You are here . on the pale blue dot

Blog notes

'Anonymous' comments for publication must include a pseudonym.

They should be on topic and not involve third parties.
If pseudonyms are linked to commercial sites comments will be removed as spam.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Women in the Church

The 'dark' side.

"Women bishops would humanise the priesthood" said the then Archbishop of Canterbury in 2011. Dr Rowan Williams warned the Church hierarchy to prepare for the “culture change” that would come with the “full inclusion” of women. Not the full inclusion the Archbishop would have expected. Instead it is inclusion to the exclusion of anyone with views not in accord with Women and the Church (WATCH) and their fellow travellers as highlighted by the "Sheffield controversy".

At the time Ann Widdecombe was closer to the truth when she said,  "Christianity in Britain today is under severe persecution. And it will get much worse. I do not resent this persecution. I welcome it. For it will weed out the pseudo-Christians, the wimpish bishops and the caved-in Synod. By persecution we discover who our true friends actually are." In 2017 that has come to pass.

Feminists have mercilessly used the Church for their own political ends. On the face of it WATCH ran a legitimate campaign, as they saw it, for the ordination of women. But, as with the world wide web, there is a dark side. A deception which has been gnawing away at the soft underbelly of Anglicanism. Say anything, do anything to gain the advantage. Thus the five guiding principles were agreed allowing women to become bishops in the Church of England. Perhaps they were crossing their fingers behind their backs as they voted but either way, they have reneged on the agreement rendering the whole procedure untenable.

Critics of WATCH were accused of misogyny from the earliest days when Canon Lucy Winkett said in a keynote speech, "Never mind Gordon Ramsay, we have in modern society a new F-word: Feminism." Extracts from her speech can be read here, eg,

Now women are on the inside, are exercising authority in
state and church, although the power is not yet equally
shared and the pay is certainly not equal. We are in a
new situation; I am not here to make a case for women
to be bishops – that case is obvious...

From the historical perspective of exclusion, women are
able to speak with authority from long centuries of marginalisation,
to bring these perspectives into the decision
making structures of society and church.

In the West, we live in a half changed world. There are
now very few areas of public life not open to women –
except those protected by organised religion."

In their campaign WATCH have used Christian values as a weapon to secure an advantage over their target audience, secularists and Anglicans who have been brought up on 'love thy neighbour', 'turn the other cheek', etc. Many have been bullied into submission for fear of being branded un-Christian while the majority outside the Church either do not care or have become so secularised they no longer understand the issues. When Bishop Philip North withdrew from his appointment as Bishop of Sheffield a BBC News reader said it was because 'his congregation' had complained.

Similar tactics, including false accusations, are being used by LGBT campaigners to bully the Bench of Bishops of the Church in Wales into appointing the Dean of St Albans to Llandaff. In an undignified campaign Members of Parliament have become involved. They have been led to believe that Dr John has suffered discrimination because he is in a civil partnership.

The MPs wrote "We understand that Dr John, a fluent Welsh speaker, was born in Tonyrefail in 1953. He grew up there and went to Hertford College, Oxford where studied both Classics and Modern Languages and was awarded a First. He was ordained to a title at Holy Nativity, Penarth. From Penarth he went back to Oxford to study for a DPhil and became Dean of Divinity to Magdalen College."

Many Welsh Anglicans have been asking themselves why, as a fluent Welsh speaker, Dr John was not appointed to St Davids in what looks more than ever like the politically motivated appointment of the first woman bishop in Wales. A gay priest and friend of Dr John’s for 40 years said "There’s homophobia everywhere but that’s no reason to stop a gay person from becoming a Bishop."

It is not homophobia and not because Dr John is gay and living in a civil partnership. The reasons why Dr John was rejected are open to speculation but for Church members who have been alerted to the controversy it is because he has campaigned for same sex marriage in Church which was rejected by the Governing Body. Moreover, he has used an unorthodox interpretation of the Bible account of the healing of the centurion’s servant in Luke 7 to justify his stance.

Looking to feminism, to gay rights or any other secular cause to swell congregations is not what the Church is about. That has failed. Decline continues. False claims by campaigners are leading astray a politically correct audience for selfish, political ends. That is not the Way of the Cross.


