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Thursday, 9 January 2014

Church in Wales: Code of Practice consultation Pt. 2


The Rt Revd Mary Gray-Reeves and (right) Dr Katharine Jefferts Schori from the US Episcopal Church
 Credit: Church Times/AP


In November last year the Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, wrote "in God's love" to all members about the procedure to agree a code of practice "making provisions such that all members of the Church in Wales, including those who in conscience dissent from the decision to allow the consecration of women as bishops may have a sense of security in their accepted and valued place in the Church in Wales" (letter here).

The first part of the exercise has been completed where members and groups within the Church in Wales were invited to make written submissions on "the type of provision which might be made giving reasons for such proposals and any other related matters they wished to raise". The closing date for submissions was 31 December, 2013. Members who failed to do so now have a second chance.

The second stage involves a series of open meetings "in the New Year - at least one per diocese -" to enable members of the Church in Wales to make submissions in person when "all will be welcome to attend and contribute". For members in the diocese of Llandaff that means a trip to Pontypridd on a dark/wet/cold? January evening. To be precise, 7.30 pm at St Catherine’s Church Hall on Wednesday, 22 January 2014, details here. - Hardly ideal given the age profile of Church members! 

Three meeting are planned for the diocese of St Davids, details of which are set out much more clearly here. Members in the other four dioceses will need to keep an eye on the Church in Wales web site (here) for details. 

It is essential that church members make their views known to avoid claims of lack of interest. Congregations should be able to brief younger members who are better able to get to the venues making it clear that nothing but the episcopal oversight of a bishop who remains true to the teaching and practice of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church is acceptable 

Why is this important? The Episcopal Church of the United States has been presided over since 2006 by Dr Katharine Jefferts Schori with devastating results which are spreading through the Anglican Communion except where orthodoxy prevails (read here). It exposes the feminist approach to religion which masquerades as equality but in reality practices exclusion. When women were accepted for ordination in the Church in Wales provision was made for "those who in conscience dissent from the decision" by appointing a Provincial Assistant Bishop, similar to the provision made by the Church of England but unlike the Church of England, the Church in Wales abandoned provision after achieving the objective of ordaining women to the priesthood. Whilst regrettable, congregations have been able to work around the fact that their bishops have departed form Catholic orthodoxy but this will not work with the appointment of women bishops because their legitimacy is not universally accepted within the Church. 

This has nothing to do with equal opportunities for women. In secular terms appointments must be decided on ability but the episcopate is different. It is based on the example of Christ who made a conscious decision to appoint men to be His Apostles. In conscience, dissenters need to be confident that their bishop shares their understanding of the Catholic faith as it has been received and traditionally practiced. The Church in Wales is a relatively tiny province with a top heavy episcopate. While the Church in Wales Review (here) recommends a review of its administrative structure (section 15) it suggests that "there should still be the same number of bishops as at present, namely seven". 

This should provide ample opportunity for the provision of a bishop or bishops from within the existing structure but this approach would lead to complications when women are appointed to the episcopate so a cross-border solution is preferred to provide the pastoral and sacramental oversight needed by those dedicated to keeping alive the traditions of the Apostolic Church in common with the majority of Christians around the world. Under this solution the Church in Wales would continue to be supported financially and dissenting members would have the episcopal support enjoyed by like-minded members of the Church of England. This is in line with the desire of the movers of the amendment to the bishops' motion to "bring Church in Wales legislation more closely into line with other churches in the Anglican Communion who have passed legislation to enable the consecration of women bishops". 

Accordingly, anyone who can get to their diocesan meeting should do so to press for episcopal oversight acceptable to those for whom it is intended "in God's love" and in accord with Christ's example.

Postscript

A full list of venues with dates has now been published on the Church in Wales web site here.

The Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, said, “While we, as bishops, welcome the decision that women can now be ordained as bishops in Wales, we recognise that there are some people who do not. We want to make sure that adequate provision is made for them so that they will still feel valued and accepted in the Church and will continue to worship and minister alongside us.   We have been entrusted to draw up a Code of Practice within a year and we are keen to consult as widely as possible with church members in order to reflect their views as best we can.”

112 comments:

  1. It's too late now to bolt the stable door. The horse has been dog food for several months already. There is no prospect whatsoever of the Bishops conceding the creation of a flying bishop. The time has come to take appropriate action: stop handing over money to them, stop treating them as bishops, and start building a new Church for Wales in which these failed career ecclesiastics have no part whatsoever. They all voted for it, now they must accept the consequences.

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  2. It is all too late for a Code of Practice. The archbishop has no intention of putting anything in place that will be meaningful or workable. He and his duplicitous ilk have won. However, it is a hollow victory because in winning he has destroyed the Anglican Church in Wales. It sticks in one’s craw to hear clergy say that we must respect Barry as our bishop. Respect is a two way process, and there has been far too much take on his part. He’s taken our church and destroyed it. What is more, by our direct giving we have employed him and his minions whilst he’s ruined the church.

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  3. Or you can go to a meeting in Radyr to learn about Messy Church: this meeting has been arranged for the same evening! That is a measure of how important to the Archbishop is the meeting about arrangements for those who cannot accept women in the priesthood. I agree with Anonymous. ,and these meetings are little more than condescending platitudes. The Archbishop intends to continue to run his own ship and make his own rules,and I should be very surprised if he will sanction a 'cross-border' solution .I do not wish to appear to be adopting a defeatist attitude ,but ++ Barry is a smart politician, and has been out- manoeuvring everyone since Bishop David Thomas resigned.

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  4. Hold on – surely someone is extracting the urine here? I can’t believe that such an important open meeting to discuss the code of practice is being put on in the back of beyond on a dark winter’s night in the mid week. That is really going to be conducive to a good turn out. Sounds like a typical Barry stitch up to me, his usual bullyboy gerrymandering. I’m surprised that he hasn’t rented out Lundy island for the meeting. Now that his cathedral is standing empty and is no longer used for Christian worship, why couldn’t the code of practice meeting be hosted there on a Saturday morning, or afternoon, when there would be an opportunity for more people to attend?

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  5. Whatever happened to the Churchillian spirit?: "We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end.... We shall never surrender!"
    Or, moreover, "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil."

    Critics may very well think that the battle is lost but a procedure has been put in place promising provision for dissenters. If it is not what is required, then the procedure will be seen as a sham and the Bench will be correctly labeled hypocrites. Time will tell but do not give up before the fight is over.

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    1. Joseph golightly9 January 2014 at 22:58

      Come on people admit it the fight is over. It was a valiant struggle but you have lost. You can no longer call your church catholic. On the one hand some of you are playing at ‘High Church Grand Opera’ whilst the others are performing ‘Let’s Pretend To Be A Roman Church Pantomime’. There are only two options left to you, become Affirming Catholics or join us in the Ordinariate.

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    2. Affirming Catholicism? How will that help anyone? It has been my understanding that Affirming Catholics do not have difficulty with a women representing Christ at the altar in the Eucharistic celebration.

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  6. "Until 1920 the Anglican Welsh Church was part of the Church of England, but since that date we have been independent and autonomous, drawing up our own procedures, rules and regulations, while observing what is happening in our sister Churches of the Anglican Communion elsewhere in the UK and around the world." The above is a quote from the Church in Wales website, and helps to explain why I think that the Archbishop will not sanction a cross border solution; as I say the Archbishop will wish to carry on drawing up his own procedures, rules and regulations.He will not want to place himself in the position of handing over control in any degree to a Bishop in the Church of England.

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    1. If he is smart the Archbishop will see the wisdom of this solution. He can regain credibility by appearing as good as his word. Members will be encouraged to stay and keep funding the Church in Wales with no extra cost to the Province. If he does not agree he and his bench will have to suffer the consequences of a hastened decline in what is left of the Church in Wales.

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  7. So Pontypridd is 'the back of beyond' (see H Rawlinson's rather arrogant and ill-informed comment above). I suppose the meeting should have been held in Cardiff, and nowhere else. It may surprise some to know that the diocese of Llandaff is much more than Cardiff, and the contribution of the non-Cardiff parts of the diocese over many centuries has been immense.

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  8. As you said at the beginning of this blog,Archbishop Barry wrote" in God's Love...".So let us think about 'God's Love'. It is immeasurable . Love creates ,and In Love only good cam be created. Love never ,and could never, destroy. Archbishop Barry is progressing towards altering beyond all recognition The Church in Wales, but from my viewpoint that is destruction. It seems that the Archbishop finds it easy to say "we love you". He also quite clearly said on television, that although there will be consultation, the final decision will rest with The Bench. As you rightly say in your blog ,the only acceptable oversight is of a Bishop who remains true to the teaching and practice of the One Holy Catholic Church. I fear that what may be offered is simply that one of the male Diosecan Bishops of the C in W will be offered to attend parishes for confirmations ,for example. The Archbishop cannot grasp that his" act of love" removes any possibility of communion with the one Holy Catholic Church, which we recite as part of our faith in the creed. The problem you cite is very deep.

