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Priest forced to stand aside as bishop over traditionalist view on women

Fr Philip NorthBy John Bingham, Telegraph

A traditionalist priest chosen to become a bishop has been forced to turn the appointment down after a rebellion in the pews over his views on women.

The Rev Philip North, an Anglo-Catholic, was chosen by the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, last month to be the new Bishop of Whitby. He was due to take up the post in March.

Whitby is one of a handful of bishoprics in the country which in recent years have been unofficially reserved for traditionalists, as part of an informal arrangement to ensure different wings of the church are catered for.

But parishioners in the area around Cleveland wrote to the Archbishop in protest insisting that they were tired of having a traditionalist bishop “assigned” to them with little regard for their views.

The protest was fuelled by anger across the Church of England as a whole at the rejection by the General Synod of moves to ordain women as bishops.

A letter signed by more than 110 church members in the Cleveland Archdeanery said that they were “puzzled, dismayed and very disappointed” to have a traditionalist who does not believe in women’s ordination for the third time in a row.

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