Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Messy Church ...

I doubt anyone thinks yesterday was a good day for the Church of England. Those in favour of the measure are hurt and dismayed; those opposed know that all they have gained is some breathing space before it begins again. remember, the Church of England has decided in principle that they will have women bishops ... all the wrangling is about how that decision will be implemented. Rowan Williams ends his tenure as Archbishop of Canterbury on a note of failure; Bishop Justin Welby, ABC-elect is off to a rocky start even before he moves into Lambeth Palace, having thrown his weight behind the measure. 

The 'yes' campaign said some pretty strong things in the media in advance of the vote about what it would say about the CofE if the measure was not passed ... medieval, misogynist, irrelevant, of a lesser ethical standard than secular society ... and those would have been some of the milder comments ... what kind of public damage has been done to the CofE now that the measure has failed? Can that kind of language be stepped back from in the aftermath?

One knee-jerk reaction was that Parliament might intervene in some way ... I'm sure that would do a lot for the Church's credibility ... Fr Michael Gallop over at Let Nothing You Dismay is doing a good job of tracking the reaction from various quarters ... no point in my trying to duplicate his effort, so you can check it out there if you are interested ... (also in the interests of not reinventing the wheel, Fr Dwight Longenecker, a former CofE priest who is now a Catholic priest living in the US, gives a summary of what's going on here; and for some specifically CofI comment, look here )

One reaction I find curious is from some Catholic commentators in the UK is in the vein 'I'm glad I'm Catholic and this doesn't effect me.' They might want to wait on that one. What if Parliament does intervene? The suggested route has been to remove exemptions in the equality legislation that applies to Churches ... might that not impact on the Catholic Church?  Although, I suppose in truth that little ship might perish on the rocks of the EU. However, yesterday is a very large rock dropped into the water; the ripples will spread out, large ripples at that; & it is too soon to say who will not be swamped. 

So, a lot to reflect upon. And every reason for those within and without the CofE to continue praying. 

(by the way, sorry if this post seems to consist of mostly random thoughts ... as I mentioned yesterday, I'm a bit under the weather: a combination of 'man flu' & coughing my lungs out (sorry if that was 'too much information'!); my head hurts & I'm 'dosed up' as they say ... if I drank alcohol I'd be on the hot whiskeys ... not because they do any good, but because after a few, you don't care anymore about the cold! Where's the ministry of healing when you need it?)


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