The Church of England’s ruling body has voted its support for women to
become bishops without giving traditionalist supporters of male-only
priesthood the concessions they had sought.
One bishop broke down in tears at the meeting of senior British church
leaders Monday in York, northern England, as he described his distress
at the church’s lack of willingness to accommodate traditionalists who
have threatened to leave if they felt they were not adequately
“I feel ashamed,” said the Right Rev. Stephen Venner, Bishop of Dover,
who is in favor of women bishops. “We have talked for hours about
wanting to give an honorable place to those who disagree. We have been
given opportunities for both views to flourish. We have turned down
every, almost realistic opportunity for those who are opposed, to
Both sides conceded that tradition of male-only bishops would be
changed, and the lengthy debate centered on what accommodation would be
given to dissenters. This was not billed as a final decision; church
legislation to implement the change is to be debated next year.
I must be dense, but I never understood
how this was not anything but inevitable. After you swallow
women priests and dump scripture, theology, sacred traditions, and the
Church Fathers regarding this then what in the world would not allow
women priests to become bishops. It seems to me that the only
real reason at the time that they did not allow women bishops was
political and just and effort to not bleed off even more members as a
result. I mean what theology or tradition could separate
priests from becoming bishops if gender was not part of the equation?
I wonder if Anglicans who at that time were against women
bishops if they really did not see the day when they would be approved?
Though I guess all of us have ways to fool ourselves from
seeing something. For Anglicans and really most
Protestants what is controversial today will be approved and will
become the norm tomorrow.
I feel sorry for their emotional distress, but where there is no Tradition and union with Rome there is no stability nor protection for the continued accuracy of the teachings of that ecclesiastical body.
Perhaps now those who want to follow the Traditions will wake up and enter full communion.
Still, it is a sad day for those who do not favor crazy feminist agendas.
The Vatican’s communique this morning indicates that the decision definitely presents a roadblock for ecumenical efforts:
The good news is that some Anglican clergy may be getting on their swim trunks and heading down to the Tiber.
Your headline is priceless! Thanks for the comic relief. I am an Anglican convert myself, and I have often been amazed at Anglicans’ capacity for self-delusion. I think that it comes down to this: Most Anglicans–whether evangelical, Anglo-Catholic or “mainstream”–are essentially all congregationalists at heart.
When and my husband and I were considering crossing the Tiber, one of the things that hit us right between the eyes was how thoroughly the sin of schism has effected the Anglican world. Most Anglicans don’t really consider schism a sin, anyway, so they don’t see how inevitable it all is. That is, schism begats still more schism, as the night follows the day.
I have to say that I have a lot of respect for yon true liberal in the article. I may disagree with his position and thus his judgment; but he’s got a good sense of fair play.
I always thought the rationale for having female priests but not bishops was that female bishops would lead to accusations of invalid ordinations. I believe the American female head bishop was careful to have male bishops to co-consecrate with her, so that the ordinations would still be considered valid even by traditional fogies.
Yup. Schism. Let’s face it, i.e., the truth (…spoken in charity). Anglican identity is rooted in a divorce and a misappropriation of power (by Henry VIII). If Anglicans who want to swim the Tiber insist on retaining something of their identity, they must shed any tendency to think that the Church is a democracy. As a convert, upon my reception it never occurred to me to dictate terms to the Church. No, the correct posture is to submit oneself to the Church, trusting in the Lord and His mercy. Even if one has personal preferences for certain ritual practices or music, Tradition trumps mere preference. To become Catholic is to cease being a protestant, or an agnostic or an atheist or whatever. To be a Catholic is to be a fulfilled Jew. Do not be afraid – come home to Rome.
Seems a lot of the breakdowns in the Anglican & Episcopal Churches are inevitable. Take for instance, the homosexual “marriages” of its bishops, and blessings of homosexual unions. No surprise there that a church founded on a total disregard for the sanctity of marriage has degenerated to what it has become: an institution that not only accepts sin, but celebrates it.