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Ghana allows women priests: CEN 6.26.09 p 6. July 1, 2009

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of West Africa, Women Priests.

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Justice Akrofi

The Most Rev. Justice Akrofi, Primate of West Africa and Archbishop of Accra

The Diocese of Accra has voted to permit the ordination of women to the priesthood at its 20th triennial synod on June 20.

While legislation permitting women priests was adopted by the Church of the Province of West Africa in 2000, only Liberia and The Gambia have passed enabling legislation and ordained women clergy.

In his closing address to the Synod, the Primate of West Africa and Archbishop of Accra, Dr. Justice Ofei Akrofi said that after ten years of debate, “women will now be ordained as members of the priesthood.”

Women had been accepted for clergy training in Ghana’s seminaries, Dr. Akrofi said, and a cadre of trained capable women clergy-in-waiting were ready for ordination. The diocese had yet to determine what role they would play in the life of the diocese, however.

Of the 38 Provinces of the Anglican Communion, 8 do not ordain women: Central Africa, Jerusalem and the Middle East, Melanesia, Myanmar, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, South East Asia, and Tanzania; 2 ordain women to the diaconate only, Congo and the Southern Cone; including the Church of England 24 provinces ordain women to the priesthood: Bangladesh, Brazil, Burundi, Central America, Hong Kong, North India, South India, Indian Ocean, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Rwanda, Scotland, Southern Africa, the Sudan, Uganda, Wales, West Africa, and the West Indies; while 4 provinces have consecrated women bishops: the Episcopal Church, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Women clergy have stood for election as bishops in Southern Africa, while the extra-provincial Church of Ceylon ordained its first woman priest in 2006, and the extra-provincial Diocese of Cuba consecrated a women bishop in 2007.

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