CANTERBURY, England (RNS) Katharine Jefferts Schori, the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, will receive an honorary degree from Oxford University. The award -- announced last week (Feb. 6) -- will be presented on June 25 in the presence of some of the world’s top scholars and fellow religious leaders.
"This award, richly deserved, affirms Bishop Katharine’s remarkable gifts of intellect and compassion, which she has dedicated to the service of Christ," said Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.
Welby, head of the 85 million-member Anglican Communion, spoke of the American bishop’s deep commitment to the environment and her love for those who live and work at “the edge of society.”
He added: “It must be noted, too, that Bishop Katharine’s achievements serve -- and will continue to serve -- as a powerful model for women seeking to pursue their vocations in the church.”
The fulfillment of that long-awaited role was emphasized again on Monday. when the General Synod -- the governing body of the Church of England -- began a four-day meeting that is expected to fast-track the process of ordaining women bishops.
Ruth Gledhill, religion correspondent of The Times, said Monday that Vivienne Faull, the dean of York, is a favorite to be the first woman made bishop.
Other likely candidates for the first Church of England woman bishop include June Osborne, the dean of Salisbury, and Lucy Winkett, the rector of St. James’s in Piccadilly, London.
YS/AMB END GRUNDY