Saturday, 24 November 2012

Parliament calls for 'statutory provision' for opponents of women's ordination

How  different things were back then. Here is a repost of an earlier article of mine, which picks up on the 1993 debates.

As a PS to my earlier article, someone e-mailed me a link to Hansard for 1st November 1993, prior to the final parliamentary debate which approved the 1992 Priests (Ordination of Women) Measure, which records the answer from Mr Michael Alison to a question put by Harry Greenway MP.

This makes it quite clear that without the Act of Synod, Parliament would "insist" that the Synod put in place a further Measure, "to create a statutory provision" for those opposed to the ordination of women and requiring appropriate episcopal provision. The necessary linkage between the 1992 Measure and the 1993 Act is thus, I believe, firmly established, as is the "moral authority" of the Act.

Mr. Michael Alison (Second Church Estates Commissioner, representing the Church Commissioners) : The Act of Synod will provide for the appointment of up to three new suffragan bishops to act as provincial episcopal visitors. Their remuneration will be the same as that of other suffragan bishops. Housing and a car will be provided and working expenses will be reimbursed.

Mr. Greenway : Will my right hon. Friend give an assurance to the House that the Church Commissioners will bear in mind the great concern expressed by the House in last Friday's debate that priests and congregations committed to a male priesthood be properly looked after when females--ladies--are ordained as priests in a few months' time? Will he give an assurance that the Act of Synod measure which deals with the matter will give proper moral and real authority to those bishops committed to protecting those congregations and to serving them?

Mr. Alison : I am delighted that my hon. Friend has underscored the need for the co-called Act of Synod to have real teeth and real moral authority. I shall convey the anxiety that my hon. Friend has expressed to the General Synod when it meets at Church house next week to discuss the very point that my hon. Friend has raised. The Synod will underscore the need for an Act which is adequate. If it is not adequate, the House will insist that a Measure be brought before the House to create a statutory provision.

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1 comment:

  1. This is powerful evidence of the views of Parliament, 20 years ago. How fast their views change, compared to Synod! But you can argue that either way.