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Sunday, 8 July 2012

Lies damned lies and the new Church of England

As tomorrow's planned Synod vote on women bishops approaches, newspaper reports have been full of claims that the majority of people want to see women in the episcopate. Indeed, readers are frequently told that '42 dioceses out of 44 voted in favour'. But what is unsaid is that not all worshippers will have agreed. Back in 2008, Christina Rees, the then Chair of WATCH, explained that she had a 'different interpretation of the Bible' which enabled her to think that it would be a 'good thing' when women are bishops; also that where there are women bishops it 'works very well' no doubt ignoring what is going on in the country of her birth! 

Four years later she claims that "this is about the church's attitude to all women", an attitude recently expanded by blaming all women's ills on their exclusion from ordination including "rape, sexual abuse, violence against women and women's political and economic subjugation", a not unfamiliar charge to readers of this blog. On Friday in its editorial the Guardian added its own voice with the claim, 'Church of England: what women don't want', in a typically secular analysis which describes traditional faith as 'anachronistic resistance' in line with WATCH's view of the church as an outdated secular institution

The truth is that the majority of Christians are happy with the ministry of women but not in the ordained ministry. There may be a current majority of 42 out of 44 Church of England dioceses in favour of changing the Church of England for ever but that takes no account of the many worshippers who, in common with most of Christendom, struggle to uphold the catholic faith of the apostolic church against the onslaught of secularism. Surely they deserve some consideration in a Christian church which assured them an honoured place in the church when proponents of women's ordination were allowed to have their way. But despite the promises made, the odds are now stacked against traditionalists. In a recent vote Telegraph readers were asked: Should the Church of England ordain women bishops? with the first option to vote: 'Yes, the church should treat women and men equally', suggesting that those against the ordination of women do not believe in equality, a complete misrepresentation which equates equality with sameness rather than being complementary which,of necessity, male and female must be. 

So from a situation in which a tiny majority allowed women to be ordained  to the priesthood, we have reached the stage in the Church of England in which women ordinands outnumber men in a process which is feminizing the church. Not satisfied with their success proponents are determined to crush all opposition with MPs and peers now joining their bandwagon - as if they have not caused enough damage to the church already with their attack on the institution of holy matrimony. With charges of institutionalizing discrimination which WATCH says will result in the appointment of 'second class' women bishops, it now seems more than likely that tomorrow's vote will be postponed, a move WATCH and their allies hope will ultimately give their feminist cause outright victory resulting in the appointment of what they deem to be 'first class' women bishops. With such a dishonest campaign how can they be?

Here's another gem from the Telegraph this morning:
"...a poll of the general public [my emphasis] showed widespread incomprehension at the Church's entanglement with almost three quarters agreeing that the it was "out of touch" with the general view that women can do any job that a man can do.
The poll by ComRes for the Bible Society also found that almost six out of 10 people view the Church as "sexist" rather than accepting that the objections were theological."

A woman's ability is not in question. It is not whether a woman can do any job but whether, on theological grounds, she should, something the 'general public' could not be expected to understand since the concept is beyond the wit of many in the Church of England including many of her bishops. (9 July 2012) 

Update (pm 9 July 2012)
"The Church of England is to delay a final vote on the consecration of women bishops to allow a late amendment to be reconsidered.
The General Synod voted by 288 votes to 144 to adjourn the debate, after protests from pro-women campaigners.
They object to an amendment to the draft law allowing parishes who do not accept women bishops to request a male bishop who shares their beliefs.
The new vote is likely to happen at a special Synod session in November." - BBC

Let us hope and pray that the bishops will not lose their nerve, maintaining the courage of their convictions against the inevitable onslaught that is to come from pro-women campaigners.

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