Westminster Abbey in London. Shutterstock

Apparently the reformation isn’t over. On Monday, the Church of England voted to allow women to become bishops.

With 152 in favor, 45 against, and five abstaining, the vote surpassed the two-thirds requirement and the sanction will be implemented after Nov. 17, when parliament makes a formal announcement. The state’s involvement with religious matters stems from the Church of England’s origins, as it was founded under King Henry VIII. Since then, church and state have remained tied and the Church of England retains its legislative role, thought to bring “ethos” to the lawmaking process, as well as its civic duties, such as performing state weddings, funerals and the occasional coronation.

Although many rejoiced at the idea of women entering the bishophood, Susie Leafe, director of the conservative evangelical group Reform, estimates a 25 percent minority oppose the ruling and a select few may even go so far as to leave the church. The majority, however, applaud the progressive stance the Church of England has taken. In an interview with the BBC on Monday, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby proclaimed it a “theologically based decision” made as a result of God’s will. This decision reflects “the church he [God] wants us to be, loving one another, and above all loving the society in which we live,” he said. This reasoning leaves the door open for discussions regarding further reform within the church. It is encouraging that although some of the pious in this country are working to restrict the rights of women, believers elsewhere support women’s growth in spirituality.

— Posted by Clara Romeo


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