Australian Anglicans open way for women bishops

The Anglican Church of Australia's decision-making body has voted to amend legislation at Saturday's Melbourne Synod paving the way for women to be appointed bishops.

|PIC1|The development comes after the diocese had already voted in 2003 to accept the principle of consecrating women as bishops.

Last month the Appellate Tribunal of the Anglican Church of Australia found that no legal impediment existed in the church constitution which prevented the consecration of women bishops in a diocese.

The vote served to eliminate a technicality in the church's legislation that prevented the consecration of women bishops.

Archbishop Dr Philip Freir brought the legislation before the Melbourne Synod at St. Paul's cathdral, Melbourne.

Speaking to AAP, Archbishop Freir said: "There was overwhelming support to enable the diocese to proceed with having women as bishops, and it was done with a great feeling of unity."

He continued, "It means that Melbourne can now have a woman serving as bishop in various roles that bishops occupy in this diocese.

"There is no impediment in our church law for that happening now."

Dr Freir told AAP that at present there were no vacancies in the Melbourne Diocese for a bishop, so it was unsure when the first woman bishop would be appointed.

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