On Wednesday 13th arch, the Labour MP Diana Johnson moved a Ten Minute Rule Bill, Bishops (Consecration of Women). The intention of the Bill is to allow women priests to “assume the more senior role of bishops in the Established Church” according to Diana Johnson’s office. Speaking against the Bill Conservative MP Edward Leigh, a Roman Catholic said it would be dangerous for Parliament to interfere in matters of doctrine. A one would expect WATCH were quick to issue a statement saying that the Bill was a “timely reminder” that legislation for women bishops must happen “sooner rather than later”. The Bill is due to receive it’s Second Reading on 3rd May but is unlikely to make any further progress unless it receives support from the Government.
I fail to understand just what M/s Johnson thinks she is up to; General Synod have already indicated that legislation will be introduced in July to allow this innovation which failed to reach the votes needed in July. Parliament should not get involved in legislating for the Church. The problem it seems to me is that many of those who favour this, particularly politicians do so on the grounds of women’s equality rather than on any sounds theological arguments. If this Bill should happen to succeed it will be a very sad day for the CofE and will spell the end of it’s establishment, in my opinion.