When the Church of England scuttled plans to allow women bishops on Nov. 20, incoming Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby called it “a very grim day for women and their supporters.”

Now, that grim day is turning into a church-state nightmare for Britain’s established church.

On Monday, The Times of London quoted from a leaked memo to church leaders from William Fittall, secretary general of the General Synod, who called the public and political fallout “severe.”

After the unexpected defeat, the church said the process to allow women bishops would need to begin anew, and couldn’t start again until a new General Synod is seated in 2015.

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