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The Anglican Church of the Province of Southern Africa has approved ordination of women as priests but with worried opposition from some church leaders.

Delegates to the synod of the 2.4 million-member church, about 75 percent of whom are black, voted by a 79 percent majority to open its priesthood to women.Archbishop Desmond Tutu, synod president, noting some strongly felt opposition, said the action did not compel any bishop to ordain women.

The church includes 23 dioceses in South Africa, Mozambique, Swaziland, Lesotho, St. Helena and Namibia. Of 34 national churches and provinces of the worldwide Anglican Communion, 14 have ordained women.