Thinking Anglicans

women bishops for Australia

The official announcement about the tribunal decision is here:
Appellate Tribunal determination on Women Bishops:

The Anglican Church’s highest legal authority, the Appellate Tribunal, has cleared the way for the consecration of women as diocesan bishops across Australia.

In a majority decision the Tribunal has ruled that there is nothing in the Church’s Constitution that would prevent the consecration of a woman priest as a diocesan bishop in a diocese which by ordinance has adopted the Law of the Church of England Clarification Canon 1992. Not every diocese has done so.

The ruling impacts only on diocesan bishops and not assistant bishops most of whom are elected and confirmed under provisions of the Assistant Bishops’ Canon 1966 which seems to retain the requirement for candidates to be male.

One of the central issues in the ruling allowing women to become diocesan bishops concerned the definition of ‘canonical fitness’. In the Church’s Constitution, adopted in 1962 it was clear at that time canonical fitness included a requirement for ‘maleness.’

The ‘maleness’ requirement was removed in a process that began in 1989 when a canon (church law) was passed that amended the Constitution to redefine ‘canonical fitness.’ The canon came into effect in 1995 after 75% of dioceses, including all metropolitan dioceses, adopted it…

The full text of the decision can be read as a PDF file here.

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Cheryl Va. Clough
12 years ago

This news has given me joy all day. I loved the opening paragraphs of the Sydney Morning Herald: “THE Anglican Church’s highest court has cleared the way for women bishops – but the Archbishop of Sydney, Peter Jensen, will carry on the fight against them. The Appellate Tribunal, by a 4-3 majority, found there is no constitutional barrier to women becoming bishops in the Australian church. The decision could lead one day to a woman leading the Australian church…. The national church is considering ways to provide oversight to traditionalists unwilling to accept women bishops.” See http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/bishops-ruling-shatters-stained-glass-ceiling/2007/09/28/1190486569813.html If it wasn’t… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
12 years ago

Just heard Bishop Forsyth ( area Bishop of Sydney) state they will not be leaving the Anglican Church. He sounded very balanced and was very dignified. You can hear him on via the Anglican Church league website.

Merseymike
Merseymike
12 years ago

Ah, but which Anglican church – given that there may be two claiming the name before long

Kurt
Kurt
12 years ago

Well, Robert, we liberals can always hope that Sydney will change their collective minds in the not to distant future, what?

ettu
ettu
12 years ago

Good news from down under – of course, the American conservatives have banded together in Common Cause in Pittsburgh in a group which – according to the T19 conservative blog- mostly disaproves of women’s ordinaton!! It will be interesting to see how such a retro and divided group can hope to hang together once their anger against TEC subsides even a little bit – when they look around at their new “bedfellows” they may be in for a bit of a shock.

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
12 years ago

The constitution of the Angican Church of Australia gives Sydney complete autonomy and the theology of the diocese is moving in a more conservative direction. However there are some lovely Christian people in Sydney, and one can not doubt their integrity, that they claim to be the authentic heirs of Cranmer.

Cheryl Va. Clough
12 years ago

Hi Robert I am sure Forsythe sounded balanced and dignified; I am sure he handles himself with as much aplomb as Akinola. They are both very comfortable with their theology and clear in what strategies are appropriate to quality control and grow suitable congregations. Here’s a transcript link to an interview with Forsythe from the ABC http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2007/s2046657.htm He comments “Instead of having the notion that you can sort of move happily around… the situation will be that someone will be in one place recognized, another perhaps honored still, or will not be personally, I think, any way dishonoring to each… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
12 years ago

Theres still something very hollow about the victory..manipulating words, and using lawyers.

You may not agree with conservative evangelicals , but there are many sincere and lovely Christians amongst them,and Sydney shames us in the way they wish to reach their fellow men and women for Christ.

You’ve got to understand their mindset, and they are only concerned for their fellow men and women who they believe are Hell bound.

