C. of E. Archbishops to seek accommodation for Traditionalists ?

New hope for traditionalists

by a staff reporter

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Feeling the heat: Synod members listen to the women bishops debate in July, last year SAM ATKINS
A MOVE by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to soften the women-bishops legislation, rejected by the General Synod in July last year, might return to the Synod next February.

The Catholic Group in Synod said on Tuesday that it was likely that the Synod would be invited to debate in February a motion “calling on the House of Bishopsto exercise its powers to amend the Measure in the manner of the amendment jointly proposed by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York”.

The Archbishops’ amendment had sought to establish bishops accept­able to traditionalists whose auth­ority was derived from the legisla-tion — not delegated from the diocesan bishop, who might be a woman, as is proposed in the main Measure. Al­though it was defeated narrowly in the House of Clergy, it nevertheless achieved an overall majority.

The Catholic Group points out that 40 per cent of the members of the present Synod are new, elected after the July 2010 vote. “It is vital that they have the opportunity to con­sider these issues properly before the Synod comes to the Final Approval votein July 2012.”

Canon Simon Killwick, chairman of the Catholic Group, said: “Final Approval of the current draft Women Bishopslegislation is not a foregone conclusion.” The group takes heart from the fact that, during the dio­cesan voting on the women-bishops legislation, almost one quarter in­dicated a wish for “proper provision” for traditionalists. The final legisla­tion needs to pass by a two-thirds majority.

Canon Killwick spoke of a “mod­est amendment” to the legislation, which would secure its safe passage and avoid failure at final approval in July 2012, “which would delay the introduction of women bishops for many years to come”.

In February, the Synod will also have the opportunity for the first time to consider the code of practice governing how the legislation is to be implemented.

The pro-women-bishops group Women and The Church(WATCH) has disputed the Catholic Group’s interpretation of the diocesan vo­ting. “Thirty-three dioceses explicitly rejected requests for more provision [for traditionalists] and would no doubt reject legislation amended in this way. . . It would be very puzzling for the House of Bishops to amend the legislation in the face of such overwhelming endorsement from the Church at large.”

WATCH has analysed the voting figures from the dioceses, and re­ports that, overall, 85 per cent of bishops, 76 per cent of clergy, and 77 per cent of laity approved the present legislation.

WATCH also rejected the idea of reintroducing the Archbishops’ amendment. “We do not see how it can be supported when it under­mines episcopacy as the Church of England has always

About kiwianglo

Retired Anglican priest, living in Christchurch, New Zealand. Ardent supporter of LGBT Community, and blogger on 'Thinking Anglicans UK' site. Theology: liberal, Anglo-Catholic & traditional. regarding each person as a unique expression of Christ, and therefore lovable.
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2 Responses to C. of E. Archbishops to seek accommodation for Traditionalists ?

  1. The veracity of this report, published in this week’s ‘Church Times’, has to be seen in the light of this important paragraph of the Report:

    “The Catholic Group in Synod said on Tuesday that it was likely that the Synod would be invited to debate in February a motion “calling on the House of Bishopsto exercise its powers to amend the Measure in the manner of the amendment jointly proposed by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York”.

    The term ‘It was likely..” betrays the fact that there has been no official pronouncement on the part of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, that they will actually seek to renew their call to next Year’s General Synod to provide ‘extra protection’ to traditionalists (i.e. the ‘Catholic Group in Synod’) in the manner of their last General Synod plea to provide extra-diocesan ‘Provincial Episcopal Visitors’.

    No doubt, the small group of the ultra-montane among the Church of England Anglo-Catholics will be hoping desperately that the Provincial Archbishops will attempt to use their Primatial influence to secure an accommodation for them in the upcoming General Synod. However, considering the strong vote in recent Diocesan Synods – against such ‘special provision’ – such episcopal action would be seen to undermine the normal process of General Synodical Government in the Church of England. Also, any measure to provide PEVs could only diminish the authority of a Woman Diocesan Bishop.

    Fr. Ron Smith

  2. Brother David says:

    The Catholic Group points out that 40 per cent of the members of the present Synod are new, elected after the July 2010 vote. “It is vital that they have the opportunity to con­sider these issues properly before the Synod comes to the Final Approval votein July 2012.”

    So part way through a canonical process we start over because at this point 40% of the elected delegates are not the same as the ones who started the process? If we all did that when legislation that is canonically required to take more than one synod to pass r fail, nothing would ever pass or fail. This is an attempt for the conservatives, who are failing to get what they want, to have a “do over.” They would be the first to cry foul if they were winning and the liberals used this argument.

    With conservatives it is often that the means justifies the end, not that the process was honest and above board.

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