It was inevitable that the bishops would water down, but not reject, Clause 5(1)c. Rejection would have rallied the opposition one way, failing to amend it would have rallied the opposition the other way. Strengthening it was inconceivable. Therefore we must read the Appleby amendment as the 'Goldilocks' option - not too hot for the 'pros', warm enough for the 'antis'.
My guess is that this will be enough to satisfy those who want women bishops and that WATCH etc will now put their weight behind it. They want women bishops more than they want further delay and the amendment offers sufficiently little for it to present big problems in the grand scheme of things.
The real problem for Conservative Evangelicals, however, is that they are ALREADY regarded by the legislators as different from Anglo-Catholics in terms of what they need. The consultation documents presented to the House of Bishops prior to their most recent meeting are full of this sort of understanding. ACs are regarded as needing more specifically 'theological' provision than CEs - in other words, for CEs the view is that 'any man will do' and the likelihood is that provision for them will be on this basis.
In practice, this will mean that when a CE parish petitions under a male diocesan bishop, the petition may be rejected precisely on the grounds on which it is being made.
CEs have, in my experience, yet to wake up to this and will have a difficult case to make to the bishops if the legislation passes.
Please give a full name and location when posting. Comments without this information may be deleted. Recommend: