Religion & Culture

Anglican Church to vote on women bishops

The Church of England is voting today on whether to allow female bishops for the first time in its history, ending half a century of bitter divisions over the role of women.
A yes vote by its governing body, the General Synod, could see the first women appointed to the Anglican Church’s top leadership positions by the end of this year.
While a yes vote would not force Anglican churches in other countries to allow women bishops, senior clergy say it would send a powerful message which should prompt others to follow.
The idea of female bishops was rejected in 2012, but senior church figures are optimistic it will go through this time.
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby will speak in favour of the motion at the meeting in York, northern England, and says he is “hopeful” the vote will pass.
Other senior clergy share his view, saying they believe another rejection is unlikely following the public backlash against the decision two years ago.
A string of supporters of the move, many of them younger female vicars, took to Twitter to voice their views under the hashtag #SynodVoteYes.
If the move again fails to go through with the necessary two-thirds majority in three houses of the Church of England, officials could force through the change.
This could include introducing legislation to allow women bishops without going through the General Synod.
Conservative Anglo-Catholics are against the idea of women bishops and believe that only men should be ordained for high church office.
The Church of England is the mother church of the global Anglican Communion, followed by some 80 million people in over 165 countries.
There are already Anglican women bishops in countries such as the United States and Australia.

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