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General Synod: debates on women bishops: 2

Having voted in favour of the principle of having women bishops on Saturday, Synod today spent all morning debating the process for bringing this about. Several amendments, three of which were accepted, were proposed to the original motion. The motion refers to Canon A4, and the text of this is given below the motion and result of the final vote. Details of the original motion and the amendments are below the fold.

The motion as put to Synod (with text added by amendments shown in bold) was.

That this Synod, endorsing Resolution 111.2 of the Lambeth Conference 1998 “that those who dissent from, as well as those who assent to the ordination of women to the priesthood and episcopate are both loyal Anglicans” and believing that the implications of admitting women to the episcopate will best be discerned by continuing to explore in detail the practical and legislative arrangements:

(a) invite dioceses, deaneries and parishes to continue serious debate and reflection on the theological, practical, ecumenical and missiological aspects of the issue;

(b) invite the Archbishops’ Council, in consultation with the Standing Committee of the House of Bishops and the Appointments Committee, to secure the early appointment of a legislative drafting group, which will aim to include a significant representation of women in the spirit of Resolution 13/31 of the Anglican Consultative Council passed in July 2005, charged with:

(i) preparing the draft measure and amending canon necessary to remove the legal obstacles to the consecration of women to the office of bishop;

(ii) preparing a draft of possible additional legal provision consistent with Canon A4 to establish arrangements that would seek to maintain the highest possible degree of communion with those conscientiously unable to receive the ministry of women bishops;

(iii) submitting the results of its work to the House of Bishops for consideration and submission to Synod; and

(c) instruct the Business Committee to make time available, before first consideration of the draft legislation, for the Synod to consider, in the light of any views expressed by the House of Bishops, the arrangements proposed in the drafting group’s report.

The motion, as amended, was carried on a show of hands.

Canon A4

A 4 Of the Form and Manner of Making, Ordaining, and Consecrating of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons

The Form and Manner of Making, Ordaining, and Consecrating of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, annexed to The Book of Common Prayer and commonly known as the Ordinal, is not repugnant to the Word of God; and those who are so made, ordained, or consecrated bishops, priests, or deacons, according to the said Ordinal, are lawfully made, ordained, or consecrated, and ought to be accounted, both by themselves and others, to be truly bishops, priests, or deacons.

——————
Text of original motion and amendments

The Archbishop of Canterbury moved:

14. That this Synod, believing that the implications of admitting women to the episcopate will best be discerned by continuing to explore in detail the practical and legislative arrangements:

(a) invite dioceses, deaneries and parishes to continue serious debate and reflection on the theological, practical, ecumenical and missiological aspects of the issue;

(b) invite the Archbishops’ Council, in consultation with the Standing Committee of the House of Bishops and the Appointments Committee, to secure the early appointment of a legislative drafting group charged with:

(i) preparing the draft measure and amending canon necessary to remove the legal obstacles to the consecration of women to the office of bishop;

(ii) preparing a draft of possible additional legal provision to establish arrangements that would seek to maintain the highest possible degree of communion with those conscientiously unable to receive the ministry of women bishops;

(iii) submitting the results of its work to the House of Bishops for consideration and submission to Synod; and

(c) instruct the Business Committee to make time available, before first consideration of the draft legislation, for the Synod to consider, in the light of any views expressed by the House of Bishops, the arrangements proposed in the drafting group’s report.

Preb David Houlding (London) moved as an amendment:

21. After the words “this Synod,” insert the words “endorsing Resolution 111.2 of the Lambeth Conference 1998 “that those who dissent from, as well as those who assent to the ordination of women to the priesthood and episcopate are both loyal Anglicans” and”.

Item 21 was carried by 209 votes in favour to 166 against.

Sister Anne Williams (Durham) moved as an amendment:

22. At the end of paragraph (a) insert the words “with particular reference to the Rochester Commission Report (Women Bishops in the Church of England?) and GS Misc 827 (Resources for Reflection)”.

Item 22 was defeated on a show of hands.

