Church of England Synod votes overwhelmingly in support of women's bishops

Church of England Synod votes overwhelmingly in support of women’s bishops

Hmm. I don’t know what I think about this.

The church was given an ultimatum in July, at the last General Synod, that of they did not move to introduce women bishops then parliament could be forced to intervene.


About time :thumbsup:

The Church of England General Synod has already voted overwhelmingly in favour of women being admitted to the episcopate. What it has been seeking, and what it just failed to achieve in the vote last time, was agreement on the mechanisms that would allow those unable to receive the ministry of women as priests or bishops to be assured that they would continue to find an honoured place in the church. Among the principles it has been trying to achieve are those which say:

“since it continues to share the historic episcopate with other Churches, including the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church and those provinces of the Anglican Communion which continue to ordain only men as priests or bishops, the Church of England acknowledges that its own clear decision on ministry and gender is set within a broader process of discernment within the Anglican Communion and the whole Church of God;” and “since those within the Church of England who, on grounds of theological conviction, are unable to receive the ministry of women bishops or priests continue to be within the spectrum of teaching and tradition of the Anglican Communion, the Church of England remains committed to enabling them to flourish within its life and structures;” and “pastoral and sacramental provision for the minority within the Church of England will be made without specifying a limit of time and in a way that maintains the highest possible degree of communion and contributes to mutual flourishing across the whole Church of England.”

Finding a way forward which meets the beliefs of the majority but satisfies the needs of the minority has been difficult. It is, however, possible that it is about to be found, thanks at least in part to the leadership of Archbishop Welby and his proven expertise at reconciliation. The latest vote, on the latest proposals, was overwhelmingly welcoming … but the decision was only to consider them in detail. There is a fair way to go yet, but it does appear that there has been a change of atmosphere, with most members of most movements within the church wishing to allow the church to move forward so that it can then redirect its attention to matters such as mission.

I do.



Who cares? They already have priestesses, so here they’re merely paving the way for high-priestesses. What’s a high-priestess other than a priestess in purple? :shrug:

I’d like to hear some Anglican perspectives on this. It wouldn’t surprise me, honestly, if the issue drives some of them to Catholicism/Orthodoxy.

Also, Malphono: Some people do. It diminishes hopes that Anglicans and Catholics will have the relationship the Church has with the Orthodox some day. (Valid sacraments and Holy Orders)

It certainly has, already, as it has done the same in the US, going back 30-40 years. And there are other venues that traditionalist Anglicans in the CoE, might pursue. Some traditionalist Anglicans from the US are attempting to assist in that area.


If you go to the Thinking Anglicans website you’ll find cross-references to the comments of some of the main movements within the Cof E, from Conservative Evangelical to Traditional Anglo-Catholic. On the whole they are welcoming of the new proposals.

It certainly has, already. There has been movement in both directions, but not, I suggest, in very large numbers. Americans, living in their unique world of the free religious marketplace, are ever ready to predict schism. They perhaps underestimate the tendency of a national church to work hard for unity and communion.

I get it, though the American perspective is hardly unique anymore. Indeed it is the UK that is almost unique now in retaining a “national church” (or a couple of them).

Not the first time the Church of England has stepped outside Catholic teaching. We care because why. Many other churches still dancing with snakes. Equal time darn it, equal time.:eek:

Schism already happened a few hundred years ago. This is just more bitter fruit. Do Government Churches really promote unity and communion?

Congratulations on throwing away the tradition of the church.

Government Churches? What a curious description. Yes, of course schism has happened before. What is your point? Mine was simply, in response to GKC, that the Church of England, as a national church, may be less likely to fragment than churches in the US where (and of course I may be wrong here, it’s just my impression, gained in part from reading on these forums) people seem to flit regularly from church to church. To that extent, yes, it promotes unity and communion, just as the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches do in places where they are seen as the natural homes for Christians.

I’m pretty torn on this.

On the one hand, I honest can’t see any strong theological reasons to prevent the ordination of women. And I say that as someone who considers himself, and tries, to be theologically orthodox.

On the other hand, I feel this is a bad move for two reasons

(1) It isn’t being done for theological reasons, but for social ones. This is about liberalism and socio-political correctness, not theological anthropology, ecclesiology or sacramentology. And that is just wrong!

(2) The episcopate is meant to be a sign of unity in the Church. While I don’t think consecrating a woman as a bishop is as gravely sinful and scandalous as consecrating an unrepentant sinner (I’m sure people are aware of examples), it puts in jeopardy hopes of future re-union with the Roman, Byzantine and Oriental Churches. For those of us tempted to think that the ordination of women is a theological adiaphoron, its problematic nature vis-à-vis the wider Christian oikumene suggests that it is something to be endorsed only by a wider ecumenical synod.

I suppose it should be pointed out that the CofE is not a ‘government church’, but the Church established by law. There is a difference. The Church stands in a particular legal relationship to the Crown itself, and not to Her Majesty’s Government.

I started a thred on this before I saw this, but I just want to say one thing: ANGLICANS COME HOME!

Yet the Crown has nothing whatsoever to say about it. :shrug: Seems to me the difference is more of a “tomato tomahto” sort of thing than something of substance. But I will say that Edward VIII’s famous “for the woman I love” abdication always puts a smile on my face.

I have no iron in this fire, but I will just say, in relation to your first objection, that there are those among the proponents of women bishops who will sort of agree with your first sentence but suggest that the absence of women bishops in the past has also been for social reasons.

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