Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Anglo-Catholics warned of split threat in UK

Sustained wrangling marred much of a Forward in Faith special post-General Synod assembly in London on Saturday as delegates argued over the nature and structure of a Church of England with female bishops.
Anglo-Catholics warned of split threat in UK

The traditionalists' divisions were notably on display as delegates clashed over whether parishes should be urged to withhold their quotas if insufficient protection is given to them if and when females start donning mitres.

The sharp differences caused one priest delegate - who asked not to be named - to be heard to say as the assembly ended: "Forward in Faith? It should be renamed Backwards in Bitterness."

And bitterness emerged just as the extraordinary assembly began. A surprise attempt to scupper the already prepared agenda for the gathering was made by the Rev Donald Minchew of the Southwark diocese.

In a caustic broadside evidently aimed at the movement's council, its governing body, he declared: "I really thought the days of the politburo were over."

This was a reference to the agenda providing for fewer than 90 minutes for questions - during an assembly set to last for five hours.

Fr Minchew ringingly added: "This [the agenda] is more tightly controlled than the result of a Russian general election."

But the move by the 60-year-old vicar of St Michael's, Croydon, got nowhere. When his "scrap the agenda so we can have more debate" demand was put to the vote only about a dozen hands were raised in support - and nearly 400 went up against.

Later clashing comments centred on what traditionalists consider to be an entirely inadequate code of practice which is being offered to protect them from women bishops. Read more
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