Friday, October 09, 2009

Church plans to offer oversight for those opposed to Women Bishops

[EV News] 9 Oct 2009--The Church of England website and various news agencies report today that the Revision Committee established by the General Synod to consider the draft legislation on enabling women to become bishops have decided to change its policy (decided by General Synod last year) to offer more protection to opponents.

The Committee have voted to amend the draft Measure to provide for certain functions to be vested in bishops by statute rather than by delegation from the diocesan bishop under a statutory code of practice for those unable on grounds of theological conviction to receive the episcopal and/or presbyteral ministry of women.

Nearly 300 people including more than 100 synod members wrote to the revision committee of the synod to argue that a code of practice to protect traditionalists was not enough. Instead many wanted legally constituted bishops to offer oversight instead of a code of practice.

Traditionalists welcomed the move. Paul Dawson of Reform said: “This looks like it could be what was needed to avert a split and preserve unity among people who differ on this issue. We will need to examine the detail, but we welcome this move and will work to secure widespread agreement.”

The Committee has further meetings planned between now and December and is aiming to complete its task by Christmas so that its report can be debated in full Synod in February and the draft legislation begin its Revision Stage in full Synod.

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