Monday, July 07, 2008

BREAKING: CofE Synod on Women Bishops – “It’s all over”

As Ruth Gledhill is live-blogging, three key amendments to provide structural provisions for objectors to women bishops have all gone down to defeat, prompting one Anglo-Catholic to tell her, “It’s all over.”

Jonathan Baker, Principal of Pusey House, argued for one of the amendments in what I’m sure was his temperate but clear voice:

Rev. Jonathan Baker, Principal of Pusey House, Oxford, and a member of the legislative drafting group, supported the Bishop of Exeter's amendment. He said the only thing that offered a way forward for him with integrity was to do more work along the lines of a diocesan solution. 'We need to have bishops who those of us who need to can look to with conviction and assurance but still play our full part in the Church of England.' He wanted to be in a church where he could continue to play his part in 'nurturing the vocation' of young men who had difficulty with the ordination of women. A church in danger of losing its memory was a 'sad church to belong to'. This amendment was the way to ensure that people like him could be not just part of the memory of the CofE, but 'part of its present and part of its future.'

But his plea was of no avail.

And now a “crucial” amendment to provide “Super-Bishops” has narrowly failed.

Unless there a dramatic last minute shift, the Church of England is willfully shoving off its Anglo-Catholics. This is a sad day for Anglicanism.

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UPDATE: Women bishops without structural provisions for objectors did indeed pass, but not without heroic opposition:

Stephen Venner, Bishop of Dover, said: 'I have to say that for the first time in my life I feel ashamed. We have talked for hours about wanting to give an honourable place for those who disagreed. We have turned down almost every opportunity for those opposed to flourish. And we still talk the talk of being inclusive and generous. The Rochester report said in many many pages that there were a variety of ways in which scripture and reason could be read with integrity. It argued over and over again that it is possible to be a loyal member of the CofE and [accept] some legal safeguards for those who oppose the ordination of women. It is not just those who are opposed to the ordination of women who find the motion we have at the moment difficult. I do. Where is the CofE about which we have spoken today? Is this CofE to which we have come to in this vote the CofE at its best? I have to say I doubt it. Is this the CofE to which I thought I belonged? I have to say with huge sadness, I doubt it.'

Massive applause. Venner sitting in chair, weeping.

1 comment:

Michael said...

God bless Bishop Venner. God keep him and comfort him and protect him.

Goodness. They just blew up the Church of England, didn't they? And here was I thinking that I'd heard Tom say that his church wasn't like those dirty old colonial churches....