Forward in Faith and Reform respond to the House of Bishops
From Forward in faith:
Forwardn Faith welcomes the amendments to the draft legislation on women bishops passed by the House of Bishops on Monday.
The first amendment secures the provision of bishops for traditional catholics and conservative evangelicals who are not simply male, but who share the theological convictions of those to whom they will minister. For traditional catholics, that means bishops ordained into the historic episcopate as we understand it. the draft Measure now •ecognises that our position as one of legitimate theological :onviction for which the Church of England must provide. This principle will be enshrined in law.
The second amendment helpfully clarifies that the charism of episcopal ministry derives from the fact of a bishop's ordination, and is not by delegation from another bishop. It was disappointing that the amendment which would have implemented co-ordinate jurisdiction was not passed. The draft Measure stills fails, therefore, to address questions of jurisdiction and authority in the way we need.ND
TheRevd Rod Thomas, Chairman of Reform, said: "We are grateful to those in the House of Bishops who have sought to protect the unity of the Church of England by seeking better provision for those Anglicans who cannot accept the oversight of female bishops.
However we are disappointed that none of the very many compromise options that we and others suggested has been acted upon. While we recognise that these small amendments could be helpful, we are dismayed that the assurance for our future ministry within the Church of England will rest on what a Code of Practice says. Not only have the provisions of this Code yet to be agreed, but also, as we all know, Codes of Practice are frequently changed over time. This means that we are being asked to base our futures on a shifting foundation.
In particular we are concerned that those considering ordination in the future could be discriminated against because of their views on the difference between men's and women's ministries. We will now take further counsel as we consider the exact wording of the revisions:'
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