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Resolution 1 - The ordination or consecration of women to the episcopate

Resolution 1

The ordination or consecration of women to the episcopate

This Conference resolves:

1 That each province respect the decision and attitudes of other provinces in the ordination or consecration of women to the episcopate, without such respect necessarily indicating acceptance of the principles involved, maintaining the highest possible degree of communion with the provinces which differ.

2 That bishops exercise courtesy and maintain communications with bishops who may differ, and with any woman bishop, ensuring an open dialogue in the Church to whatever extent communion is impaired.

3 That the Archbishop of Canterbury, in consultation with the primates, appoints a commission:

a) to provide for an examination of the relationships between provinces of the Anglican Communion and ensure that the process of reception includes continuing consultation with other Churches as well; b) to monitor and encourage the process of consultation within the Communion and to offer further pastoral guidelines.

4 That in any province where reconciliation on these issues is necessary, any diocesan bishop facing this problem be encouraged to seek continuing dialogue with, and make pastoral provision for, those clergy and congregations whose opinions differ from those of the bishop, in order to maintain the unity of the diocese.

5 Recognises the serious hurt which would result from the questioning by some of the validity of the episcopal acts of a woman bishop, and likewise the hurt experienced by those whose conscience would be offended by the ordination of a woman to the episcopate. The Church needs to exercise sensitivity, patience and pastoral care towards all concerned.

Voting: For 423; Against 28; Abstentions 19.

(See further paras 132-150 of the Report on `Mission and Ministry'.)