frgavin on November 28th, 2012

By Peter Hitchens, Mailonline

(This is part of a much longer blog post – scroll down a little)

[…0  But I also know that plenty of my fellow-worshippers take other views. For them, women cannot be truly ordained. I disagree with them, but I understand that they believe this to be hugely important, and that it is not motivated by loathing of women. A recently-retired vicar of my acquaintance, who held to this view, was living, breathing proof of that, being amongst other things very happily married, saintly in his person, and ( as Anglo-Catholics often are) rather left-wing politically. To keep him and others like him in his post, the church set aside a small corner where there would be no women ministers. Why not do the same with bishops?

You tell me. But when (as on the BBC programme ‘The Big Questions’ on Sunday, still available on i-player) I found myself facing the champions of change, it rapidly became obvious that they were not interested in having women bishops *as such*. They could have had that years ago. They were interested in having women bishops at all costs, without any conditions or limits, and with no binding concessions to (perhaps) a quarter of Anglicans who, for one reason or another, are deeply unhappy about the idea. Well, as we know from history, if you want unconditional surrender, you condemn yourself to a much longer and crueller war than if you are prepared to make terms.

Always suspect a cause that does not present itself straightforwardly as what it is. It has something to hide. And always mistrust any movement which has universal approval. It is precisely when ‘everyone’ thinks something that the thoughtful person needs to cry out ‘wait!’ and demand time to consider.

When the General Synod failed to agree on the specific proposal for the introduction of women bishops, last Tuesday evening, it absolutely did not reject the principle of appointing women as bishops, only the particular version of it under discussion.

An earlier version of the plan, containing much stronger protection for dissenters, was about to be voted on last July, during the normal meeting of the Synod at York. An amendment, drawn up by the outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury in consultation with other bishops, was designed to deal with the concerns of traditionalists. Had it gone through then, there would have been women bishops by 2014 and possibly sooner.

The traditionalists wanted to have the undoubted right to be supervised by male bishops , even if they lived in an area headed by a female bishop. This wasn’t very different from the time-worn arrangement for parishes which didn’t want female clergy.

But Kaboom! A wave of supposed ‘outrage’ swept through the meeting.

Read here

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