From The Daily Telegraph —Today the Church will vote again on whether women should be raised to the episcopate. It has a new leader, the Most Rev Justin Welby, and it seems right that the General Synod should look once more at the issue. Of course, the principled views of opponents have to be taken in account, both those on the Anglo-Catholic wing and the sizeable group of conservative evangelicals. It is encouraging that new, simpler arrangements have been put in place so that minorities can be accommodated, with bishops being trusted to look after their own dioceses. And those involved say that the mediation sessions that took place earlier in the year were friendly and trusting.
It is not for us to tell the Church what to do, but all who wish it well would surely like to see this long disagreement settled. It’s true that the Church looks to a higher authority than the whims of contemporary society when making decisions, and opponents of women bishops in the Synod will have come to their view after careful thought. But Anglicans are pragmatic people: many will feel that having agreed to permit women priests in 1992, allowing women bishops is the next logical step. On the whole, people who worship at their local church on Sundays are happy to have women as their vicars; something that once seemed unthinkable and extraordinary now seems normal. The rest of the population, who may not be regular worshippers but who retain a deep affection for the institution, will be of a similar mind.