Debate: In a shock move, the General Synod has voted against women bishops. Did they make the right decision?

Share
Related Topics

 

What's going on?

Supporters of female bishops had their hopes dashed last night as the General Synod voted to deny legislation that would have allowed women to take the most senior roles within the Church of England. Was the Synod's decision justifiable?

Case for: stay relevant

Women are allowed to vote, to serve in the armed forces and to become prime minister, clearly is long since time to redress this ancient injustice. But blatant sexism aside, if the Church has any hope of retaining relevance as a 21st century institution, they'll need to address what has become a jaw-droppingly embarrassing PR problem. Many within the clergy complain of a lack of contemporary relevance. Well, one way to demonstrate the relevance of religion is for the church to reform itself. In case you didn't get the memo, that's equal rights, all the way.

Case against: true equality

True equality recognises that men and women are made different – in God’s image – and therefore have different roles in any social institution. Why should this be any different in Churches? Men have a role, as bishops, which involves a particular set of duties; women, conversely, have another set of duties – which do not collide or crossover with those of a bishop. Moreover, the Church is one of last bastions of tradition in an increasingly secular society; far from conducting a false but voguish modernisation, it should remain true to its core tradition, which has inspired the affection of congregations across Britain for centuries, and stand up for its founding principles. It can only secure its future by being true to its past.

Women should be allowed to become bishops

Read Next
Focus E15 Mothers led a protest to highlight the lack of affordable housing in London  

When rents are so high that you have to share a bed with a stranger, surely the revolution can’t be far off

Grace Dent
 

A smear test could, quite literally, save your life. It saved mine

Emma Duke
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project