Skip to comments.Deadlock reached on women bishops [CofE]
Posted on 06/21/2006 7:40:38 PM PDT by sionnsar
TALKS set up to try and pave the way forward for the introduction of women Bishops into the Church of England have ended in deadlock. The House of Bishops failed to reach a consensus at its meeting in Market Bosworth in Leicestershire last week and now looks likely to ask the General Synod for more time to find a solution over the controversial issue. This means yet a further delay to any start in legislation being drawn up to enable women to become Bishops.
Christina Rees, chair of the WATCH group which is campaigning for women Bishops, was present at some of the discussions with Bishops during the early part of the week. She said she felt deeply disappointed that the talks had ended in failure, and added: We dont need to spend any more time discussing this or setting up any more working parties - the Church of England doesnt need any more working parties but a resolution on this issue. Weve been asking this question for such a long time and we are ready to make this decision, but Im starting to see the dynamic of fear take over the dynamic of faith.
There is fear of those who remain opposed even though overall the Church is clearly in favour of women Bishops. But Stephen Parkinson, National Director of traditionalist Anglo-Catholic group Forward in Faith, called for the establishment of a third province in the Church of England which would see anti-women clerics moved into their own enclave. He said: What has happened leaves us back at the drawing board. Had the House of Bishops or Guildford Group consulted with us about what we would like to see happen they would have got closer to a solution, but they didnt and now they are in a mess.
What we want to see is a structural re-organisation of churches so Bishops have proper jurisdiction over those parishes that choose to distance themselves from women Bishops, you can call it a third province if you like. One solution which has already been outlined in a report drawn up by a group chaired by the Bishop of Guildford, the Rt Rev Christopher Hill, proposed placing traditionalist clerics under the responsibility of Bishops sympathetic to their views.
Next month the Churchs General Synod is due to vote on whether to take the legislative process forward.
As a non-Anglican, I ask why the consecration of women as bishops is an issue if the ordination of women as priests is not. Is it not just a question of degree once you have ordained women as priests?
The ordination of women as priests is also an ongoing issue in the world-wide Anglican Communion. It is not universally accepted -- and few Anglicans outside the wwAC accept same.
I am not about to defend those who favor the one and oppose the other, because I am not one of them.
(I do commend you for your grasp of the appropriate terminology, however!)
Please forgive me for my ignorance - but I have no knowledge of how many Anglicans are within the wwAC and how many are without or why they are without.
That's okay. There are about 77 million Anglicans worldwide. There are maybe at most 5 million (I think I am being very generous) in the national churches that are espousing non-Christian beliefs (US, Canada, South Africa, some Britain/New Zealand/Australia).
Perhaps it would be beneficial to the ones who espouse Christian beliefs (and I hazard a guess that you are among them) to sever themselves from the others or to allow them to secede.
I am a member of a province that is waiting for the world-wide Anglican Communion to sort itself out before (re-)joining...
I understand. I must retire for the evening, but I look forward to chatting with you in the future.
The peace of Christ be with you.
I suspect she wouldn't consider "no" to be a resolution of the issue.
I'm not Anglican either, but I read one commentator that made a good point.
There's a debate on whether the sacraments can even be administered validly by a woman priest. But even so, that only affects the parishioners who are directly in her care.
Make a woman a bishop, and suddenly she is responsible for ordaining new bishops and priests. If her sacraments are invalid, then all the women *and men* she "ordains" are invalid. All the other bishops she helps to consecrate (and I assume this woman as Primate will do just that) are invalid as well. And, likewise, the bishops and priest they ordain are also invalid.
Basically, having a woman priest only affects one congregation. Folks can just go to another parish if they don't believe in the validity of her sacraments. But having women bishops is like swinging a chainsaw right through the heart of Anglican orders. An Anglican who firmly holds to the invalidity of female priests, would have this mess where he would have to scrupulously investigate the lineage of bishops to make sure that there was no woman in the line. (We see something very like this situation in schismatic Catholic groups, and believe me, it is not pretty).
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