Just a speculation

The first woman bishop to sit in the House of Lords has been appointed by the Church of England.

The Venerable Rachel Treweek, Archdeacon of Hackney, said she was “overjoyed” to be named the new Bishop of Gloucester.

The 52-year-old former speech therapist is the UK’s third woman bishop but the first diocesan bishop – a more senior position than the junior, or suffragan, posts two women have so far been given.

Ven Treweek, who believes that men and women should serve “side by side” in the highest offices of the Church, studied linguistics at Reading University before becoming a priest.

How long does anyone give it before the Church of England is a majority female occupation?

This is to be monstrously sexist of course, but given that the CoE is rather more caring, sharing and empathy than anything else these days it sounds like the sort of organisation that will be thoroughly colonised.

30 years to the majortiy of bishops being women?

26 thoughts on “Just a speculation”

  1. bloke (not) in spain

    With its determination to adopt the perpetual cringe position, surely the question isn’t whether the CofE will be all female bishops but whether it will remain provocatively Christian.

  2. Sebastian Weetabix

    The CofE has long since been an effete shell. It is a daycare centre for indigent crypto-communists these days.

  3. Surreptitious Evil

    She won’t (shouldn’t) be a Lord Spiritual (yet). Gloucester isn’t one of the “Great Sees” and she’ll be the most junior of the 18 diocesan bishops who don’t get one of the other 21 seats.

  4. So Much for Subtlety

    30 years to the majortiy of bishops being women?

    Optimistic to think the CoE will exist in 30 years. Assuming that the Muslim-majority will be inclined to tolerate it.

  5. Female bishops are the least of the CoE’s worries, but they will bring a feminine order to rearranging the deckchairs.

  6. Definitely going to happen. Look around any church now: all the helpers are women. The only mystery is why men were ever at the forefront in the first place.

  7. Probably. But then, it started off with women. One of the earliest reliable mentions is from Pliny (elder or younger, cannot remember) about torturing two deaconesses. Most of the early funding came from Roman matrons. So in that sense it’s going back to its roots.

  8. As to why it was patriarchal for most of its history, one can make a case that patriarchy is a system in which men organise the provision of what women want, whereas matriarchy is a system in which women fuck it up themselves.

  9. So Much for Subtlety

    Ven Treweek, who believes that men and women should serve “side by side” in the highest offices of the Church, studied linguistics at Reading University before becoming a priest.

    I would have thought the Bible, tradition and the Church doctors were all clear on what the position of women in the Church was. What she means is that Gloria Steinem is more important to her thinking than Jesus Christ.

    So it is forfeiting any right it has to be taken serious and it will fold.

    Ian B – “So in that sense it’s going back to its roots.”

    Jesus still did not pick a single female disciple. I would argue otherwise. Roman women abandoned their own female-centric religions (like the other Isis) for a tougher one centred on the authority of men.

    It is not going back to its roots. It is committing suicide.

  10. Surreptitious Evil: there’s a newly-enacted Lord Spiritual Bill that will fast track her into the Lords ahead of other junior diocesans.

  11. Surreptitious Evil

    Fucking with the Constitution in the name of the Great Fore-headed One appealing to the Mumsnet vote.

    Hardly a surprise (and hence the “shouldn’t” in brackets above.)

  12. Bloke in North Dorset

    We shouldn’t even be having this discussion, Bishops shuld not be sitting in the HoL.

  13. I’d say quicker than that. It’s already the case that more women are being ordained than men. So, as the old men retire, you’ll see those numbers get bigger.

  14. It has been some time since the CofE was “provocatively Christian”. Provocatively Marxist at times, provocatively bonkers when the Druid in a Nightie was in charge, but not ‘Christian’.

    My guess is that as the percentage of women rises, the CofE will mysteriously become more ‘relevant’ to our lords and masters.

  15. C of E slides even further into irrelevance. Did anyone else see the BBC ‘comedy’ series ‘Rev’ which was given great reviews by the critics. I just thought it was quite sad.

  16. Zero problem with this if it should come to pass.
    I expect it will be accompanied by more travelling preachers, like stand up comics tends to be a male preference/specialty.

  17. “more important to her thinking than Jesus Christ”: the wee man had nothing to say about a Church, or therefore about church organisation. Nothing about priests, bishops, monks or nuns. Nor about archbishops, cardinals or popes. Nowt. Nil.

    Anyway, the story sounds to be the familiar one about low paid jobs filling up with women. A more interesting question is why GP-ing is an exception.

  18. So Much for Subtlety

    dearieme – “the wee man had nothing to say about a Church, or therefore about church organisation. Nothing about priests, bishops, monks or nuns. Nor about archbishops, cardinals or popes. Nowt. Nil.”

