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Women clergy express anger at bishops' Synod appeal (CofE)
The Church of England Newspaper ^ | 7/08/2005 | unknown

Posted on 07/08/2005 7:39:02 AM PDT by sionnsar

The row over the consecration of women as bishops escalated this week as senior female clergy demanded clarifications from bishops who had called for the Church to delay giving its approval for the move.

Bishops have been told to write to their female clergy to reduce the level of anger and resentment that has resulted from their decision to issue a letter to The Church of England Newspaper, urging the Church to postpone beginning the process to allow women to be bishops.

Women priests were so upset by the letter, which said that there had not been enough time for proper debate on the issue, that scores have written to their bishops to express their dismay.

The Bishop of Durham, the Rt Rev Tom Wright, has moved to reassure female clergy of his support for women bishops, but said that there was a danger that prematurely starting the process to allow women bishops could be seen as “knee-jerk reaction.”

He added: “I will do all in my power to ensure that wise and charitable debate on points of major difference, rather than crowbarring our way to our desired solution, will be the normal modus operandi within the Church.”

As the General Synod prepares to debate whether to begin removing legal obstacles to women’s consecration as bishops, the war between factions seems to be intensifying.

The Anglo-Catholic group, Forward in Faith, accused one of the leading campaigners for women bishops of saying that they compared female priests with ‘cheap whores’.

They point to a Swedish newspaper’s interview with Christina Rees, Chair of Women and the Church, where she is quoted as saying that “Forward in Faith describes these ordained women, by grossly abusive invective, as though they were cheap whores”.

Mrs Rees argues that she has been taken out of context. She said that she was trying to show why the group’s use of the word “priestesses” is so offensive, as there were types of priestesses who were also the temple prostitutes.

It is expected that the General Synod will ignore the bishops’ letter and vote to begin the process to allow women bishops. However, a survey by the University of Wales, Bangor, found that there is still a high level of opposition to the move.

A two-thirds majority would be required in each of the General Synod’s houses to pass a final resolution for women bishops, but the research found that there could be a very thin line between success and failure.

It found that 66 per cent of the clergy supports women bishops and that figure falls to 63 per cent among the laity.

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant
[David Virtue posted on the "cheap whores" remark. An excerpt follows -- and perhaps the member of the ping list who speaks Swedish can verify the translation? --sionnsar]

"I believe", she says, leaning forward out of the plush sofa as if to underline her own words, "that God is not against women. It seems so extraordinarily insulting to Him to claim anything like that. So what do we say about God? How does that rhyme with the image of the all-embracing, loving and inclusive god? (sic) "Forward in Faith instead describes these ordained women, these holy women, by grossly abusive invective, as though they were cheap whores. This is so offensive that I cannot find words for it."

('Jag menar, säger hon och lutar sig fram ur den pösiga soffan för att ge eftertryck åt sina ord, Gud är inte emot kvinnor. Så oerhört förolämpande mot Honom att hävda något sådant. Vad säger vi då om Gud? Hur rimmar det med bilden av den allomfattande, kärleksfulle och inkluderande guden? I stället beskriver Forward in Faith-alliansen dessa vigda kvinnor, dessa heliga kvinnor, med grova tillmälen som vore de billiga horor. Det är så oförskämt att jag saknar ord.')

Fr Geoffrey Kirk, Vicar of St Stephen's, Lewisham and National Secretary of Forward in Faith explained that he had immediately written to Mrs Rees, asking for clarification, but had as yet received no satisfactory response. He commented:

'This is yet another example of the depths to which Christina Rees is prepared to sink in order to pursue her programme of driving out of the Church of England all those who cannot accept her revisionist agenda. It demonstrates only too clearly that she knows that she has lost the theological argument and that Forward in Faith's cogent proposals for a settlement whereby women could be consecrated as bishops, with proper provision being made for opponents, are gaining support from all sections of the Church.'

1 posted on 07/08/2005 7:39:02 AM PDT by sionnsar
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To: ahadams2; anselmcantuar; Agrarian; coffeecup; Paridel; keilimon; Hermann the Cherusker; ...
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Speak the truth in love. Eph 4:15

2 posted on 07/08/2005 7:39:21 AM PDT by sionnsar (†† || Iran Azadi || Kyoto: Split Atoms, not Wood)
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To: sionnsar

Interesting: we've had enough talk now we want action. There's a cute country-western song about that, though the action desired is not ordination (it does resemble what we authorize in a Sacrament, though the singer appears not to have this distnction in mind).

My only response to these women is that their attitude comes across as dictatorial, which is the tone I thought they were originally protesting. Plus ca change, yes?

In Christ,
Deacon Paul+

3 posted on 07/08/2005 10:37:53 AM PDT by BelegStrongbow (St. Joseph, protector of the Innocent, pray for us!)
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