Forward in Faith and Women Bishops
July 15, 2010 § 5 Comments
Yes, I know, there’s almost nothing new to say about F i F and what it thinks about women bishops. But the Bishop of Fulham has released a statement which made me think. You can read it in full at Thinking Anglicans
In it he says this:
the abolition of the PEVs is proposed, which will leave our constituency in an intolerable position. All we would be allowed under the draft Measure as it now stands is access to a male bishop, whose own beliefs need not coincide with ours. That is sexism writ large.
There’s been quite a lot of this: not only are there to be women bishops, but the status of the bishops designated to care for those who cannot in conscience receive the ministry of a woman bishop cannot be guaranteed.
The Measure does indeed simply talk about a ‘male’ bishop (well, it’s not going to be a woman, is it?). But it also talks about the ability of a bishop to state that he will not ordain women, and talks about a Code of Practice which will make the kind of episcopal ministry which F i F want perfectly clear.
Two things here:
1. John Barton’s point in the debate on Saturday: it is in no one’s interest to designate F i F type parishes to the care of someone that parish does not recognise as acceptable.
2. John Broadhurst, the Bishop of Fulham, is not a PEV. Unless I’ve got it utterly wrong, he’s exactly the kind of Bishop envisaged by the Measure – someone designated locally rather than by law to provide ministry across a diocese (and in some other places too). The Bishop of Whitby does the same kind of job for the Diocese of York, so we don’t see an enormous amount of the Bishop of Beverley round here. No need – there’s a nominated Bishop who passes all the tests.
If I have got it wrong then I’m sure someone will tell me. If not, then John Broadhurst can’t moan about the loss of PEVs if he has proved for some years that they aren’t necessary. Operating under a Code can work, can’t it? Ask the Diocese of London.