As John Bingham of The Telegraph has been reporting, feminists in the Church of England are so unhappy with bishops’ modest efforts to accommodate traditionalists that they may vote down women bishops legislation altogether in Synod next month, which would set back the cause by at least five years.
I just do not get rock-headed vindictiveness like this. It gives the old saying “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” new meaning.
Those ready to vote down women bishops legislation because it, as amended by the bishops, now gives traditionalists a little breathing space refuse to deal reasonably with the fact that some in the Church of England cannot conscientiously recognize the ministry of women bishops. And it has nothing to do with any He-man Woman-haters Club, but with convictions about the teaching of scripture and tradition. For many, there is no legislation in the world that can change those convictions.
Now the rational proponent of women bishops (and there are many) would see that and therefore would propose to allow those of said convictions to have the alternative arrangements they are requesting and otherwise move on with women bishops. But that is not good enough for the uberfeminists. Having women bishops is not good enough unless the traditionalists are crushed or driven out or both.
What the heck do these feminists want? The Principal of Pusey House being forced at the point of a sword to kiss the ring of a woman bishop? More Anglo-Catholics forced to flee to Rome? And there is little question some feminists secretly desire the latter. And it is hard to see how their efforts are any less than attempted persecution of the Faithful.
If the feminists kill women bishops legislation because they refuse to allow orthodox opponents a little space, then they don’t deserve to have their women bishops . . . ever. Further, their vindictiveness proves themselves unfit to called bishops or ministers of Christ . . . or Christians for that matter.
And most of them have indeed proven themselves, by both their teaching and conduct, more feminist than Christian. For the sake of Christ’s Church, and for the sake of their own needful repentance, may their utter lack of Christian reasonableness and charity indeed bring about their own defeat again and again.