Sunday, 15 June 2008

Church of England split warning over women bishops

A SPLIT within the Church of England could be only weeks away as opposition to plans for women bishops expressed their anger at the plans.

The outcome of last month’s meeting of the House of Bishops is to be debated at General Synod next month. That will envisage a plan to provide ‘special arrangements’ for those unable as a matter of conviction to receive the ministry of women as bishops or priests. But the opponents fear the arrangements will not be enough.

One Synod member told that it was estimated that up to 10 per cent of the Church could feasibly start their own structures and consecrate their own bishops. Such a group would include Anglo-Catholics, conservative evangelicals and some charismatics.

This was revealed after details of the women bishops’ motion -- to be debated at the July Synod – were publicised this week. The motion – written by the House of Bishops – suggests a ‘code of practice’ which would mean the rescinding of the Episcopal Ministry Act of Synod 1993. Annulling this Act -- which promised provision for those opposed to women priests – is seen as a move which could split the Church of England.

The Synod member, who wishes to remain anonymous, said that passing the House of Bishops’ motion un-amended would be like “taking a wrecking ball to the Church of England”. He said Synod would be ‘bloody’ and that the House of Bishops needed to seriously re-think their position. Read more
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