Thursday, 17 July 2008

Forward in Faith's new best friend.

Today is the first day the Pope is actually in town (since last Sunday he's been staying at an Opus Dei property on Sydney's far north-western outskirts) the Pope-on-a-Boat parade takes place, and the media's calling it "Super Thursday". While I won't have any pictures of the flotilla (have you any idea how crowded it is at any of the viewing points? ;-), and I know I've been awfully tardy when it comes to providing other reports (though in my defence not much worth blogging about has happened that other people haven't covered far better, and a return of the dreaded 'flu has left me stuck inside again, drowning in a puddle of bleccchhhhh!) I did drag the two little Duck-Noodles into the World Youth Day central today, and will show what we found...

... but first, in keeping with the spirit of the day, may I present this hilarious opinion-piece from today's Sydney Morning Herald.

You got it: with flawlessly tacky timing Phillip Jensen, Anglican Dean of Sydney and younger brother of the Archbishop (not, of course, that that had anything to do with his appointment) has delivered a sectarian rant pinched directly from one of those "Nuns eat Babies" tracts that were so popular in the early part of last century. "If Martin Luther came into Sydney and saw Roman Catholicism and its Stations of the Cross" says our aspiring acolyte of Ian Paisley, "he'd say, 'Ah, they've cleaned up their act'." But fortunately we have Dean Jensen to see with a clarity Luther lacked, because, he insists, "Things are actually worse than in Luther's day".

You couldn't make this stuff up. Have the Episcopalian Anglo-Catholics who've embraced the Jensens any idea of whom they've entrusted with their future? Are they really that naive?

As for any Roman Catholics reading this: please understand that not every Sydney Anglican is this obnoxious. We mightn't be that crazy about your heirarchy's views on gender, sexuality and contraception, but we're not under any delusions about ours being any better. And we're really proud to consider ourselves part of the same family as you, irrespective of what a few of our idiot relatives might say.

Sindce posting this I've learned Jensen's rant was taken and transcribed by the Herald (without permission) from a presentation on, which helps explain why it's sounds so disjointed and (let's be honest here) badly written. It was published without the Dean's permission, and its timing was beyond his control: it was, in short, printed to stir up a bit of controversy in the newspaper's coverage.

To be fair, the Herald could have used some far worse quotes. Sit through the whole 28 minutes and you won't feel much sympathy for Jensen, who comes across as firmly stuck in the battles of the 16th century, and absolutely convinced that Luther was a card-carrying sydney Anglican.


Brian R said...

Sorry the flu has returned, prayers for full recovery.
Our Anglican church St James is located opposite the cathedral and is involved with World Youth Day hosting a program of meditation by a group of Taizé Brothers who will lead a series of contemplative ecumenical prayer gatherings this week.

FranIAm said...


Oh dear, I am so sorry that you have once again gotten the flu. Be well and be healed!!

I am roaring after reading that piece. Well as is often the case, laughing and crying at once.

My church has its many issues and the position of the Pope regarding other faiths is one of them. However, I would hardly call the either Jensen a true beacon of Christ!

In fact, I am beginning to wonder if one of them is not the bloody new Vicar of Christ on earth.

Nice move of him too, dragging Luther into it. That poor bastard gets dragged out all the time, trying to prop up all the arguments. Sort of like Jesus is.

As I have been saying over and over and over again, how we have to move towards the Kingdom, which is HERE NOW (sorry to shout!)and which does not mean Benedict's way, Akinola's way, Jensen's way but is pretty much about God's way. Period.

Deep sigh.

(I so love what you do here, thank you for this blog, you are a treasure.)

Robert said...

I hope you got the little Duck-Noodles a Pope-on-a-rope as a keep sake.

Christopher Orczy said...

We here in an Anglican Church in Sydney (a catholic Anglican church) have WYD08 logos on our pew sheet this week. Not all Sydney Anglicans are so "protestant". But by hokey, we are in a minority!

Boaz said...

The funny thing is what's it matter what you believe about Mary? What's it matter whether it is in the Bible or not? For that matter, how is it that the Pope can't speak infallibly yet Phillip Jensen and his Bible Study mates can?

Does it matter whether I believe that Mary could fly?

susan s. said...

Oh, Boaz, have you not been told that that belief would send you straight to hades? Oh wait, were you referring to the assumption? Oh yeah, that's where you're going! ;-)

Glad you're feeling better dear Alcibiades. We, that is I, miss you when you don't blog.

Alcibiades said...

Yes Boaz, I'm also unable to see how faith in Christ and the resurrection is negated by belief in, for example, the Immaculate Conception. Reponses like Jensen’s to the Catholic veneration of Mary betrays ultra-protestantism’s Gnostic origins: for them salvation doesn’t depend on Christ alone; it depends on believing the correct formula.