Politics Threatens to Delay Women Priests for England

Episcopal News Service. April 1, 1993 [93060A]

The committee of the British Parliament which must guide the legislation paving the way for the ordination of women in the Church of England has hit a political snag. Lord Templeman, chair of the Ecclesiastical Committee of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, is accused by both sides of the issue with attempts to stifle debate and "steamroller the issue through." Members of both houses said publicly that Templeman was showing "bias and ineptitude" and a lack of understanding of "the seriousness of the problem facing the church." The disarray could hold up the legislation for months, some suggest even years. Proponents of the ordination legislation were hoping Parliament would debate the issue before summer recess and the first women priests could be ordained by Christmas or early in 1994. British newspapers are suggesting that Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey, who admits he has "nailed his colors firmly to the mast" in his support of ordination for women, might be asked to appear before the committee to explain vital passages of the legislation.