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Anglican primate ends turbulent reign with early retirement

Anglican primate ends turbulent reign with early retirement

January 8, 2004

The head of the Anglican Church in Australia, Dr Peter Carnley, has
announced that he will step down next year, ending a controversial reign
marked by internal church disputes over homosexuality and the role of
women in the church.

Archbishop Carnley said yesterday that he would retire as primate and as
Anglican Archbishop of Perth in May next year, marking the 24th
anniversary of his consecration and installation as archbishop.

Dr Carnley was anointed as Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia
in 2000. Earlier he had ordained Australia's first women priests. He
will be 67 when he retires, two years before the compulsory retirement
age for clergy in the diocese. Dr Carnley said he was announcing his
retirement early to provide an opportunity for a successor to be
appointed and to take up the position with minimal interruption.

His final official engagements would be in February next year.

He said that over his years in Perth, "there have been some ups and
downs but, generally speaking, the downs have been few and overshadowed
by far by the positively life-giving and good things that we have

Dr Carnley's liberal stance on many issues has attracted fierce
criticism from church conservatives.

He has also been critical of the Howard Government's policies on asylum
seekers and the war in Iraq.


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