Critics Demand Controversial Bishop Step Aside for His Beliefs

Philip North
Philip North (youTube)

Opponents of a controversial election are calling for Philip North to step aside for his beliefs.  

If North accepts the role as Bishop of Sheffield, it will "cause significant pastoral and public damage to the church," Church of Christ Oxford Dean Martyn Percy says.  

North's theological position makes it impossible for him to affirm and receive the ordained ministry of all his female clergy, the Modern Church reports.  

"The women clergy are already in a state of grief about the appointment, moving through the early phases of shock, anger and denial.  But bargaining and acceptance are unlikely to be options. Their situation is profoundly unjust," Percy says of North's appointment to Sheffield.  

Despite the opposition, North pledged to be a "bishop to all."

North encouraged his brethren to "stand against the voices of hatred and intolerance and despair simply through the quality of our own relationships in Christ". 

A Church of England spokesperson said North told The Guardian North "is in favor of women's leadership and would actively promote it."

"The beauty of the Church of England is its theological breadth and its ability to hold together disparate views across a range of issues whilst still finding unity in Jesus Christ. The Church of England supports all orders of ministry being open equally, irrespective of gender, and remains committed to enabling all people to flourish within its life and structures," the spokesperson said. 

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