Women Bishops: A Further Obstacle On The Path To Unity

So yesterday, the Anglican establishment elected – and rather predictably so – to have women bishop(esses). The Catholic Bishops have responded to their decision:

The following is a statement from the bishops’s conference of England and Wales, issued in response to a vote on July 14 to ordain bishops in the Church of England. The ballot took place during the ecclesial community’s general synod in York, England.


The Catholic Church remains fully committed to its dialogue with the Church of England and the Anglican Communion. For the Catholic Church, the goal of ecumenical dialogue continues to be full visible ecclesial communion.

Such full ecclesial communion embraces full communion in the episcopal office. 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. Nevertheless we are committed to continuing our ecumenical dialogue, seeking deeper mutual understanding and practical cooperation wherever possible.

We note and appreciate the arrangement of pastoral provision, incorporated into the House of Bishops’ Declaration and the amending Canon passed by the General Synod, for those members of the Church of England who continue to hold to the historic understanding of the episcopate shared by the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.

At this difficult moment we affirm again the significant ecumenical progress which has been made in the decades since the Second Vatican Council and the development of firm and lasting friendships between our communities. We rejoice in these bonds of affection and will do all we can to strengthen them and seek together to witness to the Gospel in our society.

Archbishop Bernard Longley
Chairman of the Department for Dialogue and Unity
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales



7 thoughts on “Women Bishops: A Further Obstacle On The Path To Unity

  1. This is just more “Catholic gobbledygook”, the fact is the papacy itself (and now certainly with “Francis”) does not have a fully historic episcopacy, at least fully biblical & theologically.. and spiritually! And again just what Vatican II means? Is still a real issue with many Catholic Traditionalists! And one thing is certain, “Francis” himself does not follow his own Roman, CCC… Catechism of the Catholic Church, indeed more Catholic liberalism is on its way! It is quite a myth to think that the “Francis” Papacy is the same as a Benedict-Ratzinger, at least again theologically! Though there are holes of course in Benedict’s papacy as well, but NOT the same as a “Francis”!

    PS…the CoE is shot, that is now a given!

    And too btw, it is indeed strange that Rome can evoke the EO here? Many Orthodox cannot do the same with “Papal Catholicism”, not since Vatican II, and certainly “Francis”!

  2. Of course, these many accusations against Francis are quite baseless. He has continually taught in line with Church teaching, which he could not change even if he desired. He has neither said nor done anything that contradicts the Catechism, nor anything the Pope Emeritus had said or written. There is nothing like referencing “holes” in this or any other papacy, while not actually providing evidence. In many ways it is like much of the media and what they report concerning all things Catholic.

    1. Of course Timothy, “your” statements are also in accord with your faith! My faith btw is certainly NOT from the “media”, as towards the Reformation, and a “Neo-Calvinism”! But yes, I do have many “accusations” towards Catholicism! Btw, I was born and raised Irish Roman Catholic in the 1950’s in Dublin Ireland. And my first degree (BA), (in my late 20’s) was from/in Catholic and Western Philosophy. I am 64, (5 in Oct.)

      I most certainly believe “Francis” is most indefensible, on almost every level! And I am not anti-catholic per-se. Liking aspects of Benedict/Ratzinger, at least theologically!

      1. And btw, the “holes” in the Papacy are quite obvious to the true and somewhat disciplined, historical and biblical-theological mind! But of course “this” blog is itself NOT the place to make a whole defense here. But I do have my own wee blog! 🙂

  3. Fr. Robert,

    I agree that this site is not the place for an apologetics debate. I do think it is important that all involve actually read what Francis has written, most notably in his encyclical letter and Evangelii Gaudium, before making accusations. I am sure you have. Many blessing to you as you minister the body of Christ. Perhaps we can continue this on your site some time.

    1. @Timothy: Yes, indeed I have been all over the GS, the NA, as too the HV, etc. of Vatican II! (I lived thru Vatican II, 1962-65, myself, and as a Catholic then!) Btw check out in the CCC, (673, The Glorious Advent of Christ, The Hope of Israel, 673, 674. With too, The Church’s Ultimate Trial, (675, etc.) I am very pro-Modern & National Israel! I lived and taught in Israel in the latter 90’s. And I was in Gulf War 1 myself, a retired RMC “mustang”, both Recon and Intell officer.

      There are but a few “Jesuits” that I like to read, one is old Joseph Fitzmyer. Though we would disagree on the aspects of the authorship of some of the so-called “Pauline” Letters, I believe in the whole of the Pauline (Paul) Corpus! And note too, I am a “Presuppositionalist” on the nature and authority of Holy Scripture. If you read Protestant and Reformed Theology? See Michael Kruger, (Ph.D., University of Edinburgh), professor of NT and academic dean at Reformed Theological Seminary (Charlotte, NC), and his book: Canon Revisited, Establishing The Origins And Authority of the New Testament Books, (2012, Crossway).

      Blessings too, ‘In Christ’,

      1. And yes, I have read “Francis’s” EG myself! Again, a most “Jesuit” document, which sounds orthodox, but when we press-in, its suppositions are most liberal, theologically. And again, NOT really biblical itself, i.e. “Biblical” theology! To speak in the Latin, but with a Protestant Scholastic Theology, I believe in the Ecclesia semper reformada, the church is always reforming!

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