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Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Opinionated obfuscants

Over the weekend I read a couple of articles offering opinions which made me despair of the direction that Anglicanism is taking. 'God loves you'; a simple message contorted by groups desperate to validate their own agenda at the expense of others. The emphases below are mine.

First up, from the Belfast Telegraph (here) in an article headed 'Women bishops, yes... but female Pope a long way off'.
A few quotes:   "Of course, there are still die-hards who believe that women should not become bishops...", "Such historical sexism was acceptable in societies where women were, and still are, treated like chattels", "The Church of England seems particularly out of touch with modern society, and it is hard to take seriously most of its stately Bishops gliding along in gorgeous dress-like regalia and funny hats", "The Roman Catholic Church, which venerates Mary, has strict views on women in the church, lay and otherwise. That view will not change in my lifetime or yours, so don't hold your breath for a female Pope", "the ordination of women as leaders in all the main churches will depend on their limited man-power. One reason for the Church of England's urgent requirement for women bishops is the lack of good male candidates for these key posts".

And from The Guardian (here), 'Vivienne Faull: a pioneer tipped to be the first female bishop' - yet another article about women being best suited to be bishops because they are women, contrary to scripture, tradition and Christ's own example.
Again a few quotes: "If she were not a woman, she'd have been a bishop years ago. Her mixture of competence, energy and honesty would propel anyone to the top of the Church of England, and her CV ticks all the right boxes", "She was among the very first generation of women to become priests, and has slogged through 20 years of institutionalised misogyny as a result", " she once explained: 'The local population took the view that if a woman led the funeral service, how would you know that you were properly dead?' ", "For 10 years Faull has been a member of the high-level commission that explores theological agreement between the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches. She believes the Roman Catholic church will eventually introduce women priests", "She looks forward to the blessing of same-sex partnerships", "Faull's finely judged intervention would mean the churches that allowed for same-sex marriages would still be Christian churches – something the homophobic parts of Anglicanism would utterly deny", "Despite a career spent working against the misogyny of the institutional church, what is striking about her manner is the lack of rancour."

'God loves you' means ALL, including the allegedly sexist, homophobic, misogynistic die-hards who are regarded as 'out of touch with modern society'. But faith cannot be determined by modern society. To believe that "the Roman Catholic church will eventually introduce women priests" is simply an opinion contrary to the historic teaching of the Church. 'God loves you' cannot be used to undermine what is also true, that “The Church of England affirms, according to our Lord’s teaching, that marriage is in its nature a union, permanent and lifelong, for better for worse, till death them do part, of one man with one woman, to the exclusion of all others on either side”.

A blog entry (here) offers a personal response to the House of Bishops Pastoral Guidance on Same Sex Marriage (here). The comments are heartfelt and the pain real but that does not make it right that the Church should be governed by modern society because individuals feel the need to witness God's love on their own terms. Traditionalist 'die-hards' who only wish to remain faithful to the Church will not be side-lined merely to watch as the complexities of modern society, which are of our own making, are used to rob the Church of the real meaning of 'God loves you' simply to advance minority causes at the expense of others.

Postscript [19/02/2014]
Read David Ould on 'Real love' here.


  1. The article from the Guardian is clearly prepping the population for things to come.

  2. I am not inclined to give much credence to the Guardian : authoritarian left and feminist.

  3. "She looks forward to the blessing of same-sex partnerships"

    Of course.

    Is there such a thing as an orthodox woman priest?

  4. Can you be an orthodox ( woman) priest and a misandrist?

  5. All this talk about the lack of suitable male candidates, but never a word about those who have been passed over as "unsuitable" because they 'don't get it', as David Cameron would no doubt say.
    regarding Women Priests and Bishops and sundry other Liberal issues.

    There was, for instance, recently a very good candidate for one of the vacant sees (at least it is still officially vacant, if it is not suppressed): Fr North who was destined for Whitby. But despite the Archbishop of York, who is clearly pro-Women Priests and Bishops, believing that Fr North possess the gifts for an episcopal cure, a group of negative single-issue campaigners got their way and blocked Fr North's appointment in spite (literally) of his very open and supportive attitude to women priests and ordinands whose ministry he nontheless cannot accept. Indeed, even the 'anti' campaigners said he is a good priest, but they still decided to ruin the situation because only one "side" must win, and only one side may have prizes. Imagine the fuss had the reverse been true, and all the Shocked & Outraged cries concerning persecuted women, hard-done-by Liberals, and the need for the CofE to be 'in touch' (but only with a vociferous self-obssessed focus group).

    Consider again the diktat of an identical group of campaigners in the diocese of Blackburn, to block any suggestion of an appointment which did not conform to their own personal agenda. They too had their way. Imagine once again a reverse situation and the consequent outcry and wailing and gnashing of the teeth of Liberal Anglicans.

    Or consider, yet again, the the hundreds of male priests who left the CofE post-1992 and more recently for the Ordinariate. Either the CofE must recognise that their ordination selection procedure was fatally flawed for décades, churning out only Duds that have gone 'elsewhere' and that the Church is better off without - or they that they made a fatal mistake by driving away the very 'stock' they now recognise they need.

  6. Alan - it is all part of what Archbishop Welby politely calls a 'cultural change', but it is ,in fact, a cultural revolution and the plan is to ' purify ' the whole set up. A similar purging of dissenters took place in the Medical profession in the field of Obstetrics when abortion was legalised in this country. A doctor who made it know that he or she was not prepared to undertake abortions was unlikely to be appointed to a senior post.

    1. Is it possible to clarify the following sentence please?
      "negative single-issue campaigners got their way and blocked Fr North's appointment in spite (literally) of his very open and supportive attitude to women priests and ordinands whose ministry he nontheless cannot accept "

      As far as I can see it is a separate issue having the right qualities for a Bishop from the issue of being suitable for election. I suppose that the Archbishop of York could not see how Fr.North could 'fit in'.
      Is it not fundamentally contradictory to have a supportive attitude to women priests and yet not able to accept them?

  7. Simple Soul,

    +York saw very well how Fr North would have fitted in. York wanted Fr North to be bishop of Whitby. Fr North has for years welcomed female ordinands on year-long placements in his thriving parish, out of respect for the people concerned and the plurality of views which is supposed to be tolerated in the Cof E.

    The Whitby campaigners were led by the husband of a woman priest, and objected to the appointment because it was clear that North would not ordain women priests. The Blackburn campaign was preemptive and indeed exclusive, to prevent a repetition of the Whitby scenario by the appointment of a bishop who would not ordain women priests.

    1. Simple Soul, please see also Thinking Anglicans
      and a previous entry

    2. Thank you both for bringing me ' up to speed '!

  8. Fr North had been appointed by the Archbishop of York and his appointment had been confirmed by The Queen. They had every confidence in him - confidence which he apparently did not share, and chickened out, thereby costing traditionalists in the province of York the opportunity to have a bishop sympathetic to their concerns.

  9. Your postscript by David Ould on Real Love is challenging. I recently read elsewhere the following:
    " For the Lord Jesus loves all, and loved His enemies, even kissing Judas and calling him friend at the moment of betrayal. "

    In the video clip 'Mutual Flourishing' Archbishop Welby says that " love cannot be demonstrated if it is refused".
    I do not think that type of love can be the love of Christ?
    Does + Welby mean that those who cannot accept women in the priesthood should accept whatever is offered in terms of arrangements ,because the offering has been given the label of love ; if we refuse then it is our fault!