Women bishops ‘in my lifetime’, insists Archbishop John Sentamu

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The Church of England will definitely have women bishops “in my lifetime”, claims Dr John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York.


The second most powerful man in the church said that it was “very disappointing” it had not happened during this General Synod but he was sure the principle had been accepted.

His comments came the day after the church tore up plans to ordain women as bishops despite overwhelming support in the parishes.

After a tortuous 12-year legal process, which secured strong backing in all but two of the 44 dioceses, the move was denied final approval by just six votes.

It could be many years before it is discussed again.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4′s Today programme, Dr Sentamu said: ““It is very disappointing because we have been working at this for a very long time.

“Everybody accepts women bishops. The timing is not an easy one but I am one of those that strongly believes…there will be in my lifetime.

“The principle has already been accepted by the general synod and in all the dioceses so what we need to do is find the legislation.

“I have had for the first time, traditional Catholics, conservative evangelicals saying that whatever happens with this measure we will work with it but if it doesn’t we will continue to work towards a good legislation.

“I want to take them at their word. They have said publicly they will work to make it come about.”

Written By: Richard Alleyne and John Bingham
continue to source article at telegraph.co.uk

31 COMMENTS

  1. I think protestantism is the closest spiritual mechanisim , If I had to choose one , to persue an expressive , independent society. And it is only a good thing that women exist at the heart of it. So I lament this decision

  2. These people just make it up as they go along. John Sentamu is supposedly a conservative evangelical. He is quoted:

    “Archbishop of York tells David Cameron not to overrule the Bible and allow gay marriage”

    from the Daily Hate:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new

    So he’s big on what the bible says, as he is a conservative evangelical after all.

    Now what does the bible say about women in leadership, about women speaking in church?

    1 Tim 2

    11 A woman[a] should learn in quietness and full submission.12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man;[b] she must be quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 15 But women[c] will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

    1 Cor 14:

    34 Women[f] should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says.35 If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.[g]

    The bible is utterly unequivocal about women in ministry (Its also total bullshit…) Yet, Sentamu claims that it is being overturned with respect to gay marriage. But not apparently in his support of women bishops.

    Please explain dear Archbishop of York. No, on second thoughts dont, I know what the semantic gymnastics will be like. I’ll lose the will to live…..

    SG

  3. I simply cannot fathom why this is headline news.Who on Earth is interested in the ongoing saga of these silly people and their pathetic predudices! I only hope that ‘In my lifetime’ we kick the 26 out of the House of Lords as part of a radical shake up of our corrupt and vested- interest protecting legislature .

  4. Of course the CofE does not work to the normal rules of democracy with majority votes!

    Women bishops: Church has ‘lost credibility’ says Rowan Williams – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-2

    The Church of England has
    “lost a measure of credibility” after rejecting the introduction of women bishops, the Archbishop of Canterbury has said.

    The Most Reverend Rowan Williams told the ruling general synod that the Church could be seen as “wilfully blind” to modern trends and priorities.

    While 324 synod members voted for women bishops, Church voting rules mean 122 votes against were enough to block it.
    ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬
    The key concerns of opponents within the Church are over provisions for traditionalist parishes opposed to women bishops to request supervision by a stand-in male bishop.

    Critics of the legislation said it did not provide enough safeguards for the objectors.
    ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬
    The minority within the Church who opposed the measure and gathered enough votes to block it in the House of Laity see it differently.

    They believe they did a good job in blocking an
    unsatisfactory piece of legislation which did not do enough to protect the place in the Church of those who think as they do. 
    An appeal to public opinion cuts little ice with them, for they think Christians must sometimes take a stand against the world and its beliefs. 

  5. In fairness to the CofE, it did try within the limits of its absurd voting rules. Both bishops and clergy voted yes by the necessary two thirds. If the UK Government had to win a two thirds vote in the Commons, then the Lords, and then in a referendum, nothing would ever get done. I reckon Sentamu is secretly pleased it got voted down though.

  6. What?  First of all, there are at least 30,000 different varieties of “Prostestantism”, ranging from the idiotic but mealy-mouthed and harmless flavors to the idiotic but dangerous factions. Yet even the so-called harmless varieties, such as Methodism or Unitarianism perhaps, are built on the notion that a God-man was sent to die in order to save humanity from eternal hellfire. So I fail to see how Protestantism in any form would qualify as a useful model to build a society on. 

  7. I look at the United States and I look at the UK and I think for whatever is wrong , theres alot right. They have spread and upheld a way of life that I am thankful for. Mind you , I know there alot of anti colonialist out their. But without power these nations would have being powerless to do anything when they were needed most. I’m thinking about the battle with Communisim and Fascisim.

