Plans for his and her church - news from ekklesia

Plans for his and her church - news from ekklesia

By staff writers
20 Jul 2004

Plans for his and her church

-20/7/04

Proposals to divide the Church of England into two - one part with female clergy and one without - are being discussed by Church leaders to avert an exodus of traditionalists when women become bishops reports the Daily Telegraph.

The Archbishop of York, Dr David Hope, has told friends he believes such a scheme, though highly controversial, is probably the only way to hold the Church together if it decides to consecrate women.

He has privately won support from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, who agrees the options facing the Church are limited.

Both are worried that more than 300 traditionalist clergy could quit in protest, potentially costing tens of millions of pounds in hardship payments to those who leave.

Dr Hope is keen to encourage a compromise between die-hard traditionalists and middle-of-the-road Anglicans that will minimise the structural divisions within the Church.

The diehards are demanding a "third province", a church-within-a-church with its own archbishop, bishops and training colleges operating in parallel with the remainder of the Church, but with no female clergy.

As The Telegraph disclosed in January, the third province option has been included in the unpublished official report on women bishops by a working party headed by the Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali.

But Dr Hope prefers a scheme which, rather than creating parallel structures, enshrines the rights of traditionalist parishes that could find themselves in dioceses headed by women bishops or liberals.

Under such a scheme, parishes opposed to women's ordination would be able to reject the pastoral care of their diocesan bishop if they found them unacceptable.

Such parishes could choose to be ministered to by a like-minded traditionalist bishop, who could visit them, if necessary, from outside the diocese.

Parishes can already opt for "flying" bishops under provisions introduced for traditionalists when women were ordained priests 10 years ago.

Plans for his and her church

-20/7/04

Proposals to divide the Church of England into two - one part with female clergy and one without - are being discussed by Church leaders to avert an exodus of traditionalists when women become bishops reports the Daily Telegraph.

The Archbishop of York, Dr David Hope, has told friends he believes such a scheme, though highly controversial, is probably the only way to hold the Church together if it decides to consecrate women.

He has privately won support from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, who agrees the options facing the Church are limited.

Both are worried that more than 300 traditionalist clergy could quit in protest, potentially costing tens of millions of pounds in hardship payments to those who leave.

Dr Hope is keen to encourage a compromise between die-hard traditionalists and middle-of-the-road Anglicans that will minimise the structural divisions within the Church.

The diehards are demanding a "third province", a church-within-a-church with its own archbishop, bishops and training colleges operating in parallel with the remainder of the Church, but with no female clergy.

As The Telegraph disclosed in January, the third province option has been included in the unpublished official report on women bishops by a working party headed by the Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali.

But Dr Hope prefers a scheme which, rather than creating parallel structures, enshrines the rights of traditionalist parishes that could find themselves in dioceses headed by women bishops or liberals.

Under such a scheme, parishes opposed to women's ordination would be able to reject the pastoral care of their diocesan bishop if they found them unacceptable.

Such parishes could choose to be ministered to by a like-minded traditionalist bishop, who could visit them, if necessary, from outside the diocese.

Parishes can already opt for "flying" bishops under provisions introduced for traditionalists when women were ordained priests 10 years ago.

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