10 questions arising from the misogyny of a “headship” bishop

Plans were announced last night to appoint a new bishop in the Church of England who will specifically believe that women are subordinate to men to minister to, encourage and represent those in the Church of England who believe this, ie that men have been given headship over women by God, to be true.  (This isn’t a joke, this is real).

This had been planned for some time and was part of the deal whereby that church agreed to open the Episcopate to candidates who happen to be female.

It rather neatly proves some of the terrible things I was saying about the Church of England earlier in the week to be true.

On this occasion, I take no pleasure in being right.

The following questions arising from the misogyny of a “headship” bishop should now be raised:

  1. To Members of Parliament: Are you really comfortable with 1 million children being educated every day by an organisation with these values?
  2. To candidates in the next election: Will you support the disestablishment of the Church of England because organisations which behave in this way should have no privileged place in parliament?
  3. To the Archbishop of Canterbury: Do you realise that this makes you personally look like a misogynist too as suffragan appointments are always personal to the bishop involved?
  4. In the General Synod of the Church of England: …. and if people ask for a bishop with racist views to represent them, will we do that too?
  5. To the BBC: Why are you not covering this story as a major news item?
  6. To those who serve in Church House, Westminster: Why do progressive changes to the Church of England have to go through years of debate at General Synod and regressive ones don’t?
  7. To Primates around the communion: Why is this novelty and abuse of the episcopate acceptable when the appointment of a man who happened to be gay was so unacceptable?
  8. To the Prime Minister at Prime Minister’s Question Time: Does the Prime Minister share the concerns of many in this country that the Church of England is institutionalising misogyny.
  9. To the silent Church of England Bishops who believe themselves to be liberal: How do you sleep?
  10. To the first woman to be consecrated as bishop in the Church of England: Was it worth it on these terms?

 

Comments

  1. Penelope Cowell Doe says:

    Thank you. This is quite chilling. Not so much the appointment of a bishop to oversee a dwindling rump of ‘headship evangelicals’ but the commission to recruit more and foster vocations from this constituency. And yet LGBT clergy are seen as ‘tainted’. Jesus wept.

    • Ender's Shadow says:

      “dwindling rump of ‘headship evangelicals’
      You wish. If any section of the CofE is growing, it’s HTB, which is open to women clergy, and the other Evangelicals, who aren’t. Other than cathedral congregations, probably accumulating disaffected traditional music lovers whose previous churches have faded beyond being able to put on the show any more, or who have brought their worship into line with the culture of society, noone else is growing consistently. Remember that the quoted 1% rate of decline implies that we’re mostly simply dying off.

    • Ender's Shadow says:

      “LGBT clergy are seen as ‘tainted’”

      No – from a conservative perspective they are seen as sinful if they are in a sexual relationship outside heterosexual marriage. That doesn’t render them ‘tainted’ – as the Catholic v Donatist debate determined, the validity of sacraments is not a function of the worth of the person; however the idea that God will BLESS the ministry of those deliberately living in sin is not generally endorsed in theology. To expect the opponents of LGBT practice to contribute to their ministry is not realistic; that dioceses presently do shows that they get away popular ignorance and unwillingness to rock the boat.

      • But the lepers are healed.
        The lame dance.
        The dead are raised.

        • Ender's Shadow says:

          “But the lepers are healed.
          The lame dance.
          The dead are raised.”

          Where? Where? I see mostly harmless clerics chasing after the latest secular political campaign in a desperate attempt to appear relevant but instead just looking like idiots.

          The primary duty of the church is to ‘make disciples’. The result of that will be “freedom for the prisoners… recovery of sight for the blind,
          set[ting the oppressed free”, but these are the fruit of conversion and discipleship, starting from repentance, i.e. choosing to go God’s way.

          But it’s so much more fun to have everyone speak well of you…

  2. Richard says:

    Well said, well said.

    • Richard says:

      My response was to Kelvin’s original post, not the immediately preceding comment.

  3. Hayley says:

    Hopefully, the first woman bishop will not be sycophantic, and will have great courage.

