I have had such an exciting day. I set off to hear Canon Kenneth Kearon, Secretary General of the Anglican Communion. First I heard him preach at Choral Eucharist at 11am. Then I wandered the city for a few hours and prided myself that I avoided the temptation to buy any books although I spent over an hour browsing in bookshops.
Finally at 3pm there was a session in which Canon Kearon was to be interviewed by Julie McCrossin who has been a radio interviewer and makes no secret of the fact that she is a lesbian with a partner and children.
I expected and did learn a lot about the developments in the Anglican Communion. However at the beginning it was announced that the 2 men sitting just along from me, visiting in an unofficial capacity were Bishop Gene Robinson and his partner. I nearly fell off the chair. At the end I introduced myself to Bishop Gene and told him how much I admired him. I gave him a potted account of my intentions as a young man to enter the ministry but luckily God showed me, by seeing my parish priest have a nervous breakdown due to his homosexuality, the problems that would develop. Standing with us was our lay preacher and Synod representative from St James who had already told the meeting of the anger he received in Sydney synod as a straight man supporting gays. The Bishop hugged me and asked me to continue praying for him.
During the session Canon Kearon put forward the idea that the World Church needs to have some consensus and that improvements should not come from individual dioceses going on their own. He did regret that discussion had not begun way back in 1978 which would have meant we were now further along in the process.
However speakers pointed out that the ordination of women priests and women bishops had occurred by Dioceses going alone. For those unfamiliar with Australia, the Diocese of Perth was first, closely followed by the Diocese of Canberra-Goulburn. The Sydney Archdiocese tried to prevent (and did delay) the ordination in Goulburn by taking them to court. I attended the ordination in Goulburn, a highlight of my life.
Of course Sydney has no women priests, objects to women bishops and will do anything to stop ordination of gay persons. Perhaps my prayers should be for the Diocese rather than the wonderful Bishop Gene Robinson.
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