Bishops face push-back on women bishops amendment

Thinking Anglicans reports that two diocesan synods are urging General Synod to send back to the Bishops their amendments that would impose limits on the authority of women bishops in the Church of England.

The Diocese of Salisbury issued a press release summarising the bishop’s presidential address which calls for an end to changes to the women bishops legislation.

The Bishop of Salisbury, Nicholas Holtam, … called for an end to changes to legislation for women bishops…

Bishop Holtam said: “This is not a matter of pragmatics but of principle and what the House of Bishops has done is to destabilise a very carefully crafted proposal, which already had significant compromise within it to recognise the legitimate place of difference within the Church of England, but which had substantial agreement from the dioceses.”

Referring to a vote on whether to accept the amendments to the legislation, he added: “The motion that has been tabled tonight is in keeping with the strong support this diocese has previously given to the ordination of women bishops and I welcome it as a contribution to what is indeed a very urgent debate.”

The Diocese of Worcester followed suit:

Worcester Diocesan Synod met last night and passed this emergency motion by 38 votes to 5.

This Synod calls upon the members of General Synod to support an adjournment of the debate on final approval of the Draft Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure, so that the House of Bishops can reconsider its recent amendment to clause 5.

Affirming Catholicism issued this statement, again, excerpted from Thinking Anglicans:

...the idea that parishes should have statutory authority to demand specific provision of oversight according to particular theological views is a dangerous precedent to be setting, both for the Church of England and for the Anglican Communion as a whole.

The clause 5 amendment raises significant questions about the credibility of the Church of England’s insistence on the historic episcopate as one of the bases for our ecumenical relationships

and conclude that the amendment to Clause 5 proposed by the Bishops “calls into question the catholic nature of the ecclesiology of the C of E”.

On procedure they strongly support the motions in the Convocations and the House of Laity to refer the amended measure to General Synod, but strongly urge Synod to refer it back to the House of Bishops.

Comments (4)

I commented on one of the British sites that the Bishops there have laid the perfect trap on this issue. No matter which choice is made those opposed to women win and the cause of equality in orders loses.

If they pass it as it is then they have women Bishops but with the "taint".

If they refer it back it takes another five years it seems. Another win for the conservatives.

I would urge them to pass the imperfect material, get women into purple and then use the next five years to undo the nonsense.

I feel for those women who are called and capable of being Diocesans, but please do not give these folks five more years to play these games.

I thought the same, Michael, but these two dioceses seem to see a third way. No? I'm looking for an answer from across the pond.

There is a paper on the Women And The Church webpage that is very informative. It offers a good analysis of the amendments to the arcane English GS legislation, and the serious problems the bishops' amendments will create.

I've got a paper that's informative:

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

It is bizarre that a Christian church would still be debating this.

Kevin McGrane

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