  4. Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad. Is it time for the SEC to take over the CofE?

  5. Liam Beadle says:

    But Penelope, conservative evangelicals are not a ‘dwindling rump’ in the Church of England. That is why provision, rightly or wrongly, is being made. Churches with links to Reform tend to be very vibrant.

    • Penelope Cowell Doe says:

      I think so-called ‘headship evangelicals’ punch above their weight.

      • Ender's Shadow says:

        Really? Evidence please. Given that they are estimated to be 10% of the church, but have ZERO bishops, the opposite is probably the case. The system of synodical government elections also under-represents them: it gives all clergy and laity representatives on Deanery Synod where every parish gets at least one vote whilst the large parishes don’t get the large number that their attendance would suggest.

        • Penelope Cowell Doe says:

          They have as many bishops as the rest of us: ‘Christ is not divided’. Having a bishop suited to each constituency is fissiparous; it is neither catholic, nor apostolic.

    • Without wishing to invoke Godwin’s law (and thus bring the debate to an end)…one could argue that “certain political parties in Germany in the 1930s also tended to very vibrant”

  6. Kevin Crinks OSF says:

    Time for me to leave the C of E if this goes through

  7. Elizabeth says:

    hear hear! Important questions indeed.

  8. “To Primates around the communion: Why is this novelty and abuse of the episcopate acceptable when the appointment of a man who happened to be gay was so unacceptable?”

    Um, my Primate is the Rt Rev Katharine Jefferts Schori, and ergo, “n/a”.

    @ Liam: “Churches with links to Reform tend to be very vibrant.”

    Well, I think the crowd calling to free Barabbas and, re Jesus, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” was “very vibrant”. However…

    • see my comment above in regard to certain former German political parties. Krystalnacht and book burnign were also “very vibrant”. This didn’t make them right

      • SeekTruthFromFacts says:

        Liam didn’t say that evangelical’s numerical presence made their views right. He just corrected Ms Cowell Doe’s inaccurate statement that numbers are dwindling.

        Comment is free, but facts are sacred 🙂

    • Daniel Berry, NYC says:

      Not to put too fine a point on it, but she is the MOST Reverend Katharine Jefferts-Schori.

  9. Ender's Shadow says:

    This is the price that liberals have to pay for being allowed to stay in the CofE when they started to campaign for women’s ordination. At the time it was claimed that there was no intention of delegitimising the traditional views, and on that basis liberals were allowed to stay. The fact that having achieved their objective they are now complaining about being expected to show the same attitude shows that their earlier claims were less than… heart felt.

    Let’s be clear: anyone in favour of gay clergy being allowed to be in sexual relationships and who are ‘one clauser’ – the people who proposed no provision for the opponents of women’s consecration – need to leave the CofE because they are hypocrites; demanding toleration for their beliefs but resisting toleration of others. In the interim I’m arguing: https://b66423.wordpress.com/2014/10/12/give-anything-to-the-church-of-england-as-is-just-say-no/

    • Most of the people campaigning against the injustices inflicted by the church on women and gay people today are not the same ones who started doing it 40 or 50 years ago, so why should they be bound by the views of their predecessors? Besides, what you’re asking them to tolerate is intolerance itself. You cannot have a church that, on the one hand, says women and fully capable of undertaking any role to which they are called in the church, while at the same time seeking out the consecration and appointment of someone who believes that a women should not say a word in church ever. THAT is the hypocrisy here.

      • Ender's Shadow says:

        Indeed Jo, as you point out, the position is ‘hypocrisy’, or at least incoherent. However it is what the church is committed to doing as a result of the vote that passed the consecration of women. However the logic I offer DOES apply to that, because if the conservatives had required liberals to conform to their views 50 years ago or leave, which is what you are requiring, you’d have been out of the CofE. Instead you have benefited from their liberalism – you should do likewise.

