|Photo: The Telegraph|
"The process to appoint the 79th bishop [of Bath and Wells] has taken far longer than normal, leading to speculation that the diocese was holding out to approve women bishops – one of the main topics for debate within the Church, where the change is widely approved in the top tiers, but held back by the laity in the Synod." - Western Daily Press. Full story here and in the Church Times here.
In an interview on Radio Somerset, the Bishop-designate, the Rt Revd Peter Hancock said the Church has “made a very clear decision” on women bishops, and “it is not a matter of ‘should we’ or ‘will we’, but ‘when will we’. I am very confident it will not be long until the first woman bishop is consecrated.
Bishop Hancock is correct but only partially. The 'Church' he speaks of is not the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church but a little part of it which has placed synodical governance above faith.
This obsession with women bishops is not only tiresome, it is contributing to the death of Anglicanism. A couple of weeks ago the Ledbury Reporter reported:
"Hereford diocese has been ‘timed out’ of a chance to make history by having the Church of England’s first women bishop. The Diocese confirmed this week that its new bishop will not be a woman – despite the diocese having the highest percentage of women priests in the Church of England. Just one church in the diocese still holds out against women clergy, but its stance is acknowledged by the diocese as 'softening'."
Now divorced from the historic faith of the Church, the Church of England has become obsessed with being seen as an equal opportunities employer with senior staff basing their notion of ministry on a perceived need for change to accord with current whim rather than on the testament of history.
So what will be left when the battle is done and we have women bishops? It will be too late to return to traditional beliefs. Ambitious candidates will no longer be able to wear a badge on their sleeves proclaiming their submission; bishops who have ached for the day when women are 'treated equally' will be left without a cause and become superfluous to women who will have achieved their objective. Male allies will become the foe. The push for equality will become the push for parity with the ultimate aim of female archbishops. Then what?
Enjoy the moment guys!