The Church of England will be “increasingly isolated and anachronistic” unless it accepts women as bishops, a working party of the Anglican Church has concluded.
“Gender-blind equality of opportunity will remain a central feature of Western society,” said the committee in its report published in November in London. “The Church of England will not be able to commend the gospel effectively if its structures embody sexism in a way that contemporary society no longer finds acceptable.”
Women have been ordained as priests in the Church of England since 1994, following a decision two years previously. However, acceptance of women bishops does not follow automatically from the 1992 decision to accept women as priests, states the report, which presents practical and theological arguments both for and against women bishops but makes no formal recommendations.