Church of England to Allow Women Bishops

And why not? If you already have women priestesses, then bishopesses are a forgone conclusion.

Church of England bishops last night cleared the way for historic moves to allow women to become bishops – but with a last-minute olive branch to traditionalists.

Strange things happen at night. The Telegraph reports – but before you go on, and look at the following pic - calm yourself, and keep whispering, Anglicanorum Coetibus, Anglicanorum Coetibus…

In a meeting behind closed doors in York, the Church’s House of Bishops gave its approval to legislation to admit women to the episcopacy and rejected a series of attempts to significantly water down the powers of future female bishops.

But they also agreed a key protection for conservative evangelicals and Anglo Catholics who object to women bishops on theological grounds.

In theory the vote clears the way for the church’s General Synod to have a final vote on the issue in July.

But there were signs it has plunged the Church into further uncertainty amid fears that the compromise failed to satisfy either side in the debate.

It remained unclear last night whether the compromise would be enough to see off the prospect of a large-scale exodus of traditionalists to the Roman Catholic Church or a new breakaway Anglican group.

Equally campaigners for women bishops privately voiced disappointment at the compromise. They fear attempts to make women “second class bishops”

Parishes and dioceses have already signalled strong support for ordaining women as bishops.

But a significant minority of traditionalists cannot accept the authority of a women bishop on theological grounds.

Complicated arrangements have been drawn up to allow to request to opt out and answer to a specially chosen male bishop instead.

The House of Bishops agreed last night that the alternative bishop’s authority would be “delegated” from the woman rather than independent from her and that this arrangement would have legal force.

But they also agreed that traditionalist parishes would have more say in who the alternative bishop would be – potentially undermining the powers of the woman bishop.

In statement the House said: “The legislation now addresses the fact that for some parishes a male bishop or male priest is necessary but not sufficient.

“The House rejected more far- reaching amendments that would have changed the legal basis on which bishops would exercise authority when ministering to parishes unable to receive the ministry of female bishops.”

Are you still saying it? Anglicanorum Coetibus…

The Church of England press release is here.

 

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About Fr Stephen Smuts
TAC Priest in South Africa.

12 Responses to Church of England to Allow Women Bishops

  1. Sandra says:

    From the first moment they purported to make a deaconette, episcopussies became inevitable.

    • EPMS says:

      Whatever one’s views on the subject, I think slurs against women as women should be avoided. “Pussies”? How do you refer to the Ap of York?

  2. Continental Catholic says:

    Bishopesses is not simply a quantitative change compared to priestesses, but really qualitative one as far as practical dimension, down to the individual worshipper’s level, is concerned. Most people, on both sides of the Tiber for that matter, seem to care most what happens in their own parish. With priestesses you can always pretend that whatever crazy things and innovations happen outside, nothing really changes locally (provided that you are lucky to have a godly traditional pastor). With bishopesses it will be no more possible to avoid any contact and, even worse, dependence with respect to the outer Church.
    Furthermore, with priestesses, the departure from the Christian tradition seems always temporary and easily “curable” (just one generation to die out), if better times ever arise – and you can always delude yourself that it will happen one day. With bishopesses, damage becomes virtually irreversible, as from then on you will never be sure even with male bishops and priests, as they could have been “ordained” by women.

    • Ioannes Martialis says:

      It is the duty of those of good faith to rebel against this; women “bishops” are as valid and licit as infidels being “bishops” nor are their sacraments valid. Let us pray to St. Augustine of Canterbury, and to St. Gregory the Great, that the rot will be cut off, and the faithful would be roused from the slumber, a slumber brought upon by lack of asceticism and lack of vigilance in all levels of society.

  3. Continental Catholic says:

    I come to think that we may see the true providential role of the UK Ordinariate in a few years’ time, when common pew sitters in CofE realise how profoundly they are affected. The UK Ordinariate with its disproportionnally high number of clergy (and of the finest sort I must say) more and more seems to me like a ‘skeleton crew’ – being carefully prepared to accommodate much large numbers in the future.

  4. Sandra says:

    Or indeed, where an Ordinariate is not available, or where it really isn’t one’s thing, just whisper ‘Traditional Anglican Communion’.

    • Joseph Golightly says:

      Sandra, you might have noticed that the TAC is disintegrating. It is losing its best people and left with the correspondence course clerics. I fear joining it would only be a temporary measure

      • As your surname suggests, wouldn’t Captain Bligh say that you are “going too lightly“. “Lay into her with a will or take her place!“. I’ll take you sailing any day…

      • Sandra says:

        I just thought that, as a TAC priest in a part of the world where an Ordinariate is not available, Fr Smuts might occasionally whisper his own affiliation.

      • Ioannes Martialis says:

        What, TAC will form a new, breakaway organization? Traditional Anglican Communion with Correspondence Course Clerics? (TACCCC)?

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