Monday, 21 June 2010

Two for Tea

The Archbishops of Anglicanism and The North have signalled their intention to propose jointly in due course an amendment to the draft legislation to enable women to become bishops in the Church in England due to be debated at General Synod in July. This note explains their reasoning.

DRAFT LEGISLATION ON WOMEN IN THE EPISCOPATE

AMENDMENTS TO BE PROPOSED BY THE
ARCHBISHOPS OF ANGLICANISM AND THE NORTH


1. Women are lovely aren't they and the Revision Committee that has looked into them needs much gratitude. Thank you for your discoveries. However, as Archbishops we would like to overturn all that painstaking and already overturned work and impose our own point of view, and expect the Synod to understand that it is episcopally led. We do not want our ecumenical friend Benedict the 16th to get his way and attract out all the sanctimonious nutters from the Church in England in order to fulfil his ambitions when we need them to fulfil ours, such as passing the Anglican Covenant and introducing a stronger Catholic order of which they would approve. We want these people to think that there is good news for them in this Church.

2. The General Synod keeps voting for women bishops, but the Church is not nor should be a democracy. It should be led by bishops under strict biblical scrutiny, which is why we want to close down the Doctrine Commission, the Faith and Order Advisory Group and the House of Bishops' Theological Group and replace them with a hard-line Faith and Order Commission consistent with the coming Anglican Covenant. So we want to push through our proposed amendments. This is consistent with another of those generally infamous 1998 Lambeth Conference Resolutions, this one saying that 'Those who regard women as second class citizens in ministry are as much Anglicans as those who would have women in the priesthood and episcopate'. This resolution fitted nicely with Lambeth 1998 1:10.

3. How can we solve a problem like 'jurisdiction'? Someone other than the diocesan bishop needs to provide episcopal oversight for those who are unable to accept the new situation if the sanctimonious nutters are to stay. The need for such provision is widely accepted, despite the fact that Synod has not accepted it in its representative functions.

4. The Archbishops Rowanov Treetri and John Sendmehome had a cup of tea one day recently. John Sendmehome asked how can these people stay, and Rowanov Treetri spoke at length and in great detail to produce a proposal that has the backing of both men, although John Sendmehome has said he doesn't really understand what Rowanov Treetri was talking about.

5. Motivated by the new Civil Partnership coalition government between David Cameron and Nick Clegg, the idea is of having a 'co-ordinate' jurisdiction where a diocesan bishop holds hands with a male bishop of acceptable lineage to the sanctimonious nutters, although a she will have to wear gloves.

6. The jurisdiction of the diocesan bishop - whether male or female, but always heterosexual - remains intact; he or she would remain the bishop of the whole of the diocese. There would be no holes in the diocese, although he or she might think so.

7. So a parish would say, something like, 'We don't like her, or we don't like him because he was done by a her,' and then him or her would put his or her hands up and say, 'Don't worry, you will not be polluted by me any more. It's a no-go area, even if formally I can go there.'

8. However, instead of him or her sending for another different him for them, the other him would come along on the basis of a piece of paper written out by a committee.

9. So it would be nothing to do with him or her, even though him or her retains jurisdiction over a church over which him or her cannot do anything because another him comes along to do it instead.

10. In the case of the (let's call it) unpolluted parish, one bishop would have jurisdiction over that parish just as before, but be unrecognised as to the fact, and another would have jurisdiction because of the piece of paper.

11. So some people would see him or her and also him in charge, whereas the unpolluted parish would see just him in charge, even though him or her would also be in charge actually and formally, though rather on the quiet side.

12. In the local cathedral the him or her and the brought in him would signify their joint control recognised only by some by carrying their mitres under their arms, thus spreading but also diluting the offence given recently to the visiting Presiding bishop, Kathy Jefferson Shoreline, who is also identified as a woman.

13. In the case where a male sanctimonious nutter or lunatic fundamentalist is the bishop, a parish might ask for episcopal oversight from specifically another woman, but they can whistle into the wind. The Church is not a democracy, nor an equal opportunities employer.

14. The two who have co-ordinate jurisdiction would of course meet and co-ordinate policy in their localities (after all, more than one parish may use him instead of him or her), although the unpolluted parish would have to be convinced that the policy is all his work and not his or hers.

15. We think a few tweaks to the current draft legislation will do it; in fact the r can be removed so that this becomes daft legislation.

16. If passed we believe that the resulting chaos would help disguise the hurt and frustration that would be felt on all sides, much more evenly then than if a clear decision had been made and the pain was felt on one side.

17. The fact that two bishops could hold hands (subject to a female wearing gloves) brings no change whatsoever to the Church of England, despite the fact that nothing like this has ever been dreamt up anywhere else in the Anglican Communion. If the Church in England is reported for this supposed innovation by other members of the Anglican Communion under the provisions of the proposed Anglican Covenant, we shall tell them that foreigners have no jurisdiction in our Church, that after all if we wanted to have five bishops for any one locality we could. We call this polyepiscope or polyputthekettleon as a preferred piece of terminology.

18. We are amazed that no one had thought of this before, including Archbishop Sendmehome.

19. Now it is up to the General Synod to agree with us.

20. In Christ there is no male or female, although actually there is in this Church.

+Rowanov Anglicanus: +Sendmehome Norse

5 comments:

Grandmère Mimi said...

Very good, Adrian. I love the "Women are lovely aren't they" bit. They don't fool me with their sweet talk.

Father Ron said...

Adrian, as always, you have a deliciously inappropriate comment that gets right at the heart of things. Let's hope they don't instigate a 4th House at G. Synod

Erika Baker said...

Love it.
FiF won't accept it, of course, because as one of them kindly explained to me once, what matters is not the stand-in but who has ultimate jurisdiction, because "you could stand in for a monkey and it wouldn't mean anything now, would it."

Tobias Stanislas Haller said...

Well and truly said. Reminds me of Blake's "An Island in the Moon" for the sheer lunacy of it all. The Primates have baked a cake to go with their tea, a cake that will ceremoniously and simultaneously be eaten and kept at the close of General Synod.

Lesley Fellows said...

Superb, although on the Woman being in charge bit there is this to consider:

There was a comment on the new Bishop of Rochester:

I shall, of course, be boycotting Bishop James since his appointment is made by the action of a woman, Elizabeth II, Dei Gratia Britanniarum Regnorumque Suorum Ceterorum Regina, Consortionis Populorum Princeps, Fidei Defensor.
Now I come to think of it, so are all the other bishops, so I'll be boycotting them too...