"...And in this context, it is important to be clear about what the wording of the legislation does and doesn’t say. In a culture of instant comment, it’s all too easy for a version of what’s being said to gain ground and dominate the discussion even when it doesn’t represent what’s actually there. We saw this in the widespread but mistaken assumption that the amendment proposed by the bishops in May gave parishes the right to choose their own bishop. We are seeing it now in the equally mistaken assumption that the word ‘respect’ in the new amendment is little more than window-dressing.Read it all here
The truth is that the word does have legal content. If you’re required to show ‘respect’, you need to be able to demonstrate that what you do takes account in practice of someone’s conviction. You will need to show that it has made a difference to how you act; it doesn’t just recommend an attitude or state of mind (‘with all due respect…’). The word leaves enough flexibility for appropriate responses to different circumstances, but it isn’t so general as to be toothless.
The legislation isn’t perfect; all legislation for complex communities embodies compromise and unfinished business. The tough question for those who are still undecided is whether delay would produce anything better. For those who think the legislation has compromised too far, it may be important to note that conscientious opposition has not grown noticeably weaker; it can’t be taken for granted that any delay would guarantee a smoother passage. And those who think that the provision for dissent is inadequate have to reckon with the extreme unlikelihood, given the way things have gone in the last few years, that any future legislation will be able to find a more acceptable framework. The chances are that there will in fact be greater pressure from some quarters for a ‘single clause’ measure..."
On the one hand, Dr Williams doesn't sound entirely convinced by his own arguments, but, on the other hand, yes, 'enough waiting;' faced with a fog of doubt, hesitation and uncertainty as to the implications of what is being proposed, now is exactly the right time to put your foot hard on the accelerator - and drive the vehicle off the edge of the cliff...
The Catholic Group on General Synod has voted unanimously to oppose the measure.