|Bishop Alan's Blog|
The votes were 44 for and three against with two abstentions in the House of Bishops, 148 for and 45 against in the House of Clergy, and 132 for and 74 against in the House of Laity.
The measure needed two-thirds majorities in each of the synod’s three houses.
If you're keeping track, this means that the measure lost by six votes in the House of Laity.
I'm certain the blogosphere and other media will be filled with post mortems and analysis of the vote. I understand that there was an electronic ballot and that the names of everyone who voted - and how they voted - will be published in a few days. More analysis will follow, no doubt.
Depending on your source of information, three themes seem to emerge to explain the vote.
1. Archbishop Rowan Williams mucked up the works by offering unworkable compromises and stalling the process.Bottom line: The vote on women in the Episcopacy in the Church of England will not - can not - come up again for another five years.
2. The Appleby Amendment was a little bit of discrimination that proved a little bit too much for some progressives and many voted it down.
3. The conservatives did what they rarely do - on either side of the Pond: They organized. And, they were effective.
|Justin Welby, ABC-elect|
If you've been paying attention to what scholars call the "intersectionality" of justice issues, the convergence of issues of sexuality and gender ought not come as a huge surprise. Sexism and homophobia often walk hand in hand in the Valley of the Shadow of Death.
Martin Luther King, Jr., famously noted that "justice delayed is justice denied". It should be noted that controversy delayed is NOT controversy denied. Make no mistake: This will not bring peace in the Church of England.
Six votes does not a mandate make.
This can only be described as a Pyrrhic victory. The heavy toll this will take on the spirit and spirituality of the Church of England will be exceeded only by the loss of credibility it will have with a generation of British people who are already leaving the CofE in droves.
Six negative votes have become six votes of separation, driving a wedge further between the Body of Christ and the people it is supposed to serve.
It's a sad day on the church's calendar.
In addition to the news of the CofE vote, yesterday's calendar also held a bit of irony. Pauli Murray, civil rights lawyer and Episcopal priest, was born on November 20, 1910. She became the first African American person to earn a doctorate at Yale Law School in 1965. Murray also co-founded the National Organization for Women.
|The Rev'd Dr. Pauli Murray|
Murray was also a poet who once wrote, "Hope is a song in a weary throat."
There are many in the Church of England and the Anglican Communion who are weary of this 20 year battle for justice. There will be five more years of hard work to tear down the walls of sexism and misogyny that have obstructed of the work of the Holy Spirit who calls men and women to the councils and corridors of the Church.
This past Sunday, we heard Jesus warn that the end is only the beginning of the birth pangs. This may have been a confounding news flash to the 12 male disciples, but any woman who has ever been pregnant not only knows but has lived the truth of His words. Which is why women are so uniquely qualified for positions of leadership in the church.
This is not the end. Far from it. It is just the beginning of the inevitability of justice.
That is a song of hope worth waiting for, no matter how weary we get from the struggle for justice.