        Whilst this point is largely insignificant as far as the women’s consecration is concerned, it fires back into life when applied to the gay issue. The church is, despite the obfuscation of those who like to pretend otherwise, totally clear that gay sexual practice is not acceptable in the long term. That people have chosen to be ordained into the church despite that, and continue in membership despite that, means this: that they have the same right to expect the rest of the church to change to the extent that they are willing to tolerate the opponents of women’s consecration. There can be no doubt that women’s consecration is a new belief. To impose it as a requirement for membership of the church is thus a schismatic act, best characterised as spitting in the face of the Pope and the Ecumenical Patriarch. And please don’t play the ‘justice’ card: that’s no basis for a theological argument when we are all under mercy not justice.

        Whilst the conservatives have bullied into silence on the women’s issue, it’s their turn now to treat the proponents of gay sex equally. It is clear that Jesus is not necessarily tolerant: in the letters to the churches in Revelation is He is unambiguously critical of those who tolerate certain beliefs; it is our task to be His disciples, to do as He commands. Given the record of most dioceses over the years, to provide financial support to them is to become complicit in their toleration; enough is enough.

        • Conservatives did and do require liberals to conform to their views – that precisely why BAPs in the Church of England still rigorously enforce “Issues in human sexuality” as (effectively) a doctrinal standard. Women are not being ordained because conservatives are tolerant of liberal views but because liberal views came to outnumber conservative ones in synod. Had conservatives been able to achieve a majority in opposition then we would not have seen women ordained, and we would certainly not have seen a special suffragan Bishop appointed who would be allowed to ordain women, and we do not see one appointed who will be able to be married to someone of the same sex.

          As for playing the “justice card”, are you for real? You’re using God’s mercy as an excuse to promote and sustain unjust oppression?

          • Ender's Shadow says:

            ” BAPs in the Church of England still rigorously enforce “Issues in human sexuality”
            We obviously live in different universes, or else liberals are, as recommended by Giles Fraser, lying to get through the BAPs.

  10. Is this post a joke?

  11. Tom W says:

    There are already Bishops in the Catholic tradition who don’t recognise the ordination of women. Why is this news more objectionable to you?

    • Because the church is recognising that as part of its polity rather than it being the opinions of some individual members of the Church of England.

      • Tom W says:

        I still don’t understand. Arrangements have been made, are being made, and will be made for Anglo Catholics who think it impossible for a woman to preside in sacraments. Why get jumpy about conservative evangelicals being provided for their consciences in a similar way?

        • I was just as jumpy about high church flying bishops. I don’t agree with the high church objection to women being priests or bishops. However, I find the “headship” argument considerably more offensive.

          • Tom W says:

            Why more offensive? It’s straight out of the pastoral epistles. Is the New Testament offensive? (answer: yes, unless you are regenerate)

          • It is offensive because it denies any basic equality between men and women.

            The pastoral epistles were not written nor read by people who would have accepted that there is a basic equality between men and women.

            But I do.

        • It’s quite clear to me that were we say a black bishop is existentially subordinate to a white bishop we would be making a statement which was sinful……I don’t see that saying women are existentially subordinate (a clear conflict with Paul’s teaching in Galatians 3) is any less sinful’

          • Ender's Shadow says:

            I’m disappointed to see Gal 3 still being used in this discussion, as it is clear from everything else that Paul writes that it is not his intention to suggest full equality between the categories listed in the verse. That liberals persist in trotting it out is a reflection of a ‘proof texting’ tendency that they rightly deplore in others. The only interpretation of the verse that is consistent with the rest of Paul’s writings is to see it as being equally saved.

  12. Penelope Cowell Doe says:

    When is a Catholic not a Catholic? When one complains about ‘spitting in the face of the Pope’ but wants a bishop to cater to every Protestant schism.

  13. These are hard-hitting, entirely justified, questions. The answer to question 10 will be especially interesting. Is something better than nothing? Is lower pay better than no pay at all? I wish I knew.

  14. Tom W says:

    Aren’t the pastoral epistles the Word of God? In which case, if we disagree with God, he’s probably right!

