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Source: (consider it) Thread: New Bishop of Sheffield anti women's ordination
mancunian mystic
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Is it right that a man who is not in favour of women's ordination should, at this stage in the Church of England's life, be appointed to a diocesan bishopric? Whatever his theological justification for his stance, in the end he believes that only men should be in ordained ministry. I fail to see how that can not have undertones of misogyny and/or male supremacy. How are the many female clergy in the diocese to work with a man whose belief is that they shouldn't be in their jobs? I was also disturbed to read that when Philip North became suffragan bishop of Burnley, only 3 bishops, not including the Archbishop of York, were deemed pure enough to lay hands on him

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_North

The "theology of taint"? Wtf?

I'm posting in Purgatory rather than Hell, because I'm genuinely curious to know how this circle is squared - how can someone with such a theology minister with integrity as a bishop responsible for the work of female clergy? And how can the female clergy keep THEIR integrity in this situation? And why does the C of E still find this situation acceptable? IMHO as an outsider, it's a kick in the teeth to the female clergy, indeed to all women, in the Sheffield diocese.

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SvitlanaV2
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Surely it's not a kick in the teeth to all women? The CofE isn't answerable to all women, any more than the local mosque is answerable to all women.

I can't say much about the theological arguments, but on a pragmatic level it doesn't make much sense to keep people like this man in the ministry if they can't reasonably apply for the office of bishop. They might as well leave entirely - which the CofE doesn't want, because it's short of ordained clergy as it is.

I agree that the Church needs clergy who can speak to the society, but as the gap between the two grows ever larger it must be harder and harder to find such people. Moreover, as the wider public grows ever more indifferent it must become ever more important to satisfy the people who actually participate in church life - and there must be a constituency that's quite satisfied with such a bishop. He has his gifts, from what I understand.

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
Surely it's not a kick in the teeth to all women? The CofE isn't answerable to all women.

That is surely questionable where a "National Church" is concerned, as it's not simply a "religious society". In a sense it is answerable to the entire population, not just its adherents.

[ 01. February 2017, 15:24: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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mancunian mystic
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
Surely it's not a kick in the teeth to all women? The CofE isn't answerable to all women.

That is surely questionable where a "National Church" is concerned, as it's not simply a "religious society". In a sense it is answerable to the entire population, not just its adherents.
Thankyou - that's what I was getting at. As a non-Anglican woman, I still feel affected by this appointment. It's sad and disconcerting that our national church, as so often, is failing to reflect the growth of tolerance and equality in the society around it and is still giving positive encouragement to men who refuse to accept women's equality in ministry. By all means let them remain and minister within the communion, but appointing them to senior jobs seems to make a statement of approval that devalues women's ministry.
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mancunian mystic
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
I can't say much about the theological arguments, but on a pragmatic level it doesn't make much sense to keep people like this man in the ministry if they can't reasonably apply for the office of bishop.
I agree that the Church needs clergy who can speak to the society, but as the gap between the two grows ever larger it must be harder and harder to find such people. Moreover, as the wider public grows ever more indifferent it must become ever more important to satisfy the people who actually participate in church life - and there must be a constituency that's quite satisfied with such a bishop. He has his gifts, from what I understand.

Yes, he's impressive in his emphasis on working with the marginalised. But maybe some of the people who participate in church life need to be challenged on their misgynistic/anti-equality views, rather than encouraged?! And I don't think it's particularly pragmatic to potentially alienate over half your members, not to mention confirm the views of those outside the church looking incredulously at its continuing failure to truly embrace the equality that our society (mostly)takes for granted.
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Jemima the 9th
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If the CofE aims to be a Christian presence in every community, and is a national church as others have described, then I feel it is a kick in the teeth for any woman who might need the church in Sheffield, whether she is a Christian or not.

I suspect the female clergy of the diocese will show tremendous patience & grace. I don't have anything else to say that isn't Hellish.

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Barnabas62
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It's a Dead Horse, Shipmates. DH Guideline 1 specifies, amongst other things, any aspect of the role of women in the church and households and clearly the OP wishes to focus on an aspect of that.

Barnabas62
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leo
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He's one of the best bishops we have.

The agreement over the OOW was/is that both integrities are to receive equal respect and opportunities for peferment.

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Ethne Alba
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So unless and until that whole sorry saga is resolved (...which won't be in my lifetime i suspect...), the C/E will continue to put up the best person for the job.
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TomM
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Whilst he has so far proven to be a good bishop, he has also a track record of supporting women in and into ministry.

