The issue of women bishops is causing a schism in the Church of England.
The Vatican has "regretfully" acknowledged a vote by the synod of the Church of England allowing the ordination of women as bishops.
The Church of England voted on July 7 to approve women bishops, sweeping aside a proposed compromise that would have provided a separate hierarchical structure for more conservative believers. Over 1,000 clerics of the Church of England have threatened to leave the Anglican communion if they are forced to acknowledge female bishops. Some Anglican bishops have reportedly spoken with Vatican officials about entering the Catholic Church. I think many of them will cross the Tiber (see the article below)
In a statement released after the Anglican synod vote, the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity said that the Church of England was making "a break with the apostolic tradition maintained by all of the churches of the first millennium." That step, the statement continued, constitutes "a further obstacle to reconciliation between the Catholic Church and the Church of England."
Some Anglican bishops have been in Rome during the past week, speaking with senior Vatican officials about the prospects for reunion with the Holy See.
While the discussions have been reported in several London media outlets, neither the Vatican nor the Church of England has confirmed the reports.
The talks have reportedly accelerated on the eve of a meeting of the synod for the Church of England. The synod faces a potentially explosive debate on proposed steps to ease a crisis in which several hundred Anglican clerics, and tens of thousands of laymen, have refused to accept the authority of female bishops. Some leaders associated with these conservative Anglicans have reportedly begun to investigate the possibility of leaving the Anglican communion and entering the Roman Catholic Church while preserving their Anglican identity.
Here is the position of the Catholic Church, from the Catechism:
1577 "Only a baptized man (vir) validly receives sacred ordination." The Lord Jesus chose men (viri) to form the college of the twelve apostles, and the apostles did the same when they chose collaborators to succeed them in their ministry. The college of bishops, with whom the priests are united in the priesthood, makes the college of the twelve an ever-present and ever-active reality until Christ's return. The Church recognizes herself to be bound by this choice made by the Lord himself. For this reason the ordination of women is not possible.
Vatican says approval of Anglican women bishops presents ‘further obstacle’ to dialogue
My friend the Catholic Caveman wrote about this, as only he can :)