Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Women Bishops for the C of E

It has been a long road, but the legislative synod for the Church of England has voted to move forward with elevating women to the Episcopate. In doing so they will join a growing minority of provinces in the Anglican Communion that has women serving in all three orders of the historic Apostolic ministry.

Here is the official word from the Anglican News Service...

The Guardian Newspaper offers these remarks...

The church has tried hard to find a way of accommodating the reactionaries who declare, as a matter of theological conviction, that they cannot receive the Christian ministry from women. All such objections, however, embody three propositions that are ultimately unacceptable. One is that the opposition of the minority should permanently prevent the will of the majority from being put into practice. The second is that extensive special treatment for the anti-women minority - whether in the form of separate or parallel male-only structures and appointments - inevitably demeans female clergy as being lesser bishops than men. The third is the underlying indignity itself of the belief that women are not made to be bishops. The synod's concession of a code of conduct - not yet drawn up - is as far as the church should go in making concessions to its conscientious objectors.

Read the entire editorial here...

And here is one of my favorite C of E commentators, Fr. Giles Fraser, who never pulls any punches...

The debate threw up some unlikely heroes. Foremost among them the Bishop of Liverpool, who has had his troubles of late, chiefly as chair of governors of the Oxford college, Wycliffe Hall that has made the news for sacking most of its staff and going so right wing it has been nicknamed an Anglican madrasa. But his speech steered the women bishops debate to its conclusion. The job description of bishops, he argued, was to feed the body of Christ. And yet, before the body of Christ became a metaphor for the people of God, it was a women that feed Christ’s physical body and looked after him. Here was the Biblical argument for women bishops. Indeed - on this argument - the very first bishop was a woman.

Read his entire comments here...

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Some of the information reported by Giles Fraser is factually incorrect, specifically, to state that Wycliffe Hall has "made the news for sacking most of its staff" is petty sensationalism that is unworthy of a respectable reporter. I am sure you will want to correct the error by publishing this correction on your blog.

Fr. Jeff Queen said...

Dear Anonymous,

I linked to Giles Fraser's commentary on what is happening in synod for the very reason that it is "commentary." I suspect that he is the one you need to contact about the amount of sensationalism he engages in--which to be sure runs deep on both sides of the current theological debate within Anglicanism.