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  9. Simple Soul You are so right. There really is no way back from the disastrous abomination of the vote, supported by all seven bishops. They have publicly and formally severed themselves from the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Simply offering to send a male bishop to do Confirmations is the most appalling act of sexism. This is about Holy Order and Christian Doctrine, against which the bishops have set their face. The only way forward is to seek oversight from an orthodox bishop elsewhere and to start again with a re-born Church, explicitly committed to the Order and Doctrine of the universal church - not the fads and fashions of several largely illiterate bishops and their camp followers.

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    1. At last, reality appears to be on the horizon. Well done anonymous. You can now begin to think of a new, or the 'Free Church in Wales' . Free from the liberal bondage of the 7 deadly sins, (ass bishop included) of the virtual reality 'Muppets Show', known to us in the in the era of disestablishment as the 'Bench Sitters'.

      Gather unto yourselves all 1984 Church in Wales Communion missals which are currently either being destroyed or hidden from sight in diocesan offices, and the like, from would be dissenters and reformers of a church in the grip of liberal fundamentalism . There can be no claim to copyrights in liturgical use since there is no jurisdiction in matters celestial.

      Better still, free yourselves from the jargon and falsehood of the establishment which continues to prevail almost a 100 years after disestablishment. Such manner of things as the episcopal nonsense of 'License of a priest, or lay person'. There is no 'license' in Wales only the granting of 'permission'. In such matters, a bench sitter has no power outside his own little jurisdiction, which to him, may appear reality. Yes anonymous, I agree, call unto yourselves an orthodox bishop of sound mind. And then - get on with it.

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    2. If returning to the 1984 Prayer Book is the best you can come up with, you of all men (sic) are most to be pitied.

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    3. Returning to the 1984 Prayer Book? Not aware that we have even left it comrade .

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  10. For pity's sake, AB, call off the dreadful "Captcha" option. It has taken me 20 minutes to find a set of letters which are identifiable. The audio options provides sheer gibberish.

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    1. Number 13, lucky for some! I've learnt something else today.

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  11. Thanks AB - I came close to emitting certain profanities while attempting to negotiate Captcha earlier today. There must be better ways than that to evade the "bots"!

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  12. I agree with those who say the fight is over. The meetings might as well not take place, they are merely a smoke screen for the true destruction of the a Church that can no longer claim to be apostolic or catholic. The movers of the amendment saw to alienate those of us who could not agree. If those who supported it are to be believed the people will be flooding into the Church in masses, a clear delusion. No matter what is said, it will never be agreed to create a new PAB or allow alternative provision from elsewhere. It will remain to be seen what is on offer, but I suspect it will be no more than what we currently have. We are left then with two options. Either to leave the Church in Wales or to bring Bishops in from elsewhere anyway. In my opinion when +David Thomas retired, those Churches under his care should have refused to have the Diocesan Bishops confirm etc in their Churches. It totally undermines the argument for alternative oversight and would have presented a strong case. Parishes in England both Catholic and Evangelical do as such. We can fight on as is said by withholding the money and refusing to recognise the Bishops as such, that is what should have happened long ago.

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    1. There you are Ancient Briton, the only way to deal with liberal fundamentalists.

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  13. Joseph golightly14 January 2014 at 08:45

    @ Elliott King: ‘We can fight on as is said by withholding the money and refusing to recognise the Bishops as such, that is what should have happened long ago.’ That’s exactly right. How much more do the bishops of the bench have to do to show that it is they who have broken communion with you? The main problem is that there is no leadership or cohesive plan of action amongst the Anglo-Catholic clergy. Each priest is king pin within his own parish (the ‘father knows best’ mentality), but once the parish boundaries are crossed professional jealousies and loss of status set in and so they can’t, and in may cases wont, work with each other. It’s easier to mope about your parish bemoaning the decline of the Catholic tradition rather doing something about it. You know the answer, lead your people to the Ordinariate. What a powerful signal that would send if a really large group from the traditionalist parishes in South Wales was to the make the move. But that would require pastoral leadership, and I suspect that personal ‘life style’ issues dictate pastoral expediency. Same old story, eh?

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  14. I understand the sentiments of those who argue that the consultation process is a sham but the bench of bishops enter the consultation process in the clear knowledge that provision means acceptable episcopal oversight. If they renege on that again their duplicity will be beyond doubt warranting a motion to rescind the women bishops measure because it would be based on a lie.

    Wales is in a different position to England. Leadership was effectively terminated when +David Thomas was not replaced but a Provincial Assistant Bishop is no longer the answer because the position of an assistant to a bishop who has erred is untenable. Hence the preference for a cross border solution. A no cost solution for the Church in Wales v. archepiscopal pride.

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    1. Sorry, Ancient Briton, but there won't be any bishops to spare from the Church of England to go around mopping up the mess made by their Welsh counterparts. Traditionalist bishops are in dangerously short supply here and it is a supply which will dry up swiftly once women become diocesan bishops in England, as they will within two years.

      The only solution is to walk away from the Church in Wales and start again, as someone suggested earlier. NOT the Ordinariate, which apart from having many problems of its own (it has carried over some of the least attractive parts of its Anglican patrimony) is Roman Catholic. You can't restore Anglicanism in Wales by becoming a Roman Catholic.

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    2. Cast your net wider Anonymous. Not just in England but -
      http://geoconger.wordpress.com/2013/11/11/gafcon-to-be-an-anglican-province-in-all-but-name-church-times-october-31-2013/

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    3. Sadly I don't think gafcon has the resources either. It is going to be preoccupied looking after the two English provinces. The only solution is a new and Welsh episcopate in a new Anglican Church for Wales. There are Anglican alternatives to gafcon who can help to provide this.

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    4. @Ancient Briton -I do not recall seeing written anywhere that " the bench of Bishops enter the consultation process in the clear knowledge that provision means acceptable Episcopal oversight". However, I do clearly remember that ++ Barry said on television that he was prepared to listen to everyone ,but the FINAL decision will rest with the Bench of a Bishops. A cross border solution would have to be sanctioned by the Archbishop of Caterbury,would it not? - let alone the Archbishop of Wales ! In any case it is going to be only a 'code of practice',and when a female Bishop is in place ,she may not wish to subscribe to a 'code' in her diocese which had been put in place when she was not on the Bench!
      @ anonymous- yes the Ordinariate is Catholic ,but do you not say in the creed that you believe in One Holy Catholic Church?

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    5. The cross border solution is dead in the water. Too complicated to set up, and it would represent a loss of face to the archbishop. No bishop likes another playing on his pitch. The archbishop has already demonstrated what he thinks about potential cross border arrangements. When Bishop Lindsay Urwin was appointed Provincial Visitor to SSC Wales the archbishop wrote to him forbidding him to enter his province to celebrate the rites of confirmation or ordination.
      The consultation process is a sham. The result is a foregone conclusion. Traditionalists will be put under the care of one of the bench. The deal will have to be renegotiated each time the composition of the bench changes because eventually there will be men on the bench who will have been ordained by women.
      I can’t help but thinking that this whole sad tale is God telling us that the Church in Wales is finished. Neither side has come out of these decades of debate and argument with any credibility. All that there is to show for it are declining numbers, empty churches and few vocations.

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    6. Simple soul, in the postscript added earlier today I have copied ++Barry's statement which includes "We want to make sure that adequate provision is made for them so that they will still feel valued and accepted in the Church and will continue to worship and minister alongside us." This is a defining moment for the Archbishop. To have any relevance, 'adequate provision' must be 'adequate, ie acceptable, to those for whom it is intended; otherwise it is meaningless.

      Dr Morgan goes on to say: "We have been entrusted to draw up a Code of Practice within a year and we are keen to consult as widely as possible with church members in order to reflect their views as best we can.” It would be totally hypocritical to embark on a consultation if "as best we can" means 'as before'. In charity I prefer to interpret "as best we can" as meaning they will do their very best to ensure that "adequate provision" is based on the best of suggestions emanating from the consultations.

      If the "FINAL decision" is as you fear, Barry and his bench will deserve all the odium that they no doubt will receive. But "now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity."

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    7. Ancient Briton - I fear that you miss the semiotics of the statement: '…will continue to worship and minister ALONGSIDE US.' This is a highly exclusive statement, and provides a fascinating pathology into the mind of Dr Morgan. The phrase 'alongside us' alludes to his perceived dominant position - there is no sense of sincere and lasting rapprochement in this statement. My second concern is that the Bench have set themselves up as the critical filter for reflecting people's views - given the sustained imposition of their axiological assumptions - I do wonder how any 'adequate provision' will be objectively constructed in the best interests of faithful Anglicans. The credibility of any provision will lack integrity - one cannot ignore the removal of the PAB which was intended to be a permanent provision - despite views to the contrary.

