It is deeply troubling that the decision to introduce women as bishops in the Church of England was made in a kind of political vacuum, utterly divorced from discussing the theological and doctrinal imperatives, justifications and implications for the change, and taking into account only the “trends and priorities of wider society”. It is especially astonishing that such a momentous decision was reached with almost no reference to what Scriptures, the Church Fathers and Mothers, ecumenical councils, or the writings of divers Saints had to say on women’s role in the Church. Yet, following recent developments in the Church, it is sadly unsurprising that those pushing for this change did not bother to ask themselves “What do the Scriptures, holy tradition, and the Saints say on this subject?” The only real concerns in the minds of many, certainly the current and former Archbishops of Canterbury and the Prime Minister, seem to have been over questions of relevancy, public opinion, and political pressure.
Is the goal of any Church simply to “ensure its place” as “modern”, or perceived as relevant to the ever-changing norms of the society in which it exists? In their eagerness to ensure that the Church of England maintains its established position by catering to the changing tides of a public opinion largely ignorant of Christian theology and history, those pushing for these reforms seem unaware that a Church which so compromises and alters its doctrines will have little remaining authority in society to speak certain truths to it. A Church which shows itself willing to operate as a malleable institution obsessed with perceptions of relevancy and keeping its privileged status cannot inspire much devotion in its people, nor will political society or public opinion respect it as an authoritative national voice when it has surrendered all authority that contradicts or challenges them.
Several Mainline/old line Protestant agencies have joined with left wing and pacifist groups to sign a politically irrelevant plea to President Obama denouncing “military strikes” on Syria and urging “diplomatic efforts to stop the bloodshed.” The National Council of Churches has issued a slightly more temperate appeal. And the Church of England’s Archbishop of Canterbury’s […]
By Brian Miller @briankenmiller In the preface to the Book of Common Prayer Thomas Cranmer observed that, “There was never anything by the wit of man so well devised, or so sure established, which in continuance of time hath not been corrupted.” Unfortunately, the sentiment seems to be ringing true even for the Church that […]
By Alexander Griswold (@HashtagGriswold) It sounds like a parody, but the Church of England has found yet another questionable way to stabilize declining attendance numbers; designing churches for entirely different religions. As The Telegraph reports, the Church of England has decided to train members to found what they envision as “almost a pagan church where […]
The Right Rev. Richard Chartres delivered the following comments at today’s funeral for former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Baroness Margaret Thatcher: After the storm of a life lived in the heat of political controversy, there is a great calm. The storm of conflicting opinions centres on the Mrs Thatcher who became a symbolic figure – even […]
The initial outrage and fallout from the Church of England’s decision to reject women bishops seems to have reached its close. Newspapers on the right and the left shrieked in disdain at such a backwards institution for not toeing the feminist line. Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, Archbishop-to-be Justin Welby, and orthodox heavyweight N. T. […]
Today, the General Synod for the Church of England rejectedthe ordination of women bishops by a mere handful of votes. So ends for now a nearly 12 year legislative process to upend standards for episcopal office. Much of the controversy surrounded the provision of stand-in bishops for parishes opposed to women’s ordination. Passage of the […]