The Church of England has appointed Sarah Mullally as the new Bishop of London, a move that campaigners say could open up an opportunity to have a female Archbishop of Canterbury someday.
Mullally, who was previously the Bishop of Crediton, has been appointed to the Church of England's third-most senior role. During a press conference to announce the development, she acknowledged that there were those who opposed her appointment and said she respected their views, The Telegraph relayed.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, praised Mullally for her achievement in the ministry. He expressed confidence that the culture of "mutual flourishing and acceptance" will continue to prosper in London.
"As one of the first women consecrated as a bishop in the Church of England, she has not only blazed a trail for others but lived out the principles of mutual flourishing and acceptance which I know will continue to bear fruit in London," said Archbishop Welby.
The campaign group Women and the Church also rejoiced in Mullally's appointment. Spokesperson Rev. Jody Stowell said the move provides "a very clear marker for the direction of the church" in the path of full gender equality.
Meanwhile, Life Site News observed that the Church's choice to ordain female clergy has not put a stop to the decline of Anglicanism in Britain. The latest British Social Attitudes Survey revealed that 53 percent of adult Britons claim to have no religion, and this figure is the highest recorded from the 31 percent recorded in 1983.
From 1983 to 2014, the population of Anglicans in the U.K. dropped from 16.5 million to 8.6 million. From 2012 to 2014, the proportion of those who claim to be Anglicans also decreased from 21 percent to 17 percent.
The Church of England started ordaining female clergy in 1994. By 2014, females made up 32 percent of Anglican clergy.