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    8. The clue is in the title, dissenters - you joined a reformed church: the Anglican Church. Reform we have, reformed we are, reform we will. What don't you understand about that? It is of the very essence of our Anglican Reformed Church. Know your history and let the Kingdom in!

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    9. PAB was never intended as a permanent provision. It was a provision that came in very late in the day. I think it came about when the candidate most likely to become PAB was taken to one side the night before the vote and told, "support this, let it through, and we'll make you a Bishop". That's what I suspect happened. One of +Alwyn's devious-eyebrow-twitching moves to make sure women were allowed to be priest. If it was, then I love him all the more for that - wise old thing that he was and much missed. We don't need any more bishops than we have and certainly not of the flying sort. Let the kingdom in.

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    10. Anonymous @ 2.24 PM, this is a disgraceful misrepresentation of the facts and not for the first time, see
      http://ancientbritonpetros.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/no-deceit-was-found-in-his-mouth.html
      from which please note:
      "We turn now to the question of how provisional the arrangements of 1996 were meant to be. It should be noted that the first holder of this post in response to comments by Lord Ellis Thomas wrote in a letter to the ‘Western Mail’ that he would not have accepted the post if he had understood it to be a merely temporary stop-gap with him as the only holder".

      An authentic account of Bishop David's appointment can be read in full on the Church in Wales site here
      http://www.churchinwales.org.uk/structure/representative-body/publications/downloads/theology-wales-back-issues/theology-wales-the-ordination-of-women-to-the-episcopate/a-noble-task-bishop-david-thomas/

      As for +Alwyn, was it not he who claimed it the work of the devil when the measure fell first time! An odd description of the guidance of the Holy Spirit for the work of the Governing Body.

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    11. Church politics I'm afraid - and let's be honest, the dissenters know better the most how to play the ecclesiastical/political card. Liberals tend to be less cunning. I do believe that the appointment of the PAB night well have been as the contributor above suggests. No proof - but then the entry does not claim that. Has the ring of truth about it. I was there and the appointment came out of the blue on the morning of the vote - hurriedly put together the night before and outlined by a sheet on our seats when we went to vote the next morning. Needs must I suppose. But those days are over. No need for a PAB now - we haven't had one for years.

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    12. Your comments bring you and the Church no credit "Anonymous". Your Archbishop contradicts your assertions:
      "Despite what the Ass Bishop had to say on the matter Archbishop Morgan confirms that there was no suggestion that the position was temporary in his statement on behalf of the Bench of Bishops in response to Credo Cymru's request for a new PAB:

      'I confess that this matter was not even thought about one way or another in 1996, but we now feel that whilst the Bench was persuaded that such an appointment may have been necessary then, we do not share that opinion some 13 years later. (Para. 2 of Response from the Bench)' "
      See http://ancientbritonpetros.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/no-deceit-was-found-in-his-mouth.html

      We can but hope that your views are not representative of the Bench.

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  15. You know, it was a very similar thing back in the early 'eighties when the Gold Club I was then a member of decided to allow women to join the men in the club house. I was young at the time (early twenties) and I can recall being at the club house meeting as we men discussed the issue. Some of those who had been members of the club for much longer than I feared that allowing women in the club house would really alter the dynamic of the place and would errode the traditions of the place. "They have their own meeting room" - they cried - which was true, they really did have their own room and could be served drinks through a hatch (though not in a Saturday for some odd reason). It seemed odd to me back then, but how strange it now seems to me that not many years ago I was part of that conversation. Needless to say, I voted to allow the women in. Part of me felt it was what I felt Jesus would do - the Jesus I see striding his way through the New Testament seemed to ride slightly rough shod over these elements of society that would diminish or treat men and women (but especially wome, it would seem) as "the other". I genuinely believe that the Christ I serve is blind to gender difference. Year on, and the golf club has less members than it once had. I don't ever hear people say "it's cos we let the women in", I just hear people say "perhaps it's because people have many more choices than they had back then, let's just be thankful for those who do come". You're probably thinking I am the Archibishop, with my golfing analogy - truth to tell, I am not and he's never asked me to play golf with him (but Shshsh - I've never actually told him I play!). Have a good day and take every opporunity to show love.

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    1. Amen to that! Well done Anonymous! You have quite cheered me up! Most of the comments above belong in the ecclesiological equivalent of your club circa 1980! Fancy that! Golf - not noted for fostering liberal and progressive ideas - can shine a light on Christ! Dai iawn!

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  17. You know, it was a very similar thing back in the early 'eighties when the Golf Club I was then a member of decided to allow women to join the men in the club house. I was young at the time (early twenties) and I can recall being at the club house meeting as we men discussed the issue. Some of those who had been members of the club for much longer than I feared that allowing women in the club house would really alter the dynamic of the place: it would erode the traditions of the place, we’d be breaking ranks with those other clubs that took a “men only in the club house” approach to their structure. "They have their own meeting room" - they cried - which was true, they really did have their own room and could be served drinks through a hatch (though not in a Saturday, for some odd reason). It seemed very odd to me even back then, but how strange it now seems to me that not many years ago I was part of that incredulous conversation. Needless to say, I voted to allow the women in. Part of me felt it was what Jesus would do - the Jesus I see striding his way through the New Testament seemed to ride slightly rough shod over these elements of society that would diminish or treat men and women (but especially women, it would seem) as "the other". I genuinely believe that the Christ I serve is blind to gender difference. Year on, and the golf club has less many members than it once had. But you know, I don't ever hear people say "it's cos we let the women in", I just hear people say "perhaps it's because people have many more choices than they had back then, let's just be thankful for those who do come". You're probably thinking I am the Archbishop, with my golfing analogy - truth to tell, I am not and he's never asked me to play golf with him (but Shshsh - I've never actually told him I play!). Have a good day and take every opportunity to show love. (Please delete previous ones as full of errors)

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    1. Silly ass. Confide in the Archbishop and play a round together. He can't tell God from golf either.

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    2. They called Jesus a fool so I am happy to keep in good company. I repeat, the Jesus I read of in the New Testament rode rough-shod over those who kept women in a role defined purely by patriarchy. For that (and more) they charged him with blasphemy and breaking with tradition. I suggest many of you here would do well to get out and smack a ball around a golf course yourselves. Get out more guys (and gals).

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    3. Stupid boy! Don’t you know your Bible? Jesus didn’t play golf. He was into water sports.

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    4. I wouldn’t play golf with the archbishop. Apparently he also cheats at that game.

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    5. Anonymous, re- comments 1 and 3 above [see how easier it would be if commentators used some identification], perhaps it is you who should spend less time on the golf course!

      Golfers in the UK are predominantly male at 80%, not through exclusion but choice. Women are employed at all levels in all sectors of the economy. The Church no longer has to set an example even if she were empowered to do so. The point of this entry is not whether or not women should be ordained. That has already been decided and is made clear on the Church in Wales web site. The question is, what provision is to be made for dissenters. Perhaps you can help readers on that point please.

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    6. I don't actually subscribe to there being any provision for dissenters - yes we're an episcopal church but we're also a church with a body of lay and ordained people who govern. That body has governed is in the direction of opening the episcopate to women. Those who dissent have excellent provision in their locality - it's called the Roman Catholic Church. Worship there - you'd be the happier and the Church in Wales would let you leave with their blessing. Give it a go, at least - and then come back when it doesn't suit (most do). Simple, really.

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    7. The Archbishop has said that he recognises that some people cannot accept the ordination of women Bishops,and that he wants to make adequate provision for such members,so that they feel valued and accepted and are "able to worship and minister alongside us". Some in the golfing fraternity of the C in W do not seem to have taken on board the Archbishop's statement and I trust, his intentions. The attitude of some of those who clearly claim to be on the 'Archbishop's side' is lacking in Christian charity. There are many ways to come to Christ. The dissenters have firm studied reasons for their belief ( and how many times has it been said that the issue is not about equality for women). But as Pope Francis has said on other issues " who am I to judge". Thus in the spirit of charity, measures must be put in place to accommodate the C in W members who will not be able to accept women Bishops.