    • Stick around the blog for a while and listen to some of my preaching Tom and you’ll work out what I think about the Word of God.

    • Tom W says:

      Kelvin: “The pastoral epistles were not written nor read by people who would have accepted that there is a basic equality between men and women. But I do.”

      So you know better than the Apostle? Very un-Anglican.

      • God bless in your certainty, Tom and thanks for commenting.

        • Tom W says:

          I suppose my question is how you can be part of the Church of England with integrity given the doctrine of the Articles, Prayer Book and Ordinal. It’s clear that headship evangelicals stand in that doctrinal tradition, even if they’re misogynist.

          • Tom – this may come as a bit of a surprise to you, but I’m not a member of the Church of England. I don’t have to accept the 39 Articles either. Indeed I never have done.

            The Scottish Prayer Book, which I’m guessing you don’t know a huge amount about, is something which often moves me. So do the other liturgies of my church, which I guess you may know even less about.

      • I would posit that we know a great many things better than the Apostles. The question is about the Apostles’ spheres of competence, and whether they include the proper role of women in society.

        • Tom W says:

          We certainly know more about, say, astronomy than the apostles. But on matters of faith and church order, Christ gave them his Spirit and authority to write God’s Word to the church.

          • Penelope Cowell Doe says:

            Jesus Christ is God’s Word. Claiming that for biblical texts is bibliolatry.

          • Ender's Shadow says:

            Penelope: Ps 119 uses the term ‘word’ 30 times. It does not make sense to interpret those reference as being to the second person of the Trinity.

            Similarly a word search for “word of God” in the NIV

            https://www.biblegateway.com/quicksearch/?quicksearch=%22word+of+god%22&qs_version=NIVUK

            generates 45 hits, of which many are NOT coherent to exposit as being a reference to God, of which Acts 4:31: “After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.” is a clear example, and yes, it is ‘logos’.

          • Just a warning, Ender’s Shadow that I tend to delete comments with proof texts.

            Please don’t insult the intelligence of my readers by arguments suggesting that the number of times a phrase appears in the New International Version invalidates other people’s beliefs either.

            There are better places for such silliness.

            And there’s a more extensive commenting policy here: http://thurible.net/2012/08/04/revised-commenting-policy/

  15. Tom W says:

    Sorry Kelvin, my mistake – though I thought since you were commenting on a Church of England decision that it was fair enough to cite the formularies.

  16. David Butterfield says:

    I think we Christians could be kinder to each other in the way we debate matters like this – especially on line. I feel a sense of intolerance in the way we address one another (on both sides of the debate) and that saddens me.

  17. Tom W says:

    Penelope, the only way we can know anything at all about God is if he reveals himself to us: our minds are too creaturely, feeble and fallen to know him any other way. The Bible is his perfect revelation, as the foundational texts of the Anglican Church repeatedly affirm. Therefore, God has spoken, and it is written. That being so, if God through the apostles told me to wear bananas on my head, it wouldn’t be my place to question it. Similarly, the NT teaches and evinces only men as presbyters and overseers. Even if it is accurate to describe such a view as misogynist (which properly understood I don’t think is accurate), if that’s what God says through the apostles then that is what we should do. That is the obedience of faith. Now, this post isn’t even about that big discussion, but about the decision to consecrate one man with that view to minister to those who cannot for conscience sake submit to an unbiblical church order. It was promised in the legislation; the same legislation without the promise was unsuccessful. This is promise keeping, serving conscience and trying to keep the church together despite this major difference. It is not perfect, as if it could be – it’s trying to square the circle. But it is certainly required by the obligation of promise keeping, Christian charity, and the five guiding principles.

    • I’m not convinced, firstly that there is any such thing as “the Anglican Church” or secondly that whatever texts may be in common to the Anglican Churches affirm the claim of Biblical perfection. Even the 39 articles (which as has been noted are not relevant to the SEC) only assert that the scriptures contained within the Bible contain all things necessary for salvation. That’s a very long way from saying that all things within them are necessary for salvation or even that all things within them are true.

