Church of England may allow women bishops despite threats of split

Mixed reactions
The Church of England is facing the threat of a major split and years of turmoil over a vote by the church’s General Synod to allow the consecration of women as Anglican bishops.

The vote on July 7 authorized the formation of a group to draft a code to be put to a Synod vote next year. A ballot of dioceses in England will be required before a further vote by the General Synod in 2012 at the earliest.

Opening the path toward allowing women bishops was criticized as having negative effects on ecumenical relations, according to statements from the Vatican and from the Moscow patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church. Some European Lutherans praised the step.

Women priests have been ordained in the Church of England since 1994.


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