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    8. Let's call a spade a spade - those who dissent can rarely present a firm studied reason for their belief - well they can, just as those back the day were able to justify slavery. The issue is about equality for women just as it is in other religious traditions e.g. Hinduism. Women have been badly treated by institutional religion and forgive me for pointing this out, but the Church in Wales teaches that there is no theological objection to the ordination of women. The Pope's "who am I to judge" arose out of a specific context. He was asked what he thought about people who were treated as "the other" and "excluded" (i.e. gays) and his reponse "who am I to judge" was a fantastic Christ-like reponse to those who expected him to say "I agree, gays are wrong". Measures must not be put in place to further marginalise or qualify the role of women in the church, no measures whatsoever. The days of prejudice are over - let the Kingdom in.

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    9. I agree, don’t give into the dissenters. Give then no provision of a bishop for their little sect. If they can’t confirm and ordain then in a few years they will die out. We will be better without them. Too bad, but the church has more important things to be doing than worrying about a few dissenters.

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    10. OK Anonymous - I'll rise to the bait. Since when has the Church in Wales been in the business of excommunicating people - especially when it concerns matters that are not essential to salvation? What right have you to excommunicate those loyal prayerful Christian people in the parishes I serve who would not recognise a female bishop? The Church in Wales has legislated for female bishops - move on. The Church in Wales has also stated categorically that those who will not recognise female bishops remain fully part of the Church in Wales - move on, and let us find a settlement in all charity that will enable us to give an united witness to Christ in Christ's Church.

      I'm sorry you don't have the courage to state who you are, but you can find out who I am simply by googling Abervicar. (And no, don't jump to conclusions - I support the ordination of women in all three Orders, but I also seek to serve one Lord in one Church)

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    11. Abervicar - an excellent response. Your words remind of that exhortation by the great Orthodox Theologian, Fr Thomas Hopko who asserted that: "The Orthodox Church has no infallible magisterium. Church leaders and theologians may be wrong. The Holy Spirit acts within the whole body of believers bringing to remembrance what Christ teaches and guiding the faithful into all truth. If but one member of the Church is inspired to argue from the Bible and Church Tradition that certain women may be qualified to serve as Bishops…, he or she must be heard with dignity and respect. Those who believe that only certain believing men are qualified for this ordained ministry must be heard in the same manner and spirit." It is strange that Orthodoxy seems to be more embracing than some of the invective that appears above in the guise of disingenuous liberal thought. One also has to question the ethic of seeking to annihilate a 'little sect' as suggested by the comment prior to Abervicar - it is as tolerant as Sam Harris' (2004, pp. 52-53) assertion that certain religious people hold "some positions that are so dangerous that it may even be ethical to kill people for believing them." The mantra of "Let the Kingdom in", as used in the vacuous context above, is little more than an inane reductionism - an aphorism devoid of any intellectual or theological merit.

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    12. I said "Measures must not be put in place to further marginalise or qualify the role of women in the church, no measures whatsoever" - if what you are all seeking are measures that end up resulting in a woman not being free to enter any of the parishes in her Diocese then that is what I mean by a qualified episcopacy and that is what MUST be avoided. If you dissenters can get your heads around that then let's see what we can come up with. My experience of many parishes in England who are forward in faith is that they are so wedded to tradition that there is little or no life left in them. We need to both "move on" and "move forward". I remain anonymous out of choice and it does give a certain kind of freedom to be more honest, more direct even if, I agree, a little less charitable. But to be honest, the dissenting tradition in the church repulses me.

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    13. "The mantra of "Let the Kingdom in", as used in the vacuous context above, is little more than an inane reductionism - an aphorism devoid of any intellectual or theological merit". Don't you just hate it when people use sesquipedalianism and probably move away from their keyboard assuming they are cleverer than anyone else because their use of verbosity. If you find the concept of letting the kingdom in a vacuous reductionism devoid of any theological meaning then try reading the Gospels. But that's just it, the dissenters know as much about scripture as your average man/woman on the street i.e. Jesus called men didn't he? Ah, so no men now. That's as theologically sophisticated as it gets.

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    14. Oh - "let the kingdom in" - I forgot

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    15. The great Orthodox Theologian, Fr Thomas Hopko - made me smile that one - never heard of him. A brief search reveals that the great Hopko originally said that women cannot be priests because they correspond to the the Holy Spirit, who “hides” behind the male Christ. It was pointed out the the great Orthodox Theologian that this reasoning was tritheistic. Thus the great Hopko revised his position such that his latest argument is that a male priest is needed to establish a kind of iconic link to the male Christ. Sounds a bit like magic to me - mind "the Great Hopko" would make a fabulous stage name for a magician. To say that we need an iconic link to the male Christ surely turns the sacrament into a kind of magical ritual by making it depend either on the gender of the priest (which psychologists inform is in a certain state of “flux”) or the sex of the priest, that is, his biological “equipment” (which is just silly). So I can view those who believe that bishops need to be of a particular gender and possess particular 'bits' but that does not stop me thinking that the argument is vacuous, reductionist, devoid of any theological or intellectual merit and silly. Let the kingdom in.

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    16. No doubt you probably have not heard of Afanasiev, Ware, Schmemann (contemporaries of Hopko). However, the sum-total of your academic prowess is summed up in your own words: "I remain anonymous out of choice and it does give a certain kind of freedom to be more honest, more direct even if, I agree, a little less charitable. But to be honest, the dissenting tradition in the church repulses me." Your arguments are driven by hatred - unlike the Orthodox wing of the Church. For your information Fr Hopko edited a fine collection of essays by Orthodox Theologians (as listed above) some of whom posited arguments FOR the ordination of women - your condemnation is clearly too hasty. Your indiscriminate use of unrefereed web material yet again points to your poor use of academic sources and arguments. You should cite specific sources if you are to be taken seriously.

      In relation to your pejorative observations over the Kingdom - the Bible provides an excellent conceptual framework - it is the vacuous construction that you offer which is bereft of academic and theological rigour - your persistent use of quick fire aphorisms will not strengthen your argument. Once again, you could strengthen the credibility of your arguments by positing your conceptual framework for 'Let the Kingdom in' (I would be fascinated to read it). Then submit your conceptual framework to the public for scrutiny and so the process of discussion and discernment can continue.

      On a personal note, perhaps you could pray for the dissenters that 'repulse' you. Does Christ not exhort us to love our enemies - does St Paul not exhort us to bear with one another? The notion of 'repulse' is not a Kingdom principle - surely we desire mercy and not sacrifice - perhaps you could go and learn what this means. Christ was not repulsed by those who crucified him - rather he prayed for their forgiveness - he wanted 'to let the Kingdom in' during that moment of excruciating pain. Perhaps, this is a sound starting point for your conceptual framework.

      Please be assured of my prayers - and please pray for me.

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    17. Some of you Anonymice are in danger not only of sneering at each other (sad and shallow as pointed out by the latest Anonymous) but also of sneering at the straightforward people God calls to be part of God's Church (the very people some of whom stand in danger of being excommunicated).

      What does disdain of (some of) God's people say about people who seek/have sought ordination in God's Church?

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    18. I am and remain repulsed by the stance that would objectify and seek to diminish the role of women in the church and the special pleading that takes place in order to try and make that repulsive position acceptable. I derive that repulsion from the kind of righteous anger I see in Christ when he cleanses the temple because a place of God's hospitality has become one where the more vulnerable members are excluded and those representing the tradition seek to exclude rather than embrace. However some of my closest friend are dissenters - I love them dearly but it's a case of love the sinner I think. "Let the kingdom in" is, for me, a conceptual framework and short hand, really, for years of reflecting on the meaning of Christ's love and the dispelling of fear that that brings. What I read here is often lacking in such fearlessness not to mention, love (quite often). My only prayer, therefore, is "let the kingdom in" and may no dissent stand in its way. I ask you not to pray for me just align yourself to that kingdom impulse and give in to what is an astonishing movement of the spirit among us.

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    19. ps yes I have heard of and read Schmemann

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    20. Take care with righteous anger, for it will burn and destroy you too. Jesus cleansed the Temple because it had been rendered something other than a House of Prayer - it was zeal for the House of God which consumed him. For the sake of what you consider righteous you condemn your brothers and sisters as objectifying and diminishing the role of women, and in your turn you wish to exclude them. This sounds like the righteous anger that condemned people of either side in turn to the stake during the Reformation.

      You also challenge others to fearlessness yet you fear to reveal yourself and your credentials. Jesus cleansed the Temple so it could be the House of Prayer for ALL people.

      But the main trouble I have with what you write is the idea that somehow to say that women are not called to Holy Orders (and I say this as one who believes that they are) diminishes them. The Church charts a dangerous course when talking (as in the election part of the ordination rite) about candidates being worthy. No one is worthy; and to discern that this or that one is not called, for whatever reason, is neither to exclude them nor to declare them unworthy.