      • Tom W says:

        Whether there is an Anglican Church is a red herring: we’re discussing a decision made by the Chirch of England, which undoubtedly does have authoritative foundational statements of doctrine. There are many proofs of the Anglican formularies’ position on biblical perfection. I shall give just one source unless further proof is required. This from the book of homilies:
        “The prayse of holy Scripture. TO a Christian man there can bee nothing either more necessarie or profitable, then the knowledge of holy Scripture, forasmuch as in it is conteyned GODS true word, setting foorth his glory, and also mans duety.

        The Perfection of Holy Scripture: And there is no trueth nor doctrine necessarie for our iustification and euerlasting saluation, but that is (or may bee) drawne out of that fountaine and Well of trueth.

        The knowledge of holy Scripture is necessary. Therefore as many as bee desirous to enter into the right and perfect way vnto GOD, must applie their mindes to know holy Scripture, without the which, they can neither sufficiently know GOD and his will, neither their office and duty.

    • Penelope Cowell Doe says:

      I would concur with what Jo says below. The Bible may be God’s perfect revelation, but it is mediated through our fallible minds. It cannot ‘speak’ without our interpretation. Therefore I believe that you are profoundly wrong to refer to an ‘unbiblical church order’, since that is not the way I read the texts. I think you are also mistaken to say that the NT sees only men as presbyters and overseers: look at Euodia and Syntyche; and at Phoebe, the first commentator on Romans (and Paul’s patron). Women had authority in the early church, if we don’t expect to see things in the text we don’t see them; if we expect to see things we see them!

      • Tom W says:

        None of those women are described as presbyteros or episkopos. Phoebe is a deakonos. So there were women deacons. But that’s not disputed by evangelicals. The point of biblical inspiration is that God by his Spirit superintended their writing. That being so, what he in his providence has caused to be written through his human prophets and apostles is without defect. Saying otherwise is claiming that God is an impotent communicator. The texts that we have describe no woman as presbyter or overseer, and in fact prohibit their preaching to or exercising authority over a man. My life and church career would be much simpler if that were not so! But I can’t change the Bible, so I submit to it whether I like it or not.

        • Penelope Cowell Doe says:

          Paul greets the overseers in Philippae and mentions 3 people, two of whom were women. Yes, Phoebe is described as a deacon, also the patron of Paul and there is no evidence that these were church offices, as we would understand them in the early church. Paul had enough confidence in her to send her to Rome to interpret and comment upon his letter. I did not say that the biblical text is imperfect, I said that we, its interpreters, are fallible.

          • Tom W says:

            All we know about Euodia and Syntyche is that they were women active in Christian ministry who had fallen out. There is no reason to connect them with the overseers (m. pl. in Greek) in chapter 1! Like these women and Phoebe, I believe we should have women in full time ministry (incl. as deacons and patrons like Phoebe), but there remains not a single instance in the NT of a woman as priest, overseer or preaching in church to men.

    • Stew says:

      ‘It wouldn’t be my place to question it’ – why not Tom?

      Presumably you don’t believe men should have universal headship in other areas of life, the workplace, the home, schools, politics. That kind of gender prejudice would be a morally repugnant view to hold. If God demands that in the church, that would be very sad and unfortunate, but there might be two options – one could I suppose take your approach of dislocating moral feelings and saying, ‘just following orders’, or one could disobey and maintain one’s moral integrity. This integrity would be a fatal choice if you believe heaven is at stake, but who wants to live in a tyrant’s heaven if that is the price.

      Happily I don’t think that this is what God really demands. If it was, I think I would not be able to take your view, moral and personal integrity is more important than obedience.

