Forward in Faith welcomes the amendments to the draft legislation on women bishops passed by the House of Bishops on Monday.
The first amendment secures the provision of bishops for traditional catholics and conservative evangelicals who are not simply male, but who share the theological convictions of those to whom they will minister. For traditional catholics, that means bishops ordained into the historic episcopate as we understand it. The draft Measure now recognises that our position is one of legitimate theological conviction for which the Church of England must provide. This principle will be enshrined in law.
The second amendment helpfully clarifies that the charism of episcopal ministry derives from the fact of a bishop’s ordination, and is not by delegation from another bishop.
It was disappointing that the amendment which would have implemented co-ordinate jurisdiction was not passed. The draft Measure stills fails, therefore, to address questions of jurisdiction and authority in the way we need.