Thursday, August 14, 2008

Wah Wah Wah

From the Telegraph:

'Substantial number' of clergy will leave over plans for women bishops
By Jonathan Wynne-Jones, Religious Affairs Correspondent
Last Updated: 4:16PM BST 14 Aug 2008
Rt Rev Stephen Venner: 'Substantial number' of clergy will leave over plans for women bishops

A group of 14 traditionalist bishops claim that there are "irreconcilable differences" over historic reforms that would introduce women as bishops without giving proper concessions to oponents of the move.

In a letter to 1,400 clergy who have indicated that they are considering defecting from the Church of England, they are highly critical of a decision by the General Synod - the Church's parliament - to ignore proposals for a compromise over the divisive issue.

The Anglo-Catholic bishops have vowed to support clergy who feel unable to remain in the Church, but have pledged to fight for a better deal for traditionalists who do not believe women should be consecrated.

Signed by three senior bishops - the Rt Rev John Hind, Bishop of Chichester, the Rt Rev Nicholas Reade, Bishop of Blackburn and the Rt Rev Geoffrey Rowell, Bishop in Europe - the letter will serve as a reminder to Dr Rowan Williams that there is still a battle ahead over making women bishops.

The letter - seen by The Daily Telegraph - says that current plans would lead to the "inevitable exclusion of substantial numbers of faithful Anglicans from the Church of England".

It continues: "Different decisions should be respected and supported, including that of those who have come to believe that fidelity to the faith we have received means that they can no longer remain within the communion of the Church of England.

"We are faced with apparently irreconcilable differences in matters of faith and order, and it is important to try to conduct all conversations and debates in a spirit of generosity even when church-dividing issues are at stake."

They urge clergy that this "is not a necessary conclusion", but admit to feeling pain, bewilderment and disappointment over the direction that the Church has taken in deciding women can be bishops with minimum provisions for objectors.

One bishop, the Rt Rev Stephen Venner - the Archbishop of Canterbury's deputy and himself a supporter of women bishops - was in tears following last month's vote.

"For the first time in my life I feel ashamed," he told the gathering in York. "We have talked for hours about how to give an honourable place for those who disagree.

"We have turned down almost every realistic opportunity for those who are opposed to flourish."

Upshot, ++Rowan sucks. NOBODY is happy with boo-key.

*Snark on* Would this really be a terrible thing? Maybe it would be good for job opportunities for some within CoE - especially with tales of shrinking attendance, closing churches,etc. *snark off*

ETA: James has posted something far less snarky and far more thoughtful at The Three Legged Stool: Faith once delivered -- the fundamentalist's best friend. He wonders, as I often have - "Now, I ask you, how can a Communion that has not come to a general consensus and a “resolution” on ordaining/consecrating women be expected to deal with GLB folks, and, Lord have mercy, Transgender persons?"

Excellent question. Pop over and have a read there too!


IT said...

Why are they only interested when conservatives feel excluded, and not when liberal do? Exclusion of women excludes 50% of the population. That's damned exclusive.


Wormwood's Doxy said...

Because, IT---Penis People are not SUPPOSED to be excluded, ever! (As long as they use their penises in the proper way, of course---for dominating women. Otherwise, lock the doors on 'em.)

IT said...

Exactly, Doxy.

In Real Life I am a profesor of expe rimental science and there are woefully few women at my level. So much of the argument has been that women have to be more like men to be "admitted" to the science club, which is why the few women at my level are much less likely to have children than their male colleagues (tenure clock conflicts with childbearing years).

There is a class of male professor who believes that women are just not as intellectually capable as men. There are not many of these left, but there are a few and some of them are very prominent.

There is a class of male professor that believes if a woman can act like a man she can probably be as good, but if she DOESN"T act like a man she clearly isn't.

There is a class of male professor who believes that regardless, any time a man loses a job to a woman, she can't possibly be as good as the man who didn't get the job.

And then of course there are men who think this is all hooey and like and respect working with women. These are generally younger men, or fathers of daughters, or men who have come to their senses in some way.

Studies have shown that simply having a woman's name on a resumé or a manuscript leads to it being scored lower than an identical document with a man's name. From SCIENTISTS, no less.

I think the fear of homosexuals is the same thing: the stereotype of manly women and feminine men, breaking the rules.

In eastern Europe, when more women become doctors and physicists, men stopped wanting those jobs. Once they let the women in, their prestige dropped.

The ego of some men is pretty fragile.

These guys don't want to be bishops if women are included.


Eileen said...

What IT said.

