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.