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Women Bishops: Affirming Catholicism Press Statement

Affirming Catholicism welcomes the statement issued on the conclusion of the Meeting of the Archbishops’ Council on 27-28 November 2012, and the decision that a process to admit women to the episcopate be restarted at the next meeting of the General Synod in July 2013.

Affirming Catholicism hopes to be closely involved in the discussions in the New Year with a view to bringing legislative proposals before the Synod in July. Affirming Catholicism will continue to bring to those discussions not only strong support for the consecration of women to the episcopate, but also a deep concern to maintain the Catholic ecclesiology of the Church of England.

In offering support to the move to bring legislative proposals before the Synod in July, Affirming Catholicism will continue strongly to assert the principle that a woman appointed to be a bishop must be a bishop on exactly the same terms as her male colleagues, whilst recognising the need to make pastoral provision for those opposed. However, the rejection of the Measure, combined with the opposition to clause 5(1)(c) this summer, demonstrated a lack of support for the way forward laid out in the Measure, whilst also demonstrating overwhelming support for the admission of women to the episcopate in the Church of England. This indicates that a new way forward must be found, which recognises from the beginning that acceptable provisions cannot mean structures for separate existence.

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