Church of England Votes down Female Bishops


The general synod of the Church of England voted on Tuesday not to allow women to be ordained as bishops.

The measure failed to win the support of two-thirds’ majorities in all three of the church’s houses: bishops, clergy and laity.

Some supporters of female ordination were put off by a controversial provision that would have allowed parishes opposed to female bishops to request a stand-in male bishop. Opponents of the provision said it would condemn women to second-tier bishop status.

The church’s two top clergymen, outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and his successor, Justin Welby, both supported the ordination of women.

The rejection means that a new vote on female ordination cannot be held until 2019. If the measure had passed, the first female bishop might have been ordained as early as 2014.

The 1,400-year-old church began ordaining women as priests in 1994. Women currently make up about a third of all clergy in the Church of England.



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