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Warning ahead of women bishops vote at York Synod
2:30pm Sunday 8th July 2012 in News
THE Archbishop of Canterbury has warned warring factions within the Church of England that they must show they care for each other on the eve of a key vote on introducing the first women bishops.
Dr Rowan Williams acknowledged that many in the Church felt profoundly frustrated with the difficulties it has faced in reconciling the demands of traditionalists and pro-women campaigners over the issue.
He added that whatever the outcome of its negotiations over women bishops, the Church of England must not become depressed over its problems.
"The last thing our society or our world needs is a depressed Church," Dr Williams said in a sermon in York Minster.
"That is something I trust we shall bear in mind and heart in the days ahead."
Dr Williams' remarks were made as the General Synod meeting at York University faces a key vote tomorrow on whether to give final approval to legislation introducing women bishops.
But the historic vote - the biggest decision in 20 years by the Church of England - could be put on hold following calls for an adjournment by pro-women campaigners over objections to a last-minute amendment.
In his sermon, Dr Williams said finding the right way forward was not always crystal clear. But he warned, in an apparent message to warring factions within the Church of England, that nothing would change "unless my neighbour knows that her or his joy is what most deeply I care about."
He added that many people in the Church of England - including its bishops - were feeling profoundly frustrated about the difficulties.
"Most of us are frustrated with the structures of the Church and are feeling that the way in which we are doing our business is at the moment preventing us from doing what we actually want to do as a Church," he said.
The General Synod is likely to be asked to vote tomorrow on whether to adjourn giving final approval to legislation introducing women bishops. The call to put the legislation on hold comes amid threats by pro-women campaigners to vote against final approval - amid protests against a new amendment added by the Church of England bishops which they say enshrines discrimination against women in the law.
A vote for an adjournment would mean the legislation would return in November for further consideration.