Before the vote, Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury told the synod that "to pass this legislation is to commit ourselves to an adventure in faith and hope."
"As we prepare for the visit of Pope Francis next year, let us resolve ... to see the goodness in everyone and live the mercy of the Gospel."
Women's rights activists greeted with delight signs the Church of England is poised to relent and allow women to be consecrated as bishops.
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby will preside over a historic General Synod meeting at the University of York when a make-or-break vote on the subject is expected Monday.
"I think we're there at long last," American-born Christina Rees, one of the church's leading women's rights campaigners, said in an interview Thursday.
Catholic leaders in the Holy Land called for an end to the cycle of violence and criticized Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories and its collective punishment of Palestinians.
"Using the death of the three Israelis to exact collective punishment on the Palestinian people as a whole and on its legitimate desire to be free is a tragic exploitation of tragedy and promotes more violence and hatred," said a statement Tuesday from the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land.
Jesuit Refugee Service is keeping half a dozen schools in troubled Afghanistan running despite no trace of its coordinator in Afghanistan, who was kidnapped in early June.
Indian Jesuit Fr. Alexis Prem Kumar, who headed the JRS operations in Afghanistan, was abducted by gunmen June 2 at a school run by JRS in Herat province.
A priest who scolded an unwed teen mother during her baby's baptism has apologized and his religious order says it will sanction him.
Only two weeks after Pope Francis announced he was excommunicating the Mafia, a religious procession in southern Italy has provoked uproar after paying homage to a convicted mobster.
Catholic bishops condemned the detour of the traditional procession, which carried a statue of the Madonna past the house of 82-year-old Peppe Mazzagatti, a Mafia boss serving a life sentence under house arrest.
In February, Bishop Chibly Langlois became Haiti's first Roman Catholic cardinal, a move that surprised many because Langlois was not an archbishop.
The Ukrainian government plans to re-establish military chaplaincies in the country's embattled armed forces, nine months after they were abolished under Soviet rule.
Korean women forced to work at Japanese military brothels during World War II have been invited to a Mass that Pope Francis will celebrate on Aug. 18 during his planned visit to South Korea, Korean news agencies are reporting, citing an announcement by the Korean papal preparatory committee.