Unbelievably the Church of England has stated that there is “no official definition” of a woman.
In a written reply to a question submitted to General Synod, a senior Bishop said that although the meaning of the word woman was previously "thought to be self-evident", "additional care" was now needed.
While the new stance has been welcomed by liberal wings of the Church, the comments have also provoked criticism – with gender-critical campaigners saying that “whether your starting point is biology or the Bible”, the answer to the question of what is a woman remains the same.
Rev Angela Berners-Wilson, England’s first woman priest, said that she is “not totally happy” with the answer, but added that the issue is “sensitive”.
A representative of the Royal Navy, Adam Kendry, provoked the Synod by asking the simple question, “What is the Church of England’s definition of a woman?”.
In response, Dr Robert Innes, the Bishop in Europe, said that “there is no official definition”.
The Bishop in Europe, who was also replying in his role as chairman of the Faith and Order Commission, said in his written response: “There is no official definition, which reflects the fact that until fairly recently definitions of this kind were thought to be self-evident, as reflected in the marriage liturgy.
“The LLF project however has begun to explore the marriage complexities associated with gender identity and points to the need for additional care and thought to be given in understanding our commonalities and differences as people made in the image of God.”
Kirralie Smith, spokeswoman for Binary, who has a Bachelor of Theology, said the statement was farcical.
“The opening chapters of the Bible state humans are made in the image of God – there is male and there is female and they are very good. This fact is repeated throughout the scriptures and is confirmed by science.
“There is no third sex gamete or reproductive system. No one on earth has ever changed their sex. Sex is written on every cell in our bodies and is evidenced by our hormonal and reproductive systems including our genitals.”
Smith continued, “This appeasement by the church is insulting and dangerous. All people deserve love and care, but it is not loving to promote a lie and subject people to medicalised pathways that lead to sterilisation and other serious health issues.
“The church has a sacred duty to speak truth and stand up for the marginalised. If they can’t even define the term woman then they certainly cannot protect them.”
Do you like this page?