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Church of England moving in slow motion toward making women bishops

Church of England moving in slow motion toward making women bishops

The Church Times: The House of Bishops will bring a motion to the General Synod on Monday 8 July requesting the drafting of new legislation for women bishops in time for November, so that the process can be concluded in 2015.


It envisages the legislation as “a measure and amending canon that made it lawful for women to become bishops”, and “the repeal of the statutory rights to pass Resolutions A and B under the 1993 Measure” (“option one”).

The House came to this decision in York on Monday, after discussing a report by a working group appointed last year, and chaired by the Bishop of St Edmundsbury & Ipswich, the Rt Revd Nigel Stock ( News, 14 December). The working group was appointed after previous legislation fell ( News, 23 November).

The Rev. Lesley Crawley helps us make sense of the whole mess. She notes:

There is also much talk about trust in the document – I think the gist is do we trust female bishops to treat well those who don’t agree? How will the minority feel – they must be treated well. Maybe I missed it but I didn’t see any mention of how badly women priests have been treated over the years… There is no Measure or Act of Synod proposed to stop the discretionary decisions of individual bishops, clergy, PCCs, patrons and parish representatives from being biased against women, as we know they often are. There is no plea that they act trust-worthily and in non-discriminatory ways.

No, in industry this is policed, but in the church “those within the Church of England who, on grounds of theological conviction are unable to receive the ministry of women bishops or priests” are loyal Anglicans, and those who are pure and simple sexists can easily say that God is on their side.

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