Legal threat to women priests

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The Independent Online
Opponents of the ordination of women are considering a legal challenge to the decision yesterday of the Church in Wales to ordain women priests.

The opponents of the measure, concentrated in the House of Clergy, failed by one vote to muster the necessary one-third of the vote that would have blocked the measure for a second time. The voting figures were 85 for and 40 against among the clergy. The laity voted overwhelmingly in favour, by 136 to 47; and the bishops by six to none in favour.

The vote means that there will next year be women priests in all the four Anglican churches of the British Isles. Nearly 80 women deacons are waiting to be ordained in Wales. The Welsh church has made less elaborate and generous provision for opponents than was done in England.

There will be no "flying bishops" to minister to those priests and faithful who repudiate bishops who will ordain women and all their works, though there may be an assistant bishop specially appointed for that constituency.

Financial compensation for priests who leave will be limited to a maximum of two years' salary; and available only in cases of proven hardship.

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