frgavin on May 10th, 2010

Press Association,
May 8 2010

The Church of England is facing fresh turmoil within its ranks as it published proposals paving the way for the consecration of women bishops.

Women bishops would be created without safeguards demanded by opponents under plans drawn up by a group working on the legislation.

The scheme, to be debated at the Church’s national assembly, rejects measures such as new dioceses or a special class of bishops to cater for objectors.

Instead, women bishops who might be appointed in the future would retain the authority to make local arrangements for objectors if necessary after referring to a statutory code of practice.

The proposals are expected to spark a walkout by some Anglo-Catholics and conservative evangelicals in the Church of England if they are approved by the General Synod of the Church of England meeting in York in July.

Three Anglo-Catholic bishops in the Church of England including the Bishop of Fulham, the Rt Rev John Broadhurst, were reported last weekend to have met advisers of the Pope in Rome to discuss setting up an “ordinariate” under a scheme catering for disaffected Anglicans within the Roman Catholic Church.

Commenting on the legislation, the Rt Rev Broadhurst said Anglo-Catholics would be “incandescent” and would effectively be “forced out” of the Church of England.

“I think they have no choice but to leave,” he said.

He added: “We will have to wait and see what the Church of England does with it, but my view is that Anglicanism as it used to be, which was a variety of groups co-existing peacefully is over.”

But Christina Rees, a member of the General Synod and a leading campaigner in favour of women bishops, welcomed the proposals.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.