  8. The stark, sordid truth is that this is all about power and money and has nothing to do with the genuine religious beliefs of anyone in the Church of England.

    In a liberal country like the UK, there is nothing to stop anyone joining or setting up any church they like. 

    Anyone who follows the general Anglian protestant belief system, but believes that women should be able to be bishops, could set up a church that allows women to be bishops within that church.

    And those Anglicans who disagree with women being bishops can remain in a church that only allows men to be bishops.

    Everyone can be a winner. They can all be members of a church where they are not in any way compromising their beliefs.

    So you have to ask, why is anyone moaning about the results of this vote? Why don’t the majority who wanted to change the rules simply set up their own church and appoint all the women bishops they like? Why do they prefer to  remain trapped in a compromise?

    It’s because if they split (a) they won’t have all the money and property of the established church and (b) they won’t have any seats in parliament. And those on both sides of the debate realise they all risk losing these privileges if the church splinters.

    They’ve shown their hand. Their privileges are based on nothing but a hunger for power and wealth.

  9. I agree with you that it is all about power and money. But, additionally, watching the news and listening to them all, don’t you just think – why don’t they all just give up this charade, for goodness sake?  All these (really political, as you say) machinations in the name of an imaginary  being, oh it’s just so stupid and really quite comical, all the time being really very annoying.

  10. why don’t they all just give up this charade, for goodness sake?  All these (really political, as you say) machinations in the name of an imaginary  being, oh it’s just so stupid and really quite comical, all the time being really very annoying.

    Yes, it is comical and annoying at the same time. I don’t know if it is all because they are so wrapped up in themselves that they can’t see a way out of this mess of their own making, or because they are all too embarrassed at admitting they’re wrong, or because they actually share that peculiar Christian characteristic of needing to feel “persecuted” in some way.

    Another thing that annoys me, as with so many other topics, is why no journalist ever asks the obvious question. In this case, why don’t those who want women bishops have a church where they have women bishops and those that don’t don’t? They could even all remain within an overall Church of England, but just have 2 branches, one with women bishops and one without. They could have a 3rd branch for “practising” homosexual bishops if they want. They can set it up exactly as they like – THEY make up the rules!

    GGGGGRRRRRRRRRR!

  11.  In a liberal country like the UK, there is nothing to stop anyone joining or setting up any church they like. 

    Anyone who follows the general Anglian protestant belief system, but believes that women should be able to be bishops, could set up a church that allows women to be bishops within that church.

    Except that if you leave the CoE you leave behind all the money, churches, cathedrals, seats in the Lords,  status as the established church of the UK etc.  Much better to stay in the CoE and try and drive the other lot out.  
    Michael

  12. Church attendance is falling in the UK (and not before time) because Christianity is seen (quite rightly) as being increasingly irrelevant in a modern society partly because of its patronising sexism in insisting that because women were in the past prevented from holding high office within the Church of England, they should continue to be denied that right.

    The priests and bishops (the ones that make their living from sucking the blood from society) recognising these facts, and realising that this means they will eventually be bankrupt and out of work attempted to introduce a measure to make the C of E slightly less irrelevant.   I am therefore enormously cheered up by the news that the Synod as a whole has turned round and effectively said “We’re proud of our irrelevance and ignorance, and will fight any attempt to drag us out of the middle ages”.

    Good work chaps! Keep doing what you’re doing and one day, we will look back and thank you for removing yourselves from our lives!

  13. An all too predictable outcome.  The almost extinct ‘weak tea and victoria sponge appreciation brigade’ unable to come to terms with the fact that women are psychologically equipped to serve tea and make cakes and tell absurd stories as well as any of the old farts currently in charge of the tea room is not newsworthy.  I do hope however we get a stop press when they run out of tea leaves and the last silly bugger turns the lights out.

    Why any self respecting intelligent female should exert any effort on wanting to become a bishop in the CofE is much more interesting.  Is there a mental aberration that compels them to aspire to such stultifyingly low ambition and self deprecatory behaviour?  Surely such matters are only suitable for mentally crippled men who can’t find anything sensible to do for a living other than dress up in frocks and try to impress people by talking utter shite.

  14. As other posters have commented, this is not about women as such but about CoE property. As S G has pointed out, the Bible is quite clearly anti women clerics, but at what point should the CoE accept the Bible? The art of cherry picking scripture, or entirely ignoring it, has long been the tradition of the CoE, bending and twisting with the wind, so that no-one knows what it actually stands for!

    IMO, Marx got it right in his preface to Capital:

    “The English Established Church, e.g., will more readily pardon an attack on 38 of its 39 articles than on 1/38th of its income.”

