Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Boxer shorts theology

Perhaps it's the weather (for those who don't live here, the wettest June in Britain since records began, and July is continuing in the same way) but the women bishops debate in the Church of England has become so wearisome that it is difficult to find the motivation to report or comment upon it at all.
Clearly there has now become something of a head of steam building for a delay (if that makes sense - such are the absurdities of the present that it probably does). 
The 'Taliban' tendency  amongst the proponents of  change (ably represented by Lucy Winkett here) - those who defend the purity of revisionist heterodoxy  and want no truck with the honourable messiness of any enforceable provision for traditionalists - are now using their proven lobbying skills to argue for a period of reflection. 
Undoubtedly they will use their growing influence to put pressure on the bishops to withdraw the amendment which would give even such minimal protection for those who wish only to remain faithful to the catholic tradition of apostolic ministry as the Anglican provinces have historically received it.
Their argument has made much of the myth of a supposed 'theology of taint.'
But in fact, ironically,  they are the true 'sexists' in arguing that a 'male bishop' (with no other qualifications necessary, it seems) will have to suffice for those of us who are now reduced to begging crumbs from the establishment's table. It would seem that, unlike our opponents, we are more concerned with what lies between a bishop's ears and in his heart than merely what, happily, lies concealed beneath his boxer shorts.

"...Ah, no; the years, the years; Down their carved names the rain-drop ploughs..."

Having visited several English diocesan websites over the last few days, for pastoral reasons - trying actually to contact people, that is, on behalf of parishioners, it's noticeable that among the who's who pages, the powers-that-be consider it important enough to list for the general public's undoubted edification and delight, the names of those who occupy positions in the new hierarchies as 'deans of women's ministry' and the like. How soon after the passing of the women bishops legislation can we expect these offices to be abolished as an offence to equality and their holders to be liberated from their onerous bureaucratic enslavement and return to full-time parochial life? 
As they say these days, 'yeah, right....'

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