Misogynist England now waging a war on women

England is clearly a misogynistic waging a war on women.  This must be true because the official state church of England has rejected women bishops.

From the site of The Church of England.

General Synod Rejects Draft Legislation on Women Bishops

20 November 2012

The General Synod of the Church of England has voted to reject the draft legislation to allow women to become bishops. [A move that would have made them them even more of a laughingstock for real Churches, with actual Apostolic Succession and valid Orders.]

Under the requirements of the Synod the legislation required a two-thirds majority in each of the three voting houses for final draft approval. Whilst more than two thirds voted for the legislation in both the House of Bishops (44-03) and the House of Clergy (148-45), the vote in favour of the legislation in the House of Laity was less than two-thirds (132-74). The vote in the House of Laity fell short of approval by six votes. [Would this have needed to go to the Queen for approval, as head of the Church of England?]

In total 324 members of the General Synod voted to approve the legislation and 122 voted to reject it.

The consequence of the “no” vote of terminating any further consideration of the draft legislation means that it will not be possible to introduce draft legislation in the same terms until a new General Synod comes into being in 2015, unless [Ooops! A loop-hole!] the ‘Group of Six‘ (the Archbishops, the Prolocutors [Would that be prolocútors or prolócutors?] and the Chair and Vice Chair of the House of Laity) give permission and report to the Synod why they have done so.

Speaking after the vote the Rt Revd Graham James, Bishop of Norwich, said:  “A clear majority of the General Synod today voted in favour of the legislation to consecrate women as Bishops. But the bar of approval is set very high in this Synod. [Unbelievable.] Two-thirds of each house has to approve the legislation for it to pass. This ensures the majority is overwhelming. The majority in the house of laity was not quite enough. This leaves us with a problem. 42 out of 44 dioceses approved the legislation and more than three quarters of members of diocesan synods voted in favour. There will be many who wonder why the General Synod expressed its mind so differently. [In every war there is the “fog of war”.]

“The House of Bishops recognises that the Church of England has expressed its mind that women should be consecrated as bishops. There is now an urgent task to find a fresh way forward to which so many of those who were opposed have pledged themselves.” [“It’s not our fault!  We tried!  We really did!”]

The House of Bishops of the Church of England will meet at 08.30am on Wednesday morning in emergency session [Ooooo!] to consider the consequences of the vote.

Exact voting figures will be found here.

They should in that emergency session immediately pass the provisions of Romanorum coetibus.

Benedict XVI is the Pope of Christian Unity.

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  1. asperges says:

    Poor old Williams is beside himself with grief: the one last spanner in the works he wanted to bequeath to the C of E before he went.

    One of the most eloquent opponents of women bishops is a Miss Zoe Ham, who quite correctly does not see this as an “equality” issue and has some grasp of the wider implications. See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20415689

    It shows the utter contempt for any suggestion of Unity so flaunted for 40 years. The Orthodox, who have shamelessly flirted with C of E for years, were appalled by the women ‘priests’ decision, but once you throw the baby out with the bathwater, why stop there? Women ‘bishops’ follow on as a logical next step.

  2. Ben Trovato says:

    To answer your question, Father, yes, the measure would have to have been approved by the Queen. Before that, it would have required legislation in Parliament. But neither of those would have been obstacles: parliament is desperate for women bishops in the C of E, and the Queen’s consent is a constitutional formality.

  3. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    I can’t imagine there are many folks with less right to weigh in on this than I have, so I’ll just say, I can’t see how any of this makes the slightest difference to us RCs.

  4. JacobWall says:

    Sorry to tell you, Fr. Z, but I think this really creates a setback in progress towards the Romanorum Coetibus. It seems like progress in the Church of England, (apparently like the Catholic Church in the U.S?) is being high-jacked by “ultra-conservatives” – except in their case it laity instead of bishops! How will these ultra-conservatives approve of bringing disgruntled liberal RCs into the flock? How will disgruntled liberal RCs feel comfortable in a church that could be so backwards, so cruel, so ultra-conservative as to block such legislation even once, even if only by 6 votes? Obviously, it’s not the warm, open, loving, everybody-is-good and everybody-feels-good church that people imagined.

