From Mr Robin Goodgame
Sir, - Now that the legislation for the consecration of women
bishops has finally been approved (News, 21
November), may I utter a note of caution?
The majority of our present diocesan bishops will have served
for some years as suffragan or area bishops before being elevated
to the diocesan state, and there should be no reason why women
bishops should not follow the same course.
This also applies to any action to fast-track women bishops into
the House of Lords. There are already women in that House, some of
whom, I suspect, could speak with a Christian voice, if required,
and any attempt to fast-track women bishops would surely fall foul
of the equality laws. After all, if one is to fast-track a woman
bishop, why not fast-track a newly consecrated male bishop?
When a woman diocesan bishop is appointed, the correct and just
procedure is for her to join the queue with other bishops waiting
their turn to enter the Lords. This would surely put women and men
on an equal footing.
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Richmond TW10 7LH
From Mr Luis Gutiérrez
Sir, - Well done, Church of England!
I am Roman Catholic. One issue that is crucial for the Catholic
Church as a family is the exclusion of women from the ministerial
priesthood. Granted that ordination to the priesthood is not a
"human right" (for either men or women), Christ should be allowed
to call those he wants here and now, via the mediation of the
We should be thankful to the C of E for its perseverance in
enduring the pain of this long discernment process. Let us pray
that all the Christian Churches can discern the difference between
patriarchal ideology and revealed truth, and act accordingly.
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