Wednesday, 23 October 2013
At the Shrine of St James the Apostle.....
I've been back from Santiago de Compostela for a week or more now. It's been very difficult to think of what to write here, or, indeed, what future this blog may have in the new order of things in Wales.
News of the Welsh Governing Body's decision reached me in Spain the same day, although it took a while longer to discover the full enormity of what had happened.
Two observations: the first is the confirmation of the intrinsic amorality of the Synodical system and therefore its complete incompatibility with an authentically Christian form of ecclesial governance. Anyone who now, while supporting women's ordination, may have hopes of clinging to a form of doctrinal orthodoxy must fear for the future.
Of course, those responsible for the 'ambushing' amendment which scuppered the loudly trumpeted - and even widely praised - plan of the Welsh bishops to implement a two-tier legislative process for the admission of women to the episcopate (whilst providing for the needs of those opposed) will have to answer to their own consciences. I'm sure they will find no difficulty in that.
As for the bishops themselves, their unanimous support for the final (and unrecognisable) legislation should put to rest any question as to whether they can either deserve or expect the trust of traditionalists in Wales. Having said that, one must have a certain sympathy for them. They can now only act in so far as their radical feminist allies will allow them. Faustian bargains are like that. That does, however, have ominous implications for any code of practice for the traditionalist integrity which may eventually emerge from the current 'exercise' in consultation.
At the shrine of St James the Apostle I knelt and wept for the Church in Wales and the cause of Christian unity...