Photo: Wiki/The Voice of Hassocks

On the vote against women Bishops

I am personally relieved the legislation failed but sorry at the perceived high profile slight to women and hurt felt by proponents. Since hardly any traditionalist, conservative evangelical or traditional Catholic, wanted what it provided it was seen as a useless, mean spirited offering to faithful Christians.

We will do better to do as they are doing in Wales and agree a new church order that provides for traditionalists as foundation for consecrating women bishops rather than the other way round. It’s not just the provision of male bishops that we require but bishops in the apostolic succession as operative in the Roman Catholic, Orthodox and some Lutheran traditions.

What’s at stake for traditional Catholics is certainty about Christ’s presence in the Eucharist which, though the gift of the Holy Spirit, is linked in their understanding to the celebrant‘s ordination in historic succession.

Anglicans differ – we are a rich diversity as seen in today’s debate – but we’re held together by commitment under God to scripture, creeds and episcopacy. To make the last a source of division is unthinkable in the wider Catholic traditions. Even so the Holy Spirit blesses Christians in churches with or without episcopacy and without the ministry of women every church would be a loser. It’s a complicated scenario!

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