"There are various ways of interpreting what happened on 20 November. But one
thing on which there is a very wide measure of consensus is that the outcome of
that day has left the Church of England in a profoundly unsatisfactory and
unsustainable position. There are several reasons for this:
It is apparent that opening all three orders of ministry equally to men
and women has a very wide measure of support across the Church of
For those women already serving in the ordained ministry, the Church
of England’s continued indecision is undermining and harmful to
Even for those with theological difficulties over the ministry of women
as priests and bishops there is little appeal in a further prolonged period
of debate and uncertainty;
Wider society – including its representatives in Parliament - cannot
comprehend why the Church of England has failed to resolve the issue
and expects it now to do so as a matter of urgency."
This is the new Church of England, now hardly distinguishable from a trade union for women in the church. To be 'called' to the priesthood is one thing, to presume preferment is quite another and peculiar to the ordination of woman, contrary to what one would expect from those sent to serve. How can the Church of England’s 'continued indecision' be undermining and harmful to morale for those women already serving in the ordained ministry unless they are in the ordained ministry for the wrong reasons?
But they have already been handed the key:
"...while not involving the majority in any new element of compromise on matters of principle" in providing... a greater sense of security for the minority as having an accepted and valued place in the Church of England. - Isn't that the same way forward?
A member of the working group, the Chair of the women's union has already set out her stall here suggesting a new mission statement for the Church of England: A female episcopacy at any cost. The search for simplicity in the General Synod paper shifts the emphasis away from 'respect' to 'trust' (Paras 14, 15, 39 and 40). Now call me a cynic but all experience so far indicates that revisionists cannot be trusted. If they could be we would not be where we are. The latest example arose in the debate on same sex marriage [Hansard 5 Feb 2013 : Column 160]
Parliament is sovereign—we can vote for what we want—but we must be very careful that law and reality do not conflict. In 1648, the Earl of Pembroke, in seeking to make the point that Parliament is sovereign, said that Parliament can do anything but make a man a woman or a woman a man. Of course, in 2004, we did exactly that with the Gender Recognition Act. We are now proposing to make equally stark changes to the essence of marriage. During the civil partnership debates, I was given solemn assurances on the Floor of the House, including by some sitting on the Opposition Benches now, that the Civil Partnership Act would not lead to full same-sex marriage. Chris Bryant rose— Mr Leigh: I am happy to give way to the hon. Gentleman who gave those assurances to me.