Saturday, 9 March 2013

Women Bishops Plan B

As I understand it, Parliament is  to debate whether it should force through a bill which will enable women to become bishops- presumably simply on equal terms to men- but I have to say I am unsure on this point.
A report from WATCH runs thus:


On Wednesday 13th March Diana Johnson, MP for Kingston upon Hull, will introduce a bill under the ten-minute rule that would enable women to become bishops in the Church of England. In this way she will remind the Church of England that it lies within Parliament’s power to legislate for this, if the Church cannot do so quickly and in a way that is acceptable to Parliament.

After the disastrous vote last November when General Synod failed to support women bishops legislation, bishops were called to Westminster to explain to MPs how they planned to bring a speedy resolution to the problems this vote had caused. A House of Bishops Working Group has now consulted widely, and from the responses to the consultation that have been made public it appears that there is even less common ground than before between those in favour and those against women bishops. Nevertheless WATCH remains committed to the Church of England’s process of reconciliation and continuing conversations.

WATCH believes that Diana Johnson’s bill is timely in reminding the Working Group, and the House of Bishops, that legislation for women to be bishops must be passed by the Synod sooner rather than later, and in a form that allows no discrimination against women.

I am so out of patience with the Church of England on this point that I hardly care whether Parliament force through a bill or not - except that I would be glad for the women I know who are priests. For the Church it would be humiliating and embarrassing. Why can't it see that the writing is on the wall?

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