There is an interesting piece in the ultra-liberal UK paper, The Guardian.
One of the biggest lies the church tells itself is that it doesn’t do politics. The General Synod of the Church of England is set up in the round so as to encourage the impression of consensual discussion amongst friends. [Note the criticism of the synodic government of the C of E. This liberal is saying that synodic government doesn’t work. Heh heh.]
That, of course, is profoundly disingenuous. You don’t have to be an expert on the novels of Anthony Trollope to know that cathedral cloisters and church synods have long been a poisonous hotbed of plotting and resentment. [Hey wait! I thought it was only patriarchal hierarchy that was poisonous. But today we see that the C of E, with its voting and synods, is poisonous! Hmmm.]
Yet those who are seeking scapegoats for the current car crash over female bishops are now pointing to church lobby groups as having introduced an inappropriate element of secular political organisation into church life. If only we would pray more, or be more holy, then all this nasty political stuff would disappear and real peace would break out.
This is a ridiculous form of false consciousness. Those who are too theologically squeamish for overt political contestation simply push politics into the shadows. It then becomes a manipulative business of saying one thing (something that sounds nice and friendly) while meaning something else entirely.
For instance, it is now almost obligatory in the church for us to say publicly that we respect each other’s differences. We speak of opponents’ “deeply held convictions”, but few of us actually believe anything of the sort. What we say in private is utterly unprintable. But for the church, even to admit this is an honesty too far. [He’s talking sense here. And liberal catholics better pay attention to this and get over the stupid illusion that synodic government of the Church and voting are pure and wonderful.]
Remember, the anti-politics lot say sweetly, Jesus said we ought to love our enemies. To which my response is to point out that he certainly didn’t say we ought not to have any.
So, let’s forget the theology and talk straightforward politics. What happened at the General Synod is that a dogmatic minority of biblical literalists and an even smaller minority of Roman Catholic wannabes – both of whom, for entirely different reasons, reject women as church leaders – have been appeased in the name of some twisted version of inclusion.
Okay, there is a lot more to this piece that is worth your attention. Read it there.
This is the point you need to take away.
catholic liberals want us to have synodic government. We are supposed to vote on things, doctrines are just “policies”, polled majority opinion reveals the sensus fidelium. That’s more “just”!
However, the C of E vote on women bishops shows that the synodic government just produced what liberals think is an “unjust” result.
When the vote goes your liberal way, it is sensus fidelium. When it goes against you, it is dirty politics!
Remember: If there is democracy and voting, then conservatives get to vote too… unless you suppress them with purely political tactics.
The Fishwrap‘s dream of governance by societal trend and voting and majority rule is totally bankrupt.
They might respond that human beings are flawed and some problems will creep in blah blah blah but synodic rule really is better, more just, than hierarchical rule in the long run.
We then have to ask: What possible evidence can you produce for that claim? The way the C of E works? The way the Orthodox do things? The “peaceful” councils of the early Church?
The piece in The Guardian, and the way the Fishwrap and The Tablet want things to be, reminds me of how just and peaceful liberals were in the seminary hell-hole I was in in these United States. If you were faithful to Church doctrine and didn’t dissemble or kept your head low to the ground, they made your life hell or threw you out. If you were against homosexual behavior and against women’s ordination, you were in danger of getting forced to go to a psychologist before getting thrown out or sent off for a “pastoral year”.
Liberals are soooo enlightened.