I don't feel terribly qualified to comment too much on the Church of England - after all, its nothing directly to do with me, although I do like what Fr Tim Finigan has pointed out in his post on Sir Tony Baldry in the House of Commons bemoaning the fact that women can't become bishops in the C of E, whilst at the same time sporting a Garrick Club tie - a club which does not allow women to become members!
But what a very strange world we live in. I've been amazed at the tone of the coverage of the vote on women bishops in the Church of England. Not just from those who have been championing the cause but from the general reporting as well, which seems to take it for granted that not ordaining women as bishops amounts to a bad thing. A vote was taken, the measure did not pass. Now those who lost the vote are complaining that as it didn't go their way, it was a bad vote, a wrong vote and something must be done to achieve the outcome by other means. (Again, Fr Tim sums it up nicely). Could it be that liberals are liberal only when things go their way? Once challenged, they become most illiberal. But you don't have to be in the C of E to experience that.
Just one more little gripe! Rowan Williams says, "Worse than that, it seems as if we are wilfully blind to some of the trends and priorities of that wider society. We have some explaining to do, we have as a result of yesterday undoubtedly lost a measure of credibility in our society." All the talk is of the Church of England following "society". It does not seem to have occurred to many of them that they should perhaps be attempting to lead or challenge societies trends and priorities.
The Lord told His Church:
If the world hates you, be aware that it hated me before it hated you. If you belonged to the world, the world would love you as its own. Because you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world—therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘Servants are not greater than their master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also. But they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. (John 15:18-21)
Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets.(Luke 6:26)
St. Paul admonished Timothy to preach the Gospel, whether in season or out of season (2 Tim 4:2). Nowadays, it is very much 'out of season' and the world hates the Church for what She says.
The Servant of God, Pope Paul VI said it so well in the very in the 'out of season' encyclical Huamane Vitae:
It is to be anticipated that perhaps not everyone will easily accept this particular teaching. There is too much clamorous outcry against the voice of the Church, and this is intensified by modern means of communication. But it comes as no surprise to the Church that she, no less than her divine Founder, is destined to be a “sign of contradiction.” She does not, because of this, evade the duty imposed on her of proclaiming humbly but firmly the entire moral law, both natural and evangelical. Since the Church did not make either of these laws, she cannot be their arbiter—only their guardian and interpreter. It could never be right for her to declare lawful what is in fact unlawful, since that, by its very nature, is always opposed to the true good of man. (H.V. # 18)