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Monday, 7 July 2008

Numbers on voting for Women Bishops - (b) 7July2008

I have noticed an interesting phenomenon around synod. It is the "I'm in favour of Women Bishops, but..." syndrome.

This is a good and bad thing.

It is good, as clearly synod members are talking with one another, hearing and feeling each others' pain, not wanting to quickly put forward their own personal agenda[s] at the expense of others.

For example, in the background material within the Manchester Report, it is interesting to see the voting figures mentioned on pps 35-37. These demonstrate that on all the key votes in this current quinqenium of Synod, the house of Laity has not had a 2/3 majority - though as in these votes only a simple majority was required, and achieved.

The house of bishops also met before Synod at Market Bosworth, and although they came up with a formula for Synod, rumour has it that again only a simple majority and not a 2/3 majority was achieved in bringing forward Monday's propsal.

What is so important with the 2/3 majority. Because final votes on this legislation will need a majority of 2/3 in each House of Synod before it can be passed. Currently it does not seem to have it. That is why it is said that final approval will have to await the next Synod, due to be elected in 2010.

Why is it though, that so many are saying "I'm in favour of Women Bishops, but..." then? Yes, they want protection for collegues who cannot accept it. But the whole point of this process is that there should be protection for those both seeking, and those unable to accept women as bishops. If such protection is afforded,  should they not by now be saying yes??

Alastair Cutting, GS101

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