Two 'flying bishops' are named

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The Independent Online
THE TWO 'flying bishops' who will succour opponents of women priests were named yesterday, six days before the Church of England's general synod goes through the last legal hoops before women can be ordained, writes Andrew Brown.

The new bishops will have nothing to do with the new priests. The Ven John Richards, 61, Archdeacon of Exeter, who will become Bishop of Ebbsfleet (a see named after a Kent sandbank), said yesterday that his conscience would not allow him to attend a Eucharist at which a woman celebrated, still less to take Communion from her.

The Archdeacon of Macclesfield, the Ven John Gaisford, 60, who will become Bishop of Beverley, said that he could not recommend a dying person into the care of a woman priest. 'It would be sacramentally doubtful,' he said. A spokesman for Forward in Faith, the largest group opposed to women priests, explained afterwards that: 'Sacramentally doubtful is just a nice way of saying 'never in hell'. '

Forward in Faith immediately demanded that the new bishops repudiate those of their colleagues who either ordain women or accept that women can be priests.