Tuesday, 20 November 2012

"A Very Grim Day": No Women Bishops in CoE

The next Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby (the current Bishop of Durham), urged a 'yes' vote for the ordination of women bishops at the General Synod yesterday. However the proposed legislation needed to gain two-thirds majority support in each of the synod's three houses - bishops, clergy and laity - but fell short by six votes in the House of Laity. He said, on Twitter, it was a "very grim day".

The democratic process is now to be reviewed with many with the Church of England bitterly disappointed with the outcome. It is very unlike the Catholic Church which is not run democratically with the Pope and the Magisterium (Cardinals/Bishops) making decisions for the Church with inspired guidance from the Holy Spirit.

There is now the divisive situation whereby the bishops and the clergy have made it clear they support the ordination of women bishops but the laity, the everyday church-goers, have said they are not sure.

However had the vote gone through, there would have also been division. The Pope had already put in place an avenue for CoE priests and even whole congregations to join the Catholic Church in a straight forward way, with catechises happening over time.

It is worth noting there are already women bishops in communion with the Church of England (3 in Australia and New Zealand; 5 in Canada; 1 in Cuba; 13 in the USA; and 1 in Swaziland).

Emily Buchanan, of the BBC made it clear:

"Justin Welby will need all his legendary mediation skills to navigate a way forward and to find new legislation which accommodates more traditionalists without then alienating the liberal wing of the Church."

What reasons do you think people give for not allowing women bishops? Why would it be tolerable to have women priests but not bishops? Which is more divisive, allowing women bishops or not? How does this decision reflect in wider society? Do you think the democratic processes of the CoE are a good idea?

Two sides of the debate: http://news.sky.com/story/1013911/women-bishops-the-ordination-debate
Read full article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20421576
Read more on the women's bishop debate here: http://www.churchofengland.org/our-views/women-bishops.aspx

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