The Daily Telegraph carries coverage here of the historic vote in the Church of England’s General Synod to allow women bishops.
The vote also means that the next Archbishop of Canterbury or York could be a woman.
Campaigners celebrated the breakthrough, just 20 months after the previous attempt to admit women to the episcopate failed despite overwhelming support in congregations, casting the church into its biggest crisis of authority in recent memory.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, pledged to ensure traditionalists with theological objections to women’s ministry would enjoy special provision in the church.
This article in the Telegraph gives the background of the vote. It is the result of many years of active campaigning on the part of feminists. When the vote did not go their way they simply went back to the drawing board and would not take “no” for an answer.
This comment on the decision helps us to understand how proponents of women’s ordination view not only this historic vote, but also their understanding of what the church is all about…
…part of me wishes that the liberal wing of the church could just bulldoze right over the evangelicals and Anglo Catholics who oppose women in leadership, offering no concessions and allowing the church to get on with its primary task of caring for the communities it serves. In my even wilder dreams, I imagine the church at the vanguard of every progressive cause, leading the way in the campaign for nuclear disarmament for example, or gay rights, rather than always being the slowest on the uptake of every social development.
This commentator articulates the understanding of the church that most progressives hold, that the church is meant to be in the vanguard of social change. No talk of something as outdated as the salvation of souls, the forgiveness of sins or the life everlasting. Instead, the church is an agent for no more than equality and justice. Think a left wing pressure group in vestments or suffragettes with spirituality.
I don’t have an opinion on the matter. I’m good with whatever the church says, and happily Rome has spoken so that settles it.
If you are interested in what the Catholic Church teaches on the matter go here and here and for expert commentary on these statements go here. William Oddie comments on the current state of Anglican-Roman Catholic relations here.