Prior to his episcopal ordination, whilst at St Pancras in London, he ran the North London Pastoral Assistants Scheme, which was open to and supportive of women discerning a vocation to the priesthood.

As +Burnley, I understand he is spoken of highly by his female clergy as being an excellent pastor to them. (The same is also true of +Wakefield, who holds similar views on ordination. In fact +Wakefield is commonly held to be the best bishop in his diocese - he's one of many suffragans - as the others appear to offer much less support to their clergy).

So, we have a potential diocesan bishop who has proved himself an excellent pastor to all in his care, and to be a dynamic missionary, committed to proclaiming the gospel and serving the needy. Why would we not want him to be placed in charge of a diocese? (Other than perhaps the people who he'll leave behind, who'd probably quite like to keep him).

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by mancunian mystic:
quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
Surely it's not a kick in the teeth to all women? The CofE isn't answerable to all women.

That is surely questionable where a "National Church" is concerned, as it's not simply a "religious society". In a sense it is answerable to the entire population, not just its adherents.
Thankyou - that's what I was getting at. As a non-Anglican woman, I still feel affected by this appointment. It's sad and disconcerting that our national church, as so often, is failing to reflect the growth of tolerance and equality in the society around it and is still giving positive encouragement to men who refuse to accept women's equality in ministry. By all means let them remain and minister within the communion, but appointing them to senior jobs seems to make a statement of approval that devalues women's ministry.
I feel that the CofE is now the 'National Church' in name only. How can such a pluralistic and secular society pretend that one religious institution ought to be 'answerable' to all everyone?

On the one hand only a minority of people in England and Wales now identify as Christian, and on the other, fewer Anglicans now attend worship than RCs - and the RCs don't have women clergy at all!

If we retired the CofE and created something akin to the Church of Sweden that might work. The latter doesn't rely on worshippers for money or status and is therefore more closely attuned to the tolerant values of the wider populace.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by TomM:
Whilst he has so far proven to be a good bishop, he has also a track record of supporting women in and into ministry.

Prior to his episcopal ordination, whilst at St Pancras in London, he ran the North London Pastoral Assistants Scheme, which was open to and supportive of women discerning a vocation to the priesthood.

I don't understand - he doesn't believe women are priests but is active in supporting women into priesthood. How does that work?

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Jemima the 9th
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Supporting women into the non-ordained ministry, perhaps? Such as the pastoral assistant's role mentioned. We have those in our diocese - they require some training, and ongoing support, but are for lay people.

I note TomM says Bp North supports women in their discernment. I would love to know how that happens.

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TomM
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by TomM:
Whilst he has so far proven to be a good bishop, he has also a track record of supporting women in and into ministry.

Prior to his episcopal ordination, whilst at St Pancras in London, he ran the North London Pastoral Assistants Scheme, which was open to and supportive of women discerning a vocation to the priesthood.

I don't understand - he doesn't believe women are priests but is active in supporting women into priesthood. How does that work?
I don't know exactly what +Philip's view is, or how he expresses it. But I assume he recognises that the position of the Church of England is to ordain women, and according to the principles agreed by the General Synod, is trying to work for mutual flourishing.

From the North London scheme, there are currently seminarians at St. Stephen's House, Mirfield and Westcott (and probably elsewhere) - it's effectively an internship to enable discernment.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by TomM:
I don't know exactly what +Philip's view is, or how he expresses it. But I assume he recognises that the position of the Church of England is to ordain women, and according to the principles agreed by the General Synod, is trying to work for mutual flourishing.

Riiight. So he accepts the CofE position in ordaining women but privately holds a different theological position which means he wouldn't even accept the Archbishop of York's position at his own bishoping (is that the word?) because that hand had ordained women.

Some might say that's a position with a gaping hole of a theological oxymoron right in the middle of it. If he doesn't accept women can be priests in what sense is he engaged in ordining them?

[ 01. February 2017, 19:42: Message edited by: mr cheesy ]

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bib
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I my experience it is not only the Anglican church that is anti women. Many other churches and organisations show similar prejudice which I find abhorrent. Eg: At our local golf club women are only allowed to use the course on Sundays whereas men can play a round of golf any day of the week even if women are playing a tournament. In most sports women players are paid a minuscule amount compared with how much men are paid for playing the same sport. Also we had a female assistant minister at church who also worked as a highly qualified doctor because she was not paid enough to live on a minister's salary. The male minister was treated quite differently and was given accommodation, a car and travel expenses. To use an Australian expression "not happy Jan".

