Saturday, 14 November 2009

Revision Committee

There has been an announcement today that members of the revision committee have reversed their earlier ruling in favour of statutory transfer. The reason given for this about turn was that "members of the Committee were unable to identify a basis for specifying particular functions" and that " as a result all of the proposals for vesting particular functions by statute were defeated."
This is obviously good news for those campaigning for the full recognition of women's ministry and the right for women to exercise that ministry without compromise or discrimination. I believe it is the only truly workable solution as statutory transfer would have led to a a two-tier episcopate and left us with a bitter legacy and divisions which would continue for decades.

The decision is not such good news for those in the Church opposed to the ordination of women and many are already bitterly complaining on blogs and websites that they feel unchurched and undervalued. I suspect that many Anglo Catholics, even those who have applauded the Pope's offer as generous, will draw back from taking advantage of that generosity given the theological constraints - the need to accept Papal infallibility being one - and also the practical difficulties of such a transfer of allegiance. For evangelicals opposed to women's ordination, jumping ship to Rome was never an option.
So, given that the decision of the Committee holds and is carried through Synod, and I fervently hope and believe that it will, what solace is there for the groups who perceive themselves as "losing out"? Well, many are writing as if they have forgotten that there will still be delegated transer, most likely governed by a code of conduct to which all parties must have regard and must not ignore, that hopefully there will be a spirit of co-operation and grace and also that their feeling of being "unchurched" and marginalised is common and has been common to many groups in the Church, including countless women whose ministries have already been sacrificed or curtailed and for whom this decision has come too late or at least not one moment too soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment