Twenty years after first allowing women to become priests, the Church of England announced yesterday that it would open the doors for women to attain the rank of bishop. The measure passed by a vote of 152-45 in the General Synod of York yesterday, with the bishop of Canterbury stating that the church had been wrong not to have come to the decision earlier (in November of 2012, the same measure failed to pass by a margin of just six votes).
The Church of England was founded by Henry VIII (a man known for promoting women and then quickly and violently reversing that decision) in 1534 in order to escape the authority of the Pope in Rome. Within the Catholic faith that Henry broke from nearly 500 years ago, women remain barred from the priesthood, to say nothing of the higher clerical echelons. Said Archbishop of York John Sentamu of the day’s events, and why they had taken so long to come about: “We move slowly because we move together. But in moving together we achieve not only what is just but also model what is right.”