Cheryl Va. Clough
12 years ago

Robert I would count both you and I as evangelical Christians I am despised and filthy in the eyes of many evangelical Christians. I have been called the Great Harlot, Daughter of Babylon, Baal Prophetess, the “evil one”, insane, corrupt, a perversion, false teacher, destined to hell, the spawn of hell, delusional, ambitious, a filthy woman… It actually became quite absurd and laughable. So now I play the balls as God throws them and as people choose how to respond and treat me they hold up a mirror to their own theology. Those who have an image of the vengeful… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
12 years ago

“You’ve got to understand their mindset, and they are only concerned for their fellow men and women who they believe are Hell bound.”

“Concerned” are they?

.. and they have a very low opinion of God and his very good creation…

… and abysman behaviou.

None of it amounting to an excuse, in my opinion.

Pluralist
12 years ago

_You’ve got to understand their mindset, and they are only concerned for their fellow men and women who they believe are Hell bound._

That’s the same as saying we respect them for honourable motives. So we should respect Pagans and Muslims and Buddhists and anyone.

It doesn’t mean we agree with them.

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
12 years ago

I bet there would be a few people angry if they suddenly were told that the word freehold on their house deeds actually meant leasehold.

No lets not demonise Sydney, but love them and never repay evil with evil..altough I cannot see any of their actions as being evil.

In a way they are radical Christians too, advocating lay presidency.

Furthermore I heard Archbishop Jensen preach…he has a sense of humour and he is not , as they say in Australia a wowser.

Cheryl Va. Clough
12 years ago

Their concern is not “free”. If you do not convert to their theology and subscribe to their global communion, then you are destined for hell. Then once you are in their communion it is not “free”, there are prescribed behaviors and requirements. Especially if you are a woman, we are all the root cause of why sin exists on this planet and are all barred from being teachers because of Eve’s error many millennia earlier. Of course, if you remain unrepentant they are quite prepared to allow you to go back to the “evil one”, and their parishes and leaders… Read more »

NP
NP
12 years ago

Robert – you try in a noble way to get TA people to look on conservatives as people with genuine beliefs and faith and even humour….but I am afraid many will not listen to you and will continue to just attack anybody who does not want to give in to a particular dominating agenda.

Cheryl Va. Clough
12 years ago

And of course, we know that anyone who does not agree with NP is neither honorable, have a sense of humour nor have genuine beliefs.

Just ask NP, he’ll clearly explain how everyone not of his camp is humourless, without honour and lacking in beliefs…

Merseymike
Merseymike
12 years ago

NP: we understand that you have ‘genuine’ faith and beliefs – but we just don’t agree with them, and you don’t appear to realise that your attempts to change our opinion has failed.

NP
NP
12 years ago

Cheryl – the funniest thing I have seen on TA is all the fantasy about a gal called Gaia

Göran Koch-Swahne
12 years ago

“I bet there would be a few people angry if they suddenly were told that the word freehold on their house deeds actually meant leasehold.”

This is not, perchance, a comment on the imploding American markets?

Cheryl Va. Clough
12 years ago

Thanks NP you referred to “the fantasy about a gal called Gaia” Thanks for another victory in my court case, you just proved one of my points. One of my complaints to Jesus and the higher-than-human court is that your kind of theology insults Jesus’ exhortations at Matthew 5:33-35 “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord.’ But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it… Read more »

kieran crichton
kieran crichton
12 years ago

One thing that’s been missed in the comments here is the loophole. Women may be diocesan bishops, but to be assistant bishops requires a change in the relevant canons. Sydney hasn’t a leg to stand on – they’ve never passed the legislation to have women priests, so they can hardly block other dioceses that have passed the 1992 clarification canon. Those dioceses could elect a woman and have no legal problems, and it’s unlikely any legal challenge would work, given the precedent from 15 years ago. If it came to a challenge, it is conceivable that the opposition would be… Read more »

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