    A real setback. I can’t see Romanorum Coetibus happening until at least 2015, and then depending on the legislation going through easily.

  5. JacobWall: What a pessimist you are! Maybe they will find some way to squeeze the gals in before then. Then its full speed ahead!

    Disaffected catholics need a safe-haven from patriarchal Rome!

  6. priests wife says:

    This doesn’t make any sense- if the C of E ordains womyn priests, how can they say no to womym bishops?

  7. acardnal says:

    Believe it or not the “CBS Evening News” just this moment announced this decision of the Church of England on air!

  8. raitchi2 says:

    I do find it interesting that the laity where the ones that saved the C of E, though by a slim margin.

  9. Charles E Flynn says:

    Does the “fresh way forward” have to pay royalties to Obama’s “Forward” on its way to colliding with the biological solution?

    I have been told by a highly-qualified historian that “emergency sessions” have a tendency to function at the level of the dullest person in the room.

  10. tgarcia2 says:

    Dr. Edward Peters-It does matter to us since I would not be shocked to see a greater increase with former Anglicans towards the Anglican Use Rite in the Church. Given how this may “split” the CoE, I say, let’s roll out the welcome home carpet!

  11. Captain Peabody says:

    The funny thing is that in the end, Parliament may actually force the measure through anyway. They still have broad powers over the Church of England, and many, many MPs said before the vote that if the measure was not passed, or was passed in a way that was too conciliatory towards “traditionalists,” then they would be taking steps to penalize the Church of England, apply strong pressure, and force women Bishops anyway.

    Which again, is pretty funny, if you find naked caesaro-papism funny.

  12. tgarcia2 says:

    Kind of related, but, we have this Anglican Franciscan seminarian coming to the Newman center at UTEP and we’re working on bringing him back (so far, there is movement!) but a good friend of mine joked with him “How does Apastolic sucession work with the Queen? lol”….makes me wonder, how will they EVER explain that to kids if it does go through…

  13. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    tgarcia2, okay, like i say, what do i know? ps: wouldn’t it be the opposite effect? anyway, cheers.

  14. tgarcia2 says:

    It could be, it could not be…then again given the USCCB’s report on Anglican Use and you have about 1,000+ applications in process from Anglican Priests…well…I see this as a good start towards unification on the 2nd oldest schism in the Church.

  15. Denise says:

    I have followed this on some of the Episcopal blogs. It seems some of the “no” votes to this legislation were due to the inclusion of a conscience protection clause that provided for alternate oversight for parishes that objected to a female bishop. There were many who claimed this was demeaning to the women who might become bishops. There is talk of reintroducing the legislation without the conscience protection. That may be enough to sway the vote count of the laity.

  16. William Tighe says:

    As I suggested on another blog, we may well see “1559 come round again” if the legislation is defeated, as it now has been.

    I frequently invoke the example of the Church of Sweden and its long debilitating strife over WO as a kind of “Eram quod es, sum quod eris” (to quote a commonplace on medieval tomb inscriptions) mirror for the Church of England, but, in legal theory at least, the Erastian circumstances of the Church of England are far more thoroughgoing than those which prevailed in Sweden when the Church of Sweden was an established church (it was disestablished in 2000, but in way that left the liberal establishment totally in control of its governing structure). In Sweden, when the Church Assembly unexpectedly rejected WO in 1957 (with a majority of its bishops voting against it), the proponents were initially stymied, as Swedish law then required BOTH the Church Assembly AND the Swedish Parliament to approve any “ecclesiastical legislation” before it could become law. Not to worry, though: the Swedish Parliament rushed through legislation authorizing WO (which would apply to bishops as well as to priests), and then called new elections for a Church Assembly session to meet in 1958. In those elections, Swedish political parties put forward their own candidates for election as lay delegates to the Church Assembly, and the election campaign was attended by threats to disestablish the church and confiscate its assets. The strategy worked: in 1958 WO was approved (a number of bishops switched sides from the previous year’s vote), and the first women were (purportedly) ordained in 1960.

