By Simon Caldwell, Catholic News Service
The largest Anglo-Catholic group in the Church of England is expecting an exodus of thousands of Anglicans to Catholicism after a decision to ordain women as bishops without sufficient concessions to traditionalists.
Stephen Parkinson, director of Forward in Faith — a group that has about 10,000 members, including more than 1,000 clergy — told Catholic News Service in a July 13 telephone interview that a large number of Anglo-Catholics are considering conversion to the Catholic faith.
His comments came after the General Synod, the national assembly of the Church of England, voted at a meeting in York to approve the creation of women bishops by 2014 without meeting the demands of objectors.
A July 12 statement from Forward in Faith advised members against hasty action, saying now was "not the time for precipitate action."
"This draft measure does nothing for us at all," said Parkinson. "We explained very carefully why we could not accept women bishops theologically.
"We explained what would enable us to stay in the Church of England, but the General Synod has decided to get rid of us by giving us a provision that does not meet our needs," he said. "They are saying either put up or shut up and accept innovations, however unscriptural or heretical, or get out."
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