Rev Libby Lane 2
Church of England

Rev'd Libby Lane to become Church of England's first woman bishop

 

The Bishop of Chester, Peter Forster, cast his eyes over the male applicants for the vacant See of Stockport in Greater Manchester, and despaired. He’d rather wait for a change in the law than appoint any of them, he hinted. And so he did wait, for seven long months, since Stockport has been without its suffragan since May 2014, when the previous incumbent the Rt Rev’d Robert Atwell was translated to Exeter.

And the law did change, just as the Rt Rev’d Dr Peter Forster prayed. And women priests were permitted to become bishops. And the Rev’d Libby Lane was among the first to become one of the female representatives who sit in the House of Bisops as observers. Her promotion was never assured – she is, after all, only a parish priest, and surely there are many venerable deans and archdeacons who might be considered before her.

But God chooses what is apparently foolish in the world to confound the wise, and He chooses what is weak in the world to shame the strong. His ways are not ours.

With this announcement, the Rev’d Libby Lane makes history and is to be commended and congratulated. Women have been permitted to become deaconesses in the Church of England since 1861, after the pattern of the New Testament which records the contribution of women in the administration of the Church. They were able to be ordained deacons in 1987 and priests in 1994. Some will cling to the letter of Scripture and insist that women may be neither priests nor bishops, and that ministry is “tainted” by the laying on of hands. Still other will wait to see how episcopal care may be extended to those parishes which demur, in conscience, and what alternative provisions are made for their oversight in the overlapping jurisdictions of a third province. Still others will find this the last straw and simply depart.

As we reflect on the meaning of communion and continue praying for the visible unity of the Church, it is worth remembering that throughout the ages God has raised a number of women to lead His people when the men were found wanting. Their function is not simply to remain silent in church or sit submissively with their husbands, but to manifest a charism which is legitimate and independent. There are obvious differences of nature and culture, but they are not addressed by the patriarchal dominance of ‘complimentarity’ and other convenient linguistic transactions.

Women have risen and taken central roles in politics, commerce, education, the construction of knowledge, law, artistic endeavour and the whole of public life. We can use the Bible either as a tool of oppression or a source of emancipation. If we approach with grace our arguments over Scripture, tradition and the nature of godly authority; if we examine with humility our cherished beliefs, assumptions, doubts and gnawing objections, we will surely find the liberating truth of a feminist hermeneutic.

  • magnolia

    May the Holy Spirit enable her, anoint and equip her to carry out the onerous task ahead.

    • Martin

      Magnolia

      How will the Holy Spirit do that when it has forbidden such a role to women?

      • magnolia

        Exactly where is it stated by Jesus that women are lesser beings?

        Exactly where by St Paul?

        Have you not read “there is neither Jew nor Gentile, man nor woman, slave nor free” ?

        Have you not understood?

        And even if you were not thinking it was perfectly in order is it not incumbent upon one to wish her well and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, and not to behave as if a chimpanzee had been accorded the role? This lady is a person, made in the image and likeness of God. Is it not always right to wish someone the very best as they start a new ministry? How would Jesus treat her?

        Graciously?

        • Martin

          Magnolia

          Where did I say that women are lesser beings?

          Just as the Trinity perform different roles so mankind has different roles prescribed by God. Indeed, it was Eves usurpation of Adam’s role & Adam’s failure to maintain his role that was the problem at the Fall.

          Women still seek to usurp the role of men to this day & it is this sinful desire that is at the back of this woman’s so called vocation. No good can come of it.

          • magnolia

            No. The reality is the pragmatic experience. As a lay woman I have been appalled at the rank prejudice I have seen a local assistant priest undergo, who is talented, a good preacher, a kind warm person, an orthodox believer, intelligent, and feminine and pretty in appearance.

            I would think no one could fault her, and in detail they cannot, but there is just a possessive boorishness from a minority which is felt.

            You say that women are not lesser beings, and then use that strong emotive word “usurp”. And what is the role being “usurped”? Roughly speaking in terms of preaching and teaching that is “speaking with knowledge and being respected in an area in which you have studied and become knowledgeable”. Which you say women should not do.

            In terms of pastoral care it is holding the hand of the dying, anointing, praying for healing, and taking baptisms, weddings and funerals, which you feel women should not do.

            In terms of the Eucharist it is saying the words of consecration as an undershepherd to Jesus,

            There is no passage in Scripture to back this up, whatsoever, so you twist and misinterpret what is there.

            This is service not privilege, so how can you “usurp” service. It is thrones that are usurped, not the role of a servant.

          • Martin

            Magnolia

            When it comes to God’s command you have two alternatives, obey and be blessed, or disobey and suffer the consequences. The CoE is suffering the consequences of failing to discipline those who clearly do not obey God’s commands. Indeed, as has been said, they need to be looking for their lampstand.

            The role being usurped is that role given to the Man in Genesis 2, the role of leader. God has decreed that there is a division of labour between man and woman, who are you to argue with that?

            The role of preacher is not a role simply of knowledge but also of being under the authority of God and telling the whole counsel of God. How can a woman who has rebelled against one part of God’s word proclaim the whole counsel of God?

            The Lord’s Supper is a remembrance of Jesus’ death and leading that is an act of leadership, which again violates the Genesis 2 command.

            If you want a passage in the New Testament:

            I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.

            (I Timothy 3:12-15 [ESV]

          • magnolia

            Well that is a nice tidy neat theory, but not quite what the statisticians say. Actually the Church of England finds it easier to attract teenage boys than girls these days.

            Yes I know the Timothy passage and have wrestled with it off and on since 1980-ish. I believe that the texts are only inerrant in their original languages and original texts and need correct reading within their literary traditions. This needs more work and thought than just to read in a flat way and memorise gobbets which are then regurgitated. There are different interpretations and commentaries which are easily found online. For a start your translation of the original is incorrect, and some regard this as an addition to the text. It certainly is a logical nonsequitur and a misunderstanding of Genesis and it seems at significant odds with Pauline theology on grace and works and justification through faith.

            We are called to worship God with all our mind and not just parts of it; there is necessary application.

            As for Genesis there are two creation stories which are different and taken without metaphor, though language struggles with such a concept, utterly mutually incompatible.

          • Martin

            Well that is a nice tidy neat theory, but not quite what the statisticians say. Actually the Church of England finds it easier to attract teenage boys than girls these days.

            I’m not sure what statiticians have to do with the matter, what is relevant is how God views His Church and the opening chapters of Revelation tell us of churches who have failed and are in danger of ceasing to be part of the Church which is the position of the CoE. One wonders how many of those attending the churches of the CoE know the Saviour, whether they be boys or girls.

            Yes I know the Timothy passage and have wrestled with it off and on since 1980-ish. I believe that the texts are only inerrant in their original languages and original texts and need correct reading within their literary traditions. This needs more work and thought than just to read in a flat way and memorise gobbets which are then regurgitated. There are different interpretations and commentaries which are easily found online. For a start your translation of the original is incorrect, and some regard this as an addition to the text. It certainly is a logical nonsequitur and a misunderstanding of Genesis and it seems at significant odds with Pauline theology on grace and works and justification through faith.

            The passage in 1 Timothy 3 is quite clear, and I doubt if reading it in the original language would change the meaning. Paul restricts the ministry to men. It isn’t my translation but a modern well respected translation made by experts. I fail to see any error there or any reason to consider it an addition to the text.

            We are called to worship God with all our mind and not just parts of it; there is necessary application.

            Indeed we are, and reading the plain meaning of Scripture is part of it.

            As for Genesis there are two creation stories which are different and taken without metaphor, though language struggles with such a concept, utterly mutually incompatible.

            There aren’t two creation stories, just two views of the same story and they are told in the same historical narative form that the rest of Genesis is in

          • magnolia

            The NT was written in Greek. The translation of the Greek into English has not always been perfect,despite the operation of the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit has to operate through imperfect human beings and we have our “treasure in earthen vessels” and people have added to the texts here and there because some of the Ancients, just like some of the Moderns had bees in the bonnet and pet shibboleths.

            If you have ever studied different types of literature and have any type of ear for imagery, or understanding of Jewish tradition- overstatement, debate and so on- you will be happy that there is no such thing as a “plain reading”.

            On your extremely literalistic reading in one story Eve is created from Adam’s rib, and in the other from the dust of the ground simultaneously with Adam. Now on a plain reading and a plain treatment which you put forward that is impossibly contradictory.

          • Martin

            Magnolia

            I’ve not seen a translation of 1 Timothy 3 that changes in any material way the meaning. It is quite clear what it means.

            Nowhere is the does Genesis say that Mary was directly created from the dust, Genesis 2 addresses the sixth day of Creation in greater detail than Genesis 1, that is all. It isn’t an ‘extreme literalistic reading’ just the plain reading.

            Nothing in the text causes any other interpretation. Remember, the Jews as a group didn’t come into existence until long after Genesis was written and those of the current day have rejected their Messiah.

        • Albert

          there is neither Jew nor Gentile, man nor woman, slave nor free

          That passage is referring to membership of Christ, it says nothing at all about the roles individuals have within that body. To turn it into such you need not only to overthrow the obvious scriptural teachings on men and women, but also Paul’s ecclesiology of the Church as the body of Christ and each of us members of it.

  • Nigel Atkinson

    Women have risen and taken central roles in politics, commerce, education, the construction of knowledge, law, artistic endeavour and the whole of public life…of course they have. But this assumes that the Ministry is about the taking up of central roles and the excercise of power that ensues. I’m not sure that is what Jesus had in mind.

  • Little Black Censored

    “…that women may be neither priests nor bishops, and that ministry is “tainted” by the laying on of hands.”
    “Tainted” is an odd word to use. Women, and people ordained by women, are either ordained to apostolic order or they are not; taint doesn’t come into it.

  • sarky

    Crikey, they’ll be giving women the vote next!

  • Dominic Stockford

    Not the beginning of the end, not the middle of the end, but the end of the end.
    On behalf of the Protestant Truth Society. Standing for Biblical truth, and against error in all its forms.

    • Martin

      Dominic

      And of course the Bible knows nothing of an office of priest in the Church except for our Great High Priest.

      It would of course have helped if a king had not insisted that certain words in the Bible remain untranslated. Then perhaps we would have a clearer view of what the Bible says.

      • Dominic Stockford

        Quite so.

      • Uncle Brian

        What king and what words, Martin? I’m genuinely curious. I’ve never heard about this before. James I and the AV?
        Thanks
        Brian

        • carl jacobs

          He refers to King James, and the rules of translation he imposed. King James demanded that no translation be made which would impact eccesiology.

          • Uncle Brian

            Thanks, Carl. Where can I find out more about this?

          • carl jacobs

            http://www.kjvonly.org/other/kj_instructs.htm

            These look right to me. Can’t vouch for the source though.

          • Uncle Brian

            Thanks, Carl. My schooldays are not yet over!

        • Martin

          The AV was deprecated because, unlike the Geneva Bible, it didn’t translate, among other things, the word episkopos, which means overseer & is the same office as elder.

          • Uncle Brian

            Thank you, Martin. I remember Len saying (on another thread, quite a long time ago) that the word “church” should not have
            been used as the translation of “ekklesia”. I see now that this has to do with the same set of instructions. Thanks for your help.
            Regards,
            Brian

          • Martin

            Brian

            Indeed, assembly or congregation of believers would be better.

          • dannybhoy

            Am I right in saying that in the New Testament there are only deacons and elders, (apart from teachers and pastors and evangelists which presumably also fell into the category of Elder?
            Bishops are mentioned in Acts and Timothy, but I think is actually the same role as an Elder?

          • Martin

            Danny

            Elders include the functions of teacher, pastor and overseer.

    • SidneyDeane

      Not a fan of this then Dom? I agree with you.

      How could they have gotten it so wrong? I mean, the scripture is crystal clear isnt it?

      Do you think they are just changing the meaning to fit in with secular society?

      But doesnt doing that just make the Bible a bit of a joke?

      End times are truly upon us, brother.

      • Dominic Stockford

        It doesn’t make the Bible a ‘joke’ – it makes the Church of England a ‘joke’.

        • SidneyDeane

          The CofE represents the views of the Bible’s followers. So on behalf of its followers the CofE have now suddenly decided that the Bible has been interpreted wrongly about Female Bishops for ever and has now therefore let them in.
          So all this time believers have been sure of the Bible’s position on Female Bishops. Now, after centuries, they are not so sure and now in fact think the opposite!!
          One wonders what else has been misinterpreted and whether in light of this massive U-turn we can really rely on anything we’ve ever been told about the Bible.
          It really casts doubt on the whole thing in my opinion. I’m at a loss with it all.
          why do you think the CofE have done it?

          • “The CofE represents the views of the Bible’s followers.”

            Not accurate, Sidney. And Christians do not follow the bible – they worship God, in word and deed, who is revealed in scripture and through the teachings of His Church.

          • SidneyDeane

            Yes they do, thats all they do.
            haha to the rest of that. lolllll

          • Oh no they don’t …..

        • SidneyDeane

          Why do you think the church have done it dominic?

          How have they gotten it so wrong when the bible has been clear since forever?

  • SidneyDeane

    Only in the mad and backward world of organised religion would you see such squirming and such an issue being made over overturning centuries of discrimination against women.
    “We can use the Bible either as a tool of oppression or a source of emancipation. If we approach with grace our arguments over Scripture, tradition and the nature of godly authority; if we examine with humility our cherished beliefs, assumptions, doubts and gnawing objections, we will surely find the liberating truth of a feminist hermeneutic”

    Yeah go on, do what you’ve always done when secular society brings your archaic, uncivilised, medieval ways kicking and screaming into the modern world: squint your eyes and “reinterpret” what’s apparently been obvious and settled religious authority for centuries.

    “We can use the Bible either as a tool of oppression…” yes you can and indeed did for centuries upon centuries. Oh what a lovely book God (or, more accurately, “thegodyourparentstoldyouwasreal”) inspired.

  • Uncle Brian

    Hadn’t we been led to expect that Canon Rosie Harper would be the first past the post?

    • The Bishop of Bucks will be most disappointed. Still, future opportunities will surely arise. Rosie must first enrol in the new leadership programme and prove her worth.

      • Uncle Brian

        Yes, no doubt Rosie Harper will be a bishop one day. By the way, what sort of name is Libby? I’ve only seen it as a brand of tinned milk. Is it a shortened form of some other name, such as Elizabeth, possibly?

