National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Church of England paves the way for women bishops

 | 
Canterbury, England

The Church of England's governing body has approved new proposals that would allow women bishops to be ordained by this time next year.

Meeting in London on Wednesday, the church's General Synod passed a motion by 378-8, with 25 abstentions, that paves the way for the endorsement of women bishops. Bishops also approved a declaration that sets out guidance for parishes that reject female consecrations.

The package would end nearly two decades of bitter and damaging conflict, and the vote is a victory of sorts for the new Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who was appointed last year just as the General Synod came within six votes of allowing women bishops.

Welby called last year's defeat "a very grim day for women and their supporters," and vowed to find a way to allow women bishops without creating a schism within the church. Wednesday's vote also creates an ombudsman position to rule on disputes involving traditionalist clergy who oppose women bishops.

Following Wednesday's vote, Bishop Christopher Chessun of Southwark, in south London, described the passing of the motion as "nothing short of miraculous."

envelope-gray-background.jpgLike what you're reading? Sign up for NCR email alerts.

British Prime Minister David Cameron added: "I strongly support women bishops and I hope that the Church of England takes this key step to ensure its place as a modern church in touch without society."

Now that the package has been approved by General Synod, a draft declaration is expected to be endorsed at another meeting next February, and final approval is expected by November 2014.

NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at Disqus.com/verify.
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

 

Feature-flag_GSR_start-reading.jpg

NCR Email Alerts

 

In This Issue

July 18-31, 2014

07-18-2014_0.jpg

Not all of our content is online. Subscribe to receive all the news and features you won't find anywhere else.