Comments: General Synod - women bishops debate

Exactly 2/3 for, 1/3 against. Hope this doesn't reflect the mood for/against women as bishops

Posted by Conrad HC at Monday, 9 July 2012 at 12:27pm BST

2/3 : 1/3 It does seem quite close to the assumed ratio of supporters to opponents in General Synod. So it may well be that opponents of women bishops thought the amended measure wouldn't be passed.

I listened to the debate today via the Premier Radio live feed and there seemed to be quite a strong suggestion that the House of Bishops were inclined to stand by the amendment and would use the time to explain it better so more Synod members agreed with it.

Posted by Pam Smith at Monday, 9 July 2012 at 1:44pm BST

"Exactly 2/3 for, 1/3 against"
288 For - 144 Against
If that does reflect the mood for/against women as bishops - then the 15 Abstentions will be crucial - if they decide to vote either for or against in November.

Posted by Father David at Monday, 9 July 2012 at 2:26pm BST

It is more nuanced than that. In November the legislation will be voted on in houses and need 2/3 majority in each house. At present we do not know how this morning's vote would have broken down by houses but it is a fair bet that the majority was not equal in all 3 houses. So it may well be that the legislation is considerably short of 2/3 in one house and over that in another. If that is so, it is going to fall!

Posted by Rose at Monday, 9 July 2012 at 5:38pm BST

Archbishop Rowan gave a most reasoned and reasonable defence of the amendments in his address to Synod. After such a sterling explanation as to why the House of Bishops passed the amendments by an overwhelming majority it is difficult to see how they could possibly amend the amendments.

Posted by Father David at Monday, 9 July 2012 at 6:37pm BST

David - how do you know what he voting figures were in the House of Bishops?

Posted by Charles Read at Tuesday, 10 July 2012 at 12:36am BST

You can read too much into these figures. Some female supporters of women bishops were strongly advocating not to further delay matters by voting for an adjournment but to vote for the amended legislation on Monday as planned, Some of the votes were therefore against the adjournment, not against the amended legislation.

Posted by David Williams at Tuesday, 10 July 2012 at 3:23am BST

Charles - how do I know what the voting figures were in the House of Bishops? I suggest that you ask Simon - as he seems remarkably well informed on this matter.

Posted by Father David at Tuesday, 10 July 2012 at 10:03am BST

I was disappointed that ++Rowan's response to the motion for adjournment was - admittedly dressed up in very well formed rhetoric - 'I am sorry that some people have been upset by our very reasonable actions.'

From what he said, the only development he is contemplating before November is finding a way of better explaining the amendment so those of us who are opposed to its inclusion should understand it better.

In other words, Father still knows best :-(

It seems the House of Bishops are really not confident that General Synod will pass a non-discriminatory measure. Given the widespread support for such a measure in the Dioceses, it would indeed be shocking if it fell in General Synod. However, this would also surely lead to serious scrutiny of how the C of E is governed and led. Perhaps in terms of our mission and ministry that, rather than moving our discriminatory practice onto a new level, is actually what we need?

Posted by Pam Smith at Tuesday, 10 July 2012 at 10:38am BST

In other words Father knows best.

Well, the Cof E is still supposed to be episcopally led, even if synodically governed.

Beware, you may vote for women bishops and end up abolishing them!

Posted by jason adderbury at Wednesday, 11 July 2012 at 7:39am BST

jason adderbury -

There are of course many interpretations of what leadership means, but the model that we are urged to adopt in the C of E is collaborative - which is very much NOT a question of saying what should happen and then expecting everyone to fall into line.

We are not conscripts but volunteers - even those employed by the C of E have the option of seeking alternative employment.

So I'd be quite surprised if you could find many members of the House of Bishops who wanted to exercise that style of leadership, let alone felt it would be a success.

As was pointed out to General Synod, the governance of the C of E relies on the assent of Parliament to pass its measures, and without that assent any measure falls. And regardless of whose will should prevail in deciding what to put forward in a measure, without the assent of Parliament no measure will reach the statute books. The Bishops exercise leadership within the C of E and General Synod with that in mind.

I'm afraid your last comment is a little too gnomic for me to understand - could you explain it?

(In point of fact I don't have a vote as I'm not in any level of Synod or on a PCC but leave that to one side).

Posted by Pam Smith at Wednesday, 11 July 2012 at 5:24pm BST
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