Thursday, November 22, 2012

Stained-Glass Ceiling

Wow, what are they thinking in the jolly old Church of England? Yesterday the British synod of Henry the Eighth's ecclesiastical end-run around the pope and the whole divorce thing voted against women bishops. It's odd, but the Anglicans in Britain were extremely slow to allow women to be ordained as priests, even though that door had been opened in many other countries including Canada. And now it is bishops. The Daily Telegraph reports:

In a knife-edge decision at a special sitting of the Synod in London, bishops and clergy voted through the change by large majorities. But the measure failed to secure the required two thirds support among representatives of the laity by just 6 votes. Although 324 members of the Synod voted in favour of the change, 124 voted against and 11 abstained.

I listened to an Anglican priest who was considered a leading candidate to be the first C of E woman to become a bishop. She was obviously gobsmacked by the decision, especially since all kinds of compromises were made in order to make the proposal palatable. Now the newly appointed Archbishop of Canterbury who favoured the proposal faces a crisis in the church.

I truly thought we were past this nonsense in supposedly civilized and enlightened nations, at least in mainline denominations. This is about power and control, not the bible. To my mind this is the work of a bunch of fusty old men in a church which is already suffering from near-terminal irrelevance in Britain. What message does this send?

The woman interviewed was asked about what she will do next. She is tempted to resign her ordination yet she said that she was converted out of atheism into Christianity and soon felt a strong call from God to priesthood. The decision doesn't shake her Christian faith, nor her sense of call. I hope she stays. The Church of England needs her, even if it doesn't deserve her.

Did you hear about this? What is your reaction?


IanD said...

Nonsense just about sums it up. Welcome to the 21st century, gents.

roger said...

Ridiculous. But I love the word "fusty"!

Laura said...


willowjakmom said...

Absolutely ridiculous. The Church could use a Hilary Clinton maybe?

dmy said...

I didn't hear about it but I agree with the previous comments, disgusting, pure nonsense and ricidulous! Just what decade are these people living in and the 6 that abstained need to grow a backbone or get out.

Forail said...

Truly nauseating... But, not altogether unsurprising. The "Old Boys Club" is alive and well at the C of E obviously. You would think that in today's day, that sort of overt discrimination would be quashed. Nauseating.

David Mundy said...

Wow. Nonsense x2. Ridiculous x3. Disgust x2. Nauseating. I now know how you all feel, and I'm with you. I'm glad you like fusty Roger. At the risk of seeming immodest, I think it is perfect.

Since the vote the new archbishop of Canterbury has stated that there will be women bishops --soon. Let's see if his resolve holds.

Thanks all.