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Saturday, 16 June 2012

So near, yet so far



The Agenda for the July 2012 General Synod has been published. As the news release succinctly puts it:  "The Agenda provides for the Synod to deal with the final stages of the major legislative process designed to make it possible for women to be bishops in the Church of England while also making some provision for those who, for theological reasons, will not be able to receive their ministry. If the legislation is approved, by simple majorities, by the House of Laity and the Convocations, the way will be clear for it to be presented for final approval on Monday 9 July. As with the women priests legislation in 1992, the whole of the morning and afternoon sittings has been allocated to the Final Approval debates."

'Some provision' just about sums it up. A mere nod towards those who were promised an honoured place in the church. WATCH has plotted their removal on just about every false pretext. Why? So long as traditionalists remain in the Church of England (and the Church in Wales) they are an embarrassing reminder that the Anglican church has separated itself from the historic faith which we affirm in our creed yet the feminist mitre is almost in their grasp, so near yet so far from the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church in which we profess our traditional belief.

If the liberal cause is just why has there been such a dirty campaign? It is no coincidence that the same weapon is being used to make people accept same sex marriage as has been used by those in favour of the ordination of women, deception. Regardless of their views, opponents of same sex marriage are described as 'religious hardliners and anti-gay'; homophobic bigots discriminating against homosexuals to deny them equal rights while ignoring the fact that many homosexual people oppose the move believing marriage to be the joining of a man and a women and what is being sought is not equality but a hastily ill-considered re-definition of marriage.

Despite the fact that thousands of woman petitioned against the measure, many of those in favour of the ordination of women accuse opponents of misogyny, homophobia, prejudice, discrimination and the brutalisation of women when in fact they simply disagree on theological grounds. Others try to read into the Bible anything that suits them. For example, much is made of Mary Magdalene being 'the Apostle to the Apostles' ignoring the important fact that what Mary did after she found the tomb empty was to run to tell the men, Peter and the disciple Jesus loved, the Apostles to whom Jesus entrusted His church.

Now the vote is said to be in doubt. Supporters of women's ordination threaten to vote against the measure just as they threatened to leave the church if they did not get their own way and have threatened again, even calling of strike action. There is a feeling by many that we have come thus far so just get on with it reminding me of the minister who suggested we raise the motorway speed limit to 80 mph because so many people ignored the law. The wider church is in no doubt, what is proposed is, in theological terms, unacceptable in the catholic church, Orthodox and Western. This is not about equality of opportunity in the work place. 

There can be only one legitimate vote: NO.

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