Friday, 22 June 2007

Canadians may elect woman Archbishop

Canadian Anglicans - not usually the most demonstrative or cantankerous of folk - are preparing to take decisions this weekend which could see both the election of the world's first female archbishop and, if they then also endorse official blessings for gay couples, the end of the worldwide Anglican communion.

The Canadian church's three-yearly general synod in Winnipeg has to elect a new primate and the favourite is the female bishop of Edmonton, the Right Reverend Victoria Matthews.

Bishop Matthews, 53, became the first diocesan woman bishop in North America 10 years ago and is now thought by many observers likely to become the first woman archbishop in 2,000 years of church history. Many Anglican provinces still do not allow women's ordination and the Church of England is still wrestling with whether its women clergy can eventually become bishops. Read more

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