Sydney Morning Herald: Australian Anglicans appoint first woman bishop

Posted by Kendall Harmon

One of Australia's first Anglican women priests has shattered the stained glass ceiling to become the nation's first woman bishop.

Perth Archdeacon Kay Goldsworthy, 51, was named as an assistant bishop, to be consecrated on May 22.

But if she visits Sydney, which remains opposed to women bishops, she will only be formally acknowledged as a deacon and unable to exercise her ministry as a priest or bishop.

The unanimous decision to appoint Archdeacon Goldsworthy was made by Perth Archbishop Roger Herft and his diocesan council Thursday night following an agreement reached this week between Australia's Anglican bishops on a protocol to handle opponents of women bishops.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Australia

9 Comments
Posted April 11, 2008 at 9:11 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Dale Rye wrote:

This is the fourth Anglican woman bishop named in the past few months. +Victoria Matthews, formerly of Edmonton, Canada, has been confirmed as Bishop of Christchurch, New Zealand. The new Bishop-elect of Edmonton is Dean Jane Alexander. Suffragan Bishop Sue Moxley of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island was elected as diocesan a few months back.

April 11, 12:38 pm | [comment link]
2. azusa wrote:

All in declining dioceses or provinces, too.

April 11, 1:01 pm | [comment link]
3. episcoanglican wrote:

And, correct me if I am wrong, this one was appointed.

April 11, 1:07 pm | [comment link]
4. Dale Rye wrote:

Re #3: All suffragan bishops in Australia (and in most other Anglican provinces that have them) are appointed.

April 11, 3:00 pm | [comment link]
5. Br_er Rabbit wrote:

Lest the WO issue obscure it, let it be noted that this is a Deacon elevated to Bishop without becoming a Priest.
The Rabbit.

April 11, 3:03 pm | [comment link]
6. tjb wrote:

“Lest the WO issue obscure it, let it be noted that this is a Deacon elevated to Bishop without becoming a Priest.”

I think that “archdeacon” in this context is an administrative title.  The news reports indicate that we was ordained as a priest in 1992.

April 11, 3:51 pm | [comment link]
7. Ladytenor wrote:

And later in the article it says:

Archbishop Herft said Bishop-elect Goldsworthy was an outstanding candidate.

He said her previous experience as a school chaplain, canon of the cathedral, parish priest and archdeacon meant she was “one of the best qualified priests to take on this role”.

April 11, 3:53 pm | [comment link]
8. Dale Rye wrote:

An Archdeacon is the bishop’s deputy within an Archdeaconry (which may include the entire diocese). In England during the centuries that the diocesan bishops were usually at court rather than in their diocese, it was the archdeacons who made the visitations in parishes, administered the disciplinary system, and arranged for suffragan bishops to provide confirmations. They continue to be rather powerful church functionaries in England and many other Anglican churches. The alternate title in much of the USA is Canon to the Ordinary.

Although they have almost always been in priest’s orders since the Middle Ages, the name “Archdeacon” dates back to the days when deacons acted as the Bishop’s personal assistants in the administration of church affairs (as opposed to the priests, who were his associates in sacramental and pastoral ministry). The head deacon was the Archdeacon. The Roman Catholic College of Cardinals still includes a number of Cardinal Deacons (who were often actually in deacon’s orders until a 1918 canon decreed that they be consecrated priests, and a 1962 canon required most to be bishops). The Papal Legate in England under Queen Mary I, her second cousin Cardinal Reginald Pole, was a deacon until just a few days before he was consecrated the last Roman Catholic Archbishop of Canterbury. He was almost elected Pope in 1549, when he was still a deacon.

April 11, 6:57 pm | [comment link]
9. TACit wrote:

Now there is a very well written article online giving the background and implications of this development:
http://www.themessenger.com.au/News/20080422.htm

April 22, 7:59 pm | [comment link]
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