In a landmark vote today, the Church of England (of which HM Queen Elizabeth II is titular head) has voted to allow women to become bishops. Women have been allowed to become ordained members of the clergy for many years. To an outsider, the ordination of women seemed to make this move more likely than most, although many traditionalists see it as a step too far and it is likely to result in a significant number defecting to Rome.
So, where does this leave the CofE? Is it a step too far, or just a logical step after the ordination of bishops? Is it likely to result in a schism?
From an outsiders' perspective (I'm RC); I have to congratulate the CofE for being so progressive and wish the RC Church were as progressive; however, as we know, the Roman Catholic church has ever set its face against marriage for priests, so I'm not holding my breath there.
I really would love to understand the strength of feeling against women being appointed as clerics (let alone bishops); every time the objections to it are listed, it begins with the same argument: Jesus chose men to be his disciples. However, the reality is that women can bring a lot to the Church and it can be argued that the absence of women in senior positions in the RC church works to its disadvantage. The CofE may well lose a significant number of people as a result of this development, but it is likely to be very much the healthier for it.