Comments: Women in the episcopate: Code of Practice drafting group

It still seems very odd to me that the draft Code is not going to be available before Diocesan Synods vote on the legislation.

And is Martin Warner's illness going to delay the start of the group's work?

Posted by Maggie at Tuesday, 5 October 2010 at 9:16am BST

It is also worth noting that, once again, there is a liberal bias to ensure that block voting would ultimately ensure who calls the shots...

But as an optional Code of Practice is about as useful in reality as a waterproof sponge it would make no difference if it were written by Pope Benedict himself.

Anyone doubting me explain why a group to rescind the code of practice was never set up.

Posted by Ed Tomlinson at Tuesday, 5 October 2010 at 11:11am BST

Cart before horse - Cart before horse!

Posted by Father David at Tuesday, 5 October 2010 at 11:32am BST

Good to see Jane Sinclair (our archdeacon, not to mention acting Rural Dean) on the group - very highly rated round here.

Posted by Mynsterpreost (=david rowett) at Tuesday, 5 October 2010 at 4:02pm BST

"once again, there is a liberal bias" Ed Tomlinson

Maybe - but the panel also includes Angus 'women are to submit to their husbands in everything' MacLeay.

Posted by Laurence C. at Tuesday, 5 October 2010 at 4:33pm BST

My point was that Angus and Warner will be outvoted at every turn....just as happened in the revision committee. Indeed the block voting was all rather predictable. Stack the odds and make it look like democracy!

Posted by Ed Tomlinson at Tuesday, 5 October 2010 at 7:15pm BST

'Bishops' is just a form of church government --one among many -- that's all.

Not sacrosanct. What a shame that it has become inflated in my life time. With a freight of anglo-catholic romance which it can't carry, can't sustain. Not fit for purpose on the ground, in the real world.

I'd love to see us experimenting with other ways of doing things. I know it's not going to happen -yet -- so many vested interests and a surfeit of that romance.

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Tuesday, 5 October 2010 at 9:08pm BST

" many vested interests..."
-Laurence Roberts

Yup, it's the ones in vestments, alright. :-)

Posted by Nom de Plume at Tuesday, 5 October 2010 at 10:14pm BST

"Stack the odds and make it look like democracy!"

- Ed Tomlinson -

Ed, there is no such thing as 'democracy' in the Church - as you should know quite well - being an admirer of the Papal Magisterium. At least , in the Anglican system, there is some appearance of collegial consultation.

I suppose your main worry might be that there are an equal number of women and men on the newly-announced working group. That certainly could never happen in your preferred world of Roman Catholic 'orthodoxy'.

n.b. "Male and female created He (God) them".

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Wednesday, 6 October 2010 at 2:21am BST

How does someone like MacLeay get appointed to any sort of position of responsibility in the CofE? Do his retrograde views have that much currency?

Posted by Bill Dilworth at Wednesday, 6 October 2010 at 8:49am BST

MacLeay has a constituency certainly but as I have said before on this site: in what sense are his views( male headship etc) simply permissable within the Church of England and in what sense are these views the DOCTRINE of the Church of England. This is something that has troubled me for a long time and I found it particularly difficult when I was a Director of Ordinands. What does one say to a woman candidate for priesthood who says she believes in male headship and could not serve under a woman incumbent for instance? We ask clergy at ordination "Do you believe the doctrine of the Christian faith as the C of E has received it, and in your ministry will you expound and teach it?" yet the Chuch ordains clergy who see that doctrine embodied in the Thirty Nine Articles accepted ex animo and others ,like Ed Tomlinson I imagine, who look to the Univeral Catechism.I rather sense the role of Examining Chaplain has been quietly sidelined or neutered in the last 50 yrs in the C of E. As a friend said to me, those leaving for Rome are exchanging anarchy for tyranny. I suppose we individually have to decide which we prefer..but I rather feel we might gain more respect in ecumenical dialogue if we took doctrine more seriously.

Posted by Perry Butler at Wednesday, 6 October 2010 at 11:10am BST

There are some conservative evanagelical women who train for the church of England diaconate, and they act like the old lay deaconess!

Posted by Robert Ian Williams at Thursday, 7 October 2010 at 5:11am BST

It's a bit late for that ! - doctrinal singularity and steadfastness in the C of E. On the other hand it does give different folks scope for their faith / inner journey.

I think of it these days as more like poetry and colours on a palette -- many palettes in fact !

The Society Friends does without Creeds but does have certain convictions called Testimonies (Peace, Equality, Simplicity, Truth)and certain practices such as silent, waiting worship (unprogrammed worship), priesthood of all, Quaker business method which is itself a form of worship as well as a 'committee'(no Voting). Also ways of approaching different things, seeking guidance / Clearness and so on.

Also some convictions which have become almost creed-like cries de cours - 'that of God in every one', 'the Inward Light'of Christ, and the Testimony against set notions which hem in truth, and make explorations difficult to enter creatively and without fear.

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Thursday, 7 October 2010 at 3:20pm BST

Fine Laurence. If I wanted to be a Quaker I would become one, similarly Baptist, RC etc.But while I value the comprehensiveness of the Church of England and do not see it as a confessional Church on ,say,the classic reformed or Lutheran model,I believe there should be rather more to it than comprehensiveness defined simply as fruitful tension between opposite points of view out of which somehow truth will eventually emerge. That is part of the mix to be sure but not enough, I think.

Posted by Perry Butler at Friday, 8 October 2010 at 1:02pm BST

To reply to Maggie's comment from Tuesday, Martin Warner doesn't think his illness is a problem and feels able to take on the pressures of being a minority on the working group. He is back at work. He is supposed to taking things gently!

The group looks well balanced to me and has an able membership. The group looks a good size to take things forwards.

Posted by Susan at Monday, 11 October 2010 at 12:58am BST

ah Perry, I liked what you said --but then noticed you saw it as not enough.Can't we be informed by other denominations and traditions, and learn from them a bit ?

I am not how far your 'something extra' can happen in an anglican, or any other context. Not sure it would be a Good Thing, really.
~Truth emerge ? Or truths ? Or we jsut find we can sometimes do something good- 'do the truth' perhaps.

I suppose I belong in a meaningful way, to 3 Christian bodies which hold mutually exclusive theologies at one level. I can live with it. They can live with me ! -- and I with them. I also belong to a zen body with yet another lineage and language / imagery of its own. I am happy with these commitments. The minutiae of doctrines don't seem to concern most people. A poetic richness they bring, resonance, colour.

Maybe as we move towards our lives' end many of these things seem to become simplified. Is that it ? Much remains to be discovered * ....

* my sense is that the discoveries are non-propisitional (ARCIC say would find it hard to less this befall them )

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Monday, 11 October 2010 at 1:27am BST
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