Saturday, February 7, 2009

Is there something about Sydney Diocese

which suppresses what people are really thinking in the depths of their hearts?

I ask this question because I have sensed from conversations with one or two Anglican ministers from Sydney that they have felt less than free to say what they really think about theological issues such as the ordination of women.

Now, in this article, we find the new Bishop of Canberra and Goulburn, Stuart Robinson, committing himself in a reserved ifs-and-buts manner to the ordination of women as bishops ... yet until recently Stuart was a minister in Sydney. In the article he explains why he made little if any noise about the ordination of women while he was ministering in Sydney.

Yet I am still left with my question because of those conversations.

I am also intrigued by some things in the Stuart Robinson story. One is that while in Sydney Stuart Robinson was free to appoint lay women to preaching and teaching roles in churches he led. Let's get this straight: in Sydney women will not be ordained as presbyters or as bishops because of texts such as 1 Timothy 2:12, yet they can be appointed (in sympathetic parishes) to teaching and preaching roles. Confused? I am!

But another thing which intrigues me - hat-tipped to this by a correspondent - is this. When one checks out the St Paul's, Chatsworth, Sydney website and looks up the staff page, a plethora of male faces stares back! On the face of it this sea of masculinity does not presage an early appointment of a woman as an assistant bishop!

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