Tuesday, July 12, 2005

More Catholics on the way

London, Jul. 12 (CWNews.com) - The General Synod of the Church of England last night voted to remove the restrictions on women bishops from church law.

It is now possible that women could be ordained as bishops for the Church of England within the next 10 years. Women have already been ordained as bishops for the Episcopal Church in the US.

However, more traditional Anglicans fear the move could split a church which is already rocked by the ordination of gay men and the blessing of same-sex unions. They also fear this will be an obstacle to further unity with Rome.

Proposing the motion, Southwark’s Bishop Tom Butler, the Bishop of Southwark, told the Synod: "Because we are part of the apostolic church we may ordain for ministry those whom we discern God to call. He continued: 'The Church of England, catholic and reformed, has before acted prophetically for the wider Church-- the vernacular liturgy, married clergy, have all been pioneered by our Church and have proved to be a blessing to other communions also. The same I believe will be true of women's orders which we are pioneering."

But Bishop John Hind of Chichester warned that the move could be divisive. He described the motion as a "premature and a dangerous precedent". He added: "Whatever today's outcome, our own fellowship will be further strained and ecumenical relations compromised. We are in a lose-lose situation."

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