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    21. The author of this blog hides behind a screen of anonymity. Think that sets the tone. Enough said. Let the kingdom in xx

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    22. Very sorry that you seem unwilling to continue the discussion. It leads me to wonder whose kingdom you are heralding. :-(

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    23. What exactly do you want me to reveal when you ask for my credentials. Sounds very clerical and whiffs of implied academic snobbery.

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    24. If - having urged us all to fearlessness and love - you don't have the courage of your convictions, why not try and answer the first and third paragraphs?

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    25. Here goes - firstly, I don't wish to exclude those who are against the episcopacy of women what I want to avoid is an alternative episcopacy that would imply that the episcopacy of women was invalid. You know the kind of thing - a pure line within the Church in Wales from thence onward and those claiming that anyone ordained by a woman is not a priest. It's happened before within the ranks of those who don't agree with women priests and it is a line of reasoning that repulses me (I can be repulsed by the line of reasoning without being repulsed by those who hold it - if I can make that clear!).

      Your third paragraph about unworthiness I found hard to follow. I don't know whether it is because the paragraph is not clearly written, but I read it a few times before drawing meaning from it. You seem to be saying that non are worthy enough to be ordained so if women are not allowed to be a bishops (or priests) then that's not a terribly bad thing, because the men who are able to be priests/bishops know that they are not worthy of being ordained either. Those not-worthy-to-be-ordained men are nevertheless ordained so it must be that women are even less worthy; that line of reasoning diminished them. Furthermore, I am not persuaded by the appeal to unworthiness because it reads like this "women, you can't be bishops, none is really worthy of that calling but hey, we'll let the men do it". And the sad truth is, that many clergy do not believe themselves to be unworthy: they may start out that way, but some go on to display quite arrogant characteristics. This is true of male clergy in particular, in my experience. So just maybe, on the grounds of unworthiness, this is reason for ordaining and consecrating women because their very expression of priesthood is often more humble (less worthy) than their male counterparts. Some interesting academic studies have been done on this in relation to how women generally, but women priests in particular, express their leadership. A good place to start would be to read the work of that Great Catholic Theologian Mary Grey - either Mary Grey
      ‘Reclaiming women’s part in redeeming’ or ‘The Ordination of Women - Seeking a New Approach’. Grey makes the point about unworthiness beautifully when she talks about a declericalised model of ministry.

      I have been thinking of the term "credentials" that you use in the anger you outpour against me above. I am uncomfortable with the term because it implies that you would need to know certain credential about me before taking my views seriously. I think its precisely those kind of sentiments that Grey writes about.

      Let the kingdom in. Have a good day.

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    26. We do not presume to come to this thy Table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy Table. But thou art the same Lord, whose property is always to have mercy: Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood, that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his body, and our souls washed through his most precious blood, and that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us. Amen.

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    27. I suspect +Rowan betters Cranmer with "Lord God, you draw and welcome us, emptied of pride and hungry for grace, to this your kingdom feast. Nowhere can we find the food for which our souls cry out but here, Lord at your table. Invigorate and nourish us, good Lord, that in and through this Bread and Wine your love may meet us and your life complete us in the power and glory of your kingdom. Amen". Liturgically, a better prayer placed as it is after we have confessed our unworthiness and before we partake of communion. A theologically superior prayer of humble access, I think. What are other people's thoughts?

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    28. You may be interested, Anonymous, to know that I was reading Mary Grey in the 80s and 90s. At the time, feminist theology was 'on the edge' because it was still coming from people who felt marginalised. There are many interesting insights in Grey's work, but one strand of argument which (to use your expression) repulses me is the sophistry associated with the assertions over women's methodology when dealing with power and leadership. I'm afraid it doesn't chime with experience.

      The fact is that all fallen human beings have issues with unworthiness - not just men - and as far as Holy Orders are concerned, the discourse over who is more or less worthy simply has no place.

      No one is saying that women are less worthy than men; just as in asking for a response to carefully offered views I am not 'pouring out anger'. In the one you create a false dichotomy; in the other, you posit a non-existent attitude.

      It would be very surprising if those opposing the ordination of women did not attract to themselves some men (or indeed women) who have issues with their own or the opposite sex; it is similarly possible that those advocating it contain women (or indeed men) who have parallel issues. These matters need to be left aside if we are to move forward at all.

      To return to Mary Grey, I have often thought that she, and others who advocate what they call declericalisation within the Church, really want to abolish Holy Orders altogether, or at least to alter our understanding of them so much that they would cease to mean that which the Church in Wales believes she has received.

      And to return to credentials, is it so difficult to believe that I just like to have the courtesy of knowing who I'm talking to?

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  18. In part-Anonymous-you have hit the nail on the head! It is sad for me to recognise that there is some analogy between the 'social'golf club and the approach of some parishes. The inclusive lobby may see their Sunday morning as going to their club. Thus why not have a woman president (priest)? Is that the nub of the problem? It is lack of teaching of the laity who have not understood that belonging to a Christian community is very much more ,and demands very much more ,than a nice altruistic golf club.

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  19. Simple - from your response to my golfing analogy, I rather fear that you'd still have women served through that metaphorical hatches. Christian community is of course "very much more" than that demanded of a nice altruistic golf club - very much more indeed - but equally, it can never be very much less. Down with the hatches - let the Kingdom in !!

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  20. For better or worse - I think worse - the admission of female clergy and bishops will change the character of the Anglican Church. Sad for those who have been brought up in its traditions.
    Perplexing is the Archbishops sudden zeal for the change; annoying is his high-handedness and disregard for those who don't agree with him; certain is his end through his isolation, lack of inclusiveness and the incompetence so well demonstrated by recent events.

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  21. There are too many 'anonymous ' in this blog,some of whom hide behind this label in order post uncharitable comments and lacking in Christ: such as the person who is 'repulsed' by fellow Christians. Little wonder you wish to be anonymous, as I am confident that the Archbishop is not proud of your stance ,neither does he welcome your behaviour. No wonder there is religious tension and religious wars,as in Syria. My only hope is those of you ,and you know who you are, who write is such an insulting way are not priests of the Church. Now you have got these views off your chest,just try and be a bit more civilised ,because this attitude will not attract ( maybe repulse!), those who do not currently belong to a Church.

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  22. I remain repulsed by those who deny women their full place in the church. Why is that either insulting or unpriesty (even if I was one).

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  23. Baptised women and men already have their full place in the church. Galatians 3.27-29. This is a question about holy order, on which the witness of Scripture is clear - the Ministry chosen by Jesus was confined to men. This has been the teaching of the church for 2,000 years until the present wave of revisionism which seeks to remodel the church as a club or as an employer, according to secular understanding. It is also the understanding (frequently reiterated in response to requests from Anglican leaders) of the Roman Catholic Church and of the Orthodox Churches - which comprise the vast majority of the world's Christians.

    Of course, if it wants to, Yr Eglwys yng Nghymru can choose to ignore the weight of Christian teaching, in the scriptures, through so many centuries, and the ecumenical witness of episcopal Christendom today. It is free to become a quaint little organisation which makes things up as it goes along, just as every Christian is free to walk away from the church and do their own thing.

    Those who remain faithful to the teaching of the universal church and of scripture concerning holy orders, have become a minority in Wales, thanks to the direction taken by its leadership in the past generation, but they continue to represent the views of the great majority of Christendom of which the Church in Wales was once a part, until it decided to invent its own religion.

    How big is this minority? It wouldn't matter if it was just one, although there are considerably more than that. A church which is supposedly liberal and inclusive ought to be able to cope with making room for such a minority, but the Kafkaesque answer on this blog from some of those who have adopted the new religion is simply appalling: "We are an inclusive Church, and therefore we require you to leave."

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  24. Cam Ma- you have written such sense : the Church in Wales does, indeed,behave as if it were a 'club' or an' equal opportunity employer',and as I have said previously it boasts that since disestablishment in 1920,the church draws up its own procedures and makes its own rules and regulations. But as you so rightly say those who have remained faithful to the tradition and teaching of the One Holy Catholic Church is not a great number ,but the Prostetant majority making decisions in political setting,which is the Governing Body , does not make it right. Neither is persecution ,by means of the vitriol appearing in some contributions here, good and healthy for the soul.

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  25. We are a Church of the Reformation - not one of us has remained faithful to the "One, Holy, Catholic Church". You can not be an Anglican and claim total faithfulness to the One, Holy, Catholic, Church. No one denomination has, ever has, or ever will. The best we can say is that we believe in the One, Holy, Cathlic Church, but that awaits eschatological verification. Let the kingdom in.

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  26. Anonymous, you demonstrate your ignorance more and more thoroughly with each message you post. You evidently have not a clue about the nature of the Reformation in Wales, or the meaning of the Creed. Or the kingdom, for that matter, which was inaugurated by Jesus Christ, who chose only men as his apostles and ministers of the Gospel in the kingdom. The kingdom is already here, but the Church in Wales has decided to privatise itself and has sold out to the secular opposition.

