MOSCOW, November 20 (RIA Novosti) - The general synod of the Church of England voted on Tuesday not to allow women to be ordained as bishops.
The measure won the required two-thirds’ majorities in two of the church’s three houses - bishops and clergy - but narrowly missed passage among the laity with 64 percent voting in favor, according to media reports.
Some supporters of female ordination were put off by a controversial provision that would have allowed parishes opposed to female bishops to request a stand-in male bishop. Opponents of the provision said it would condemn women to second-tier bishop status.
The church's two top clergymen, outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and his successor, Justin Welby, both supported the ordination of women.
It will be years before a new vote on female ordination can be held. If the measure had passed, the first female bishop might have been ordained as early as 2014.
The 1,400-year-old church began ordaining women as priests in 1994. Women currently make up about a third of all clergy in the Church of England.