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Saturday, 1 January 2011

Honour and Dishonour

Eighty-three year old Kathleen White has worked at Claverley Post Office near Wolverhampton for 68 years becoming sub-postmistress in 1960. She has also spent 38 years on the parish council and ran the Sunday school at nearby All Saints Church for more than 20 years. She has been awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours List for her services as an unsung hero.
Sixty-six year old former south-east London MP Peter Bottomley (pictured left) receives a knighthood  after (only) 35 years in the Commons. "The former Tory minister, an MP since 1975, is honoured for public service in recognition of his "long and distinguished" parliamentary career."
Distanced greatly in their service awards , Miss White and Sir Peter share links of service to the Church of England. While Miss White has been busy teaching the Christian faith to children for over 20 years, Sir Peter has been busy on church business. He is a former Chairman of the Church of England Children’s Society and a trustee of Christian Aid but it is his service on the parliamentary Ecclesiastical Committee which is especially noteworthy, particularly for traditionalists in the Church of England. Asked for his views on the ordination of women bishops his response was "Surely people should be considered on merit. Sex is not merit. Sex is not a qualification or a disqualification." 

In 1992 the Ecclesiastical Committee insisted that provisions must be made for those opposed to women bishops, something conveniently forgotten when the Church of England submitted to the will of Women and the Church (WATCH) who have been determined not to honour pledges given. In 2008 Mr Bottomley's response to this duplicity was "Essentially everyone knew that when you had the ordination of women as priests that this would lead to the ordination of women bishops after a decent length of pause. Some would say it has now been an indecent length of pause." An odd sense of honour for someone in a trusted position. Perhaps having served on the Parliamentary Standards Committee and knowing so much about honesty, openness, evasion, misrepresentation and lying he felt well qualified to distinguish between honour and dishonour.

It is a pity Sir Peter doesn't know the difference between faith and political correctness. If he were to read Pope Benedict XVI's account "On the Church’s position on against women priests in "Light of the World" quoted here, or listen to Dr Priscilla Noble-Mathews linked here, he would be much better informed. Traditionalists in the Church of England must hope that his colleagues on the Ecclesiastical Committee are better informed and pray that God rather than political correctness guides them in their work in 2011 and beyond. 

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