Friday, March 7, 2014

Ould news from Australia

Here at ADU we wish to honour the breadth of the phrase, Down Under, which includes a mysterious island to the west of Aotearoa New Zealand. On this mysterious island, Anglicanism takes different courses to Anglicanism here. For example we very, very rarely make a fuss about the election of a bishop. And when we do it is in muttered conversations over coffee cups. But not so in Australia, where, just to give some context, its culture permits the ruling political party to change its leader and therefore the Prime Minister whenever inner party turmoil erupts into the public domain, there for all to see controversy played out.

Thus we find that the election of a clergyperson* with, shall we say, views basically in keeping with most of the bishops of my church in these islands (sympathies for progress on homosexuality, doubts about the primacy of penal substitutionary atonement) is generating some controversy, particularly through the blogging of David Ould.

Background posts are here and here. In one of the posts are very interesting range of responses from other Oz bishops is reported.

On Twitter last night David Ould forecast a new development:




That's around midday our time, I think (depends who is and isn't running Daylight Saving etc).

I will keep you posted ... Indeed here is the post: in my words, "Poacher turned gamekeeper?"

*The clergyperson is a woman and thus a question in the Oz Anglican context also arises re whether women should be bishops. Here I am not interested in discussion on that question and may not publish comments which focus on that aspect of the situation. What I am interested in is the general question of Anglicanism and substitutionary atonement: does the latter lie at the centre of the former? Should it? Did it?

PS The power of blogging is much overrated and leads to some stupid things being said. So here we read that 'All eyes are on you' re the Ordinariate. That is just false. No one is looking at the Ordinariate in the reign of Franciswho is making quite different waves re Anglican relationships!

40 comments:

Doug said...

"Sacrifice, oblation and satisfaction" does not necessarily entail substitution.

David Ould said...

Here's the story, Peter.
"Bishop Sarah Macneil Conducted Same-Sex “Blessing".

Bryden Black said...

While it is certainly true to call the atonement “a many splendid thing”, as did Michael Green once, especially on account of his being a NT scholar and the NT’s bevy of images it uses to express the significance of Christ’s atonement, it is churlish to try to evade - as does Ian Palmer - there’s no centre of gravity.

David Ould is correct to cite both the BCP’s Eucharistic liturgy and its reference to the Letter to the Hebrews. I would also now cite NT Wright’s very latest ‘summary’ in his Paul and the Faithfulness of God, Part III, pp.897-902. For those without access to the text: NTW claims that we have here a theology of “representation”, “substitution”, “sacrifice”, “judicial punishment”/“condemnation”, “election” (vis-à-vis Israel’s and the Torah’s purpose), and finally “divine victory”. Naturally, each of these words can be ‘read’ a number of ways, and NTW carefully delineates his own sense(s). Not least for our purposes, we should note that propitiating God’s wrath is to the fore in Romans (p.884), but also such appeasement and condemnation is not simply a case of “God condemning Jesus”, but rather, as per Rom 8:3 in detail, “God condemning sin in the flesh of his Son” (p.898).

That is, there are crass and inadequate or even false ways of speaking about both propitiation and satisfaction, and better, much better, ways.

One would hope therefore that bishops, as guardians of the faith, and shepherds of the flock, as well as “watchmen” (Ordinal after Ezekiel), were into the latter and would eschew the former. However, as I myself have observed alas, they (well; some of them - many of them?) even recite the Nicene Creed - surely a “first order” matter if ever there was one - “loosey goosey”. Kyrie eleison!

carl jacobs said...

Well, someone has to say it.

Substitutionary Atonement pretty much is the Gospel. Or, to be precise, the Gospel is Substitutionary Atonement. So, yes, it should be at the center of any Christian church's. The extent to which it is it not the center of a church's teaching is the extent to which that church teaches another gospel.

carl

Father Ron Smith said...

