The Church of England’s ruling body has voted its support for women to
become bishops without giving traditionalist supporters of male-only
priesthood the concessions they had sought.
One bishop broke down in tears at the meeting of senior British church
leaders Monday in York, northern England, as he described his distress
at the church’s lack of willingness to accommodate traditionalists who
have threatened to leave if they felt they were not adequately
“I feel ashamed,” said the Right Rev. Stephen Venner, Bishop of Dover,
who is in favor of women bishops. “We have talked for hours about
wanting to give an honorable place to those who disagree. We have been
given opportunities for both views to flourish. We have turned down
every, almost realistic opportunity for those who are opposed, to
Both sides conceded that tradition of male-only bishops would be
changed, and the lengthy debate centered on what accommodation would be
given to dissenters. This was not billed as a final decision; church
legislation to implement the change is to be debated next year.
I must be dense, but I never understood
how this was not anything but inevitable. After you swallow
women priests and dump scripture, theology, sacred traditions, and the
Church Fathers regarding this then what in the world would not allow
women priests to become bishops. It seems to me that the only
real reason at the time that they did not allow women bishops was
political and just and effort to not bleed off even more members as a
result. I mean what theology or tradition could separate
priests from becoming bishops if gender was not part of the equation?
I wonder if Anglicans who at that time were against women
bishops if they really did not see the day when they would be approved?
Though I guess all of us have ways to fool ourselves from
seeing something. For Anglicans and really most
Protestants what is controversial today will be approved and will
become the norm tomorrow.