dr. Williams has spoken strongly about this. He points out that "respect" is a word with a real definable meaning. It follows that any interpretation of a Code of Practice which fails to provide for such views would be invalid and unenforcible. That is to say that any group wishing to maintain a male succession of those in episcopal orders in the Church of England would have to have their wishes fulfilled i.e. male bishops in a male apostolic succession would have to be provided.

With this in mind it is to be hoped that general Synod will pass decent legislation and not set us up for another period of unseemly "handbags at close quarters" throughout the coming years. That we get on with our witness to the Good News in Jesus Christ and provide good quality pastoral care throughout the Church of England is paramount. A failure to pass this new proposal would be counter-productive to our mission. As said often enough in these quarters we represent a sober, Reformed Catholicism in the west of Christendom. Let's get on with it. We can work out the details later. The process of establishing these details could be exciting and profitable for both the women bishops concerned and those wishing for the alternative.

What price the opinions of those in the pew?

More worrying is the way in which the wihdrawal of motions A and B under the Act of Synod will disenfranchise the laity from decisions over what is provided for them.

We do not know the answer to this problem, but it is intensely worrying."
There is ample food for thought here which I hope the more extreme advocates of male episcopacy will heed. Forward in Faith and the Mission Society of Saint Wilfed and St. Hilda please note. Much of the tone of some speakers as reported from Fif's recent Synod left much to be desired.

Labels: , , , , , ,