Second Reading (Continued)

Part of Equality Bill – in the House of Lords at 8:34 pm on 15th December 2009.

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Photo of The Archbishop of York The Archbishop of York Bishop 8:34 pm, 15th December 2009

Before the noble Baroness sits down, since women bishops have been mentioned twice in your Lordships' House, is she aware that under the present legislation for ordaining women to the priesthood, the Measure itself as well as the Act of Synod make it possible for parishes with a conscientious objection on theological grounds not to accept that particular ministry and to petition a bishop, like myself, to appoint someone to minister to that particular parish? Some may describe this as discrimination, but I do not think it is; I have ordained women into the priesthood. Those parishes have a right to petition under the present legislation to appoint someone who does not ordain women to look for their sacramental ministry. When women are consecrated bishop, should the Measure come through and be deemed to be expedient-I favour the consecration of women as bishops-someone might decide that I was participating contrary to their theological position because I did so, but I would not see that as discrimination. They might describe it in that way, but I would not describe it as discrimination. I offer ministry in some parishes. I never see it, in religious terms, as discrimination.