The Board of Affirming Catholicism issues the following statement
following the General Synod Vote
on the Women Bishops’ Measure
20th November, 2012:
The failure of the Women Bishops' Measure to achieve the necessary majority in the House of Laity today is a huge disappointment and sadness. Many men as well as many women will experience this as a real blow, but our hearts particularly go out this evening to our women clergy who have ministered so effectively in the Church and had hoped today would be an affirmation of their ministry.
President of Affirming Catholicism, Bishop Michael Perham, said this evening their “priesthood is honoured and valued.” Thinking particularly of those who have “worked hard for a positive vote”, Bishop Michael adds “we all need now a little time to work through our initial sadness and frustration, but then we must go to work.”
After the cross of disappointment will however come new life; the pain shared on all sides must be the “birth pangs of a new way of being church”, says Revd Dr Rosemarie Mallett, Chair of Affirming Catholicism.
The Church in England is synodically governed but episcopally led: and our prayers must in the first instance be for the House of Bishops, meeting tomorrow (Wednesday) in emergency session to find a way forward. Bishop Michael says this must not mean “five more years of waiting for a development that will surely come. There will be women bishops in the Church of England. I have no doubt about that. Our response to the Holy Spirit and the effectiveness of our mission require it”.
Affirming Catholicism will continue to strive and work with all those dedicated to making sure this future becomes an early reality.