Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Sheffield synod votes in favour of women bishops

In the Anglican communion, the squabbles over gay bishops and women bishops are closely linked. The threats of secession,  and calls for special treatment for priests and parishes who dissent on women bishops, have been widely reported. It is worth noting therefore, the less widely reported, slow and undramatic progress of the diocesan votes to ratification of the synodal decision to approve women bishops. 

In the latest vote, the Sheffield diocese has joined those voting in support of the proposal. I do not have an up to date tally of all the diocesan votes so far, but the last time I saw one, the total number of votes against was - nil.

The simple fact is, that at least inside the UK, the opposition to women bishops is a distinctly minority position. There will in the relatively near future be women bishops, selected from the large pool of excellent women priests, and those few who remain opposed will quickly get used to them - just as after initial misgivings. most Anglicans quickly got used to female priests. 

In the same way, there will also quickly follow widespread approval for gay or lesbian bishops. It's only a matter of time.

"REPRESENTATIVES of the Anglican Church in the Sheffield region have voted in support of women bishops.

A motion was carried by 37 votes to 28 with six abstentions. The Bishop of Sheffield, the Rt Rev Steven Croft, voted in favour at a meeting of the Sheffield Diocesan Synod last Saturday.

The outcome indicated the laity was more convinced that the clergy. Laity voted 23-16 in favour with one abstention, clergy 13-12 with five abstentions."

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