Thursday, November 21, 2013

THE PROBLEM WITH ARCHBISHOPSPEAK...

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby's statement on the vote to allow women bishops in the Church of England:
Today's overwhelming vote demonstrates the widespread desire of the Church of England to move ahead with ordaining women as bishops, and at the same time enabling those who disagree to flourish. There is some way to go, but we can be cautiously hopeful of good progress. The tone of the debate was strikingly warm and friendly, and a great debt of gratitude is owed to the Steering Committee for the draft legislation, and to those who facilitated the meetings so effectively. The more we learn to work together the more effective the church will be in meeting the huge challenges of spiritual renewal, and above all service to our communities, so as to both proclaim and demonstrate the reality of the love of Christ.
Am I alone in detecting a bit of dissonance in the archbishop's acknowledgement of "the widespread desire of the Church of England to move ahead with ordaining women as bishops" paired with "and at the same time enabling those who disagree to flourish"? His choice of the word "flourish" for those who disagree with the vote seems an odd choice of terminology. I expect I will never understand archbishopspeak.  The word mealy-mouthed comes to mind.  I don't know what Justin Welby is trying to say. By guarding his words so carefully, he ends up making no sense at all to me. Is a mandatory crash course in archbishopspeak (aka obfuscation) required after appointment as ABC?

8 comments:

Tim Chesterton said...

'Flourish' predates Welby; it goes back to the early 1990s when women were first ordained as priests in England, and was one of the promises made to opponents: that they would still be able to 'flourish' within the C of E.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Is there an unwritten rule for Archbishops of Canterbury against using new terminology?

Ormonde Plater said...

If they are wrong, why should they flourish?

Grandmère Mimi said...

My thought, exactly, Ormonde, even if the ABCs have said "flourish" since the 1990s. Besides, that sounds like code talk and I prefer plain speaking.

JCF said...

I've got no problem w/ persons merely "being wrong" (Check T or F) flourishing.

I've got a TON of problems w/ sexist SIN flourishing.

The CofE will have to wait & see which one it is.

Paul (A.) said...

And as to Welby, what's with his collar?

Grandmère Mimi said...

Thin neck?

Grandmère Mimi said...

Choking sensation when it's tightly in place?