Thursday, July 10, 2008

For the record ...

Thanks to Episcopal Women's Caucus President Elizabeth Kaeton for this:

The total number of women who are bishops in the Anglican Communion stands at 24 (20 who are active).
  • Austrailia - 2
  • New Zealand - 2 (one retired)
  • Canada - 4
  • USA - 15 (3 retired)
  • Cuba - 1
At the last Lambeth Conference in 1998, there were 11 women in the Anglican Communion who were bishops.
A gain of 13 over the course of a decade is not exactly wildly galloping progress.
As Flo Kennedy once said, "If we really had come a long way, no one would still be calling us 'baby'."

Also "for the record" is this reminder of the statement issued by CofE women clergy in May 2008:
The price of legal "safeguards" for those opposed is simply too high, diminishing not just the women concerned, but the catholicity, integrity and mission of the episcopate and of the Church as a whole. We cannot countenance any proposal that would, once again, enshrine and formalize discrimination against women in legislation. With great regret, we would be prepared to wait longer, rather than see further damage done to the Church of England by passing discriminatory laws. ... If it is to be episcopacy for women qualified by legal arrangements to "protect" others from our oversight, then our answer, respectfully, is thank you, but no.
Remember that the next time you hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth of those protesting-too-much that this long overdue move forward by the Church of England was part of a "take no prisoners" feminist agenda.


David said...

You don't need me to say it but I will, 'not bl**dy good enough, or soon enough'

That notwithstanding I do take real comfort and joy from the extraordinary sisters who are currently serving our Church in the Episcopacy.

To cite only one radiant example ++Katherine- known as the Great Katherine in our house.

Oh, and btw, the one New Zealand Woman Bishop is a Canadian- +Victoria Matthews.


Caminante said...

OT, congratulations to number 34 in the list of the most influential Anglicans (go over to Preludium for the list). Good job, Susan.

ailuropoda melanoleuca torontonensis said...

I'd be the first to say that the answer to "how many women bishops are there" is "not enough".

however, while an increase of 13 may not look like many, from another perspective, the 2008 count is a 118% increase over the 1998 count; and that is a very healthy gain. The number of provinces with women in the episcopate has gone from 3 to 5 -- from one angle, puny; from another, a 66% gain.

I'm not trying to fob off the arguments with platitudes about the slowness of the mills of God. However, the increase of women in the episcopate is a personnel question, and it depends on the pool of appropriate candidates. In Canada, the first woman bishop was 15 years after the first women priests. Likewise, the recent votes on women bishops in the Church of England comes 14 years after their first women priests. The pressure will increase as more and more appropriately gifted women in priests' orders are available, but personnel changes do not happen overnight; they're on a decade timescale.

That said, I still have an oooold Tshirt with the caption:

A Woman's Place Is In The House
. . . of Bishops

Chris Ambidge / Toronto

Anonymous said...

Hmmmmm....only 8 bishops who aren't from TEC. That seems a far larger problem than the slow increase in total numbers.

The non-American numbers are so small and the provinces so few that it leaves me concerned for the place of women in the Episcopate of the Communion.

Why doesn't Scotland have a woman Bishop? Or Ireland? or Brazil? or the Phillipines? They're progressive provinces.

Until more provinces consecrate women, it makes +++Rowan's past statement that women Bishops are still an open question in the Communion very plausible.

It also explains the Vatican's reaction. If TEC was thrown out of the Communion it would make what they perceive as the problem of the women's Episcopate very small.

I'll be happy when it's 2015 and there are some C of E Bishops who are women.