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Women bishop plans

02 November 2006

THE campaigning group Women and the Church (WATCH) and the network Affirming Catholicism this week agreed "fundamental principles" by which women should be appointed as bishops.

The two organisations issued a statement about how they had drawn up a list of "non-negotiable" principles for moving forward on the issue. The groups say that the principles "challenge the scope of the Guildford proposals, which could, if implemented, provide a 'women-bishops-free zone' for those opposed to women bishops".

One of the principles states: "If pastoral provision is to have the force of law, it must be enshrined in secondary legislation or in an enforceable, statutory code of practice."

The groups now plan to discuss the principles "with Evangelicals and other groups in the Church, in order to reach the widest possible agreement about how to move forward".

Forward in Faith said this week that it was "puzzled by the nature of this ultimatum", and that Forward in Faith "has made it clear that the undertakings already given to opponents of the ordination of women in the House of Bishops document, Bonds of Peace, and in the Episcopal Ministry Act of Synod 1993 morally oblige the House and the Church to provide . . . a structural solution which will secure for opponents a sustainable ecclesial life".


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