    The legislation was attended by a “conscience clause” intended to benefit opponents of WO, but in 1983 that clause was revoked, and in 1994 (and since 2000 in the disestablished church) the ordination as deacons or priests of anyone opposed to WO has been forbidden, and the selection as bishops of any clergy opposed to WO likewise.

    This could be the Church of England’s future as well, and, if I recall correctly, in England Parliament retains full authority to legislate “unilaterally” on church matters, should it choose to do so.

    Those interested may wish to consult this legal case:


    This 1997 case is a subsidiary to an earlier 1994 case, but I cannot find a report of the former case online. What is clear from it, however, is that it is still “settled law” in England that “the doctrine of the Church of England is whatever Parliament declares it to be.” So Erastianism rules okay.

    The real parallel to England is Denmark, where the Danish Parliament legislated for WO in 1947 despite the opposition at the time to WO of eight of the ten bishops of the Danish State Church. The Danish government over the next decade ensured that only proponents of WO became bishops; only one was left by 1956, and after that bishop retired in 1968 none were subsequently appointed. In Sweden, where the government’s role in appointing bishops was limited from selecting one of the three highest “vote getters” in episcopal “elections,” at least two elections resulted in all three “finalists” being opponents of WO, and so it was not until after the last Swedish bishop opposed to WO retired in 1991 that the Swedish church authorities, urged on by the civil authorities, moved to proscribe the ordination as deacons and pastors, or the selection as bishops, of all opponents of WO.

    And the moral of this long story? All moribund pseudo-churches, the lame Erastian creatures of the ambitions, resentment or greed of 16th-Century rulers, all of which have outlived any possible use to the degenerate descendants of their creators, and so must desperately seek some contemporary role for themselves — most plausibly as chaplains of the Zeitgeist.

  17. RobertK says:

    Just watched a video of Rowan comforting a few few so-called female priestesess as they were wailing away in grief. What a pathetic bunch to look at. Imagine a guy wailing away for not being allowed to be a Nun or Sister, even though he is male. This was a defeat for feminism in the CoE, not equality!!!. How can Rome even think of keeping a relationship (ARCIC), with pathetic displays like we have just seen yesterday. Rome and Canterbury cannot agree do disagree. what kind of relationship is that!!. A much better and upbeat video I watched yesterday. The enthronement of Coptic Patriarch Tawadros II. No wailing or crying feminists in that ceremony. Check it out.

  18. asperges says:

    (Writing Tue morning). The secular press today is beside itself with indignation at the affront to Equality and Diversity. The ‘Church’ is making a mockery of sex equality. There is talk of a challenge under that legislation – never mind there is might be a theological aspect. The C of E is currently exempt from Equality legislation: Parliament should now reverse that, they say.

    Here is an early warning. This IS of concern to Catholics, because should we be landed in the future with any ‘same sex marriages’ legislation (it is a receding possibility but by no means a dead issue), the promise that no church(es) would be forced to conduct them would most certainly be challenged on Equality grounds. That would seriously impact the Catholic Church in this country.

    Mark my words, the Tablet will be concocting a stinging editorial even as we speak: “leading the way, insensitive, move to the future, Catholic debate needs re-opening, time to re-evaluate…..”

    Once you tinker, demolish or disregard Divine Law, the bridge quickly collapses.

  19. asperges says:

    Sorry.. above writing WED morning (still too early…!)

  20. Clinton R. says:

    Another reason I am so grateful to be Catholic. Our Faith comes from Our Lord, through 2000 years of tradition, sound doctrine and under the papal office. The C of E continues on its course to irrelevance and ultimately its demise.

