End ‘navel gazing’ in Church says bishop

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ONE of Yorkshire’s leading bishops today appeals to the Church of England to stop its “navel-gazing” over “sex and gender issues” as his diocese becomes the latest to back the ordaining of women bishops.

The Right Reverend Stephen Platten, the Bishop of Wakefield, says the decision is not about “women’s lib”, and that he hopes the decision will influence next year’s General Synod when the issue will come to the fore.

Writing exclusively in today’s Yorkshire Post, he argues that the Church must no longer become sidetracked by its own “internal agenda”.

“Navel-gazing has become one of our most accomplished activities. This is not as it should be,” says the Bishop. “We face a world in financial crisis, with a meltdown in many Arabic states, riots in our own country this last summer and in some parts of Yorkshire unemployment and deprivation as serious as anywhere in western Europe.

“All of these crises require a powerful injection of spirit and energy, which the church is well placed to contribute to. I voted enthusiastically that we should press on to ordain women as bishops. But I also voted to pursue a way that would keep as many of us together as is both humanly and divinely possible. In other words let us decide with generosity and then look outwards again to a world in desperate need for the richest nurture in Christian values.”

Church needs to look outward: Page 15.