November 20, 2012

Why No

I will venture to suggest that the bulk of those voting against the draft measure to approve the ordination of women to the episcopate in the General Synod of the Church of England fall into three categories:

1 & 2. Evangelicals or Anglo-Catholics firmly opposed to the idea of women bishops on the ground that a woman is incapable of holding such an office; or

3. Progressives who felt that the compromise resolution would mean that any women called to the episcopate would be equally compromised in their ministry, by the ability of the parish to request alternative episcopal oversight — which request was to be “respected.”

So it seems that the moderate middle failed to carry the day, and England will have to wait a bit longer for women to come to the office of bishop there. It was a narrow defeat, by a handful of votes in one order, but a defeat nonetheless.

Maybe next time...

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG
h/t Thinking Anglicans

6 comments:

Grandmère Mimi said...

Tobias, I tend to agree. Is what you wrote your opinion, or have you heard from people who were present? I'd be very interested to know how many progressives amongst the laity voted against the motion.

Tobias Stanislas Haller said...

Dear Mimi, this is an impression I have based on the reports that were circulating prior to the Synod. I imagine the progressive no-votes were fewer than the reactionary, but I think there were some. To be perfectly frank, I don't know how I would have voted, as I think the provision for alternative oversight is a bad idea, and creates a kind of second class bishop, and a ghetto mentality. Weighing that against having women on the bench is, for me, a tough sell. In short, part of me thinks that this is not an issue on which compromise is a good idea; yet part of me also would like to move at least incrementally forward. It's just we've seen the backfire of this particular issue up close and personal in the US, and I'd like to think we can learn from it. The good news is, I think, unless some last minute chicanery takes place, that when the issue comes up again there will be no compromise. English folk are already looking to the elections at the next synod, and this will no doubt be an issue.

Grandmère Mimi said...

I can't say how I would have voted, either. My decision would have gone down to the wire.

Tobias Stanislas Haller said...

Speaking of down-to-the-wire votes, just got home from seeing "Lincoln." Very powerful and moving, great performances.

Grandmère Mimi said...

My daughter was just here, and she said the same about "Lincoln". Everyone I know says the movie is excellent.

Tobias Stanislas Haller said...

This is the first "must see" I've seen in a few years.