Peter. I, for one, delight in the ordination of The Revd. Dr. Sarah Mcneil, as the new Bishop of the Grafton Diocese in the West Island.
This marks the fellowship of mission between most of the dioceses of the Australian Church with us in N.Z., as cognisant of the value of women as bishops in our two Churches.

David Ould's blog-piece would not be totally unexpected, given his location in the Sydney Diocese. But I am amazed at the fervour with which he is digging for information of the new bishop's past ministry, in order to make a point inimical to the theology of his own conservative stance.

God bless Bishop Sarah!. May she enjoy the fellowship of most of the Bishops in her Australian Church.

David Ould said...

Ron it's quite telling that

1. You make the same charge on my blog.
2. Others point out to you that, just as the piece itself states, I "did not deliberately dig for dirt" but, rather, others have sent me information that I verified.
3. Despite having had that clarification you simply repeat the charge again in this place.

Quite telling but distressingly unsurprising.

Father Ron Smith said...

Maybe, David, you did not actually 'dig' for information on Bishop Sarah's past activities, but you were obviously the best candidate for it to be disseminated. They call it muck-spreading in agricultural countries.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi David
You may not have dug for dirt but you had a choice whether to post what you have posted or not!

Is blogging the only channel in the Australian Anglican church to bring a complaint against a clergyperson? If there is a legal or canonical challenge, why not use that method?

Is blogging a complaint as you have done in the spirit of Matthew 18 and the principles laid out there re dealing with grievances in the church?

David Ould said...

You may not have dug for dirt but you had a choice whether to post what you have posted or not!
well of course, but that was not the matter in question.

Is blogging the only channel in the Australian Anglican church to bring a complaint against a clergyperson? If there is a legal or canonical challenge, why not use that method?
No, of course not. But it's an entirely effective method to simply publicise the truth of the matter.

Is blogging a complaint as you have done in the spirit of Matthew 18 and the principles laid out there re dealing with grievances in the church?
I don't understand. Do you know of some personal sin that Dr Macneil has committed against me? In which case let me know and I will seek to be reconciled to her as Jesus commands us in Matthew 18.

http://thegospelcoalition.org/themelios/article/editorial_on_abusing_matthew_18

David Ould said...

They call it muck-spreading in agricultural countries.

Since when was simply telling people what our leaders are doing "muck-spreading"? How interesting that you are so opposed to the wider Anglican bodies knowing what the more liberal-minded leaders are up to. It would be so much more convenient, no doubt, if all these things were kept hidden.

So throw the insults and accusations at me, Ron. They only serve to demonstrate how disturbing it is for liberals who seek to teach and enact falsehood to have that teaching and action publicised.

Go another round if you like.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi David
Thanks for your replies. I never expect anything other than something both intelligent and spirited from you!

I suggest one might extrapolate, without abusing Matthew 18, a process in response to matters within the church in which one is drawn to take issue about something, which deals with it low key before heading to middle and then to high key.

A question then would be whether taking on the role of publicist as you have done is something at low key or middle key or high key. The more obviously low key approach would be a letter to the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Grafton (and/or the same to the Primate). Such an action would not strictly be 'private' re Matthew 18, but would be analogously low-key.

Another question in my mind is whether we who blog should use our blogs to reveal information about controversies in our church. In favour of such a move is the fact that if we do not do so, then maybe no one will. Against such a move (at the very least in cosy NZ where we all seem to know each other) is the possibility that people will not trust bloggers with information about controversial matters.

(Speaking only for myself, my personal rule is not to talk about a controversy until another media outlet has made it public).

Peter Carrell said...

Hi David re Ron // Ron re David
I won't permit any more "rounds" on this one between you. All too soon we are in ad hominem territory or verging so close to it that President Obama will be on the phone to me telling me that some international rule of blogging has been broken :)

By all means comment about how we blog, whether blogging on this kind of matter is appropriate or not ... but let's not have any more 'dirt digging' or 'muck raking' phraseology. It will not get us far.