  21. Imrahil says:

    but once you throw the baby out with the bathwater, why stop there? Women ‘bishops’ follow on as a logical next step.

    Interesting question.

    But the theory which was, I take it, promoted by Anglicans, viz. that male s*x is required for the episcopate but not necessarily for the priesthood, does have its persuasiveness at face value. It is disprovable in the end; but the successors of the all-male Apostles are indeed the bishops, and the one who is called “married to the Church” is also indeed the bishop.

    Here, before going deeper into the theology, the fate of the Churches who once introduced women priesthood serves as sort of historical proof that we Catholics must have been right from the onset.

    [note: I used “Church” without reference to the question of being a Church and “priesthood” etc. without reference to validity]

  22. pmullane says:

    Only the Church of England could come up with such an unsatisfactory compromise as this. The Theological arguments point to reserving the priesthood and episcopate to men only, the secular ‘equalities’ arguments point to allowing everyone and their dog to be ‘priests’ and ‘bishops’, so the CofE split the difference and decide on a compromise that makes no sense to either the theologians and the equalitists. This is what a ‘democratic’ ‘church’ looks like, everyone gets a small sugar lump to feed their hobby horses, and noone is happy.

    I only hope that this doesnt stop any disaffected anglicans from swimming the Tiber, those for whom women ‘bishops’ were to be the straw that broke the camels back. You can be sure that its just a matter of time before this happens.

  23. Supertradmum says:

    There are two houses in the Anglican Church in England and perhaps a same arrangement in other countries. The proloculor is the chairman of the lower house, and presides over the discussions. It is an elected position and may be a dean of a college, for example. This arrangement pre-dates the Reformation by hundreds of years and served as the local USCCB type of governance, except that those churchmen other than bishops were involved. Abbots, priors, etc. were voting members and had a voice before the “King’s Triumph” as Robert Hugh Benson calls the wreckage, sarcastically, of the Reformation in England.

    One of the best and most entertaining ways of learning how the Anglican Church works is to read Trollope. There are also standing committees, as in the USCCB type of order, and at this moment, the prolocutor is a woman. The synod is a newer thing, as before it was called the Church Assembly.

    As to Parliament intervening, yes and no. If there would be a move on the part of the Prime Minister for such, then something would happen. Politicians may or may not be willing to put their positions on the line for this issue.

    As to the Ordinariate, this will not affect men coming in, as the rot has been seen for a long time and I personally believe it is just a matter of time before there are women bishops. The number of males entering any type of holy orders in countries where there are women bishops, such as Denmark and Sweden, has crashed accordingly and there are many grass-roots feelings in England that women should not be bishops.

  24. vetusta ecclesia says:

    Women clergy are already 1/3 of the ordained persons in the Anglican church. I do not think that this decision will impact the Ordinariate so much as, in this case, a strong part of the opposition to women bishops comes from the “sola scriptura” evangelical wing which would not touch Rome with a bargepole.

  25. MargaretC says:

    They’ve painted themselves into a corner. After all, there are parts of the Anglican Communion which have ordained women as both priests and bishops for years, and the C of E is still in “communion” with them. So how can someone be a bishop in one jurisdiction, but not in another?

  26. MargaretC says:

    And Apostolicae Curae, by the way, is still in effect.

  27. William Tighe says:

    At the ludicrously misnamed “Thinking Anglicans” website the backlash has already begun; just survey the comment threads on any of the last four or five postings there to witness a case of the old adage “Quos Iuppiter vult perdere dementat prius.” I also think of Martin Luther’s fine line about his Anabaptist fellow-reformer Thomas Muntzer, “He has swallowed the Holy Ghost, feathers and all.” I think that some of the commenters show signs of having swallowed a bellyful of feathers, and perhaps worse:


    I have tried to contribute to the discussion on this thread there:


  28. jeffreyquick says:

    What’s the issue? Most CofE bishops aren’t men now.

