Foreign Policy Blogs

Women Bishops

On June 23, this blog discussed the Anglican divide over homosexuality. Now, this week has seen another contentious issue resurface in the Church of England. The General Synod met this year from July 4 to July 8 and voted on Monday, July 7 to approve the appointment of women bishops in Britain. The BBC News website has excellent coverage of the issue, and published on Wednesday, "Q&A: Anglican Church Divisions." The first question is, "Could recent developments mean the end of the Anglican Church as we know it?" There is also a more topical Q&A on the "Vote over Women Bishops." The New York Times article, "Church of England Endorses Women as Bishops," points out that the background to this news is a "deep division between liberals and traditionalistsmainly over the issue of homosexuality." Despite these two major points of contention, the answer to the BBC question above is rather grim – "About 1,300 clergy say they may leave the Church of England because they cannot accept women bishops." How that would not "split the church" is beyond comprehension. The BBC website also directs readers to an organization of women, called Women and the Church (or Watch), which is capaigning for women to be bishops. On the other side is the question of the Church of England's connection to the Vatican. According to the Catholic News Agency's article, "Unity Impossible if Anglican Church Ordains Women Bishops," the consecreation of women as bishops should only be done with the "support from the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches." If not, "the tone of ecumenical dialogue would change and future talks would no longer have unity as their goal." This dialogue between the churches is in the context of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, which has in the past suffered over the issue of homosexuality and its growing acceptance in the Anglican Communion.

 

Author

Karin Esposito

Karin Esposito is blogging on religion and politics from her base in Central Asia. Currently, she is the Project Manager for the Tajikistan Dialogue Project in Dushanbe. The Project is run through the Geneva Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies with the support of PDIV of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. The aim of the project is to establish practical mechanisms for co-existence and peaceful conflict resolution between Islamic and secular representatives in Tajikistan. After receiving a Juris Doctorate from Boston University School of Law in 2007, she worked in Tajikistan for the Bureau of Human Rights and later as a Visting Professor of Politics and Law at the Kazakhstan Institute of Management, Economics, and Strategic Research (KIMEP). Ms. Esposito also holds a Master's in Contemporary Iranian Politics (2007) from the School of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Iran and a Master's in International Relations (2003) from the Geneva Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (GIIDS) in Switzerland.

Areas of Focus:
Islam; Christianity; Secularism;

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