Priest says Church of England is 'abusive' to women

A woman priest in Durham has compared senior Church of England figures to wife beaters.

The Rev Miranda Threlfall-Holmes is critical of plans to limit the rights of women to become bishops. In her blog entitled "The Battered Bride of Christ", she questioned why women should stay in the church.

"The question for women priests today is: do we stay with this abusive institution?""Do we stay, hoping it will get better? Do we stay, thinking we can continue to try to change it from the inside?"Or do we flee to the nearest refuge (let's ignore the fact for now that they rarely exist) - leaving home, family, community, and our dreams behind?"

– Rev Miranda Threlfall-Holmes

In another passage, she compares bishops to a man who gouged his wife's eyes out and then kept her in the house for 12 hours to stop her getting medical attention.

The post has now been removed from her blog.

She's apologised for any offence her comments caused, but says she stands by the sentiment.

"The Bible rules out women being leaders of the Church. That is the reality of what the Bible teaches, so the argument isn't with me or people like me. The argument is with the Bible, it's with God Himself."

– Rev George Curry, St Paul's Church, Newcastle

Proposals to create women bishops have been controversial. The Church's General Synod is expected to vote on proposals in July.

But at a closed meeting of its House of Bishops, an amendment was added that refused to accept the authority of a woman to opt out and have an alternative bishop.