I was surprised when I opened The Church Times today to discover that all of the 11 Letters to the Editor discussing the vote in Synod were in favour of woman in the Episcopate and most condemned “traditionalists”. One in particular really annoyed me! It said that the Measure provides traditionalists with more than they seem to believe. It means, it is argued, that a woman bishop or a male bishop who ordains woman will automatically appoint a traditionalist male bishop for those who petition for alternative liturgical and pastoral functions. It states that pastoral sensitivity would preclude any other action.
The experience of many priests and parishes who have the present protection of the Act of Synod and the Resolutions know exactly what that “pastoral sensitivity” is like under some of the Diocesan Bishops who have done everything in their power to undermine them. The letter argues that there is no need for anything to be enshrined in law because nobody except a traditionalist bishop would take on the task because it would put them in an impossible situation. Really? I wouldn’t stake money on it, personally.
It baffles me that there were no letters from those who oppose the Measure; perhaps nobody could be bothered to write to the Church Times as they recover from the shock that the CofE doesn’t really want them unless they are prepared to tow the line. All the talk about “we love you” and “we feel your pain” is the biggest load of baloney. They don’t love us and they couldn’t give a fig about our pain. The sooner we are lanced from them, as far as most of them are concerned, the better. And for some to say that there is an honoured place for us really takes the biscuit. Obviously the message “that a Code of Practice will not do” has not penetrated the minds of some people. So I reiterate: A CODE OF PRACTICE WILL NOT DO – not today, not tomorrow, not ever.