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Tuesday, 22 May 2012


It didn't take WATCH long to respond to the House of Bishops discussion on the proposed Women Bishops Legislation:

"WATCH (Women and the Church) is deeply disappointed to hear that the all male House of Bishops has, in a closed meeting, decided to make two amendments to the draft legislation on women bishops that had been so carefully crafted after years of debate and scrutiny from all sides and had commanded the support of 42/44 dioceses across the Church of England.

They have failed to listen to the voice of ordained women and those who support their ministry and been swayed by those who are opposed into making concessions that can only undermine the ministry of women in future years.  Their decision to intervene in this way will significantly undermine the credibility of the House of Bishops both inside and outside the Church. The exact wording of the amendments is not in the House of Bishops’ Press Release, nor are the figures of how many bishops voted for and against them. WATCH will be considering the amendments in detail over coming days and will issue a full response in due course.

The Reverend Rachel Weir, Chair of WATCH said: “The House of Bishops’ intervention will be an enormous blow to the morale of women clergy who were looking to their bishops for clear affirmation of their ministry as a welcome gift to the Church.”

So the "all male" House of Bishops has, in a "closed meeting", failed to listen to the voice of ordained women. Perhaps instead they took note of the 2,200 women who had the opportunity to petition the House of Bishops against women bishops but I doubt it. In a complex amendment procedure the House of Bishops appear to be saying that women bishops would be in charge but there may be circumstances in which traditional Anglicans should receive a modicum of respect for their deeply held religious convictions, something that WATCH appeared to agree with back in 2008. But that has been part of their deception throughout their campaign. Gain ground then put the boot in.

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