Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Things to Come?


10 comments:

Perpetua said...

Sadly only too likely, Alan. The equivalent measure failed in Wales and the Church in Wales is now in dire straits. I am so sad.

Anonymous said...

The liberals' hyperbole is absurd. Liberal members of the Church, and members of the broader liberal establishment are saying that last night’s decision represents some great defining, and regressive, moment of national significance. It doesn’t, and it's risible, and astonishingly out-of-touch, not to say arrogant, to claim otherwise.

This is not an issue like abortion, or gay marriage, which has an impact on wider society. It is essentially an internal matter for the Anglican Church.

Why is this decision being greeted as if it’s some major aberration? It was reported that this morning Rowan Williams told the Synod, “We have, to put it bluntly, a lot of explaining to do. We have undoubtedly lost credibility in society.” What credibility? At what point were women bishops part of the fabric of the Church? Or society at large? How can an organisation that has been excluding women from its highest ministries for centuries suddenly be said to have “lost its credibility”? If women bishops really are an important litmus test of credibility, then the Church has never had any.

Muthah+ said...

Thank you, Bp Alan. Back in 1973 Gen Con. of TEC voted down women's ordination. Actually they didn't really vote it down, but the way the votes were counted, it did not pass. We lost by one vote. By the time it came to a vote again in 1976, the '74 ordinations had happened. And it passed handily. During that 3 years there was a good bit of planning so that when it came to a vote again we had the votes to pass it. I am not sure how many years the CofE has to wait, but this issue is just. Most people know that. It will just take longer and it will be stronger. I just grieve for those women whose ministries will not be valued in the order of Bishops in the meantime. But this will not go away. The Barque of Peter may take on water in the meantime, but she will not sink. We have been promised that. And we as Church may look quite different by the time it comes round again.

Bishop Alan Wilson said...

Well the Truth is great and will prevail in the end. It cannot be God's will for us to suppress the manifold gifts he has evidently given for the good of the world that the Church may be complete in its service, and that the world may believe...

Bishop Alan Wilson said...

Anon, please feel free to use your name. I don't absolutely ban anonymous comments when they are not spam or unpublishable, but I do encourage people to take responsibility for what they say by using their names. You ask ”How can an organisation that has been excluding women from its highest ministries for centuries suddenly be said to have “lost its credibility”?” and the answer is in exactly the same way as the SPG lost credibility in the 1790's for owning slaves, notwithstanding the fact that slavery as an institution is obviously allowed in the Bible and had existed for thousands of years before. People don't find it easy to believe an institution that sustains a lower moral standard in its internal dealings than others in society. The Church is not a private organisation like a golf club, but has a higher vocation, it says. That's why St Paul advises it to "take heed for things honorable int he sight of all"

Erika Baker said...

Anon,
the other reason why the outside has a legitimate interest in what you call internal affairs of the Anglican Church (notwithstanding the fact that a large number of Anglican Communion Churches already have women as bishops, this is a CoE disaster only) is that it is an established church with Bishops enjoying guaranteed places in the House of Lords.

A government and the people have a legitimate interest in those who form part of the Legislative.

The church rightly has an opt out of the equality legislation as far as its own internal affairs are concerned. But if it wants to remain opposed to the morals of the state is has to get out of being part of the state.

Matt Wardman said...

Re: your pic.

Justin Welby commented that he jad Lost a Vote of Confidence before taking Office at the Parliamentarian of the Year Awards this week.

webmasterNW52HR said...

Surely a disestablished Church of England would be a good thing if one is a convinced Christian wanting the gospel preached without let or hindrance. Surely if this means that the C of E breaks into its constituent parts, that would be no bad thing - each free to pursue its own vision of how the great commandment is put into effect. Personally, I knew that the moment the first woman was ordained priest, any pretence at being part of the universal catholic Church was lost, and so I left. Yet not without sadness because I had much earlier learned my catholicity from learned catholic clergy in the C of E.
Fr. Michael, Hieromonk.

Bishop Alan Wilson said...

Thank you for putting your story so clearly,Michael. You could be right. I completely agree with your point about decision to ordain women as priests being the point whatever happened happened, for good or ill, though we'd disagree about what happened and whether it was good or ill. If you think the "Universal Catholic Church" is the Roman Catholic Church, you will probably be the best disciple you can be as a Roman Catholic. If, however you define it as "the whole company of God's faithful people, RC, orthodox, Methodists, Baptists, and all" then you become Catholic by being baptised, not by signing up to a denomination. As to disestablishment this could induce that. I can see that different expressions of Christianity, some of which tolerate what appears to everyone else to be sexual discrimination on dogmatic grounds and others of which say that the liberation of women to be all they are called to be is part of the good news is possible. It gives me the creeps, though...

ffewsh said...

I laughed out loud when I saw this image here last night. I must admit that I laughed out loud when I heard the news of the vote on Tuesday - from disbelief (I didn't follow the debate during the day).

Some lines from Sydney Carter kept coming into my mind yesterday:
They cut me down but I leapt up high
For I am the life that will never never die

and seeing an image of a certain well-known maverick dancing across the Sea of Galilee, daring us to follow him.

There's a very lively conversation taking place over at Lay Anglicana on this subject - so far only one nay-sayer has joined in so it would be good to hear from Anonymous and Hieromonk there too. particularly if they are able to answer points of detail that various people have raised. And you of course Alan.

I'd like to say to all and sundry how much I have appreciated the ministry of women in the church all my adult life, including priests and deacons, and how much I look forward to the appointment of women bishops in more and more Anglican provinces. I hope and pray the next Archbishop of Canterbury after Justin will be a woman. I hope all women standing at the altar and in the pulpit in England tomorrow will feel aware of the overwhelming support for them among our bishops, clergy and laity.

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