The end is near for Anglo-Christians. Episcopalianism and Anglo-Catholicism has been wasting no time in throwing off any vestiges of traditionality. Do not pass Go; do not collect $200.
Today the Church of England voted to accept women bishops, making a decisive statement to the world and Anglo-Christians everywhere. While this decision is monumental and divisive, what is more telling is the complete lack of consideration the Synod (which I will not call Holy) gave to its sizable conservative faction. The Synod made this decision and rejected the pitiful attempts the conservatives suggested as compromise; all the while knowing full well what was at stake.
A total of 1,333 clergy have threatened to leave the Church of England if they are not given legal safeguards to set up a network of parishes that would remain under male leadership.
That means all the “What would C.S. Lewis do” Anglophiles wake to find themselves on ground a little more alien than it was the day before. But then again, by looking at how they’ve been hoping to save themselves from this, it does appear that they’ve been dreaming.
But the Synod rejected compromise plans for new “super bishops” to cater for objectors – and also their preferred option of creating new dioceses.
The decision to go ahead with work on the code came after more than six hours of debate by the General Synod, which saw extraordinary scenes, with one bishop in tears as he spoke of being “ashamed” of the Church of England.
Though I find the decision of the Church of England to be surprisingly uncharitable to its traditional members, I can’t say that I blame them. It’s been so divided, why allow the separate factions to set up house in a way that the Synod thinks wrong? Why allow and encourage factional entrenchment? So the Synod has guts, but will the traditionalists? As one correspondent says,
“The real test now is how many people will leave (the Church). There are certainly going to be many wrestling with their consciences.”