Vox Pont.

By DeusExMacintosh

After a special service at Westminster Abbey later, the Queen is to open the Church of England’s general synod. The synod gets the honour of a royal inauguration because this is the established, state Church and the Queen is its supreme governor.

The synod – the Church’s legislative body – is the only institution outside Parliament that can make laws, even if it does have to get its decisions approved by a special parliamentary committee.

One of the most important laws likely to emerge in the synod’s five-year term starting on Tuesday is the introduction of women bishops.

It has already been a debate that has deeply divided traditionalists from progressives, and led some on the Catholic wing of the Church to say they will take up the Pope’s offer of a place in the Roman Catholic Church.

To many outside the Church – and to some Anglicans as well – so much anguish and dispute over what they regard as a logical progression from the ordination of women priests 16 years ago is unaccountable.

But for traditionalists – from both Anglo-Catholic and Protestant backgrounds – there is something fundamental at stake.

Some see it as part of a struggle for the soul of the Church, suggesting that the future starting with this new synod will bring in a more liberal Anglicanism which has less time for traditionalist values.

They point to the growing “feminisation” of the Church as a cause for concern.

Since women were first ordained as Anglican priests, they have come to make up almost a third of the Church’s clergy. Church statistics show that in the next two decades, no fewer than a quarter of its full-time paid clergy will retire, the great majority of them men.

BBC News

This funnie is not actually original, having been taken from a genuine quote I still remember from a man in a dress chap in a cassock outside the CofE Synod which originally approved women’s ordination. It would be nice if Robert Piggot could go through the BBC television archives and identify/locate him to see if he dropped his wife and went Catholic or has changed his views given the excellence of women celebrants over the past sixteen years.

UPDATE: Queenie did indeed give them the ‘rocket up the cassock’ as predicted by Dave Bath, though not on the issue of women leading the church unfortunately.

People of faith do not have a monopoly on virtue as British society was now “more diverse and secular”, the Queen told the Church of England today in an address to its governing body.

Speaking at Church House, central London, she told members of General Synod that believers and atheists were equally able to contribute to the prosperity and wellbeing of the country.

The Queen, who is supreme governor of the Church of England, said: “In our more diverse and secular society, the place of religion has come to be a matter of lively discussion. It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue and that the wellbeing and prosperity of the nation depend on the contribution of individuals and groups of all faiths and none.”

The Guardian


  1. Jacques Chester
    Posted November 24, 2010 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    They point to the growing “feminisation” of the Church as a cause for concern.

    I was not aware Jesus was the shootin’, fishin’, huntin’, drinkin’, fartin’ sort of messiah. What about all the poofy stuff about loving everyone, especially the mongrels you hate?

  2. Posted November 24, 2010 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    do you reckon “vicar of dibley” made any difference to attitudes? Just as there was “Yes, Minister” then “Yes, Prime Minister”, can we have “Bishop from Dibley”?

    As to feminization… parthenogenesis said to produce the founder of the religion, is basically a cloning process, and can only produce XX females. So feminization of xtianity is entirely appropriate.

  3. derrida derider
    Posted November 24, 2010 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    A small point, but the tykes do not insist that converting priests drop their wives. There have been married Catholic priests for centuries – mostly converts from Orthodox churches, but the odd proddie too.

  4. Posted November 24, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    I’d hope queenie can give them a rocket up the cassocks with one of her addresses with her typical between-the-lines plausible-deniability tirades (like her maggie thatcher speeches) to get those at the synod to do the right thing.

    Hell, if Lambeth and Buckingham palaces don’t have the same ideas, and couldn’t craft co-ordinated addresses that’d make those at the synod look a right pack of nasty nongs if they vote the wrong way, i’ll eat my helmet.

    I wonder if there is anything in the fine print of the “standing orders” between monarch, synod, and parliament that allows monarch, archbishop and parliament to issue some kind of executive order to either allow female bishops and archbishops, to appoint a bishop when one dies or goes senile, or even to enforce equal opportunity requirements on the church if the church is also subject to building codes, occupational health and safety, liability for stuffups, etc.

    After all, why shouldn’t a female chair-of-the-board not have a female CEO reporting to her, why not female senior managers?

  5. kvd
    Posted November 24, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Come on Dave. Some things must simply remain sacred mens’ business. Next you’ll be agitating for equal prizemoney at Wimbledon, and entry to the Royal Enclosure at Ascot.

  6. Peter Patton
    Posted November 24, 2010 at 4:47 pm | Permalink


    I’m afraid for me, the Vicar of Dibley convinced me to oppose any change that might result in Dawn French banging on about how fat she is once more on the tele. If that means only blokes can frock up in the CofE vicarhood, so be it. Whatever it takes, and all that.

  7. Posted November 24, 2010 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    I’m wondering if it is just a case of men in dresses not wanting a woman to wear the pants.

  8. Peter Patton
    Posted November 24, 2010 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    I can’t understand why Roman Catholic leaders are not laughed out of town every time they get on the tele and open their gobs about gay marriage.

    They stand there looking like a combination of Liberace, Dick Emory, and Cher, earnestly waving their fingers about sex being sacred only between a married man and woman, thus they would never in a million years do anything so shocking as get naked with a sheilah, while on the channel, the entire world is weekly served up yet another scandal of Roman Catholic priests rogering little boys!

  9. Peter Patton
    Posted November 24, 2010 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    Another delicious irony about the Roman Catholics getting so uppity demanding the State not change its legal definition of marriage is another piece of State legislation regulating marriage – the Act of Settlement 🙂

  10. Posted November 24, 2010 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    ‘The Catholic Church of the Eastern Rite’ — ie, the Ukrainians — get the married Catholic priest dispensation as well. They look really Orthodox, and so do their churches, but their theology and liturgy is genuine Catholic.

    One of the obscure bits of info I picked up writing my first novel.

  11. Posted November 24, 2010 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    Actually Dave, religious organisations are currently exempt from the strictures of the Equality Bill that would ordinarily make it illegal for any large commercial organisation to sexually discriminate in its leadership (I think the military is the only other one). Which is odd because there is an argument based on the historical precedent that Bishoprics are in fact the earliest form of Corporation we have. If their property is protected with secular law should it not also be administered on the same basis?

  12. Patrick
    Posted November 25, 2010 at 3:59 am | Permalink

    Wrong way around, DEM, the argument is that if they are exempt everybody else should be too 🙂

  13. Posted November 25, 2010 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    Churches are like political parties.

    They both

    1. are exempt from things like truth in advertising, spam and privacy regs;

    2. require belief in a dogma;

    3. promise a paradise if you stick with them, hell if you choose their antagonists.

  14. Patrick
    Posted November 25, 2010 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Sounds like the greens…!

  15. Peter Patton
    Posted November 25, 2010 at 11:41 am | Permalink


    Like political parties or trade unions? 😉

  16. Posted November 25, 2010 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    At one stage, canons could have concubines but not wives. Legal children risked the alienation of Church property. Which canon law put strong bans on — hence lay landlords were much more likely to grant serfs freedom than clerical landlords, since such freedom would involve alienation of Church property.

    The Orthodox allow parish priests to be married, but not bishops and above — folk who control serious amounts of property.

    Posted November 27, 2010 at 2:55 am | Permalink

    Obviously a, “male chauvinist Piggot”, this Piggot?
    Or was a case of gender Piggotry?

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