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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by TomM:

I don't know exactly what +Philip's view is, or how he expresses it. But I assume he recognises that the position of the Church of England is to ordain women, and according to the principles agreed by the General Synod, is trying to work for mutual flourishing.

From the North London scheme, there are currently seminarians at St. Stephen's House, Mirfield and Westcott (and probably elsewhere) - it's effectively an internship to enable discernment.

How many of those seminarians are women? I can't imagine any at St Stephen's, unless there has been a sea change of massive proportions.

Are you able to explain "mutual flourishing" please - indeed, that entire sentence?

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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by TomM:
Whilst he has so far proven to be a good bishop, he has also a track record of supporting women in and into ministry.

Prior to his episcopal ordination, whilst at St Pancras in London, he ran the North London Pastoral Assistants Scheme, which was open to and supportive of women discerning a vocation to the priesthood.

I don't understand - he doesn't believe women are priests but is active in supporting women into priesthood. How does that work?
Aaah you've discovered the fudge
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ThunderBunk

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quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by TomM:
Whilst he has so far proven to be a good bishop, he has also a track record of supporting women in and into ministry.

Prior to his episcopal ordination, whilst at St Pancras in London, he ran the North London Pastoral Assistants Scheme, which was open to and supportive of women discerning a vocation to the priesthood.

I don't understand - he doesn't believe women are priests but is active in supporting women into priesthood. How does that work?
Aaah you've discovered the fudge
Or you could call it respecting the integrity of the job he has been given. I suspect that the line he draws is that, within his understanding of the priesthood, women cannot be ordained to it but, since it is now clearly mandated by the church that there are at least two (actually far more, but two that are relevant for these purposes) understandings of the priesthood, he will not block those who express a vocation within a different understanding, though I would presume (I don't know, and of course he's not a diocesan bishop yet) that he would effectively delegate their discernment process to a suffragan.

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mr cheesy
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Presumably there is a certain amount of hand-laying and words spoken that he can't in good conscience be a part of - nor, presumably, can accept spiritual advice from anyone who ever has.

I've never heard of the man, but this contradiction seems an impossible circle to square.

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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The only squaring I can see is to reason the following way.

1. In Ancient Israel, the people wanted a King.
2. God said "I don't want you to have a King."
3. The people said "We want one anyway!"
4. God said "OK then, I think it's a bad idea, but here's a King for you."

Perhaps one could reason that:

1. The Church wants women priests.
2. God says "I don't want you to have women priests."
3. The Church says "We want them anyway!"
4. God says "OK then, I think it's a bad idea, but I'll call Julie, Cynthia and Araminta here to the priesthood."

In which case it's possible for Julie, Cynthia and Araminta to have a discernible vocation whilst still thinking it's a Bad Idea.

I'm available for parties, proving that no-one really wants the cake or something, if needed.

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mr cheesy
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No sorry, it is much deeper than that. If you think women are not capable of being priests then it is challenging (to say the least) to explain what you think you are doing when involved in a process that makes women priests.

Either you don't really believe what you are saying about priests or..

Fill in your own blank.

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L'organist
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Am I being too cynical is thinking that the timing of the announcement of a non-woman-ordaining diocesan bishop may just have something to do with the news breaking about ++Justin and Iwerne; it could also be seen as a useful counter-weight to the HoB's statement on "same sex attraction"?

As for his consecration being an occasion when ++Ebor and those bishops who had ordained women didn't lay-on hands, do explain to my how this is different from those clerica who countenance - espouse even (pardon the pun) - the nonsense about headship and complementarianism? To put it baldly, which is worse: not wanting women's ministry at all, or saying that women have a valuable place in the ministry but only to children? IMV the latter is more hypocritical than the former.

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Callan
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I suspect the timings were coincidental. Part of the compromise hammered out when Women Bishops were agreed was that preferment would, occasionally, be doled out in the general direction of those who dissented. From what I know of the new Bishop of Sheffield he is at least someone who, on the basis of his talents, won't balls things up too horribly. With some previous appointees there was a suspicion of tokenism - oh the irony - the suspicion that they weren't up to it and had been appointed simply because the C of E needed to appoint an opponent of the ordination of women to the post. Personally I look forward to the day when opposition to the ordination of women is as mainstream a Christian position as the Divine Right of Kings, or the Parousia, whichever comes first. But in the interim the appointment of someone who would have made the cut if he had held the opposite view is no bad thing.

