LONDON Nov 20 The Church of England voted on
Tuesday against legislation that would have allowed the
ordination of women bishops, the culmination of more than 10
years of divisive debate, after the proposal failed to win the
backing of lay members.
The General Synod, the legislative body of the Church which
is made up of separate houses for bishops, clergy and laity,
failed to reach the two-thirds majority required in all three
houses to pass the measure.
"It was carried in the house of bishops and clergy, but lost
in the house of laity. The motion having been lost ... we do not
proceed any further," said Archbishop of York John Sentamu.
Women already serve as Anglican bishops in Australia, New
Zealand, Canada and the United States, but the Church of
England, mother church for the world's 80 million Anglicans, has
struggled to reconcile the dispute between reformers and
traditionalists on whether to allow them in England.
The Church had already voted to allow women bishops in
theory but Tuesday's vote, on provisions to be made for
conservatives theologically opposed to senior women clergy,
needed to pass before women could be enthroned as Anglican
bishops in England.