Church of England Evangelical Council says “Do not abstain”


 Chris Sugden

By Canon Dr Chris Sugden
Anglican Mainstream

Introduction to Church of England Evangelical Council’s statement  on women bishops legislation

The day on which the statement below was released, the Church Times published an article by the Archbishop of Canterbury in which he stated that “those who think that the provision for dissent is inadequate have to reckon with the extreme unlikelihood…that any future legislation will be able to find a more acceptable framework…. In other words voting against the legislation risks committing us to a period of continued and perhaps intensified internal conflict, with no clearly guaranteed outcome…. For those who find it not quite good enough…the question must be ‘What are you voting for if you vote against this Measure?'”

There is a concerted campaign by many Diocesan Bishops on those who are uncertain at least to abstain.

To this campaign the point must be made about what brought about the end to the conflict in Northern Ireland through the Good Friday agreement.

What enabled the Good Friday agreement to take place was the simple and clear commitment that no change would take place as regards the status of the minority in the island of Ireland as a whole without their agreement.

If this principle was to be observed in the church on a matter which, while it may be consonant with scripture is not required by scripture, then we would avoid what promises to be very troubling times whatever way the vote goes in November.

The views of the minority, whose position in the church is to be gravely affected by the current legislation, as to whether the provision is adequate does have some prior claim. Those of the majority for whom clear and adequate provision is being made do not look well in telling the minority what is good enough for them. That properly belongs to the minority to say. And the acid test of any democracy is how it respects the views of minorities.

Church of England Evangelical Council statement October 19th, 2012

The Church of England Evangelical Council has issued this statement following the meeting of the Council on 16th/17th October 2012:

The CEEC is composed of men and women, clergy, bishops and laity, those for and against the inclusion of women in the episcopate. These convictions are sincerely held, and include those who are satisfied with the present proposals for provision. However, a majority of the Council believes that the current measure does not make adequate provision for the substantial number of the Church of England who cannot support this development, and is concerned that there is a serious possibility the measure may result in their exclusion from the Church. It believes that all members of General Synod must prayerfully consider the good of the whole church and vote with a clear conscience which, for opponents, may mean voting against the Measure, rather than, as they are being asked, to abstain.

CEEC Chairman: The Venerable Michael Lawson
Executive Officer: The Revd Canon Michael Walters
Communications Officer: The Revd Peter Breckwoldt
 

Read the entire article here.

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