Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Church of England Approves Women Bishops

Christina Rees of Watch is jubilant after the Church agreed to proceed with legislation to ordain women bishops. She told Ruth Gledhill of the London Times: 'It is the result we have been building up to for the last few years,' she said. 'It is very good for the Church, very good for women, very good for the established church, good for the whole nation. A vast majority have wanted this for so long."

Here is the motion approved by Synod:
‘That this Synod:
(a) affirm that the wish of its majority is for women to be admitted to the episcopate;
(b) affirm its view that special arrangements be available, within the existing structures of the Church of England, for those who as a matter of theological conviction will not be able to receive the ministry of women as bishops or priests;
(c) affirm that these should be contained in a statutory national code of practice to which all concerned would be required to have regard; and
(d) instruct the legislative drafting group, in consultation with the House of Bishops, to complete its work accordingly, including preparing the first draft of a code of practice, so that the Business Committee can include first consideration of the draft legislation in the agenda for the February 2009 group of sessions.’

The voting was:
Bishops: 28 for 12 against 1 abs
Clergy: 124 for 44 against 4 abs
Laity: 111 for 68 against 2 abs

Anglican clergy who uphold catholic orders said that without provision for them they would have to consider leaving the Church of England. What "special arangements" will be made for these clergy has yet to be determined.

Canon Dr Chris Sugden, of Oxford diocese and Anglican Mainstream, said: 'The Church of England at its inception resisted the continental reformation and said it would not require what Scripture did not require. So there should be provision for those who cannot accept the ministry of women bishops."

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