Friday, 9 October 2009

Of Holy Orders

The revision committee to look into admitting women to the episcopate, established by General Synod of the Church of England, has made enough progress to publish its findings. They can be found here.
The response by Forward in Faith can be found here.
The gist is that there will be bishops who take their jurisdiction from statute. Therefore their powers to ordain deacons, priests and bishops and to lead orthodox congregations will derive not from the mood of a diocesan bishop but from statute law.
I do not know about you but this needs a lot of thinking, my first question is how does this fit in with Scripture, Reason and Tradition? Is it another innovation to smooth an older one? I can see that at least this is a good point of departure, but as far as I can see that is what I take it to be. It seems that the question asked was how can we make women as bishops, and this might answer that question. My question is the one of the Church Universal (down the ages and everywhere): What are Holy Orders?
I do not wish to unpack further at this stage, but there is quite a LOT of unpacking to do.


Sir Watkin said...

The use of the word "statute" in the Revision Committee's press release is unfortunate, because it raises an unnecessary Erastian hare.

Paragraph 4 shows that the reference is to the Measure that would be passed by the General Synod to enable the consecration of women as bishops (and not to a (secular) Act of Parliament).

Synodical Measures are considered to be part of statute law (hence the use of the term here), but obviously aren't statutes in the everyday sense of the word.

Edwin said...

It still entails the PEVs or their updated versions to be 'in communion' with women who think they are bishops but are not; so it will not do.