kunc-header-1440x90.png
NPR for Northern Colorado
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Church Of England Votes Against Introducing Female Bishops

Rev. Sally Hitchiner stands outside Church House during a lunch break on Tuesday.
Peter Macdiarmid
/
Getty Images
Rev. Sally Hitchiner stands outside Church House during a lunch break on Tuesday.

The Guardian, which followed the vote live, says whether to allow female bishops was the Church of England's biggest decision in 20 years.

A majority of the House of Bishops voted yes. A majority of the House of Clergy voted yes. But about 36 percent of The House of Laity, members elected by lay members of the church, voted no.

The measure needed a two-thirds majority in all three houses to pass.

The Guardian writes:

"It was a long day of debate, with over 100 speeches made and some points of view repeated a number of times. Broadly, speakers for the motion wanted women to be treated equally in the church and wanted Anglicans to set an example to the secular world in overcoming their differences. Those against felt the concept of female bishops could not be reconciled with scripture, and felt that compromise, for that reason, was not a Christian value.

"Some on both sides felt the compromise measure before the General Synod – under which women would become bishops but could delegate authority to a male bishop if their parish requested it – meant the motion was fatally flawed. Others, such as Justin Welby, who will take over from Rowan Williams as Archishop of Canterbury in the new year, said the compromise was 'as good as we can get'. He urged the synod to vote for the motion. Earlier, Williams, also in favour, had said he wanted the world to look at the Church today and say: ' That looks like Jesus Christ.'"

The AP says that new legislation "may take five years to go through the process of taking new legislation to a final vote."

"Sister churches of the Anglican Communion in Australia, New Zealand and the United States already have women serving as bishops," the AP adds. "Southern Africa joined that group on Sunday with the consecration of Ellinah Wamukoya as the Anglican bishop of Swaziland."

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta
Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.
Related Content
  • Rowan Williams, the spiritual leader for more than 70 million Anglicans around the world, announced today that he will leave at the end of the year to become Master of Magdalene College at Cambridge University. He has been archbishop since 2002.
  • The King James translation, first published 400 years ago, is celebrating a birthday of biblical proportions. It's no longer the top-selling Bible, but in those four centuries, it has woven itself deeply into our speech and culture.
  • An Occupy London protest aimed at highlighting social injustice, the greed of bankers, and the incompetence of politicians has ended up causing unexpected havoc within the Church of England. Two senior clerics from St. Paul's Cathedral have resigned in a row over how to respond to the protesters, who have a camp outside the landmark church. Internal divisions arose when the cathedral authorities began legal moves to evict the campers — proceedings that they've now dropped.