First female Church of England bishop consecrated in York

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The Rt Rev Libby Lane has been made the bishop of Stockport with solemn oaths, high ceremony, and a sermon that drew on Call the Midwife in York Minster.

Since it was first built in AD637, the building has seen Viking raids, civil war, and even German bombing, but never a woman among the tends of thousands of bishops made here. Bishop Lane’s consecration was greeted with joy within the building and outside it – although the ceremony was interrupted by a lone protester who objected when the archbishop of York asked the congregation to consent to Lane’s appointment.

Women have been consecrated as bishops in many parts of the worldwide Anglican communion since 1989, and as priests in England since 1994, but opponents put up a long resistance to their further promotion, which only became possible last autumn. Roman Catholic bishops, who frequently attend important Anglican occasions, were absent. The service marked a final and decisive break with the tradition of an all-male priesthood.

Bishop Lane swore obedience to the queen, and to the archbishop of York and their successors. She heard Jesus’s instructions to his disciples from the gospel of Luke: “I am sending you out like lambs in the midst of wolves. Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals, and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say ‘peace to this house’ …”

In the sermon, the archdeacon of York, the venerable Sarah Bullock, described God as “God our midwife”, and preached on a Christmas episode of BBC1’s Call the Midwife. “Like Cynthia, we all have so little to offer and so little to sacrifice”, she said. Later she concluded that it was all about Jesus.

The congregation was asked to assent to Bishop Lane’s consecration. As the congregation of nearly 2,000 people replied “It is”, a man stepped forward near the altar and shouted: “No. Not in my name. Not in the Bible. With respect, your grace, I ask to speak on this absolute impediment, please.”

Dr Sentamu read out a pre-prepared statement and repeated his question. There was no further interruption and the service continued.

Sentamu read a long legal justification for his acts. He asked the congregation again and their consent was still louder and this time unanimous. “I’ve worked in York Minster for 15 years and I’ve never heard a shout as loud as that,” said Eleanor Course, one of the congregation, of the shout of assent.

The protester was later identified as the Rev Paul Williamson, who once tried to charge an earlier archbishop of Canterbury with high treason for ordaining female priests.

With a quiet rumble the bishops in scarlet and white rose from their seats to gather round and lay hands on Lane and on each other in a sign that she, like they, had a physical connection running back nearly 2,000 years to the disciples whom Jesus had touched.

Sentamu anointed her with oil as she knelt in front of the congregation. He gave her a Bible. The act was done. History was made. The congregation burst into prolonged applause, led by the archbishops, and she bowed her head at them.
source: First female Church of England bishop consecrated in York | World news | The Guardian

Should women be allowed to be Bishops? I personally feel like its a no-brainer yes and think that the Catholic church should really get with the times and allow female priests. I can only applaud the Church of England for finally taking this step.
 
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As a former Catholic, I can't feel anything but envy towards the more liberal and progressive Church of England in this matter.

There is absolutely no reason to keep the old patriarchal hierarchy of the Catholic church, keeping women out of it.

Jesus Christ had both male and female followers.

I, too, applaud the Church of England.
 
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Traditional and devote Catholics may question the idea for a while but like any major change, the world will eventually learn to accept. As a Catholic myself, I do approve of this. I just hope no one will try to use it for some twisted propaganda.
 
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I think this shows a step in the right direction for religion. Discrimination against groups needs to stop within religion and the bible is being modernised along with christianity. I think In 20-50 years we will see a more even amount of bishops and far into the future? Maybe some female cardinals as well. I think it would take a lot for that to happen though.
 
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Not before time. How the Church got away with it for so long - effectively excluding half of its population - is beyond me. And with all the resistance to it over the years, who is the actual head of the Church of England? The Queen! That speaks volumes for the disfunctionality of it all.
 
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Change is so hard for Catholics. They are very big on tradition. This is a huge step for them. I am very happy that this happened. I knew it would, it was just a matter of time.
 
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Change is so hard for Catholics. They are very big on tradition. This is a huge step for them. I am very happy that this happened. I knew it would, it was just a matter of time.
Unfortunately, this isn't the Catholics. This is the Protestant Church in England, which in theory was meant to be a bit more progressive. I think seismic changes in the Catholic church may take a little longer.
 
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OOPPPPsssss.... sorry. Miss read that. LOL. Thank you for correcting me. :p
 
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I think it will be interesting to see, how this works out and what people will think of a female running the church and wander how she will use her powers and perception. I reckon that, they could work out and do well as a man which may bring some changes and do well for the church of England. This may bring a good change and will have to see how ti works out and, it could do better for the church and do well in the days to come ahead.
 
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That's an impressive move for the Church of England. Although it will take some time to get used to this new change, what they did is worth commending. The Catholic Church may follow suit with someone like Pope Francis leading it. Still, convincing the rest of the members requires grit and a series of logical arguments.
 
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There have been a lot of changes in religion over the past 20 years. Women in key positions, Popes apologizing for past aggressions or denouncing groups they ignored before, Different domination or religious beliefs team up together to helps those in need... its been great. I love the advancements the churches have been making. They are finally coming into Gods words and Jesus' teachings; tolerance, understanding, acceptance, and love. By doing so they are setting an example for the rest of the world to follow. It is only groups like ISIS and Al-Qaeda that are upsetting this positive change.
 
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I think it's a logical consequence of the need for the Church to make itself relevant in the 21st Century. Especially in the UK, which is a largely secular society, where the Prime Minister will try and distance himself from religion - if the Church is to keep it's popularity it needs to adapt to the times. As other people have mentioned, we're seeing liberalisation of religious dogma with Pope Francis. It'll be interesting to see what happens next
 
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