Women can wear dresses too, says CofE

The CofE is to allow women bishops. Excellent.

The saddest part of the Beeb’s report is the line “although supporters were celebrating a breakthrough, some traditionalists had left the synod chamber in tears.” Well, of course, and that was the teeth-grittingly inevitable bit that had to come. This was not going to happen without a lot of people feeling that the church they love has slapped them in the face. Sadly, the nature of that love is not the fully-featured bi-directional give and take of a proper loving relationship. It’s the love of a stalker for their victim; of Mrs Van Hopper for the future second Mrs De Winter; of Michael Corleone for his family. It’s a love that says “I give you so much because I love you, now you must respect that love and do exactly what I say or else you don’t love me in return.” In any such relationship, for the secondary partner to have a future they can can only tear themselves away, maybe in tears themselves, knowing that any damage caused is only by the first partner refusing to let go and is not their fault.

Don’t let the door hit you as you process out in all your finery.

I remain utterly baffled why anyone who would consider conversion to Catholicism over this issue isn’t a Catholic already. What does the future hold in the eyes of these people from Planet Trad? Especially the ones with wives and kids? I’ll tell you.Palpatine Benedict will regard them as used goods and his open arms of welcome will at the same time usher them into a securely guarded enclave of the church behind several firewalls where they will be second-class citizens forever more, but they won’t mind, because like the denizens of Hell in CS Lewis’s The Great Divorce, they are in a fool’s paradise of their own making. And because the most important thing to them is the absence of women bishops, they will never notice.

On Planet Trad, the whole Reformation was just friends agreeing to disagree; Martin Luther’s Thesis no. 1 was “women clergy now!” while the other 94 were just nitpicking over details; Bloody Mary would have been Lovely Mary if only Latimer, Ridley and Cranmer hadn’t insisted on such dangerously liberal issues as letting women read the Bible in English. (Thankfully they will admit that more sophisticated avenues of dialogue have evolved since those days.) Whereas in the fantasy world that I live in, the whole ministry of Jesus Christ might be seen as instituting the salvation of all humankind in a manner equally applicable to every nation and everysociety of every part of the world in every era of history (and that includes the utterly unimaginable future), in actual fact it was to set up an exclusive, male-dominated, highly ritualised church based heavily upon the rites and practices of an extinct pagan empire.

I don’t have a theology degree but I’m suspecting the divine purposes ran deeper than that.

So, three cheers for the synod, and just don’t get me started on Jeffrey John.

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