Opponents accused of having 'tantrums'

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The Independent Online
THE OPPONENTS of women priests in the Church of England are 'flouncing around like two-year-olds having tantrums in Tesco', according to Caroline Davis, the leader of the Movement for the Ordination of Women.

The movement, and its brother body, Priests for Women's Ordination, have launched a propaganda offensive to mark the passage of six months since the General Synod decided by a two-thirds majority in all three houses to ordain women.

Most of the running since then has been made by opponents, who have claimed that as many as 1,000 priests might leave in protest. One faction had hoped that special terms would be on offer from the Roman Catholic Church for vicars who wanted to become Roman Catholics but retain Anglican customs. However, the Catholic Bishops made it clear they would have to come in on Rome's terms.

Other opponents have been trying to improve the terms on offer to opponents who decide to stay, and have lobbied the Ecclesiastical Committee of Parliament, which meets tomorrow to consider the legislation for the third time.

The Ecclesiastical Committee, on which supporters of women priests are in the majority, still gave the authors of the legislation a hard time at its last meeting, since it neither guarantees nor abolishes the right of opponents to continue as if nothing had happened.

The Rev Chris Bard, national co-ordinator of Priests for Women's Ordination, said yesterday: 'The positive benefits that the ordination of women will bring . . . far outweigh individual objections.'