The Church of England is headed for an historic split as conservatives reacted with angry over the decision to allow women to become bishops in the church. The General Synod supported the right of women to become bishops and rejected proposals put forth by conservatives for the creation of “super bishops” who would be given power to oversee parishes that did not want to allow females as bishops. The 468 member body rejected any compromise on the central issue that women should be allowed to become a bishop in the church. Opponents like the Bishop of Winchester, Michael Scott-Joynt, derided the rejection as “mean spirited” and short sighted. Stephen Venner, Bishop of Dover, expressed his anger at failure of the majority to recognize the feelings of the minority.
There is scant doubt the Church of England will split and traditionalists who are strong in Africa and Asia will lead the way towards creation of a more conservative Church of England. Church conservatives are also upset at the growing acceptance of gays and lesbians in church roles.