Thursday, 24 May 2012

“The Battered Bride of Christ” ?????????

In case you haven’t seen this article from the Telegraph I am reproducing it below and I am grateful to Father Michael Gallop’s blog for bringing it to my attention. You can read Father’s Blog here

In an article on her blog titled “The Battered Bride of Christ”, The Rev Miranda Threlfall-Holmes, questioned why women should stay in an “abusive institution”.Her comments follow moves by bishops to alter proposals to allow the ordination of women bishops.The Church's House of Bishops met behind closed doors in York to finalise long – awaited legislation designed to clear the way for a vote at the General Synod in July enabling the ordination of women as bishops.But the bishops added an amendment that would allow traditionalist parishes that refused to accept the authority of a woman not only to opt out but also to have an alternative bishop chosen to be "consistent with the theological convictions".Following the move, Dr Threlfall-Holmes, acting principal of Ustinov College at Durham University, wrote: "The question for women priests today is: do we stay with this abusive institution?“Do we stay, hoping it will get better? Do we stay, because we feel called by God to be in this marriage? Do we stay, thinking we can continue to try to change it from the inside? Or do we flee to the nearest refuge (let's ignore the fact for now that they rarely exist) — leaving home, family, community, and our dreams behind?"She later removed the post, which also compared the bishops to a man who gouged his wife's eyes out and then kept her in the house for 12 hours to stop her getting medical attention."

What a sad state of affairs that a Christian feels so angry that they find it necessary to be so vitriolic about fellow Christians. What a paradox that today’s Gospel reading highlights the prayer of Jesus just before his Crucifixion: “Father, may they be one in us as you are in me and I am in you, so that the world may believe it was you who sent me.”

I believe women are unable to be priests or bishops and I have come to that conclusion through theological reasoning. It is not because I am a misogynist or a woman hater but because I believe that scripture, tradition and reason, the three guides for making decisions of this nature, are not met. However, I have always tried to treat women priests with courtesy as I believe this is the right way to behave. Despite disagreeing with much that some of our Bishops and women priests do, and say, I have never felt it necessary to be as insulting as this blog.

If the article on the Rev. Miranda Thelfall-Holmes Blog is, in any way, indicative of the future Church of England. may God help us, and have mercy on us. She poses the question “Do we stay” My reply is NO – go in the peace of Christ.


  1. Like you, Father, I do not accept that women can be either priests or bishops - just as men cannot be nuns. In my opinion Ms Thelfall-Holmes's pronouncements render her unfit for priesthood, irrespective of our views on women priests.

    I can only assume that she represents the Church militant......

  2. “Father, may they be one in us as you are in me and I am in you, so that the world may believe it was you who sent me.”

    So why not move aside from the Threlfal Holmes' of this world and witness to unity in the Ordinariate?

  3. No one is forcing Miranda and her sisters to stay. However, why don't we all stop behaving like children and make room for each other? There is plenty of space without any fear of overcrowding after all.