Saturday, 17 May 2008

Perth church split over woman bishop

A BREAKAWAY group of Anglicans will snub the historic ordination of Australia's first woman bishop, West Australian Kay Goldsworthy, this week.

They claim the event is the death of traditional religion as stated in the Bible.

Kay Goldsworthy -- who will become assistant bishop to Archbishop Roger Herft -- is being consecrated amid pomp and theatre in a ceremony in St George's Cathedral on Thursday.

As the church loses relevance and the number of worshipping Anglicans dwindles around Australia, the ceremony is being described by those who have waited 30 years for the moment as a big cause for celebration.

For others, it means ``disaster''.

About 120 former members of the Perth diocese, which has 6000 regular worshippers, are treating the event as a funeral wake.

Churches in Albany, Maylands, Brentwood and Lesmurdie will hold services for an increasingly disenchanted group known as the Traditional Anglican Communion _ a worldwide association of orthodox Anglicans opposed to what they call the secularisation of the church.

None of the priests observing the feast of Corpus Christi, which celebrates the body of Christ, will mention the ordination, saying it cuts adrift the Anglican Church from its roots in the early Christian Catholic Church.

``This, for us, will be a time of grieving, sadness, hurt and frustration because the church in which we have been nurtured will no longer exist,'' said Bishop Harry Entwistle, who left the mainstream Anglican Church in 2006 because of growing dissatisfaction with the liberal agenda. Read more
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