A survey released Monday by the British trade union, MSF, which represents clergy, has revealed widespread prejudice and abuse against women priests in the Church of England.

The survey also found that, four years after women were first ordained as priests, most of the prejudice reported comes from male clergy, not the laity.Chris Ball, MSF national secretary for voluntary and non-profit organizations, told ENI: "It is easy for perpetrators (of abuse) to say they were just being robust. Bullying and harassment are so often fobbed off with cliches."

Forty percent of the more than 100 women priests responding to the survey had experienced verbal abuse, 23 percent had suffered harassment, often sexual in nature, and 10 percent of respondents had met with physical abuse.