Back in July I did an article on Women Bishops. (For those of you who read it back then, or would rather not bother, I’ll quickly summarise.)
Dr Rowan Williams (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Parliament voted on this issue and allowed it (123 in favour and 53 against). If the vote hadn’t been passed it would have been shelved until 2015!
When it comes to women in roles within the church, things get sticky. Anglicans (happy to have female priest) don’t wish for them to pursue leadership positions.
While, in the past, the Anglo-Catholic‘s have gone as far as saying one may as well “ordain a pork-pie”.
Dr Rowen put forward conditions to appease those “who continued to have theological reservations”:
However, their are concerns from senior women
clergy (some prospective candidates for the roles of women bishops) who take offence at not merely been asked to step-aside but demanded by church law (due to clause 5(1)c).
Eventually, the vote was postponed until November.
The vote will take place at a special session of the Church’s General Synod in London next week.Then there is the high-flying crusader for women bishops, Christina Rees, who objects to clause 5(1)c. She has concerns that the discrimination of females and the further favouring of males over females bishops will moth only cause fundamental problems, it’ll down-play the roles of female bishops within the CofE
The online campaign organised by blogger “Church Mouse” (Yes 2 Women Bishops
) has attracted large support in recent days.
The Rt Rev Justin Welby
(as chosen successor to Dr Rowan Williams
) stated last week that he is in favour of female bishops and is set to make a personal plea to traditionalists to “go forward”
in a show of unity, in an attempt to end years of struggle for women within the Church of England for leadership.
Although there is overwhelming support in the Church for women in the episcopate, the vote is expected to be on a knife-edge because it would take only a small number to deny the measure the two thirds majority it needs in all three parts of the Synod…
Bishop Welby … is understood to be spending much of this weekend drafting his speech, striking a balance between saying that it is time for the Church to move on and offering assurances to those with theological objections to women bishops that there will be proper “provision” for them.
He has said: “I want the church to be a place where we can disagree in love.”
However, the Archbishop of Westminster – Vincent Nichols, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales – has described the vote as a “very significant step” which “concerns” him.
Not everyone in the church is unhappy with Welby’s positive stance:
“No one could have predicted the timing of that statement which will be ringing in the Synod’s ears in the vote that we are now going on to…
“It is extraordinary to have an Archbishop designate coming out with such confidence.
“It just felt that his confidence and his strong support will encourage some of the Synod members who maybe didn’t know the best way forward or were concerned for some of their friends.”
Let’s hope these theologians see sense and stop being exclusive and finally become inclusive. Something that is fundamentally needed to get bums back on seats, and show that the CofE has finally moved into the twenty-first century.