PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE USE
11 July 2006
AFFIRMING CATHOLICISM WELCOMES SYNOD’S DECISION AND PLEDGES TO FIND WAYS TO INCLUDE OBJECTORS WITHOUT UNDERMINING FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES.
The Director of the Anglican organisation, Affirming Catholicism, the Rev’d Richard Jenkins, today welcomed the decision of the Church of England’s General Synod to press ahead with moves to admit women to the episcopate. The General Synod, meeting in York over the last 5 days, voted by substantial majorities to welcome and affirm the view that the development was consistent with Anglican faith and practice and to proceed with drafting necessary legislation for women to be ordained as Bishops. Synod also passed an amendment to endorse the view that those who oppose the move are equally loyal Anglicans.
I’m delighted that the Synod has voted so resoundingly to admit women to the episcopate. It has also underlined its determination to find principled ways to keep the minority who object to the move within the body of the Church. We will continue to engage in the process with charity and theological rigour in order to help craft legislation which admits women to the episcopate on the same basis as men, provides a safe and secure space for those who object, and encourages all of us to encounter and enrich each other in one polity.
In the run up to the recent debates, Affirming Catholicism’s theological group made submissions on the issue to the House of Bishops’ working parties and published a book outlining the Catholic case in favour of women bishops which was circulated to every member of General Synod. The Affirming Catholicism group will reconvene once the official legislative drafting group is created. Affirming Catholics in Synod (ACiS) numbers over 90.