Church of England votes in favour of female bishops

For the first time in the history, the Church of England on Monday voted in favour of women being allowed to become bishops.

Updated: Jul 15, 2014, 00:28 AM IST

Zee Media Bureau

London: For the first time in the history, the Church of England on Monday voted in favour of women being allowed to become bishops.

The historical judgment was passed after the church`s national assembly, General Synod, voted in favour of allowing women to become bishops with over two-thirds majority.

While 351 members of the three houses were in favour of the motion, 72 were against the ruling and 10 abstained from voting.
British Prime Minister David Cameron called it a "great day for the Church and for equality."

The landmark decision cam two years after a similar legislation failed to get two-thirds majority.

The General Synod ruled in 1975 there was no fundamental objection to women becoming priests, but it took nearly two decades for the first women to be ordained.
The Church of England was established by King Henry VIII who appointed himself as its head in 1534. The government still formally appoints the Archbishop of Canterbury, the spiritual leader of the church, and Queen Elizabeth II serves as its supreme governor.

Parliament maintains a role in church affairs, and will be called upon to ratify the female bishop legislation. Some 26 bishops are allocated seats in the House of Lords.

The Church of England is part of the global Anglican Communion with 77 million members in more than 160 countries. The Episcopal Church in the Unites States was the first member to have a woman bishop and is now led by a woman.
(With Agency Inputs)