Women Bishops in Australia?

The Group has prepared four major Options, all of which provide for the consecration of women bishops. All but one offer some form of alternative episcopal oversight; Option Four does not. In each of the other Options, the passing of a canon providing for the consecration of women bishops requires the provision of the alternative oversight, and vice versa. The Group believes the four Options represent the fullest possible range for considering the issue.

The first Option offers an approach to alternative episcopal jurisdiction based on non-territorial dioceses. This is a radical re-structuring approach.

The second Option works within the existing structures of the Anglican Church of Australia, offering four variations on the way in which alternative episcopal oversight might be provided. These are a solemn protocol agreement by the Diocesan Bishops, and three variations on a legislative model: a centralised national model, a province-based model, and a diocesan-based model.

The third Option also offers a province-based model but creates Suffragan bishops with seats in the House of Bishops.

The fourth Option provides for the consecration of women bishops without provision for any form of alternative episcopal oversight.

In the full print version of this report the Group has listed a series of 'pros and cons' with each of the Options, and an outline of the legislative steps required for each. There is also a series of diagrams to assist understanding of how each Option relates to Anglican Church structures.

The Group has made no judgement as to which, if any, Option should ultimately go forward for debate at General Synod 2001. Instead, the group will rely on feedback in this stage of the discussion process, before preparing a final report for General Synod Standing Committee's meeting in April 2000.



Have your say on the options for women bishops in Australia

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© 1999 General Synod of The Anglican Church of Australia