  15. Amen à cela!

    Far too much coverage of this on the BBC, but it is to be expected I guess.

    The most disturbing part of it for me is listening to women who live in a ‘civilised’ country, justifying the status quo by referring to scriptural ‘proof’ of male superiority over them…

    They don’t seem to understand that the only reason they believe that is because a MAN told them to believe it!

    It seems true female emancipation still has a long way to go…

  16. Yes, they are welcome to setting up their own churches but the self interest is too strong; they know they would lose all the well established perks, don’t they? Also, it was painful to watch the outgoing Archbishop being utterly ashamed of the result – he knows that the Church better move ‘with the society’ out of the Middle Ages, in some respects at least; he seemed embarrassed by the whole fiasco.  I remember him having a debate with Richard Dawkins at Oxford during which I thought it was very obvious that he didn’t really believe in any of the Christian fundamentals.  I remember wondering why he just didn’t leave, and was not surprised when he did.  Of course, he is going on to teach now or something, but I still think he should just join the Clergy Project instead.  Most of them should do that but , as you say, maybe ‘they can’t see a way out’.

  17. Of course the misogynists of the various churches love a good cherry pick. But there are verses that can be interpreted differently. I guess that is the problem with the whole contradictory piece of nonsense. Too many cooks I suppose and no continuity man at the redaction process.

    “In the New Testament, we find many women mentioned, some by name, some not…. They are named as co-workers, some of them seem to be part of missionary couples that go out and help convert others to Christianity. We find less evidence of this as you move into the 2nd century and the 3rd century; as Christianity becomes more established, and a male hierarchy of the clergy is developed, women tend to get more and more excluded…

    “GALATIANS 3:28 There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

    ACTS 21:9 He [Phillip] had four unmarried daughters who prophesied.

    There are many more examples of women handling a leading role in early Christianity.

    It appears that even the early church patriarch, Clement of Alexandria seen the worth of women to the church.

    “He [Clement] is supportive of women playing an active role in the leadership of the church, and provides a list of women he considers inspirational, which includes both Biblical and Classical Greek figures.” 

    The first epistle of Timothy is widely accepted as a forgery, but that doesn’t seem to bother the church fuckwits that cherry pick it.

    Just saying.

  18. Really accurate and brilliant post Ignorant Amos. If looked at in its own time and in context christianity (and perhaps Islam) was a distinct improvement on what was already there for women who didn’t fare well under the existing regimes. Christianity probably did represent enlightened and liberal thinking in its time because women did initially have power and respect until men regained the status quo and returned them to their places. 

    Re this CofE decision, it is worth bearing in mind that it was an anomoly in voting that gave the result rather than the wishes of the church hierachy and the bulk of its membership. They were largely in favour of women bishops and will fight this decision. That anomoly can’t be seen as representative of the whole, rather as the extremist minority.

    If you then look beyond the actual silly role of the CofE as worshipping a sky fairy and see it instead as an organisation, what you see is an organisation that’s apparently forward looking in its desire for genuine equality in its power strutures  (bishops being influential within that structure).

    Add to that its support for many issues concerning women here and abroad, such as sex slaves, maternal care in the third world or the mumsnet type news not boobs campaign for more positive role models for their daughters (and sons),  and you can see why they aren’t suffering a huge loss of credibility with women whilst we are!

    So I’m not sure we can be that smug about the CofE just because they believe in magic. Perhaps we need to move with the times as well.

  19. Mark123 – So I’m not sure we can be that smug about the CofE just because they believe in magic. Perhaps we need to move with the times as well.

    While the move towards equality by the CofE majority, is commendable, we should bear in mind in a UK context, that they are still in the foot-dragging religious rear-guard, long after civil law has recognised rights to gender-equality in organisations without religious exemptions. 
    We should also remember who lobbied for those religious exemptions, when the equality legislation was drawn up!.

  20. Maybe – but whatever the CofE has been in the past this is a quantum leap forward for them. I thought it would be a vote lost across the board from a load of elderly irrelevant men, not one lost on an anomoly by a minority of dinosaurs. I was surprised at the strength of feeling in favour of women bishops in an organisation that is an anachronism really. Though a nicer one in the world of religions.

    Our local vicar is in the paper bemoaning the vote and looking forward to a time soon when there will be women bishops. Her congregation is with her -men and women. 

    None of which would be  worth caring about were it not for the fact that every atheist women I know now sees the CofE, for various reasons, as more enlightened, more up to date, more pro women and frankly more understanding and relevant than us.  I’ve endured an afternoon of hell listening to my christian, muslim and female atheist friends reading dubious style comments about women just from this forum to me. So I don’t feel I can be smug anymore. Nor offer anything of any use to any atheist v belief debate at school any more.

