Friday, 8 October 2010

Much as we thought

The announcement of the membership of the C of E's Code of Practice working group is a very clear indication of the kind of recommendations it will make. There is to be just one "traditionalist," Bishop Martin Warner, out of a membership of eight. A report and some reactions from the Church Times here
Of course, in Wales we are waiting for a new bill to introduce women bishops to be brought before the Governing Body following the defeat of the last attempt a couple of years ago. It can only be a (very short) matter of time; there are undoubtedly some in highly influential positions in the Church in Wales who will be determined to reinforce their 'progressive' credentials by stealing a march on the Church of England by successfully reintroducing the bill sooner rather than later. I have heard the suggestion of September next year?
One thing is sure; when that time comes there will be no working party, no code of practice and no need to wait for Parliamentary approval. The latter is just one of the benefits of disestablishment in the eyes of some, although we might think the original framers of the Church in Wales Constitution would be somewhat taken aback at the ease at which this much vaunted (and necessary) freedom from State control  is now being employed in the service of heterodoxy. One doesn't necessarily need to be part of an Established Church to believe in and implement a thoroughgoing 'erastianism.' Who now needs to be forced into following popular opinion? The work of secularisation is so much more smoothly done if one simply steps up of one's own free will to imitate prevailing fashion without troubling to interrogate it by means of scripture and the tradition.
Whatever the problems of the Church of England, disestablishment by itself was clearly never the solution to them.

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