The Vatican responded pretty darn quick:
"We have regretfully learned of the Church of England vote to pave the way for the introduction of legislation which will lead to the ordaining of women to the Episcopacy.To which I say:
The Catholic position on the issue was clearly expressed by Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II. Such a decision signifies a breaking away from the apostolic tradition maintained by all of the Churches since the first millennium, and therefore is a further obstacle for the reconciliation between the Catholic Church and the Church of England.
This decision will have consequences on the future of dialogue, which had up until now born fruit, as Cardinal Kasper had clearly explained when he spoke on June 5 2006 to all of the bishops of the Church of England at the invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The Cardinal has been invited once again to express the Catholic position at the next Lambeth Conference at the end of July."
We can dress like women because we ordain them. What's your excuse?
(Yeah, that's totally one of my favourite bumper stickers. It pokes good fun at all of us with vestments. . .)
I know that the CoE and the Vatican have been trying for reconciliation for the better part of five hundred years, but really? Do you really think that wagging your finger at them from Rome is going to help?
I think that the thing that particularly interests me is that in affirming that women can become bishops, they also affirmed that some people "as a matter of theological conviction will not be able to receive the ministry of women as bishops or priests," indicating that they're going to make "special arrangements" for people in that position. This interests me most because it shows a deep theological (okay, theologically sexist, but we're being polite, I think) split in the CoE.
Watching the drama from such a distance (I have little or no vested interest in CoE proceedings and the hypocrisy of their dress patterns and ordination standards, admittedly), I often wonder how we in ADF might handle such a deep divide. We always have the "We don't actually care what you believe, just what you do" argument going for us, I suppose (orthopraxy vs. orthodoxy), but it's not a perfect argument.
Of course, if someone feels that women (or LGBT persons, or black people, or veterans, or whomever) cannot be priests or Archdruid or Preceptor of the Fluffy Bunny SIG or whatever, I don't think I want them sacrificing at the same fire as myself anyway. In many ways, I hope that we would not compromise in the way the CoE has.
I have a feeling that a number of the people being threatened with schism in the CoE feel the same way. . .