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Women in the episcopate and the Lords

28 November 2014


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.

18 Lock Road
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 Church.

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.

9805 Meadowcroft Lane
Montgomery Village
Maryland 20886, USA

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