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Female clergy


The Church of England: The multi-decade effort
towards consecrating female priests as bishops

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The Church of England is composed of two provinces: The Archbishop of Canterbury leads the Southern Province while the Archbishop of York leads the Northern Province. Together, they extend across England, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, the Isles of Scilly and a small part of Wales.

The archbishops, bishops, priests and representatives of the laity meet at least twice a year in General Synods to consider church business and establish policy.

The General Synod of the Church of England voted in favor of the ordination of women priests in 1992. The first group of 1,000 women were ordained in 1994. The next logical step was for women, religious liberals, human rights supporters and other opponents of sexism within the church to press for consecration of women as bishops. The first firm step on that path was taken in mid-2005. Although consecration was authorized in principle in 2006, the process was at least temporarily stalled by the laity in 2012. Women are not expected to be eligible to be consecrated as bishops for many years in the future. And so, there is a moral inversion in England, where:

  • The culture considers discrimination on the basis of gender to be profoundly immoral,
  • One of the Church of England's main roles is to promote morality, and
  • The state church practices discrimination against women

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Topics discussed in this section:

bulletLiberal and conservative viewpoints; Timeline

bulletSteps toward consecration of female bishops:
bullet 2000 & 2001




bullet 2006 until 2008-MAY

bullet 2008-JUL

bullet Events from 2008-JUL to 2012-NOV, including the rejection of female bishops by the Synod

bullet Events from 2012-NOV to now

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External links:

  • Cost of Conscience is an association of more than 3,000 Anglican priests worldwide. It has a web site at: http://trushare.com/

  • Forward in Faith has chapters throughout the English speaking parts of the Anglican Communion. Their web site is at: http://www.forwardinfaith.com

  • The Traditional Anglican Church maintains "... traditional faith, worship and discipline for Anglicans in England, Scotland and Wales." See: http://www.thetraditionalanglicanchurch.org.uk/

  • Women and the Church (WATCH) "... is campaigning to see women take their place alongside men as bishops and at every level in the Church of England." See: http://www.watchwomen.com/ They sell:

      tea towels,   T-shirts, and other merchandise.

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See our news feed on women's issues. It shows 20 current news items, and is updated every 15 minutes.

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Copyright © 2000 to 2011 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2011-JUN-15
Author: Bruce A. Robinson
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Go to the previous page or return to the female ordination menu, or the Church of England and homosexuality menu, or choose:

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