Persuading the Archbishops and prolocutors to permit the re-introduction of legislation will be the easy part. More difficult, as we have said before, will be the task of lighting on a formula that has a greater chance of success. Tuesday's debate was full optimistic assurances that this could be done. History suggests otherwise. There are no new arguments to be found. What must change is the habit of demanding that concessions are made solely by the other side. The one straw at which to grasp is the pledge heard in the Synod from those opposed to women bishops that they will engage in discussions more willingly. There are also signs of this outside: for example, when someone emailed "Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia" to her contacts, a recipient, another opponent, gently upbraided her: "I honestly do not take any joy in what some will call a 'victory'. . . Somehow, out of this mess - for that is what it is - there could well be a chance for both traditions to sit round a table and find some sort of agreement." This must be the urgent prayer of all.
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