The Church of England’s General Synod voted against women serving as Bishops this past Tuesday, November 20. The proposal did not receive the required two-thirds majority in all three houses of the General Synod, not passing among the laity by a narrow margin.
This vote came almost two decades after the Church of England voted to ordain women as priests. This decision is different than the one to ordain women as priests in that bishops oversee/supervise other clergy or priests. With this determination, it will be another five years before another proposal can be put before the General Synod for a vote.
Here are a few of the news reports about the decision:
- “Church of England blocks move to approve female bishops,” USA Today (November 20, 2012)
- Lizzy Davis, “Church of England votes against allowing women bishops,” The Guardian (November 20, 2012)
- “Church of England won’t allow female bishops,” CBS News (November 20, 2012)
Trevin Wax provides a brief commentary on the decision: “Thoughts on the Church of England’s Vote on Women Bishops,” (November 20, 2012)
There are many things to be said, but I close with one observation. It was interesting to observe/read how leaders who were in favor of approving women to the office/role of bishop prayed and spoke prior to the vote, thinking the vote would pass. There is a gracious, kind and irenic tone. And then to contrast that with the statements made and the tone and manner in which those statements were made by those same people after the vote failed is quite telling. There are certainly some things to learn here!