Archbishop of Canterbury Confirms Full Support for Women Ordinations

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, made clear that he remained a firm supporter of women's ordination to the priesthood, while dismissing 'wilfully misleading' newspaper reports.

Media sources have reported that Dr Williams did not think the reform had "transformed or renewed the Church in spectacular ways," though neither had it "corrupted or ruined" it.

Dr Williams noted that his previous quotes have been misinterpreted, projecting him as saying ordination of women priests had been 'wrong' or that he believes that a revisiting of the question is likely, necessary or desirable.

Speaking during a visit to Manchester, Dr Williams confirmed his continuing support for the ordination of women to the priesthood.

"From the very beginning of this issue I have been a supporter of the ordination of women and have not doubted the rightness of that decision or the blessings it has brought. It has been a difficult road for the Church and the cost of that decision has been a heavy one and that has been a test.

"I made it clear in the interview with the Catholic Herald and will continue to do so that I see no theological justification for any revisiting of this question and indicated in the interview three times that I had no wish to reopen it, whatever technical possibilities might theoretically exist."

"The presentation of this to mean anything else is wilful misinterpretation. My convictions mean that I feel nothing less than full support for the decision the Church of England made in 1992 and appreciation of the priesthood exercised."