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jovan66102

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Given the constitutional implications of this are such that I'm surprised that no one noticed it.

Justin Welby invited to meet MPs over fast-tracking female bishop resolution

 In Parliament yesterday, Sir Tony Baldry announced that the new Archbishop of Canterbury would be summoned to Westminster in the coming weeks and told that MPs will not wait for a new vote on women bishops.

A
ny thoughts?


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Peter

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There's certainly room for more than one opinion on this. My feeling is that as the established church the Church of England cannot simply govern itself without regard to public policy, and public policy is that women and men are in all respects equal, with equal rights, and unless there is very good reason against all positions must be open to either sex. An example of a good reason against, not that it is entirely followed, is that due to the different average physical capabilities of women and men, the former are not suitable for front-line fighting alongside the latter. Is the belief of many Christians that for a women to be a priest, still more a bishop, is a theological impossibility, a similarly good reason? Personally I find the theological arguments less than convincing, though again there is room for more than one opinion. What I think cannot be logically argued against is that if it is accepted that women can be ordained, then it must also be accepted that they can be consecrated bishop. Once you have conceded the first I can't imagine any sensible ground for not accepting the second.

Then there is the point that female ordination causes division in the church, inarguably true, and female bishops would destroy the uneasy compromise that has been reached between those for and against women priests, also true. While avoiding division is always a good idea, sometimes division is inevitable if the church is to move forward. And I definitely think that allowing the other half of the human race to play a full and equal part is moving forward. Maybe even Parliament forcing the church to change will be easier to take and cause less division than if the church had decided to do it itself. What I am sure about is that Parliament has the right to do this so long as the Church of England remains the established, national church, which I want it to. And that Parliamentary involvement can and should be seen as a recognition of special status, rather than unjustified interference. Which is what it would be if the affairs of any other church or religion were legislated in this way. They are all subject to law, but the national church also to public policy.
Tolgron

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I'll admit, I'm in favour of women bishops, largely for the reasons Peter already stated -- my own vicar is a woman and I'm quite happy to accept her as an ordained priest. So why on Earth, then, should I suddenly balk at the idea of her also having the opportunity to be consecrated as a bishop? The first people to recognise and proclaim the Resurrection of Christ were in fact the women who went to his tomb following His crucifixion. There were also numerous female leaders of the Early Churches before St Paul's Letters and the patriarchal traditions of the Ancient World put a stop to it. For those reasons, in principle I am not opposed to the idea of a future Archbishop of Canterbury having different internal plumbing to the current one.

That said, I must also confess, I get put off by the uproar from liberal factions generated by this voting down of female bishops as well. That Parliament is also sticking in its nose and giving a very thinly veiled demand to the Church to accept women bishops also rankles my hide. The idea of a group of broadly secular, greasy, two-faced politicians telling the Church what it should and should not practise, believe and preach does not strike me as the most pleasing of thoughts.

The fact was, the laity decided they were not quite ready to accept female bishops just yet. This is sad, but is probably the result of older generation Anglicans not quite being convinced that female bishops are in the best interests of the Church. Therefore the correct response is not to scream, stamp our feet and force the Church to change its mind by running to secular authorities. The correct response would be to challenge those still reluctant on religious grounds and convince them that, in actuality, the consecration of women is not a threat to the Church at all, but instead a breath of new life for her and a truer practise of Christ's teachings and the virtues of God's Kingdom. If they cannot be convinced, develop a better argument.

But please, for the love of God, don't scream in outrage and throw a tantrum about it. It's most childish and solves nothing.

Hopefully the Church won't bow to external pressure, but will instead reconsider its position in its own time and on its own terms. And the fact is, by accepting female priests, the Church can't justify its position on female bishops honestly for much longer. I won't use the word inevitable, as the only things in life that are inevitable are death and taxes, but it's pretty likely indeed that eventually the doors will be opened for female bishops.
royalcello

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tolgron


The fact was, the laity decided they were not quite ready to accept female bishops just yet. This is sad, but is probably the result of older generation Anglicans not quite being convinced that female bishops are in the best interests of the Church.


I'm 34 and have only been an Anglican for three and a half years but am strongly opposed to women's "ordination" (though apparently not quite strongly enough to leave the Anglican Communion, as Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox might urge me to do), for reasons I have already stated at length on this forum in the past and do not feel like revisiting now.  I am relieved that the CofE will not be letting women pretend to be bishops just yet, though I know perfectly well that it is a mere Pyrrhic victory in a war my side have already lost.  I will never be convinced.  I would sooner become a Roman Catholic than accept WO.  But if I can live in the United States despite not agreeing with what was decided in Philadelphia in 1776, I think I can belong to the Episcopal Church despite not agreeing with what was decided in Minneapolis in 1976.
royalcello

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While I disagree with Peter Hitchens's support of female ministers (as a rather Protestant sort of Anglican, he does not use the term "priests"), and am thus to his "Right" on the issue, I think this is an eloquent and reasonable reflection which ought to be heeded by both sides:

http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2012/11/who-are-the-bigots-now.html

 

BaronVonServers

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As a Bible Anglican, I'm to his right as well.  While I think him on the 'wrong side' of the purported ordination of women, he's a far sight nobler than most of his co-conspirators.... :-)


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royalcello

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Indeed.  To be fair, I doubt that Mr Hitchens would have ever "conspired" for women's "ordination" prior to 1992.  But the decision having been made, he accepts it and (like many in ACNA on this side of the pond) doesn't see it as a major issue, though the un-Christian behaviour of its more militant supporters is.
BaronVonServers

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A forum moderator on an ACNA has reported that the article by CS Lewis won him over to the Male Ordination Only view.....
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