David Ould said...

(Speaking only for myself, my personal rule is not to talk about a controversy until another media outlet has made it public).

Well now you're free to speak publicly and clearly about it.

David Ould said...

By all means comment about how we blog, whether blogging on this kind of matter is appropriate or not ... but let's not have any more 'dirt digging' or 'muck raking' phraseology. It will not get us far.

Of course. I simply reserve the right to correct Ron's falsehoods about me and my motives as and when he makes them.

John Sandeamn said...

"in cosy NZ where we all seem to know each other"

Media of various kinds from blogs to newspapers are influenced by whether people are in a small enough community to know each other.
David is operating in a bigger system than you, Peter.
So you might be cautious about a story about a local Bishop (in a Matthew 18 way).But would you send the Russian ambassador a letter before being critical of Putin?
Context and scale are important in reportage.

Kurt said...

I’m always entertained by the truly odd perceptions offered up by the “Sydney ‘Anglicans.’” To me they generally demonstrate how the 19th century Calvinist mind would confront the questions of the 21st century. No wonder Sydneysiders burned their first church to the ground in 1798.

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

Pageantmaster said...

David seems not only to have received a report but to have taken steps to verify its truth before publishing the information on his weblog.

It seems to be another case where church authorities had information which they did not do anything about, and that information has now come out into the public domain, so to speak.

I am all for that - one of our problems is our unwillingness to face facts and a desire to cover up things we don't want to hear about. That is particularly true of leaders. Thanks to blogs, twitter and social media that information is coming out and we have to face things as they really are and make decisions accordingly with all that information.

The days of editorial control and suppression of information from newspapers and ordinary people are over - social media is leading the mainstream media whether on what is going on in Kiev, Alleppo or Grafton. The genie is out of the bottle, and not going to go back in and information is going to come out, and that cuts all ways. But I think that is a healthy thing, particularly in churches.

In the instant case this really matters because Bishop Macheil was elected at ACC 15 to sit on the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion and joins Katherine Jefferts Schori and Iain Douglas on that body. In doing so she will become a trustee of the Anglican Consultative Council with oversight of the Anglican Communion Office.

There is a subsidiary issue for the Anglican Church in Australia - why did those who knew what was going on not inform their colleagues who were consecrating Bishop Macneil? Why was this covered up - something which also has Communion-wide implications given the mutuality of doctrine, sacraments and holy orders which communion means in that context?

I am all for transparency, provided exercised with care to verify facts. Well done David Ould - you have done everyone a favour in bringing this into the light.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi John / Pageantmaster

I am all for transparency too but I and you and David Ould belong to an episcopal church, with canons and processes.

I appreciate that David has written to the Grafton Diocese and has not (so far) received a reply (which, if they persist in not replying, could be unwise on their part).

Nevertheless, publicising in this way may or may not be a fruitful approach to take, and may or may not be in keeping with Matthew 18 [I am trying, here, not to come to the point of presenting a definitive judgment ... your perspectives as well as David's are much appreciated].

One thought that strikes me is that when we go about publicising controversy we may contribute to polarisation rather than to problem-solving. I can imagine the Grafton Diocese now very determined to support their bishop in public (no matter what private views are held), the Australian church at large determined to stick with their choice for ACC (since no one in politics wants us 'mere bloggers' to cause undoing of decisions) and people generally to rally round and support a leader perceived to be 'under attack.'

Might I also reasonably imagine from across the Ditch that a move of this kind from within the Diocese of Sydney will make those outside it even more determined to resist it, if not ignore it?

Peter Carrell said...

Dear Ron
Please make comments that avoid imputing things to people whom you do not personally know and for whom the imputation is not evidenced.

Also, please avoid expectations of commenters that they will comment on things which are beyond the scope of the issue at hand. Before you know it we will be condemning each other for not donating to save the whale campaigns and for using satellite TV when it is well known that satellites are polluting the upper atmosphere. If my comment is about fish stock in NZ waters don't reprimand me for not commenting about Japanese whaling ...

