Thursday, July 10, 2008

Another Bishop speaks out

I am indebted to Not too much for a lead to the following from Bishop Phillip Huggins, one of the assistant bishops in the Diocese of Melbourne. In a Letter to the Editor of the Melbourne Age he writes:
It is easy to be deluded into thinking the world is defined by conference resolutions, when you have just had an "invigorating" time. This reflection is reinforced by Archbishop Jensen's article. Our colleague has yet to communicate directly with us other Anglican bishops, so we cannot help him see the down-side of his post-conference rhetoric; the effect on Anglicans who have to explain this negative publicity to friends and colleagues; the unintentional devaluing of how faithful souls seek to love God and neighbour in our parishes and agencies; the diminishing of faithful Anglicans in committed relationships across the spectrum; the potential danger to vulnerable young people, conflicted about their sexuality, threatened by homophobia; and the fact that people looking for "good news" hope the church might help to prevent violence, look after casualties in a deteriorating economy and provide God's grace and peace in communities of the faithful.

I have spent much of the week trying to comfort and encourage people in my region. By comparison with some of the Sydney Archbishop's examples, at least I am not trying to simultaneously care for folk on another continent.

Bishop Philip Huggins, northern and western region, Anglican Diocese of Melbourne

In an interview following the letter in the same newspaper:

Bishop Huggins said the negative publicity hurt ordinary Anglicans, devalued the work of faithful Christians, and endangered young people who were confused about their sexuality and threatened by homophobia. He said he had spent much of the week trying to comfort and encourage Melbourne Anglicans.

He told The Age that Dr Jensen had breached protocol by publishing an opinion piece in another diocese without talking to his colleagues there, which put Melbourne's bishops in a difficult position. "We are not a client state of an imperial state required to be silent, and people have been hurt. People have been passionate about what the church should be since Peter and Paul were arguing in the first years of the church," he said.

Bishop Huggins was an assistant Bishop in Perth, then he was Bishop of Grafton (in the province of NSW led by ++Jensen) and has now been an assistant in Melbourne since 2004. From an article at that time, he seems to be quite a character and may have returned to Melbourne to follow his favourite Football team.

3 comments:

Davis said...

Very damning.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Real people are hurt by Jensen's rhetoric. Does he have a clue? That is so sad.

"We are not a client state of an imperial state required to be silent, and people have been hurt.

That's right. What a mess.

Doorman-Priest said...

Very pleased to read this.