My attention was brought to this article. I have always been interested in the plight (sorry, loaded term) of women in conservative dioceses or parishes. It just can not possibly be that all of the women worshipping do so without some very real inner struggles, and yes, it is all about obedience! Moreover, it is about to whom should they be obedient? Is God's call and their spiritual assurance the same as the requirement for them to read scripture in a particular way? What about when the Head of the diocese teaches an interpretation which women feel is at odds with what they understand God to be saying? Where do they go - well, in this case, it would seem, they go to Melbourne!
Anglican women's leader gives up on Sydney by Kelly Burke Reli. Affairs Writer May 27 2002
A serious blow has been dealt to Sydney's conservative Anglican diocese with the resignation of its most senior woman, Di Nicolios.
After several decades working within the diocese, the high-profile head of women's ministry finished on Friday and will become rector of St John's parish in Diamond Creek, Melbourne.
In doing so, she will attain the one thing Sydney has denied her - ordination to the priesthood.
"Sydney remains in the dark ages - the liberal arm of the church here has been badly suppressed, and the diocese has become intellectually incestuous," she said. "This has nothing to do with the nature of ministry. The issue at stake here is the relationship between men and women, and men being viewed as having a God-given role of authority over women."
Sydney is one of only a handful of Anglican dioceses in the country that ban the ordination of women as priests, following the general synod vote 10 years ago allowing the practice. There are more than 280 women priests in the Australian Anglican Church.
Archdeacon Nicolios has been reluctant to discuss her resignation and denies that her move sends a message of defeat to other female deacons in Sydney.
"I am friends with each of the women deacons in Sydney and have spent the past decade working closely with them," she said. "They know I greatly value the role of deacons in ministry and they have been very positive about my move."
The Archbishop of Sydney, the Most Rev Peter Jensen, referred only to his written statement, which said: "Naturally I am disappointed to see Di leaving Sydney and want to express my gratitude for all she has accomplished."
It is believed that Dr Jensen recently met Sydney's women deacons and MOW representatives, and made it clear that the ban on women priests would stay.
He has argued that women are being encouraged into leadership roles through lay ministry and ordination to the deaconate. Archdeacon Nicolios was his trump card.
But Muriel Porter, the prominent Melbourne Anglican lay woman and religious affairs columnist for The Age, said that of Australia's 170 women deacons, only 32 are in the Sydney diocese.
h/t Peter Carrell