        • Origin of the name Libby

          “Pet form of Elizabeth, which is derived from the Hebrew elīsheba’ (God is my oath). The name is borne in the Bible by a kinswoman of the Virgin Mary and mother of John the Baptist.”

  • carl jacobs

    This is an argument of the past. There is no longer any point in debating the rightness or wrongness of it all. The CoE has made its choice, and now it must live with its choice. As a consequence, others will make choices. One shall go to the right. The other to the left. A third back whence he came. There is an awful finality to it. No gracious exchanges. No clashing of iron against iron. Just the silent reality of those who rise to depart and never return.

    Make no mistake. This is an irreversible decision. There is no going back now.

    • B flat

      The decision was made a comparatively long time ago. The implementation has taken this long and, indeed, the announcement of a name is not yet the implementation.
      If we believe that repentance is possible for even the gravest sin, why would you say that there is no reversibility in this decision? Is this the sin against the Holy Spirit for which there is no forgiveness? I do not see why it could be, but would like to know.
      The view I endorse is that the standards of the world, whether of commerce, politics, law, artistic endeavor etc, are not the standards of the Church, and when the CofE chooses to follow them, she turns away from Christ to perdition.

      • carl jacobs

        There is a difference between intending to do something and actually consummating the act.

        In practical terms, this decision establishes an irreversible change in church praxis. People can’t get around it by isolating themselves. It will thus begin the slow exodus from the CoE. That exodus will over time lead to more radical liberalism and so increase the rate of departure. The leadership is now unalterably committed to a liberal future. For all intents and purposes, the CoE put the barrel of a loaded shotgun into its mouth and pulled the trigger. Once the brains and blood are splattered onto the wall, there isn’t anything to take back anymore.

        Look at TEC today. Ten years from now, that is where the CoE will be.

        • dannybhoy

          Agreed, But a bit gross that analogy Carl. A bit ott with the blood and all…

          • carl jacobs

            Dannybhoy

            Accuracy über alles.

      • Merchantman

        The sad thing is that this was fast tracked under the cosh of the secular PROGRAM. In my opinion this is the PROGRAM of anti-Christ.

    • dannybhoy

      Were this as the result of Divine revelation, one could go with it.
      But as a policy decision from an equal opportunity employer it’s another step towards disestablishment. The conservatives will form their own groups and the progressives will …progress with their agenda.
      I recognise the ministry of anointed women in teaching and prayer. I just remain unconvinced by this development.
      I believe in male female equality but not roles.
      1Corinthians 11>
      ” Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you. 3 But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife[a] is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. 4 Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonours his head, 5 but every wife[b] who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonours her head, since it is the same as if her head were shaven. 6 For
      if a wife will not cover her head, then she should cut her hair short.
      But since it is disgraceful for a wife to cut off her hair or shave her
      head, let her cover her head. 7 For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. 8 For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. 9 Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. 10 That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.[c] 11 Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; 12 for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God. 13 Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a wife to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him, 15 but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering. 16 If anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor do the churches of God.”

      The head covering may be a cultural thing but the priciple remains the same, according to God’s order.

      1 Timothy 3.
      2 Timothy 3

  • Happy Jack is most pleased to report that Libby is a Manchester United supporter. This bodes well for the rest of the season and the Premiership title is not yet out of reach.

    • carl jacobs

      So she’s a liberal then. Probably a closet druid. It figures.

      • Yes, she’s also learning to play the saxophone and enjoys cryptic puzzles. Do you suppose this is how the Druids pass on their oral teachings these days?

        By definition, any woman priest has to be liberal. How else could they justify their ‘calling’ to ministry in the face of scripture? For it to be genuine in their minds they must be on the modernist-revisionist wing. Looking at her biography, it appears she leans towards a social gospel.

        As Archbishop Desmond Tutu exclaimed when he heard women bishops were approved:

        “Wonderful that you over there will soon have women bishops. Yippee! I know you have pushed for this for a long time. Yippee again!”

        (Yippee is an American expression of uncertain origin)

        • carl jacobs

          Americans only use ‘Yippee’ in a dry ironic sense. As in “Yippee. I get to see the dentist today.”

          • Americans do not do dry, irony. This has already been infallibly determined.

          • carl jacobs

            So, what then? You think “Yippee. I get to see the dentist today” isn’t dry and ironic?

            As an aside, “Yippee” is often emphasized with “Skip.” As in “Yippee skip. I get to see the dentist today.”

          • No, it’s more an example of American exuberance and their positive mental attitude in the face of adversity.

          • dannybhoy

            “Ten steps to becoming really popular.”
            “My book is choc full of secret steps and useful tips to acquiring a magnetic and successful personality as well as totally free of dandruff and halitosis!”
            Only $35…

        • dannybhoy

          It’s like
          Happy ……Not!

      • Watchman

        In the tradition of Rowan Williams then?

  • carl jacobs

    Now here is a curious fact. Atheists have come to comment favorably on this, the advent of women bishops. Atheists do not seek after good for the church. They do not wish it well. They desire that it should be conformed to the world – that it should be castrated and tamed. And here they are crowing.

    Exactly so.

    • SidneyDeane

      The reasons atheists may be ‘crowing’ at this development are 2fold:
      1. it overturns the sexism of the previous policy
      2. it makes a mockery of the whole thing. (what else have they misinterpreted. are we SURE there was a sermon on the mount…? etc)

      • carl jacobs

        Sidney

        Are you under the false impression that I am distressed by your comments? I am delighted that you showed up to mock and scoff. You are no burden to me. On the contrary, you establish by your mocking exactly what this conflict was all about.

        • Despite his glee, as you know, he’s making a valid point, Carl.

          “it makes a mockery of the whole thing. (what else have they misinterpreted. are we SURE there was a sermon on the mount…? etc)”

          And scripture has been reinterpreted in all sorts of areas, particularly over the course of the last century as the world is being accommodated. The fruits are now ripening.

        • SidneyDeane

          Eh? No, I don’t care either way.
          I was simply telling you, as an atheist, why we are happy at this wonderful news.

    • Inspector General

      An astute observation Carl. We suddenly find unexpected congratulations from an area not noted for its support, then, now, or in the future. The atheists are here alright, knocking at the door and offering their gifts (ideas) of equality, fraternity, and liberty. Makes for a gruesome sight indeed.

      If further proof were needed that today’s mistake is part of the regrettable earthly kingdom that Jesus said he was not about… When can something be done in the Church of England that would make the atheists scatter afore in
      disarray, that’s the question…

  • Steve

    Can I make two points here?

    (1) The Church of England has gone ahead with ordaining women because it actually believes that it is obeying Scripture by doing so. It has reached that conclusion not by the use of slogan-texts but by covering the whole of Scripture and getting to understand what the (apparently) opposed texts were actually saying in context. If you want a Scriptural defence of this position, see Tom Wright “Women’s Service in the Church”. We are not, of course, infallible; we could still have mis-interpreted the Bible, as some among us (not yours truly) think we have; but deliberate Scripture-defying it is not.

    (2) And for Martin and Dominic and others: “No priest but Christ” is not a New Testament doctrine. The whole Church is a priesthood (see 1 Peter 2), though of course it can only be one because of the priesthood of Christ. To be an effective priesthood we have to build bridges between God and the world; and God is always the same but the world changes.

    • SidneyDeane

      “To survive in our privileged position we have to build bridges between God and the world; God is always the same but the world changes.”

      I’ve fixed your sentence.

    • SidneyDeane

      Such fine lines dealing with religious interpretation, such is its danger.
      Danger shown so clearly in Pakistan yesterday.
      All it needs is for a group of people to “misinterpret” the Old Testament again and Pakistan becomes England.
      This is why secularists want to avoid religion making decisions in public life – it’s dangerous.

    • carl jacobs

      Steve

      You are free to build whatever bridges you like. You are free to proclaim your Scriptural fidelity to the world. You are free to promote the writings of N T Wright. You are free to create such effectiveness as you desire. You are also free to carry the consequences of your decision. The argument is over and you won. Those who opposed you don’t matter anymore. If you go to the right, they will go to the left. If you go to the left, they will go to the right. So rejoice in your victory and go build your bridges.

      Only understand that to build those bridges, you had to burn other bridges. And they won’t be rebuilt.

      • magnolia

        “Free to carry the consequences of your decision.”

        What are you obliquely threatening the poor guy with, and is that really what Jesus, who values and cherishes each individual, would say?

        And what is all this “if you go the left they will go to the right”. A serious desire to avoid men who contaminate themselves with women in leadership? It just doesn’t look awfully nice, you know, I have heard this kind of talk from high church gay men in “Forward in Faith” circles, and it feels as if it emanates from fear of the unknown, and it sounds much too much like hatred for my comfort.

        In order to walk the Body of Christ needs to take all its members- male and female- seriously, in a relaxed and kindly way, which is what the C of E does at its best. Pulling apart is no good.

        • carl jacobs

          Magnolia

          There is no threat. A man does not threaten when he says “If you cast yourself down 1000 ft onto the rocks, then you will surely die.” Decisions have consequences. Once the decision is made, the consequences become realized. They can no longer be avoided. The CoE rejected the warning. It hurled itself off the cliff believing it could fly. It will fall. It will crash on the stones. It will die.

          To those who rejected this insanity, this isn’t about contamination or comfort or fear or hatred. It’s about fidelity to Scripture. Having been turned out for defending it, they will go elsewhere in order to keep it. It’s really that simple. You can plead all you like about unity. They can’t hear you anymore.

          • magnolia

            So you compare having one woman suffragan Bishop to casting yourself down 1000ft onto the rocks? This is not healthy.

            You call it “insanity” though it bears no hallmarks of it. Instead debate was informed, gradual, calm, and often deeply respectful of Scripture from what I understand.

            Can you not understand that for ordained women the way in which you speak is deeply disrespectful and insulting? And your point of reference is quite simply biological, as if there were no mind, no soul, no spirituality. Is that how Jesus spoke? I think not. Are you allowed to imagine what it would feel like to be a woman? Not that dissimilar to being a man you know in terms of inner person!

          • carl jacobs

            Magnolia

            This isn’t about one woman suffragan bishop. It’s about the theology that produced her and the hermeneutic beneath it. If you had wanted unity, you could have had it. But you wanted unity on terms of submission. So now the CoE will lose its theological ballast and become as TEC. The CoE is dead.

          • Inspector General

            Deeply disrespectful and insulting, eh..
            .
            If that’s the best you women of conscience can come out with you’d best go home. You gals just don’t have it in you to fight the good fight. You are inclined to compromise the good fight.

          • Cressida de Nova

            Women are stronger in character than most men. The reason you fear them and dislike them. The term is misogynist. ..you being the perfect example. All your fans are too. Note there is not one woman on this blog who supports you, except for Mrs Proudie and Hannah ( one a drag queen and the other a dyke)

          • Inspector General

            Not at all Cressida. Men are half the story, women the other half. Hence the attraction. You mistake misogyny for assertive masculine leadership. In an emasculated world, one can’t really blame you, but do try to rise above what our equality driven society has delivered us. And do try to appreciate those of us who want nothing to do with it…

          • Cressida de Nova

            ” assertive masculine leadership” does not apply to you. You are an aggressive male. Not quite the same thing. You target women and poofs (token females) with belittlement and contempt. In doing so you expose yourself as a thug to decent people. All those cowards who support you are in the same mould.

          • Inspector General

            Sorry, old thing, miles away. Did you say something…

        • ‘What are you obliquely threatening the poor guy with, and is that really what Jesus, who values and cherishes each individual, would say?
          What the Lord Jesus would say about the whole sorry mess and its supporters is: ‘Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind’ (Matthew 15:14).

      • Albert

        The argument is over and you won.

        They won, but not the argument.

    • magnolia

      An excellent and fair-minded post.

      N.T. Wright and others have gone right back to the N.T. Greek, but some on here doled out their favoured English translation as if that bore equal weight and stamped their feet and shouted louder, from their favourite translation, as answer to the scholarship done in the original N.T. Greek.

      And I agree that we are all “a royal priesthood, a holy nation, once “no- people”, now “God’s people” proclaiming his marvelous light” ( I put those in inverted commas to draw out the O.T reference).

      • So no need for appointed Archbishops, Bishops or vicars then? Got that one wrong too?

        • magnolia

          Not entirely sure, though as a confirmed Anglican I clearly accept the system, though being of Evangelical persuasion it is not of exciting interest to me, and I have encountered it from time to time as an encumbrance to the Gospel.

          But then from your writings you have too!!

          • Not the Apostolic tradition which Jack believes is scriptural – more the personal behaviour and teachings of some in the positions.

          • magnolia

            So you approve of it in principal but find a host of problems when the wheels hit the ground in practice?

            I rather suspect the Apostolic tradition has to be read in, as I cannot find all this magic touch handed down business as precisely consonant with Jesus’ emphasis on faith not technique.

          • Albert

            Magnolia,

            I think Happy Jack’s point is that your argument for the ordination of women is really an argument to abolish the ordination of women, since it is an argument against the ordination of anyone.

          • magnolia

            Interesting point. You could just be right. I confess I cannot quite see why anyone would want to be a Bishop these days. You can achieve much more as a Vicar in one of those few enormous highly influential churches the C of E has, and Bishops have to spend lots of time troubleshooting and acting as the complaints department fielding letters written in green ink and capitals and verbose nonsequitors, distinguishing genuine errant clergy from victimised clergy, and dealing with the genuinely errant. In between they get to dress up and take confirmations of people they never have the pleasure of getting to know very well.

            And various synods, and umpteen meetings.

            And then there is the cutting of ribbons, the celebrity stuff, the appearing in a range of civic places which have little to do with the gospel but are about “the church showing its face” and of arguable merit and focus.

            Many would have to be dragged kicking and screaming reluctantly to fulfil that role, though maybe it does not dawn on some immediately as to what it entails.

          • Albert

            Coptic bishops are ordained wearing chains as a reminder of the days when, in order to make a man a bishop, they often needed to be arrested! This of course, puts a fresh light on the movement to make women bishops – especially when it is described in turns of glass ceilings, rights etc. But when such language is removed, what are the arguments in favour?

          • magnolia

            I am only about 55-60% in favour of women Bishops. I find it difficult to look beyond what I am used to due to age, but my children, their intendeds and friends just think it is amazing anyone should think it acceptable for there not to be both genders, nor do I find any passage of scripture which precludes it, at all.