Thus I am not happy to publish any part of your latest comment as it involves (a) unreasonable expectations of others (in this case of the whole of the Sydney Diocese!) and (b) imputations re the state of mind/heart of another.

The issues, Ron, the issues.

Father Ron Smith said...

Thank you, Peter, for very clearly defining the limitations of your acceptance of comments that question the motivation of some of your correspondents.

That's fine. Your blog1

Peter Carrell said...

Precisely, Ron, let's avoid delving into the hidden areas of the soul representing 'motivations', trust that our common motivation is serving Christ and his kingdom, and argue the toss over what is said in writing ...

Bryden Black said...

I sense there is an element missing from the comments made so far, Peter. It concerns the historical context often found in British and Australasian Anglican churches (North American Evangelicalism is another creature!) where Evangelical types traditionally do not worry themselves with ‘politics’. Their energies are focused on parish ministry and missionary societies, with the occasional parachurch organization - e.g. CPAS, AE, AFFIRM.

The last 15+ years has exploded this sentiment. We may take Lambeth 1998 as yet again the watershed. For until then “facts on the ground” were largely tolerated by Evangelicals who simply ‘got on with it’. True; there was the occasional exception when a senior CoE Evangelical was made a bishop - or Archbishop! And Sydney was always an exception, as was Nelson; yet such exceptions proved the rule. Post 1998 a counter-sentiment emerged: ENOUGH! Enough especially of these “facts on the ground”, which have over the decades re-formed the shape of things ecclesiastical into something we barely recognise.

This latest row/round, duly publicized by David Ould - “intelligent, spirited” and responsibly - is just part and parcel of this entire revision of Evangelical public behaviour. We’ve had enough! We’ve had enough of these cryptic bodies like the ACC and the ACO seemingly speaking and acting for ‘the majority’ of Anglicans. You were right Peter to accentuate on another thread the shift demonstrated by the recent meeting of the Global South Primates Steering Committee in Cairo, 14-15 February, with its call for a new Primates Meeting via its 9 Part Statement, 20th February. And NB especially its decision to establish a Primatial Oversight Council.

A Church that has forgotten its centre of gravity in the atonement of Jesus Christ deserves that condemnation early in Matt 18, vv.6-7: “If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of stumbling blocks! Occasions for stumbling are bound to come, but woe to the one by whom the stumbling block comes!”

David Ould said...

trust that our common motivation is serving Christ and his kingdom

Sorry Peter, that comes across as quite naïve. It is abundantly obvious that many of us have almost diametrically opposed views of what it means to "serve Christ and His kingdom".

Peter Carrell said...

Hi David
If I assumed that we all understood serving Christ and his kingdom in the same way then I would indeed be incredibly naive.

The point in its context is to ask of commenters NOT to assume of each other or speculate about each other that they are badly or malevolently motivated but to assume that each here is a Christian intent on serving Christ.

That should then focus attention on what we each say about how Christ is to be served and what advances the kingdom and to agree or disagree accordingly.

Once one commenter begins to presume of another commenter that his or her motivation is less than Christian then we are on a slippery slope to ad hominems.

David Ould said...

thanks Peter. I do get all of that but the fact remains that if you think that what the other person is promoting is not actually Christianity then to suggest that their motivation is "Christian" is to state a falsehood.

we have some quite dangerous false gospels being promoted in the Anglican Church and to affirm them as a genuine "Christian" gospel is to be complicit.

So yes, let's not presume things of one another. Totally agreed and I have asked for that in this thread. But let's also take each other and, above all, the Scriptural gospel, seriously.

Caleb said...

I think I'd find it more difficult to be an Anglican in Australia.

Father Ron Smith said...

"we have some quite dangerous false gospels being promoted in the Anglican Church and to affirm them as a genuine "Christian" gospel is to be complicit." - D.O.

