There is also the good old Anglican via media option: some are seeking a 'conscience' amendment to the legislation which will permit them to ignore the territorial authority of a female bishop and be overseen by an itinerant male one instead. That way, the Church gets its women bishops and the traditionalists are catered for in the provision of a 'flying' male alternative. His Grace doesn't quite think many women will find this acceptable: it's a little like the Conservative Party appointing Margaret Thatcher as their leader, but making provision for the misogynist wing of the Parliamentary Party to respond only to the authority of Michael Heseltine. A house divided, and all that...
Yes, His Grace is fully aware that the Church must adhere to Scripture, and that Bagehot, Dicey, Erskine May and the Constitution of the Conservative Party do not constitute sacred writ. But the Church of England is not and never has been governed by sola scriptura: there are two millennia of Church tradition; the rational thinking of human reason; and expression of the individual and corporate experience. The Church of England has traditionally shown itself to be adaptable to changing social customs and mores. As far as women bishops are concerned, this quadrilateral is evenly divided.
In a context in which the media only reports the Church's struggles, humilations and divisions, this week is not going to be a good one for the image of the Bride of Christ. Once the arguments begin, you will see pictures of snarling men and hear the whimpering of distraught women. And you will hear of almost universal derision and scorn for the 'insulting', 'derisory' or 'apartheid' proposal that parishes not wishing to be led by a woman bishop may seek her permission to be overseen by a man instead. It is a compromise which some female priests have learnt to live with, so why can't female bishops?
The issue, of course, is that one is either an overseer called by God to lead the Church, or one is not. There is no office of quasi-bishop from whose supervision a faction may demur. If a female bishop has less authority than a male bishop, we have a two-tier system in which women are still discriminated against. There is probably nothing which will prevent the Church of England from splitting over this: the structural tensions have become too great for the crumbling foundations to bear. You can polyfill, paint and wallpaper to your heart's content: it is pointless when the building needs underpinning. Who'd have thought it? From fourth-century Nicea with its divisions and schisms surrounding the divinity of Christ, to 21st-centrury London with its divisions and schisms on the distinctly secondary, even peripheral issue of the possession of a penis. Ut Unum Sint? Pull the other one.