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Jemima the 9th
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quote:
Originally posted by ThunderBunk:
quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by TomM:
Whilst he has so far proven to be a good bishop, he has also a track record of supporting women in and into ministry.

Prior to his episcopal ordination, whilst at St Pancras in London, he ran the North London Pastoral Assistants Scheme, which was open to and supportive of women discerning a vocation to the priesthood.

I don't understand - he doesn't believe women are priests but is active in supporting women into priesthood. How does that work?
Aaah you've discovered the fudge
Or you could call it respecting the integrity of the job he has been given. I suspect that the line he draws is that, within his understanding of the priesthood, women cannot be ordained to it but, since it is now clearly mandated by the church that there are at least two (actually far more, but two that are relevant for these purposes) understandings of the priesthood, he will not block those who express a vocation within a different understanding, though I would presume (I don't know, and of course he's not a diocesan bishop yet) that he would effectively delegate their discernment process to a suffragan.
I think there's more to it than that. He may well believe that women cannot be priests, and that wouldn't really have an effect if he were "only a priest". But in his role as bishop, he has to not just assist in discernment (which he could side step) but actually take part in the ordination of women. Which he will not do.

I know the priesthood is not a normal job as we plebs would understand it. But there is no way this would stand in the secular world - "I know I've been promoted to a position where I need to interview and appoint people to roles. But I won't be interviewing any women."

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kingsfold

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quote:
posted by Jemima the 9th:
in his role as bishop, he has to not just assist in discernment (which he could side step) but actually take part in the ordination of women. Which he will not do.

An acquaintance of mine was sent to a Resolution A,B,C parish which was under alternative episcopal oversight to do his curacy. When he was ordained, they had to liaise with and get the PEV in to do the ordination so that he was ordained "properly", his diocesan having ordained women.

Presumably, if arrangements in that case had to be made to have the right sort of Bishop doing the ordination, arrangements within the Diocese of Sheffield can be made to have an equally right sort of bishop to ordain the women. Presumably the Suffragan Bishop (?Doncaster?) can do it?

[ 02. February 2017, 14:04: Message edited by: kingsfold ]

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by kingsfold:
An acquaintance of mine was sent to a Resolution A,B,C parish which was under alternative episcopal oversight to do his curacy. When he was ordained, they had to liaise with and get the PEV in to do the ordination so that he was ordained "properly", his diocesan having ordained women.

Presumably, if arrangements in that case had to be made to have the right sort of Bishop doing the ordination, arrangements within the Diocese of Sheffield can be made to have an equally right sort of bishop to ordain the women. Presumably the Suffragan Bishop (?Doncaster?) can do it?

You don't think that's an odd state of affairs? One thing to have a flying bishop such as Ebbsfleet, another to have a diocene bishop who won't ordain priests in the normal run of things.

It's a farce. Either he needs to ordain women or he needs to.. I don't know.. apply to be Bishop of Ebbsfleet or something.

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Jemima the 9th
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Perhaps the female priests should seek alternative oversight? [Snigger]
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Callan
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by kingsfold:
An acquaintance of mine was sent to a Resolution A,B,C parish which was under alternative episcopal oversight to do his curacy. When he was ordained, they had to liaise with and get the PEV in to do the ordination so that he was ordained "properly", his diocesan having ordained women.

Presumably, if arrangements in that case had to be made to have the right sort of Bishop doing the ordination, arrangements within the Diocese of Sheffield can be made to have an equally right sort of bishop to ordain the women. Presumably the Suffragan Bishop (?Doncaster?) can do it?

You don't think that's an odd state of affairs? One thing to have a flying bishop such as Ebbsfleet, another to have a diocene bishop who won't ordain priests in the normal run of things.

It's a farce. Either he needs to ordain women or he needs to.. I don't know.. apply to be Bishop of Ebbsfleet or something.

I imagine that there will be a Suffragan Bishop who ordains women. In the Diocese of Chichester, the Diocesan Bishop doesn't ordain women but the two Suffragans +Lewes and +Horsham do. IIRC, +London only ordains Deacons and his suffragans priest the various candidates according to the integrity they belong to.

