15:37 21 November 2012
Whether or not women could become bishops was a vote that was nearly granted on Tuesdayat the General Synod. But with the majority vote favouring ‘no’, the Church of England will not allow women to be ordained as bishops.
The Church has made its decision, and the legislation required at least two-thirds majority in all three houses in order to win final approval for women to become bishops as well as men. It is thought there were only six votes separating the decision.
Based on reports, the soon-to-be Archbishop of Canterbury Bishop Justin Welby, having apparently become open to the idea of having women bishops, commented that the result had made it “a very grim day”.
Doctor Rowan Williams, the current Archbishop of Canterbury, is also understood to have been campaigning for the ‘yes’ vote.
The debate seemed to focus on whether the traditionalists would find the proposal acceptable. There were threats that they could even have walked out of the meeting.
If the legislation had required all the votes it needed, there would have been the first women bishops in 2014.
The issue cannot be expected to be re-addressed until the next Synod in 2015.
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