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Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Back seat drivers

The Agenda for the July Synod  has been published, the latest move in the drive to appoint women to the episcopate regardless, thus widening the divide between the Church of England and mainstream Christianity.

The House of Bishops lost no time in recruiting women to provide the leadership they themselves lacked in an intemperate display of anger and outrage after the Church of England was forced to pause and reconsider her shabby treatment of dissenting loyal Anglicans: “those who dissent from, as well as those who assent to, the ordination of women to the episcopate are both loyal Anglicans” or, in its latest revised form, "those within the Church of England who, on grounds of theological conviction are unable to receive the ministry of women bishops or priests". So is there any hope now for the minority? Not if the back seat drivers can avoid it, maintaining control by skirting around the unwelcome obstacle of Anglicans who remain true to the faith of the majority of Christians in the Anglican Communion and beyond.

The new proposals suggest that it is difficult for anyone to claim outright victory. That is true to the extent that dissenters still have a brief mention even if no longer described as 'loyal Anglicans'. Their continued presence is based on trust rather than security but trust has a hollow ring after all the previous manoeuvring to avoid mutual satisfaction. Proponents could easily have demonstrated their sincerity by first making a determined effort to satisfy the legitimate needs of "those within the Church of England who, on grounds of theological conviction are unable to receive the ministry of women bishops or priests". Agreeing  procedures in advance could only enhance the prospect of achieving the primary goal of women in the episcopate. To date, any excuse has been used to deny those of traditional theological conviction a secure place in the Church of England, an unenviable position still under the new proposals pending what threatens to be ultimate exclusion given the lack of any safeguards.

Threats of parliamentary interference if the Church of England 'fails to put her own house in order' are now contradictory given government assurances of religious independence under the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Bill. A poll conducted last year by the UK-based polling firm ComRes found that most homosexual people in this country are not interested in gay ‘marriage’. Just half of gays and lesbians in the UK considered it important to extend marriage to same-sex couples, while only 27% say they would marry their partner if they could. The Government is moving heaven and earth to pass legislation for the personal proclivities of this tiny minority. Are loyal Anglicans adhering to the traditional faith of the Holy Catholic Church less worthy of consideration? In the Lords debate on the gay marriage Bill [17 Jun 2013 : Column 62] the importance of avoiding discrimination by protecting minorities from the tyranny of the majority was strongly advocated. Why not in Synod?

The anger of the majority resurfaces in GS 1886, the Report from the House of Bishops on 'Women in the Episcopate - New Legislative Proposals': "The House of Bishops ... acknowledged the profound and widespread sense of anger... at the decision of the Synod not to give final approval to the proposed legislation to enable women to become bishops." Never make a decision in anger is both scriptural and conventional wisdom but the Bible is no longer the basis of decision making in the Church of England. Regardless of any vote the House of Bishops has decided that the Church of England will have women bishops using The Episcopal Church in the United States as the foundation of their faith. 

God willing, the latest dollop of unconventional wisdom from the 'enhanced' House of Bishops will result in yet another defeat for the illiberal liberals and a triumph for the overwhelming orthodox view that (some) Anglicans are renouncing the historic faith of the orthodox church for personal ambition.


  1. Seems to me they are going to try and drive you out with words. No longer 'loyal Anglicans', your will written about as 'dissenters', then 'disloyal Anglicans' and finally, 'those who refuse to follow the teachings and tenets of the CoE'. The PR department of the CoE will be stocked with WATCH followers and you can bet they will not be in the mood to be charitable towards you all.
    You remain in my prayers, if you don't mind a simple Catholic praying for you all.

    1. Thank you Terry. Your prayers are always appreciated.

  2. Joseph Golightly19 June 2013 at 08:05

    A question. What happens if there is no provision for traditionalists and it's just terminal care until they either die out or accept? Will that be 'catholic'? Am I a pessimist or just realistic?