  29. Springkeeper says:

    As a formaer Episcopalian, I believe that they will find a way, and well before 2015, to have women bishops and then soon after will have a female Archbishop of Canterbury. The majority of the hierarchy (as jeffreyquick says) “aren’t men now”.

  30. Is it curious that in this instance the bishops and clergy showed less devotion to faith than the laity? Or is this a general phenomenon not restricted to Anglicans?

  31. Magash says:

    As said above, I wouldn’t read too much into this. The major tripping stone was the accommodation to traditionalist for a parallel structure for those not wanting to be under the jurisdiction of women bishops. They pull that and this thing will pass without trouble. As was also said above many of those in the C of E have seen this coming. Note that the “flying bishops” set up as an accommodation when women “priests” were “ordained” have all fled to Rome (may God bless and keep them.) It is rapidly reaching the point where those who will swim the Tiber over this issue have already grabbed their water wings.

  32. Giuseppe says:

    @Imrahil — I appreciate your separating ordination of women to the priesthood from elevation of women to the episcopacy. Because the first bishops (the apostles) were also the first priests (the apostles, as Holy Orders was first celebrated at the Last Supper), I assumed that once the priesthood barrier was broken in the C of E, then the episcopal barrier would soon follow.

    I do agree that official C of E reunion with Rome will be impossible under current circumstances, and I agree with several commenters that more C of E parishes will flock to Rome under Anglicanorum Coetibus. I also wonder if more African Anglican parishes will flock to Rome as well. This could be the death knell of the Anglican Communion and a fresh infusion of Anglicans into Roman Catholicism.

    And I agree with commenters that this was NOT saved by the laity, which opposition included many Anglicans who thought the proposal was not liberal enough. It was only stalled by the laity.

  33. MBeauregard says:

    I have a question for those more knowledgeable in British Law. If the reigning monarch’s conesent is required for such a legislation to pass, is it possible for the monarch to reject it? I know as stated above that the consent is a constitutional formality, but is it just possible? I ask this because Prince Charles just might be on the throne the next time this legislation makes its way back. I might be mistaken, but isn’t Prince Charles a more conservative Anglican?

  34. Fr AJ says:

    I read the letter signed by approx. 1000 Anglican ministers purported to be their argument of Biblical evidence to support their positive support for WO and WB. The only quote was from St. Paul writing that there is no male or female in Christ. Not exactly convincing especially considering he wasn’t speaking to Church leadership as he does elsewhere.

  35. Supertradmum says:

    MBeauregardPrince Charles is not even hardly an Anglican. He is a new ager and wants to change the oath to protector of “faith”, rather than the faith if and when he is king. UGH. No, he is not conservative. His father is the most conservative, followed by mum.

    As to British Law, Parliament is supreme. However, there has been veto power from the royals and as late as September 25th this year, there were articles in the British press on this. Here is a sample:

    “The government is fighting an information commissioner order requiring the release of secret documents that show how a little known power of royal veto over draft legislation operates.

    The Cabinet Office has launched a legal challenge to a ruling last month which warned that the government could be in contempt of court if it did not publish Whitehall guidance on a process which instructs civil servants to seek the approval of Prince Charles and the Queen over some new laws.

    The application of the controversial veto was revealed by the Guardian last year and has been described by constitutional lawyers as “a royal nuclear deterrent”.

    Some observers believe the power underpins the influence Prince Charles appears to wield in Whitehall over pet issues ranging from architecture to healthcare.

    The latest effort to keep secret the application of the royal veto comes amid claims on Tuesday that the Queen had lobbied a Labour home secretary to secure the arrest of Abu Hamza al-Masri, the radical Islamist cleric who faces imminent extradition to the US.

    The government and royal family are coming under growing pressure to reveal details about their interaction on policies.” from the Guardian, which is leftist, and sadly, the only paper in the monastery besides L’Osservatore Romano, neither of which I was allowed to read as only the prioress reads and shares what she thinks is fit to the nuns. Interesting.

