Church of England Moves Closer to Allowing Women Bishops

Vote Paves Way for First Woman Bishop in 2014

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The Church of England’s ruling body has voted in favour of proposals which could allow the ordination of women bishops next year.

Members of the general synod passed a motion with a majority of 378 to eight, with 25 abstentions.

It paves the way for endorsement of women bishops alongside a «declaration» by bishops setting out guidance for parishes which reject female ministry, the BBC reported.

Last year, the synod failed to agree on the legislation by just six votes.

Once it’s fully approved, the motion would go before the House of Lords. British Prime Minister David Cameron is a firm backer of the proposal and believes it will ensure the Church of England of “its place as a modern church, in touch with our society.”

Parts of the Anglican Communion already have women bishops but as the Church of England is considered the «mother church» of the ecclesial community, the move is seen as more significant, especially in terms of ecumenism.

The Vatican has frequently made clear its opposition to the move. In a 2008 statement, the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity said such a decision would mean “a break from the apostolic tradition maintained by all the churches of the first millennium and is, therefore, a further obstacle for reconciliation between the Catholic Church and the Church of England.”

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