Sunday, 8 August 2010

Women Bishops, UK

To judge from the press commentary, you could easily think that the Anglican Church was deeply divided over the issue of women bishops. In fact, repeating a pattern seen in the Catholic Church on many issues of sexual ethics, it is now clear that the church as a whole has no problem: the noise is coming from a handful of dissidents, and a significant further proportion of the resistance is coming from some moderates who themselves support the change, but are reluctant to upset the conservative wing over women (and gay) bishops - yet appear to be less concerned about the very real injury done to the women and gay men they are excluding. Fortunately, the British people as a whole are a different story entirely:  research shows that only 10% oppose women bishops. From Ekklesia:
Only one in 10 British adults oppose the introduction of women bishops in the Church of England, according to an independent poll conducted by YouGov. Pollsters found that 63 per cent support the move, while 24 per cent have no view and three per cent are unsure of their opinion. The poll, which was not commissioned by any body external to YouGov, comes shortly after heated debate about women bishops at the Church of England's General Synod. Supporters of openly gay bishops also outnumber opponents. Thirty-nine per cent say they are in favour, with 27 per cent against. In addition, 31 per cent have no opinion, while three per cent say they don't know. The figures are likely to reinforce the popular perception that Christians are reactionary and reluctant to change. Christians who support sexual inclusion argue that churches should be at the forefront of social change, not struggling to keep up. The researchers found that women were more likely than men not only to support women bishops, but also to support gay bishops.

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