    Cambrensis

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    1. Do people really still believe that most important aspect of Christ' foundation of the church was that he chose only men as his apostles and ministers of the Gospel? Incredulous. And you call me ignorant. Let the kingdom in, quickly, let it in.

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  27. It is with great sadness that I have been following the strand of thought from one particular "Anonymous" author. Putting all her/his comments together in synopsis - the profile of sectarianism and sexism quickly emerges - the profile (together with its evidential basis) is given below. I would ask all readers to pray for this individual who is quite clearly in a great deal of anger and pain. Whilst this individual may wish to exclude us - let it be our fervent prayer to pray for her/his life in Christ. "Keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who abuse you for your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame" (1 Peter 16b).

    Profile of a Sectarian & Sexist Line of Argument:

    1. "I don't actually subscribe to there being any provision for dissenters"
    2. "The Church in Wales would let you leave with their blessing"
    3. "We will be better without them"
    4. "The church has more important things to be doing than worrying about a few dissenters"
    5. "The dissenting tradition in the church repulses me"
    6. "I ask you not to pray for me just align yourself"
    7. "Those not-worthy-to-be-ordained men"
    8. "..some go on to display quite arrogant characteristics. This is true of male clergy in particular"

    Doulos

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    1. I don't eschew the request for prayer, but I must tell you that I am not in any anger or pain whatsoever. I have consistently argued that the trend in the church that would in any way diminish the episcopacy of women is something that really does repulse and repel me. No 5 came in a context when someone said "I'll pray for you" which really is something that angers me because it's usually said by those (in this context) who mean "I don't agree with you, I'm right, I'll pray for your soul". No 2 was meant in charity - I really do believe that those of the dissenting tradition would be happier in a tradition other that Anglicanism - things have moved on so much that they surely can't be at peace within the tradition any longer (I even think those who are against the ordination of women make that point in this posting above). At the end of the day, good people, what I am sharing are just my views. By all means pray for my fervent life in Christ - I consider my relationship with Christ to be a lively, transformative one and one not necessarily set down by the unchanging traditions of the past. It's simple really, in Christ there is neither male nor female and anything that gets in the way of that, for me, is not Gospel. If that makes me sectarian and sexist then so be it. Enough now, though, I am even bored by this myself. Time to watch Sherlock on iplayer I think. Meanwhile, to all who read this blog, have a nice evening.

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    2. 'No 5 came in a context when someone said "I'll pray for you" which really is something that angers me because it's usually said by those (in this context) who mean "I don't agree with you, I'm right, I'll pray for your soul".' You fail to recognise that this individual also asked you to pray for him/her: "Please be assured of my prayers - and please pray for me." There is humility in his/her request - clearly he/she values your intercession - I note that you have not once offered him/her your prayers.

      'No 2 was meant in charity - I really do believe that those of the dissenting tradition would be happier in a tradition other that Anglicanism.' This is utterly disingenuous - you are condemned by your own words: "Those who dissent have excellent provision in their locality - it's called the Roman Catholic Church. Worship there - you'd be the happier and the Church in Wales would let you leave with their blessing. Give it a go, at least - and then come back when it doesn't suit (most do). Simple, really." The sarcastic tone of this statement cannot be overlooked.

      I am afraid your arguments now lack both integrity and credibility. Perhaps you thought you were dealing with nasty and inarticulate men and women, who turned out to be highly educated and prayerful. It must have been a shock to your system.

      You have walked roughshod over the charitable attempts to engage with your "arguments" (invective), which has now resulted in people expressing their desire to cease academic and theological discourse with you. Such a vociferous approach will never engage people with your arguments.

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  28. "The best we can say is that we believe in the One, Holy, Catholic Church, but that awaits eschatological verification."

    Unfortunately, the Church of the Eschaton, does not support your request for theological verification: "And the wall of the city has twelve foundations, and on them are the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb." (Rev 21:14). The Church of the "Last Things", that is, the Church of the Future, has the identical Apostolic foundations of the Church 2000 years ago. The Orthodox Church has remained faithful to these teachings without adding or subtracting to them - The One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

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    1. Then that surely is the answer - join the Orthodox and let's stop pretending that any one faction of the Anglican church has remained true to the Apostolic foundations. Let's also remember that those foundations took centuries to erect and developed organically through change, mutation and development. And go on developing and evolving they must. But then again, I am a child of process theology.

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    2. By the time you have thrown everyone out of your Church - there will be no one left. At this point, you will have to become a Gnostic. However, you have declared that you have access to the teachings of the Holy Spirit, which no one else has received - perhaps Montanism would better suit you.

      As for Process Theology - this violates the immutability of God.

      Choices, choices, choices or haeresis, haeresis, haeresis as the Greeks would say.

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  29. God chose 12 disciples - all men, Jesus was a man and we pray 'our Father' in the Lord's prayer which Christ himself taught us.

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    1. An incedulous entry made even more incredulous by the fact that few men go to church. Do people still believe this stuff? Men, all men, all men. Bring on the women bishops, and not before time. Saints preserve us.

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    2. "Saints preserve us." Absolutely!

      Holy Theotokos - Pray for us.
      St Michael - Pray for us.
      St Gabriel - Pray for us.
      St Raphael - Pray for us.
      St John the Baptist - Pray for us.
      St Joseph - Pray for us.
      All ye holy Patriarchs and Prophets - Pray for us.
      St Peter - Pray for us.
      St Paul - Pray for us.
      St Andrew - Pray for us.
      St James - Pray for us.
      St John - Pray for us.
      St Thomas - Pray for us.
      St James - Pray for us.
      St Philip - Pray for us.
      St Bartholomew - Pray for us.
      St Simon - Pray for us.
      St Thaddeus - Pray for us.
      St Matthias - Pray for us.
      St Barnabas - Pray for us.
      St Luke - Pray for us.
      St Mark - Pray for us.

      That should do for now!

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    3. All men that says it all. Each and every saint you chose is make. You make my point for me beautifully in a list the marginalises women saints. My god I am incredulous at that. Really I am.

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    4. Use the name Mary rather than objectifying her as theotokos - she was more than a bearer she was first and foremost a woman

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    5. "Use the name Mary rather than objectifying her as theotokos - she was more than a bearer she was first and foremost a woman."

      "It is meet indeed to bless thee, who didst bear God (Theotokon), the ever-blessed and most pure, and mother of our God, the more honourable than the Cherubim, and the incomparably more glorious than the Seraphim, who without corruption didst bear God (Theotokon) the Word, we magnify." (St John Chrysostom) Hardly an objectification! You are absolutely right - she was more than a bearer - she was the Bearer of God and of the Word - as St John Chrysostom so beautifully elaborates. It is your weak paradigm that merely reduces her to nothing more than a bearer.

      Perhaps we need a few more Saints to pray for us - let us pick up where we left off:

      All ye holy Apostles and Evangelists - Pray for us
      All ye Holy Disciples of our Lord - Pray for us
      All ye Holy Innocents - Pray for us
      St Stephen - Pray for us
      St Fabian & St Sebastian - Pray for us
      St John & St Paul - Pray for us
      St Cosmas & Damian - Pray for us
      St Gervase & St Protase - Pray for us
      All ye Holy Martyrs - Pray for us
      St Sylvester - Pray for us
      St Gregory - Pray for us
      St Ambrose - Pray for us
      St Augustine - Pray for us
      St Jerome - Pray for us
      St Martin - Pray for us
      St Nicholas - Pray for us
      All ye holy Bishops and Confessors - Pray for us
      All ye holy Doctors - Pray for us
      St Anthony - Pray for us
      St Benedict - Pray for us
      St Bernard - Pray for us
      St Dominic - Pray for us
      St Francis - Pray for us
      All ye holy Priests & Levites - Pray for us
      All ye holy Monks & Hermits - Pray for us
      St Mary Magdalen - Pray for us
      St Agatha - Pray for us
      St Lucy - Pray for us
      St Agnes - Pray for us
      St Cecelia - Pray for us
      St Catherine - Pray for us
      St Anastasia - Pray for us
      All ye holy Virgins & Widows - Pray for us
      All ye holy Saints of God - Intercede for us

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    6. Much better. Thank you for including a few more token female saints.

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    7. Unfortunately, you have assumed that I have constructed this list: "Each and every saint you chose is male." This Litany of Saints is given to us by the Mother Church. Consequently, your personal accusation of tokenism falls. You should also be aware that it is the very same Mother Church that has given us The Litany of the Blessed Virgin - hardly a marginalisation of women.

