frgavin on November 28th, 2012

By Chris Sugden

There has been a campaign of disinformation since the synod vote last Tuesday. Ordinary people I have talked with expressed great surprise when they heard our side of the story: that people did not vote against women bishops but against this particular measure.

M.P. Frank Field has said that the ‘reformers’ should have established the principle of women bishops, met the objections and that “whether they (women bishops) are curtailed in certain ways does not matter.”

The real question is whether a bishop is a monarch or whether there can be plural and collaborative leadership. All bishops have equal authority in their own sphere of ministry. The authority of women bishops would not be diminished by sharing their authority with a male bishop since all would have to so share.

We have offered varieties of this solution many times. People need one where in conscience they can accept the authority of the male bishop in whose jurisdiction they serve and they need some such conservative bishops to be appointed following an agreement.

As traditional progressives, rather than slavishly following tradition, we hold that faithfulness to the Biblical teaching is the only grounds for challenging injustice, poverty and oppression. We look for an arrangement which secures our future in the Church of England as a legitimate Anglican position and which provides a regular supply of ordinands accepted for training, ordination, deployment and appointment to senior posts and the office of bishop.

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