Despite all the rather stupid comments in the press and on the TV, the reason the measure for the Consecration of Women as Bishops was defeated was due, in my opinion, to the totally inadequate provision made for those who cannot accept this innovation. When the vote for the ordination of women to the priesthood was passed in 1992 it was hailed as a victory for the guidance of the Holy Spirit so why now is this defeat being designated as ignoring the guidance of Holy Spirit. Despite what seems an overwhelming majority in favour of the introduction of women to the episcopate there are a large number who are opposed (around 31 or more%) so surely to consecrate women as bishops there needs to be proper provision for traditionalists and perhaps the starting point for this is to take into account what they want rather than attempt to impose on them a Code of Practice the contents of which have not been decided.
One of the speakers in yesterday’s debate asked something along the lines of why didn’t traditionalists trust the Bishops to protect their interests. The short answer is that quite a few of them only paid lip service to the Act of Synod and did everything in their power to negate the provisions and protection it gave to parishes who opted to pass the resolutions so why should they be trusted now.
What needs to happen now is for their to be a serious and sensible meeting, or meetings, to allow both sides of the argument to express their view without one of them digging in their heels so that a reasoned proposal can be put to General Synod, acceptable to both the proponents of women’s consecration and those opposed.