      An exploration of the Church in Wales Lectionary, may not offer you any further comfort. Let us consider the Memoria for the week commencing Sun 19th January 2013:

      Tue 21st Jan - St Agnes, Virgin & Martyr
      Thu 23rd Jan - St Francis de Sales, Bishop
      Fri 24th Jan - St Cadog, Abbot
      Sat 25th Jan - The Conversion of St Paul (Feast)

      The following week won't bring you much comfort either: Ss Timothy & Titus, St John Chrysostom, St Thomas Aquinas, St Bride or Bridget.

      Perhaps you feel that the Church in Wales is guilty of structural sin in its construction of the Saints Days?

      You could really strengthen your case by citing the work of feminist theologians. For example, Fiorenza posits a 'hermeneutic of suspicion', which argued that biblical texts should not simply be read at a surface level, but should be read with a view to revealing what has been suppressed. In particular, Fiorenza (1983, 1993, 1995) argued that the Gospel of John posits an inclusive, egalitarian community, some of whose leaders were women. Similarly, Schneiders (1999) argued that the Beloved Disciple should be understood as woman. I may not agree with their respective positions - but I do respect their intellectual and theological integrity - and therefore conclude unequivocally that their arguments must be heard and respected.

      However, I find it ironic that it is an Orthodox Theologian that should posit a case for you - all the 'feminist' arguments on this thread so far have been premised upon sectarianism, sexism, and personal invective. I am all for robust debate, provided that it is grounded in charitable academic and theological discourse, which has been sorely absent from the feminist wing on this thread. It has been all too easy to elicit feminist prejudice (as is seen with the Litany of Saints and the denunciation of the Theotokos).

      The assumption is that Orthodox Theologians are somehow ignorant of feminist theology - far from it! We have engaged with it and will continue to do so. The word Orthodox - means to search for right belief - it does not mean an infallible magisterium of knowledge. Yet, some of the arguments given by 'feminist' proponents on this thread point to their trust in an unshakeable (poorly articulated) foundationalist epistemology - this has never been the Anglican way.

      Every prayer and blessing to you - and please pray for me.

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    8. Hi there - thanks for your reply. No, I did not assume that you had drawn up the list - I realised that it was taken from the litany of saints provided by the Church, but thanks for the helpful clarification. Thank you also for quoting Fiorenza and Schneiders - it was indeed the weight of their academic work (which I am familiar with) which caused me to point out to you the patriarchal bias that underlies the litany of saints within the mainstream's church's liturgy. I believe it incumbent upon the church to bring that litany up to date. Ideally there should be an equal balance. But so as to redress the balance for this blog, and as we have each asked for prayer, then the following ought to compliment beautifully the lists you have so far produced.

      Dear God, we pray for all who read this blog (myself included (academically challenged as I am, nasty, heartless and roughshod, I have proved myself to be))
      Yoiu are the creator of women in your own image, you were born of a woman, Mary, in the midst of a world half women, carried by women to mission fields around the globe, made known by women to all the children of the earth, give to the women and men of our time the strength to persevere, the courage to speak out, the faith to believe in you beyond all systems and institutions and traditions so that your face on earth may be seen in all its beauty, so that men and women become whole, so that the church may be converted to your will in everything and in all ways.

      We call on the holy women who went before us, channels of Your Word in testaments old and new, to intercede for us so that we might be given the grace to become what they have been for the honor and glory of God.
      •Saint Esther, who pleaded against power for the liberation of the people, pray for us.
      •Saint Judith, who routed the plans of men and saved the community, pray for us.
      •Saint Deborah, laywoman and judge, who led the people of God, pray for us.
      •Saint Elizabeth of Judea, who recognized the value of another woman, pray for us.
      •Saint Mary Magdalene, minister of Jesus, first evangelist of the Christ, pray for us.
      •Saint Scholastica, who taught her brother Benedict to honor the spirit above the system, pray for us.
      •Saint Hildegard, who suffered interdict for the doing of right, pray for us.
      •Saint Joan of Arc, who put no law above the law of God, pray for us.
      •Saint Clare of Assisi, who confronted the pope with the image of woman as equal, pray for us.
      •Saint Julian of Norwich, who proclaimed for all of us the motherhood of God, pray for us.
      •Saint Therese of Lisieux, who knew the call to priesthood in herself, pray for us.
      •Saint Catherine of Siena, to whom the pope listened, pray for us.
      •Saint Teresa of Avila, who brought women's gifts to the reform of the church, pray for us.
      •Saint Edith Stein, who brought fearlessness to faith, pray for us.
      •Saint Elizabeth Seton, who broke down boundaries between lay women and religious by wedding motherhood and religious life, pray for us.
      •Saint Dorothy Day, who led the church to a new sense of justice, pray for us.
      •Mary, Mother of Jesus, who heard the call of God and answered, pray for us.
      •Mary, Mother of Jesus, who drew strength from the woman Elizabeth, pray for us.
      •Mary, Mother of Jesus, who underwent hardship bearding Christ, pray for us.
      •Mary, Mother of Jesus, who ministered at Cana, pray for us.
      •Mary, Mother of Jesus, inspirited at Pentecost, pray for us.
      •Mary, Mother of Jesus, who turned the Spirit of God into the body and blood of Christ, pray for us


      Every prayer and blessing to you, and may all the women saints of the church for us as we indeed pray for one another.

      Let the kingdom in

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    9. It's an old book now, but on the subject of Mary's Litany and the marginalisation of the role of women in the church can I suggest Tissa Balasuriya: Mary and Human Liberation. He incurred the wrath of Ratzinger when he wrote the book as in it he pointed out that Mary's role in the liturgy has been such as to promote the idea that to be a saint and a woman one needs to be virginal and entitrely obedient to the patriarchal tradition of listening to men. A poweful read and he suffered greatly for having written it. Of course, his other excellent book is on the Eucharist and Human Liberation - now that is magesterial.

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    10. Now you are starting to sound like a charitable theologian - well done! Just a little edge of sarcasm to shed in the interests of humility - and you'll be fine. Thank you for your prayers and blessing - I am always grateful for the prayers of others - even strangers. I hope that others will now respond positively to your more erudite contributions above.

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    11. "Thank you also for quoting Fiorenza and Schneiders - it was indeed the weight of their academic work (which I am familiar with) which caused me to point out to you the patriarchal bias that underlies the litany of saints within the mainstream's church's liturgy."

      You did not originally cite their work as the basis of your criticism of the patriarchal construction of the Litany of Saints. Perhaps you could offer specific citations (quote, year of publication, page number, textual reference) to support your argument - especially as the weight of their academic work has greatly influenced you. This would be an ideal genesis for further discussion, and may give readers a valuable insight into your central arguments.

      "I believe it incumbent upon the church to bring that litany up to date."

      Are you referring to the Church in Wales here? Perhaps you could also give a specific answer to a specific question given above: "Perhaps you feel that the Church in Wales is guilty of structural sin in its construction of the Saints Days?" (Given that the majority of these days recognise men and would appear to marginalise women from your perspective).

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    12. Like everyone else here, I am a work in progress - don't see myself as a theologian though but everyone who knows me says I am kind. Sarcasm? I missed that. Have a wonderful day and may all the saints of God, women and men, pray for us. Let the kingdom in.

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    13. You did not originally cite their work as the basis of your criticism of the patriarchal construction of the Litany of Saints. Perhaps you could offer specific citations (quote, year of publication, page number, textual reference) to support your argument - especially as the weight of their academic work has greatly influenced you. This would be an ideal genesis for further discussion, and may give readers a valuable insight into your central arguments"

      Surely that would have been a tedious exercise? Who wants chapter and verse - there have been too many influences on my theology for me to footnote everything I say. That would be tedious, I would have thought?

      Yes I do think the Church in Wales (and others) is guilty of structrual sin in its construction of a litany of saints which ignores the mention of female saints in equal number. I do realise, however, that that patriarchal bias is the product of history and avoided the use of "structural sin" for that purpose. Now that that bias has been pointed out, perhaps the liturgist amongst you can put the suggestion forward. Lex orandi, Lex Credendi

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    14. I would respectfully remind you of your criticism of the Orthodox Church:

      "Let's call a spade a spade - those who dissent can rarely present a firm studied reason for their belief."

      Every argument that I have posited has been substantiated and underpinned by academic and theological rigour - something upon which you insist, as evidenced by your argument above.

      However, you now change your original thesis and assert that: "Surely that would have been a tedious exercise? Who wants chapter and verse - there have been too many influences on my theology for me to footnote everything I say. That would be tedious, I would have thought?"

      No I do not subscribe to this point of view - it is important to justify your arguments - as you expect from the Orthodox. To do otherwise is hypocritical. This reminds me of Daniel Bennet's banal methodological introduction in his book "Breaking the Spell" (2006, p.240): 'I will just give a brief bird's eye view of the domain of inquiry, expressing my own verdicts but not the reasoning that has gone into them, and providing references to a few pieces that may not be familiar to many.'

