Friday, 24 October 2014

How will they respond?

It will be interesting to see what response (if any) the Welsh Bench of Bishops will make to Credo Cymru's recent statement (October 8th) regarding the Code of Practice presented to the Governing Body in September. 
Rumours (or something more than rumours) that the bishops are divided on the issue are said to abound ....
The problem the bishops have, of course, is that the applied 'provisions' of the Code (if they can be said to be that) are completely at variance with their own assessment of the wider ecclesial context, both in the Anglican Communion  and the 'Church Catholic' itself:
"3. Since the Church in Wales continues to share the historic episcopate with other Churches, including other Churches of the Anglican Communion, the Roman Catholic and the Orthodox Churches, which continue to ordain only men as priests or bishops, the Bench of Bishops acknowledges that this decision on ministry and gender is set within a broader process of discernment and reception within the Anglican Communion and the whole Church of God." 
[see the above link]
The Bench's unanimous decision (if that does remain the case - and there is significant reason to doubt that - the unanimity, at least) not to allow for episcopal oversight from a Bishop faithful to the Tradition - from within or outside the Province of Wales - negates all these fine sentiments and about a "broader process of discernment and reception within the Anglican Communion and the whole Church of God" and indeed makes them utterly meaningless. 
How can there be said to be, in any sense whatsoever,  an open process of 'discernment' in Wales when there is no provision - even after the first female episcopal consecration - for sacramental and episcopal care by bishops in the 'orthodox,' original, succession? 

One hopes, too, that our 'Fathers in God' will not be tempted to raise again in their defence, as they have in the past, both in public and private, any suggestion of that convenient and intentionally misleading canard of 'taint.' It is not a question of 'taint' (as has been repeated ad nauseam, but there's none so unteachable as those who don't wish to be taught) : the issue is one of faithfulness to the apostolic tradition - a complex matter both of the necessary sacramental / theological intention  and (to be somewhat irreverent) the essential 'mechanistic' process of hands on heads. 

We can stand on nothing else but the apostolic tradition...

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