The archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby is preparing to drive through legislation to allow women bishops even if it is rejected by the church’s governing body, the General Synod.
The synod is poised to vote again on the vexed plan next week but senior sources have told the Guardian that should the move be blocked again, there are now options being considered to force the change on the church.
Options under consideration include an immediate dissolution of the synod so that fresh elections could produce a sufficient majority by November, or even a move by the bishops in the House of Lords to introduce the legislation without synodical approval.
The dramatic intervention would be designed to pre-empt any attempts, which are already being threatened by parliament, to remove the church’s exemption from equality legislation.
It goes without saying that news of this archbishop’s plan was leaked in order to make it more difficult for the General Synod to vote against “the vexed plan,” and that the Cafe favors making women bishops in every church that has bishops. But dissolving the synod or going forward without its consent are extraordinary measures. Is Welby’s plan a wise one?