Saturday, 8 July 2006

General Synod: debates on women bishops: 1

Synod had the first of its two debates on Women in the Episcopate today (Saturday) morning. The Archbishop of York proposed the motion:

‘That this Synod welcome and affirm the view of the majority of the House of Bishops that admitting women to the episcopate in the Church of England is consonant with the faith of the Church as the Church of England has received it and would be a proper development in proclaiming afresh in this generation the grace and truth of Christ.’

The two amendments below were proposed to the motion but both were clearly defeated on a show of hands.

Leave out the words “welcome and affirm” and insert the word “note”.

At the end insert the words “and note the possible ecumenical implications of such a development in light of the contributions of the representatives of other Churches who took part in the presentation at the February 2006 group of sessions”.

A vote by houses was taken on the main motion. Whilst the motion was very clearly carried in each house, the majority in the House of Laity was a little short of the two-thirds that will be required at final approval of the measure that will actually allow women to become bishops.

Here are the detailed voting figures.

Posted by Peter Owen on Saturday, 8 July 2006 at 2:05pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: General Synod

Sorry I am not up on the proceedures & methods of synod -- but am I right that this means that there will be no possibility of women bishops in the C of E because of the position of the lay members? (so much for Cardinal Kasper's appeal to the bishops) -- barring the possibility of the lay members changing their minds before next synod (or new members having a different position) -- is this correct? How long are the members in office? Do they all change at once, or is membership staggered?

Posted by: Prior Aelred on Saturday, 8 July 2006 at 4:13pm BST

Yes, elections are held every five years (the last election was in 2005) for clergy and laity, all at once.

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 8 July 2006 at 4:27pm BST

Any chance of seeing which way specific bishops voted?

Posted by: JBE on Saturday, 8 July 2006 at 6:03pm BST

I find the extent of the shift since the February vote to investigate Transferred Episcopal Authority as a way to enable women to become C/E bishops very significant. Synod members recognize that this is a complex matter. Some think that there will be sufficient laity who voted "No" now changing their minds to enable a two-thirds majority at Final Approval. I think there could be a change in the other direction unless there is real discussion to resolve current difficulties so we end up with a Measure that is truly owned by the Church as a whole. This is not a done deal by any means.

Posted by: Roger Stokes on Sunday, 9 July 2006 at 12:01am BST
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