June 20, 2008

No Compensation For Opponents to Female Bishops

by Rachael Grant

The Church of England is hurtling ahead with plans to allow the election of women as bishops, with no mind of offering concessions for priests who oppose.

In the 1990s, when women were allowed to become priests for the first time, over 500 of the clergy handed in their resignation.

A large proportion of them went on to receive payoffs which resulted in over £27.4 million handed out over a decade since then.

Over 700 people have currently signed a petition against the plans, and it has been suggested that this new move could result in a large claim for compensation mirroring the previous one.

The Secretary General of General Synod, William Fittall, has said that there are no plans for compensation to those traditionalists who oppose the move, because it is a different situation to the original consecration of female priests, and that objections towards female priests, same sex blessings, and gay bishops should be different now.

Fittall is not convinced that upwards of 500 members of the clergy would leave, but realises that there are those who will insist they can’t stay without compensation.

Some priests who disagree with the move, which will take place sometime after 2014, have since sought legal advice to see if it is possible to sue the Church under employment laws, and male-only groups have been created to try and introduce a code of practice that, ironically, means that those against female bishops will not be discriminated against.

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