I hear a good deal from thse who hold the minority position over women bishops about the need to respect the views and positions of their side as we go forward. Respect?

I respect your right to hold the views you do. I respect your right to be part of the Church of England just like anyone else.

But that is it. I don’t respect your views – I think conevos are wrong about the Bible, I think anglo-banglos are wrong about tradition, and I think both are wrong about mission and society. I don’t respect views that I don’t believe are the will of God, and I don’t see why I should respect them.

Both groups live in a weird world of false-consciousness – just listen to the radio interview of Lorna Ashworth afterwards. She admitted on air that her view was self-contradictory, but sort of brushed it aside. What? How dare she not have worked through those difficulties with her position before she and the rest like her blithely drop us all in it.

The ghettoisation of both groups since 1992 has been a frightening example of unintended consequences. It was precisely what the foolish but well-meaning framers of the Act of Synod did not want to happen. And the cost to the Church and to women has been huge.

I think it is now incumbent upon the wreckers of the Measure to come back to the rest of us and explain how they intend to show some respect to the rest of the church in how we go forward. The debate now needs to be a lot more robust in facing the points at which we do not think either side’s arguments deserve either respect or weight. Telling me it is a “deeply held theological principle” will not do. So was Apartheid.


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