Category : Australia

(ABC Aus.) Sydney Anglican Church confesses to domestic abuse in its ranks, plans to reform with new policy

The Anglican Diocese of Sydney is set to unveil a policy designed to root out violence in Anglican families and take aim at offenders in the hierarchy of the church by ensuring clergy and church staff who abuse their spouse are seriously disciplined.

The comprehensive policy and good practice guidelines have been developed by the church’s Domestic Violence Task Force, which this evening will recommend to Synod that it “make a confession” that domestic abuse is a problem within the church and apologise for failures to “respond well pastorally” to such situations.

Family violence experts have applauded the policy as a “good start” that will, if implemented, make the church a safer place.

But critics have also lashed out at the Sydney Diocese for donating $1 million to the No campaign against same-sex marriage, while allocating only a few thousand dollars to the Domestic Violence Task Force.

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Posted in Australia

A Sydney Anglicans Article on the Opening of Diocesan Synod–‘Timeless gospel meets changing world’

Archbishop Glenn Davies has used his Presidential Address, delivered within days of the 500 year anniversary of the start of the Reformation, as a rallying call to stand firm in proclaiming the gospel….

Dr Davies started his address with the traditional acknowledgement to aboriginal people and the told the Synod “While we have much to regret in the establishment of a British colony that dispossessed the Aboriginal people of their land, and led to the destruction of Aboriginal culture, we do rejoice in the ministry of people like Richard Johnson and Thomas Hassall, who reached out to the indigenous population of their day with the gospel of God’s love. That task continues to be our first priority—a gospel for all people.”

“I am not sure what activities were taking place in the Sydney basin 500 years ago, but in another land and among a foreign people far removed from Australia’s shores a young monk was nailing 95 propositions on the door of the castle church in Wittenberg. He too was concerned with the gospel of God’s grace, which he saw as being distorted and corrupted by the teachings and practices of the Roman Church.”

The Archbishop went on to congratulate Sydney churches for celebrating the Reformation anniversary. “We cannot assume that our own people, let alone the general population of Sydney, fully understand the significance of the Reformation upon the church of God, grounded in the rediscovery of the authority of the Word of God. Every opportunity that we have to shine the light of the gospel into the darkness of our society ought to be welcomed with open arms.”

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Posted in Australia

Archbishop Glen Davies’ Presidential Address at the Sydney Diocesan Synod

Brothers and sisters, as the penetration of the gospel diminishes in our society, we find ourselves being moved in a more libertarian direction under the influence of those who want to abandon the mores of the past. Yet at the same time these permissive forces who espouse the virtue of ‘tolerance’ are seeking to impose restrictions upon those who wish to maintain the values on which our nation has been founded. This has become nowhere more apparent than in the current debate surrounding the postal survey on same-sex marriage. While the advocates of the ‘Yes’ campaign have been unrelenting in their attempts to redefine marriage, they have also been virulent in their opposition to those who hold a contrary view. The innocent inclusion of drinking Coopers beer in the Bible Society’s promotion of an informed and civilised debate between two politicians, each holding opposing views on same-sex marriage, is a case in point. It resulted in an uncivilised, unwarranted and malicious campaign through social media to boycott Coopers Breweries. Similarly, a Christian doctor whoappeared in an advertisement opposing same-sex marriage was subject to a campaign to have her medical registration withdrawn. Witness also the ludicrous attempt to rename Margaret Court Arena, merely because Margaret Court, one of our greatest Australian athletes, went public on her opposition to same-sex marriage.

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Posted in Anthropology, Australia, Australia / NZ, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(NT News) Activist for the new Sexual Morality Rodney Croome urges respect in debate and praises Tasmania Anglican Bishop’s pastoral letter as the way the No case should be argued

There are fears debate during the $122 million postal survey process could turn nasty.

“Even though I very much disagree with Bishop Condie’s views on marriage equality, his pastoral letter on the issue is a very good example of how the ‘no’ case should be conducted because it is respectful and based on principle,” Mr [Rodney] Croome said.

“I urge marriage equality supporters not to casually throw around the word ‘bigot’ and I urge those against the reform not to use offensive terms like ‘stolen generation’ to describe the children of same-sex couples.”

Bishop Condie’s letter said that, for Christians, marriage had always meant a commitment of one man to one woman voluntarily entered into for life.

“We shun actions and words that demean and marginalise; we reject discrimination, and especially grieve the way people who identify as homosexual have been treated in our society and churches,” the letter said.

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Posted in --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anthropology, Australia, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(SA) Scots ‘impair’ communion with Australia

The Scottish Primus said that the move meant his church now affirms that a same-sex couple is not just married but is married in the sight of God.

