Cooking the Curate’s Egg
So, for synod members, it’s what one game show used to call make-up-your-mind-time, for the next five years anyway.
If the Church needs a gender-neutral ministry, something the vast majority of people believe to be right, this scheme does not deliver that. It is fundamentally inequitable and discriminatory. The best condoms do not have holes in them, however small. There is no telling what monstrous births may take place in the various caves of Adullam this measure potentially creates. It could be a step in the right direction, but it will retain the Church’s institutional sexism in a way most people outside the bubble find puzzling and, ultimately, morally disgusting.
If what matters most is the lesser matter of allowing women to be bishops, this scheme does finagle that. In itself the eventual presence of women in the house of bishops might be able to achieve what the present set-up couldn’t for the institution, and plug the hole in the bucket. In a down and dirty world this won’t be the first time in human affairs tulips were grown on dung.
As to the leadership of the Church in synod, a lifetime of pretending, whilst trying to set their course on dead reckoning and politics with only an occasional star sight, scarcely prepares them to exercise moral leadership at a critical moment. Most episcopal palaces are emitting a loud and eloquent silence now. Many of our senior men probably thought on Monday that all they were doing was giving the women what they wanted whilst being as nice as possible to the other lot. That’s why you can’t see them for dust now.
It’s Touch and Go, I’d say.