UK Church takes away power from women bishops

Last Updated: Friday, October 9, 2009 - 13:31

Spicezee Bureau

London: UK Church has come in the line of fire after a key committee agreed to remove certain powers of female bishops and offered the same to their male counterparts.

According to the Guardian, as per the amended law, this sudden move will allow the male bishops to carry out certain functions such as confirmation and communication, something which is aimed to pacify clergy and parishioners antagonistic to female bishops.

A statement issued from the Church of England said that its committee "received nearly 300 submissions, including more than 100 from members of General Synod" on this raging issue.

However, this development will cause a great divide between liberals and conservatives, who are already at loggerheads over the issue.

According to Ruth McCurry, an avid supporter for the ordination of women bishops, "You will have a group of people who don`t recognise each other as bishops. What kind of church do they think they`re in when they are not in communion with each other? You are legislating this schism into existence and you are creating a two-tier church, a category of second-class bishops. People could refuse to receive communion from Rowan [Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury] if he were to ever ordain a woman as a bishop. Unfortunately I have come to terms with the fact that you cannot have women bishops without discrimination, lots of men will be discriminated against too, and this poor committee is trying to find an elusive formula that will keep everyone happy. They can`t."

However, Paul Dawson, hailing from the evangelical group Reform, welcomed the committee move and out rightly rejected the idea that it would divide UK Church, "On the contrary, it would avoid a wholesale split and would preserve unity. This could be what we need. We hope that the transferred functions will include communion, confirmation, ordination and approval for ordination. What`s being suggested is no more of a split than what we have already. It will be interesting to see what the detail is”, said Dawson.

It is believed that the legislation will be thoroughly discussed by the committee and Synod. In the end, a two-thirds majority will be required by the three houses of Synod in order to push the legislation before the parliament and finally to the royal assent.

First Published: Friday, October 9, 2009 - 13:31

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