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Tuesday, 15 July 2014

The morning after

"David Cameron hails vote on women bishops as a 'Great Day For Equality' "(here). His deputy Nick Clegg said "Allowing women to become bishops is another long overdue step towards gender equality in senior positions. I welcome the Church of England’s decision which means that women can now play a full and equal role in the important work of the Church" (here). 

Isn't that fantastic! An opportunist and an atheist, the top two in government, while scurrying around trying to redress the gender imbalance in their coalition take time out to applaud a decision on a subject they clearly know nothing about. 

Questioned on Newsnight last night the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, insisted that the vote had nothing to do with being relevant to society. The debate had been 'theological' indicating that he must have been switched off when supporters trotted out time and time again that it was about relevance and equality in today's world. However, I must give credit to one lady supporter who had a different approach. Without batting an eyelid she listed from the Bible as many women as she could in the time available before declaring that scripture proved women should be bishops. She should go far.

Pushed on the wider agenda of new Anglicanism Justin Welby declined to comment on same sex marriage and the ordination of gay clergy on the grounds that he just wanted to enjoy the moment after Synod's momentous decision. But he wasn't deterred from talking about Abp George Carey's intervention on assisted dying, giving the impression that there is much more to come as imported 'theology' continues to dominate the thinking of the House of Bishops. In Australia recently a judge claimed that incest was no longer a taboo suggesting that it is on a par with homosexuality (here) while in California: "Governor signs bill replacing words 'husband' and 'wife' in state law" (here) so plenty of scope for being even more relevant to society.

Now that the enabling legislation is out of the way the next step requires women bishops to be fast-tracked into the House of Lords (here) where they can make more 'theological' decisions. Will that be before or after "theology" is redefined by the Government I wonder?

In conclusion, spare a thought for the poor woman from Women and the Church who said she had worked for years for this day. Now, at last she feels 'valued'! 

I wonder how Mary, Martha.... felt?


  1. Indeed, a thought for the poor woman from Women and the Church who has worked for years for this day: we who have been preaching the gospel and leading worship will carry on preaching the gospel and leading worship! She has achieved her life's work, so will, one assumes, sit around twiddling her thumbs, perhaps a little bored!

  2. Following the final approval of the Women Bishops legislation, there were three emails from Forward in Faith.

    The Bishop of Fulham said:
    "...enables us to look to the future with confidence"

    The Catholic Synod group said:

    "We are pleased that the spirit of reconciliation continued to be displayed during the debate and that the Church of England is committed to providing bishops and priests for our parishes enabling us to flourish in the life and structures of our Church."

    The society of S.Wilfrid and S. Hilda said:

    "We do, however, welcome the provision that has been made in the House of Bishops’ Declaration. It recognizes that our theological convictions about ministry and ordination remain within the spectrum of Anglican teaching and tradition. It assures us that bishops will continue to be consecrated within the Church of England who can provide episcopal ministry that accords with those theological convictions. It makes provision for parishes to gain access to that episcopal ministry by passing resolutions."

    Thus can someone explain to me why in the midst of all this confidence ,there is a need for a 'disputes resolution procedure'?

    1. The unpleasant reality, simple soul, which these august bodies have failed to acknowledge, is that all ecumenical hopes of reconciliation with the Catholic church of East and West, were finally blown out of the water here in York on Monday 14 July:

      Relentless optimism is hardly appropriate in such a moment of tragedy.

    2. Also, if you put yourself forward for ordination, you will be asked "would you accept the authority of a female bishop?". If you reply in the negative, have a guess what your chances of being put forward might be!

  3. " It makes provision for parishes to gain access to that episcopal ministry by passing resolutions." How sad is that? That one has to pass resolutions to receive episcopal ministry! Christ must be weeping on His cross.

  4. David Cameron's religious views seem bog standard C of E - be nice to everybody (except the unemployed and trade unionists) and tolerant - and untainted by any evidence of having ever read a theological book or listened to a sermon. So far, so Anglican.
    Clegg has a certain effrontery to comment on the matter, as an atheist. Did he ever think to ask Miriam, generally described in the media as a "devout Catholic", what would be be the consequences of the innovation for the C of E's ecumenical relations?
    Miliband has also chipped in with his views. Needless to say, he's in favour. How does a secular Jew manage to form any view about the validity of sacraments in a Christian church?
    At least two of these gentlemen can clearly have no lived understanding of

  5. Tomorrow's debate at synod will be to ensure the removal of 1 Cor 11:2-16, I Cor 14:33-36, Eph 5:21-24, 33, Col 3:18, I Tim 2:8-15, Tit 2:5, I Pet 3:5-7 and most importantly Rev 22:18-19, from the bible, so the poor congregations don't get confused. After all, all but one of these has already been deleted from the lectionary!

    1. Which one remains? When were they removed from the lectionary? I have often wondered whether 1 Timothy 2.12 etc was part of the regular readings.


  6. Llandaff Pelican17 July 2014 at 11:46

    Good headline. Dave and Nick do seem to have that post-Coital look, don't they? Can we expect a similar photo of Byzantine Barry and Rosie Harper after the C in W names the date? The problem for us in Wales is that, if the Archbishop's recent history of senior appointments is anything to go by, the first woman bishop will not be home-grown, but an imported C of E reject. Byzantine Barry has, effectively, said there are no women priests in the Church in Wales of sufficient calibre. So a certain woman with a pilot's license who applied for rather too many archdeaconries in the C of E before getting the message was foisted on Llandaff. Janet Henderson (who IS of a high calibre) was lured over the Dyke but soon woke up to the horrible reality of life on The Green. The Ass Bishop (an old woman if ever there was, so honorary) because he also got the message from the C of E. The new Diocesan Secretary (book already open on how long she will stay once she starts opening cans of worms). My money is on Byzantine Barry duping the GB in to creating a new See of Cyncoed, with either Kate Beckinsdale or Delia Smith being ordained deacon, priest and bishop on the same day!

  7. I am told there are no vacancies for a prospective female Bishop,but hang on a mo, if there is no vacancy ++Barry will create one ! We could have a female Provincial Assistant Bishop ,that post is vacant according to Credo Cymru website ?