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Church of England Votes in Favor of Female Bishops

The Church of England has voted to allow women to enter its top ranks as bishops. The Church's national assembly, known as the General Synod, approved the historic measure at its meeting Monday by a vote of 351 in favor, 72 opposed and 10 abstained. The measure had the support of Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Prime Minister David Cameron.

The vote comes two years after similar legislation failed to reach a two-thirds majority among the General Synod's lay members, despite approval from bishops and clergy. Earlier Monday, Welby told the BBC that he hoped the vote would go through, saying "the votes, I think, are there." The Church of England is part of the Anglican Communion, which has the largest Christian denomination in Britain and a presence in more than 160 countries.

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— The Associated Press