  1. Come Holy Ghost, our souls inspire12 March 2017 at 18:52

    With all due respect Ancient Briton, I think it might be a tactical error to keep banging on the "openly gay but celibate", "unorthodox interpretation" and "controversial / divisive" drums. That might be playing right into the hands of the gay cabal who seem intent on whipping up a media frenzy with the help of the meddlesome Philip Masson, Martin Reynolds and a clutch of MPs who should have better things to do with their time.
    I wouldn't feed their one-sided leaked version of events any more oxygen.
    From comments on your "New Bishop of Llandaff to be elected" and "Three bullets+ for Llandaff" threads it's more than likely several homosexual candidates failed to attract the necessary two thirds majority required from the Electoral College.
    (There have been no leaks concerning any possible lesbian or transgender candidates but I wouldn't ignore either possibility).
    As "John C" has already asked, why indeed are the 6 MPs asking awkward questions about Jeffrey John only?
    Why does their letter only mention Jeffrey John by name?
    What of other failed homosexual candidates?
    If the MPs either suspect or allege homophobic discrimination by the bench of Bishops or the Electoral College surely Jeffrey John would not be the only victim?

    The report of only Jeffrey John being wined and dined, the highly selective but unattributed leaks, the underhanded Masson email, the involvement of Chris Bryant, all carry fingerprints. The long-suffering people of the Cathedral and Diocese of Llandaff know the Modus Operandi of old.
    The undercurrent of feelings at this morning's Cathedral services were disquiet at the revelations, disgust at the methods and grubbiness at the process.

    Salva Nos

  2. When I was a student, the head of politics at my university told me in 1991 that the CofE was a fascinating example of "clothed politics".

    He was slightly behind the times.

    The following year it became evident that it is, and continues to be, naked politics. The gloves, and the rest, fell beside the wayside long ago.

    1. You're not wrong Alan2.
      Politics over theology every day.
      A Dean and Precentor fall on their swords.
      If only Llandaff could be so fortunate to lose two birds with one stone.

  3. We need to start challenging this 'other gospel' of unconditional radical inclusivism. The true gospel of the Kingdom that Jesus preached was one of unconditional racidal invitation to take up his cross and follow him. May I suggest there is a world of difference between the two.

  4. I don't think it's at all helpful to use the term "WITCH" on this blog - you do yourself a disservice in terms of the views you seek to express by using this acronym. Or perhaps you mean it to refer to wise woman who have been hunted down and demeaned by the church? I think that's the modern understanding.

    WITCH is not helpful, I suggest, and you have appealed to moderation in the use of language here.

    1. I note that you do not dissent from the content Scapegoat but then how could one defend such duplicity? WwJs refers @12.12 to the silent majority. That is precisely the point.
      'Women and the Church' (WATCH) implies that the views of women in general are being represented. In reality they represent only the views of a vocal minority of women in the Church (WITCH). The acronym is coincidental.
      The silent majority detests the implication that WATCH represents their views, the more so since they have effectively destroyed traditional Anglicanism leaving most women outside the Church (WOTCH).

    2. Bravo Ancient Briton.

    3. Previously on this blog, reference has explicitly been made to witches and covens and I believe that to be beneath us as fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Whatever your issue with WATCH you would do better to remain with their acronym rather than favour your own; I don't believe it to be coincidental for one minute and it introduces an un-christian tone into the debate. You must set the standard for the tone of debate you wish to welcome here AB.

      It goes without saying that I also dissent from the content, but nice try.

    4. You're no brother of mine14 March 2017 at 09:49

      I might have a mote of sympathy for your point of view if you were chastising the MAE coven for introducing "an un-christian tone" into the church.

    5. " You must set the standard for the tone of debate..."
      Hark at him!

  5. What would Jesus say?13 March 2017 at 12:12

    Helpful or not, I am informed the female silent majority feel Witch entirely appropriate for the MAE coven participants and their disgraceful activities.

  6. Maybe Scapegoat could seek help at Whitchurch? They are very understanding folk

    1. Maybe you could just try and be kind rather than descend into immature insult. If you have ever visited Whitchurch you will know that it provides care for some of the most vulnerable human beings in our community. Please don't use their sad plight as an easy means of demeaning others - it's beneath us as christians. Rather, go and spend a day there and learn some common humanity and some decency.

    2. I understood catnap to mean St. Mary's.
      Have I missed something?

  7. No white smoke today from the bench of Bishops?
    Let us pray the Holy Ghost is still putting about a bit of stick.

    1. Poor light might have stopped play today Ruth but the Holy Ghost is still batting on the uneven wicket (swamp bed).

      "Church officials said there was no fixed timetable for the decision to be made but bishops wanted to make the appointment as soon as possible."

  8. From no divorce and remarriage to this... in less than 20 years.