Well, the Church of England has finally stopped disenfranchising half of humanity, at least as far as being bishops in their church is concerned. Now I don’t know why anybody would want to be a bishop, but if they allow men then they should allow women. The BBC has just reported this:
The Church of England has voted to allow women to become bishops for first time in its history.
The General Synod gave final approval to legislation introducing the change by the required two-thirds majority.
The previous vote in 2012 was backed by the Houses of Bishops and Clergy but blocked by traditionalist lay members.
The Archbishop of York asked for the result to be met “with restraint and sensitivity” but there was a flurry of cheers when it was announced.
The crucial vote in the House of Laity went 152 in favour, 45 against, and there were five abstentions. In November 2012 the change was derailed by just six votes cast by the lay members.
In the house of Bishops, 37 were in favour, two against, and there was one abstention. The House of Clergy voted 162 in favour, 25 against and there were four abstentions.
The vote overturns centuries of tradition in a Church that has been deeply divided over the issue. It comes more than 20 years after women were first allowed to become priests.
Women bishops could be appointed by the end of this year in the Church of England after legislation backing the move was give final approval by the General Synod.
The vote followed after almost five hours of debate at the University of York.
Of course there’s a disclaimer for the sexists:
It contained concessions for those parishes unwilling to serve under a woman bishop – giving them the right to ask for a male alternative and to take disputes to an independent arbitrator.
What I’m wondering is this: is it on religious grounds that they previously prohibited women from these positions? If so, what has changed: did God change His mind, or did someone get a revelation that scripture needed reinterpreting? Or was it simply that the secular tide in society favoring equality of the sexes finally swept up the church?
Once again we have evidence that secular morality changes before religious morality does, i.e., a demonstration of the Euthyphro argument.