            Yes, it is service, and not privilege, so talk of glass ceilings is inappropriate. The foremost qualities should be courage, not least of your convictions, and compassion. Thus women are not precluded.

            Arguments in favour would be safer less potentially expensive pairs of hands esp with child abuse problems, and a balancing out of an overly male constituency, (sometimes one with underlying homoerotic tendencies), and a more heteroenvironment that more accurately represents a microcosm of God’s good creation.

          • Albert

            but my children, their intendeds and friends just think it is amazing anyone should think it acceptable for there not to be both genders

            That’s not a theological argument though. Neither is it a missiological one, for, unless women’s ordination can be shown to be right on theological grounds, a mission based on it will be unfaithful. After all, if people will only come to Christ on their own modern terms, they do not come to Christ.

            I’m surprised you don’t think there is anything against the ordination of women in scripture, since it is usually accepted that the prima facie evidence is against it – explicitly. How do you answer those texts?

            Secondly, you have to consider the example of Christ which is surely more important than what your children think.

            The foremost qualities should be courage, not least of your convictions, and compassion.

            The foremost quality must be faithfulness to Christ, so anyone who cannot demonstrate, in the face of the theological opposition, that they are faithful to Christ fails the key test. Thus the question comes back to theology.

            Arguments in favour would be safer less potentially expensive pairs of hands esp with child abuse problems

            You mean a woman is safer because some men are paedophiles? What about the men who are not paedophiles are they to be judged by those who are? Moreover, if there are gender-specific problems, isn’t it going to be the case that there will be some which are more likely with a woman? But perhaps at the moment, we don’t know what they are, so we cannot guard against them. So if I thought this argument made any sense, it would count against women bishops. Moreover, the evidence suggests that the ordination of women is actually a problem for the mission of the Church since it tends to convince men that the Church is a feminine thing, and the evidence is that where fathers won’t go to church, their children won’t.

            a balancing out of an overly male constituency, (sometimes one with underlying homoerotic tendencies), and a more heteroenvironment that more accurately represents a microcosm of God’s good creation.

            It sounds like you think someone is only significant if they are ordained. As one Orthodox theologian put it “the ordination of women is the bitter fruit of the clericalisation of the Church.” Moreover, isn’t it a bit pagan to think of the priesthood as representing God’s creation? Isn’t the point that it should represent Christ? And that brings us back to theology…

          • Little Black Censored

            You have hit the nail on the head.

          • It’s there in Acts. That’s scriptural too, isn’t it?

    • Is the Church of England Apostolic or not? Is this about to be revised too?

    • carl jacobs

      Oh, and BTW, Steve

      The Church of England has gone ahead with ordaining women because it actually believes that it is obeying Scripture by doing so.

      That is exactly what will be said three years hence when the CoE legitimizes homosexual relationships. There is literally nothing to stop it now.

    • Albert

      The Church of England has gone ahead with ordaining women because it actually believes that it is obeying Scripture by doing so.

      It’s a bit more subtle than that. The actual position of the CofE is that the ordination of women requires ecumenical reception before it can be judged to be obedient to scripture. That ecumenical reception has not occurred – if anything, the ordination of women in the CofE has resulted in the Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church articulating their positions against the ordination of women with more fervour.

      Accordingly, it is not possible for the CofE to say it believes it is obeying scripture by ordaining women. Indeed, there remain minorities even within the CofE who have not received the innovation. The proper account of the situation would be to say “Those members of the Church of England who support the ordination of women, have gone ahead with ordaining women because they hope they are obeying Scripture by doing so.”

      It follows logically that those same people must accept the possibility that this is not in fact in obedience to scripture. And if that is the case, then it also follows logically that such ordinations are themselves possibly invalid…and those which depend on them are invalid also, and all the sacraments that depend on them, and so on.

      Now, even if the ordination of women is in itself inobedience to scripture, it is hard to see that ordaining women with such levels of uncertainty, and thereby imperilling the sacraments the laity rely on, is obedient to scripture.

    • Steve

      Thank you to all who have responded to my original post. I’ll try and answer you all (but I won’t be doing any other response after this).

      Carl:
      When I see what Scriptural exposition is claimed for legitimising homosexually active relationships, I’ll comment on it. I haven’t seen any yet; all I have seen is avoiding debate (those who want it could have brought it to Synod a very long time ago), ambiguous terminology, and the repeated assertion (backed by no evidence I’ve seen adduced) that those of us (including me) who oppose them are only doing so because there is something wrong with us.
      Burning bridges? well, the CoE had to decide one way or the other, but is really trying hard to keep as many on board as possible – consider the retention of the PEV’s (the Church in Wales terminated theirs after one bishop and the Scottish Episcopal Church never had any) and the agreed plan for the bishopric of Maidstone.
      Becoming like TEC? Not impossible, and of course disastrous if it did; but one thing the CoE has that TEC never had is a strong Evangelical sector, and I think that support for what is in fact the CoE’s current official position – yes to women in all three orders, no to blessing homosexually active relationships – runs far deeper than many people realise. But when we get the debate – whenever that is!!! – we’ll see.
      And if you think the CoE is dead, try HTB this Sunday morning.

      Sidney:
      Christianity isn’t Islam, and not everyone even believes that they worship the same God. Was it Richard Dawkins or Salman Rushdie who needed 24×7 police protection?
      “To survive in our privileged position we have to change to follow secular society”. Well, that wasn’t, of course, what I said, but if I had, my next sentence would have been “Therefore, we must be prepared to give up our privileged position in order to be faithful to Jesus”.
      Magnolia:
      Thank you for your support.
      And finally, to the person who said that Tom Wright had abandoned the whole doctrine of Justification (sorry I can’t get your name up as I type this, and I hope I’ve quoted/interpreted you correctly); He has done nothing of the kind. He has asserted the biblical doctrine of justification over against the traditional view (or one of them). As he always tries to do, and as the Bereans did, he has gone back to the Scriptures and taken only them as his authority.
      Grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

      • Phil R

        “try HTB this Sunday morning.”

        Try HTB the Sunday after they appoint the first homosexual Bishop, or gay/poly marriage, or celebrate abortion as a blessing.

        The Alpha Course will need to be rewritten. Perhaps though that would be a good thing.

    • Leacock

      It is nothing but self-serving nonsense. Women bishops is a mockery of the Lord, and those who seek to marry the spirit of the age shall soon enough be covered in nothing but widows rags.

  • Watchman

    Whenever HMG wants a ceremony it chooses either the Brigade of Guards or the Church of England; sometimes both. Both scrub up well and manage to look pantomimically colourful and while the Guards have a more serious function which they perform magnificently it is becoming increasingly difficult to see what other purpose the C of E performs. They are good at coronations, weddings, funerals etc and wear some magnificently strange outfits; but what do they actually do. Bless them, their outfitters are now going to invent a whole new wardrobe and royal dress designers must be falling over themselves to be so honoured.

    What a distraction from saving souls; there will be much rejoicing in that other place.

  • Maalaistollo

    Here’s how the lady is quoted in the on-line versions of two newspapers, the Independent and the Mail. Spot the difference and guess from which paper each extract comes:

    Paper No 1:

    She said: ‘On this historic day as the Church of England announces the first woman nominated to be Bishop, I am very conscious of all those who have gone before me, women and men, who for decades have looked forward to this moment. But most of all I am thankful to God.’

    Paper No 2:

    She said: “This is unexpected and very exciting. On this historic day as the Church of England announces the first woman nominated to be bishop, I am very conscious of all those who have gone before me, women and men, who for decades have looked forward to this moment.

    “We have been welcomed into the College (of Bishops) and voices from the margins
    have begun to be heard.

    • She also went on to say:

      “The church faces wonderful opportunities, to proclaim afresh, in this generation, the Good News of Jesus and to build His Kingdom. The Church of England is called to serve all the people of this country, and being present in every community, we communicate our faith best when our lives build up the lives of others, especially the most vulnerable. I am excited by the possibilities and challenges ahead.”

    • Little Black Censored

      Women and men“. Gosh that’s a thought-provoking inversion; I wonder what she is trying to tell us.

  • If only …………. God had granted Henry VIII a male heir during his marriage. How different the world might have been.

    • CliveM

      Clearly then he didn’t want him to. Wonder why!!

      • A test of his faith, perhaps. There was time aplenty in front of him and his wife.

        • CliveM

          Hmmm, I suppose that’s one option. What other ones are their? Let me think!

        • CliveM

          You’ve changed your post again. Grrrr.

        • CliveM

          In all seriousness Good King Hal never cared for a Protestant reformation. That was the ambition of others. He was an unpleasant thug. Although whether he was born one or became one (possibly due to his jousting injury) is open to question.

          We all know why Henry did it, he wanted a male heir and despaired of Catherine providing one.

          • Possibly but the accident occurred after his rebellion from Rome and just before he did for Anne Boleyn. The dye was already cast.

            Personality change or God’s judgement?

            It has been reported this incident resulted in Anne Boleyn being told Henry would die and the shock caused her to miscarry the male child she was carrying. Seemingly, it was this miscarriage that prompted Henry to conclude that Anne and he would never have a male child. He also irrationally turned against his wife Catherine after the birth of a female child as he believed it was God’s punishment for marrying her. Within six months of the jousting accident, Anne had been executed and Henry had ‘married’ Jane Seymour.

          • CliveM

            Their are a lot of theories. Personally I subscribe to the spoilt brat theory. Couldn’t get his own way……………

            Anne Bolyn was on her way out before the miscarriage. A male child would have saved her, but not the relationship.

          • Spoilt brat or not, Anne Boleyn on her way or not, these would not have resulted in his wild actions on their own. Spoilt Kings with Mistresses can be successful Monarchs. Henry was clearly bugged by scripture and considered he needed to do something different to gain God’s blessing and a male heir. Touch of extreme ‘scruples’ Jack would say. But who sowed these dangerous ideas in his head?

          • CliveM

            I think this is how it worked. He had spent his life being a good son of the Church. Along with Thimas Moore he had tortured and executed heretics . He had written a defence of church teaching. He had been given the title defender of the faith. It was his right to have a male heir and the only possible question mark over his Christian perfection was his marriage. And once that started to niggle him it all started to unravel from there. Their would be enough flu lies telling him what he wanted to hear. Especially the parents of his current mistress.

          • Well both Thomas More and Henry VIII viewed heresy as a cancer eating away at the good in society. Promoting it was also sedition. More was personally involved in detecting three out of the six cases of heresy which resulted in burnings during his chancellorship. All involved breaching Henry’s proclamation against owning and distributing literature deemed heretical.

          • Henry was an evil man whom God used for His own high purposes. The Reformation, however, was a People’s event. Read J.M. d’Aubigne’s The Reformation in England. He alternates chapters between the machinations of Henry, Wolsey, More and Cranmer, and the real reforming work of Bilney, Frith, Latimer, Tyndale and lots of little people. It’s a great read, and essential if anyone really wants to understand the Reformation.

          • A weak, sinful man might be a better term.

          • DanJ0

            Quite.

          • Uncle Brian

            Don’t forget that Henry had a very sensible reason for wanting a male heir. The Wars of the Roses had ended less than fifty years earlier, when his father, Henry VII, had pushed aside both the houses of Lancaster and York and established the brand-new Tudor dynasty in their place. Henry had good reason to fear that, after his death, if that meant the end of the Tudor family, the Wars of the Roses might start all over again.

          • CliveM

            Agreed and in fairness civil war was and is no trivial matter. Lots of people died.

        • Pubcrawler

          “There was time aplenty in front of him and his wife.”

          Catherine was in her mid to late 40s and if not already post-menopausal, probably in no condition for further conceptions after a series of miscarriages and still births. Not what I’d call plenty of time. Further to Uncle Brian’s point, Henry well knew his English history and knew exactly what would follow if he died without a mature male heir to succeed him in his own right (cf. the early, minority reigns of Henry III, Richard II, Henry VI, Edward IV).

    • grutchyngfysch

      The vicious thug probably would have continued assisting putting down whichever theological faction it suited his current politics to align against.

      We’d remember him as the bully-boy of Rome who martyred men bringing the plain Gospel in the people’s own tongue, instead of quietly overlooking the fact that he martyred those men for the same offence to Rome that he would later commit himself, as well as those who wouldn’t pay obeisance to his adultery.

      • Was Henry always a “vicious thug”? Was bloodshed in Britain inevitable? All imponderables, of course.

        Jacob was predestined to inherit Isaac’s blessing. Did he and his mother have to conspire and deceive his aged and blind father to gain his blessing dishonourably? All it resulted in was unnecessary grief and struggle. Who’s to say the then united Western Church would not have reformed? The translation and circulation of unauthorised bibles (with their protestant ‘edge’) brought with it the potential of civil unrest and revolution as in Germany.

        • grutchyngfysch

          The trouble with chaps like Henry is that because the major product of their actions was theological, they have a tendency to be viewed as great theological movers, and to be principally motivated by theology – whether that’s as a saintly protector from the ravages of Rome, or a devilishly-inspired heresiarch opposed to the Magisterium.

          He was a political opportunist, as many of his fellow movers and shakers were – including not a small number of Princes of the Church. And that’s really the trouble – we tend to read the actions of Rome in the same “theological” light, when it too was engaged in the myriad shifting affections and alliances that comprised medieval continental politics.

          That’s why I don’t particularly buy the idea that Rome was capable of reforming. Perhaps, if the correct political leverage had been applied – but then it would have been no reform worthy of the name. It was too engrossed in worldly power, many of its senior members little more than adjuncts to the noble houses that ensured their ranking in the Church. Likewise, I would be particularly careful about reading the intentions of the political protectors of reformists in an overly pious light, since many of them used the debates as vehicles for political struggles.

          The point is not that all defenders of the faith were cynics – but rather that the chief actors often tended to be, by virtue of the insecurity of their position (yes, even within the Church), which demanded a large portion of their energies be expended keeping them there. Nor am I insisting that there was absolutely no theological element in any of the struggles – rather that it was not the principle element behind the heat and intensity of those struggles. (By way of contrast, consider that the medieval period was filled with massive theological debates with antithetical positions being championed that did not necessitate full-scale theological schism – you just picked up your own Pope.)

