Church of England paves way for women bishops, traditionalist departures
The Church of England has moved a step closer to the consecration of women bishops, setting up a possible showdown with traditionalists who back all-male clergy in the Anglican communion. Draft legislation introduced at the weekend said women should be consecrated as bishops on the same basis as men, disappointing the Anglo-Catholic and evangelical wings of the Church which had wanted a “two-tier” system.
Some are now likely to consider Pope Benedict’s offer last October to make it easier for Anglicans to convert to Roman Catholicism.
The draft proposals will now go forward for debate at the Church’s General Synod, or parliament, in York, northern England, in July, and will still have to pass a number of stages before England could see its first woman bishop, possibly in 2014.