Channel 4 News - as written by your daughter
Today, Channel 4 News covers the plot to oust Dr Philip Giddings as Chairman of the House of Laity of the General Synod of the Church of England, on the charge of allegedly undermining Bishop Justin Welby over the vote on women bishops. They write:
The House of Laity, part of the General Synod, is meeting in London for an extraordinary meeting to vote on a motion of no confidence in chair Dr Philip Giddings, who spoke against women bishops - directly after the Archbishop elect, Rev Justin Welby spoke in favour.His Grace read this article with a degree of disquiet, for he knows that all this 'not personal' stuff is a blatant falsehood, and he wondered why such a respected news outlet as C4 had not considered any of the contrary argument, including the reputation and standing of Dr Giddings, and why his ejection as Chairman of the House of Laity would be a grave injustice. But at the bottom of the article, we get this:
Canon Stephen Barney, who will propose the motion after setting up a petition, says Dr Giddings' action "undermined" the speech of the archbishop-elect and were not representative of the house.
The petition followed the failure of the General Synod to agree to allow women to become bishops after a long running debate and received signatures from 20 per cent of the house, double needed for the meeting to go ahead.
It was the House of Laity, made up of "ordinary" members of the Church of England, which scuppered November's vote after it failed to reach a two-thirds majority in favour.
The other two houses, the House of Bishops and the House of Clergy, both voted in favour of women bishops.
Speaking to Channel 4 News ahead of the meeting, Mr Barney, who has insisted the motion is not a personal attack, said the purpose of the meeting was not to debate women bishops in this particular incident, but whether Dr Giddings was representing the house which he chaired.
He said: "I hope that we will have a proper debate. It's a question of whether this was appropriate given that he was not representing the view of the vast majority of the House of Bishops, the House of Clergy and indeed all but 74 of the House of Laity."
In describing his motion, he said: "I have always been one of the first to say that individuals must vote according to their consciences. However, leaders have other responsibilities and accountabilities.
"I feel that if I am to support the leader of a group of which I am a member, then that leader must show wise and good judgement - and I do not believe that this has happened."
If more than half of the laity say they have no confidence in Dr Giddings, then the motion will be passed and Mr Barney says it will send a very clear signal to the Synod's working group on women bishops, which meets next month to draw up a new legislative package to be presented to members in July.
Dr Giddings has not yet commented on the issue and said that "the time for debate is when we have the debate."
So, the article is written by the daughter of the instigator of the motion to remove Dr Giddings from his position.
That must be why there's no mention of this ‘no confidence’ motion being an act of retribution for ‘thwarting’ the combined wills of the House of Bishops and the House of Clergy, as though those members of the laity who rejected the motion were incapable of discerning for themselves and, like children, were somehow led astray by Dr Giddings' charismatic (but evil) 'ideology'.
That must be why there's no mention of the outrageous waste of money (£38,000) this meeting is costing.
That must be why there's not a hint of the obnoxious and deeply personal campaign being waged against Dr Giddings by Gavin Oldham, who has written to all members of the House of Laity equating support for a male episcopacy with Nazism (along with advocates of slavery, apartheid and ethnic cleansing).
That must be why there's no consideration of the fact that it is not Philip Giddings who has damaged the credibility of the Church of England, but aggressive reformists who seek to subject the Laity to the Episcopacy even in democratic votes at Synod.
That must be why there's no mention of the precedent that would be set if Dr Giddings is ousted – that if any believer should dare even sympathise with those who seek to uphold the historic orthodox catholic teachings of the Church, they are showing themselves ineligible, unsuitable or, in the final analysis, too extremist to hold office within the Church of England. The via media thereby ends, and schism swiftly follows.
And that must be why there is no objective consideration of the following questions (proposed by the Law & Religion UK blog):
What will be achieved by holding this debate?This debate will attract an awful lot of media attention: it touches on theology, equality, morality, the governance of the Church of England, and the right separation of powers. One might expect Channel 4 News to have done rather better than get the daughter of the motion's propser to write a superficial and thoroughly biased article on the matter.
Is this a responsible use of Church resources?
Has the issue been discussed in the parishes/deaneries/dioceses other than between members of the House of Laity? If not, on what basis are the views of these groups to be represented?
What message is the meeting likely send to those outside the Church (and to those within who were not consulted)?
How does this fit into the bigger picture of: a] the ordination of women into episcopate; and b] synodical governance?