The Church of England is facing a “major constitutional crisis” as a result of the fiasco last week over women bishops, according to an internal document written for the archbishops by one of their most senior staff.
The Established Church must take steps in July next year to consecrate women bishops and vote them through by 2015, otherwise it risks the matter being taken out of its hands by Parliament, the secret memo says. It is to be debated behind closed doors this week by the Archbishops’ Council.
The memo, a hard copy of which has been handed to The Times, is intended for the Archbishops of Canterbury and York and the council members.
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