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How easy it would be to live in England, if only one did not love her. - G.K. Chesterton

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Jengie jon

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The Suffragan is Peter Burrows who is Bishop of Doncaster.

Hint, I may feel hurt if I was an Anglican who felt called to the Presbyteral ministry. As I am neither Anglican nor called to the Presbyteral ministry, it really is fairly low down my priorities. I am more upset about the child abuse and the Bishops statements than this especially when those are seen as reflecting on the Church, not just particular parts.

Jengie (a female resident of Sheffield)

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"To violate a persons ability to distinguish fact from fantasy is the epistemological equivalent of rape." Noretta Koertge

Walking 18 miles to help Refugees get an education.

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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by ThunderBunk:
quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by TomM:
Whilst he has so far proven to be a good bishop, he has also a track record of supporting women in and into ministry.

Prior to his episcopal ordination, whilst at St Pancras in London, he ran the North London Pastoral Assistants Scheme, which was open to and supportive of women discerning a vocation to the priesthood.

I don't understand - he doesn't believe women are priests but is active in supporting women into priesthood. How does that work?
Aaah you've discovered the fudge
Or you could call it respecting the integrity of the job he has been given. I suspect that the line he draws is that, within his understanding of the priesthood, women cannot be ordained to it but, since it is now clearly mandated by the church that there are at least two (actually far more, but two that are relevant for these purposes) understandings of the priesthood, he will not block those who express a vocation within a different understanding, though I would presume (I don't know, and of course he's not a diocesan bishop yet) that he would effectively delegate their discernment process to a suffragan.
His understanding being at variance with others in the same denomination means that there is a lack of integrity somewhere - either by him or by the church allowing two opposing views to be equally valid.
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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
His understanding being at variance with others in the same denomination means that there is a lack of integrity somewhere - either by him or by the church allowing two opposing views to be equally valid.

I think there are some things on which is is perfectly reasonable to say "we don't know what the answer to this is, so we allow any view." One might consider the position of the C of E on the remarriage of divorcees: the church as a whole permits this, but allows individual priests to have a different opinion.

But in this case, I don't think the priests who oppose remarriage are going around treating remarried people who happen to move into their parish as though they were still married to their first spouses, are they?

Similarly, I think you can have people who believe women shouldn't be priests in the same church as those who think they should, but I don't understand how you can have people who think women cannot be priests in the same church as priests who are women.

Because if you think women can't be priests, you almost certainly think that a Mass celebrated by a female "priest" is a sham. In what sense can you be said to be in communion with them?

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TomM
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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
quote:
Originally posted by TomM:

I don't know exactly what +Philip's view is, or how he expresses it. But I assume he recognises that the position of the Church of England is to ordain women, and according to the principles agreed by the General Synod, is trying to work for mutual flourishing.

From the North London scheme, there are currently seminarians at St. Stephen's House, Mirfield and Westcott (and probably elsewhere) - it's effectively an internship to enable discernment.

How many of those seminarians are women? I can't imagine any at St Stephen's, unless there has been a sea change of massive proportions.

Are you able to explain "mutual flourishing" please - indeed, that entire sentence?

The ordinand I have in mind at Staggers is indeed female. The House, as with every other TEI, admits female students.

As to mutual flourishing, the idea is that we work together to allow each integrity to flourish according to God's will, and see what develops. How can we claim to be 'catholic' in the proper sense of that word if our first instinct is to exclude rather try and work how to be inclusive and universal? It is why I feel it very hard to associate with many of those whose views I in theory share - being an inclusive church means including those we disagree with.

As to the question of ordinations in Sheffield - I suspect that (as it probably is already) the diocesan bishop will ordain some candidates and the suffragan others. I believe +Philip ordains women to the diaconate (though I may be mistaken on that). The main change might be that one of the bishops of the diocese presides at every ordination, rather than +Beverley coming in for the 'traditionalists'.

And I suspect the biggest divergence in theology of ordination in the Church of England is not amongst catholic Anglicans (whether they are for or against the ordination of women), but between those groups and the liberal-evangelical camp holding most of the more influential positions who are working for more managers and ministers, rather than priests as the Church universal has understood it.

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
I think you can have people who believe women shouldn't be priests in the same church as those who think they should, but I don't understand how you can have people who think women cannot be priests in the same church as priests who are women.

Some people are loyal to their denomination, or even to their congregation, regardless of who the priest/minister might be.