  18. Tom W says:

    Hi Stew – ‘morals’ only have meaning because they come from God. So I believe in human dignity because God established it in creation *and has revealed it to us*. Since moral truth is derivative on God, not the other way round, if my inner moral sense differs from what God has said through his apostles, it is my moral sense that has erred, rather than God’s. Happily, the biblical teaching of men and women in complementary, not identical, roles in families (incl. the family of the church) is (I have come to see) a wonderful moral vision (I used to be a liberal Christian who thought it was obviously hateful!). If I ever think the Bible teaches something ‘immoral,’ I should pray to God for His Spirit to illuminate my mind and change my heart, that I search, apply and submit to his word in the Scriptures. Since the truth is One, true moral integrity and the true obedience of faith go hand in hand.

    Would anyone come back to me on the argument that this appointment is mandated by the promise that was made both in the Five Guiding Principles and in the attendent declaration? In other words, why is it scandalous now (merely keeping a promise and commitment) while it wasn’t scandalous to make the promise in the first place?

    • What is scandalous now was scandalous then. I commented on it at the time.

      • Tom W says:

        OK – so the keeping of the promise is not scandalous, surely? Only that the promise was made and the Five Principles agreed in the first place? Two wrongs (the five principles/promise *and* breaking the promise and disregarding the principles) don’t make a right.

        So why do you issue your 10 questions now?

        • My 10 questions relate to the current situation. My position about the legislation and the five principles has been consistent.

        • Surely breaking a promise to do something wrong is more moral than keeping such a promise?

          • Tom W says:

            One mustn’t lie to get what one wants. If the 5 Principles and the promise had not been made, the measure would have been lost (as it indeed was in 2012). I fully agree, Kelvin, you have been consistent in your opposition to the measure; I guess I’m surprised at your surprise that it has been acted upon after having been agreed months ago.

            One of the reasons why the vote failed in 2012 was mutual suspicion on both sides. Liberals think that headship evangelical bishops would sack the women presbyters in their diocese (we wouldn’t); and evangelicals think the liberals would break their promises to enable us to remain in good conscience as a full part of the church. I don’t like to see that those suspicions on our part were so well-founded. Thankfully, however, the Archbishops are men of their word.

    • Stew says:

      How then do you square this complementarian moral vision within the church family with (presumably) your view that conplementarian approaches would be morally repugnant in all other settings, the workplace, leadership roles in society etc? Do you just take this paradox on trust, or do you have an insight into why God supports gender equality in all other realms except the church?

    • Penelope Cowell Doe says:

      Oh, and complementarianism is utter nonsense. The writers of the Hebrew Bible and the NT thought there was only one sex: Man. Woman was its imperfect manifestation. That’s why, for a man, being unmanned or feminised (e.g. by anal sex) was so abhorrent.

      • Tom W says:

        Penelope, if you are content to say that complementarianism is in line with the Bible, but abhorrent to you, my work here is done. If the goodness, accuracy and authority of the Bible is not recognised, I have nothing with which to engage you in debate. My soul is captive to the Word of God: Here I stand; I can do no other.

        • Penelope Cowell Doe says:

          Um…Tom I’m saying exactly the opposite. The Biblical writers didn’t ‘believe’ in complementarianism because they thought there was only one sex. And it was one of the reasons why the passive sexual partner was despised (then and today). I don’t much care what people get up to with their genitalia

          • Ender's Shadow says:

            “I don’t much care what people get up to with their genitalia”

            Oh dear – the ‘we don’t want to believe that God is interested in sexual relationships gospel’. It’s very clear that the Epistle writers respond to a degree of promiscuity somewhat similar to our own by calling on Christians to be chaste. That our generation of church goers are abandoning this belief is rather obvious, but that doesn’t make it consistent with the gospel presented in the bible. The fact that the gospels don’t have a great deal on the issue is because it wasn’t a problem in the Jewish community, though Jesus’ comments about looking lustfully = adultery is a clear indication that he wasn’t relaxed about the issue.

  19. Obviously it’s what you think, not who you are.
    Opinion precedes essence

  20. Tony Whatmough says:

    If a Church claims to be open and inclusive, as I presume St. Mary’s does, where does it’s inclusiveness end? If it is so, then it should be able to welcome and support those who hold views different to it’s own. I hold no brief for Headship churches or those against the ordination of women or women in any positions of authority, but I do feel strongly that the circle needs to be made large enough to include those who think differently to me. As we stand before the throne of grace, I find that I am close to those who disagree with me, our solidarity in sin, than I find comfortable, but being discomforted is surely a sign of the Holy Spirit?

