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Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Gender politics to trump Christian unity

From the Archbishop of Canterbury: "We're very conscious that one of the reproaches that can be laid against the bench is that it's not exactly representative in gender terms. As and when women become bishops, we don't particularly want women bishops to have to wait until 2025 or something before there is any possibility of their being represented on the bench. We want the discretion and flexibility to allow a little bit of fast-tracking there."

So gender politics, not spirituality, will be the life-blood of the Church of England (as it is in the Church in Wales), putting aside any chance of responding to Christ's prayer for unity. Giving evidence to the joint committee on the draft House of Lords reform bill, Archbishop Rowan Williams explained that 'the Church of England was nearing the end of a "complex, protracted process" to allow the ordination of women as bishops'. A confident prediction which implies a forgone conclusion. A similar confidence afflicted his successor as Archbishop of Wales who lost the vote largely because of his mean spirited attitude to those who did not share his conviction that he knew better than the teaching of the Universal Church which has handed down our core beliefs and tradition for two thousand years. One can only hope that when it comes to the vote in Synod there will be a pause for deep thought and reflection on what the Church of England is doing, not in the name of God but in the name of feminism.

In England, Archbishop Rowan does not share the same attitude as his successor in Wales, preferring to make some sort of provision for traditionalists but in their usual narrow minded way, Women and the Church (WATCH) have poured cold water on the idea that there could be renewed hope for traditionalists following the diocesan process of debating proposed legislation for the admission of women to the episcopacy - the process which determines religious obligation by voting on the whim of the day instead of theology. That has been a disaster for the Anglican church in the USA and well illustrates the path being followed here. I can no better sum up my feelings than quote from this heartfelt cry:

"This once-noble Church is being transformed, at the hands of single-minded activists, into a secular cult which will reflect only its lack of all Scripture-based grounding and tradition, and (in their place) will embody only the sacrifice to Caesar of those things which are properly God's. Nothing will then distinguish such a "Church" from its pagan predecessors. As a consequence, nothing about it will any longer have any claim to loyalty or adherence on the part of its traditional members."

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