CofE ordaining women bishops deemed harmful to ecumenism

The Church of England’s decision to ordain women bishops has harmed relations with the Catholic Church, an archbishop says.

Speaking on behalf of the England and Wales bishops’ conference, Archbishop Bernard Longley said the commitment to further dialogue between the two churches remains.

“The decision of the Church of England to admit women to the episcopate therefore sadly places a further obstacle on the path to this unity between us,” he said.

L’Osservatore Romano editor Giovanni Maria Vian, who is also an historian, said the decision will have “an extremely negative impact” on the path to ecumenical unity.

He said: “It’s a decision that complicates the ecumenical path. The problem is not only with Rome but also with Orthodox Churches, and that the Anglican Church is itself divided on the issue.”

Archbishop Longley said the Catholic bishops appreciate the pastoral provision the Church of England’s General Synod made for Anglicans who did not support ordaining women bishops.

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