    • I think that we welcome all who come in peace who don’t threaten or harm others. It seems clear to me that the headship doctrine harms others.

      Most churches whether they claim to be inclusive or not have to deal with people with different views. That is the nature of being human.

      Trying to be an inclusive church certainly does have limits though.

      We have lots of different views in St Mary’s that are often forcefully expressed. However, I think we do have an ethos which would preclude (for example) racist views, sexist views and homophobic views from being promoted or acted upon here. And I think that there are many who would delight this is so.

  21. I think it is time for this discussion either to draw to a close or return to the 10 questions that I posed in the original post.

    I’ve chosen not to allow a number of comments through. These include one which indirectly compared me (and presumably “the liberals”) to paedophiles, a number which were of the “The bible plainly states that women are subordinate to men” type, another which was verging on proof-texting and another one which was trying to suggest to me and my readers that the payment of money to a particular religious leader in Africa who was able to cast spells would sort out a number of our problems.

    It is my blog, and I chose which comments to allow. Discussion of my commenting policy is not necessary.

  22. Tom W says:

    Fair enough – answers to the 10 questions:

    1. To Members of Parliament: Are you really comfortable with 1 million children being educated every day by an organisation with these values?
    A: Apparently yes; there being faith schools (both Christian and Muslim) that teach ethics that you would find objectionable. Part of free speech, I guess.

    2. To candidates in the next election: Will you support the disestablishment of the Church of England because organisations which behave in this way should have no privileged place in parliament?
    A: I’m ambivalent about disestablishment; I think it will happen during the time I’m a C of E priest. But yeah – why not? – let’s disestablish rather than let non-Christian politicians ride roughshod over Christians’ consciences.

    3. To the Archbishop of Canterbury: Do you realise that this makes you personally look like a misogynist too as suffragan appointments are always personal to the bishop involved?
    A: I’m certain he is aware how this measure would be attacked, and that despite that he proceeded.

    4. In the General Synod of the Church of England: …. and if people ask for a bishop with racist views to represent them, will we do that too?
    A: No one is doing so. Nor would they be able to with biblical warrant. Fallacy of reductio ad absurdum.

    5. To the BBC: Why are you not covering this story as a major news item?
    A: Because this is unremarkable now, given that it was agreed months ago in the run up to the measure being put before Synod.

    6. To those who serve in Church House, Westminster: Why do progressive changes to the Church of England have to go through years of debate at General Synod and regressive ones don’t?
    A: This isn’t a change; the novelty was in not having complementarian bishops since +Wallace Benn retired.

    7. To Primates around the communion: Why is this novelty and abuse of the episcopate acceptable when the appointment of a man who happened to be gay was so unacceptable?
    A: Because the majority of the Anglican Communion worldwide see this measure as consonant with biblical convictions, but the appointment of a gay bishop as not being so.

    8. To the Prime Minister at Prime Minister’s Question Time: Does the Prime Minister share the concerns of many in this country that the Church of England is institutionalising misogyny.
    A: Presumably he, like the unanimous Dioceses committee and the Archbishops don’t think this is misogynistic.

    9. To the silent Church of England Bishops who believe themselves to be liberal: How do you sleep?
    A: They may indeed find it objectionable, but have chosen to honour the promises made in the Guiding Principles for the greater good of the Church.

    10. To the first woman to be consecrated as bishop in the Church of England: Was it worth it on these terms?
    A: These were the only terms available after the legislation failed in 2012.

    • Penelope Cowell Doe says:

      Sorry, not on the 10 Qs but if you will allow I do want to respond to Ender’s post. I did not say that God was not interested in sexual relationships. I said I didn’t much care what people got up to with their genitalia. Textual criticism means being attentive to the text!

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