English bishops reach out to Anglo-Catholics

Bishops in the Church of England have published a letter in response to concerns raised by a number of Anglo-Catholics there who strongly object to the recent Synod decision to move forward with the ordination of woman priests to the Episcopate.

Fourteen bishops have written responding the concerns raised by a large number of English clergy who feel that adequate provision for their consciences have not been made. The bishops, traditionalist anglo-catholics themselves, write that it is not a foregone conclusion that an exodus of clergy from the Church of England is the only option. They urge the Synod to revisit the question and clarify the scope of the provisions that will be made.

An article in Church Times reports on the letter and the points being made by its authors:

Lambeth had shown that the Anglican Church had substantially changed in its perception of itself and the ecumenical dimension, said the Bishop of Fulham and chairman of Forward in Faith, the Rt Revd John Broadhurst. “That has serious implications for lots of people, including us,” he said on Tuesday.

“As a whole constituency — not just Forward in Faith — we have always made it quite clear that juris­diction is not our top line: it’s our bottom line. There is a kind of naïve stupidity about — that it is a negotiating ploy; but it is not. Nothing else will do. That view is shared by all 14 bishops.”

There had been a real sense of shock about the lack of charity at the General Synod, Bishop Broadhurst said. “I don’t think I have ever known an atmosphere like there was in York — a wilful disregard for fellow Christians.” As to whether the situation could be redeemed: “If the bishops show they are willing to deal with it themselves and take it back, it can be redeemed; but I’m not over-optimistic.”

Read the full article in the Church Times here.

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