Church of England could have female bishops

Feb. 11, 2014 at 3:39 PM

LONDON, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- The Church of England has fast-tracked a measure that could allow for the ordination of a female bishop by year's end, church elders said.

The church's general synod voted overwhelmingly to halve the amount of time required for comments from the organization's 44 dioceses on legislation that would permit women to become bishops, the BBC said Tuesday.

The Church of England has long debated the possibility but has shied away from women bishops in the past.

This time, supporters say it's different.

"I feel something like what Moses must have felt as he approached the promised land," said supporter Lois Haslam. "We have wandered round women bishops legislation for many, many years, we are now approaching the promised land and it is exciting."

Once the comment period is over in three months, the general synod will take up the matter again, the BBC reported. If approved it will go to the British Parliament for final approval, where a two-thirds majority in both houses is necessary for the measure to become law.

The final approval could come as early as November, church officials said.

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