|If female bishops looked like this, I'd go to church more often!|
Much deliberation has been going on over the past week about whether or not the Church of England general synod should vote in favour of the ordination of female bishops.
There's strong feeling that the job should be open to women as around a third of lower ranking clergy are female, but that doesn't stop the die hards from being fundamentally opposed to the move and, predictably, a fudge is in the offing. Sorry, I meant to say compromise, of course...
In this case the fudge is to allow 'traditionalists' to opt out of serving under females. It's difficult to see exactly how this will work. The Church appoints the Bishop but then allows some of her subordinates to ignore her and report to a male bishop instead, even though they are in her bishopric - or should that be bishopvagina?
The Archdruid Rowan is in favour of the motion to ordain women. "Like the majority of members of the synod, and the majority of the members of the Church of England, I am very firmly of the view that we need to proceed as speedily as we can to resolve this question because I, like most of you, long to see women bishops in the Church of England," he said.
"I also long for there to be the kind of provision for those who continue to have theological reservations on this subject, for their position to be secured in such a way that they can feel grateful for the outcome as others do."
A substantial vote in favour is required with two thirds of all three parts of the synod - the bishops, clergy and laity. There's a good chance it could be delayed until November. Even if the motion passes then it has to go before Parliament and receive the royal assent. You won't see a female bishop before at least 2014 so don't hold your breath.
In the meantime, the rats are desperately deserting what they see as a sinking ship to sign up to the Catholic Ordinariate which embraces them as Catholics - but not real Catholics of course...
Personally, I think if they are rooted so firmly in their outdated beliefs then good riddance.