Woman Bishop soon, says head of Church of England

As part of efforts to empower women, the Anglican Church is working towards appointing its first woman Bishop in two years` time.

Nagpur: As part of efforts to empower
women, the Anglican Church is working towards appointing its first woman Bishop in two years` time.

A proposal is under active consideration for
appointing a woman Bishop as part of the Church`s efforts to
empower women but it will take at least two years, Head of
Church of England and Anglican Church, Archbishop Rowan
Williams said.

"The Protestant Church is presently engaged in
educating lay persons and the male (priests) dominated
congregation to accept a woman Bishop as reality. But it is
going to happen very soon," Williams, who was here recently in
connection with the 40th anniversary of the Church of North
India, said.

Asked about cases of abuse of women and children
involving priests, the Archbishop said it has brought
disrepute to the church and the community.

"We have evolved a mechanism where such accusations
are taken seriously. The church extends full co-operation to
the law enforcing authorities if offences are registered with
police. We have a code of conduct for them (priests) and we
strictly follow it," he said.

Also, we have a national officer who handles such
abuses and each and every case is taken to a logical end.
Periodically, checks are carried out in case of pending cases
and we ensure no pendency, the head of the protestant Church

About attacks on Christians and churches in the
country, Williams said, "We are worried over incidents
reported in the past. It is not only in India but elsewhere
like Pakistan, we send our team to report back the factual
positions. Besides this, the Church of England take this
through diplomatic channels and concerned Governments are
conveyed the reaction."

On gay and lesbian priests, the Archbishop said
Anglican Church was against the ordination of such persons
including homosexuals in the clergy.

Asked about the French government`s decision to impose
a ban on burqa (veil), the Archbishop said, "Governments have
many better things to do. This issue must be left to the leaders of religious communities."
On relations with Catholic Church, Archbishop said,
"We arrange exchange visits with Vatican and are in regular
touch on important international issues. In mid September,
Pope Benedict had visited London and it was a fruitful one."
Asked about his views on the Ayodhya verdict, he said,
"We were relieved to notice no post violence or anger from
either sides and everything is quiet here. Good religion can
only help overcome terrorism in the present context."


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