England Ponders Women Bishops: Church's Synod Will Debate Report Next February

Article excerpt

London

(ENI)--The Church of England will be "increasingly isolated and anachronistic" unless it accepts women as bishops, a house of bishops working party which looked into the issue of women in the episcopate has concluded.

"Gender-blind equality of opportunity will remain a central feature of Western society. The Church of England will not be able to commend the gospel effectively flits structures embody sexism in a way that contemporary society no longer finds acceptable," the working party said in its report, Women Bishops in the Church of England?, published Nov. 2.

Women have been ordained as priests in the Church of England since 1994, following a decision two years previously.

However, women bishops do not follow automatically from the 1992 decision to accept women as priests, states the report, which presents practical and theological arguments both for and against women bishops, but makes no formal recommendations.

The report also predicts that Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches will feel pressure for the ordination of women to all ministerial offices "in the longer term. …