UK: Church of England votes to allow women Bishops, but still no gay Bishops
The Church of England had voted to allow women bishops, though there are still no openly gay bishops in the UK.
The Church’s General Synod today gave approval by a two-thirds majority to plans to allow women to be become Bishops.
The House of Laity approved the change by a vote of 152 in favour to 45 against, with five abstentions, while in the House of Bishops 37 were in favour and two against, with one abstention.
The House of Clergy voted 162 in favour, with 25 against and 4 abstentions.
The first women Bishops are expected to be announced early next year, though the church still has no gay Bishops.
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said: “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.”
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “Well done to Justin Welby for his leadership on securing a yes vote for women bishops. This is a big moment for the [Church of England].”
Earlier this year the House of Bishops banned gay clergy from marrying, writing that it is “clearly at odds” with religious instruction and that clergy members should “exemplify in their life the teachings of the Church”.
Hospital chaplain Jeremy Pemberton flouted the ban to marry his same-sex partner in April, and was later stripped of his Permission to Officiate by the Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham, Richard Inwood, preventing him from taking up another NHS job.
The Pilling Report on Human Sexuality commissioned by the Church of England last year recommended that blessings for same-sex marriages be allowed, though the church has not implemented its findings.