The silence of the Archbishops in defence of those of their flock who they regard has having gone astray is deafening. Faithful Anglicans are allowed to be pilloried and condemned within the church and without. From mis-quoting the bible to scare stories, from buffoonery to an angry protest, all is sanctioned by their silence. The women bishops movement has followed greed with anger. It seems that nothing is barred in the campaign to discredit those who put Christ before political correctness - although one is forced to admit that the 'apron protest' is far more civilized than the dirty campaign they waged in favour of women priests.
Such is the arrogance of the ruling liberal wing of the church that Affirming Catholicism (AffCath), the society formed to further the liberal cause, brazenly uses the image of Christ on their web site as if to claim Christ's affirmation for their secular ambitions which focus more on gender issues than on the unity of the Apostolic Church. It is no surprise therefore that AffCaff have stepped into the women bishops debate with a predictable statement which mimics that of Women and the Church (WATCH): "a new way forward must be found, which recognises from the beginning that acceptable provisions cannot mean structures for separate existence" [my emphasis - Ed.]
Speaking on the subject of 'Affirming Tradition' at the AffCaff inaugural meeting in 1990 the then Revd Professor Rowan Williams, Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity and Canon of Christ Church, Oxford had this to say: It's not much use fighting tribalism by inventing new tribes; and at present the Church of England is in an unusual tribal phase, when every group seems convinced that its vision of the truth is terminally at risk, and everyone but them is making the running. Part of the trouble with this, of course, is that it fosters the delusion that unless we strain every nerve to preserve our vision, God's promise to be with the Church becomes void; as if God could do nothing unless 'we got it right' and defeated the opposition. If today's title is serious, we are supposed to be hear to affirm something which means helping each other towards confidence and gratitude and away from anxiety [my emphasis - Ed].
Quoting from Michael Ramsey's book The Gospel and the Catholic Church, Rowan Williams continued: "We are a Catholic and a Reformed Church; we believe that the real continuity of the gospel is sometimes served by apparent rupture and discontinuity; and we know a bit about having to stand in worship alongside people of very different visions. We ought to be able to manage a 'theology of disagreement'. if I can so call it - understanding that our diversity is not primarily a mutual threat, but a mutual gift. We can afford to listen to each other, and to our cultural and intellectual milieu, not anxiously waiting to be offended but expecting to be taken somehow deeper into the life of the giving God. Our security is not to be in what we possess and hold tight, but in God's promise to hold us, the promise realised at every baptism and mass, when we are brought again to the one whose whole identity is the promise of faithfulness, the 'Yes' of God.
As the original 'tribe', orthodox Anglicans have 'stood alongside people of very different visions. Two decades later the invaders want traditional Anglicans expelled: the 'opposition' must be defeated, if necessary by changing the rules. The 'Yes' of God has become subordinate to the Yes of Synod in a measure designed to silence orthodoxy for the sake of a politically correct view of society when society generally couldn't care less about the church other than in time of need.
Statements such as "acceptable provisions cannot mean structures for separate existence" are made in the full knowledge that only a separate existence would allow both the integrities to move forward equally in good conscience. So we are back to 'Go'. All the reasons for saying no rather than 'Yes' will be rehearsed to ensure that there is no existence rather than a separate existence. AffCath claim to be a movement of inspiration and hope in the Anglican Communion, seeking to bring together and strengthen lay and ordained people. As reformed and reforming Catholics, [they] seek to renew the universal Church by including those with different perspectives and bearing witness in the world to Christ’s healing and reconciling love. I see no evidence of their witness to Christ's healing and reconciling love. Having set themselves apart from the universal church they have convinced themselves that they 'got it right' even though they are part of a church within the Universal church. Is that not a separate existence?
Without doubt it will be claimed that the circumstances are different but that sums up the disingenuity of a clique that pretends to be working for the good of all while erecting every possible obstacle to ensure that others fail to flourish. Their ingenuity has been to use secular criteria of equality in the work place as a cause for dissatisfaction. Their disingenuity is in its application to faith and doctrine, impugning the integrity of others. They have pleaded their cause widely in society to the extent that if their supporters filled the pews we would have to increase the number of services rather than close churches for lack of attendance. So much for their integrity.
So successful has this ploy been that, with the rare exception, condemnation comes from all quarters despite the fact that the correct procedures were followed with a high expectation that a significant minority, many cradle Anglicans, were being asked to vote themselves out of existence. Contrary to reports, the vote did NOT 'tear up plans to ordain women as bishops despite overwhelming support in the parishes'. Rather it sought proper provision for doubters as previously promised. If those now reveling in the description, reformed and reforming Catholics seek to renew the universal Church by a process of submission, then the new Anglican church will have more in common with Islam than Catholicism. Talking about the unavoidable introduction of Sharia law in the UK in 2008 Dr Rowan Williams told the BBC that the UK has to "face up to the fact" that some of its citizens do not relate to the British legal system. - Rather like Synod and their legal system if they don't relate to the result!