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No ‘chucking out’ over women

By Ed Thornton, Church Times

"CHUCKING out" the minority who disagree with women bishops is "just not Christian", the Archbishop of Canterbury says in an interview, published today.
 
He rebuts the accusation by Diana Johnson MP that the women-bishops working group "lacks a sense of urgency for change". The Labour MP introduced a Ten-minute Bill into the House of Commons on Wednesday of last week which would amend the law to allow women to become bishops in the Church of England (News, 15 March).
 
Interviewed for this paper, Archbishop Welby says that he appreciated what Ms Johnson was doing. "But she's wrong. There's a great deal of urgency. . . She obviously thinks that we're not going quickly enough; I think we're working extremely hard on it and as well as we can. We want to get this done."
 
The Archbishop refuses to be drawn on what sort of package he would like to see brought before the General Synod in July, saying that he does not wish to prejudge the outcome of the working group's deliberations.
 
If the Church of England were a political party, the situation would be more straightforward, he says, "because we'd have passed the Measure by a majority and chucked out everyone who disagreed with us – nice and simple.
 
"It's just not Christian. It's not what we do. We're bound together by a common baptism through the work of the Holy Spirit, and I don't think we should have the liberty of saying to people: 'This is how it's going to be, and that's just too bad if you don't like it.'"
 
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