Dare I mention the word 'hubris'?

Presuming one has the 'right gospel' is presuming others have the 'wrong' one. I guess we might only know when God the Almighty unveils to us 'the secrets of our hearts' - then we will really know whether, or not, our path is the right one. "Judge not, that ye be not judged yourselves!"

Jesus said "I am gentle and lowly of heart". When called "Good Master", Jesus replied, "Who are you calling 'good'? There is One alone who is good" - obviously, not referring either to himself - in His incarnate humanity, or to any other human being - but to the Father of All.

"I came", said Jesus, "not to call the Righteous, but Sinners, to repentance." That'a all of us!

The question for each one of us is: "Am I righteous before God"?

Father Ron Smith said...

I think, Caleb, that outside of the Diocese of Sydney, on Australia you would find traditional Anglicanism compatible with most Provinces of anywhere else in the Anglican Communion - outside of the Gafcon lot and, now, the Global South.

David Ould said...


Presuming one has the 'right gospel' is presuming others have the 'wrong' one. I guess we might only know when God the Almighty unveils to us 'the secrets of our hearts' - then we will really know whether, or not, our path is the right one.


Not at all. When the Apostle Paul warns the church in Galatia to not pursue a false gospel he does so on the basis that the gospel can be known. After all, if nobody could be certain of what the gospel was then the warning would be entirely superfluous. He Himself gives one summary of it in 1Cor 15. He seems to think it's very clear what the gospel is and no end of obfuscation will change that.

The question for each one of us is: "Am I righteous before God"?

Indeed. But just a moment ago you told us all that nobody can presume to have the right gospel so your question is one filled with despair.

Am I righteous before God? I could never know since I can never know that i actually have the gospel. What a terrible place to leave people in.

Just as well that the New Testament is far more certain on those matters and so gives the Christian assurance.

And if you are righteous before God, Ron, on what basis given that you cannot know you have the "right gospel"? And if can't know then how can you possibly lead others to know?

David Ould said...

outside of the Gafcon lot and, now, the Global South.

Heh. Ron says that as though GAFCON or the Global South were some small fraction of the Communion as opposed to the massive majority that they actually represent.

Father Ron Smith said...

Safety in numbers, David? What about the Faithful Remnant - We Sinners who know we are sinners turn to God for salvation in the sacramental life of the Church Catholic - not necessarily to FCA or the Gafcon Ginger Group!

Remember, "The Word has become flesh, and dwells among us!"

MichaelA said...

Peter,

With respect, I am left with the impression that you haven't really grasped the main point of David Ould's article

The real question being asked is: Will Bishop McNeil uphold Bishop's Protocol 15, when she has apparently already been engaging in behaviour contrary to it?

That affects the unity of the Anglican Church in Australia. It also has the potential to affect whether GAFCON or the Global South are prepared to extend alternative oversight to dissident Anglicans in Australia. So far they have indicated no interest in doing so, and one of the reasons for that is likely to be that bishops of the Anglican Church of Australia have kept to a consensus thus far, about not crossing certain lines.

Therefore, this is NOT just an issue of what +McNeil may do within her own diocese (nor what she may have done previously as a priest in another diocese), as you seem to take it. Rather, it is an issue of whether she is going to do something that will thoughtlessly shatter the unity of the Anglican Church of Australia, as her colleague the bishop of Gippsland almost did two years ago.

Protocol 15 was agreed by the bishops of the Anglican Church of Australia in early 2012, a few weeks after the bishop of Gippsland ordained an openly homosexual man as a priest in his diocese. Many of the bishops who signed up to it are liberal – some of them probably have similar beliefs to the bishop of Gippsland on this issue, but they made clear that they did not agree to him doing something that has the potential to bring into Australia the same controversy that has dogged TEC since 2003 and is now starting to become an issue in CofE.

