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Monday, 8 December 2014

More lies, damned lies and statistics

WATCH: "To choose a bishop based on one specific view, held by only a small group, can only serve to be divisive."                                       Photo Credit: PA

Following on from Saturday's entry, Just about Eve, a response from Women and the Church (WATCH) to the announcement of a 'headship' bishop has been published (here) - HT to Anglican Mainstream.

The Chair of WATCH, Hilary Cotton, said: "We have never accepted the appointment of any bishop on the grounds of a particular minority belief: this is distinctly un-Anglican and unorthodox. This goes far beyond disagreement about the ordination of women: it is about bishops recognising each other as bishops. If we lose that, what kind of unity are we demonstrating as a national church?"

This double speak is designed to fool the man or woman in the street who has little if any interest in religion by appealing to their ignorance. According to the Church of England's own estimates of attendance in their self-congratulatory Facts & Stats, 'one million participate each Sunday'. That is just 1% of Anglicanism. For the vast majority of the 80 million Anglicans who hold to the Apostolic faith of the Church, unity really does matter so selfish desires are put aside in the interests of genuine Church unity.

WATCH, along with ECUSA, the Church in Wales and other marginal, liberal dominated Provinces,  hold to a specific, divisive view which gives them dominance in their national church. But that is to the detriment not only of  the Anglican Communion but to the unity of the Holy Catholic Church which is again gathering pace following the declaration signed on the feast of St Andrew (20 Nov 2014) by Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. As Erasmus succinctly put it in The EconomistHello ladies, goodbye Communion?

As feared, these disgruntled feminists cannot help rubbing salt into the wounds which others have been trying to heal. As Erasmus pointed out, to get the women bishops legislation through "the feelings of low-church evangelicals who oppose women bishops have to some degree been assuaged by a promise that one of their number will be appointed to high office". Just as the bishops of the Church in Wales have done these women and their supporters were prepared to go along with any procedure which guaranteed them victory, saying anything, promising anything to get their own way, then renege. The statement added:

"In a separate development, we are keen to know whether the Archbishop of York will consecrate the newly appointed Bishop of Burnley, Rev Philip North, who opposes the ordination of women. It would seem to us bizarre if a suffragan bishop declined to be consecrated by his own archbishop and even his own diocesan bishop, because he did not recognise them as bishops."

Conscience is not a word that has any resonance for the duplicitous. While the Church of England strove to achieve an honourable solution to resolve conscientious differences, WATCH along with Barry and his bench sitters in the Church in Wales remain determined to achieve unity by exclusion.

This is "distinctly un-Anglican and unorthodox".


  1. Compare and contrast:

    The final line of The Economist article: "the boundary between existence and non-existence becomes almost imperceptible".

    The final paragraph of the WATCH statement: "We have never accepted the appointment of any bishop on the grounds of a particular minority belief: this is distinctly un-Anglican and unorthodox.", following on from the particuarly unpleasant and un-"gracious" remark (to use the now already out-dated CofE General Synod 'buzz word', although apparently 'un-' words are now 'in').regarding Fr North's consecration as bishop of Burnley - an especially galling remark after the nasty and noxious campaign that was waged against his consecration as the intended bishop of Whitby.

    If anybody was still in any doubt that WATCH had long ago crossed "the boundary" not just regarding communion but also regarding single-issue epsicopal nominations , you only need to take a look at the comments sections on numerous articles on the Thinking Anglicans website bewailing a) the appointment of new male bishops, and b) the failure - so far - to appoint a self-identified homosexual bishop. I suspect that the irony of the collective wailing and gnashing of teeth would be lost on both WATCH and their vociferous gang of supporters as they rejoice in their self-proclaimed role as 'bulwarks' against "un-Anglican and un-orthodox" practices.

  2. Llandaff Pelican9 December 2014 at 10:50

    As @Fascinated Outsider highlighted in the previous thread, WATCH and their un-inclusive sidekicks in the C of E are on the back foot. They are slowly waking up to how much they have had to concede to get women bishops. They are also showing the rest of us how toxic they really are in their goal of achieving a theologically 'pure race.' If they want that sort of thing, they should come to Wales, where it's now the orthodox position as promulged by Peggy the Pilate.

