After a 15 year labor, the CofE Synod finally, FINALLY approved the appointment of women to the episcopacy.
The Final Approved Motion:
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
And now, in some parts of The Anglican Communion, there will be great wailing and gnashing of teeth. It will be proclaimed "a dark day in the history of the CofE." Others will say it is the "end of the world as we now know it."
There will not be Peace in the Valley this night. The paradigm of power has shifted once again.
There will be great rejoicing from the mountain tops this night. The stained glass ceiling has finally been broken for women in another church.
Of course, it remains to be seen just how long it takes for the code of practice (read: "accommodations") to be made for those who have strong theological objection to the ecclesiastical authority of women who are bishops.
The task will be to provide a code of practice that will neither be insulting to women or those who oppose women who are bishops, while still maintaining the authority of the office, no matter what person occupies it.
And, as former Archbishop of Canterbury, William Temple once said, "When we choose wisely, God reigns; when we choose foolishly, God reigns."
I believe the CofE made the wise choice. Others obviously disagree with me. And, either way, God reigns.
A press release from the Episcopal Women's Caucus will be forthcoming.
Okay, I've shown just about enough restraint as I can possibly muster. Can I just say:
Results of vote at Ruth Gledhill's Blog http://timescolumns.typepad.com/gledhill/2008/07/women-bishops-t.html#more