7.7.08

Women bishops could not be installed until 2014 at the earliest, according to the Church of England.

The Guardian today reports how:

[There are] dividing opinions before tonight's vote, which will determine what accommodation, if any, should be made for people opposed to women bishops.

Traditionalists are furious that their needs are being ignored, while liberals have long argued that any special provisions would encourage discrimination by establishing a "church within a church".

Under [Packer's proposal for super-bishops], parishes opposed to women clergy could apply directly to a super-bishop for spiritual leadership, without needing the permission of their diocesan bishop. A super-bishop would be directly answerable to the Archbishop of either Canterbury or York.

The pro-women lobby would be bitterly disappointed by any concessions. One synod member, the Rev Miranda Threlfall-Holmes, has tabled an amendment to scrap a code of practice, a sign that campaigners have hardened their position and are refusing to allow any discrimination, seeing it as appeasement. Her amendment has the support of Women and the Church, a group fighting for equality.(Watch)

Senior female clergy have said they would rather see a delay in the legislation than accept discriminatory laws.

Even if every stage of the legislation were to be introduced as quickly as possible, women bishops could not be installed until 2014 at the earliest, according to the Church of England.

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A little background reading on the two theological integrities in the Church of England regarding women in ministry.