And so the chairmen of Reform and the “Catholic” group in Synod have jointly issued two statements one on Monday 18 at 2.27pm and the other on Tuesday 19 at 9.00am.
The first statement tells us that the legislation of women to be admitted to the Anglican episcopate can be blocked in General Synod. The statement contains data of how this might be possible.
The second statement issued the following day is more assertive and declares that the legislation of women to be admitted to the Anglican episcopate will be blocked. This conclusion was arrived at after Reform and the “Catholic” group in Synod swapped lists of candidates. After giving some percentages of possible voting groups this joint statement moves on to say that the “Catholic” group have distanced themselves from the Bishop of Fulham and will remain in the CofE.
Isn’t the CofE lucky! It must be lucky indeed when declaring to remain in her are a group of people who try to threaten its legislative body that with one or two votes they will block something that the majority of that body, though wrongly, want to achieve. Is this what it has come to: “If you do not give me what I want I will block you on the strength of one or two votes”? Apart from the fact that the “Catholic” group in Synod never delivered, if this is what they are up to I want to publicly distance myself from this group.
I am also concerned about a possible merging philosophy in this group that the enemy of my enemy can be my partner. Strange bedfellows indeed. On the one hand, the “Catholic” group distanced themselves from bishop Broadhurst who celebrated the sacraments and ordained priests for their constituency whilst on the other they embed with those who do not believe in fundamentals like the Real Presence and the same sacraments. The mind boggles. Reform are not against the ordination of women, they do not believe the same things as Catholics do in sacramental theology. Reform are against the headship of women which is not necessarily Catholic doctrine. Reform are very strongly committed against people who are in active gay partnerships I wonder if the “Catholic” group shares the same views as Reform and the Catholic Church on this matter.
What really takes me back is the cold tone of these statements. The icy tone of glee as these new partners feel that they have some power to block any legislation. I ask my brothers and sisters in Reform and the “Catholic” group (I think for clarity it must now be renamed as the Society group in Synod) if they really understand the bitterness that the outcome they suggest will cause in the CofE. I think we need to respect the (mistaken) majority in the CofE who want women to be admitted into Anglican Holy Orders. The fact that General Synod has been disgraceful in not providing for some consciences does not give the right to anyone to threat or cause bitterness more then already exists. In this light the Ordinariate looks like the honourable and peaceable way to follow.