Revolution, prayer, religious life, reconciliation and evangelism – Justin Welby

July 5th, 2013 Posted in Church Of Ireland, General Synod |

In his first presidential address to General Synod, available here, the Archbishop of Canterbury spoke of living through a revolution. He said central to his time in office would be a commitment to a renewal of prayer and the religious life, reconciliation, and evangelism.  He pointedly told synod that both demeaning the role and work of women in ordained ministry, and the refusal of selection for ordination to those who could not accept the ministry of women bishops were against the policy of the Church of England.  He called for integrity between words of welcome and deeds. The relevant part of his speech is here:

“One thing I am sure of is that trust is rebuilt and reconciliation happens when whatever we say, we do. For example, if, while doing what we believe is right for the full inclusion of women in the life of the church, we say that all are welcome whatever their views on that, all must be welcome in deed as well as in word. If we don’t mean it, please let us not say it. On the one hand there are horrendous accounts from women priests whose very humanity has sometimes seemed to be challenged. On the other side I recently heard a well-attested account of a meeting between a Diocesan Director of Ordinands and a candidate, who was told that if the DDO had known of the candidate’s views against the ordination of women earlier in the process he would never have been allowed to get as far as he did.

Both attitudes contradict the stated policy of the Church of England, of what we say, and are completely unacceptable. If the General Synod, if we decide, that we are not to be hospitable to some diversity of views, we need to say so bluntly and not mislead. If we say we will ordain women as priests and Bishops we must do so in exactly the same way as we ordain men. If we say that all are welcome even when they disagree, they must be welcome in spirit, in deed, as well as in word.”

See more here

From Chris Sugden at York Synod

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