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The Church of England’s top governing body, the Synod, has made history July 14 by voting in favor of allowing women to be bishops. The move was admired by modern church-goers, but not so much by traditionalists.
According to USA Today, allowing women to become bishops is history in the making for the church in England. The decision was made by the general Synod, which is the highest authority in the church, and includes the House of Bishops, House of Laity and House of Clergy. Women may become bishops as early as next year.
Members of the church with a modern mindset have long been seeking women bishops. Women were given the authority to become priests in 1992. However, the fight for women to also become bishops has lasted over 20 years.
Reformers of the church pushed for women to have more roles as congregation numbers continue to decrease. Traditionalists, on the other hand, are a small group of the church who think that the move is against God’s will for the church, according to The Christian Science Monitor.
This vote is considered by many to be a great success. Bishops have the authority to ordain priests and maintain the clergy and now that authority has been given to women as well. The arch bishop of York, John Sentamu, believes that women have fulfilled their role in the church of England very well in the past and is delighted that they have been honored by this vote.