          • ” …. the medieval period was filled with massive theological debates with antithetical positions being championed that did not necessitate full-scale theological schism – you just picked up your own Pope.”
            Or alternatively, the Church allowed considerable scope for debate until theological disputes reached such a pitch that schism was threatened. The Protestant reformation hardened attitudes of discipline and authority – for theological and political reasons.

          • grutchyngfysch

            To pull this back round to the topic at hand: I find a certain amount of grim amusement in the fact that those who would, not so long ago, have been arguing in favour of the virtue of “dissent” (against patriarchal authority), are now quite adamant about the requirement of discipline (in the enforcement of equalitarian authority) and, of course, the dangers of “dissent” in fomenting disunity and disharmony.

            Many among the more conservative branches of the CofE have already had reason to be thankful for the possibility of dissent hard won at the Reformation, and hard pressed as a prevailing virtue in the persecution of non-conformists. There’s a lesson to be had here, for sure, though one hopes it goes deeper than just “what goes around comes around”.

          • Inspector General

            Inspired by the rigours of running the railways, it’s the RIGHT sort of discipline, and we will be soon witnessing that. The Bolsheviks (majority men) to give them a name they deserve, have won the CoE. There will be no counter revolution afterwards, they’ll see to that and no doubt.

          • carl jacobs

            The ultimate proof of authority is that those who dissent are compelled to submit. That’s why there was a demand that women not be “second-class bishops.” Any exemption for dissenters would have allowed some to escape that authority and thereby compromise it. The dissenters had to be brought to heel. It was the one non-negotiable principle.

          • Little Black Censored

            Well said. Therein lies the totalitarian nature of this innovation.

      • carl jacobs

        Grutch

        I’m not used to you being so circumspect in your opinions. Perhaps you should clarify your view of Henry VIII so there can be no misunderstanding.

        😉

        • Merely an exception that proves the rule ….

    • dannybhoy

      It was the Pope’s fault. He should have wooed Henry back into the fold…
      Not!

      • Inspector General

        They say he was close, but then the blighter expired…

      • Leacock

        The problem was that the Pope was dealing with Spanish soldiers in his neighbourhood, the standard compromise that Henry expected just wasn’t politically feasible at that moment. But Henry had become convinced that God was punishing him for marrying his brother’s widow which also fed into that.

        • dannybhoy

          Yes, it’s a very iinteresting and complex “hiccup” in the Church’s history.
          Because Henry broke with Rome the Church of England was born. Out of an act of wilfulness and selfishness and as you say perhaps guilt, the CofE became an estranged son of Rome and as a consequence became unwittingly open to changes and influences that the official Church resisted.
          So somehow the CofE retained practices and rituals of mother Church yet was affected greatly by nonconformist beliefs leading to an often uneasy mix of authoritarian orthodoxy and evangelical zeal.
          Whether meant or not, the resulting influences of Protestantism led I believe, to the great flowering of freedoms, missions and ministries, innovations and prosperity that is/was our nation.
          I personally think that a great shakeup is underway now and that ecclesiastical genius of tolerance and compromise has finally betrayed the integrity and anointing of the Church of England. Perhaps the candlestick is about to be removed..

          Revelation 2:4,6
          4 “But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.”

    • Pubcrawler

      Edward VI?

      • Inspector General

        Marriage to good Queen Catherine, of course…

      • Too late ….

  • Jonathan James

    It all makes me glad to be a lifelong nonconformist.

    • Once upon a time the liberal revisionists were the nonconformists.

  • grutchyngfysch

    If I were to “cling to the letter of Scripture” it would be to point out that I cannot find mention of the theology of Bishops (let alone Archbishops, no offence). However, since the role is a matter of ecclesiology, it is therefore up to the tradition to discern how best to conform its structure to the pattern and example laid out in Scripture.

    What I object to is any attempt to deny or denounce Scripture on the grounds of modern relativism or cultural bête noires.

  • Athanasius

    Will the new Catholics please collect their rosaries as they leave the confessional.

    • Ahem, Athanansiusm ….. Pope Francis would not approve of this semi-Pelagian approach.

      • Athanasius

        One is not quite sure what you think one meant by the initial post, Jack, but one was merely making an observation, not prescribing a course of action. Anglo-Catholics will not need any proselytizing from Rome to make that swim across the Tiber now, methinks.

        • William Lewis

          Perhaps Jack was implying that swimming the Tiber comes with its own complications.

  • May I politely respond concerning the consecration of bishops as follows :

    Firstly, would this be happening if there had not been over the last 40 years a militant feminist movement of secularist origin?

    Secondly, if the ordination of women/consecration of bishops is a Biblical imperative, why did Anglican worthies of the past not advocate it? These men would have had no qualms about confronting the unbiblical practices of their time. I think, for example of Wesley and Whitefield, John Newton, Wilberforce, Charles Simeon and Bishop Ryle.

    The Church of England was born out of the Protestant Reformation and this means that the principle of Scripture alone should prevail. Votes in general synods cannot overturn God’s word.

    The New Testament warns : “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ” (Colossians 2:8). So, says Paul, do not allow the world’s philosophies to spoil and ravage your Christian thinking. Yet, by permitting women priests in 1992, and by consecrating women bishops now, the C of E is sidelining Scripture in favour of the spirit of the age.

    In modern Britain believing in ‘equality’ is more important than believing in God; worshipping the equality idol has become the litmus test of all virtue. It is tragic that churches are willing to reject Biblical authority in order to accommodate the secularist equality agenda.

    The Bible teaches a parity of status for men and women, but not of role. The apostle Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, tells us that the Christian ministry is a male-only office : “I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve” (1 Timothy 2:12-13).

    Please note that Paul’s argument is not a cultural one, but goes back to the very creation. That is how fundamental this issue is about God-ordained roles. Today’s churches have no authority to allow pc orthodoxy to overrule what God has decreed from the creation.

    Our heavenly Father has ordained that in church and family the man is gifted to lead and take authority. The Old Testament priesthood and Levitical teaching roles were assigned to men only. Our Lord Himself chose 12 men to help in His ministry. He then chose a further 70 men. Was He a mere slave to the sinful cultural practices of His day?

    Speaking of the New Testament pastor-teacher the apostle Paul reaffirms the validity of the Old Testament principle : “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law” (1 Corinthians 14:34).

    Scriptural male headship is sacrificial, loving and thoroughly beneficial. The manly pastor protects his flock from ravaging wolves. He leads in the battle against gross spiritual wickedness. The women believers of the flock have many other vital and necessary roles, but leadership and teaching authority over men are not amongst them.

    One can no more deny this principle of male headship in family and church that one can deny Christ’s headship over the church. They simply go together, as the following reference proves : “The head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man” (1 Corinthians 11:3).

    I ask, Is 1 Corinthians 11:3 still the word of God?

    Yours courteously and respectfully, Rev. Peter Simpson.

    • Jill

      Bravo!

    • Dreadnaught

      “The head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man” (1 Corinthians 11:3)

      ISIS, Talibs and all the rest of the Mad Mullahs would find little to disagree with this line of thinking; the gap in logic is minimal. Not that long ago that women in the UK were denied an education let alone the vote.

      No wonder the CoE is on the skids – just think on though, all may not be lost – now you can blame it all on the Wimmin and Homosexuals!

      • With respect Dreadnaught, Biblical male headship is thoroughly sacrificial and beneficial, as is seen in Paul’s teaching re marriage : “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it” (Ephesians 5:25). So the husband’s headship within marriage is one of sacrificial service.

        Such headship has never demanded that women are not educated or should not become MPs and doctors. Rather, Biblical headship concerns the church and the home, where God has created a beautiful complementarity of male and female by means of a distinction of roles. This is what secular feminism (emulated by the Church) does not grasp in its demand for an absolute interchange of roles, an interchange which ignores the creation reality that men and women are actually different.

        • Dreadnaught

          Such headship has never demanded that women are not educated – but that indeed was ever the case until the 20th Century when the Church all along, had the power to make that provision but chose not to.
          Women here and in some cultures still are, regarded as chattels of men; fit only to serve the husband-master and bear his children. The CoE right here in it’s spiritual homeland has thus far stayed silent on the issue Islamic polygamy; largely I suspect based on its own deeply entrenched attitude of male superiority.
          This nation didn’t so much abandon God as it abandoned the priestly castes who claimed Him for themselves – and on their terms.
          Now who does that remind me of?

    • Politically__Incorrect

      It has always been my belief that the drive to ordain women was the influence of feminism and not of frustrate ambition. Before feminism, there was, as far as I am aware, little or no demand for female clergy. The problem is not just that feminism has instilled a sense of inequality-grievance in many women, but it has also emasculated many men, who now see their role as a surrogate woman. It is as much men’s fear of feminism that has resulted in the blurring oof gender roles as it is the relentless promotion of feminist ideas by activists and the media. Feminists need wimpish yes-men as accomplices

    • Watchman

      Thank you for the clarity of your exegesis. To express such views has drawn the approbation of many, even in churches. But the order in the church must first be that Yeshua is Head of His Church and as such has no substitutes.

      • Little Black Censored

        “Yeshua” – now that name rings a bell. I think I may have been at college with him.

    • Arden Forester

      Equality is the misnomer of misnomers for the modern secular world. I like the passage from Philippians 2 “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men”. In our human world this is the only manifestation of equality. However, we all are equal in the sight of God and all should be afforded an equal opportunity to prosper and make good our talents.

      • Cressida de Nova

        Your contributions are missed. I am a fan. Please post more often to spare us the tedious mediocre rant of the inspector ,carl and their cronies.

        • Arden Forester

          Thank you. I think much of our problems today are caused by thinking about this world over and above the next. When we are told by Jesus that “My Kingdom is not of this world” it seems utterly bizarre that the Church of England should wish to incorporate as many worldly passions and desires as possible into a modern version of Christian discipleship.

          • Cressida de Nova

            But it is their way. They have always been keen to hang on to the Christian tag without adopting the Christian precepts. I don’t understand their thinking. It is murky, not defined or clear.

  • jsampson45

    Forster, not Foster.

  • The matter is scarcely worth bothering about. It was decided several months ago and has now come about. The issue is not one of equality or wimmin’s lib- it is purely one of Scripture. The Church of England never really had Scripture as its sole authority for its practice (vide Articles VI & XX) and it abandoned Scripture for pretty much anything a long time ago. It has been apparent for some time that God, as a consequence has abandoned the C of E.

    What remains now is for true Christians to come out of the C of E. ‘Why…… seek the living among the dead?’ There are Bible-believing churches in most parts of the country. Try here: http://churches.evangelical-times.org/

    One gentleman recommended N.T. Wright as an authority on women’s ministry. This is the same man whom has abandoned the whole doctrine of Justification. He is not a sound authority on anything to do with the Church

    • carl jacobs

      I second the statement on N T Wright. When he is the leading light of orthodoxy in the church, one begins to understand how orthodoxy has faded from the church.

      • Jill

        There was one point where Tom Wright was a bit shocked at the speed at which his ponderings on WO were grasped and acted upon, and I felt he was saying it was possible but ‘not yet’ and it is my opinion that he tried to backpedal a bit. Of course the wimmin were outraged at this, and he was trampled upon in the rush.

        • magnolia

          Where are the quotations to back this up?

          • Jill

            Here you go.

            http://www.gazette.ireland.anglican.org/2010/051110/bishopwrightintereview051110.html

            ‘Church of England should drop plans for women Bishops
            if major split would result, Bishop Tom Wright tells Gazette’.

            Well, they didn’t heed him, and a major split did result – the Anglo Catholics have been pushed out, the Evangelicals are likely to follow suit. So who is left? The ‘progressives’.

            Let’s wait and see if all those people who are so thrilled about women bishops rush to join the church now.

          • magnolia

            Some of the Anglo Catholics ( a small group it has to be said) who left held very “progressive” indeed ideas about marriage and such, and really did not have a lot of time for women, let alone women priests.

            I don’t think a major split has resulted, so that wouldn’t apply.

            Not many Evangelicals are going, and they tend to feel more strongly about other things, such as marriage, and the diminishing of the family, which are very different issues.

          • Phil R

            “Evangelicals are going, and they tend to feel more strongly about other
            things, such as marriage, and the diminishing of the family, which are
            very different issues”

            And you called Jill naive earlier! The role of men and women in the Church should model the roles in the family.

            You cannot trash men’s headshp of the church without trashing male headship of the family. Then you wonder why men don’t see why they should bother with family life any more.

            Why should they?

          • magnolia

            “Why should they?”

            Because they love and care about their own children?

          • Phil R

            You want men to step up you want men to take responsibility.

            Wives want to be loved and cherished. But in this interchangeable world mum can and does now do it all.

            So why should a young man bother with a Church, marriage or even a family that has nothing to offer men?

          • magnolia

            With the number of children you have there is no way your wife could possibly “do it all” .

            I hope she is not just before Christmas.

          • Phil R

            Perhaps “do it all ” was the wrong phrase and no she doesn’t we all help her.

            However, in a large family you need a final authority. Not so much over my wife as over the children. Sometimes a line needs to be taken and my wife always backs me (In front of the children at least!) and I back her. Occasionally we come to an impasse that we cannot agree, and I make a decision for the family. Believe me it would be easier to let my wife decide! But if I make the decision I have to try my best to make it work and take full responsibility for that decision.

          • Cressida de Nova

            Because there are still some real men who love women and could not think of living a life without one. Admittedly this blog is not mainly representative of them

          • CliveM

            Absolutely! And in a Christian context wishes to try to make a life long commitment to one.

          • CliveM

            Well if the only reason a man wants to get married is to lord it over his wife, he has the wrong idea about marriage and it is probably just as well that he doesn’t marry.

          • Phil R

            Clive.

            What is your sex life like?

          • CliveM

            “You cannot trash men’s headshp of the church without trashing male headship of the family. Then you wonder why men don’t see why they should bother with family life any more.”

            I was addressing this statement so I think the point i made is quite clear. Clearly over complicated for you. What sort of weirdo asks about my sex life?

          • CliveM

            Eh? What has that got to do with the price of bread?

          • Cressida de Nova

            Nothing. It is the comment of an insecure man who because has produced a tribe thinks he is replete in the masculinity dept…..way off !

          • Cressida de Nova

            Good comment !

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            “the Anglo Catholics have been pushed out, the Evangelicals are likely to follow suit”

            There are still plenty of both in the Church of England, so pushed out of where, Jill?

