Church of England priest who disrupted consecration of first female bishop loses religious discrimination tribunal after claiming he was forced to retire aged 70 because of his belief that women shouldn't be ordained

At least someone in that church is faithful to the Bible. The Bible says:

"Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church". (1 Corinthians 14: 33 NIV)

That scripture makes it particularly plain that a woman cannot be a bishop. The word "bishop" is dervived from the Greek word "episkopos" (ἐπίσκοπος) in the original of the Greek New Testament. And episkopos literally means an overseer or supervisor. And that is precisely forbidden in the text above

A Church of England priest who protested at the consecration of the first female bishop has lost a claim of religious discrimination at a tribunal after he claimed he was forced to retire because he believes women shouldn't be ordained.

Reverend Paul Williamson, 72, claimed he was forced to retire aged 70 - as is common practice in the Church of England - because of his unpopular view.

His notorious campaign against women being ordained dates back 25 years when in 1997 he tried to sue the dean and chapter of St Paul's Cathedral for appointing a female minor canon.

In 2015 the priest publicly interrupted the ordination of Libby Lane - England's first female bishop - at York Minster to object to it, shouting that it was 'not in the bible' and that it was an 'absolute impediment'.

Now, Rev Williamson has lost his second employment tribunal after he was forced to retire from his post as priest of St George's Church, Hanworth, London.

Rev Williamson, 72, first lost an age discrimination case in 2019 after he was retired at 70. All priests retire at 70 under Church of England rules unless there are exceptional circumstances.

The Reverend Libby Lane became the Bishop of Stockport in a service conducted by the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu at York Minster.

The historic event was briefly interrupted by the appearance of ultra-conservative priest Rev Paul Williamson shouting 'Not in the Bible' as she was presented to the congregation.

A Church of England spokesman described him as a 'serial protester' who had been expected to attend. He said: 'He's got the right to protest but the contrast was between a lone voice protesting and a sea of voices affirming.'

Mrs Lane, an Oxford-educated mother of two, was appointed as a bishop last month, in a historic move which ends five centuries of all-male leadership in the church.

That announcement came just weeks after the General Synod formally adopted legislation allowing women to take the role, following years of furious debate on the issue.

Rev Williamson was first ordained as a deacon in 1972 and as a priest the following year. He served as priest St George's in Hanworth since 1992.


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