Monday, August 18, 2014
There is no intolerance so great as from those who claim to be tolerant...
Options under consideration include an immediate dissolution of the synod so that fresh elections could produce a sufficient majority by November, or even a move by the bishops in the House of Lords to introduce the legislation without synodical approval. The dramatic intervention would be designed to pre-empt any attempts, which are already being threatened by parliament, to remove the church's exemption from equality legislation.
In other words, if Archbishop Welby of the Church of England cannot get women bishops through the ordinary means, he is poised to change the rules in order to force women bishops upon the church through other, more radical means -- as if anyone ever doubted that the day would come when women bishops would be approved in the good ole C of E.
I love it when those who insist upon tolerance became the intolerant. They betray their true character when they cannot get what they want. At that moment, their cause becomes so just that they will bully their point of view on the church. How much harm has been done by bullies who resort to extraordinary means to infect their radical change upon a church either too slow to accept the change or unwilling to accept it???
This is a perfect example of an abuse of authority. Women clergy is a modern phenomenon. Women bishops is even more recent. It is anti-ecumenical. It is a radical departure from Scripture and tradition. It is unnecessary but it is on the must have agenda of nearly all liberal Christians. No rocks in the road of this social agenda will be allowed to slow or stop the press of change upon the church. Even schism is an acceptable price to pay for being in tune with the modern mind and the social justice movement of the age.
If Welby had been around when God created, he might well have take over for the Almighty because six days was too long to get it done and Welby had bigger fish waiting to fry down the road. What will be next? It is not hard to see. The Church of England will have gay and lesbian bishops forced upon them and the ecumenical consequences of this act, along with the disconnect from other Anglicans (notably in Africa) will certainly not be a price too high for being able to wave the pink or rainbow flag over Lambeth!
Of course, the threat may have been all that was needed. The vote on July 14 took place amid cheers -- finally. Yes, finally... From the moment the General Synod voted for women priests in 1992, it was inevitable women bishops would follow. It would have been the ultimate hypocrisy to have had women priests but deny them the episcopate. One may credit the influence of both Conservative evangelicals and Anglo-Catholics to slow down the process and make what might have been an ordinary and expected decisions wait for some 20 years. Those who feared that this might signal the end of the Anglican Communion and a breach with more conservative groups throughout the world will not have to wait long to see what happens. This was predictable but in the way death is predictable for those with serious cancer or heart disease. We do not live in an Alice-in-Wonderland world and so finally Anglicans who remained will have to face up to the fact that any remnant of orthodoxy has flown the coup.
This is the response of the Russian Orthodox, once almost close to recognizing Anglican orders... not so close anymore:
At the session that took place on the 14th of July 2014, the General Synod of the Church of England made a decision allowing women to serve as bishops. The Communication Service of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations is authorized to make the following statement in this regard:
The Russian Orthodox Church has been alarmed and disappointed to learn about the decision of the Church of England to admit women to the episcopate, since the centuries-old relationships between our two Churches had shown possibilities for the Orthodox to recognize the existence of apostolic succession in Anglicanism. As far back as the 19th century, the Anglicans, members of the Eastern Church Association, sought “mutual recognition” of orders between the Orthodox and the Anglican Churches and believed that “both Churches preserved the apostolic continuity and true faith in the Saviour and should accept each other in the full communion of prayers and sacraments.”
The decision to ordain women, which the Church of England took in 1992, damaged the relationships between our Churches, and the introduction of female bishops has eliminated even a theoretical possibility for the Orthodox to recognize the existence of apostolic succession in the Anglican hierarchy.
Such practice contradicts the centuries-old church tradition going back to the early Christian community. In the Christian tradition, bishops have always been regarded as direct spiritual successors of the apostles, from whom they received special grace to guide the people of God and special responsibility to protect the purity of faith, to be symbols and guarantors of the unity of the Church. The consecration of women bishops runs counter to the mode of life of the Saviour Himself and the holy apostles, as well as to the practice of the Early Church.
In our opinion, it was not a theological necessity or issues of church practice that determined the decision of the General Synod of the Church of England, but an effort to comply with the secular idea of gender equality in all spheres of life and the increasing role of women in the British society. The secularization of Christianity will alienate many faithful who, living in the modern unstable world, try to find spiritual support in the unshakable gospel’s and apostolic traditions established by Eternal and Immutable God.
The Russian Orthodox Church regrets to state that the decision allowing the elevation of women to episcopal dignity impedes considerably the dialogue between the Orthodox and the Anglicans, which has developed for many decades, and contributes for further deepening of divisions in the Christian world as a whole.