Skip to comments.Church group is split over women bishops [CofE]
Posted on 12/28/2005 8:27:16 AM PST by sionnsar
Church of England bishops are at loggerheads over proposals aimed at averting a new split over women bishops.
A working party of the House of Bishops is drawing up a plan in an attempt to prevent hundreds of traditionalists from walking out of the Church when women become bishops.
It was hoped that the bishops would be able to present it to the General Synod as their favoured option during the next debate on the fraught issue in February.
However, The Daily Telegraph has learned that the bishops are divided, with liberals complaining that the proposals will demean women and institutionalise schism. The traditionalist bishops say the plan does not go far enough to protect their constituency.
A key premise of the proposals, though not spelt out in the draft plan, is that the Archbishop of Canterbury would have to agree to give up his role of consecrating women and delegate the task to another bishop.
While Dr Rowan Williams is expected to preside at all consecrations in the South of England, it would be a symbolic rather than legal requirement. Free from the "taint" of person ally consecrating women, he would then be more acceptable to the traditionalist wing of the Church.
He and the Archbishop of York could then appoint a number of traditionalist bishops to minister to the several hundred parishes that are expected to reject women bishops. Controversially, these traditionalist bishops would be given a legal right to minister to parishes that wanted them, regardless of the views of the diocesan bishop.
Traditionalist parishes would, however, have a higher hurdle to jump than at present. They can opt for a "flying" bishop if a majority of the parochial church council votes to do so but under the new proposals, the electorate would be widened, and votes may have to be regularly repeated.
Under another proposal, the Crown Nominations Commission, the body that recommends bishops to the Prime Minister, would have the discretion to deci de when the time was right to appoint a woman archbishop. Liberal bishops say the plan will turn women into second-class citizens if they are not consecrated in the same way as their male counterparts.
They also complain that, for the first time, schism will be enshrined in a legal measure, passed by parliament and given royal assent.
They want a single-clause measure which allows women to become bishops, with any protection for traditionalists contained in a separate, non-binding code of practice.
Many traditionalists have called for a much more radical "third province", a church within a church with its own archbishop, bishops and clergy and no women clerics.
The working group, under the Bishop of Guildford, the Rt Rev Christopher Hill, hopes to present its final draft to a private meeting of the House of Bishops next month.
But one bishop said: "There is a group in the middle, and it is a large group, who are acutely aware that we haven't done the homework on this."
Oh yeah, it's estimated that by 2025 there will be MORE Muslims in GB than Anglicans..they're trying to build the mosque in London that will hold 40,000+
One other tidbit..In France...45% of the population have NEVER been inside a church..
A lot of this material has shown up in places across the Anglican blogworld. It is truly a sad state of affairs.
Is this kind of a farce really going to placate anybody? Whether the Archbishop of Canterbury personally consecrates a woman or he empowers others to do so...you'll still have women bishops! Can anybody, on either side be happy with this?
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