I have amused myself today reading some of the sanctimonious claptrap written by some of the supporters of women bishops who are rejoicing that General Synod has found, they argue, a solution to the problem of “traditionalists” without diminishing the power of Diocesan Bishops, by agreeing to grant them a Code of Practice. It will, they maintain to a person, be sufficient to keep the whole church united so we can go forward together into the future. There’s no need for any special provision for Traditionalists or Conservative Evangelical other than what the Code of Practice will provide. With this provision, they say, most, if not all will stay and we shall all be one big happy family. In your dreams!!!!!!
Now that this leviathan of legislation is to do the round of the Dioceses, can we look to them for any support? I don’t think so. One writer suggested that they had wanted a one clause piece of legislation but had decided that they wouldn’t oppose a Code of Practice even though they don’t agree with it. I think the logic of that is that they would rather that there was no provision at all. For all the good it will do, there might as well have been, as a Code of Practice, as I have pointed out before, will just not work. And even if it does work for a while it will be within the power of Synod to revoke it as they have done with the other promises they have made. Or a Diocesan Bishop could just choose to ignore it and, I suspect, many will.
The other evening, talking about the women bishops issue, a lady said to me she wished now she hadn’t stayed in the CofE in 1992. The promises that had persuaded her to say, possibly against her better judgement, had been broken and now she felt there was no alternative but to join the Ordinaraite. How right she is.