    But Saint Paul did have a few things to say about women. He also had a few things to say about women come to think of it.

  19. What did He and/or Paul have to say SMFS?

    Besides, you’ve answered your own question:

    “I would have thought the Bible, tradition and the Church doctors were all clear on what the position of women in the Church was.”

    In the case of the C of E, that means lady Bishops are allowed, so not sure what your point is. Other denominations have differing interpretations, but that isn’t relevant.

  20. So Much for Subtlety

    Jack C – “What did He and/or Paul have to say SMFS?”

    I dfon’t know but I would have thought 1 Corinthians was pretty definitive. As in 1 Corinthians 14:33-35:

    “As in all the churches of the holy one, women should keep silent in the churches, for they are not allowed to speak, but should be subordinate even as the law says. If they want to learn anything, they should ask their husbands at home. For it is improper for a woman to speak in the church.”

    Or perhaps 1 Timothy 2: 9-15:

    “Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness. A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. But women will be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint. ”

    “Besides, you’ve answered your own question …. In the case of the C of E, that means lady Bishops are allowed, so not sure what your point is.”

    No I have not answered my own question. Because the Bible, tradition and the Doctors of the Church have not changed. They have remained the same and unified on the proper role of women in the Church. The CoE Synod has decided that they are not interested in those things any more. Which is fine, it is up to them to p!ss away whatever credibility they have left. But they cannot pretend those things matter to them when they don’t.

    “Other denominations have differing interpretations, but that isn’t relevant.”

    It is slightly. If the Methodists reject the tradition and what the Church Doctors have to say, in favour of whatever political reading of the Bible is fashionable today, then their theology allows them to do so. But the CoE claims to be Catholic in a general sense. Therefore what Saint Augustine had to say should matter. If it doesn’t they cannot pretend to be catholic in that sense.

  21. As to why it was patriarchal for most of its history, one can make a case that patriarchy is a system in which men organise the provision of what women want, whereas matriarchy is a system in which women fuck it up themselves.

    You really are a bar-steward sometimes Ian B, but that is quite funny.

    However, I suspect that they will gradually ease men from roles in the Church in the same way that they have eased men out from teaching junior, middle, infant and kindergarten positions – essentially they will play the caring women / dangerous men aspect for all its worth.

    As a borderline agnostic/atheist I don’t really care about either the church, its priests, its bishops or its congregation.

    However, the church is the guardian of large parts of this countries cultural and architectural heritage and that is worth preserving.

  22. SMFS,
    You’re cherry-picking and anyway missing the point.

    All Christian denominations, very much including the Catholics, have deviated from Biblical law, and have revised their doctrines.

    “but should be subordinate even as the law says”

    You do realise that this refers to Old Testament law? Much of this law is no longer observed by Christians, and this renders all of it optional.

  23. The church needs more women in its management ranks, perhaps it can truly moralise about corporations, and maybe even reduce the kiddie fiddling.

  24. So Much for Subtlety

    Jack C – “You’re cherry-picking and anyway missing the point.”

    You asked a question and I answered it. Nor am I cherry picking. The Bible says nothing about women that does not agree with those basic points. It is not as if there are dozens of verses that are in favour of girl impowerment.

    “All Christian denominations, very much including the Catholics, have deviated from Biblical law, and have revised their doctrines.”

    I am not sure that is true. But even if it is, that is not me missing the point. You are simply not listening. Perhaps a Church can get away from changing their doctrine. But only if it is done secretly, shamefully and while proclaiming otherwise. Once you more or less admit that Gloria Steinem is defining your doctrine – that is, that there non-Biblical outside politics are more important than the word of God – you cease to be taken seriously. You are a social club, not a religion.

    “You do realise that this refers to Old Testament law? Much of this law is no longer observed by Christians, and this renders all of it optional.”

    That is precisely the logical step that religions have to avoid. Once everything becomes optional, you believe in nothing. Much like mainstream Protestants actually.

    Nor does it refer to Old Testament law. The First Vatican Council said that women could not step outside their homes without their husband’s permission.

    Runcie Balspune – “The church needs more women in its management ranks, perhaps it can truly moralise about corporations, and maybe even reduce the kiddie fiddling.”

    There is no reason to think women fiddle with kiddies any more or less than men do.

    And when it comes to other forms of abuse, women are not under-represented. The violence of nuns towards masculine boys is proverbial but rarely recognised as a form of sexual abuse. Although it probably is.

  25. “I am not sure that is true”

    Blimey. Go and have a look at the law as expressly stated in the bible, and then count up, a) how many are still observed, and, b) how many are not observed. You’re even allowed to believe in Evolution, which rather knocks the whole thing on the head anyway (the fall from Eden being the starting point).

    I’m sure you’re not as ignorant as you’d have us believe.

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