The General Synod of the Church of England has just voted to reject the legislation that would have authorized women bishops. A two-thirds vote was needed from all three orders—bishops, clergy, and laity. In the end, the compromise legislation was scuttled by the laity.
There is not a simple lesson in all this, as people voted as they did for different reasons. Is the Church of England dysfunctional? Probably.
This is a serious defeat for departing Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams. It is a defeat also for incoming Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. I predict this vote will cast a long shadow.
Bishops who abuse their expense accounts from the House of Lords like not even old time Chicago alderman would dare, a governance structure that is so convoluted they do not understand it, canons that everyone KNOWS no one obeys, and mostly empty churches. Yup, we might call that dysfunction.