The first female bishop in the Church of Ireland last night welcomed a vote in the Church of England to accept the same measure.
Rt Rev Pat Storey, who was appointed Bishop of Meath and Kildare in November, was speaking after more than 80 per cent of the General Synod of the Church of England yesterday gave final approval to appointing women bishops.
“I am delighted for my colleagues in the Church of England and warmly welcome this development,” she said.
“I recognise that it has been a painful decision for some and to that end I appreciate the spirit in which discussions have taken place.
“It is a positive moment in which the contribution and gifts of women are now to be used at all levels of church leadership. It feels as though the time is right.”
There is now “no going back”, she added.
There were two main objections to ordaining women in the Church of England.
“One view was typically an Anglo-Catholic view that leadership traditionally right back to the time of Christ in has been male,” she said.
“Then there is also the conservative evangelical view which focuses on verses that they believe show that leadership is male.”
Objectors to female leadership would appeal to specific verses.
However, she would appeal to “the whole body of scripture” and not just to specific verses, she added.