I've heard of a Methodist who disapproved of women clergy, but remained at his church when a woman minister arrived. This situation is relatively easy for a Methodist to deal with, because Methodist ministers are expected to move on after a few years, and also because most Methodist preaching is done by the laity, and a minister is unlikely to be in the same pulpit more than about twice a month.

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:

I've heard of a Methodist who disapproved of women clergy, but remained at his church when a woman minister arrived.

Well, sure - but did your Methodist think that the woman minister wasn't actually a minister at all?

There is a difference between thinking that women should not hold some particular authority, and thinking that a woman does not hold that authority, and that the rest of us are just pretending that she does.

The first of these things is more or less the low church con-evo "male headship" thing. The second is the Catholic "priesting a woman is impossible" thing.

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SvitlanaV2
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Which of the two positions does this new bishop hold?

I don't really understand the theology behind this, but I can understand clergy who do what they might not approve of in order to serve a higher imperative, e.g. the unity of the church, or for pastoral concerns, and so on.

TBH, I feel that the clergy must often be obliged to participate in rituals about which they may be doubtful, for any number of reasons. Maybe that's just me, though!

[ 02. February 2017, 21:31: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

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Gee D
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Thank you TomM. Staggers will probably have to drop its other nickname then.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
I think there are some things on which is is perfectly reasonable to say "we don't know what the answer to this is, so we allow any view."

That is a reason but it is the reason? It all suggests that an approach that is trying to please everyone whilst never taking a clear stand on anything.

It's expedient: probably in 1992 they thought all opposition would dry up quickly either by acceptance or by the die hards leaving for Rome. Neither has happened.

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TomM
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
Which of the two positions does this new bishop hold?

I understand in the case of +Philip the answer is neither. I think (and I may be misrepresenting him on this) his view is that there is nothing in principle wrong with ordaining women, but that it would be an ecumenical matter - i.e. the Church of England did not and does not have the authority to make this change to the sacrament of holy order on its own. If such a change were to be made then it would essentially require the whole Church to agree to it. (Within this view there are those that would simply require the Pope/the Roman Catholic Church to be in favour and others who would essentially require the resolution of a truly Ecumenical Council).
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TomM
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quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
I think there are some things on which is is perfectly reasonable to say "we don't know what the answer to this is, so we allow any view."

That is a reason but it is the reason? It all suggests that an approach that is trying to please everyone whilst never taking a clear stand on anything.

It's expedient: probably in 1992 they thought all opposition would dry up quickly either by acceptance or by the die hards leaving for Rome. Neither has happened.

Most decisions the Church has made over the last two millennia have been about expediency. The Nicene Creed, for example, was the statement that could be put together by those bishops present at that Council. I very much doubt any of them thought it perfect, or that every point was agreed purely and simply on theological grounds.
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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by TomM:
quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
I think there are some things on which is is perfectly reasonable to say "we don't know what the answer to this is, so we allow any view."

That is a reason but it is the reason? It all suggests that an approach that is trying to please everyone whilst never taking a clear stand on anything.

It's expedient: probably in 1992 they thought all opposition would dry up quickly either by acceptance or by the die hards leaving for Rome. Neither has happened.

Most decisions the Church has made over the last two millennia have been about expediency. The Nicene Creed, for example, was the statement that could be put together by those bishops present at that Council. I very much doubt any of them thought it perfect, or that every point was agreed purely and simply on theological grounds.
So we've learned little in 2000 years about how to deal with conflicting demands? It does still seem like a fudge as does your explanation for the Bishops' position: wait for Rome? Well, we have changed more than a few things without waiting for Rome so why is this one issue so different?
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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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That would be an ecumenical matter! Drink! Girls! Nuns! etc.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:

we have changed more than a few things without waiting for Rome so why is this one issue so different?

To understand that, you have to understand the mindset of the trad anglo catholic. Not saying you have to agree with it, but to see where they're coming from.

The CofE has reached a position where it has managed to say both that women can be ordained priest and bishop, but that it's also completely supportable to not think that. Within the structures there is to be no glass ceiling dependent on which camp you're in. In theory both a trad AC/ConEvo and a woman could be made ABC. In practice, to have either would raise problems so I think it's fair to say that the can has been kicked down the road....

