Monday, July 07, 2008

General Synod took action on innovation

Today, General Synod considered action on the measure for the consecration of women to the episcopate in the Church of England. Along with that discussion was consideration of options for traditionalists. The Archbishop of Canterbury criticized the measure without traditionalist protections as "marginalizing" traditionalists and current proposals for traditionalist protections as "structurally humiliating" for future women bishops. The principle of ordaining women as bishop was already affirmed at a previous synod. This debate was over care for the minority, which was not forthcoming. No Anglo-Catholic ghetto will be created. Massive defections, as took place in 1992, appear to be likely. Here are a few links to follow the story:

A decent summary by the New York Times

AFP Newswire

General Synod home

Audio of Synod debate, Part One

Audio of Synod debate, Part Two

Audio of Synod debate, Part Three

Ruth Glendhill's liveblogging of the debate

In her last update, Glendhill noted:

So that's it! Unless the laity throw the whole thing out in the final vote at 10.30, admittedly a possibility, the rest of the amendments concern merely the code of practice. What this means is that the Church is going to move towards the ordination of women bishops with a code of practice, with the draft legislation now to be drawn up to be considered in February next year. It's not over long-term of course. The legislation will have to get a two-thirds majority in each house when it reaches the final vote in two or three years time. The narrowness of the vote on this motion shows just how close it could be and of course the women priests vote in 1992 only went through when one lay traditionalist woman crossed the house and voted for woman priests instead of against at the very last minute.

More debate after dinner with the final amendments, but women are going to be bishops and there will be a national code of practice for the trads. Christina Rees welcomed it as the 'lesser of two evils' and said the women would accept and work with the code of practice. The former Archdeacon of York, Ven George Austin, who was watching the debate, has just left, almost in tears. He will stay in the CofE, as long as he has somewhere to worship. 'If I had been a serving priest, I couldn't have stayed.' I hear rumours of a protest walk-out planned by 100-or so trads at the end of the sessions this evening. And of course there will be more meetings in Rome, more plotting. Father David Houlding said: 'It is getting worse. It is going downhill very badly. It is quite clear there is a pincer movement and we are being squeezed out.

Forward in Faith--UK issued this response:
"The consistent behaviour of the General Synod compels Forward in Faith and the Catholic Group in General Synod to recognise that, without intervention by the House of Bishops, there is little prospect of gaining a synodical majority which would provide a structural solution that would meet the needs of those who, out of obedience to scripture and tradition, are unable in conscience to receive the ordination of women to the episcopate. We will in the coming days continue to explore all possible avenues which might secure our corporate ecclesial future and look to our bishops to facilitate this."

A nice BBC wrap-up with the Bishop of Fulham

1 comment:

Matthew the Curmudgeon said...

surprise, surprise...........NOT!

What's going to take?

so sad.