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Sunday, 7 October 2012
"This stinking fish has been a long time on the slab. Back in 1992, the church voted to admit women to the priesthood, but this was only agreed upon the intervention of the then Archbishop of York, Dr John Habgood, who insisted that there were “two integrities” within the church: the one that could accept women priests and the other that could not. Room must be made for both. If Dr Habgood’s agreeable compromise had not been accepted then there would not have been a majority in favour of the ordination of women".- The Rev Peter Mullin, The Telegraph, 06 Feb 2012
Living with two integrities is now unacceptable to the cause of Women and the Church. According to most reports, being seen to be on the wrong side of the fence has been a clear impediment to the chances of the Bishop of London's name appearing on the Crown Nominations Committee list of two possible candidates to succeed Rowan Williams as Archbishop of Canterbury. Brief profiles of the 16 people selecting Rowan's successor indicate that all but two members are in favour of women bishops. It is not clear what protection for opponents would be favoured by some but of the 'Canterbury six' only one conservative amongst the modernisers wants concessions for traditionalists. Of the two 'Canterbury' women, one wants 'only minimal protection for opponents' while the other is 'opposed to measures which would make them inferior to male counterparts', ie, no concessions.
There is a more balanced representation between conservatives and modernisers among the remainder of the panel, all but two are in favour of women bishops. Again it is not clear how some of them feel about opponents but one who is completely out-of-step with the Anglican Communion while supposedly representing them has already withdrawn provision for opponents in the Church in Wales. Also highlighted is the fact that the chair of the London branch of Women and the Church is said to be 'frustrated at the Bishop of London’s opposition to the ordination of women'. No surprise there given the record of WATCH but is it acceptable that a commanding figure such as the Rt Rev Richard Chartres is considered beyond the pail because of his opposition to women priests regardless of his ability or suitability when the church has “two integrities”, or was their acceptance simply a cynical act of duplicity for political ends?
But does it really matter? Not if these estimates are correct because the Church of England will be dead in 20 years time. Killed by politically correct, self-interested groups who have tinkered with other people's faith to such an extent that many have already given up attending formal worship - other than in the Diocese of London, that is where the church is still growing!
The stench is overwhelming.