Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Church of England vote backs women bishops

Spiritual leader of world's 80 million Anglicans says election of female priests and bishops supported by theology.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, with women priests on the steps of St Pauls│The Telegraph

(Al Jazeera)  The Church of England has voted to allow women priests to be ordained as bishops, overturning centuries of tradition in a church that has been deeply divided over the issue.

After almost five hours of debate, the General Synod, the governing body of the Church of England, approved on Monday the proposal to allow women to take up senior roles in the Church.

Ahead of the vote, Justin Welby, spiritual leader of the world's 80 million Anglicans, said the general public would find it "almost incomprehensible" should the General Synod fail to support the move.

Al Jazeera's Emma Hayward, reporting from York, described the scene outside the meeting, as "jubilant" following the vote.

Jody Stowell, a woman priest from North London, said supporters had low expectations that the proposal would be approved.

"I think we went through the stages of shock, through amazement to joy, which you are seeing here now," Stowell told Al Jazeera. "When it happened it was just amazing."

Ruth Chapman, another female clergy member told Al Jazeera that the vote was "very close."

The vote comes two years after similar legislation failed to reach a two-thirds majority among the General Synod's lay members, despite approval from bishops and clergy.

The long-running debate pitted reformers, keen to project a more modern and egalitarian image of the church as it struggles with falling congregations in many increasingly secular countries, against a minority of conservatives who see the change as contradicting the Bible.

The issue of female clergy has divided Anglicanism globally ... ► Read the full article in Al Jazeeera




Source: Al Jazeera
Photo: John Stillwell/PoolThe Telegraph


 

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