published Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Church of England dioceses approve female bishops

  • photo
    This photo provided by the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi shows the Very Rev. Brian Seage, rector of St. Columb's in Ridgeland, Mississippi, accepting his election as the diocese’s next bishop on May 3, 2014, in St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Jackson, Miss. Standing with the bishop-elect is his wife, the Rev. Kyle Seage, rector of St. Philip's in Jackson. If confirmed, Brian Seage will become bishop in February, when the current bishop retires.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

LONDON — The Church of England says all its dioceses have voted to let women serve as bishops, leaving just one major hurdle to changing centuries of church practice.

The issue has long divided the Anglican Communion, a Christian denomination with more than 80 million adherents worldwide.

Anglican churches in Australia, New Zealand and the United States already have women serving as bishops.

The Church of England has grappled for years with whether to admit women to the hierarchy. The church's governing General Synod voted in February to send draft legislation allowing female bishops to its 44 dioceses. The church said Friday that all had voted in favor, with Manchester, the last to do so, deciding Thursday.

The legislation will now go back to the Synod in July for a final vote.

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