Protocol 15: http://www.anglican.org.au/docs/bishops_protocol/1348%20Bishops%20Protocol%2015%20Ministerial%20Appointments.pdf

Father Ron Smith said...

"And if you are righteous before God, Ron, on what basis given that you cannot know you have the "right gospel"? And if can't know then how can you possibly lead others to know?" - David Ould -

David, like Pope Francis, I am one of the first to admit that I am NOT righteous. I am a Sinner - like Pope Francis and like every other human being; unworthy of God's mercy, but loved anyway.

Someone, wisely, once said that the work of the Gospel was one sinner, showing another sinner where to find bread! That sums up the whole business of who is worthy and who is not. None of us is worthy! Even Saint Paul admitted that his righteousness was as 'filthy rags'- compared with the righteousness of Christ who has redeemed sinners..

I guess you need to read again the story of Jesus' assessment of the 'righteousness' of the Pharisee, compared with the unrighteousness of the Publican. The important thing was, what Jesus said: "Which of these went away JUSTIFIED?" This story has much deeper significance than you and FCA seem to accredit to it.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Michael
Yes, that is the real question in respect of church polity (but there is another question importantly asked, re PSA, about Anglicanism).

On that real question it is quite a long bow from X broke a rule in 2007, X is now a bishop, can we trust X to uphold Protocol 15?

Sheer Christian charity would presume to trust a person taking on the solemn role of bishop that that person will uphold the protocols of the church.

The Bishop of Gippsland is a bishop who did something. Unless the Bishop of Gippsland has been re-embodied in the new Bishop of Grafton, why would one presumptively pre-judge that one bishop's ways would become a different bishop's ways?

David Ould said...

Safety in numbers, David? What about the Faithful Remnant - We Sinners who know we are sinners turn to God for salvation in the sacramental life of the Church Catholic - not necessarily to FCA or the Gafcon Ginger Group!

Fascinating. You imply that GAFCON/Global South are, somehow outliers and that the "normal" Anglicans don't agree with them.

So you play a numbers game.

Then I point out that if you want to play the numbers game you're going to lose.

So you accuse me of playing a numbers game.

Wow. Just ... wow.

David Ould said...

Someone, wisely, once said that the work of the Gospel was one sinner, showing another sinner where to find bread! That sums up the whole business of who is worthy and who is not. None of us is worthy! Even Saint Paul admitted that his righteousness was as 'filthy rags'- compared with the righteousness of Christ who has redeemed sinners..

And again ....

You decry me for being dogmatic about the gospel pointing out that nobody can claim for sure.

Then I ask you how you can be sure.

And you criticise me for somehow not believing the gospel (the same gospel which just 2 comments ago you claimed nobody could know for sure).

Wow. Just .... wow.

MichaelA said...

Hi Peter,

I may have missed the bit where David "presumptively pre-judged" what bishop McNeil will do now - I thought he was asking questions about whether her convictions about when it is okay to ignore church rules were still the same as they (apparently) were in 2007?

He sets out his reason for taking this approach - he does Sarah McNeil the courtesy of assuming that she has previously acted out of conviction, which therefore implies that if she did so in the past, she will do so again.

Bear in mind that this is not an issue about belief, i.e. whether she believes that homosexual relationships should be blessed, or wants to agitate for change, or adopt a certain position in a Synod vote etc. Rather, the issue is one of the *actions* that she took in the past, and whether the convictions that motivated her to take that action have changed.

In the same way, the Bishop of Gippsland was not called to account by his fellow bishops for what he believed (he had been a prominent member of one of the few highly liberal congregations in Sydney Diocese for many years, so I don't think anyone was in real doubt about what he believed) but for what he did.

Bishop McNeil (apparently) conducted a blessing for a homosexual couple in 2007. That was not a breach of Protocol 15, which didn't exist at that time, but it was fundamentally inconsistent with the Constitution of the Anglican Church of Australia, which provides that our practice and doctrine as regards worship are based on the Book of Common Prayer. The BCP only recognises the blessing of marriage between a man and a woman.

