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West Australian Bishop Gary Nelson rejects new female Perth Archbishop Kay Goldsworthy

West Australian Bishop Gary Nelson rejects new female Perth Archbishop Kay Goldsworthy
Kay Goldsworthy has signalled that she is in favour of same-sex marriage

By Nick Butterly
The West Australian
February 15, 2018

A WA Anglican bishop says God would be opposed to the historic decision to appoint a woman as Perth's Archbishop.

Bishop Gary Nelson, who leads the Anglican community of North West WA, says Archbishop Kay Goldsworthy would not be recognised in her new role should she come to his diocese in an official capacity.

"Kay knows my position as a conservative evangelical that we don't see the Bible as allowing women in position such as leadership of churches," he said.

"The scriptures are saying in a number of places that position for leadership in the Church, God has given to men, not women. God is opposed to it, therefore I am opposed to it."

Archbishop Goldsworthy was installed as leader of the Perth church last weekend, making her the first woman in the world to hold such a high position in the Anglican Church.

Bishop Nelson, who is a vocal opponent of same-sex marriage, said he got on well with Archbishop Goldsworthy but they held different theological views on the issue of women in the Church.

"We are still friends but we have different positions," he said.

"There is not a personal issue here. It's an issue relating to theological differences and we are not enemies or fighting. But there's a difference."

The diocese of North West WA is in effect its own administrative area, meaning there is no need for Bishop Nelson to officially recognise Archbishop Goldsworthy in her role. The diocese extends from Dongara to the northern tip of the State.

In a recent interview, Archbishop Goldsworthy revealed that she had voted Yes in the same-sex marriage survey.

Although she might support same-sex marriage, the Anglican Church does not allow gay weddings.

In a wide-ranging interview with the ABC last week, Archbishop Goldsworthy admitted moments of frustration with the attitudes of some in the Church towards the role of women.

Archbishop Goldsworthy has long faced barriers in her climb up the Church hierarchy.

When she was first ordained as a priest, she faced a last-minute legal challenge. When she was installed as a deacon there was a bomb threat made against the Church.

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