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September 19, 2008

Confused signals

I find the current Archbishop of Sydney a contradictory man. First, he rails against the Lambeth Conference, saying it refuses to make decisions, precisely what it was set up NOT to do. It is essentially a "talking shop" one which allows the views of all sections of the Anglican Church to be heard and not just those with an agenda to run. He defends his non-attendance by asserting that it was "To English Centric" and does not reflect the Church in Africa or elsewhere, a charge that falls flat on the fact that the African Bishops and leaders were not only there, but took a lead in the many workshops.

But the most contradictory aspect of his charge that Lambeth is "too England centred" is his own Archdiocese's insistence on adhering to the Canons, long since repealed or modified in England and everywhere else, governing clergy dress and vestments written for an English political setting in the 16th Century. Let's face it, the Diocese of Sydney makes many of the Methodist communities look like Anglo-catholics, and the reason is simple. They stick like glue to the Rubrics and Canons of the 1662 Prayer Book which was a major compromise in itself and led to a number of divisions within the Anglican Church at its inception.

The Anglican Communion has followed the model of the Early Church in which, contrary to Rome's claims, the Diocesan Bishops held all the authority in their own Diocese. We are a synodical church and though I do not agree with a great deal its Synods decide, I am, as a member bound by the enactments of the General Synod and the Diocesan and Deanery Synods. That is the ancient model and it has worked well throughout the history of our church. Lambeth is not the Roman Curia, nor should it be. GAFCON is attempting to replace Lambeth and become a Curia - a strange situation again for Dr Jenkins because, as a member of the Ultra-Evangelical wing of the church he is linking up with Ultra-catholics who can't bring themselves to accept the Papal Authority, in order to create an sort of Anglican Curia ....

As I said, this is a very confused signal. I hope our Lord can make sense of it!

Posted by The Gray Monk at September 19, 2008 11:25 AM

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