So it appears that Archdeacon McNeil's conviction in 2007 was that it was okay to ignore the foundational document of the ACA in order to put her own beliefs about same-sex relationships into practice.

Once it is defined that way, I think the reason for David's blog post becomes clear. He states precisely where his concern lies, i.e. whether her convictions about when it is okay to ignore church rules remain the same now as they did in 2007. David writes:

"The facts already established are, of course, entirely consistent with Dr Macneil’s position on human sexuality that we have already reported on. It would be helpful for Dr Macneil to clarify her position on this matter. In particular if she has now changed her position on human sexuality and, if so, what has caused that change. Since she will be expected to sign up to the Bishops’ Protocol on human sexuality this historical action of hers will be seen to further compromise her ability to do so with integrity. Whether our bishops (and not least those who consecrated her) think that is a problem remains to be seen.

If Dr Macneil was in a senior position in the diocese (as she was at the time, Archdeacons are effectively second only to the bishops) then it also speaks to how people may view her commitment to uphold the doctrine and discipline of the church as a senior figure."

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Michael
Not so much to defend myself but to make an observation: there is a conversation here, in the course of it you mentioned the Bishop of Gippsland, then I mentioned that 'one' might presumptively prejudge ... in itself that remark was open to the way you respond (therefore I neither object to your response nor defend my use of the phrase) ... so let me try another tack.

To ask a question can be to also make or at least imply an accusation. The famous 'Have you stopped beating your wife?' question is a genuine question and a trap and a possibly unwarranted slur all at the same time.

I am raising the question whether a blog is the appropriate media to raise a question (which I agree exists and agree is worth raising) whether a person acting on a matter seven years ago when not a bishop is now likely to act similarly when holding a different role as a bishop, furthermore, holding a role which one can only get to have by make declarations about how one will act as a bishop.

Ahead of a more direct conversation with the bishop I suggest that to raise the question via a public blog post is to run the risk of also making a judgment about the bishop whom one has now called out as a rule-breaker.

As a clergyperson I have broken a few church rules in my time, sometimes for what I would call 'good reasons' but perhaps a church tribunal would not agree(!!), but I am not sure that, in the unlikely event of my becoming a bishop, that I would want these occasions splashed around on blogs. Not least because were I to choose to enter into explanatory defence I might find myself running through the circumstances of people in a public forum which they never envisaged when I acted as I did (in what I perceived to be their pastoral best interests).

Father Ron Smith said...

"Wow just Wow" - David Ould.

Sounds euphonious, David, but once would have done. Or, is it one of your parish choruses set to music?

Your 'Mister interlocutor' style might be interesting in the pulpit. But on a blog?

MichaelA said...

Peter, I see your point. But note that David's point is not that +Macneil broke *A* church rule at some time in the past. His point is that her breaking of church rules was because of her convictions on this *particular* doctrine.

Actions have consequences which are not always appreciated by those who commit them. If +Macneil were thinking of being a trend-setter in the Australian church (as she has been to some extent in the past) then she and her fellow bishops need to think carefully about it first. David is giving warning of that.

For example, if +Spong in the USA had not ordained a woman to serve in the Anglican Church of Australia in 1988, and if TEC had not ignored the Lambeth 1998 Resolution 1.01, it is very likely that there would have been no border-crossings in North America starting from 2001.

Now, if they had their time over again, Jack Spong and Frank Griswold and their supporters might say, "We don't care. We believe what we did is right and we would do it again". If so, then fair enough.

But if they had their time over again, with foreknowledge of what would occur, then perhaps they might have acted differently.

As I see it, David+ is giving as much warning as he can, to anyone who will listen, that if there is soemthing like another Gippsland then serious consequences are likely to follow. They may or may not care about that, but they can't say a warning hasn't been given.