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Saturday, 25 October 2014

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Fellowship. But only for Church’s old boys

As a much younger woman, many moons ago, I suppose I was a bit of a feminist.

Not a banner-carrying, bra-burning, foot-stamping militant, you understand. But I fancied I might be part of a generation of females able one day to break through that legendary glass ceiling – through which we all gazed ambitiously – and make a difference.

Older and wiser, we – the once driven and excitedly hopeful – now know better. There was no glass ceiling. It was an illusion. And still is.

It certainly is so far as the Church of England is concerned. The CofE has just proved its ceiling to be bricked over solidly and firmly against even a glimpse of what might be possible for a woman of merit.

Top positions, for which women have trained and worked hard – for which they are eminently qualified by virtue of talent and motivation – could never be achieved. Physiology makes it impossible.

So, now we all understand that those key roles so many women had aimed for hadn’t been seen through glass ceilings at all. Ambitious females had been gazing on pretty paintings, separating reality from fantasy and keeping hopeful women on their toes.

The Church has decided, in its twisted wisdom, that gay, married clergy will be accepted as bishops, so long as they remain celibate.

Women – gay, straight, spinsters of the parish, married, messianic or anything in between – will not. Because they are women.

Justification for the Church’s latest move towards inevitable self-destruction is that it must remain true to its traditionalists. They being the old boys (easily identifiable in any walk of life) who keep their own kind in positions of authority. Not even a fake stained glass ceiling to throw the suspicious off the scent here.

This Christian fellowship now feels openly comfortable in asking its key leaders, carers, counsellors and preachers of Gospel teachings of equality, faith, humility and honesty, to lie about who they are.

Though in a stable, loving, legally recognised relationship; sharing a home, hopes and dreams for a long term future, couples will be asked to promise to stay chaste.

Not only is that a cruel betrayal of what the Church itself endorses as love in marriage, it is blatantly deceitful in its ludicrous attempts to fast-track men – any men – to top jobs that will keep women at bay.

In one fell, foolish swoop, the Church has managed to offend and devalue just about everybody and betray its own purpose of unhindered inclusion.

Precisely who is going to police these domestic arrangements? The Anglican Inquisition? Will hooded spies creep around, peering through bedroom windows in the night?

Of course not. Because none of the power figures in this now discredited, close to irrelevant and increasingly exclusive Church club cares what a man in its midst does or does not do in his private life.

They care only that he keeps a woman from taking his place in public life. Even if he has to lie about it – to his partner, his flock, his boss and his God.

Have your say

"the bible says "I do not permit a woman to TEACH or have AUTHORITY over a man" People want to get real. So should we have gone down this road to the letter then where would we have been as a society. No better than likes of Afghanistan and others. No female teachers in schools, no Queens as monarch, no Maggie Thatcher. Imagine a `family` where the father is deceased and a 4-5 year old male is `head of household.` The old saying `if it aint broken dont fix it` well the church certainly is broken and almost beyond repair now. The church needs "to get with the programme". Just cannot wait for a test case of discrimination to come up.

Posted by edd on 22 January 2013 at 10:10

There are 2 issues here: 1:Women bishops/ministers 2: Gay clergy
The bible forbids both! It is not a question of man-made human rights, but for the Christian & the Church it should be a question of obeying God & the way He intends us to live, as laid down in God's Word, the bible. The bible forbids homosexuality (Romans 1:24-26) "Neither the sexually immoral...nor homosexual offenders will enter the kingdom of God." (1 Corinthians 6:9-10), so the only homosexuals God approves of are ones who have recognised their sin, and turned away from it in repentance, and who now follow Christ. People in civil partnerships are condoning same-sex sexual relationships even if they are celibate.Furthermore, such people are proving by their actions that they are fake-Christians, as someone who has genuinly repented will not live in a gay relationship.
Regarding women bishops, the bible says "I do not permit a woman to teach or have authority over a man" (1Timothy 2:12) That's good enough for me, despite being a highly educated woman!

Posted by Helen on 19 January 2013 at 22:46

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