9.7.08

CHOICES FOR TRADITIONALISTS: LEAVE COMPLETELY OR STAY BUT CREATE ANOTHER DENOMINATION OR JUST KEEP FIGHTING FROM WITHIN THE SYSTEM


Riazat Butt, reports today in The Guardian how:
The Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, met with Anglo-Catholic leaders after the vote to discuss the future. "He was pleading with us until the early hours, asking us to stay. But we are not leaving, we are being pushed out" said Rev Prebendary David Houlding. He, like other dissenters lingering on the University of York campus, the venue for the General Synod meeting, talked about finding a new home and other churches. One possibility is the creation of Anglican-use parishes, former Anglican congregations that have joined Roman Catholicism while retaining some Anglican traits. Synod member and Gafcon leader Canon Chris Sugden said there were precedents for severing ties with liberal churches... Forward in Faith, said it would work with English bishops who were sympathetic to their cause and could lobby on their behalf. It has joined forces with evangelicals...to fight for control in the Church of England.

Central to this approach is General Synod membership, which will play a crucial role when a final vote on legislation is taken in several years' time.

Synod is re-elected every five years and the next elections are in 2010. With these factions working together, instead of contesting the same seats, they could secure enough dioceses to defeat the movement towards women bishops.

Synod member Paul Eddy said: "This is a fight for the centre of the church.
You know this worries me hugely, firstly how could these people, so proud of the reformation, so theologically opposed in some respects to some of the practises of Roman Catholocism, defect simply because women have been enabled to secure positions in the episcopate.

Timothy, on Ugley vicar blog, made a very good point which I am grateful to John Richardson for posting, Tim Keene said:
I find it hard to understand why the issue is so important to Evangelical Anglicans. Conservative Evangelicals within the Church of England have always maintained good relations with nonconformist types. Thus, it seems that they acknowledge that bishops are not necessary in the same way as the gospel, the Bible or the sacraments. If bishops are not necessary, and let's face it some of them are distinctly unnecessary, why does it matter if they are women or men? For years Evangelical Anglicans had survived an episcopacy that was horrendous. Why does it matter so very much if the bishop is a woman, perhaps even a godly and orthodox woman? Evangelicals have always had to cope with bishops who should not be bishops. Even if they consider it inappropriate for women to be a bishop, can they not rejoice when they get a godly bishop even when a woman? It seems a lot better than what many have now. What I am saying is that the issue seems to have gathered a significance that is appropriate only to fundamentals such as the gospel, when the issue does not merit it. The letter to the Galatians is a tract directed against giving non gospel things a kind of gospel status.

Secondly, dividing off to create another denomination is further fracturing the body of Christ.

Thirdly, staying and aligning oneself with the language of Forward in Faith means swapping a dialogue of love and fellowship where 'Holy communication is a part of Holy Communion' with one made up of words like fight. Is this really what our Lord wants?

It makes me feel very sad! As Dr John Sentamu has said, as The Telegraph reports this morning "Jesus Christ is in the street weeping"

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A little background reading on the two theological integrities in the Church of England regarding women in ministry.