Budde: Saddened by prolonged debate of women bishops in the Church of England

The debate on women bishops is headed to the General Synod of the Church of England, the Guardian reported Friday. … Continued

The debate on women bishops is headed to the General Synod of the Church of England, the Guardian reported Friday.

“All houses of the Church of England have voted to send draft legislation on women bishops for debate in the General Synod, paving the way for a potentially historic session of the legislative body on Monday,” wrote Lizzy Davies of the Guardian.

“Of course, elsewhere in the Anglican communion, other churches had already addressed the issue, with the first woman being elected as a bishop in the United States in 1988, and the second woman being elected in the same year as a bishop in New Zealand,” Christina Rees of the Guardian reported.

Whether a speedy or delayed solution comes out of the church’s governing body, some observers, such as the the Rev. Dr., Mariann Edgar Budde, the ninth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, are concerned about the possible consequences. The following is a statement she made before leaders began to meet in York.

I read with sadness of the prolonged struggle in the Church of England to embrace women bishops, but I recognize it.

When the Episcopal Church voted to ordain women priests, our General Convention introduced what was known as “conscious clause,” which permitted bishops and dioceses that didn’t approve of women’s ordination to follow their conscience and not ordain them. Similarly, when the first woman was elected bishop, many objected on biblical and theological grounds.

But that was over 20 years ago. As more women serve in leadership, the more accepted our leadership becomes. Then biblical and theological understandings evolve, just as they have in the past on issues of race and ethnicity.

Because of the disproportionate political power of those who call themselves traditionalists and evangelicals, the Church of England is stuck, as is Roman Catholic Church, with teachings and practices that are an affront to 50 percent the human population.

God bless the women and their male allies who persevere in faith.

The Rt. Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde  is bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington D.C.

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    Just goes to show you how much, “on biblical and theological grounds”, Christianity hates women.

    Any woman who remains a christian after this year’s christian savaging of their sex oughta have their head examined.

  • jack824

    We may need a realignment of the major faiths around modernist and traditional values. Many Catholics are totally dissatisfied with the “return to the past” views of current leadership – and many Episcopalians stand to be alienated should a similar position be adopted by the Synod.

    Church leadership seems unable to translate traditional beliefs to a modern era without leaving the claptrap behind. Is faith that fragile? If there were no women bishops a thousand years ago, does it follow that to be a good Christian we should not have indoor plumbing either?

  • jjlc125

    “As more women serve in leadership, the more accepted our leadership becomes.”

    That may or may not be true, but there’s no question the current Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Katharine Jefferts Schori, has irreparably harmed her dying denomination. That cetainly won’t help those who advocate women in church leadership positions.

  • salero21

    Actually the role of women in the church is not a teaching of the church. Is a teaching of the Scriptures. And the Scriptures are adamant and poignant about “offending” 100% of mankind (that includes women). By calling things the way they are and not just the way they appear or purport to be.

    Nobody, no one, likes to be call a Sinner or worst. That however is exactly what Scriptures and the characters that wrote them and are part of its narrative did time and again. Because it is the Truth.

    Now being “offended” by what the Scriptura says is really a matter of attitude. The Pharisees were extremely offended by Jesus and the apostles. They were an arrogant and proud and stiff necked crowd. But people who were humble were NOT offended. That was then and that is still the way it is now.

  • salero21

    Should I assume of suppose that Islam for example, just to name one of the worlds religions, is by far, far better than christianity.

  • Maire2

    You say “there’s no question”? I certainly have a question. To what, specifically, do you refer? Your sweeping generalization looks like nothing more than misogynist bias since you have offered no shred of evidence that the Presiding Bishop has done *any* harm, let alone “irreparable” harm!


    Unfortunately MOST religions hate women and teach subjugation of them. Islam is by far the worst. But christians, in their current war on women, have stepped way over the line this year.

    But you’ll never see a female Dalai Lama.

    Hey, that could be a bumper sticker for your church or cult or whatever you call it: “Christianity – we may treat women like property and chattel and second rate citizensl, but at least we’re not as bad as Islam.”

  • backspace1

    oh how i have missed, this place?
    can someone please ask the weather goddess to turn up the temp just a little bit? apaulo? why has though rought so much?

    kathryn? don’t u have better things to do?

    and what is wrong with an empirical philosophy? this coming from an imperialist?
    letus count the ways of ethic constraints that one can choose to embrace or ignore. can’t fix these faiures of my soul? remedy of a lonely, time.

    i don’t know , something about collosal revelations? or shall i pull another peace out?

    you once told me that the reason the japanese were so brutal on american soldiers taken pris-nor, was that they wanted to teach the americans not to surrender. “your not dead yet, get up off the ground”. is this comment correct?

    letus say that the hungry power there approach with all sadness, for their desire to seize, is stronger then the peaceful bonds of serenity
    .salieri’s position?
    quid pro quo luv
    idntno thos one

    and her majesty said, go forth maiden and pass through the knights, look neither upon or away, let the graces of spirit lighten your step.

  • salero21

    Your drivel against christianity is base on prejudice and your prejudice is based on ignorance. Your ignorance is the result of indolence and your indolence may be an unfortunate trait. Aggravated by short sightsightedness, that’s what is really unfortunate.

  • arimathean

    To anyone familiar with what has been happening in the Episcopal Church over the past few years, the case against +KJS is so obvious that it goes without saying. As PB, she has spent millions of dollars pursuing a scorched-earth policy of extra-canonical (and un-Christian) harassment of anyone who disagrees with her. For example, her attorneys are currently pursuing disciplinary charges against several bishops whose only offense was publicly disagreeing with her interpretation of TEC’s polity. She has worked overtime to promote a new understanding of TEC that (surprise) centralizes power in the PB. (The whole reason that TEC, unlike other provinces of the Anglican Communion, has a Presiding Bishop rather than an Archbishop is that the church’s founders did not trust such centralization of power.)

  • arimathean

    “. . . teachings and practices that are an affront to 50 percent the human population.”

    Bp. Budde pretends here to speak for all women. She does not. Her Marxian-style division of the human population into oppressor and oppressed, in fact, appeals to few women or men who do not share her commitment to certain socio-political goals. In any traditional church you will find women who are not at all “affronted” by the Church’s traditional teachings and practices, including the male priesthood.