    Meanwhile, the reconciling Archbishop of Canterbury has shown us that he can be trusted (unlike his Welsh counterpart) to keep his word, and has fulfilled his promises. He has led the way, has taken personal responsibility for this, and has appointed the traditionalist Evangelical as one of his own suffragans. He's not imposed it on someone else; but shown that he can personally embrace the need for diversity as a hallmark of Anglican identity, regardless of personal convictions. That's what integrity looks like.

    What this amplifies is (a) the degree to which the feminist lobby in the C of E cannot let go of its bitter and noxious campaigning mode; (b) the degree to which the position of the Welsh Bench is shameful and fundamentally un-Anglican; (c) that the traditionalists in the C of E are now free to concentrate their energy on the task of mission while the so-called progressives are still trying to fracture the Church by stoking old conflicts.

  3. Have WATCH never heard of the Elizabethan Settlement? This is what created a Church for the whole nation, in which catholic, puritan and reformed could be at home with diversity-in-unity. What qualified an exclusivist rump like WATCH to pontificate about orthodoxy? When it comes to "the appointment of any bishop on the grounds of a particular minority belief" I can hear Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew saying "Quite So!" as they contemplate the prospect of women bishops.

    Isn't it time that this noxious organisation was disbanded. If all they can now do is chuck insulting hand-grenades at reconciling acts by people of integrity, they have no more to offer the wider Church.

  4. Beleaguered of Bangor10 December 2014 at 10:55

    I don't think this is off-topic, because it's likely to disproportionately favour the ordination of women. But I have heard from several people recently about the proposal to ordain people (at the more senior end of the age range) who have been turned down by Provincial selection conferences. Does anyone have any more information about this? Coming from where I do, you can imagine there are various conspiracy theories doing the rounds about the level involvement by the Potty Prof who thinks he's a teddy bear (aka Leslie Francis) and his poisonous "girl friend."

    But if it is true, are we now to expect that self-selection for priesthood will become the norm? In other words, you go through a process of discernment; the Church says 'we think your gifts are best used elsewhere'; but if you decide you want to be ordained anyway, we'll say, in effect, that our discernment process is flawed. This is unsustainable as a vocations policy. It will just mean more and more of Barry's Babes (or Grandmas), with fewer and fewer young, male role models.

    But, hang on, may be that's the intention. Cleanse the Church of intelligent, professionally-trained, theologically literate clergy, so that it becomes the Protestant Caliphate Barry has longed for.

  5. What desperation! And do you remember all the endless recycled hot air Barry Morgan spewed out about the ordination of women being a sign of renewal for the Church? It doesn't look like it now, does it?

  6. The C of E and the Church in Wales are organised democratically which means that matters of law and organisation in these Anglican Churches are decided by the assemblies of the the General Synod or the Governing Body : that is the Church to which most contributors to this blog belong.
    If the democratic decisions do not meet with your beliefs,and do not permit you to practice your faith according to your understanding,then there is one straightforward way to deal with this.
    Archbishop Barry has frequently made the point that he cannot appoint a Bishop for each group who disagrees with him on a particular matter.The Governing Body has decided : the Law is the Law. Once women were ordained to the priesthood ,then there can be no argument against women Bishops, for we accept the authority of the threefold ministry of Bishop,Priest and Deacon, do we not?

  7. Thank you, Simple soul, for being the voice of reason. For those of us who do not warm to Archbishop Barry's style of ministry, or those of his brethren, there is, as Simple soul says, a straightforward way to deal with it. Does it need to be spelt out?

    1. No it does not.








      Does it need to be spelt out?

  8. Fascinated Outsider12 December 2014 at 13:42

    Simple Soul is right in one respect. That is how the legislation in Wales was shaped (thanks to Peggy the Pilot and her side-kick Jenny Wigley). However, in the C of E, the legislation that was democratically voted through to allow the ordination of women to the episcopate contained provisions for those who did not agree (the Five Principles) - which is why they have just appointed Fr Philip North to the bishopric of Burnley and the Archbishop of Canterbury will appoint a conservative evangelical as one of his suffragans, alongside the three traditionalist catholic 'flying bishops.'

    In Wales, we were promised consultation and provision in the light of that consultation. The feedback from the consultation was clear and unambiguous. Unlike the Archbishop of Canterbury, his Welsh counterpart doesn't keep his promises and cannot be trusted to be a focus of unity. It is not so much a case of appointing a bishop for everyone who disagrees with him as appointing a bishop who holds to the historic faith as the majority of the world's Christians recognise it.