Church of England rejects women bishops proposal
The Church of England was in turmoil Saturday after plans by its top leaders designed to avoid a split over allowing women bishops were voted down.
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the leader of the world's Anglicans, and Archbishop of York John Sentamu, his number two in the Church of England, had put forward safeguards for objectors.
They received the backing of a majority of the houses of bishops and laity of the General Synod.
But the concessions did not win a majority of the House of Clergy, meaning that the proposals were lost.
Williams insisted the vote was not a test on his leadership.
The archbishops proposed a scheme where a male bishop would share the role and responsibilities of a female bishop, to cater for objectors.
Anglo-Catholic objectors have warned that if their demands are not met, then "large numbers" of clergy and lay people could leave for the Roman Catholic Church under an offer for disaffected Anglicans made by Pope Benedict XVI.
More than 5,000 women have been ordained in the Church of England since 1994.
© 2010 AFP