(Anglican Ink) A "liberal" member of Synod explains his "no" vote on women bishops

By Tom Sutcliffe

I voted for women priests in 1992 and I am in principle keen that we should have women bishops in the Church of England. But I voted against the Measure being proposed for final approval yesterday. I had two main reasons for voting no.

It simply is not true that it made appropriate provisions for the two minorities of less than a third of Church members who cannot accept the ordination or consecration of women as being consistent with their understanding of scripture and tradition. It may well be that traditionalist Anglo-Catholics could have lived awkwardly with the Measure as proposed had it got through. But conservative evangelicals would have been severely affected and in an impossible position.

People seem to have forgotten the promises that were made to the minority that their integrity would not be challenged as fully-fledged and authentic members of the CofE during the current and ongoing “period of reception” of the whole issue of ordaining and consecrating women. It would have been disastrous for a Church to flagrantly over-ride assurances it once gave.

Read it all.


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One comment on “(Anglican Ink) A "liberal" member of Synod explains his "no" vote on women bishops

  1. MichaelA says:

    Unfortunately too many of the proponents of women bishops are not prepared to think. This man is:
    [blockquote] “I do not want the Church to vote to shrink more, and there is no doubt that the ordination of women has not had the entirely positive effect that was anticipated. It has not led to an increase in the membership or the effectiveness of our church, however good most women priests have been. The decline in numbers and in status and in the respect in which we are held by ordinary citizens who are not active members has become precipitate.” [/blockquote]
    It was against this background that the proponents of the measure managed to lose it:
    [blockquote] “We were told over and over again that provision was being made for those who reject women clergy and bishops. But this was simply untrue. It was a lie. These minorities had sought arrangements on which they could rely. But instead what they had said they needed had been consistently rejected – or, when the Archbishops made some effort to achieve a compromise that would work for them, neither Archbishop managed the process of promoting what they were proposing at all well. That was how the Church arrived at this situation fraught as it was with dishonesty and illusion. That the vote went against the Measure despite the immense pressure placed on the Laity should suggest that what was being proposed was seen as a serious problem. It was defeated by a coalition that included many lay people who want there to be women bishops but not by dishonest inadequate means that were demonstrably not fit for purpose.” [/blockquote]