The letter from 17 men bishops provoked the following two items in the Church of England Newspaper
Women clergy express anger at bishops’ Synod appeal
A debilitating delay? by Christina Rees which says in part:
Last week’s letter from the Bishop in Europe and other bishops bears closer inspection, not only because of its contents, but also because of its timing and signatories. Of the six diocesan bishops who signed the letter, three – the Bishops of Blackburn, Chichester and Europe – are known as being opposed women’s ordination. It is difficult to understand why they have asked for a longer period of discussion, when they have made it clear that they are opposed to ordaining women as priests or as bishops, now or at any time.
The Bishop in Europe was a member of the House of Bishops Working Party on Women in the Episcopate, which produced the Rochester Report. That Working Party spent over four years in study and discussion and considered over 700 written submissions and a number of face to face submissions.
The Bishop of Blackburn is currently a member of another working party set up earlier this year by the House of Bishops to explore some of the options outlined in the Rochester Report and to report to the House of Bishops in January. It seems particularly odd that these two bishops, both involved with the open processes of the General Synod and their own House of Bishops, should choose to sign a letter asking for that very process to be deflected and delayed.
On the other hand, for Church Society the 17 bishops didn’t go anyway near far enough, OPEN LETTER TO THE ARCHBISHOPS AND BISHOPS OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND
Fulcrum had this fence-sitting Response to the General Synod Motion on Women Bishops July 2005 but also re-published this article by Judith Rose to complement this one from Tom Wright.