12 July 2010

Curious comments from Rowan

At the "presidential address" today, the Most Rev'd and Rt Honourable Rowan Williams, Primate of All England made some curious comments which I believe reveal his plans for the future.
Archbishop Sentamu [Archbishop of York - ABY] and I explained when we moved our amendment on Saturday that we didn’t think a further referral to a revision committee would really help us at all at this stage and we remain of that view. We believe that we now need the dioceses to give their wisdom, their prayer and their thought to this process, and to move on.
This is important because he is going to get the bishops involved in the process. Remember that in the Church off England (CoE) bishops rule the diocese and exercise enormous influence and legislative power. Remember, too, that the bishops passed Rowan's wee amendment. Now Rowan wants the help of the powerful house of bishops. And he's already done it.
The second thing I’d like to say is - and we’ve had a meeting of House of Bishops this morning - the House of Bishops will set in hand promptly the necessary work involved in producing a draft code of practice which will be available for debate in Synod, when legislation returns from the dioceses in about 18 months time. That, of course, is the moment at which we’ll enter the final phase of this long and complex process. That is when all the material will be finally on the table.
In one year and six months, he's bringing this vote back to the Synod for another vote. I predict that next time, however, there will not be a vote by orders.
I’m well aware that proposing an amendment as we did on Saturday, without an illustrative code of practice to accompany it, was asking a great deal of the faith and charity of Synod, but time was not on our side there. Nonetheless, the House of Bishops now wishes to proceed with as much speed as humanly possible to get that work done. That work will include trying to see how a code of practice can enshrine the best possible provision in the light of what we’ve heard and what we’ve discussed, in the light of the votes taken on Saturday.
The beginning should be translated "The bishops and I, realize we got our fingers burned, but we were determined to ram this down your throats and will continue to do so until you do what 'we' tell you to do." I say "bishops" because it was in that house where the amendment was overwhelmingly supported. And why not, what old boys' club wants to be forced to admit uppity wimmin? The presence of women just might expose what goes on after lights out in the house of bishops.

Also, notice that word "enshrine." The dictionary defines it as "Preserve (a right, tradition, or idea) in a form that ensures it will be protected and respected." Rowan and the right wing are determined to protect misogyny in the CoE - by legislation, not by custom.
You’ll also be aware that the next phase of committal to the dioceses, it’s possible for the dioceses to shape following motions. So the point I’m making is quite simply there remains work to be done. The House of Bishops will attempt to do the work that they need to do as swiftly and effectively as possible, and we ask for your prayers and support in what will undoubtedly be a very demanding task.

Here it is again. The patriarchy at work will ensure that no male has to submit to the authority of a woman. It absolutely boggles my mind that there are people with this mindset in the 21st century. 
And third and last: obviously Archbishop Sentamu and I would have like our amendment to pass, that’s what you do when you pose amendments, but we would want to encourage those disappointed by the outcome, and also the whole Synod as seeing that not as the end of the road. We are, in the Church of England, in the middle of both a legislative process and a process of discernment, and, I would dare to add, a process of service to one another.

The next phase of the work we try do together, I think has to be very, very closely focused on the service we seek to do one another. And that means of course, working in the interests of those who will be taking different decisions from our own, different paths from our own, so that all may grow up into Christ as best they can.
Again, Rowan is speaking to the right wing who are pissed off that their misogynist selves. Not a word to the women of the church that he is sorry the vote was so close, or that he respects the voice of the Synod that women have a place in the old boys' club called the House of bishops. He is so bloody mined about appeasing the right wing that he is willing to steer the ship onto the reef.

It is bloody difficult to "work together" with a bunch of people who do not to work with the group, but want to rule that group. 

I find it interesting that the ABC uses the phrase "a process of discernment." We in The Episcopal Church are painfully aware of that that phrase actually means. The result of  "a process of discernment" means only one thing to the right wing / Calvinists - we're out of here unless you give us our way. The title to this presidential address should be "We have only begun to  fight."

I feel sorry for the Church of England. They are struggling with difficult times as they try to be relevant to a changed and still changing world. And they are struggling to meat the needs of that changing world while they are ruled by bishops and certain clergy who are both stuck in the middle ages and attempting to hold the whole church hostage to medieval theological irrelevancies.

I'm wondering if all of this huffing and puffing and pleasing the "conservatives" is merely Rowan preparing the way for his submission to Rome when he is finally free to do so. It will certainly look better in the Vatican if Rowan comes with a proven track record of 16th century theology and philosophy.