Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Right Reverend Eric Kemp

From The London Telegraph-

The Right Reverend Eric Kemp, who died on November 28 aged 94, was Bishop of Chichester from 1974 to 2001, a period of tenure that made his episcopate one of the longest in 20th-century Britain; having been exempted from the compulsory retirement regulation that was introduced shortly after his appointment, Kemp was 86, and still intellectually alert, when he resigned.

During his time as a bishop he was the acknowledged leader of the Anglo-Catholic wing of his Church, a role that he shared for some years with Dr Graham Leonard, the Bishop of London; and his decision to remain in office into the next century was motivated almost entirely by his relentless opposition to the ordination of women to the priesthood.

He regarded the Church of England's decision, in 1992, to proceed with the ordination of women as disastrous, and believed that he had a duty to try to mitigate its worst consequences.
This was achieved by means of controversial provisions for the continuing ministries and pastoral care of his fellow objectors – but he warned that if women bishops were ever consecrated schism would be unavoidable. He was himself prepared to ordain women deacons and, accepting the judgment of his church, was ready to have women priests in his diocese, leaving their ordination to one of his suffragan bishops.

More here-


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