|Judge and jury: the bunch of Bishops of the Church in Wales|
Before agreeing to that disgraceful decision they had had an easy ride in the belief that justice would be allowed to prevail. Credo Cymru (FiF Wales) maintained a dignified hope that if the Archbishop had a shred of decency left in his bones he would not oppose what the wider membership of the Church in Wales asked for in the diocesan consultations and what other bishops were believed to be sympathetic to, a chance for all to prosper according to conscience. But just as David Cameron binned the evidence against same-sex marriage with disastrous results, so the Archbishop binned the results of the consultations. He then added insult to injury by allowing two imported heretical women bishops of the US Episcopal Church to conduct illegal Eucharistic celebrations in Llandaff and St Asaph Cathedrals.
Now, at long last, the worm has turned. Here is Credo Cymru's response to the decision.
Response from Credo Cymru to the Bishops' Code of Practice of September 2014
1. The Code enunciates principles, several of which are welcome to us and reflect some things we said in our submission. These state that the Bench wishes every member of the Church in Wales to feel valued and included in the life of the church, and for all legitimate varieties of churchmanship to flourish. Those who cannot accept that the ordination of women as bishops and priests are explicitly recognised as adhering to an acceptable interpretation of the Anglican heritage. However, the meagre nature of the concrete provision made comes then as an entire non sequitur; it simply does not achieve the apparently avowed end of enabling Traditionalists to flourish. There is a clear discontinuity between the initial principles and the actual provision.
2. We cannot accept that the Code as it stands is the last word on the matter. Fortunately the Code itself does not claim to be such. If it were, we would be unable to recommend that the members of Credo Cymru should continue their Christian life within the fellowship and structures of the Church in Wales. We would have sadly to express the conclusion that fully orthodox and catholic life could no longer be lived out under these circumstances, and that our members might well be advised to seek an alternative spiritual home within which to continue their Christian pilgrimage.
3. The Bench of Bishops of the Church in Wales should realise one fact, however unwelcome. If we are correct in believing that in the purpose of God the orders of bishop and priest ought not to be conferred on women (and, of course, we for our part recognise that that is a big 'if viewed from the bishops' perspective), then there is no bishop currently on the bench who is acting as an orthodox and catholic bishop should act. That is a large part of our problem. To offer any male bishop as a grudging sacramental stand-in for a female diocesan hardly meets our need to relate to a bishop whom we can recognise as being in the Great Tradition of the Church. It is not true to state, as the Presidential Address did, that we accept only bishops who happen to agree with our own views when, of course, it is the relationship to historic orthodoxy in which bishops stand, and not their 'views', which gives rise to the request for alternative episcopal oversight and care. It is quite improper to impute to a minority views which they do not hold and then to decline a request on the basis that those views are 'uncatholic'.
4. As presented, the Code of Practice is seriously inadequate for Traditionalists who, in conscience, are unable to accept the ministry of women as bishops. We can only conclude from this that the Bench of Bishops have a fundamental difficulty in understanding our theological position.
5. At the least, Traditionalist members of the Church in Wales are going to have to look to bishops outside the current bench as the true pastors of their souls and as their link with continuing apostolicity.
6. In view of the declining membership of the Church in Wales, perhaps we should all consider the real possibility that our Church currently stands under divine judgement, and that the unrelenting trend towards secular modernity in recent years has simply not benefitted us in any obvious way. These appear to us to have been years in which little serious attention has been given to the divine Word and the Tradition. To plunge on in the same unchecked direction might quite simply be disastrous.
8 October 2014
8 October 2014
The 'trend to secular modernity' follows the same downward spiral as the Episcopal Church of the United States where their Presiding Bishop has been busy spending other people's money defending the indefensible with the same disastrous results to the faith.
The bench sitters appear blind to what is happening under Barry Morgan's headship. Presumably they are waiting for Godot!