Monday, 12 November 2012

Some honesty, please

More from the letter of Tom Sutcliffe (a lay supporter of women's ordination) quoted in a previous post [the emphasis is mine) :
...And I absolutely do not want to see the Church of England ending up as a result of our in my view correct determination to include women in the ordained ministry at all levels with an even smaller footprint. I do not want the Church to vote to shrink more, and there is no doubt that the ordination of women has had the reverse effect from what was promised. It has not led to an increase in the membership or effectiveness of our church, however good most women priests have been. The decline in numbers and in status and in the respect in which we are held by ordinary citizens who are not active members has become precipitate...."
"...The assurances given to those in the minority of a traditionalist view are worthless because the Code of Practice, even when it has been set up, will be open to constant revision and will be adjusted when the campaigners from GRAS and Affirming Catholicism have managed to squeeze out of the Church all those people with whom they disagree on this matter and whom they do not think belong within the reformed liberal Anglicanism that they seek. We cannot safely allow a process stretching into the future of continuing ferment and argument about how to accommodate or manage those who cannot accept women clergy. It will be debilitating for the Church and very bad for mission. The Church needs to speak not with one tongue, but with many tongues as it always has. Legalism and intolerance are bad Christianity, but they are what the currently proposed Measure is very likely to increase. We are being told over and over again that provision is being made for those who reject women clergy and bishops. I have to say that this is simply untrue. It is a lie. They have sought arrangements on which they could rely. But instead what they have said they need has been consistently rejected – or, when the Archbishops made some effort to achieve a compromise that would work for them, neither Archbishop managed the process of promoting what they were proposing at all well. That is how we have arrived at this situation fraught as it is with dishonesty and illusion...."
We are being told that one of the great strengths of the soon-to-be 105th Archbishop of Canterbury is the fact that he has had a job in (sic) "the real world" and that, as a result, he will have the ability to see to the heart of some the problems which bedevil us. Perhaps this is one issue which he could address with some urgency - the utter dishonesty which is being spoken at the heart of the legislative process of the Church.


  1. Jesus didn't have a job in the "real world" and I expect most of the apostles were unemployable and certainly would not have got into training let alone become priests. I wish the new ABC well but to lead a divided organisation is not easy - and that division is not going to cease after next week;s vote - indeed it probably is going to get worse!

    1. Dear Joseph,

      I have always understood that Jesus was a carpenter until He began His ministry and that His ministry lasted an estimated three years until He died aged 33years?
      Be that as it may, there is no doubt in my mind that His 'job' was very much in the real world.

      As far as I can see the established church of Jesus' day was hide-bound in legislation/rules and regulations
      I don't recall an instance when He attempted to entice the general public into the synogogue.(There is the reference to when the children ran spontaneously into the temple in Jerusalem singing 'hosanna' and the Pharisees tried to silence them. Jesus intervened and said 'don't try to silence them or the very stones will cry out'... I love that story)

      But back to the point....Jesus' ministry was outside the church, among the people. He met them at the point of their need, feeding them, healing them and standing along side them when they were lonely, rejected, judged, before He ever tried to give them words of wisdom.
      Isaiah writes -

      'He was despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and aquainted with grief'

      Jesus had a 'job' in the real world alright, albeit unsalaried. In fact by that time he had no permanent address. Friends gave Him hospitality and funding.
      Why am I saying all this?.....

      I think its because we seem to have lost sight of our fundamental purpose. We have lost the freshness of our calling and with it the effectiveness of our mission
      When we attempt for the nth time to decipher the meaning of clauses and measures do we not hear Christ's simple message....

      'Actually there are just two rules'..

      'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind..
      Love one another as yourself. On these hang all the law and the prophets'

      He also said -
      'I am come that you might have life to the full'..

      So then, not so much a list of rules perhaps, more a way of life?
      Let's pray that our new Archbishop will be given the wisdom to guide us back to the basic truths of our creed-
      One Lord, One faith, One baptism.

      Yours in faith H.R.

  2. perhaps the ABC designate's 'real world' experience will have taught him this: a verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's written on - and what the proposed measure is asking traditionalists to accept ... & if they don't have iron-clad guarantees, then they have nothing ...


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