The move is in contravention of the doctrine of marriage in the Anglican church and breaches the Lambeth resolution of 1998.

The Dean of Sydney, Kanishka Raffel moved a motion at the General Synod meeting in Queensland which had earlier reaffirmed that marriage is between a man and a woman.

“Across the Anglican communion, churches are trying to work out how best to love people of diverse sexual orientation.  This is important because all people are made in God’s image; and God hates nothing that he has made.  It is important because all people are to be valued honoured and loved not only because they are created in God’s image but because of Christ’s costly redeeming love for them. ” Dean Raffel said in his speech.

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Posted in Anthropology, Australia, Ecclesiology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Scottish Episcopal Church, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology

(ABC) Anglican Church of Austrlia offers formal apology to victims of domestic violence

The Anglican Church of Australia has for the first time apologised to victims of domestic violence — many of whom, it says, have been let down by Church leaders and teachings — and pledged to undertake independent research into the nature and extent of family violence in Anglican communities.

The Church’s triennial General Synod meeting, held this week in Maroochydore, Queensland, heard abuse of power was “at the heart” of many relationship problems in the church.

“We grieve with victims and survivors of domestic abuse, and pray for their healing and recovery,” the General Synod said in its apology.

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Posted in Australia

Primate Philip Freier’s Presidential Address to the Australian General Synod

Even though the matter is before the High Court of Australia this week, it is likely that Australians will soon be given the opportunity to vote on changing Australia’s
marriage law to include same-sex marriage. I have encouraged all Anglicans to exercise their democratic right and to participate in the postal plebiscite. Although not legally binding, I believe that Parliament will be better informed about Australians’ views by this means. Anglicans, like other Australians, have a wide range of opinions on same-sex
marriage, supporting or opposing it for a variety of reasons in accordance with their conscience and their understanding of the principles and issues. I do not presume to advise others how they should vote, though I myself intend to vote “no”.

I think Anglicans are capable of a respectful discussion without vilifying our opponents and respecting that each side’s position can be principled and considered. Kindness in our speech should be the hallmark of our engagement in difficult issues. For me, the most disturbing part of the recent discussion has been the assumption that Australians are incapable of discussing this matter with civility. It is unfortunate that this rhetoric, that we are well accustomed to in party political debate, has been applied to a large part of the electorate who reasonably expected to share a direct role in the decision. Stereotyping public opinion ahead of an argument being advanced is divisive and destructive of public discourse.

If same-sex marriage becomes law, the Church will of course need to accept that it is part of the landscape. Politicians on all sides have affirmed that we can still stand for and offer holy matrimony between a man and a woman as a sacred ordinance given by God, while accepting that the state has endorsed a wider view of marriage. The doctrine of the Book of Common Prayer remains unchanged, that marriage is between a man and a woman, under God, forsaking all others until death parts them. I do not believe that the Anglican Church in Australia is likely to revise its doctrine of marriage.

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Posted in Australia, Ecclesiology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Provinces Other Than TEC, Theology: Scripture

(AI) Fallout in Australia over Andrew Lines consecration

The Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia has asked the church’s Appellate Tribunal to offer a ruling as to whether its bishops may participate in the consecration of bishops who are not members of the Anglican Communion.

On 16 August 2017, the Most Rev. Philip Freier, Archbishop of Melbourne, wrote to the registrar of the tribunal stating he had received a request from the Bishop of Bendigo, the Rt. Rev. Andrew Curnow, supported by four other bishops that raised objections to the consecration of the Rt. Rev. Andrew Lines of the Anglican Church in North America by the Archbishop of Sydney and Bishops of Tasmania and Northwest Australia.

The proceedings, made public in a letter to the Australian bishops on 28 August 2017, comes a week before the start of the church’s General Synod at Maroochydore, on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, from 3-9 Sept 2017 and will likely overshadow its proceedings.

The Appellate Tribunal of the Anglican Church of Australia is not a disciplinary tribunal, but a body charged with providing legal opinions on ecclesiastical questions.

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Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Australia, Ecclesiology, Ethics / Moral Theology, GAFCON, Pastoral Theology

(Gafcon) Archbp Peter Jensen–The Mythical Middle

Think. What if the truth is actually on the boundary and not in the middle? What if there is no middle, but the choice is binary, and the middle is a mythical middle?

For example, imagine a denomination in which some ministers teach that Jesus was a merely good man and others teach that he is both true God and true man. Where is the moderate, middle view here? Would it be to say that Jesus is divine but not fully God? We can hear all the arguments in favour of this moderate position – but we know that it is actually heretical.

By using the word ‘extremist’ for those who hold a strong point of view, who make a stand, we excuse ourselves from the need to think, to make a decision, to act. Or we give ourselves permission to bless what God calls sin because it is not the most extreme form of such an activity. Or we acquiesce without protest in the activities of others doing this, in our name.

