Saturday, April 18, 2009

Proud??? of the Sydney Diocese

A day or so ago I was gobsmacked to see a comment on a Madpriest joke. The joke was about Rabbits and Mixomatosis so was completely lost on the Americans. We Australians are very much aware of how mixomatosis was used to rid us of the rabbit scourge in the 50's at least until they developed genetic resistance to it.

Fr Gwilym Henry-Edwards commented on the joke and to show his location mentioned he came from Australia and was proud to be in the Diocese of Sydney.

At first I thought one of the local fundie priests was visiting Madpriest then commonsense prevailed that none of them would use the honorific 'Fr'.
Then it clicked that he is rector of St Luke's Enmore, one of the few anglo-catholic parishes in the diocese and a parish that I know to be gay inclusive.

Fr Gwilyam came from the Diocese of Adelaide to minister to the anglo-catholic deprived worshippers of Sydney.

I understand, as with my own rector, that it is wise in that position not to be too openly scathing of those in power within the Diocese but that Fr Gwilyam should freely add the comment 'proud' amazes me.

There is very little to be proud of about the Diocese of Sydney. I know there are many good people worshipping and doing good works here but the leadership can only give us cause to cringe. Like others I have learnt when visiting Anglican churches overseas to say "I come from Sydney BUT I worship at St James, King Street" and watch the change in facial expression of the priest (usually) to whom I am speaking.

Peter Jensen (I refuse to give him any Anglican titles now, his behaviour is completely unAnglican) is again on a jaunt to London as Secretary of GAFCON. It is amusing to see references to the 7 Primates and Archbishop Jensen. He has a snowball's chance in hell of becoming Primate of Australia so thinks he gains kudos by mixing with the Gafcon primates.
The fact that he continues to side with Akinola and Orombi who are actively persecuting gay people in their respective countries makes Jensen NOT my archbishop BUT my enemy. If Jensen were to make some of the statements attributed to Akinola here in Australia, I would be queueing up to lodge a complaint against him under the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act. Some radio jocks have been convicted for similar. Nothing would give me greater pleasure.
As Jensen seems to regard Akinola and Orombi as close friends, I regard him with absolute contempt.

And how Fr Gwilym Henry-Edwards can claim to be proud of the Diocese of Sydney is beyond me.


The Rev. Dr. Christian Troll said...

My suspicion is the poor lad was forced to say that at gun point - or perhaps he's recently undergone the "voluntary" surgical procedures little Pete and his minions inflict upon nearly all their clergy, and is thus rapidly losing the power to think for himself.

Or, just as likely, he'd just like to keep his job...

Doorman-Priest said...

No doubt he paid for his own fare.

June Butler said...


Brian R said...

Thanks grandmere. I am not good on irony :-)
I wish I could mark my donation envelope (Not to be used for Diocesan dues)

June Butler said...

Brian, I can't believe that an Anglo-Catholic priest would say, in all sincerity, that he was proud of the Diocese of Sydney.

I wish you could mark your envelope, too.

Fr Gwilym Henry-Edwards said...

My Dear Friends,
I am highly amused by the comments which my post has raised. I am also saddened by some of the comments which were just plain uncharitable and mean. I repeat that I am proud to be in the Diocese of Sydney. I do not agree with the Archbishop on many topics. He knows this. He and I have had several conversations on many and various matters and he knows where I stand.
The Diocese of Sydney is not monochrome. I strongly object to the assumption that all Sydney Anglicans are tarred with the same brush.
The diocese of Sydney includes parishes of every ecclesiology, from Anglo Catholic to Liberal to Progressive to Conservative to Evangelical to Charismatic to Fundamentalist.
This is why I am proud to be an Anglican in the Diocese of Sydney.
The Archbishop and the powerbrokers notwithstanding, Sydney remains an Anglican Diocese.
Do not confuse the Archbishop of Sydney with the Diocese.
Even more importantly, do not condemn every action of a person because some of their actions are damnable. Whoever is without sin among you may cast the first stone.
I have never received anything but encouragement from Archbishop Peter.
Having said all that, parishes such as St Luke's contain a large number of people who have been grievously hurt by the actions of church people. There are people who have been hurt by public statements made by church leaders.
Such people need the reassurance of God's unconditional love and acceptance. That is part of St Luke's mission statement. However, St Luke's is not the only congregation in Sydney striving to share this love. God's love is at work in some of the most surprising places. I am therefore proud to stand alongside these loving and Christlike people.
I know that Sydney-bashing is a popular sport. I know many people are insulted, hurt, degraded and vilified by what they call the Diocese of Sydney. Their wounds are real and painful and their assailants stand in need of repentance.
I am not proud to be associated with evildoers, I am not proud of this aspect of the Diocese of Sydney, I am not proud of the Anglican Church as a whole; I am not proud of some remarks posted on this blog.
But I am proud of Jesus Christ; I am proud of the Parish of Enmore; I am proud of the loving and faithful Anglicans in Sydney; I am, in short, proud to be in the Diocese of Sydney.

June Butler said...

Fr Henry-Edwards, my humblest apologies for suggesting that you could not mean what you said, when I had no way of knowing. Please forgive me.

There is no irony on my part here. I am absolutely sincere.

Brian R said...

Thank you Fr Gwilym for visiting and commenting. I did know and state that I believe from what I hear that St Luke's Enmore is, like St James King Street, an inclusive church. Unfortunately such churches are very much in the minority, especially in the western area where I live and they seem to gain little publicity. I am glad you have been able to discuss your alternative opinions with the archbishop. As a person who has suffered vilification from those who lead the diocese and even those who lead nearby parishes and so have to travel a great distance just to worship in an accepting environment, I am naturally rather lacking in charity to them. May God bless your work at Enmore.

The Rev. Dr. Christian Troll said...

"I am not proud of some remarks posted on this blog."There's no need to be ashamed of the folks here, my dear young Father. I try to raise the tone wherever I post, and you can be sure some of them - like Doorman-Priest and Grandmère have come a tremendous way since I first started teaching them. Please accept their apologies on my behalf.

And please forgive us all for presuming to think that a Diocese's elected representative and head could be in any way representative...