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A blow for equality

Published Jul 16, 2014, 1:53 pm IST
Updated Mar 31, 2019, 6:58 pm IST
An inclusive church of equal opportunities might help further the strong faith existing in India
Picture for representational purpose (Photo: DC archives)
 Picture for representational purpose (Photo: DC archives)

The Church of England has struck a major blow for true gender equality by voting to allow women to become bishops. The decision of the General Synod, which will have to await ratification by the British Parliament, upholds the important principle that theology and religion are by no means a male monopoly even though it has been that way for centuries. Women have been priests for more than two decades now and they have only improved the ambience of the churches and found acceptability among the laity. The move has the blessings of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the leader of the global Anglican Communion, and the Church of South India and the Church of North India would do well to institute the sweeping reform as soon as it is made formal at the next General Synod in November. In the Indian environment, it is perhaps even more important to support this move as women and young people are far more likely to be attracted to formal religion if they can bond easily with the persons leading the movement. More than a third of Anglican clerics around the world are women and opening up avenues for them to aim to become canons and archdeacons would further the cause of equality in the developing world. Women priests are serving as bishops already in the US, Canada and Australia. While those societies are fighting hard to keep the faithful wedded to religion even as agnosticism is seen to be sweeping the First World, a more inclusive church of equal opportunities might help further the strong faith existing in India.

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