Monday, December 29, 2008

Women Reach for Bishops' Chairs in Church of England as last barriers fall

From the London Times. (Hear Me Roar ?)

When traditionalists mutter that dark forces are plotting to undermine the tradition of men-only bishops in the Church in England, they are closer to the truth than they know.

The first woman bishop is likely to be drawn from a group of senior Anglican women priests that goes by the name of Darc - deans, archdeacons and residentiary canons - and meets twice a year to offer mutual support.

Since women were first ordained in 1994, about 4,000 have been priested. Of those, nearly 3,000 are still active in the ministry, representing about a third of the total number of serving priests. Women priests are likely to outnumber men within a few years.

To these women, and many of the worshippers who have experienced their ministry, an episcopacy without women is unthinkable. One by one, the provinces of the Anglican Communion are succumbing. In 1988 the first women bishops were elected in the United States and New Zealand. Barbara Harris, the American bishop, turned up to that year's Lambeth Conference.

No comments: