Anglican Church clears way for women bishops in Australia

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Sydney, Sep 28 (UNI) The highest court of the Anglican Church in Australia today ruled that it was possible to sanctify women bishops.

The appellate tribunal, by a majority of four to three, found that it was possible to sanctify women bishops.

However, it said women bishops are possible only in a diocese (territorial jurisdiction of a bishop) like Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra, which had both adopted a 1992 church law allowing them and had ensured their own laws and constitution allowed it, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Addressing mediapersons in Brisbane, the head of the Anglican Church, Archbishop Philip Aspinall said ''There is nothing in the (church's) constitution to prevent a woman becoming a bishop.'' Noting that the prospect of women bishops would be ''difficult or distressing'' for some, he said ''One of our first priorities must be setting in place arrangements for the pastoral care of those who maintain a conscientious objection to women bishops.'' Expressing dissapointment at the decision, Sydney Anglican Archbishop Peter Jensen, whose diocese led the case against women bishops, said ''While I respect the judicial procedures which have led to this result I am disappointed that the matter has now been resolved in this way.'' He said the decision would create difficulties around the church for decades.


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