Australia's Anglican Church consecrated the country's first female bishop on Thursday in a ceremony attended by hundreds but opposed by at least one prominent church leader.
Fri, May. 23, 2008 Posted: 08:00:59 AM EST
PERTH, Australia (AP) - Australia's Anglican Church consecrated the country's first female bishop on Thursday in a ceremony attended by hundreds but opposed by at least one prominent church leader.
Archdeacon Kay Goldsworthy became The Most Rev. Kay Goldsworthy, an assistant bishop in Western Australian state, in the evening ceremony at St. George's Cathedral in the west coast city of Perth.
Twenty-one Anglican bishops from Australia and New Zealand were among a congregation of more than 800 who showed their support for the controversial appointment. Archbishop Phillip Aspinall, Australia's Anglican prelate, conducted the ceremony.
Among those who did not attend was The Most Rev. Peter Jensen, Archbishop of Sydney, and the Bishop of Northwest Australia, David Mulready, who oppose the ordination of female ministers. Sydney is Australia's largest diocese.
A meeting last month of Australian Anglican bishops that set protocols for the consecration of female bishops paved the way for Goldsworthy's appointment. Under the protocols, parishes that do not want a female bishop would be offered a male bishop.
Goldsworthy, 51, who is married with two sons, was among the first female priests to be ordained in 1992.
The Anglican Church is the second largest religious denomination in the predominantly Christian Australia after the Roman Catholic Church.
The ordination of women remains controversial among many Anglicans, although female bishops have been ordained elsewhere including in the United States and Canada.
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