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Women bishops may be allowed in Church of England comment (0)

November 28, 2013

CANTERBURY, England — The Church of England’s governing body has approved new proposals that would allow women bishops to be ordained by fall 2013.

Meeting in London on Nov. 20, 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 in 2012 just as the General Synod came within six votes of allowing women bishops.

Welby called the 2012 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. 

The Nov. 20 vote also creates an ombudsman position to rule on disputes involving traditionalist clergy who oppose women bishops.

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

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