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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 January, 2004, 18:16 GMT
Women in the church
Women priests
The first female priests were ordained in 1994

In a HARDtalk interview on January 27, the Bishop of Fulham, the Rt. Rev. John Broadhurst tells Tim Sebastian why he is against the ordination of women as priests and bishops.

Bishop Broadhurst is chairman of the Forward in Faith movement, an organisation founded in November 1992, in the wake of the decision of the General Synod of the Church of England to proceed with the ordination of women to the priesthood.

Both the ordination of women as well as the ordination of gays is threatening to split the Anglican church.

Tim Sebastian asked the bishop whether in a world of war, famine and disease, didn't he have more important things to worry about?

"Either female ordination is what God wants or it isn't"
Rt Rev John Broadhurst

Broadhurst once said that "real women" would never think of becoming priests.

Asked what he meant by that statement, he said:

"Either female ordination is what God wants or it isn't. If it is what God wants, then we should do it. If it isn't, then it can't be true to women's nature."

Fool or prophet?

Broadhurst maintains that "a lot of women" would agree with him, saying that his organisation has many women members.

"In a 100 years' time, I'm either a silly old fool or I'm a prophet."
Rt Rev John Broadhurst

But the bishop acknowledged that his views could be wrong:

"In a 100 years' time, I'm either a silly old fool or I'm a prophet."

"I've not got the wisdom of knowing which one I am - that's very difficult."

HARDtalk can be seen on BBC World at 04:30 GMT, 11:30 GMT, 15:30 GMT, 19:30 GMT and 00:30 GMT

It can also be seen on BBC News 24 at 04:30 and 23:30



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