Monday, 25 February 2008

There's hope for Australian Anglicanism yet!

Living in Sydney, in the jaws of Australia's most populous and wealthiest diocese (which is the result of history and an aggressively applied political process - not divine intervention), it's easy to forget the whole country isn't afflicted with the strange gnostic sectarianism generally called Matthianism - a name referring to the Dean's former parish, back in the dark days before his older brother became archbishop and he was called to reduce cathedral congregation sizes in an appointment that (as my brave anonymous trolls repeatedly insist) had absolutely nothing to do with nepotism.

That's why the statement just released by the Bishop of Newcastle (the diocese bordering on Sydney's north) is so exciting: in speaking out against GAFCON and Sydney's hypocritical embrace of this nasty exercise in homophobia, +Farran is a encouraging reminder that the lights in Oz haven't gone out entirely. The Spirit of God is still present here after all!

Sure, the statement still has a long way to go (like how about apologising for the centuries of persecution and misery inflicted by the church on people whose sexuality and/or gender didn't fit whatever narrow stereotype the current generation deemed "Christian"?) - but it's a start. It's also great to see the "Davids" of Australian Anglicanism starting to speak out against Sydney's boastful and bullying "Goliath".

Read it for yourself here. And while you do remember that people who don't believe women should be permitted to read the Bible aloud when in the presence of men also believe this very moderate statement proves the Bishop of Newcastle isn't really a Christian. In fact more than a few of them would probably say that simply clicking on the link raises serious questions about your relationship with God. Or their God, at any rate.

Which probably isn't such a bad thing, since this vindictive "enscripturated" homophobe sure isn't the deity Jesus referred to as "Father". That's something the Gospels do make clear.


Doorman-Priest said...

Yes, well, I've met a few of those in your last few lines recently. Enough to last a lifetime. I suppose it is reassuring in an odd way to see that the problem is worldwide.

Nasty, wicked, cruel and evil people.

Brian R said...

Thanks for this Alci. It is an expansion of his statement of a few weeks ago. I have posted the following on the Newcastle Diocesan Forum.
"Thank you Bishop Farran for your thoughtful and intelligent statement. Those of us forced to live and worship within the Diocese of Sydney but unable to agree with its leadership often feel isolated and have to depend on the Leaders of The Episcopal Church of America to present our views. It is heartening to find a true inclusive Anglican leader so close to home. Fortunately there are a few inclusive parishes within Sydney ( I travel 80 km to worship at St James, King Street). I hope your statement encourages other leaders within the Anglican Church of Australia to speak out and stand against the deteriorating position within the Diocese of Sydney."

Ginny said...

I read today that 10,000 participated in the Sydney Gay Pride Parade. And that hundreds of thousands of spectators congregated to watch and enjoy the day. The article I saw mentioned that more than 100 clergypersons made apologies for the treatment of GLTBQ people... any brave Anglicans defying the official diocesan position? I hope so.