Australia divided: CEN 11.09.07 p 7. November 11, 2007Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Australia, Church of England Newspaper, House of Bishops, Women Priests.
The Anglican Church of Australia heard conflicting views on the adequacy of the American Episcopal Church’s response to the Primates’ during their General Synod in Canberra last month.
In his presidential address, Archbishop Philip Aspinall of Brisbane told Synod he believed the US Church had substantially complied with the primates’ request to imposea moratorium on gay bishops and blessings. He acknowledged the US church had failed to provide adequate support for its embattled traditionalists, but noted that overall the response had been “positive.”
ACC general secretary Canon Kenneth Kearon told synod he believed there had been a “genuine attempt” by the US church “to seriously repair the breeches of trust which have arisen.”
However, the Archbishop of Sydney, Dr. Peter Jensen stated he had not been persuaded. On Oct 22 he told Synod he believed that though the US response might have been “well intentioned” it had not “healed the rift.”
Dr. Jensen argued the “the matters at stake are theological, not legal; about the heart, not mere politics. Integral to the discussion is the authority and interpretation of the Bible. Scripture is the way in which God rules his church and we as Anglicans are committed to listening to scripture with unique attentiveness.”
“We have learned from the American experience that the matter of human sexuality is never going to be regarded as a minor one. It goes to the heart of our humanity and God’s authority,” he said.
Synod also divided on the question of women bishops. Evangelical and Anglo-Catholics bridled over a request to “welcome” a church tribunal’s ruling that held that as a matter of grammar, women could be appointed bishops under canon law.
An ad hoc group, the Association for Apostolic Ministry, headed by Dr. Jensen and the Anglo-Catholic Bishop of Ballarat, Michael Hough, drew almost a third of the delegates to a meeting of those opposed to women bishops.