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Monday, 2 July 2012
Two wrongs don't make a right
Three stories here, here and here with ever more appearing in the run-up to the synod vote, all suggesting that women are being cheated out of their rightful place in the church hierarchy when in reality it is they who have cheated and continue to cheat with false claims of misogyny and discrimination to achieve their goal of outright victory no matter what the cost to others. In addition to WATCH (Women and the church) and GRAS (Group for Rescinding the Act of Synod) they even have their own self-promotion lobby, Darc (Women Deans, Archdeacons and Residentiary Canons) from whom the first woman bishop in the Church of England is likely be appointed.
Quoting immature school girls in her sample of views of clergy and congregations for the BBC, Charlotte Smith says that they could not understand why women could be vicars but they could not be bishops. Also, 'some of the volunteers' working in the cathedral were 'equally mystified'. One said, "If women are made priests, inevitably, if they're good, they should become bishops", apparently ignorant of the fact that we profess to belong to one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church in which the ordination of women to the priesthood is not permitted, a point side stepped by WATCH in their briefing notes when they compare the Church of England with Methodists, Baptists and others in Catching up with our sister Churches:
• The Methodist Church: the Church of England is close to joining formally with them, but they have made it clear that they will not agree to this unless we allow women to be bishops. They have had a number of ordained women as Presidents since the first in 1992.
• URC: this year they have two women (ordained and lay) as joint Moderators of their General Assembly (equivalent of the Archbishop of Canterbury) and they have had others in the past.
• Baptist Union: have women as regional ministers – their equivalent of Bishops.
If that is what they wanted the way was clear for them to join one of those denominations but that would have implied an act of faith rather than a secular drive for so called equality when inequality did not exist in the Anglican church until feminists succeeded in turning traditionalists into an underclass unworthy of provision other than on the victors' terms.
The Independent puts it this way: "Supporters of change say they are "furious" at the House of Bishops for adding the concession and a coalition of senior ordained women now say they cannot support the legislation. The group, known as Darc ... urged church members to vote down the Bill as they believe the latest changes have made it discriminatory. The Rev Celia Thomson, Canon of Gloucester Cathedral and Darc convenor, said: "The House of Bishops are, in good faith, concerned to keep as many people happy as possible, but the amendment they have added won't serve that purpose. It would discriminate against women in law. Do we really want to be... responsible for putting through legislation that discriminates against women? It's very distressing for all women clergy and for lay women in the Church, because it's saying something profound about how women are viewed. And that's not how the majority of the Church thinks about it".
The 'majority of the Church' as the Rev Celia Thomson puts it sees no discrimination against women. What she refers to is a simple majority conjured up through synodical process in what is fast becoming a protestant sect. Selective in their approach, they first claimed that they would be 'second class' bishops if concessions were made, now they use the familiar charge of discrimination. Anything in fact that they can stir up to avoid any concession to those who do not embrace a scheme which is turning the Anglican church into yet another protestant denomination.
With hindsight it is clear that trust was misplaced when women were made deacons then when they were ordained priests, that is the real cause of distress in the church. It is not the case that "If women are made priests, inevitably, if they're good, they should become bishops", they should not have been ordained as priests". They should not have been ordained in the first place. Two wrongs don't make a right!
In a recent survey by Christian Research among over a 1000 CofE worshippers, 75% of those surveyed said they wanted traditionalists to be enabled to remain in the CofE by appropriate provision for their position.
In response to another survey which showed that ordained women priests now outpace men in Church of England, David Martin, Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics, told The Sunday Times, "It's obvious that over time the priesthood will become increasingly a female profession. As far as the church has a future it will include a predominant ministry of women and they will get to the top."
(3 July, 2012)