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Church of England clears way for ordination of women bishops

London, Nov 17 (EFE).- The General Synod of the Anglican Church on Monday gave its approval for women to be ordained as bishops in the Church of England, a move that will open the way for the first appointments of female bishops early in 2015.

In a ceremony at the Anglican’s Church House in London, synod members voted by majority show of hands in favor of amending canon law to allow women to be consecrated as bishops.

Their vote completed the process begun last July when the synod, which was meeting in the northern English city of York, approved the measure, which subsequently had to be sent to parliament, and the Queen, who is the Church’s titular head, for their approval.

The door is now open, 20 years after first women priests were ordained in England, for female bishops to be appointed beginning in Jan. 2015, when vacancies are due to arise in some dioceses.

A previous attempt to consecrate women bishops had been rejected in Nov. 2012 by the General Synod, after months of acrimonious disagreement between conservative and reformist currents in the Church.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Selby will be facing challenges to the unity of all branches of the Anglican Church. A total of 29 women bishops have been ordained in Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States