Synod rejects concession on women bishops in England

July 11th, 2010 - 4:15 pm ICT by ANI  

London, July 11 (ANI): The Church of England is facing a fresh crisis after the archbishops of Canterbury and York failed to win enough support for a compromise over women bishops at the Church’s General Synod.

According to The Telegraph, plans put forward by Dr Rowan Williams urging a compromise over the issue were rejected by members of the General Synod, including some of his most senior bishops.

The last-ditch proposal was designed to prevent an exodus of traditionalist priests, who are now likely to defect to the Roman Catholic Church.

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It represented a significant gamble by Dr Williams, who was heavily criticised by liberals last week after Dr Jeffrey John, the homosexual cleric, was blocked from becoming Bishop of Southwark.

The failure by the archbishop to gain sufficient support for his plan is likely to be viewed as a further dent to his authority.

Groups within the church have been campaigning for female clerics to be treated equally and to be allowed to become bishops, without any concessions that would undermine their ministry.

However, the paper states that their proposals have been opposed by traditionalists and evangelicals who do not believe making women bishops is in accordance with biblical teaching.

“We want to preserve a Church in which dissidents from the majority view can continue to live with integrity. We are trying to give some ground for those in a minority to show that their views are taken with a degree of seriousness,” the paper quoted Dr Williams, as saying.

But supporters of women bishops expressed dismay at what they saw as the archbishops’ support for traditionalists.

“If the church is seen to continue to discriminate against women by law, not only will it compromise the ministry of its women priests in the future, but more fatally the future mission of the Church in the 21st century,” said Rev Celia Thomson, a canon at Gloucester cathedral. (ANI)

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