Forward in Faith wishes to echo all that the bishops of The Society have said in their statement following the announcement of Bishop Philip North’s decision to withdraw acceptance of his nomination to the See of Sheffield.
We are grateful to those of different views from our own, including many female clergy, who have publicly expressed support for his nomination and for the Five Guiding Principles and the House of Bishops’ Declaration. In particular, we wish to express our gratitude to those female bishops who have honourably defended the settlement that was agreed in 2014. As they have emphasized, the continued possibility of traditional catholics being chosen as diocesan bishops was an integral part of that settlement: the House of Bishops’ Declaration imposes no stained-glass ceiling on mutual flourishing.
In the coming weeks, we shall be considering what action now needs to be taken – and by whom – to restore confidence in the House of Bishops’ Declaration, and to correct definitively the false statements that have been made about the Declaration, the Five Guiding Principles, and the beliefs of traditional catholics. We hope that this can be done in partnership with those who bear responsibility for the Church of England at national level.
We envisage making a further statement in due course.
The Rt Revd Tony Robinson
Dr Lindsay Newcombe
The Revd Ross Northing SSC
Clerical Vice Chairman
The Archbishop of York’s statement is published here.