Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)


Tension over female bishops looms over Anglican meeting

The governing body of the Anglican Church in Britain voted last week to confirm the appointment of female bishops. The step risks a split in the church in its historic homeland at a time the church worldwide faces one of the most serious threats to its unity, the ordination of gay clergy. Both topics are likely to come up at the Lambeth Conference, a once-a-decade meeting of Anglican bishops from around the world that opens today in Canterbury, England, and runs until Aug. 3.

How large is the Anglican Church?

The Most Rev. Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury, is spiritual leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion, which has about 80-million followers. It's the third-largest grouping of Christian churches, behind Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians. The Episcopal Church, as it is known in the United States, has about 2.4-million members.

Aren't there already female bishops in the Episcopal Church?

Yes, as well as in Anglican churches in Canada, New Zealand and Australia. The church in Britain has ordained women as priests since 1994, but hasn't allowed them to become bishops. Opponents argue that Jesus, in choosing only men for his 12 disciples, intended that men alone should have the responsibility of ministering to his followers.

What role has the U.S. church taken?

It stands very near the eye of the storm. Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori became the first woman to head an Anglican national church in 2006. But long-standing divisions over how Anglicans should interpret the Bible erupted in 2003 when the church consecrated the first openly gay bishop, Rev. V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire. Jefferts Schori says she is looking forward to the "face-to-face conversation" of the Lambeth meeting. Robinson will not attend, but he plans several appearances on the outskirts of the conference.

Information from BBC News and Times files was used in this report.

Tension over female bishops looms over Anglican meeting 07/15/08 [Last modified: Monday, November 1, 2010 3:58pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Pinellas licensing board asks Sen. Jack Latvala for $500,000 loan

    Local Government

    The troubled Pinellas County agency that regulates contractors wants Sen. Jack Latvala to help it get a $500,000 lifeline from the state to stay afloat.

    State Sen . Jack Latvala, R- Clearwater, is being asked to help the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board get $500,000 from the state so it can stay open beyond February.  [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  2. FHP: 55-year-old pedestrian struck, killed by car in Largo


    LARGO — A 55-year-old St. Petersburg man died late Saturday after he walked into the path of a car on Ulmerton Road, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

  3. Study offers warning for Florida strawberry farmers from global warming


    LAKELAND — Florida strawberry growers already have experienced a dress rehearsal for the impacts of climate change during the past two seasons.

     Carl Grooms shows off some of his strawberries at Fancy Farms near Plant City Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015.  Grooms, President of Fancy Farms. [JAMES BORCHUCK  |  Times]
  4. Two Interstate 275 tractor-trailer crashes cause delays in Tampa


    TAMPA — Two tractor-trailers driving in opposite directions on Interstate 275 crashed Sunday within a mile of each other, causing lane closures on both sides for much of the morning.

    Two tractor-trailers going opposite directions on Interstate 275 in Tampa crashed Sunday morning, closing lanes on each side, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. [Florida Highway Patrol]
  5. Read Anthony Scaramucci's old tweets. You'll understand why he deleted them


    New White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci hasn't always shared the political views of the administration he now serves.

    Anthony Scaramucci, incoming White House communications director, takes questions as he speaks in the briefing room at the White House on Friday. [ Washington Post photo by by Jabin Botsford]