LMAO @ Penis People...(sorry guys, but that was damn funny!)

David |Däˈvēd| said...

I did not think it was so funny.

I remember a post during Lambeth about an African bishop. He shared with his Indaba group that he was against extending the bishopric to women.

But then there in his Indaba group there was a woman bishop who cried during one of their intense discussions. He said that he had never seen a bishop cry before.

He said he was now in favor of women bishops!

Eileen said...

I didn't write it, I was only amused by it. ;-)

Maybe indaba did some good, David. Maybe that's where God was doing the real work.

Cany said...

One of the reasons that I am no longer with my beloved musician is that he doesn't believe women are really equal. It is a sense, not spoken, but was clear to me.

He was raised in Salt Lake City at a time when women really were lessors, among a religious group where they remain lessors, at a political time when that city was largely LDS run. Conditioning? I think so. Yet, his own mother is a minister in a New Age faith and has been since the late 40s or early 50s.

Environmental conditioning? Seems like it. Go figure.

It never occurred to me--not EVER--growing up that I was not an equal though while I was a far superior baseball player than most of the guys, I had to be bat girl no, not THAT kind of bat girl...) because they didn't allow girls on the team. Argh.

Yet at university where I had the second ranking academic scholarship in the sciences, my petrology prof told me, straight out, that I did not belong in geology as it was a man's field. That is the only time in my life I was literally speechless. And talk about mixed messages! You get a scholarship from the university where a professor says you don't belong! And this guy, a Canadian, was young!

Today, there remains plenty of bias out there when it comes to women and, sadly, even a lot of women buy it.

The generations behind me, though, largely think this is hooey, so in a hundred years, women might just really be seen as equal!

Come the day! Come the day!

James said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
James said...

Well, you ruined my post as I was just about to publish my article on this same subject. So, I'll just add my condulding thoughts from my no not to be published post....

Now, I ask you, how can a Communion that has not come to a general consensus and a “resolution” on ordaining/consecrating women be expected to deal with GLB folks, and, Lord have mercy, Transgender persons?

There is one bit of the letter that made gobsmacked me. Here it is:

"[The] current plans would lead to the inevitable exclusion of substantial numbers of faithful Anglicans from the Church of England. [Emphasis added.]"

Excuse me, but, what do these bishops think their fundamentalist views on women and GLBT folk are doing, now?

The letter just proves the point that all that matters is “me, me, me.” To acknowledge that third leg, reason, on “our side” there is a certain amount of “me, me, me” too. The difference, as I see it, is that it is not really “me” but “we.” The progressives in the Anglican Communion are “pushing” for the inclusion of all who wish to follow Jesus. The Fundamentalists are pushing for the exclusion of all who do not agree with their fundamentalist views.

There is a major difference between fidelity to the faith and what the fundamentalists practice. When they use such phrases, what they really mean is, “I am not open to the voice of the Holy Spirit about the issue.”

Fidelity to what was once believed is not a Christian virtue. It replaces God with men’s traditions. Yes, I mean “men” because when this “faith once delivered” that fundamentalists love was formed, women were excluded from the decision-making.

There is also a difference between tradition and traditionalism. Traditionalism is the faith of a dead church.

The New Testament speaks several times about that “faith once delivered” changing. These two should be enough for us:

But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. Romans 7.6

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. II Corinthians 5:17

I wonder what the Jews thought about Paul not sticking to that “faith once delivered.” Like the Pharisees, the modern fundamentalists just want law – law they can use to bash other people.

fear not said...

Sounds like "sour grapes" to me. Them that has had the grapes all along are gonna call them "sour" if women want to consecrate them too!!!

Also sounds like a bluff: We'll take our balls (literally) and go home if women can end up as shepherds.

Mercy me!!!

Yes: "fear not"

Josh Indiana said...

Thank you, Eileen, for using the block-quote feature instead of italics.

It may be a small point, but I will not read 500 words in italics, including many of the posts below. It's just hard on my eyes and not worth it.

Yours truly,

Penis Person

Wormwood's Doxy said...

You are only a Penis Person if you define yourself by it.


Eileen said...

James - You should post on it anyway!

I"m sure you had something more erudite to contribute than my snark!

I could have given ya a link back!

Eileen said...

Josh (of the decidedly not Penis Person Persuasion) - You are most welcome! I find it easier to read the blockquotes too.

Марко said...

