Monday, 7 April 2008

It's just a matter of time...

A very dear reader kindly drew my attention to an article on page thirteen of last weekend’s Sydney Morning Herald headed Church seeks standby plan on women bishops.

The great news is that hopes are up for Australia to have our first woman Bishop appointed very soon – possibly even before Lambeth in July – and probably in either Perth or Melbourne. As it's no secret that this isn’t going to please some of the less Biblically focused dioceses (such as you-know-where), a leading Melbourne layperson is suggesting ”Melbourne synod last November went calling for protocols along this line. It also called on the diocese of Sydney and others opposed to women to offer alternative ministry by women for those within their borders who would like the ministry of women. We'd like to see reciprocal arrangements.”

To which I can hear more than a few congregations and clergy around Sydney cheering. If traditional parish boundaries are going to be broken down, surely it’s only fair that they be broken down both ways. Isn’t it? Or does this new independence only apply in the case of schismatic ‘evangelicals’ like San Joaquin? (Don’t laugh – that’s how the Anglican Church League wants us to think of our new Very Best Friends. Yep, that happy looking big bloke with the robes is actually a Matthian at heart. Right?)

It was the official response from the Bishop of South Sydney, Robert Forsyth that caused my informant to splutter: he appears to have remarked that the church was facing a difficult situation and needed to find a way forward: "It's going to require a lot of hard work, Christian grace and sensitivity."

I won’t print exactly what the nice lady who sent this to me said in reply, since she probably doesn’t want to be sued any more than I do. Suffice it to say that she has some past experience of the said Bishop’s notions of ‘hard work, Christian grace, and sensitivity’ and doesn’t seem eager to experience more.

As for my $0.02 on that: I noticed that the Herald misspelt Bishop Forsyth's name. This will possibly cause him great dismay, and may require his urgent attention. For some time. Some issues are more important than others.


Doorman-Priest said...

Bring on the girls!

Brian R said...

The present Bishop of Bathurst was the previous Rector of St James, King Street. No prize for thinking who most of the parishioners would prefer as their Bishop over Forsyth and his gang. Of course I hasten to add that is not the official position of the present Rector and Parish Council. Tonight I will be at St James where the High Court Justice Micheal Kirby (a professing Anglican) is being interviewed by David Marr. Both are openly gay. The numbers attending have caused the meeting to be moved out of the Church meeting room into the Supreme Court across the road. How the Matthians must squirm.

Alcibiades said...

I'm green with envy of you for tonight Brian - I'd been hoping to get along to that myself but unfortunately work prevents me. The two men in question are unquestionably among the most brilliant people Australia has ever seen. Marr's book The High Price of Heaven is as great an insight in our strange religious landscape as you can find (although not everyone was capable of understanding his point - but that that might well have been due to voluntary ignorance).

Please make sure to give us all a detailed report over at Noble Wolf of how tonight goes!