(Although I typed most of this yesterday, my computer died (well, copped a strop, anyway) so I’m only posting it today!)
It’s fairly rare for me to blog twice in a day. But having written earlier today about finding peace in a difficult situation, I find myself seeking that peace while also praying that others will find it.
I suppose I didn’t really see the ‘no’ vote coming. And perhaps I therefore wrote the last post with at least a scrap of ‘I do feel sorry for those poor folks who are going to have to accept women bishops, against their wishes and beliefs’. I like to think my motives were pure but, frankly, they often aren’t.
I know there are a lot of people hurting today. For me, it’s probably not such a personal wound. For starters, I’m male! (Am I therefore assuming I could become a bishop if I really wanted to? Interesting!) However, suffice it to say that many people have had old wounds reopened or new wounds made today. And that’s on both sides of the debate. Something that people hold so dear and have such strong feelings about is bound to cause angst and pain and sorrow when there is disagreement.
Here are just some of the questions that arise in my head as a result of today’s vote: (feel free to respond to these in the comments section – I’ve just written them as I think. I’m not trying to be blunt about them, so please forgive me if you feel the manner in which they’re presented lacks grace – I’ll do my best to express myself sensitively. I’m writing having only managed 3 hours sleep last night due to my Little Boy being ill. This would not excuse rudeness, but it might help to explain poorly phrased questions.)
Why, when the incoming archbishop has pledged that the measures will be implemented in a way that respects those who feel unable to accept the authority of women bishops, do people fail to trust that this will be done. Doesn’t this seem like a lack of submission; a lack of trust?
Why, when we are called to submit to authority, do a group of the laity vote so out of step with bishops and clergy (I know a part of the answer to that…)
Why, when the synod is discussing so many issues, do the media insist on focusing on this one issue? My suspicion is that it’s simply the desire to portray the church as out of step and divided. They’ve certainly succeeded.
What next? In the immediate future, how do we demonstrate that we are part of a loving communion? And in the longer term, how do we work to convince those with concerns about women as bishops that they will be properly nurtured and pastored?
As I say, these are not intended to be critical, though they are expressed from a place of genuine confusion and questioning.
Any answers? Or further questions even?