Anyway, it's wrong to see it as "this one issue" - I can't speak for the ConEvos but the trad ACs are coming from a background where they have regular confession, benediction and exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, genuflection, birettas, etc. If they are in any way intellectually coherent then they usually hold to some form of branch theory, which sees the CofE as the legitimate historic Church in England and a part of a body which comprises the CofE, the RC and the Orthodox.

The fact that the other two don't has no bearing whatsoever on the reality of the belief.

Anyway, coupled to that are 2 further impulses, firstly to work for the reunion of the CofE with Rome and the Orthodox (hence the weight put on ecumenical considerations), and secondly to work on the conversion of the rest of the CofE "back" to trad ACism. In practice the second is rather soft peddled these days, but organisations such as the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament do exist to spread eg the practice of reservation as far as they can within the CofE.

Within that mindset, you need to have 2 things. First, the maintenance of Apostolic Succession (hence the Ebbsfleet, Richborough and Fulham reservations), and second the ability to also exist at every level within the wider Church. Now, one might very think that they shouldn't be allowed to, but that's not what the deal is. And the deal was pretty well the only way the consecration of Women bishops ever passed General Synod (after several embarrassing failures).

Trad ACs won't go along with this particular development without ecumenical agreement for the simple reason that this is a "first order" matter, married clergy (and there's a reasonable subset of TradACism which in any case opts for celibacy, and not just the gay ones....), vernacular liturgy, etc, are second order ones.

Overall, the attitude to ordained women can still best be summed up by the statement in Synod during the 1992 debate, when the argument got onto whether apostolic succession "takes" when passed down to (or by) a woman.

"At best, not proven; at worst, no."

*That* is why Trad ACs see it as an ecumenical matter. If the mind of the Church Universal goes for it, then we can all go forward together with a degree of confidence - not (necessarily) confidence that the decision is right, but that it is the decision of the Whole Church (TM) so at least we can all make the same move together. Anything which puts more water between the CofE and Rome/Constantinople is to be resisted.

Which is how you end up with people like the bishop, who in all good conscience might not have much of a problem with it themselves, but still don't want it to happen until everyone else does it.

Like I said, you don't have to agree with them, but it's useful to understand where they're coming from. I'm a recovering Trad AC, but even when I was fully immersed I never came across genuine misogyny, for example. Usually just people that were deeply sad that their church was moving on from them.

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And is it true? For if it is....

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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
That would be an ecumenical matter! Drink! Girls! Nuns! etc.

I mean, I could have just saved myself 10 minutes and multiple paragraphs and written that, yes....

[Overused]

--------------------
And is it true? For if it is....

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Jemima the 9th
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Well, I'm grateful for your 10 minutes and multiple paragraphs (and Karl's joke!). You have elucidated what I suspected to be the case. There is then, I think, no hope for people like me who hope to see women appointed to positions at every level within the CofE. It's the business of "at best, not proved, at worst, no". How could such a thing ever be proved to their satisfaction? It cannot.

And for the life of me, I can't work out why people in the CofE would want to rejoin the branches of the whole church, when the rest of the whole church has doesn't recognise us as part of that.

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TomM
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quote:
Originally posted by Jemima the 9th:
Well, I'm grateful for your 10 minutes and multiple paragraphs (and Karl's joke!). You have elucidated what I suspected to be the case. There is then, I think, no hope for people like me who hope to see women appointed to positions at every level within the CofE. It's the business of "at best, not proved, at worst, no". How could such a thing ever be proved to their satisfaction? It cannot.

And for the life of me, I can't work out why people in the CofE would want to rejoin the branches of the whole church, when the rest of the whole church has doesn't recognise us as part of that.

Speaking as a fairly traditional Anglo-Catholic (benediction and exposition, confession, genuflection though perhaps less birettas) who accepts the ordination of women to all three orders, and receives their ministry, why would we not want to seek for reunion with other parts of the Body? Was it not our Lord's command and prayer in the garden - ut unun sint? (ET: that they may be one)

If the Church of England has no desire to work towards the visible unity of all Christians, I'm off. And I suspect a good number of those with whom I am in seminary (and the staff for that matter) would be heading in the same direction as me.

The road to unity may be a long one, and it will be a tricky one. And it will require us to accept and include many with whom we massively disagree. That goes with the territory of being part of the 'one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church'.

And also, why does the appointment of +Philip to Sheffield, or the connected issues, prevent a woman being appointed to any post at any level in the Church of England?

