The Venerable Kay Goldsworthy, 51, will be consecrated on May 22 at St George's Cathedral in Perth.As AAP reports, the appointment comes with the typical strings attached:
Archdeacon Goldsworthy was one of the first women to be ordained in 1992 shortly after the order allowed women to become priests.
Last year, the Anglican appellate tribunal paved the way for the elevation of women to the position of bishop, saying nothing in the church's constitution could stop such a move.
The Anglican Archbishop of Perth, the Most Reverend Roger Herft, says he hopes the appointment will help overcome resistance to the elevation of women from some parts of the church.
Archbishop Herft says the move will refresh the church.
"The church has brought about diminishment to women in the world and in the church," he said.
"So there needs to be a time where we say in this act we are also saying sorry to those many women for whom the church has been a place of isolation and exclusiveness."
The unanimous decision was made by Perth Archbishop Roger Herft and his diocesan council last night in the wake of an agreement reached this week between Australia's Anglican bishops on a protocol to handle opponents of women bishops.See also this background on the woman and controversy at Perthnow.
Under the protocol, parishes that cannot in good conscience recognise the ministry of a woman bishop will be offered the services of a male bishop.
The Diocese of Perth has issued two news releases:
Already in the few hours since Diocesan Council endorsed my request, we have been flooded with messages of support from churches around the world and from the general public. As one, they welcome this appointment as clear affirmation of the indispensable role of women in every area of public life.My emphasis.
On the international scene over many years, Kay has been a valued Australian voice on the most representative Anglican governing body, the Anglican Consultative Council.
After considerable prayer and seeking God’s guidance, and having spoken about this appointment with a number of key people at local, national and international levels – both within and beyond the Church – I can tell you that they all express enthusiastic support for Kay.
This indeed is a holy moment, filled with grace in which God if glorified.