Tuesday, February 9, 2010

New split in Church of England over women bishops

From The London Guardian-

Conservative evangelicals in the Church of England today became the latest group to threaten to split the church if it decides to consecrate women bishops.

At the start of this week's meeting of the General Synod, the church's parliament, in London, they warned that their clergy would in future be trained outside the Church of England if the proposals go ahead later this year.

The pressure group Reform, which claims to represent 350 ordained clergy and which has a track record of threatening action unless it gets its way, claimed its parishes would raise money to train their own clergy and would accordingly reduce payments to the Church of England.

The conservative evangelicals oppose women's ordination to the clergy, let alone the episcopacy, joining High Church Anglo-Catholics – with whom they share little else in common theologically or doctrinally – because they believe the Bible does not allow women to be in "headship" of any organisation, including businesses or the family.

In a statement signed by 50 vicars and endorsed by one suffragan bishop, Wallace Benn, the Bishop of Lewes, they said: "We are not for a moment saying women are less valuable than men … this is the point we find hardest to communicate, since the world about us equates value with power … In the end this is an issue about our view of Holy Scripture and this is why it matters to us so much as ministers of the Word."

More here-


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