The Ven Jonathan Greener (Wakefield) moved as an amendment:

23. Leave out paragraphs (b) and (c) and insert as a new paragraph (b):

“(b) refer the matter back to the House of Bishops for further consideration, until such time as they can propose arrangements that maintain the highest possible degree of communion with those conscientiously unable to receive the ministry of women bishops;”

Item 23 was defeated on a show of hands.

Canon Cynthia Dowdle (Liverpool) moved as an amendment:

24. In paragraph (b) after the words “legislative drafting group” insert the words “, which will aim to include a significant representation of women in the spirit of Resolution 13/31 of the Anglican Consultative Council passed in July 2005,”.

Item 24 was carried on a show of hands.

The Ven Arthur Hawes (Lincoln) moved as an amendment:

25. In paragraph (b)(ii) leave out the words “of possible additional legal provision to establish arrangements that would seek to” and insert the words “Code of Practice in order to”.

Item 25 was defeated on a show of hands.

The Revd Paul Benfield (Blackburn) moved as an amendment:

26. In paragraph (b)(ii) leave out the words “a draft” and insert the words “drafts” and leave out the word “provision” and insert the word “provisions”.

Item 26 was defeated by 157 votes in favour to 192 votes against.

Canon Jane Sinclair (Sheffield) moved as an amendment:

27. In paragraph (b)(ii) after the word “provision” (or “provisions” as the case the case may be) insert the words “consistent with Canon A4”.

Item 27 was carried following a vote by houses – details below.

for against
bishops 27 11
clergy 118 67
laity 103 93

The Revd Jeremy Crocker (St Albans) to move as an amendment:

28. In paragraph (b)(iii) after the words “submission to Synod” insert the words “by February 2007”.

Item 28 was defeated on a show of hands.

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Prior AelredLaurence RobertsAnglicanusaustin Recent comment authors
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austin
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austin

Has a copy of Canon A4 been sent to the Pope?

Perhaps it should renamed the “O yes, we jolly well are!” canon.

Anglicanus
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Anglicanus

How important is it that a significant representation of women should be involved in the process? When the Church of England legislates for homosexual christians it doesn’t seem to apply this rule of balanced representation on the drafting committee. That is of course presuming that the House of Bishops doesn’t at present contain such a ‘significant’ representation. And IF it does, why was Dr Jeffrey John’s consecration opposed?

Prior Aelred
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Anglicanus —

My understanding was that the _official_ reason for the opposition to the appointment of Jeffery John to Reading was his private theological opinion that the the working document “Some Issues in Sexuality” was flawed, although he was willing to abide by it in practice. The real reason was, IMHO, that he was honest (unlike the closeted gay men currently on the Bench of Bishops, but they should have the right to make their own decisions — I just happen to think that they are making the wrong one about this …)

Laurence Roberts
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Laurence Roberts

General Synod Motion 2008 The motion as put to Synod was :– That this Synod, affirms “that those who dissent from, as well as those who assent to the baptism,marriage and ordination of lesbian and gay people to the priesthood and episcopate, are both loyal Anglicans”, and believing that the implications of admitting women to the episcopate will best be discerned by continuing to explore in detail the practical and legislative arrangements: (a) invite dioceses, deaneries and parishes to continue serious debate and reflection on the theological, practical, ecumenical and missiological aspects of the issue; (b) invite the Archbishops’ Council,… Read more »

Laurence Roberts
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Laurence Roberts

John should never have stood down, having received the Royal Assent, he needed no other.

Laurence Roberts
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Laurence Roberts

Prior Aelred I agree with you, but the gay bishops shouldnt have to do it alone, but with the full support of the C of E bishops. It’d make such a difference to the situation of the Church. Honesty not to say truth, can make such a difference.

Let your Yeah be Yeah

(Matthew’s gospel and George Fox )

Prior Aelred
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Laurence Roberts —

I agree that full support by the entire Bench of Bishops sounds like a Gospel imperative, but the ecclesiastical closets seem to be constructed in such a manner that they are very difficult indeed to get out of — OTOH, viewed from afar, the bishops appear to be an unenterprizing lot without having Thatcher to get them worked up about something. But the appointment process would seem to militate against extremists (admittedly, most do).