[ 03. February 2017, 18:00: Message edited by: TomM ]

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Jemima the 9th
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I have no calling to the priesthood. I'm a bog standard low CofE pew fodder, with a church history that started in the Elim Pentecostal, via the methodists, and went all over the show before I ended up in my current church. So about as far from TradAC as one could possibly be in the CofE.

Do I wish for unity in the church? Well yes, but istm that that unity will only come on the back of the sacrifice of those who wish for the opportunity for total equality. That is how the situation seems to me - for there to be unity, the only acceptable position to the RC & Orthodox is that women are not priests. It's not as though a compromise can be made, is it?

As a non-seminarian, it is difficult to explain perhaps, but that the gifts and calling of God do somehow not "take" because I'm a woman is just awful. Again, I know the priesthood is not a normal job, but really..."She's a very capable woman, and excellent with parishoners, but ofc she's not actually a priest." "She's a very capable woman, and excellent with patients, but despite her dedication to them, and her years of training, she's not actually a doctor".

The appt of +Philip does affect the appointment of women at every level in 2 ways, istm. Firstly, because of the need to maintain that unbroken line of appointment, a woman will never take the office of ABC. Less directly, because women in the CofE think "Sod this, I'm off", and there are fewer of us about in the first place.

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Jemima the 9th
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Anyway, I'm going to go and re-read this
as I think it will prove insightful.

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TomM
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quote:
Originally posted by Jemima the 9th:
I have no calling to the priesthood. I'm a bog standard low CofE pew fodder, with a church history that started in the Elim Pentecostal, via the methodists, and went all over the show before I ended up in my current church. So about as far from TradAC as one could possibly be in the CofE.

Do I wish for unity in the church? Well yes, but istm that that unity will only come on the back of the sacrifice of those who wish for the opportunity for total equality. That is how the situation seems to me - for there to be unity, the only acceptable position to the RC & Orthodox is that women are not priests. It's not as though a compromise can be made, is it?

As a non-seminarian, it is difficult to explain perhaps, but that the gifts and calling of God do somehow not "take" because I'm a woman is just awful. Again, I know the priesthood is not a normal job, but really..."She's a very capable woman, and excellent with parishoners, but ofc she's not actually a priest." "She's a very capable woman, and excellent with patients, but despite her dedication to them, and her years of training, she's not actually a doctor".

The appt of +Philip does affect the appointment of women at every level in 2 ways, istm. Firstly, because of the need to maintain that unbroken line of appointment, a woman will never take the office of ABC. Less directly, because women in the CofE think "Sod this, I'm off", and there are fewer of us about in the first place.

But the point is we are not saying a woman will never become ABC. As when Philip North was first ordained bishop, someone else can do ordinations when required. (I believe it was at the ABY's initiative that the Bishop of Chichester presided over the ordination). Yes, to preserve that integrity there needs to be a line of male bishops (ordained by male bishops etc.) but that doesn't limit who can take any particular post.

And those women leaving because of it? Can I suggest it might be worth giving him chance first? To those he has served so far as a bishop he has proven a good and faithful pastor. We need to move beyond the headline that was in the Guardian over his views on the ordination of women, and get to something more like 'Bishop with heart for mission and concern for the poor and marginalised appointed to Sheffield' because it more really reflects the situation.

The march towards unity will be slow. I don't see how there could be formal unity between Canterbury and Rome without a recognition of women's orders. The Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome visited us last week, and suggested that it is entirely possible in his view, based on his experience working with the RCC with unity as the goal, that some arrangement could be made in the long term.

Your comment about whether or not orders 'take' (your word) reflects the point I made earlier - the biggest divide in the Church of England over ordination is not over whether women can be ordained or not. It is over whether there is something ontological and sacramental about priesthood. For those of us who believe there is, what the person does is only significant in so far as it reveals who they are. I (or anyone else) will never become a priest because of the training I am receiving, or because I become good at pastoral visiting, or taking funerals, or whatever. I will only ever become a priest if and when, God willing, a bishop lies his or her hands upon my head and invokes the Holy Spirit upon me. It is only something I can only become by the gift of Christ acting in his Church. At one level, no one can empirically know if they are a priest (they can know they are not though!), but we know how God has acted in the past, and we know that God is faithful, and will continue to act through the sacraments of the Church.

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Jemima the 9th
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A small point - "take" was betjemaniac's word, not mine.
The rest I need to think about more deeply. [Smile]

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