Women gained ground in the Anglican Church on June 8, when the General Synod of the Church of England voted 288 to 119 to allow ordination of women bishops. Dr. John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, called the decision “theologically justified,” according to the London Independent. Sentamu, who initiated the motion in support of women bishops, said, “I must pay tribute to Anglican women who have been tested for nearly 90 years… They have kept the faith and remained loyal to the Church of England,” the Independent reports.
The United States, Canada, and New Zealand have already okayed female bishops, with Katherine Jefferts Schori recently elected Presiding Bishop of the American Episcopal Church. The Church of England approved the right for women to become priests in 1992. England may need to wait several years before the ordination of its first woman bishop, pending amendments to the Church’s legal structures.