Anglicans Eye Tense Debate on Women Bishops

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By Jennifer Gold, Christian Today Reporter
July 7, 2008|8:28 am

Anglicans are anticipating a tense debate on the consecration of women bishops at the Church of England’s General Synod on Monday.

Meeting in York, Synod members are due to debate a motion proposing a national code of practice to accommodate conservative parishes opposed to the oversight of a female bishop.

Synod members will also be asked to consider a motion put forward by the Bishop of Ripon and Leeds, the Rt. Rev. John Packer, on a compromise plan that includes the appointment of so-called “super bishops,” or “complementary bishops,” to accommodate traditionalists.

While liberals are calling for a blanket measure that would make no concessions for objectors, more than 1,300 clergy wrote to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York last week threatening to leave the church if suitable arrangements were not put in place for traditionalists.

Father Robert Fayers, one of the signatories of last week’s letter, said the church was not in the position to allow women bishops without alternative measures for objectors.

"The Church of England is part of the universal church – we call it one Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

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"Unless the whole Church makes the change...then I don't think the Church of England... has got the competence or the right or the authority to make the change," Fayers said, according to BBC.

In his Sunday sermon, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, said that Jesus would feel the pain within all factions.

“He will be with those in very different parts of the landscape who feel that things are closing in, that their position is under threat and their liberties are being taken away by those anxious and eager to enforce new ideologies in the name of Christ,” he said.

“He will be with those who feel that their liberty of questioning is under threat, he will be with gay clergy who wonder what their future is in a Church so anxious and tormented about this issue.”

 

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