The recent decision of the Church of England not to admit women as bishops is a moment of clarity. It is a lifting of a veil, an opportunity to see things as they really are, suggests Dr Fran Porter. For what has been – and continues to be – at the heart of the disagreement, is the Church of England’s attitude to women. And not just to its own female members, but to all women.
The Christian message is at heart about reconciliation. But the church which is supposed to proclaim and live that message has often failed to do so in its own life and example, sometimes spectacularly.
Last-minute changes have complicated the Church of England’s slow progress towards allowing women to be bishops, says Savi Hensman. Attempts to placate opponents are unhelpfully stalling the process further.
Key aspects of Christian (and notably Christendom) tradition have been used to cement or justify women's oppression. But dismissing Christianity simply as something to be thankfully consigned to history means consigning all the achievements of women who have identified themselves as Christian alongside it, says Alison Jasper. From this perspective, all Christian women are victims if not collaborators. A rounder picture is needed.