Richard Warren

20thc British art and poetry (mainly), plus bits of my own – "Clearly I tap to you clearly along the plumbing of the world" (W S Graham)

Women bishops – over the cliff with General Synod

Off topic for this blog, I know. But when you need to shout, the nearest rooftop is at least somewhere to start.

Breakfast TV and the morning papers say that the Church of England is now “in turmoil”. “Meltdown” hardly does it. “Tailspin”, maybe. In thirty years or less, the national church, in which every person in every street in every parish in the land may claim a stake if they care to, will have become a dispersed, disestablished, reactionary cult, populated by a few nutters.

Women clergy have gone to work this morning dismayed and angry. Many seriously tempted, I don’t doubt, to throw in the towel. In this diocese at least, emails of pastoral support to them from their concerned bishops are conspicuous by their non-existence. Maybe they need their PA’s to do their emails for them. I don’t know.

Who (apart from the Taliban) would contemplate a system in which women could be teachers but never heads, on the check-out but never managers, nurses but never consultants?

And all engineered by a handful of religious rednecks who have used the inertia of the majority to push themselves onto Synod. I nearly wrote “fascists” there, rather than “rednecks”. But to be honest, when we take a cold look at the distasteful, square-headed fundamentalism of Reform and the childish, ultramontane ponciness of Forward in Faith, the term doesn’t look too inappropriate.

Once you boil it down, there simply are no good, rational reasons to oppose the episcopacy of women. Not even simplistic and confused appeals to Scripture. It is pure and shameful misogyny – nothing more, nothing less.

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3 responses to “Women bishops – over the cliff with General Synod

  1. Remittance Girl November 21, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    I think your point about the ‘inertia’ of the majority is extremely well made, by the way. I’m not sure it is exactly ‘inertia’, but it is something very like it. A kind of faith that accommodating the fringes to keep a peaceful house is a ‘godly’ way to go about things. I think there is a positive side to this whole debacle. I think it may prompt the C of E to more aggressively identify its core values. Inclusiveness and equality are two of them. It cannot and should not sacrifice them for a marginally larger membership.

  2. Phil Groom November 22, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    It’s beyond bizarre: established church which has the privilege and responsibility of its highest office holders sitting in the House of Lords — and through inertia, incompetence and a seriously screwed voting system, denies that privilege & responsibility to women. How can this be acceptable under UK equality legislation? Angry? More like blood boiling…

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