The church, throughout history, goes through changes and evolves. Initially there were questions and debate among Jewish believers in Jesus about how gentile believers in Jesus could "fit in." There were heated arguments and Paul spoke of confronting Peter about this issue (in a meeting that was probably very unplesant, see Galatians 2:11). Paul let Peter know that the mission of the Church was to preach the inclusive Gospel and not to acomodate or adapt the Church to Peter's hangups and quirks. Perhaps not everyone will ever be 100% happy with polity, liturgy, praxis, etc. The Church's mission is all about Jesus, God;s love and mercy, and all about service and love to the world in the name of Jesus. The Church's mission, I think, is not primarily about accomodating people who are unhappy to make them comfortable. Indeed, the Gospel message can make people quite uncomfortable (as many U.S. Southerners in my youth in the South adapted to racial inclusion). We can deal with differences of opinion with charity, of course. But all I am hearing in the arguments against women in the episcopacy is "me, my feelings, my preferences, my tear...s" The Church and the love and God is about much more than the preferences and desires of a group of bishops. I hear very little about following God and even less about the larger mission of the Church in these very me-centered protestations by clerics hostile to women in ordained ministry. Of course, there are things I like and dislike about the current praxis of the Church. But the Church is larger than my own whims and preferences.

Fred Schwartz said...

Well, I have spent most of my professional career working for women. I am slowly growing convinced that we just have WAY too many bishops. A few less purple shirts would be good for what ails us.

James said...

Fred, I tend to agree with you. At the very least, only the Ordinary should have a seat, voice, and vote, in my opinion

But all I am hearing in the arguments against women in the episcopacy is "me, my feelings, my preferences, my tear...s"

That's exactly what I said in my post (which i did post today by the way). The whole donatist fundamentalist schism is an ego issue.

James said...

Sorry, that quote was from Marko's comment.

(^oo^) bad girl (^oo^) said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
David said...

Sorry, but the user "bad girl's" acct was just a link to what appeared to be a sports betting site.

Grandmère Mimi said...

The indaba groups did a great deal of good, in my humble opinion. In his final presidential address, Rowan should have put the emphasis there and encouraged future similar gatherings, instead of trying to carry the Anglican Communion back to Lambeth 1998 and the Windsor Report.

As for the English bishops and clergy and their tears about women bishops, I have no sympathy. Let them eat cake. Seriously, they should stop their bitching and moaning and go where they belong, to the Roman Catholic Church.

IT said...

Josh, does your browser over-ride the style? The fonts look pretty large on all my browsers and I found the italics therefore I thought quite readable. In any case, thanks for the heads up and I will adjust accordingly.


fear not said...

I suddenly had this thought. Why would a bunch of men who dress up in long gowns be bothered if women could do so as well?

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Too close for comfort?

Leonardo Ricardo said...

It all makes me sick...especially when it comes out of the mouths of "religious" folks who are no more than perps of fear/hate against women...I'm going to write a story at my blog today about a woman that was abused and murdered a few blocks from me in the ghetto part of this village...I couldn't face the implications until I read this anti-female/hatefilled Christian excluding junk from England...Now, I've got to go and write it, I had trouble even accepting that it could happen.

Jane R said...

Did I say something offensive? (Or maybe I didn't post when I thought I had.)

Eileen said...

Nah Jane, there was a poster with a silly moniker that David H was referring to.

Марко said...

The behavior of some of these clergy (including the contingent of histrionic African drama queens) indignant over the inclusion of gay folks and women reminds me of Faye Dunaway in the boardroom scene from "Mommie Dearest." A room full of rational and mature people succumbs to the bullying and emotional blackmail of one person. This is all so antithetical to the open commensality taught and embodied by Jesus. As a gay man, if I didn't find some way of laughing about all of this I would weep. In Luke 15:2, Jesus, the Friend of Sinners, is condemned by those people (claiming to be upholders of orthodoxy) for the company he keeps: "This one welcomes sinners and eats with them." Jesus responds with three parables about active mercy: The Lost Sheep, The Lost Coin, and the Lost (prodigal) Son. It is sad that after 2,000 years so many still refuse to embrace and be embraced at the Banquet of Grace. To quote Auntie Mame, "Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!" Why are so many people (some, like the ABC, even acting in contradiction of their own conscience) in a posture of thrall and aquiesence to these bullies?

James said...

Marko, although your post make me laugh (remembering that scene), you've hit the nail on the head in the perfect way to describe what is happening (well, what has happened). You are also correct in describing the fundamentalist movement leaders as drama queens. Thank you for an xcellent post!

Anonymous said...

To anti-women-bishops traditionalists: Swim the Tiber. Please.