Saturday, September 18, 2010

Depart and leave the silver, or keep the silver and leave the church?

If I understand David Ould's post about the forthcoming Australian General Synod and a particular concern of Primate Aspinall about a legal enquiry made by Sydney Diocese, then that much loved refrain by some TEC supporters viz a viz ACNA departers, 'when you depart leave the silver and the property behind' could have a Down Under variation, 'the silver and property is not departing, so that could mean we might be leaving'! Here is an excerpt from an ABC post which David cites:

"What Sydney proposes is to ask the NSW Government to amend the Anglican Church Property Trust Act, so that any financial measure proposed by the national body would have no effect until it is also passed by the local NSW body. This would be much the same as the governments of any of the states of Australia, having a right of veto over Commonwealth levies in their state. In law they may remain part of the whole but in practice, they have divorced.

The Anglican Primate, Philip Aspinall, states, '…this proposal is one tantamount to altering or circumventing… the Constitution of the Anglican Church of Australia without following the specified processes of the Church', and that, 'The church as a whole has had no notice of the proposal, and has therefore lacked any opportunity to consider the implications of such a change'."
Besides which ++Aspinall has offended Sydney by inviting a woman to lead the GS Bible Studies and not backed down from the invite: from David Ould's post,
"As business progresses, guests will be welcomed. Again, here is a small issue of controversy. The Primate has invited Clare Amos, director of theological studies at the Anglican Communion Office, to give the morning Bible Study talks. Naturally, when the invitation was announced a number of people objected - from Sydney and elsewhere. Their contention was that the Primate had made their participation in the Bible Studies impossible since, on theological grounds, they could not accept the teaching ministry of a woman in a mixed congregation. Unsurprisingly, the Primate didn't change his mind."
I am surprised that this narrow line of interpretation is being given Clare Amos' studies. If they were viewed as a series of notices and greetings from the ACO, there would, I understand, be no problem in Sydney-speak terms.


David Ould said...

Hi Peter,

thanks for your post. In clarification on the first issue, as I understand it the action proposed (which has yet to be put before Sydney synod) is simply to clarify an already existing arrangement. Under the 1917 Act the NSW State Government sought to protect the rights of a number of denominations to their own assets.

With regards to your second point, the answer lies in your question. Yes, if it were simply " a series of notices and greetings from the ACO" then there would not be a problem.

but that's not at all what it is. And, honestly, I would have thought you appreciated the distinction. Interestingly, the Primate has also invited 2 women to preside over Communion during the week, including Bishop Kaye Goldsworthy - another act which only serves to disenfranchise many on General Synod.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi David,
I could imagine interesting discussions at the GS between you and +Kaye about the word "disenfranchise" in connection with the ministry of Word and Sacrament!