      • Uncle Brian

        Until this moment I had known only two things about N.T. Wright. He is the author of a book, The Resurrection of the Son of God, which I read with great interest, which seemed to me to be very well written (though it was a bit repetitive and could have done with some cutting) and which I learnt a lot from. The other thing about him is that, from what I’ve seen on the internet, he is incapable of talking about Israel and the Palestinians without instantly morphing into a mouth-foaming fanatic. A very odd contrast.

        • carl jacobs

          Wright is a liberal albeit a fairly moderate one. He rejects inerrancy. He was at the center of the formation of the collaborationist website “Fulcrum.” He is known for popularizing the New Perspective on Paul – which might otherwise be called “obliterating substitutionary atonement as the center of the Gospel.” (Which is why Jack approves.) He’s the goto safe “conservative” for people who want a not-too-conservative counterpoise to regnant liberalism.

          • What Carl actually means is that Tom Wilson effectively challenged the infallible protestant doctrine of ‘justification through faith alone’ and the accompanying dogma of the ‘penal atonement of Christ’.
            Jack has been reading various critiques of his writings and can understand why those of a Calvinist conservative belief system object. If Jack understands his position, basically he argues that Calvin and Luther failed to understand that Saint Paul was addressing his teachings on faith to gentiles and was arguing against the Jewish system of justification. Thus they overlooked the ongoing transformative work of the Holy Spirit once a person had received grace. So far as the work of Christ is concerned, Tom Watson doesn’t reject the substitutionary atonement at all. He sets in within a much broader framework that includes Christ’s human perfection and his victory over sin. This pulls it back from the simpler image of Jesus paying a debt and having the wrath of God poured down upon Him.

          • Who is Tom Watson? Wasn’t he a golfer? Has he taken up theology now he’s retired?
            Who is Tom Wilson?

          • What are you talking about, Martin? Is it you or Jack who cannot read?

          • carl jacobs

            Jack

            It would be you who can’t read. Or rather type. The name is Tom Wright. You made reference to Tom Wilson and Tom Watson at different points in your post. Perhaps that’s all part of the “effective challenge” you mentioned.

          • Bit nippy there, Carl.

            So in his typing Jack got the name wrong a couple of times (now corrected) – but not the man’s ideas.

          • carl jacobs

            Apologies then, Jack. I didn’t intend it to be. And I actually thought it was an auto correct problem. I was trying to be light. The medium doesn’t always allow for perfect transmission.

            My fault.

          • It’s okay Carl – it’s just not like you and Jack did wonder.

          • carl jacobs

            Editor’s Note:

            One of us knew about and studied the NPP fifteen years ago. The other one is Jack. One of us is going to stick with Luther and Calvin. The other one is Jack. One of us is Catholic. That would be Jack.

            Everything has now been made clear.

          • “One of us knew about and studied the NPP fifteen years ago.”

            So then present a fair representation of Tom Wright’s views. Note: “Justification: God’s Plan and Paul’s Vision” by Tom Wright was published in 2009 – after your period of study.

            “One of us is going to stick with Luther and Calvin.”

            Well, yes, you have your own infallible authors to follow.

            “One of us is Catholic.”

            And the other is Carl.

          • carl jacobs

            Jack

            I did fairly represent it. I described it as “obliterating substitutionary atonement as the center of the Gospel.” He changes the entire Protestant concept of justification in order to make it compatible with Roman views. You are attracted to him not because he makes sense, but because he is an enemy of the enemy of Rome.

          • Carl, Catholics believe the idea of Penal Substitution is unbiblical and erroneous. To be consistently followed it leads to all sorts of other sorts of errors.

            The Catholic view is that Jesus made atonement by suffering out of love and obedience. It was His love to the end that conferred on Christ’s sacrifice its value as redemption and reparation, as atonement and satisfaction. Atonement wasn’t about receiving our punishment. It was the perfect life of Christ loving us in the midst of persecution and offering Himself in sacrifice. Not having God’s wrath poured down on Him and suffering physical pain, spiritual separation and agony in our place in a forensic exchange.

            If Tom Wright puts forward these views and if they make him an enemy of Calvinists, then Jack says good for him.

            And you didn’t mention his views on ‘justification by faith alone’.

          • CliveM

            His views on the resurrection and the kingdom to come are good as well.

            Haven’t been able to find his views on pre-destination yet!!

          • Catholics believe in predestination too – but one based on God’s foreknowledge. If you consider Calvin’s views on the Penal Substitution, these logically lead to God predetermining the ‘elect’ before creation. Similarly, Luther’s views means faith must be irresistible. Why? Because if the death of Jesus was about the wrath of God being poured down on Him to forgive sin, then it must be effective for those He died for. You either get universal salvation or limited salvation and atonement.

          • CliveM

            NT Wright under 2 names. NT Wright for his serious stuff and Tom Wright for the more popular stuff ie things I can understand! What he does very well is describe the cultural NT backdrop to what people like Paul wrote.
            My reasoning for looking for his comments on pre destination is not that I believe he would dismiss it ( although I would be interested if he did) but because I would be interested in the broader context of it.

          • CliveM

            Carl

            He doesn’t change the Protestant view on justification to make it compatible with Rome, he expound an understanding because he believes it to be the right one.

            I have heard many of NT Wrights dvd’s / YouTube presentations of his understanding on the NT and in the main I find them rewarding, well argued and persuasive.

          • “He was at the center of the formation of the collaborationist website “Fulcrum.””

            Jack’s just visited that website. In what way is it “collaborationist”?

          • carl jacobs

            Jack

            I have been reading Fulcrum for ten years. I know whereof I speak. It represents ‘Open Evangelicalism’ – by which it means an Evangelicalism that is open to Influence by liberalism. It tries to be the bridge between the two groups but in practice that means it seeks to nudge conservatives in a liberal direction. It was founded in direct opposition to ConEvo organization in the CoE. It tries for example to find some “middle way” on homosexuality.

            Fulcrum is conservatism dedicated to managing decline in the face of liberalism. It’s defeatist and conquered. It collaborates in the hope that it will be allowed a place. But they will simply be they last group dispatched.

          • Interesting take on them. You may be right. However, Jack just read an essay over there that was criticising a book claiming homosexuality is acceptable to God. It was a well balanced piece which pulled apart the scriptural arguments being presented. He didn’t see anything collaborationist in it.

          • magnolia

            They believe in discussing things with others who may hold a different opinion, despite being convinced Evangelicals themselves.

            Clearly there are some who see this as a dangerous and radical thing to do, and who see long-ish essays explaining and probing positions as the “primrose way to the Everlasting Bonfire”. In their view discussions are for stating and restating a longstanding inerrant position which cannot be changed. To them new understandings of Greek words are suspect, and scholarship largely unnecessary. People just need telling and you should never change your mind.

      • Jack has read favourable reports on Tom Wright’s views on justification and atonement.

        • carl jacobs

          There’s a shock. You’re Catholic. The whole point of the NPP is to cut the Gordon knot of the Reformation. It’s intendef to make Trent palatable to Protestants.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Change the teaching to bring everyone together…

          • Get the teaching right ………

          • Dominic Stockford

            Getting the teaching right won’t bring everyone together, it’ll divide the faithful from the false.

          • Well, from what Jack understands, he certainly attacks Calvinism anyway.

    • Dominic Stockford

      I like the link – found us, just checking 🙂

  • Inspector General

    Parish Priest to Bishop in one day isn’t far off Beckett’s
    record breaking achievement of sorts of Deacon to Archbishop of Canterbury in
    two days. Of course, Beckett disappointed his patron somewhat, and turned out to
    be extremely capable. Libs will be far more easily manipulated by those who
    control synod. She is, after all, a mere woman, and
    thus not even a priest in the eyes of many.

    That is not to deride femininity, but showing leadership in times of rampant secularism and outright derision of the church (…anyone seen Pink News lately…) is not in the remit of womanhood as determined by God. It takes sterner stuff to do that. It takes a
    man, although the Inspector concedes that the amount of masculinity and leadership so resulting that can be squeezed out of all the other 99 or so other bishops would hardly have an egg cup running over. (…You wretches have not been forgiven for your deafening silence during the sodomites plastic marriage fiasco and don’t think you ever will be. Shame on nearly all of you !!!)

    • Pubcrawler

      “Parish Priest to Bishop in one day isn’t far off Beckett’s record breaking achievement”

      Ambrose wasn’t even baptised when he was elected, but he was bishop of Milan within the week.

      • Inspector General

        English record then…

      • Leacock

        Back then baptism was an iffy thing, as many people would spend years attending church every Sunday before baptism. Constantine wasn’t even baptized until just before death.

  • Inspector General

    Do you know, it’s physically impossible to listen to a woman who’s telling you what you should do, as one might expect from a bishop who is there to guide us all, as well as their own. As soon as the man unconsciously realises that something she is saying doesn’t quite ring true, the rest of what she’s saying is heard as a high pitch whine. Reminiscent of years ago when TV stations shut down around midnight and you’d fallen asleep in front of the set.

    The jury is out as to whether that blessing is a direct gift from God to manhood as a form of compensation, or whether evolution played a part….

    • DanJ0

      Is this a strategy for demonstrating to sceptics why you’re really single? 🙂

      • Inspector General

        Too many women looking for a ‘soul’ partner…

        Where’s that bloody sick bucket…

        • magnolia

          Well they blasted well won’t find one in you, I take it!

          • Magnolia, it’s just the Inspector’s cover. He’s a warm, cuddly person really and would be putty in a good woman’s hands. However, she must have a shed for her own and his sanity and no cats. The Inspector has an allergy to cats.

          • carl jacobs

            The Inspector has a cat. His alleged cat hatred is a beard for the sensitive soul he tries not to reveal.

          • He wears his cat on his chin? This is most strange behaviour.

          • Cressida de Nova

            You know this is a lie !

          • Jack was practicing the use of irony, Cressida.

          • Cressida de Nova

            I was too !

          • dannybhoy

            You mean cats have an allergy to the Inspector…

          • Women who own cats appear to have. That is all Jack will say.

          • dannybhoy

            Perhaps viewing two examples of feline grace at the same time is more than they can bear?

          • Inspector General

            Madam, if you can find the essential, we are told, feminine side of this man, you can take it away and keep it. It’s of no use to an non-emasculated man…

          • Cressida de Nova

            Agree…no sane woman ( or any self respecting poof) would go near him !

    • dannybhoy

      Very funny. We had for a short time a lady curate ,,, with a mission. As soon as she started her sermon and got onto her feminist freedom equality kick, that high pitched whine would kick in and down would come the shutters.
      A sermon is to present truth and living waters to the congregation. Not a feminist diatribe. Our present lady curate by contrast is humble and gracious and Christ centred.

  • Jill

    Where did she spring from? I had never heard of her, and nor had anyone else I know. My ‘hot tip’ was Lucy Winkett, and what is wrong with Vivienne Faull, or June Osborne, or Rose Hudson-Wilkin etc etc. (I actually think there is plenty wrong with all of them – nothing personal, but because I don’t believe they are priests, let alone bishops.)

    I take issue with Your Grace’s final comment on the ‘liberating truth of a feminist hermeneutic’. That would be the same liberating truth which has caused women to abandon the home and the family in favour of chasing materialism , leaving their children to be cared for by paid strangers and the mothers totally exhausted. Who is liberated, exactly?

    Men and women are different – that is an unalterable fact – and have their own special roles, in the family, in sociiety and in the church. They are not interchangeable

    This is the beginning of the end for the Church of England, which will now go the same way as TEC. You mark my words! (As my mum used to say.) Gay bishops here we come.

    • Well said Jill.

    • maigemu

      Well said.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Yes, but no. This is the end of the end…

      As for which woman – well, the ‘tipped to be’ others all want to be ‘proper’ bishops and will not be fobbed off with suffragan status. They’re all in the line for Gloucester and the rest coming up. They want to swan into the House of Lords, not shuffle around backwaters.

    • magnolia

      Last sentence is more than a little naive. I will say no more.

    • Yorkie

      Get with the Programme Flossie.

      Obviously the fundamental idea of modern feminism it to get women to be as stupid as blokes, to do this they need to embody the worst male virtues and occupy positions in society produced and emphasised by these virtues namely greed, ambition over responsibility, the craving for power, belligerent aggressiveness, crudeness and so on and so forth…

      Meanwhile undermine and under appreciate the traditional female virtues of poise and grace, self restraint, self sacrifice, maternal love, being prepared to tidy up the physical and emotional messes blokes have a tendency to create and so on…

      Female soldiers, Female louts, female CEOs, female politicians count the heads, that’s how you measure “progress” wouldn’t you say?

      And of course, these female priests are liberal, wakey wakey they have to be liberal “progressives” to be women priests in the first place, so it’s a good way to import more people to quickly bring about further change.

      All in all, I’d say the CoE is Buggered. Royally. It’s on the slippery slope and it’s gaining speed as we speak…

      Would the last Christian to leave the CofE please turn off the light and lock the door.

    • Guglielmo Marinaro

      “Gay bishops here we come.”

      Well, that should be a fascinating development. We’ve never had one of them before, have we?

  • DanJ0

    I’ve never really understood what all the fuss was about regarding women in the church hierarchy, despite trying regularly. Not that it really affects me one way or another of course.

    • dannybhoy

      Not with a mug like that it won’t…… :o)

      • DanJ0

        I’m been trying to get the film Uncle Buck out of my mind but it’s stuck now. 🙁

        • Oh, Jack thought it was a recent photograph ….

          • Inspector General

            Until he adopted that avatar, the Inspector always imagined him to resemble a pox doctor’s clerk….

          • You know what a “pox doctor’s clerk” looks like?

          • Inspector General

            {AHEM} You’re asking the wrong man..

          • Jack’s seen the TV programme too.

          • dannybhoy

            Called “Spot the Clerk”?

        • dannybhoy

          Great film, great comedian.

  • Inspector General

    Well here we are. There’s just one more ‘reform’ to push through, probably next year. In the words of an old antipodean gaol bird, “can you guess what it is yet…”

    • Dominic Stockford

      ordaining the dead? Oh, no, that’s already happening…

      (bonus point for knowing how)

      • The ordination of actively lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender clergy who are sexually active?

        • Dominic Stockford

          Good try, but not close enough. No bonus point for you 🙂

          • Hmmmm …. a Zen Buddhist ritual then?

