As you know, I’m a convert; and many of my friends are still in the Church of England.
Because of that, today’s statement from the ‘Catholic Group’ members of the Revision Committee of the General Synod dealing with preparing draft legislation for the Consecration of Women Bishops is a painful and poignant one; even if it is what I have feared every since the original motion was passed – and it will leave most of my friends, and many other members of the Church of England, in a dreadful quandary.
Why do I mention it ? Well, because I think that it is utterly shameful that a Church can be so fundamentally dishonest, and so lacking in that greatest of all virtues - Charity.
If there are those who believe women can be raised to the episcopate, and if they want this done, then so be it : but I do not see how they can also believe that it is right and proper, still less Christian, to treat their brothers and sisters in Christ in this way.
If those opposed to the Ordination and Consecration of Women fought vociferously not only to have these things stopped, but also to penalise those who believed them, then they would be no better; but they don’t – they merely claim, assertively but peacefully, their right to have their religious integrity respected.
It appears that those in favour of this change apparently have no such Christian Charity.
I’d like to think that an appeal to their consciences and their better feelings would work : but I’m afraid I have my doubts. All I can say to my friends is that I will pray that the Holy Spirit may guide all concerned; and in particular that those supporting the innovation will remember that one day they will have to stand before the Lord, and answer for the anguish they are now causing, so if they cannot have compassion, will at least show a little mercy.
I ask my Catholic friends, followers, and readers to pray for all those in the Church of England suffering in this way.