The General Synod, which is the church’s governing body, “passed a motion by 378-8, with 25 abstentions, that paves the way for the endorsement of women bishops,” RNS reported.
The approval raises “hopes of an end to the damaging and frequently bitter 20-year standoff between modernisers and traditionalists” in the church, according to The Guardian.
Prime Minister David Cameron told BBC News that women bishops could be in Parliament “as soon as possible.” BBC also reported that the female bishops “could be fast-tracked into the House of Lords, where senior bishops traditionally sit.”
Although this is a victory for the campaigners and supporters of women bishops in the church, there’s still a major hurdle ahead. A draft declaration has to be endorsed at another meeting in February 2014, and a final approval is predicted to happen in November 2014, RNS reported.
Andrew Brown, a blogger for The Guardian, explained how opponents view the proposal's acceptance.
"The core of the resistance is the conservative evangelical block, who object on grounds of straightforward patriarchy; they believe the Bible mandates that women submit to male authority," Brown wrote.
Most other opponents, according to BBC News, reluctantly backed the proposals. The Rev. Rod Thomas told the BBC that although he voted in support of the proposal, he wasn't sure "he would vote for final approval of the package" if there are still concerns.
But Will Cookson, a minister of Springfield Church in Wallington, England, was happy to hear that the proposals were approved.
“It’s important for all of us in a church where so many have different views to ensure that we listen and to show grace and generosity,” he wrote on his blog. “It’s so easy in places like synods to fight as though we have to win and that leaves so much damage. I’m so pleased that grace and generosity won out yesterday.”
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