          • Dominic Stockford

            You’re being too specific. Think bigger!

          • Jack did …. edited amendment.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Amendment works, nearly.

            The ordination of men and women STILL dead in their sin.

          • Inspector General

            Right then chaps, backs to the wall, and inch at a time towards the door…

          • What is one word? Jack does not subscribe to total depravity, though, as a Catholic, it is permissible according to some theologians.

      • Inspector General

        Now that’s surely not an anti RCC joke. Think we’ve heard them all on this site….

        • Dominic Stockford

          Weeelll,… wasn’t intended as such, the post is about the perverse CofE, but if you like.

          • Inspector General

            No No No. Don’t trouble yourself, old chap. One thing at a time…

    • Politically__Incorrect

      Well, I’m not sure, but I reckon the ordination of atheists and muslim clerics are probably high on the list. Richard Dawkins or Stephen Hawkins perhaps? As any CofE cleric knows, the “God thing” no longer matters, in fact He gets in the way of proper Anglicanism. Further down the list for ordination you’ll probably find peoples pets and their iPads, followed by various cartoon characters

      • Inspector General

        We’ve heard so much about the deep loving (sexual) relationship that can exist between two men, the envy of heterosexual couples naturally, that this man is prepared to put his next year’s alms to the poor on queer bishops….

        Paddy Power, warn them all, Inspector coming through…

  • Politically__Incorrect

    Just watched the lady being intreviewed by Jon Snow (her first mistake). As soon as she started talking about Jesus, Mr Snow started looking decidely uncomfortable and interrupted her with the question “are you a feminist”. She admitted she probably is. She did not say what kind of feminist, though she probably didn’t mean the abortion-mongering men-wanna-be type that Jon Snow probably hoped for.

    Franklly, I am not bothered, as I no longer consider myself Anglican anyway. The Anglican church , despite glimmers of sanity, is prostituting itself to secularist ideology, and is too far removed from Biblical teaching to be of any relevance anymore. Libby Lane’s promotion to Bishop is a victory for “equality” and equal opportunities. Whether it is a victory for God remains to be seen.

    • Dominic Stockford

      That depends on what God is trying to do.

      • Leacock

        I don’t believe the Lord wants to destroy the Church of England, or at least I don’t want to. I pray that he is merely allowing Satan a little more leash so as to lead the wicked astray.

        • magnolia

          I think that is a regrettable comment to ascribe this to Satan, as it suggests women have something evil about them, and that is quite simply ungentlemanly, which is not very Anglican at all.

          • Phil R

            You are trying to conflict the issue.

            Nobody is stating here that women are evil.

            The problem is that women’s leadership is either a good thing or it is bad thing. If it is bad then who’s interests does it serve?

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            You might just as well say that men’s leadership is either a good thing or a bad thing, to which the obvious answer is that it all depends on which particular men are exercising leadership. Ditto for women’s leadership. “If it is bad…” Bad in itself? I see no reason to suppose so. “Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.”

          • Phil R

            Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.

            We see it in the fruits

            If the Churches that took this line had grown dramatically full of strong Bible believing families and othodox in all other respects.

            Then perhaps

            The fact is that Anglican churches that have gone down this road are soon not even recognisably Christian.

            And are empty

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            If churches with women clergy are not, in general, full of biblical fundamentalists with narrow theological views, I see no reason why that should cause us any particular concern. At least two of the Anglican churches in my city whose clergy include women are very far from empty: they are positively flourishing. But numbers are not, in any case, proof of truth. The “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” has experienced phenomenal growth since World War II, doubling its membership every couple of decades, but even if its temples were full to bursting, that would not convince me that Mormonism was the true religion.

          • Phil R

            Agreed. Numbers by themselves do not confirm orthodoxy

            Overall though Conservative Churches are larger

            In the CofE the figure is 30% larger. The biggest CofE Church is Conservative Evagellical

            it is not HTB

        • chiaramonti

          As Oscar Wilde said, “the Catholic Church is for saints and sinners alone; for respectable people the Church of England will do!”

  • Albert

    There are obvious differences of nature and culture, but they are not addressed by the patriarchal dominance of ‘complimentarity’ and other convenient linguistic transactions.

    Yes, you’re probably wise to engage in hand waving rather than argument on that one.

    Still others will find this the last straw and simply depart

    An interesting point. A bishop is supposed to be a focus of unity. When the bishop’s ordination is itself a cause of disunity, one wonders whether that ministry of unity and those ministered to have been subordinated beneath the interests of the minister.

    Meanwhile, Pope Francis has been reconciling old enemies…

  • Albert

    I see the PM has said:

    “This is an historic appointment and an important step forward for the Church towards greater equality in its senior positions”.

    • Inspector General

      Thought our Conservative imposter had that statement reserved for the first openly gay (and proud) bishop…

      Perhaps he still has…

      • Albert

        I nearly said exactly that! The statement certainly seems to have been written to go both ways!

        • Uncle Brian

          It’s recyclable.

          • Most rubbish is.

          • bmudmai

            And yet we still pollute the world with it.

          • Albert

            It helps to have a few one-size fits all opinions.

          • CliveM

            I prefer the term platitudes, I think your flattering it by describing them as opinions.

        • It does sounds socialist: “an important step forward for the Church towards greater equality”

          One step that must soon be followed by the acceptance of another down trodden, oppressed group.

          • Albert

            Quite – a bold step towards the great goal of Socialism! If only the CofE would stop believing religious things…it really should get with the programme.

    • Shadrach Fire

      Typical Cameron. The Church does not need equality, it needs Divine direction.

      • Albert

        The fact that this has been endorsed by Cameron, and especially in such terms tells its own story!

  • Jill

    Well now. Ms Lane has rejoiced that a door has now been opened through which she hopes others might enter – ‘and not just women’.

    Who can she possibly mean, I wonder?

    Don’t say you weren’t warned.

    Jill (aka ‘Flossie’}

    • Inspector General

      Cats ?

      • No, no Inspector. The Church of England would not go so far as to ordain cats.

        • Leacock

          I could see it, in Canada an Anglican priestess sought to literally give what is holy to dogs. Fortunately as women are incapable of performing that sacrament the world was spared that blasphemy. It does demonstrate the high quality that can be expected of women clergy across the pond.

          • magnolia

            And where is the problem in God loving dogs exactly? God loves people and to many people the family dog is a very much loved member of the family, and if the dog is sick the family is depressed. You think that you can care for the family and ignore the dog? That is a crazy idea.

            Dogs indeed help heal the sick and the lonely, and are often better and less judgemental companions than humans. They often give love and devotion to the lonely and the superficially unattractive whom humans shun.

            And exactly who created the dog in the first place?

          • Dominic Stockford

            Ummm, giving what you claim is the ‘body of Christ’ to a dog is blasphemous by anyone’s reckoning – well, any sincere Christian’s reckoning.

          • magnolia

            Not sure I’d go as far as “is” actually, though in respect of those who do I see it as an unwise action. God can bless dogs in other ways, and a dog treat that was blessed would have raised no eyebrows, and been more warmly received.

            I am afraid lots of animals have eaten the host, one way or another, from church mice to insects to probably parasites within the human frame. And as for the wine, there is the old question about whether the fly that falls in the wine is consecrated or the wine deconsecrated. That is not to shock, nor to blaspheme, but just to put it in some context.

          • Dogs do not need salvation through Christ’s death and resurrection, Magnolia. Jack loves his dog (and now 2 cats) but to take them to Mass to receive Holy Communion?

          • Leacock

            God created a lot of things, swine, AIDS, tape-worms. Frankly, though I like dogs, I am not certain there is any Scriptural warrant to assume that the Lord really cares for them. Regardless He was quite clear on this topic ” Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” Math: 7:6

          • God, that is truly awful. Next dogs will be able to be married!

          • Leacock

            But if they really love each other, love is love and God is love isn’t he? And God is dog spelled backwards which means it is the duty of all Christians to support the rights of dogs to marry whomever they want!

          • But their owners should have always first refusal. Trust you agree.

          • David

            Was that not a Catholic priest in OZ, who fed the sacrament to a dog, and was excommunicated for his sins ?

          • There was – separate incident – although he didn’t actually give the Eucharist to the dog another person did as it was being passed around. It was an illicit Mass too as the priest had been suspended. He was promptly excommunicated.

          • Leacock

            I don’t believe that is true. This appears to be the case I was thinking of but this source does not name the culprit. http://www.canada.com/sports/Anglican+communion+leaves+tongues+wagging/3332621/story.html

            This source indicates it was a woman by the name of Marguerite Rea. But I suppose that person may have self-identified differently…

          • Leacock

            My post just disappeared on my screen, so assuming someone chose to delete my evidence and link I shall simply restate it. The culprit was called Marguerite Rea, I presume it was a priestess based upon that and the previously linked article using feminine pronouns for her. What her gender self-identification is however I am less certain.

          • Leacock

            I would post a link like you did, but for some reason my post simply vanished a few minutes after successfully posting.

          • You are correct – it was a woman priest.

            Ms Rea, the person concerned, said it had been a “simple church act of reaching out” to a new congregation member and his pet.

            http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-10774706

      • Jill

        Now Inspector, let’s not be silly. No self-respecting cat would be seen abroad in a dog collar. But dogs now …

        The sad thing about all this is that the Bishop of Chester is one of the good guys. I think he will be horrified when he realises what he has helped to come about.

    • Inspector General

      Ah, got it. That mysterious ‘third gender’ we are apparently graced with…

  • bmudmai

    What I don’t get, from a completely non-theological point of view is how it can be deemed acceptable for her to be chosen basically because she is a woman? If she had male genitalia she would not have been picked. If you are going to go down this ‘equality’ route then surely this is effectively as heinous an act as any other form of sexism/patriarchal domination.

    Another one I have is, why are about 75%+ of woman ordinands of short hair and/or fairly butch. Just seems questionable to me.

    Besides, this is all based around a great misunderstanding of equality which is based on authority/power and not on our position with God. A persons role doesnt change your equal position.

    Whilst I’m not actively against women bishops as I think it distracts from the gospel and there are greater concerns, I am against this appointment as even in secular terms it’s been done wrong.

    Bit like scouts allowing girls but guides not allowing boys…how does that make sense?

    • She was on the selection committee and selected herself!

      • Dominic Stockford

        Was she?!! That is surely contrary to law, and utterly discriminatory. All those not chosen should sue, all 60 million or so of us.

        • She told us so herself on the ITV news.

          • Inspector General

            What !!!

      • bmudmai

        So the first woman Bishop was selected in a suspect way… And the motion of woman bishops was passed in a suspect way (the fact by Church Law it wasn’t allowed to be put through synod for another year or so).

        Does not the questionable manner of which this whole Woman bishop malarkey has come about just show the error and fallen way of the Church?

      • Not quite.
        She was originally part of a committee tasked with trying to find a candidate for the bishopric. She was then invited to apply for it herself when the General Synod voted last month to allow women to become bishops. She didn’t select herself.

        • bmudmai

          Did she leave her role then? Still makes it questionable. ‘oh look, our dear selection friend Ms. Lane is running for bishop, let’s pick her’.

          Oh well, too late now anyway. Just got to mourn for Church and pray for God’s mercy upon it.

        • No, she said she was on the committee for selecting a candidate and realised that this was something she could do and chose herself. She applied and got it. She told us so on ITV news at 10 on the 17th Dec at the end of the piece on this topic. When I looked to find it on itv player they have not included or cut off that last bit where she was sitting at a desk writing and her voice-over was explaining how she came of the idea and how she got the position.
          She would have seen the competitors.

          • She chose herself to apply or selected herself? Jack read she was invited to apply.

          • She wasn’t invited, she chose herself to apply and it needs to be clarifed if she actually selected herself or did she then step down from the committee?

  • Leacock

    “if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.””

  • teigitur

    Yet another nail in the coffin of my old, once beloved, Church.

    • Dominic Stockford

      The coffin is well nailed, a long time ago. This is a spade of earth covering over the lowered coffin.

  • len

    Some denominations present a camel for its followers to swallow which they do with relative ease but then take great glee in pointing out the gnats in other denominations.

    • Hmmm …. women priests and bishops is hardly a “gnat”, Len. It represents a very significant departure from traditional Christian beliefs in what scripture reveals about the role of men and women in God’s service, particularly as leaders in His church.

      Besides, for the most part, it is Anglicans and other protestants on this blog who are expressing disquiet over these developments, not other denominations.

      • CliveM

        HJ

        As you will know the CofS have had women ministers since the 50’s.

        • The CofS – what is that? One hears they have approved active homosexual ministers now too.

          • CliveM

            Tsk, tsk. Church of Scotland

          • Lol …. yes, Jack knows. He also added another quick edit !!!

          • CliveM

            I was aware they were considering it. I think a few more Ministers will go over to the Wee Free’s.

            The next few decades are going to be a difficult time for a lot of Churches I think.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            I’m not a member of the Church of Scotland, but I do find it gratifying that the spiritual descendants of John Calvin and John Knox in Scotland should now be working their way towards the more enlightened position taken by their cousins in the Netherlands,

          • Little Black Censored

            Hullo, sailor.

  • Merchantman

    If the Feminists had wanted female leaders they should have looked to historic precedent and had Abbesses who played an important role in the early English Church.

  • Doctor Crackles

    I left the CofE a few years ago. I suggest others do the same. It is finished.

    • Guglielmo Marinaro

      Where did you go?

  • Belsay Bugle

    This is not women being called to lead when men are found wanting but a takeover of the dying C of E by women. It mimics the wholesale ideological feminisation of our society and the debunking of the masculine and is based on fashionable secular liberal fancies.

    I do not see much self-denial, or self-effacement, or humility in the various women priests who have pushed their way into the priesthood. Nor do they impress the wider society to whom they are supposed to minister and convert.

    We surely can’t be surprised that the moral certainties of Islam (heretical or not) are enjoying such a wide appeal.

    • Ian G

      The men weren’t found wanting. They wanted but weren’t found acceptable by the liberals who ruined the Church. They went elsewhere and started all the new churches that attract today’s Christians.

      • David

        They did ! Many of the new community and mega – churches are run by former Anglicans.

      • Ian G

        Somebody must have down-voted my previous post, because despite notifications of up-votes it is still at 4. That, or it isn’t counting them any more. All of which is odd, because this is not a matter of opinion or of taking sides. It is a matter of fact. If the fact destroys a poor argument, get a better argument.