  21.  
    Mark123
    Maybe – but whatever the CofE has been in the past this is a quantum leap forward for them.

    I agree they are way ahead of the fundamentalist protestants, the RCC, and Islam! 
    It’s just that they are a long way behind Humanists and the culture of the Secular Liberal democracies.

      I’ve endured an afternoon of hell listening to my christian, muslim and female atheist friends reading dubious style comments about women just from this forum to me.

    You should be wary of comparing fanciful idealised images of the attributes of “TRRrrooo Xtians” which believers kid themselves are typical of their group members, with the harsh realities of  tribal behaviour, – against perceived and preached straw-man evils of “atheist outsiders”.  Comments should be taken in the context of the situation or culture they are discussing.

    So I don’t feel I can be smug anymore. Nor offer anything of any use to any atheist v belief debate at school any more.

    I am not sure what you mean by “atheist V belief”? 
    The onus of proof is on believers to produce evidence of their god specification.  
    If you are discussing cultural or moral issues this would be Humanism V Specific religions.  There is no unified view among the religious,  and no unified view among atheists.

    It is one of the features of the wishful thinking of “belief without evidence”, that “in-tribe” actions are viewed through rosy spectacles, while “out-tribe” persons are caricatured and demonised without any need to check on the actual situation, or the evidence.

    That is not to say that some atheists cannot have confirmation biases  (in looking at religious activities) just like anyone else.

  22. Not sure I understand your comments about taking their comments out of context as they were read directly from this site and were honestly placed in the context in which they were written – which was often way off topic. I did point out to them that they had come here specifically to find things to criticise but they just stated that that is what this site did with religion so it was hard to argue. Unfortunately the points they made about the comments were blindingly obvious and impossible to disagree with. I was trounced trying to justify them in any context really.

    You’re right the real discussion is humanism v specific religions as it is impossible to argue with belief in a supernatural entity that won’t reveal itself because the very basis of believing in it is having to believe in it without any evidence. Or it isn’t faith and it won’t have granted us free will. You only get a headache arguing that..

    Even then it is difficult as just one religion seems to mean different things to different people. So it becomes humanism v one aspect of religion happening a lot of the time. It is harder than I thought it would be to take the moral/humanist high ground.

    To stay on topic though because the moderators are stricter now, I think the CofE is now attempting to be forward looking, or as forward looking as you can beworking from a 2000 year old rule book.. Whilst I really think we are starting to be seen as less forward looking and backward looking in some of the things we have done.

    It looks like the CofE has looked around, listened to criticisms and decided to become proactive about taking those things on board and listening to what was concerning people. From what I was read and learnt yesterday I think perhaps we are less adept at doing that and better at ignoring any thing that meant changing our own attitudes.

  23.  
    Mark123
    Not sure I understand your comments about taking their comments out of context as they were read directly from this site and were honestly placed in the context in which they were written – which was often way off topic.

    The contexts I was referring to was the context of the topic & comments they were quoting, and the context of their view of “religion”.  Believers often take comments about “religion” to be comments about THEIR religion, even when the discussion thread is about some other denomination or faith. For example, I have heard the term “religion” used in RCC establishments to mean exclusively Catholicism!  It simply would not occur to many of them that you could be talking about Buddhism or Islam! 

    I did point out to them that they had come here specifically to find things to criticise but they just stated that that is what this site did with religion so it was hard to argue.

    Apart from biased comments, there is the issues of the brevity of posts, Assumptions are made as to what brand of religion is being discussed.  Once again many believers are blissfully unaware of the misdeeds of the religious past and present, and may well have listened to the goody-goody images, presented by ignorant or lying preachers.

    Unfortunately the points they made about the comments were blindingly obvious and impossible to disagree with. I was trounced trying to justify them in any context really.

    I encountered a pleasant Xtian with fanciful beliefs that Xtians were good people and why did we criticise them?

    I posted this link to what some of them write to Richard! – http://old.richarddawkins.net/

    Being reasonable, he agreed they were poor representatives of Xtianity.

    Quoting a link to an analysis of the prison population, listed by religion, is also a dampener on goody-Xtian claims.

    It looks like the CofE has looked around, listened to criticisms and decided to become proactive about taking those things on board and listening to what was concerning people.

     

    You must remember that in the CofE (and some other churches) in the UK, many are cultural Xtians with very little of fundamentalism in their thinking, and often with very little knowledge of fundamentalists.   They could easily misread comments about fundamentalist Xtanity,  which are posted on this site, from all over the World!

    The leaders are trying to catch up with the modern liberal attitudes of their flocks, while the die-hard stick-in-the-muds are digging in their heels!

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