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Rejection of women bishops further damages a failing Church

27th November 2012

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The decision of the Church of England’s general synod to reject the appointment of women bishops is the worst decision they have made in decades.

The Church faces more opposition today than ever before, and misogynistic decisions such as this, routed in a past long since abandoned, does nothing but intensify this opposition.

The issue is that people now associate the problems within organised religion against the whole of Christianity, seeing it as sexist, homophobic, controlling and anti-liberal in the extreme.

And what this is causing is an intense hatred towards Christianity, and a flagrant disregard of the good that’s routed at its core.

Because, in its essence, Christianity is good. It truly is. Behind the politics and the corruption, the teachings of Christianity are important lessons that we should all take with us through life: be kind to your neighbour, have faith in the improvable, help those in need etc.

I personally do not understand the reasoning behind the synod’s decision, and can only assume it is an obsession with patriarchal power that has made it so. It saddens me deeply that they do not seem to want to save their religion by bringing it forward and making it more liberal: for if he was nothing else, Jesus was certainly a breaker of traditions and a liberal thinker.

The appointment of Archbishop Rowan Williams (whom I have had the privilege to meet and hear speak several times) persuaded me to hope again for the fate of Christianity. The Archbishop is one of the cleverest men of the age, who rather than being stuck in the past, is fascinated by new ideas, theories and ways of life. His vitality and intelligence is contagious, and when he speaks he emanates a deep understanding coupled with the acceptance of necessary ignorance.

However, even he doesn’t seem to have been enough to plough the Church forward into the 21st century and at the end of this year he leaves, with ‘deep personal sadness’ that the decision upon his departure was not a better one. 

So, what I ask is this: by all means, take your anger out on the Church. What they have done is frustrating and ridiculous, and should never have been allowed to happen. But do not further that anger out into Christianity itself. Do not let anger blind you into forgetting the good shared and taught by devout men like Rowan Williams. Even if you have no faith, do not persecute those who do and use it for good.

Our fight should not be against religion, but against the unimportant, tiny details that are continually brought to the surface and used as ways to keep it firmly in the past and away from development. Do not let this bad let you forget the good, and if we must eventually move away from the Christian faith, let us take this good with us rather than discounting it all as wrong and damaging and worth nothing.

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