Women and the Church (WATCH) has issued a press release. The headline is Women bishops “highly unlikely” for another five years.
At the recent meeting of General Synod, members were told by the Chair of the
Legislative Drafting Group that it was “highly unlikely” that the vote on women
bishops would be taken by July 2010.
The Bishop of Manchester, the Rt Revd Nigel McCulloch, chair of the group
preparing draft legislation for women bishops, outlined the process and predicted
the likely time it would take.
The bishop’s statement shocked a large number of Synod members, who met and
expressed their outrage at the length of time the process was taking…
This release also includes these remarks of Professor Anthony Berry, a member of General Synod, from Chester diocese:
The opponents of women priests and bishops argue that men and women were
created as complements to each other as a creative and creating sexual couple. But
such opponents then adduce that one of the sexes is, to borrow Orwell’s, phrase
“more equal than the other” in matters of authority. This argument surely cannot hold
in matters of the church spiritual for if it did, we Christians would have to accept that
the created order would place men or women subservient to the other.
“Further if this equal but sexually different argument is driven into matters of church
order (the church temporal) then it sexualises the whole of my male human identity
and capabilities and claims that these are in all cases superior to the sexualised
identity and capabilities of all women. I find this profoundly offensive to my
understanding of human sexuality, identities and capabilities and also to my
relations with both men and women.
“The business managers of the Church are probably right to have some sensitivity in
the run up to the Lambeth Conference, but in the Anglican covenant process it has
been legally confirmed that the Church of England has the right under the Queen in
Parliament to order its own affairs. Wisely, this ordering is done in the context of the
wider Anglican Communion, where a number of provinces do already have women
“It is inconceivable that the process of legislation to put into effect the
decision of General Synod to proceed to Women Bishops should take more
than a year and a half. Certainly the legislative process could easily be
completed by July 2010. It would be negligent of the General Synod to permit
the matter to drag on into the next decade. The business managers of Synod
should already be considering having additional meetings of Synod to ensure
that this business is accomplished.”