Wednesday, 20 June 2012
Updated 5pm Wednesday
We have been informed that Salisbury Diocesan Synod last night overwhelmingly passed an emergency motion that “This Synod calls upon the House of Bishops to withdraw its amendment to Clause 5 of the Draft Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure”.
Nicholas Holtam, the Bishop of Salisbury, said in his Presidential Address, “the Bishops have destabilised the compromise agreed by 42 of the 44 Dioceses”. Both he and Graham Kings, the suffragan Bishop of Sherborne, voted for and welcomed the motion.
WATCH has issued a press release stating that “This emergency motion is the latest indication that the House of Bishops needs to rethink its approach to this important legislation.”
The Diocese of Salisbury has this evening issued a press release summarising the bishop’s presidential address, from which the following is extracted.
The Bishop of Salisbury, Nicholas Holtam, … called for an end to changes to legislation for women bishops…
Bishop Holtam said: “This is not a matter of pragmatics but of principle and what the House of Bishops has done is to destabilise a very carefully crafted proposal, which already had significant compromise within it to recognise the legitimate place of difference within the Church of England, but which had substantial agreement from the dioceses.”
Referring to a vote on whether to accept the amendments to the legislation, he added: “The motion that has been tabled tonight is in keeping with the strong support this diocese has previously given to the ordination of women bishops and I welcome it as a contribution to what is indeed a very urgent debate.”
Here, on the ‘Thinking Anglicans’ web-site, we have further evidence of the unrest caused in parts of the Church of England by the pre-emptive move of the House of bishops to amend the original ‘Draft Measure’ carefully debated by the previous General Synod, that would have been presented for approval at the upcoming July Meeting of the G.S.
The Diocese of Salisbury, in it’s just-completed Diocesan Synod, has soundly rejected the amendment to Clause 5 of the Draft Measure which would, effectively, deny the authority of a Woman Diocesan Bishop to have any say in the choice of which Male Bishop she would allow to perform episcopal ministry on her behalf in her diocese).
If passed by the July General Synod, the effect of this Clause 5 amendment would allow those in the Church who do not accept the validity of her ordination to bypass the normal procedure for a Diocesan Bishop to order affairs in her own diocese.
No wonder Salisbury Diocese is requesting the House of Bishops to withdraw this particular amendment to the proposed Draft Measure. The mind of the previous general Synod ought to have been respected by the House of Bishops – without any need to resort to a filibustering amendment that would further dilute the authority of Women’s ministry in the Church of England
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand