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Summarizing the Church of England argument on women bishops

July 05, 2012

In a BBC report on the decision facing the Church of England—whether or not to allow the ordination of women as bishops—Robert Pigott provides a generally accurate summary of the arguments.

Pigott explains that one important difference between two schools of Anglican thought that are often lumped together as conservative. “High-church” Anglicans are generally sympathetic toward Catholicism, and fear that ordination of female bishops will increase the growing gap between the Anglican and Catholic traditions. “Low-church” Anglicans also resist the ordination of women, but because they cannot find Biblical warrant for the move. The “low-church” approach—which is particularly influential among African Anglicans—has more traditional Protestant sensibilities, and is not favorably disposed toward union with Rome.

Pigott does make an important error in saying that “high-church” Anglicans “argue that if a woman bishop were to ordain a man, they could not be sure he was a real priest.” It might be more accurate to say that would be sure he was not a real priest.


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  • Posted by: Wolf of Gubbio - Jul. 05, 2012 6:27 PM ET USA

    I'm sure the low objections would also be shared by the high folks - that the Bible doesn't support it.