The answer is there

From Mr Anthony Kilmister

The Church of England is busy merging three dioceses in its northern Province and in their stead creating a diocese and bishopric of Leeds. All this reconstruction can apparently be achieved by the waiving aloft of a crozier. What could possibly be so difficult, then, in creating a non-geographical diocese to accommodate traditionalists – or even a Third Province?

The blue-print exists in Consecrated Women? edited by Bishop Jonathan Baker.

Anthony Kilmister

3 Homewood Court, Cedars Village, Herts WD3 5GB

Whose fault is it anyway?

From Mr John Stephenson

The failure to pass the legislation at General Synod is littered with own-goals. Can we not say, for example, with virtual certainty, that if Watch and Gras had never existed, there would now be women bishops serving within the Church of England? But for their virulent opposition, a practical solution would have been found two or three years ago, and the first women would now have been consecrated.

The one that fascinates me is this: who called for a vote by houses when General Synod came to vote on the Archbishops’ Amendment? Whoever they were, they can now look back with the assurance that but for that inspired action, the women bishops’ legislation would now have passed.

John Stephenson

The voice of the laity

From Fr Ian McCormack

One of the most disquieting aspects of the women bishops saga is the rampant clericalism which has been displayed by those in favour of such an innovation. This is inherent in the very position that women cannot be fully equal Christians unless they can be priests and bishops. But it has been manifested in a particular way recently by the insistence by the House of Bishops and the House of Clergy that Synod vote on legislation which was clearly deficient and which, in its various draft stages and attempted amendments, had never achieved the necessary two-thirds majority in all three houses. There was thus always a serious possibility that the legislation would fall, and yet somehow the bishops and clergy seemed to assume that the laity could be browbeaten into changing their minds. Furthermore, there seems to be precious little recognition in the wake of the vote of the fact that the House of Laity has expressed its mind in a way which it is entirely entitled to do, and which clearly reflects a substantial body of belief in the Church at large that this legislation was not an acceptable way by which the consecration of women should be enabled. Indeed, one diocesan bishop has already issued a statement saying that the way General Synod members are elected clearly needs to be changed, in light of the ‘no’ vote! Such clericalism is profoundly disturbing. Finally, this vote means that the Laity have spoken: their opinion matters and needs to be respected. What the laity – particularly those of our constituency – now need is a clear lead from our bishops to find a more acceptable way forward, so that General Synod is never again brought to the brink of choosing between unacceptable legislation, and apparently unacceptable rejection of the same.

Ian McCormack

Horbury, West Yorkshire

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