Church of England votes in favour of ordaining women bishops
The Church of England has voted in favor of the ordination of women bishops, at its General Synod on July 14, after two decades of heated debate and discussion that has provoked serious divisions within its membership. "Today is the completion of what was begun over 20 years ago with the ordination of women as priests. I am delighted with today's result," said Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, spiritual leader of the world's 80 million Anglicans.
Anglicans say 'yes' to female bishops (Photo: Vatican Insider)
The decision marks a significant break with the two-thousand year old Christian tradition that is preserved by the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, which count for more than half of all Christians. The General Synod is the Church’s governing body, and for the motion to succeed it required a two-thirds majority in the synod’s three houses: the House of Bishops, the House of Clergy and the House of Laity. A total of 351 members of the Synod's three different houses voted in favor of the measure, while 72 voted against and 10 abstained. The General Synod had voted narrowly against the ordination of women as bishops on 20 November 2012, with the laity vote being decisive on that occasion (132 in favor and 70 against), but the yes vote this time round did not come as a great surprise. The decision comes after years of heated debate and discussion within its fold.
The Church of England has had women priests since 1994, and this already caused serious divisions in the Church. Indeed, some 4-500 hundred priests and thousands of lay faithful decided to join the Roman Catholic Church, and many are now serving as priests, including hundreds who are married.
Gerard O’Connell for Vatican Insider
Source: ucanews.com (Jul 15, 2014)