    • Dominic Stockford

      The Frankfurt School puts another notch on its bedpost.

      • Belsay Bugle

        Do Marxists sleep in beds?
        I always thought they hung from the rafters and skulked in dark crevices.

        • David

          And imbibed dark wine !

    • magnolia

      This is all assertion in psychobabble that appears to be attempting to mask something a bit more worrying.

      Women are actually rather good at self denial. Most elderly parents in nursing homes ill or dying are attended more by daughters than by sons; this is pretty widespread, though of course some sons are outstanding. Most nappies are changed by women. Mostly children screaming at night or dogs having accidents are dealt with by women.

      “Ideological feminisation.” What the heck is that piece of psychobabble meant to mean? And then your next piece of unloving assertion accuses them of showing the unlovelier forms of macho behaviour. This is all over the place and deeply conflicted,

      “Nor do they impress the wider society”. Hmmm. So you say. I was sitting in a pub in a part of the country where I was on holiday, which you might call farming country when the local female vicar wandered in. She was greeted by one after another of the locals from different parts of the pub who clearly liked, respected and valued her very much.

      Now you might disapprove of the fact that they did, but sorry, they did.

      • carl jacobs

        Magnolia

        You won. Why do you still care about the fight?

        • magnolia

          I didn’t win as I never really fought for this, and anyway don’t really think like that.

          I only care that the people are treated decently and politely like human beings, and their gifts recognised so that they don’t need to pretend to be other than they are, in the moderate, kind ways that the British can be so good at, and that the Anglican church can excel at. It is my church and in some odd way I like it.

          • Granted, those are fine sentiments, Magnolia. There is secular equality and then there is God’s intention for His church.

            Do you believe woman are called by God to be priests and bishops? You appear to be defending women but women ministry. As a person attached to the Church of England because “in some odd way” you “like it”, the theological and missiological issues cannot be ducked or avoided.

          • magnolia

            I have time constraints!

        • Phil R

          She didn’t win.

          The Church, marriage and families lost

      • There’s theology and then there’s outright sexism – on both sides of the male/female divide that has emerged.

        Happy Jack says you have identified complementarity of the sexes in your comment. Men and women are equal but they are different and made by God for different roles in the home and in the church.

        In an interview with Time Magazine, Mother Teresa had this to say:

        Time
        : “What do you think of the feminist movement among nuns in the West?”

        Mother Teresa
        : “I think we should be more busy with our Lord than with all that, more busy with Jesus and proclaiming His Word. What a woman can give, no man can give. That is why God has created them separately. Nuns, women, any woman. Woman is created to be the heart of the family, the heart of love. If we miss that, we miss everything. They give that love in the family or they give it in service, that is what their creation is for.”

      • Belsay Bugle

        Oh dear magnolia!

        What is it that you think is a ‘bit more worrying’?

        Are you saying that because women are good at ‘caring’ that qualifies them to be priests?

        Which part is ‘unloving assertion’?

        I used ‘ideological feminisation’ as shorthand – I agree it’s not very elegant, and could have been better put, but I meant the imposition of feminism and the downgrading of the masculine principle.

        As for your female vicar wandering into the pub in ‘what you might call farming country’ (is it or isn’t it farming country?) I’m sure they greeted her jovially enough (why wouldn’t they?) but ‘respected and valued her very much’? how do you know? They might have done, but what does that prove?

        And so what? Did they go to church? Were they convinced by her of the truths of Christianity? As a result of her ministry did they accept the Resurrection, the Virgin Birth, or that Christ is God and Man and Spirit and that no one comes to the Father except by Him? Etc etc?

        An atheist social worker who went around being kind to people would probably have got a similar reception, but it would have nothing to do with Christianity.

        • David

          Good questions, Bugle !

          • magnolia

            No they aren’t, and his “masculine principle” is not something Jesus ever referred to. If I wish to find religions that refer to “masculine principle” and “feminine principle” there are plenty -ying yang, witchcraft, paganism, some of the wackier theories of Blake so maybe theosophism are my first thoughts.

            Jesus’ emphasis was “love God, love your neighbour” not esoteric theories.

          • David

            I am sure that the vast majority of the world’s Christians will be most heartened and strengthened to know, Magnolia, that flowing from the recent liberal responses to modernity, with its secular principles are, Lo and Behold, all the corrections for the theological errors of the last 2000 years.

          • magnolia

            How precisely is it liberal to be arguing against the importation of pagan and esoteric, sometimes Buddhist language about “masculine principle” and “feminine principle”?

            Seems totally orthodox to me, whether or not the Church in some parts has been influenced by Druids or voodoo or whatever else…..

          • David

            Dear me. I am being ironical, which was perhaps unkind. Forgive me.
            But you are missing the elephant in the room, maybe deliberately. Here are my personal conclusions having studied the arguments carefully from both sides of the female priests or not debate.
            I find the orthodox arguments set out by both Catholic and Protestant theologies, in their differing but overlapping ways, regarding the roles that men and women are called to perform within God’s Church, infinitely more convincing, and beautiful in their layered depth of thinking, than the insistence, clearly imported from recent political movements, that we should regard the two sexes as fully interchangeable pieces of humanity, with no role distinctions.
            I do not intend to even try to set out the complex theology here, as it deserves serious thought, prayer and study. It cannot be reduced to a series of slogans, as so much is nowadays.
            But being British I also have a streak of pragmatism in me. So I look for evidence of His Kingdom in action. Around me I see Churches that adhere to the Biblical model of male priests or “headship” leaders either growing or at least holding their own. Whilst those that follow the Liberal society-responsive and reflecting, Humanist derived “equalities laws” modes of thinking and operating, shrinking.
            Liberal Anglicanism is slowly dying. I take no pleasure in this, as it is sad. The traditional forms will continue, growing gently. That was the way with the early Church as well, which is how orthodoxy has come down to us today. Truth endures and survives.
            Believe what you wish but that is where I stand.
            Have a Merry Christmas.

          • magnolia

            No, I understood both the irony- more like sarcasm actually- and the message behind it. I was puzzled as to how your comment could be a response to mine when it appeared not to address the comment; I realize it was emotional and not logical as I had looked for.

            I am not a liberal, but if one must have labels, a charismatically inclined Evangelical Anglican, who respects Scripture, Reason and tradition, happy to have both men and women in ministry. Such churches are thriving, not dwindling at all.

            Happy Christmas too.

          • David

            Good. I am pleased for you.

      • dannybhoy

        “Women are actually rather good at self denial…”
        Tis my own observation that women are much better at nurturing and giving than men, more aware of the needs of others. I think we men tend to be more selfish and less considerate of others..

        Yet in all this I still believe that what is at stake is not the equality of the sexes, but God’s order, His chain of command.
        Christ over the Church (men and women), man over his wife and family. Not in a bullying or overbearing way, but respectful of one another’s calling.
        The very fact that the Church of England is now an equal opportunities employer shows that it has turned away from God’s ordinances.

    • David

      Wide appeal ? Really ? Recent press is rather repellant, no ?

    • bluedog

      Indeed. One suspects that it is only a matter of time before the CofE is lead by a Muslim woman on a multi-faith exchange programme supervised by the Religious Broadcasting division of the BBC.

      • Inspector General

        Greetings, that hound. How about a merger with the Pregnancy Advisory Service. The lady bishops could scoop up on referral fees….

        • Inspector General

          Of course, baby will be scooped up first, sadly…

          • bluedog

            We’re on the same page, Inspector. There’s probably room in the church hall for a referral office for the Marie Stopes Clinic.
            If this woman really is a feminist one can see her emptying the cathedral faster that the shout of ‘Fire’.

          • Inspector General

            Absolutely, man’s best friend. What have we done, Mr Welby, what have we done…

    • Guglielmo Marinaro

      “I do not see much self-denial, or self-effacement, or humility in the various women priests who have pushed their way into the priesthood.”

      Well, I’m sure there’s something in that. Ditto for the men.

  • Belsay Bugle

    And why are so many of them vicars’ wives?

    • Dominic Stockford

      Because they think they can do a much better job than their husbands? Something or another from Genesis 3 going on methinks.

      • Belsay Bugle

        Sowing division form top to bottom, even reaching into the private lives of the individuals involved.

      • magnolia

        Are there not more obvious and charitable explanations?

        Why go first to the least lovely?

        • Dominic Stockford

          I went first to God’s Word to find an explanation, is that wrong?

          • magnolia

            Yes, because if you want to know someone’s motives ou show love and respect by asking them what they are, and listening carefully to them not by trying to read a negative text into them.

            That is what Jesus did after all!

          • Dominic Stockford

            No, he didn’t. He always went to the Word of God.

          • magnolia

            He responded, as a person who was the Word of God, and frequently with probing questions, to the person or people in front of him.

            “Do you want to be healed?” is not quoting the O.T. but probing the motives, and that is but one example.

    • Little Black Censored

      Don’t forget the double stipend.

  • peter collard

    As a lay person who helped bring down the Nov 2012 proposals, I would like to congratulate the Church of England for making an excellent appointment as first woman bishop. We all knew it was coming, and despaired of some of the jobsworths who claimed their place in the queue that was forming.
    As someone who knew Libby as an 18 year old in Glossop, I could not think of a better appointment, and look forward to her being appointed Archbishop (York?) not because I agree with women bishops, but given that the church has made its decision, I would prefer someone who has a proven lifelong expression of missionary zeal to those who see it as a job promotion.

    • carl jacobs

      Peter Collard

      But of course that queue still exists and there are many more appointments to come. The CoE would have to be deaf dumb and blind to appoint an open ideologue as the first woman bishop. (OK, so it could have happened.) The true test will be seen in the aggregate of appointments one through six.

      Anyways, if you know her, then what can you say about her theological understandings?

      • Politically__Incorrect

        Indeed, I would like to know where she stands on various issues, both theological and cultural. Given her admission on Channel 4 news that she is probably a feminsts, what does she have to say about abortion? What does she have to say to Christians who oppose SSM? I eagerly await information about her views on these things

        • Belsay Bugle

          Is she a socialist? Or does she vote for the LibDums? It will almost certainly be one or the other.

  • IanCad

    Perhaps I don’t get out enough, but isn’t her hairstyle rather mannish?
    I’m sure she is a lovely person and each to his own; however, I can’t help wondering if such barbering is a statement of simplicity or of orientation.
    Are we getting two for one in this new ordering of the CofE?

    • Dreadnaught

      And you’ve got nipples – so?

    • Oh for goodness sake, Ian. She is a married woman with adult children. Some of the comments on here about Libby are suggestive of a bunch of grannies sitting around knitting, drinking tea and gossiping about a new neighbour. Not manly at all.

      And Jack will remind you she is a Manchester United supporter and so must has some very good qualities.

      • IanCad

        Didn’t know that Jack.
        I should have googled prior to posting.
        I withdraw my comment. It was petty and in bad taste.

        • Petty and poor taste are not major crimes, Ian. Ask the Inspector.

      • bluedog

        That proves nothing.

        • Benefit of doubt, Bluedog. We can’t go about making such suggestions even though we live in liberated times. And based on hairstyle?

          • bluedog

            ‘And based on hairstyle?’ Absolutely not, one tries to avoid making judgements based on the superficial. My point is this, in these enlightened times one cannot assume that marital status is a reliable indicator of gender orientation.

          • Hmmm …. but then you would malign her husband too.

          • bluedog

            If needs must.

          • Well she was wearing a skirt yesterday in the news coverage, if that helps.

          • Inspector General

            Good to see she’s covering it….

  • Darter Noster

    “Their function is not simply to remain silent in church or sit
    submissively with their husbands, but to manifest a charism which is
    legitimate and independent.” Agreed.

    “There are obvious differences of nature and culture, but they are not
    addressed by the patriarchal dominance of ‘complimentarity’ and other
    convenient linguistic transactions.” But, from a Catholic perspective at least, historic patriarchy really isn’t all there is to it.

    For the patriarchy theory to work, at least from the perspective of those who see Jesus as God made flesh, Christ must have said to himself “Hmmm. I may be the Creator of the Universe incarnate on earth, and a radically transgressive messianic prophet with a mission to save humanity from sin, who’s going to get crucified for challenging the mightiest Empire on earth, but even I can’t challenge ingrained sexism; better leave that til the more enlightened 21st century.” Really? This is God we’re supposed to be talking about.

    Whilst God is beyond gender, his relationship with us throughout Scripture is clearly a gendered one – that of father to child, not mother to child; Jesus on the Cross cries “Abba, Father”. It has become increasingly fashionable over the last 50 years to maintain that there is nothing special about the paternal relationship, and no need for a specifically male role model, but that clearly isn’t the way God as revealed in Scripture thought about it. A father is not interchangeable with a mother; the relationship is not the same, a fact which continues to be demonstrated by the number of children of both genders who suffer because they lack a male role-model in their family lives (which is not to say that single mothers don’t do a heroic job; many do).

    I would be amongst the first to admit that the Catholic Church has historically failed to allow women the prominence and role they deserve, but personally I fail to see that the answer to that problem is caving in to the zeitgeist and maintaining that the priest as Father, and the specifically masculine nature of that relationship, is just a culturally-conditioned coincidence with no relevance to our relationship with God. The sacramental priesthood encapsulates a paternal relationship modelled on that between God and his children as revealed in Scripture and through Christ, and it is not up to us as Christians to remodel that relationship just because it’s now trendy to view men and women as interchangeable and gender as a social construct.

    Of course if you see the priesthood not as sacramental and eternally related to Christ’s sacrifice, but as a role of worship-leading and flock management, then knock yourself out, but personally I find it very difficult to reconcile the Catholic understanding of the priesthood and Scripture with the view that the gender of the priest is just a coincidental legacy of ancient sexism.

    • A good post Darter Noster, apart from this clause about Christ’s execution: “for challenging the mightiest Empire on earth.” As ‘ecumenically incorrect’ and inconvenient as they may seem to some since Vatican II, scripture is perfectly clear about the dynamics at the back of Our Lord’s crucifixion.

  • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

    Goodness! Now that my Lord the Bishop has established a suffragan bishopric here in the Barchester diocese we are being inundated with applications from all sorts, particularly ‘Dungarettes’. One such comes from a certain Dierdre Dutt-Pauker of Marxmount, Hampstead, who feels she can enlighten our rural darkness with a sprinkling of homely Maoism. She argues this puts her in the mainstream of modern Anglicanism and is eager to be ‘parachuted in,’ as they say in Conservative Central Office. I fear she might be right, for the mainstream no longer carries the waters of Jordan but the toxic waste of Frankfurt. Shall I write and invite her to interview, or suggest she shoves her dialectic up her 39 Articles? Answers on a postcard please to ‘Concerned of Barchester.’

    • She comes with a warm recommendation from Dr. Spacely-Trellis, the go-ahead Bishop of Bevindon, so I think she might be just the woman for Barchester.

      • Maalaistollo

        And, besides, we are all guilty!

    • bluedog

      Dierdre sounds the sort of macro-biotic enthusiast who will restore the ban on eating meat during Lent. Perhaps this is where the name ‘Lentil’ comes from. In any event, a supply of scented candles would appear to be an essential adjunct to Dierdre’s enthronement.

  • Some of the comments on here about Libby are suggestive of a bunch of grannies sitting around knitting, drinking tea and gossiping about a new neighbour. Yes, Jack knows that is a ‘sexist’ comment but it is what ‘old grannies’ do – both male and female ones. Not manly at all.

    And Jack will remind you all she is a Manchester United supporter and so must have some very good qualities.

    • Belsay Bugle

      Some of the comments here refer to the new bishop’s mannish looks, as if she could look otherwise.
      She looks like a man because there are some callings that are ordained by God as only suitable for men, the priesthood being one of them. And so a woman who seeks ordination will either be mannish to start with or become mannish as she progresses in her vocation.
      Discuss!

      • … or ignore according to inclination, so to speak. Do pass the pattern around, there’s a good person.

        • As regards appearance, I have never heard that how one looked – male or female – was in any way related to how one was called to serve God.

          St Pope John XXIII famously was walking through the streets of Rome one day and overheard a woman, taken aback by the Pope’s obesity, make the remark to her companion, “God, but he’s fat!” Pope John turned around and benignly observed: “But, Madame, you must know that the conclave is not exactly a beauty contest!”
          Source – http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1401197.htm

          • magnolia

            A lovely comment with some refreshing sanity.

          • Cressida de Nova

            We need female intelligent rational comments on this blog.

          • waits now for certain posters to comment that “female, intelligent and rational” equals a contradiction in terms 🙂 Merry Christmas and God Bless, Cressida 🙂

          • Cressida de Nova

            Ho hum 🙂 Merry Christmas and God Bless you as well Tibs !

          • CliveM

            Yes some might say that, but I suspect it would be littered with spelling errors!

          • CliveM

            Agreed. You would appear more then capable and have done so in the past?!!

      • dannybhoy

        A person’s physical attributes are largely beyond their control. It is inward grace that can light up the countenance.
        Many of us take comfort from this…. 🙂

    • CliveM

      Happy Jack

      Agreed. Some of the comments at least don’t reflect well on their position.

      Ps I’m not endorsing your Man Utd comment btw!

  • Inspector General

    The Inspector was saving this until the day gay bishops defiantly mince before the altar, while their adoring catamite ‘husband’ looks on proudly from the wings with his hands clasped together held closely to his chest, as admirably demonstrated by Polly in “I’m a lumberjack and I’m alright”. However, such is the negativity and strength of feeling on this topic that does besiege Cranmer’s site, one rolls it out now. For it looks as if the end days have indeed been well and truly reached. End days for the CoE that is, as a viable entity that can sustain itself finanicially.

    Preserving our great buildings that are Christian churches in this land

    Simply superb pieces of architecture, and costly to maintain. With a dwindling flock and thus dwindling income due to the faithful having chosen (wisely and with a heavy heart, but understandably, one might add) to walk away, and not return, serious consideration should be given to routine sharing of these glorious edifices with the RCC. They were, in the most part, part of the Roman church to begin with, until, well…you know…

    The alternative will involve seeing these grand places handed over to secular use. Shopping malls, or humanist healing places, or even, God forbid, to become mosques, or even saints preserve us, crèches.

    • Inspector General

      Few Roman Catholic churches can boast such splendour, though there are notable exceptions. Quite a lot of the stuff in present use could do with coming down. The RC cathedrals in Liverpool and Bristol come to immediate mind.

      • bluedog

        Quite right, Inspector. The RC cathedral in Liverpool is 1960’s architecture at its absolute nadir.

        • Inspector General

          It’s shocker, and no mistake. The Inspector rubbed his eyes in disbelief when he first saw it…

          • bluedog

            Mind you in fifty years time a spiritual successor to Lord Clark of Civilisation will probably stand outside and regale the viewers with gushing, yet reverential, enthusiasm about its architectural idioms.

          • Inspector General

            Let’s hope not, faithful you. In a year that has brought us dogshit marriage and girl bishops, let’s hope it starts to get better thereafter…

        • Dominic Stockford

          The best cathedral in the country was designed as Protestant one, in a Protestant style, though it has sadly been ruined internally since then, with Romanist additions for the liberals to flounce around. (St. Pauls)

          • Inspector General

            Still the most beautiful building in Britain from the inside, unless others can say, well, other…

          • Dominic Stockford

            If you cast your eyes upwards, rather than over the Romanist altars and other additions at ground level, I would agree…

    • IanCad

      Inspector, just finished listening to Peter Day on the business of cathedrals.
      Quite reassuring – having a tough time but not likely to be abandoned or to fall into total disrepair.
      Radio 4 In Business.

      • Inspector General

        He’s a reliable fellow, Peter Day. If he says it we can believe it.

        The danger is when the church cedes to outside money for their maintenance. That’s when these agencies think they have a hold on you. Rather like Cameron and his supposed hold on the CoE through his office…

        • Dominic Stockford

          Those agencies do have a hold. That’s why most charities are no more than arms of the state process. They all take, and then grow to rely on, state money. Find one that doesn’t and its likely to be doing a thoroughly good job.

    • avi barzel

      The Inspector was saving this until the day gay bishops defiantly mince before the altar, while their adoring catamite ‘husband’ looks on proudly from the wings with his hands clasped together held closely to his chest, as admirably demonstrated by Polly in “I’m a lumberjack and I’m alright”. ..

      Inimitable.

  • bluedog

    Your Grace, it’s all too frightful for words.

  • Phil R

    So they finally won.

    Now we shall see marriage, children and the unborn lose.

    • Guglielmo Marinaro

      I wonder what effect women bishops will have on them.

      • Phil R

        Take Sidney’s comment below.

        If the Church can say that the Bible now says the opposite on this issue. How do we know that (say) the Sermon on the Mount is true?

        Or more relevant, how can I be sure that the teachings on murder, divorce, adultery etc are true or perhaps ” are not relevant” today’s world because we have “new revelations” on these issues.

        • Guglielmo Marinaro

          The battle for what?

          • Phil R

            There is a constant effort to undermine the reliability and hence the credibility of the Bible.

            This appointment is another own goal. The sad thing is that much of the CofE doesn’t care.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            Why women bishops should have any deleterious effect on marriage, children or the unborn, I fail to see.

            Your conception of the Bible as some sort of infallible oracle, so that we are forever bound by the opinions expressed by its writers, is one which I have long ago abandoned as untenable. The late Sir Oliver Lodge observed: “Infallible oracles are not given to men; the desire for them is a relic of fetish worship and is essentially superstitious. If infallible guides were available, human judgment would begin to atrophy, just in so far as they were available.”

          • Phil R

            “Why women bishops should have any deleterious effect on marriage, children or the unborn, I fail to see.”

            Once we decide that we can have a reinterpretation in one area other reinterpretations are easy

            Just check out the Lutheran church before WW2

            Now we have TEC as our view of the future!

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            “Once we decide that we can have a reinterpretation in one area other reinterpretations are easy.”

            But the church has been reinterpreting things since the year dot.

          • Phil R

            Quite right

            I can remember reading about when the church approved of gay marriage female Bishops and the murder of the unborn in the past.

            Er come to think of it…..

            No I can’t

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            But I can remember reading about how the early Church held a council of apostles and elders at Jerusalem at which they decided to reinterpret the demand for circumcision and the obligation to keep the so-called Mosaic Law generally. I have also read about how the church, after reiterating and upholding for centuries the biblical prohibition of lending money at interest, eventually reinterpreted it.

          • Phil R

            The council was of Apostles.

            They also reached a concensus on change of the law on circumcision for Gentiles

            Not 2/3 majority and only then on a second vote that should not have taken place for another 5 years!

            A little different.

            BTW Many of us still believe the rule change on usury was wrong. How much misery did this rule change inflict. Especially recently.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            Yes, that’s right, they were apostles. And they realised that in their missionary work among the Gentiles the so-called Mosaic Law was going to be more of a nuisance than it was worth. So they very sensibly reached an apostolic consensus that it should be reinterpreted as being mostly no longer relevant. As I said, the church has been reinterpreting things since the year dot.

          • Phil R

            OK get me a group of apostles together and we can change the Bible

            otherwise you might as well agree with Jim Jones as all variations would be equally valid

          • Alan Cartwright

            What utter, utter nonsense! You clearly have no understanding of the centrality of Jesus and the effect that his life, work and death on the cross has on our relationship to God.
            The Early Church did met and decided to change things, prompted by the revelation of God that Jesus’ death had made all things clean, and the demonstration of saving power amongst Gentiles. It was not a whim or a decision between equal options on what was preferable or even more convenient, it was God directing them to recognise what was now true because of Jesus’ life, death, resurrection and ascension.
            Because of Jesus’ work our obligation to keep the Mosaic law is met in him and merited to us if we are united to him in faith. It is not a case of a Church council deciding what they want to teach, but recognising what is true.

            You probably think the councils decided which books were part of the New Testament, when in reality they sought to recognise which were. If not, that’s exactly the same mistake being made in another area so it illustrates it well!

            And even if your novel interpretation of that example from Acts holds true, what history-splitting event akin to the cross has occurred to merit such a change now? Jesus’ sacrificial, substitutionary and atoning death, as the Lamb of God, put to death at Passover, had a profound effect on the Mosaic law; one would naturally expect as much, indeed because it was very much designed and intended to be related! He came to save his people from sin, as readings from Matthew common for this time of year make clear.
            Has Jesus now come and died as a woman to free women from bondage to men? Or is it rather the case that Jesus’ death ushered in a period of history which we are still presently in, and which will end at his second coming, meaning all the changes that happened occurred in the Early Church and we should not expect any more?
            (Though of course we must always be testing what we believe and practice as we surely have strayed down the Centuries in all sorts of areas, and are doubtless straying right now as we are influenced by the culture, say, to pick a wild example, in seeking to appoint women as bishops – a move future reformers (“always reforming”) will have to undo.)

            I’m sorry my tone has been anything but gracious, but you are pronouncing what must be true as if you understand the matter and yet are showing such profound ignorance of the very foundational principles of Christianity. I almost jumped when you first said how the church has always been changing things, but now you’ve shown why you believe that I can’t help but call you out on it. Set yourself up on a pedestal and you can’t blame anyone else for how far you fall.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            I have simply stated the facts. That they are what they are, do not blame me.

          • Alan Cartwright

            I’m honestly quite staggered by that reply.

            You did not state the facts; you stated your interpretation of the facts. Whether you recognise it or not there is a difference between those two things.

            I took issue with what you said, explained why, outlined a better interpretation, and your defence and rebuttal is two sentences simply stating you were right first time?
            I suppose I should know better than to expect more on the internet!

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            The facts are that the apostles and elders of the early church quickly realised that the demand for obedience to the so-called Mosaic Law simply wasn’t one that would sell to the Gentiles, and that in particular requiring Gentile males to mutilate their bodies (circumcision) would put the kibosh on their missionary work. So they wisely decided to pick and choose a few bits of the Law and to let the rest go by the board.

            Yes, you have offered a “better interpretation”. In other words, you have made an attempt to “interpret” these simple facts away. Not an attempt which I find convincing.

            As for a “substitutionary” death, I find the concept logically and morally nonsensical.

          • Alan Cartwright

            Strange that you see my presentation as an interpretation but fail to recognise that your own presentation is just as much interpretation. You credit the reason for the change as the Mosaic Law not being a good sell to Gentiles? Please do share, how exactly do you come to that conclusion? What is there in the text that justifies such a conclusion, or is merely a baseless assumption and no better nor worse than any other of the countless possibilities?

            My “better interpretation” is based on the surrounding context, events which the passage in question makes explicit inform the decision, and is evidenced by the same stance given on the same subject in other places. It is hardly my opinion alone. As convincing as it may or may not be, it is at least an effort to understand the text.
            Yours seems nothing more than a simple reading of the text at surface level (at very least, you provide nothing more), from which you somehow think you are able to categorically state the only possible explanation. I see nothing more than your opinion in what you state, and yet somehow I am the one engaging and debating with you, and you are merely dismissing me. This is all backwards!

            And as for substitutionary death – what does it matter that you find the concept nonsensical? It is what is clearly and unambiguously taught by the Bible and has been accepted with remarkable agreement throughout the history of the Church. People have been dismissing the gospel since the year dot, twisting it, reinterpreting it, preaching their own version, removing the offence and with it the power. You are more than welcome to your own private views however novel and deviant they may be. But I have to ask, why exactly do you feel the need to share them?

  • Alan Cartwright

    Your grace, may I express surprise at your position on this and suggest that in your 525 year long life you must have changed quite dramatically from the position you surely would have held before the age of 76?

    I am especially concerned at your statement in the final paragraph: “We can use the Bible either as a tool of oppression or a source of emancipation.”
    Are not both of these approaches wrong, forcing our own preconceptions of what the blessed book should do upon it and not allowing it be what it is, the authoritative word of God?
    Surely the only correct use of the Bible is to allow it to say what it says, and decide its use based on that.

    I suppose this is all very fitting though. Given that the CofE is changing and going against the unambiguous, abundantly clear and long received position dictated by the Bible, it is surely a much smaller thing for you, Archbishop Cranmer, to be completely contradicting the position you surely would hold, were you indeed Archbishop Cranmer.

    When exegesis of the Bible proves the case for women in eldership/as bishops I will not hesitate to support it. Until then nothing, nothing at all, nothing whatsoever no matter what it be, can possibly give reason enough for it. There alone starteth and endeth the matter.