But in the present case, there is no middle. We are faced with a choice between the teaching of scripture backed by the continuous interpretative tradition of the church catholic, and a shift from scripture into what God disapproves of.

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Posted in Australia, Global South Churches & Primates, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(SA) Sydney Archbishop’s New Churches for New Communities unveils a 3-year fundraising plan for the construction of ministry facilities in growing areas

The Archbishop’s New Churches for New Communities (NCNC) has held a series of regional dinners, unveiling a three-year fundraising plan for the construction of ministry facilities in growing areas.

In partnership with the Mission Property Committee, which buys land, NCNC’s role is to raise funds to provide emerging congregations across the Diocese with dual-purpose facilities for community and church use.

“We are on a mission to preserve the future of Christianity in these growth areas and these facilities will enable emerging congregations to connect with the communities around them and grow together,” said the executive director of NCNC, the Rev Glenn Gardner.

There was an appeal at the dinners for parish councils to consider including NCNC in their mission allocations budget, and an appeal for ambassadors for this task. “Ours is the only Protestant denomination addressing this vital challenge,” Mr Gardner said.

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Posted in Australia, Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry

Australian Anglican Church won’t licence reinstated clergymen

Two Anglican clergymen controversially returned to Holy Orders after being defrocked for their roles in covering up historic cases of child sex abuse, are unlikely to minister again.

Former Bishop of Grafton Keith Slater and Grafton Deacon Rev Pat Comben have been returned to Holy Orders this year after attempts to “depose” them in 2015.

The pair were found to have acted inappropriately to victims of the notorious North Coast Children’s Home who came to them seeking redress for past abuses.

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Posted in Australia, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

Australian Anglican leader to seek Church apology to domestic violence victims

The head of the Anglican Church in Australia says he hopes the general synod in September will apologise to victims of domestic violence, and for any failure from the Church.

On The Drum, Anglican Primate of Australia Archbishop Philip Freier read out an unequivocal apology written by an Aboriginal priest, Father Daryl McCullough, who heads a parish in western New South Wales.

“I want to finish this by simply saying sorry. As a priest in the Church of God I’m truly and deeply sorry if you or anyone you love has been the victim of abuse and found the Church complicit in making that abuse worse,” Father McCullough wrote on his blog.

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Posted in Australia, Australia / NZ, Church History, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Violence

Sydney Archbishop Glenn Davies on the Consecration of Andy Lines in Illinois Last week

Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Australia, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Scottish Episcopal Church

Australian Primate Philip Freier Writes his province abt the Participation of 2 of his Bishops in the Consecration of Canon Andy Lines

You will have received correspondence from Archbishop Glenn Davies and Bishop Richard Condie advising of their intention to participate in the consecration of a bishop for Europe in the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), a church that is not a member of the Anglican Communion and is not in communion with the Anglican Church of Australia. That ordination will by now have taken place. Each of our colleagues, according to their conscience, declares their intended participation to be an act of solidarity ‘with those who will act to protect the gospel of Christ’ or ‘who contend for the faith once for all delivered to the saints’ – an issue as to the Fundamental Declarations and Ruling Principles of our National Constitution (ss 1- 6).

As you will have seen from that correspondence, I advised both bishops against this course of action. I take the view that communion – koinonia, is a gift of our Lord to his Church and that in our context it is the Anglican Church of Australia, through its constitution and the framework it establishes, that determines how this is expressed in practical terms. As s5 of our National Constitution provides:

Subject to the Fundamental Declarations and the provisions of this chapter [Chapter 2] this Church has plenary authority and power to make canons, ordinances and rules for the order and good government of the Church, and to administer the affairs thereof. Such authority and power may be exercised by the several synods and tribunals in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.

For reasons explained below, I do not think that it is for us individually, acting independently, to determine with whom we are in communion or to act unilaterally to that end.

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Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Australia, Ecclesiology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Scottish Episcopal Church

(Herald) Canon Katherine Bowyer named as first female Anglican Dean of Newcastle

[The] Reverend Canon Katherine Bowyer will become the first female Anglican Dean of Newcastle and the first person born in the diocese to be elected to the position.

Acting-Bishop of Newcastle Dr Peter Stuart announced the historic appointment on Sunday, revealing Canon Bowyer had unanimously been accepted as the next Dean and Parish Priest of Christ Church Cathedral.

“Katherine is a highly experienced priest who loves the cathedral, its music and its many ministries,” Dr Stuart said.

Canon Bowyer will replace outgoing Dean Stephen Williams, who will conclude his ministry in August before retiring in October.

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Posted in Australia, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry