Removed, perhaps, during the laying on of hands?

Adrian Worsfold (aka Pluralist) is wondering why liberal English bishops have no spine:

I’m not so foolish to think that the developments at Fulcrum – and I include here not simply about some posters but also the conservatism shown by the likes of Andrew Goddard, for example – represent the whole of Christianity. What in the end has cut the rope for me is the silence of the other side. I live in the Lincoln diocese, and a ‘policy’ of mine has been not to ‘shit in my own backyard’, for example. But though I have met him, and he is very personable (which matters) and has said some significant thinks in local conversation (which matters), I see nothing but imbalance when it comes to wider comment by Church of England leaders – so that the increasingly conservative like Williams and Wright are like road blockages and foghorns, and then you have the more extreme noises making hay, whereas there is no balance from the other side unless they are retired or nearly retired. It constantly gives the argument over to those who emphasise rules, laws and imagined international authority.

The whole episcopal thing is stifling, suffocating and promotes a delusion. And down the line, those of a more liberal or radical view simply fail to come out. They would be noticed if they did, on a man bites dog media basis, if for no other reason, but they stay in their kennels as the evangelical dogs roam around looking for their next meat.

One reason religion is in such crisis in this country is because it has become this closed and deceptive book. People are not fooled by institutional double think and by institutional hiding. There is a sort of intellectual corruption – seen in Rowan Williams when he addresses institutional matters – that simply corrodes the institutional source of the misleading conversation.

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Category : The Lead

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  1. Yes, indeed, it would be helpful to see more spine from the English left. I was heartened by this uncharacteristically straightforward comment on my blog from Bishop Alan Wilson, speaking of Lorna Ashworth’s ACNA motion in General Synod.

    “I am disturbed when people who have essentially lost a debate in their own country come over to someone else’s to try and whip up reinforcements for the struggle back home. I find such behaviour inherently abusive, manipulative and distasteful.”

    It’s so refreshing to see the usual equivocation and prevarication set aside in favor of blunt honesty. We need to see more of this from the left.



  2. Derek Olsen

    There are varied explanations for why three bishops are required for consecration. One theory holds that two bishops holds the consecrant down while the third removes the spine. Another (back from the all-male period) was that each bishop removed one of the three B’s: brain, backbone, and balls…

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