(Photo Credit: The Telegraph)

Today, the General Synod for the Church of England rejectedthe ordination of women bishops by a mere handful of votes. So ends for now a nearly 12 year legislative process to upend standards for episcopal office. Much of the controversy surrounded the provision of stand-in bishops for parishes opposed to women’s ordination.

Passage of the ordination innovations required a 2/3 majority in all houses. The votes were 44 for and two against in the house of bishops, 148 for and 45 against in the house of clergy, and 132 for and 74 against in the house of laity. The vote in the house of laity, at 64%, was just short of the required majority.

Some British Anglicans hoped the passage of this motion would be another step of enlightened progress. They also worry about the cultural image this will grant the Church in modern British society with its failure. The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams himself voiced outspoken support. A minority breathes a sigh of relief. This group–primarily made up of Anglo-Catholics and other High Churchmen–was concerned about the ecumenical ramifications that may portend from ordinal novelties, the validity of female apostleship, a rupture with traditional interpretation, and a trespass against scriptural obedience.


7 Responses to Church of England Narrowly Rejects Women Bishops

  1. [...] Assistant at the Institute on Religion and Democracy. This article first appeared on the IRD blog and is used with [...]

  2. Centaur255 says:

    Perhaps the most striking number is the vote in the House of Bishops – is there a reason that the vote was so lopsided there?

    • rhl46 says:

      That did puzzle me also. The explanation, after some thought, is simple! It will be unlikely that the present lot of bishops will be promotion threatened by a few placements of women bishops in, say, 7 years time. Many will have retired, and anyway who wants to be cold shouldered at the Athenaeum for standing out of line.

  3. Eric Lytle says:

    That’s because, in liberal denominations, the more liberal you are, the higher up the ladder you climb. Bishops feel they are impotant, but they don’t get any notice from the secular world unless they do something shocking regarding feminism, sex, etc. You’re very unlikely to find any Christians in the upper echelons of these churches. They sell out to the world completely.

    • Marco Bell says:

      I think Eric might be right….Bishops are Impotent!
      That “Old-Boy” school of control just won’t go away soon enough.
      God forbid that a Lesbian might gain control!

  4. Despite Anglo-Catholic attempts to hijack the church; it Lives! Thank you six votes! Now be a good Anglican Communion and follow the lead.

  5. [...] No Women Bishops Women Bishops will not be ordained into the Church of England … but only a narrow vote was able to prevent the change from being approved at the denomination’s General Synod this week. Juicy Ecumenism [...]

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