      So, you now assert : One set of rules for the Orthodox, and a different set for the feminists. Unfortunately, you now lay yourself open to the criticism of providing nothing more than unsubstantiated assertion. Your argument can be turned against you in the following way: "Feminists can rarely present a firm studied reason for their belief." This is not a criticism to which I personally subscribe having found some arguments disagreeable (through study rather than through this thread), but at the same time intellectually stimulating.

      "Yes I do think the Church in Wales (and others) is [are] guilty of structural sin"

      I am also fascinated by your embracing of the concept of structural sin - this derives from a Marxist ideology. Which academic sources have been the main influences upon your thinking here?

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    15. Glad you mentioned marxist ideology - I love reading anything from the stable of liberation theology. Alongside the feminist critique of patriarchy I have so enjoyed reading about from feminist readings, the many liberation theologians I've read have much to say about structural sin. Gosh, too many sources to mention, but back in the early days I would read anything by Leonardo Boff, Gustavo Gutierrez or maybe a bit of James Cone (from a black liberationist perspective), also been hugely influenced by a touch of Laurie Green (here in the UK) and also Robert Beckford (Dred lock Jesus etc), then there are the writings of Sobrino - fascinating as he writes very much from a christo-marxist perspective and is perhaps one of the most refreshing christological writers of our time. If you wanted a good place to develop an interest in marxist/liberationist theology then a good place to begin would be Boff's "Introduction to Liberation Theology" - he explores the theology of oppressed minorities in the third world. Boff's work is rigorous and robust and presents a powerful apologia to 'orthodoxy', revealing a theology of 'orthopraxis' which can free people from all types of oppression, not least oppresseion of womenkind. All these (marxist) theologians see sin evident in oppressive structures (e.g. male only episcopacy (as I would see it)) in the exploitation of man by man (and often women by man) in terms of the slavery of peoples, gender races and social classes; it's a sin that manifests itself as fundamental alienation and it's for this reason that I find it very difficult to think of the church legislating in any way for it. You did ask, and that is where I am coming from. Of course, I could be wrong.

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    16. Anonyous - the one who ends with let the kingdom in - thank you for litany of female saints. Rather good I thought.

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    17. It has become blatantly obvious how you work: "Glad you mentioned marxist ideology - I love reading anything from the stable of liberation theology." - although you never mention or cite this in your original arguments - and this is a repeated pattern with you. Your notion of academia is fascinating - I feed you a line - you trawl the internet - and then you feign erudition. At no point have you offered academic citations or arguments.

      There is not an awful to that I have not read in relation to Liberation Theology - perhaps I could assist you with specific citations.

      Do keep up the fine efforts with your WikiTheology.

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    18. I give up - really I do - you ask me to tell you what I have read and then when I tell you you dismiss me and suggest that I have not read any of the authors I cite. The reason I do not bang on about this book or that book (all of which I have read (and more, in fact)) is because I believe I would be in danger of trying to pull some rank or play the patriarchal game of "look how clever I am, look what books I have read, look how many degress I have". Please be sincere or do not bother responding to what I have just taken the time to type. I genuinely do not need assistance with citations, although if there is a particular book that has stimulated you in the direction of liberationist hermeneutics then get back to me and let me know how you got on with it - I would be very genuinely interested. Otherwise please do not bother - and that is not me saying I don't want to have a discussion, it's me saying I am disturbed by the tone of your response - you ask for one thing, receive it and then dismiss it out of hand. I thought you wanted academic rigour.

      "Do keep up the fine efforts with your WikiTheology" - patronising. And if that is the level at which you wish to engage with me, then good day my friend. I'm gald you have read liberation theology but it seems to me that your pretence at academic one-up-manship reveals that you have not understood a word that you have read. I'm sad about that.

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    19. I think the time has come to draw a line here.

      The point of this entry was to encourage members of the Church in Wales to attend the diocesan meeting they are best able to get to. I hope they will do so.

      We know from the above comments that some people are against provision but that is not what is being asked. The point of the meetings is to tell the bishops what 'adequate provision' means to them. I would like to read some comments on that issue but PLEASE use a pen name. The 100+ comments already received clearly show the need to identify one commentator from another. Thanks

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  30. Thank you so much to this last anonymous posting,and to be clear I mean the Anonymous who has perceptively analysed the sectarian one: thank you also to Cam Ma for his/ her Christian understanding. It has been tempting to try and reason with this person, but has become clear that this person looks only for controversy and disruption ( dare I say in the Church). I ,for one , shall not furthermore engage in discussion with this person,because it seems futile and damaging.

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  31. At the risk of damaging futility, thank you for trying to engage with me, Simple. It's not controversy or disruption I seek, but justice. Let the kingdom come, on earth (and in the Church in Wales) as it is in heaven. I feel it is coming the closer we get to women bishops. Praise the Lord, praise the Lord indeed. Now for Sherlock.

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  32. I have received a suggestion that may help to avoid so many 'anonymous' comments. Of the 104 comments above, 65 are 'Anonymous' from an unknown number of commentators. The confusion is obvious and the solution simple.

    Simply click on the down arrow next to "Comment as:" (below) to open the window.
    Click on Name/URL and enter a suitable pen name of your choice. Leave the URL space blank unless you wish to make a link to your own blog or web site and continue. There is no trace back when the URL is empty. The email address comes up as
    'noreply-comment@blogger.com'
    making it impossible to make contact separately.

    Feel free to try this solution here.

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  33. The meeting with the Archbishop is likely to be a dialogue of the deaf. What traditionalists require is an uninterrupted male episcopal line preserved. The most +Barry will grant is that parishes that don't want women priests won't have to have them (for the time being). He will never accept English PEVs operating in Wales - he would be more likely to appoint a new PAB - and we know how likely that is!
    He doesn't see - and doesn't want to see, that a male parish priest ordained by a woman would be no more acceptable than a woman priest.
    Whatever he and the bishops offer will fall short of what traditionalists need, will appear more generous than it is, and will be eroded over time.
    I doubt that +Barry will worry if a handful of traditionalist priests leave the Church in Wales - though he may be concerned about staffing levels if it is more than a handful.
    So what are traditional priests with family responsibilities to do? The most the ordinariate can offer is unhoused, unpaid ministry, if you are lucky and are prepared to be re-ordained.
    Perhaps the solution is to wait and see if the Church of England provides better provision, and apply for posts there. But that would involve abandoning traditionalist congregations in Wales.
    Sad times!

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  34. Most of the entry by The Observer is probably correct,and although a 'Code' is promised, ++ Barry has said that the final decision will rest with the Bench( that is himself).. However, with regard to Ordinariate priests ,at the meeting at Belmont with Msgr Keith Newton way back in 2011 ( I think) , and which I attended, it was stated that to date all Ordinariate priests,who were not already retired, were in employment and housed.
    I can understand that entry to the Ordinariate by means of ordination can seem a big hurdle.But how can this be otherwise achieved : there has to be some sort of validation and visible commitment,surely. Anyway ,we are not there yet! And as Ancient Briton recently pointed out the reason for the blog entry is to explore between us what we need in terms of 'adequate provision'.

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  35. Fuss about nothing. Many traditional priests just get on with their job at present and act as if they had no bishop anyway!! Take the liturgy - many interpolate elements into the liturgy that are not Anglican. So what would change if their bishop was a woman. Nothing. Get over yourselves and get on with it. Naval gazing egocentric nonsense.

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    1. Simply to say that I take issue with your words, "as if" .... and I think you probably mean 'navel gazing' ...

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  38. The Reformed Church in Wales has maintained the threefold ministry of Bishop,Priest and Deacon. A priest when ordained is united to his Bishop and vows obedience.It has been explored and explained in above entries how Jesus in instituting the Church chose men as his Apostles, and this has been the teaching and tradition of the church for 2000 years. There us no eveidence that Jesus ignored women: scripture confirms this,and there are numerous biblical accounts of Jesus' association with women. Jesus did not confirm to the norms of His society in his association with women, but clearly men were chosen as The Apostles.To introduce a woman as representative of Christ at the Altar introduces confusion into our faith. This is nothing to do with disrespect for women and the wider church has total respect for women's roles and their adoption of Mary as their Icon.
    I am not sure,Anonymous, where variations in the practice of the liturgy come into the argument,unless you are trying to say that it is no consequence what we believe?
    Such an ethos of believing just what you want may be getting to the nub of the problem,in that the Church in Wales ( which is sadly becoming very Protestant) you may believe as you wish and what you like. At that rate we shall end up belonging to a homogenous mess.

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