God to CofE: You WILL have women bishops
The General Synod has voted to restart the legislative process to allow women to become bishops.
Yes, less than a year after the previous proposals were (narrowly) rejected, the Synod has reaffirmed its commitment to women bishops and called for new draft legislation to be introduced. It will be considered at the November Synod, with the aim of reaching final approval in July or November 2015.
So, the previous failure to reach the requisite majority in the House of Laity was clearly not in accordance with God's will: the proposal enjoyed the support of 73% of Synod members overall, and that clearly better reflects the Holy Spirit.
Satan entered the Laity, and caused a bit of a blip.
Not to worry: the holier House of Clergy and the even holier House of Bishops (especially +Pete) to the rescue.
Introducing the debate, the Rt Rev'd Nigel Stock, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, who chaired the Working Group set up by the House of Bishops to advise on new legislative proposals, said: “I believe that option one, together with a mandatory mediation process and including as it does a declaration or, possibly, Act of Synod deserves to be taken very seriously as a means to provide the basis for securing the necessary majorities in the lifetime of this Synod.”
The House of Bishops had recommended that draft legislation be prepared on that basis described as ‘option one’ in the report of the Working Group established by the House to consider possible ways forward. That involved:
- a measure and amending canon that made it lawful for women to become bishops;Accepting the proposal made by the House, the General Synod passed the motion, by 319 votes to 84, in the following form:
- the repeal of the statutory rights to pass Resolutions A and B under the Priests (Ordination of Women) Measure 1993, plus the rescinding of the Episcopal Ministry Act of Synod 1993; and
- arrangements for those who, as a matter of theological conviction, are unable to receive the ministry of women bishops or priests, set out either in a declaration from the House of Bishops or in a new Act of Synod.
That this Synod:The Report from the House of Bishops, Women In the Episcopate – New Legislative Proposals (GS1886) was the result of some nifty drafting and re-drafting following the receipt of 376 responses to the previous discussion document. Some 10 of these were from campaign groups or other organisations, and three from bishops. Of the rest, 154 were from members of the Synod and 209 from 'others'.
(a) reaffirm its commitment to admitting women to the episcopate as a matter of urgency;
(b) instruct the Appointments Committee to appoint this month a Steering Committee to be in charge of the draft legislation required to that end;
(c) instruct the Business Committee to arrange for the First Consideration stage for that draft legislation to be taken at the November 2013 group of sessions, so that the subsequent stages can follow the timetable set out in paragraph 141 of the annex to GS 1886;
(d) instruct the Steering Committee to prepare the draft legislation on the basis described in paragraphs 79-88 of the annex to GS 1886 as ‘option one’ with the addition of a mandatory grievance procedure for parishes in which diocesan bishops are required to participate and invite the House of Bishops to bring to the Synod for consideration at the February 2014 group of sessions a draft Act of Synod or draft declaration to be made by the House to accompany the draft legislation; and
(e) urge that the process of facilitated conversations continue to be used at significant points in the formulation and consideration of the draft legislation.
Let us hope and pray that God's will is done this time.
It is embarrassing to be a member of a church that is so deplorably and offensively out of sync with the Divine Will.
Or perhaps it's just the recalcitrant Laity.