Msgr Andrew Burnham, a former Church of England bishop, now a member of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham has an op ed in the Catholic Herald on the plight of Philip North who declined his nomination as Bishop of Sheffield in the Church of England after opposition.
His nomination was the second test of the Church of England’s Five Guiding Principles for Mutual Flourishing, enabling those who take different positions on the admission of women as bishops, priests, and deacons to live alongside one another. The first test had been the appointment in 2015 of Rachel Treweek as Bishop of Gloucester. She was fast-tracked to take a seat in the House of Lords. Memorably, she rejected the first version of her writ of summons which referred to her as a “right reverend father in God”, thus neatly underlining the rejection by the Church of England of patriarchy.
When the fuss dies down, I think traditional Anglo-Catholics like Philip North really should come home to Rome. They would be very welcome and, though there are battles here too, it is very possible to get on with mission and ministry without fighting gender wars.
I left the Church of England when, in 2008, it became clear what the inexorable trajectory had become. Wherever it leads, it doesn’t lead to orthodoxy and will always be shipwrecked on the rocks of secular liberalism and cultural Marxism. Secular liberalism rejects the Church’s notion of the complementarity of the sexes – male and female having separate and distinct roles within the economy of salvation – and cultural Marxism would do away entirely with the biblical teaching on marriage and the family. Both liberalism and Marxism reject the sanctity of life from conception to natural death.