    So forget about nutsy Charles.

  36. Supertradmum says:

    sorry should have been protector of “faiths” plural which is what Charles says he wants to do….duh.

  37. William Tighe says:

    “I have a question for those more knowledgeable in British Law. If the reigning monarch’s conesent is required for such a legislation to pass, is it possible for the monarch to reject it?”

    The last exercise of the Royal Veto (a veto of legislation that has passed both Houses of Parliament, and also an “absolute veto” which cannot be overridden by a parliamentary “supermajority”) was in 1707, by Queen Anne. It has not been abolished, and so could be still employed — but to do so would cause a major constitutional crisis. There have been cases, including, or so I have been told, under the present Queen, where the monarch has indicated principled opposition to a proposed piece of legislation (a proposal in the 1970s, for instance, to alter the law of succession to make the eldest child of the monarch rather than the eldest son heir to the throne), resulting in the quiet “shelving” of the proposed legislation, which one may regard as a kind of “informal veto,” I suppose — but these cases have been kept totally out of public knowledge.

  38. RichardT says:

    “Would this have needed to go to the Queen for approval?”

    Warning; only for those interested in obscure matters of law.

    According to the Church of England’s website here are, in English law, two ways that its General Synod can legislate:
    1) a Measure, which needs the approval of both Houses of Parliament in order for it to be sent to the Queen for Royal Assent; and
    2) a Canon, which needs Royal Assent but not, it seems, Parliamentary approval.

    Now the process for women bishops was in two parts:
    a) authorising women bishops was by an amendment to Anglican canon law, so didn’t need Parliamentary approval;
    b) the protections for those parishes who would not accept women bishops were by way of a Measure, which would have needed Parliamentary approval.
    see the Synod agenda for Tuesday 20th November, here:

    Now that seems to mean that, had General Synod passed the legislation, the basic women bishops approval could have gone straight to the Queen, whereas the protection would have needed Parliamentary approval. Normally church measures go through Parliament on the nod, but this one might not have done. So they could have ended with women bishops being enacted but without the accompanying protection for conscientious objectors.

  39. William Tighe says:

    RichardT, I don’t think you’re correct about that. I cannot tell you why, but I do recall very well that the Ordination of Women (Deacons) bill of 1986 and the Ordination of Women (Priests) bill of 1992 both had to go through Parliament in their entirety after being approved by the Church of England’s General Synod — possibly (at a guess) because being recognized as a “Clerk in Holy Orders” of the Established Church has legal implications for those having that status, and so parliamentary legislation to that effect would be necessary.

  40. acardnal says:

    RobertK, thanks for posting that video. Interesting.

  41. RichardT says:

    William Tighe, you are closer to the right answer than I was.

    Although I was correct that the actual establishment of women bishops was to be by a Canon, the authority to do so only came from the associated Measure (section 1(2)). An odd way of doing things, but no doubt there was a good reason.

    And Parliament can only approve or reject a Measure, not amend it, so they could not have ended up with one part but not the other.

    My apologies; I was reading too much into the legal process. Please ignore my last post.

  42. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    How and why which members of the House of Laity voted, and how ‘representative’ of the actual ‘mind’ of the laity of the Church of England these particular members are, are distinct questions.

    If the results of an interesting recent survey published in the November issue of New Directions Magazine are representative, then the actual effect of the vote seems (whatever the reasons the members of the House voted as they did) to correspond with the current ‘mind’ of the laity:


  43. Supertradmum says:

    I was living in England at the time of the passing of the women priests vote. Parliament had to approve it at the latest after one year, which it did. Parliament pays for all the Anglican placements, so obviously, this would be part of the procedure. But, Parliamentary approval comes after the synod decision in such a case. However, as the two are practically inseparable in attitude and as Parliament is made up of more than merely Anglicans, the approval, based on civil rights, would be automatic for women bishops.

  44. William Tighe says:



    a superb screed by a clergyman of the Church of England.

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