The General Synod of the Church of England voted today that women can be consecrated as bishops, 18 months years after a similar measure was controversially voted down.
The vote required passage by a two-thirds majority in the synod's three houses of bishops, clergy and laity. The House of Bishops approved of women bishops 37 to 2 with one abstention, the House of Clergy approved 162 to 25 with four abstentions, and the House of Laity approved 152 to 45 with five abstentions.
In an interview with BBC prior to the vote, Archbishop of Canterbury Rev. Justin Welby, who supported consecrating women bishops, said there's a "good chance of the first woman bishop being announced very early in 2015, possibly been chosen before that."
In 2012, a vote to approve allowing women bishops passed among bishops and clergy but failed by six votes among lay members.
This is sure to make American religious right fanatics very angry which is par for the course, but it's something that the Catholic Church should also embrace sooner rather than later.
The motion had the backing of the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Prime Minister David Cameron.
Speaking in the debate, Archbishop Welby said Church of England bishops were committed to meeting their needs should the legislation be passed.
It contained concessions for those parishes that continue to object to the appointment of a women bishop - giving them the right to ask for a male alternative and to take disputes to an independent arbitrator.
In a statement issued by Lambeth Palace, Archbishop Welby said he was "delighted".
"Today marks the start of a great adventure of seeking mutual flourishing while still, in some cases disagreeing. The challenge for us will be for the church to model good disagreement and to continue to demonstrate love for those who disagree on theological grounds."
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The Archbishop of York John Sentamu said it was a "momentous day".
In other timesExcuse me, but who appointed the Catholic Bishops Gods and Guardians of All Things? As one who spent her time in the Girl Scouts along with her friends in elementary school all those years ago, I have only good things to say about Read more...