From Damian Thompson, and I don’t think he’s far wrong. I find it difficult to imagine Anglo-Catholics and conservative Evangelicals being allowed to enjoy a roll-back.
Well! I didn’t see that coming. News just in that the House of Laity hasn’t given the required majority to the women bishops legislation. I’m sorry if this seems melodramatic, but the anger of the majority of bishops and clergy who supported this move ensures that the next Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, faces the prospect of an Anglican civil war. I won’t pretend that the decision makes much sense to me: a situation in which women can be bishops in most parts of the Anglican Communion but not its spiritual home is weird enough, but when you consider that the C of E allows women to be deacons, priests but not bishops… it’s an ecclesial mess of the most peculiar variety. Not just Archbishop-designate Welby but the majority of the Church’s bishops have had their authority diminished by this vote. Traditionalists and evangelicals have won a victory, of sorts, tonight, but I very much doubt that they will be allowed to enjoy it.