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Female bishops by 2015: Church of England
Friday May 24, 2013 11:11 PM, Agencies

Ending 20 years of bitter struggle the bishops of the Church of England Friday published a plan to consecrate female bishops by 2015.

The proposals, backed by both archbishops, offer a nearly complete victory for the female clergy and their supporters outraged by the failure of the earlier legislation, The Guardian reported.

The "flying bishops" appointed specially to serve opponents of female bishops are to be abolished, although there is a vague guarantee that in future there will be appointments of some bishops who are both male and opposed to the existence of female priests and bishops.

The Rev Miranda Threlfall Holmes, a noted campaigner for female bishops, said: "We're not trying to squeeze them out."

But these opponents will have to accept that women can become, the bishops say, "the true and lawful holders of their office" and that "the Church of England has reached a clear decision on the matter".

Parishes where a majority are opposed to the ordination of women would still be able to reject both female priests and bishops, but their rights would no longer be protected in law and, since they are a tiny and dwindling minority in most of the country, are unlikely often to be exercised.

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