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SYDNEY, Nov 4, 2005 (UPI via COMTEX) -- Australian Anglicans appear to be in a growing rift over the issue of consecrating women as bishops.
Anglicare Sydney, the welfare organization associated with the Sydney Diocese, announced this week that it is suspending its membership in Anglicare Australia for a year, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
The parent group is expected to argue in favor of woman bishops before the church's Appellate Tribunal. The Sydney Diocese has objected that the tribunal has no right to consider the matter.
The church's national synod voted in favor of women's consecration last year but fell a few votes short of the required two-thirds majority. Supporters of the change then turned to the tribunal.
The role of women in the clergy, while not as explosive as that of homosexuals, has been a major division in the Anglican communion since the first women priests were ordained in the United States almost 30 years ago.
Copyright 2005 by United Press International