Church has 'lost credibility' by failing to introduce women bishops
The Church of England has ‘lost a measure of credibility’ following its decision to reject the introduction of women bishops, the Archbishop of Canterbury has said.
The long-awaited measure – which came to a head after 12 years of debate and more than three decades of campaigning – was rejected yesterday, after just six votes against, were enough to block it.
‘Whatever the motivations for voting yesterday, whatever the theological principle on which people acted and spoke, the fact remains that a great deal of this discussion is not intelligible to our wider society – worse than that, it seems that we are wilfully blind to some of the trends and priorities in that wider society,’ said The Most Reverend Rowan Williams.
‘Everybody accepts women bishops. The timing is not an easy one but I am one of those that strongly believes… there will be in my lifetime,’ added Archbishop John Sentamu.
A Downing Street spokesman said the Prime Minister was also disappointed at the result of the vote, but that it was a ‘matter for the Church to decide.’
But not all are advocates; the Rev Prebendary Rod Thomas, chairman of the conservative evangelical group Reform, said: ‘We have avoided what could have been a disastrous mistake for our unity and witness.’
Church rules state that the measure cannot be brought back before the synod ‘in the same form,’ during the current term, set to end in 2015.
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