Tuesday, 23 October 2007

The Duck gets Tough

The Rev. Dr. Mark Thompson used to be known as "The Duck" by a small group of disreputable clergy-to-be, on account of a strange quacking noise he'd make when excited during Reformation History lectures. It should be stressed that this rather unkind nickname, which became known as Thompson’s “nom-de-quack”, has no connection with the possibly fictitious “Duck Noodle Gang” lurking behind this blog: it was nothing more than a coarse attempt at undergraduate humour. Matthian readers should be relieved to know that none of the reprobates responsible for the slur remain in ministry within Sydney.

The Duck however, has gone from strength to strength, and nowadays he’s the one allowed to wear the pointy hat with horns* at Anglican Church League meetings. For readers unacquainted with this group, the ACL fulfill a similar role within Sydney Evangelicalism to that undertaken by the Taliban within Afghan society, although the Taliban aren’t as fond of wearing polyester.

In keeping with this important role, the Duck has moved that Sydney Standing Committee request +Jensen writes to the Archbishop of Canterbury expressing the Committee’s “profound concern that the majority report from the Joint Standing Committees of the Primates and the ACC considers the TEC House of Bishops response to the Windsor Report and the Primates’ Dar es Salaam Communique to be either positive, adequate or appropriate.”

Anyone who’s really interested can read the whole thing here, but the only real surprise comes towards the end, in clause (d):
that some TEC bishops also continue to harass other clergy and laity who espouse traditional Anglican teaching and practice tough (sic – but you can’t honestly expect anyone to believe this isn’t a Freudian slip) remaining within the TEC

Clergy and Laity being harassed because they espouse traditional Anglican teaching and practice? Quelle horreur! Next we can expect to see is people being ridiculed as “popish” because they enjoy expressing their worship through the use of vestments, and pressured to abandon traditional prayer-book liturgies! Or the Cathedral’s Choral Evensong being shut down, and parishes “encouraged” to stop celebrating the Eucharist weekly. Instead of allowing the lectionary to set weekly Bible readings and Sermon texts, we might even see Bishops be advising Clergy to concentrate on preaching “in-depth series” focusing on particular books - which purely by coincidence happen to be the same few Pauline epistles again and again.

Those terrible TEC Bishops really have gone too far this time.

*I've been informed by inside sources that this ceremonial head-gear, known to initiates as the "Helmet of Correctness", is actually crafted from tinfoil.


Wormwood's Doxy said...

Based on what I have read about Sydney over the years, I have no idea why they want to be Anglican to begin with...

I still find it rich that +Jensen accuses TEC of innovating, when he has encouraged and supported everything you name. The idea of an "Anglican" church demoting the Eucharist, or of supporting lay presidency, is so far off the rails I don't even know what to call it.

Alcibiades said...

The cynic's answer is that they want to be Anglican because the Anglican Church owns the properties they use, as well as a lot of commercial property generating huge $$$ in rents - but there really is more to it than that.

+Jensen and his supporters see themselves as evangelicals first and foremost, and Anglicanism is only the context in which they express this. They believe the "true" nature of the Anglican church to be evangelical (or more accuately called "Matthian" down here, which comes from Dean Jensen's former parish), and that all other expressions of Anglicanism are nothing more than unbiblical vestiges of Catholicism not yet purged from a doctrinally Puritan church.

Yes, they really do believe this. And as the reporter said, "Mmmmmmmm".

Brian R said...

When I was a youth leader in a typical Sydney Diocese low church of the '60s, my rector chastised me for not regularly attending the Communion service. Typically a teenager, I found it difficult to get out of bed early on a Sunday morning. I pointed out that I was a Sunday school teacher from 9.30 to 10.30, usually at church meetings from 11 to 12 and back again preparing for youth fellowship at 5 remaining for Evening Prayer(Communion once per month)where I regularly led and occasionally preached and then coffee hour until about 10pm. Surely that was enough? No, he told me, Communion was the most important. I took that to heart, how things have changed.

Anonymous said...

"the Helmet of Correctness"? Is that a euphemism for a chastity belt or codpiece or some such?