Thinking Anglicans

Australian tribunal rules against Sydney

The Appellate Tribunal of the Anglican Church of Australia has issued its opinion on the legality of the administration of Holy Communion by deacons or lay persons.

The full documentation from the tribunal can be found here.

News reports:

Anglican Media Sydney Tribunal disagrees with diaconal administration

Episcopal News Service SYDNEY: Tribunal rejects move to allow deacons to preside at Eucharist

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Robert Ian Williams
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Robert Ian Williams

The same Tribunal which brought women bishops in through the back door!

Don’t worry Sydney so designed the Australian Anglican Church Constitution that it is completely self governing and autonomous…a province within a province.

Derek Pratt
Guest

Is it semantics or am I missing something… The Sydney Anglican site refers to “administration” of Communion while the ENS refers to “presiding”. Many Anglican churches in Cape Town have deacons or lay people “administering” Communion – i.e. distributing but none (I hope) have deacons or lay people “presiding”

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

As a New Zealand priest, I have long worried about the tendency in the Sydney (Aust.) Diocese toward Lay Administration at the Eucharist. This is one mark of Sydney Anglicanism that has set it apart from the rest of the Australasian Anglican Churches – almost to the point where one wondered whether Sydney still claimed to be part of our world-wide Communion – or even part of its own Provincial set-up. The Archbishop of Sydney has long been associated with the movement towards Lay Presidency, and was no doubt finding himself at odds with the Anglo-Catholics of the GAFCON community,… Read more »

Bill Dilworth
Guest

Derek, I believe that the Sydney Calvinists use “administer” because of the title of the service is in the BCP: “The Order of the Administration of the Lord’s Supper, or Holy Communion.” I don’t know if that’s common usage outside the US,or if it’s a hallmark of Evangelicalism in general, but here we use “administer” in the way you do in Cape Town.

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

In response to the posting by Derek Pratt; what he sees as a semantic difference between the terms ‘administration and ‘presidency’ of the Holy Eucharist on the Sydney Anglican web-site, is more than just semantics. It is the complete and utter misunderstanding of the sacramental significance of the Eucharistic Rite – as known to most other Australian (and other Provincial) Anglicans – by the Diocese of Sydney. However, there are certain churches in the Sydney Diocese which – although forbidden to wear the eucharistic chasuble in any celebration of the Eucharist (the Anglo-Catholics get away with copes) – do understand… Read more »

Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

I have the same question as Derek Pratt. Is the issue about laypersons and deacons as presider? Surely it can’t be about “administration” since administering the chalice is one of the principal liturgical roles of a deacon. As an aside, I attended a Eucharist in Montreal several years ago. The rector was away, and a lay reader distributed pre-sanctified Eucharist at the end of morning prayer. The liturgical framework was a little odd, but the practice itself was otherwise perfectly Anglican.

Kurt
Guest
Kurt

I still believe that much of this unpleasantness can be avoided by the use of the Reserved Sacrament. It is a very ancient custom, and need not be fused with the veneration of the Blessed Sacrament. Deacons and licensed laypeople can administer Holy Communion from the Reserved Sacrament when a priest is not available. Prior to the Oxford Movement, some American Episcopal parishes followed the custom of the Scottish Church and set aside a portion of the Precious Blood in small cabinets called aumbries, in the sacristies. Holy Communion would thereby be available for the sick and dying 24-7 even… Read more »

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

Leave your tabernacles and nice liturgical discussions : You will find Christ’s real presence in the poor and needy (as Frank Weston put it).

Robert Ian Williams
Guest
Robert Ian Williams

They don’t even use wine in most Sydney parishes, but non alcoholic fruit juice..which is also the case in most of Evangelical Anglican Africa, and some churches in the UK. The left over communion elements are also usually thrown away. Cardinal Newman cites this custos of the Anglican communion as decisive in his rejection of Anglican orders. As an Anglican John Henry Newman never administered Anglican communion in anything but a surplice and black scarf. Ron doesn’t tell you that the chasuble was only introduced to the Anglican Communion in he nineteenth century. It remained illegal in the church of… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
Guest
Robert Ian Williams

A spokesman for the Diocese of Sydney says ‘The advisory opinion of the Tribunal will doubtless receive attention at the Diocesan Synod to be held in October.’”

Says it all.. the tribunal’s advice is dead in the water.

You see Sydney already believes that the women priests in the Anglican church of Australia are in reality only deacons anyway.

Sydney is much more logical than some liberals.

Bill Dilworth
Guest

“Leave your tabernacles and nice liturgical discussions : You will find Christ’s real presence in the poor and needy (as Frank Weston put it).”

Yeah…that’s not what Bishop Weston said. He was for adoring Christ in the Blessed Sacrament AND serving him in the poor.

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

Thank you, Laurence for your contribution. However, many of us still believe in the ‘Real Presence’ of Christ in the Elements of the Eucharist. This is why the service was instituted in the Early Church. Christ is also, of course, present in the poor, etc., as the manifestation of his common humanity. The essence of his special presence in the Eucharist is something else.

Bill Dilworth
Guest

“As an Anglican John Henry Newman never administered Anglican communion in anything but a surplice and black scarf.”

And there’s nothing wrong with that.

JCF
Guest
JCF

“The same Tribunal which brought women bishops in through the back door!”

Yeah, I see why you think these things are equivalent, RIW (While I of course do not, as there is nothing in catholic theology preventing a bishop from having two X chromosomes)

As these are only the actions of “schismatic sect”, in your view: why do you care? O_o

John Davis
Guest
John Davis

An Opinion of the Appellate Tribunal does indeed carry weight in the Australian Church and contrary to some comments above there remain clear areas where authority to act or to change is only available at the general synod level. One key section of the Opinion addresses this: 23.It is thus up to the bishops and this Tribunal to see that the rules of the church are upheld. This is not just a matter of legalism, but a matter of fairness and protection of the ordinary members of the church. The determination of this Reference and the publication of these Reasons… Read more »

Malcolm+
Guest

Actually, RIW, the legal status of chasubles was ambiguous in 1864. It was in 1874 that they became definitively illegal under the Public Worship Regulation Act.

But why should you let facts get in the way of your polemics, eh Bob?

Cheryl Va.
Guest

Paul said it was better to speak a few plain words that many that you alone understand. That if you must speak in tongues, have another with you to translate to others present. There are some who when they speak in spirit sound like they are preaching because they use plain language. In this case, neither party is above reproach. One determination seeks to make it that only the “qualified” can preach. The other is vehement about restricting women and “unsuitable” theology. Both are versions of cronyism. In the meantime, God seeks out and works with the righteous. Both inside… Read more »

Hector
Guest
Hector

Kurt, You’re missing the point. I don’t think the motive behind this ‘lay presidency’ isn’t a well meaning to make communion available to sick people in emergencies. As you point out quite correctly, reserving the sacrament would solve that problem. My priest, back when he was starting out in the late ’60s, would bring the sacrament to sick and elderly people on a regular basis. Quite the contrary. The motive behind the lay presidency movement, conscious or unconscious, acknowledged or unacknowledged, is an Calvinistic attempt to destroy the teaching of the Real Presence, to destroy the idea of the sacrificing… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
Guest
Robert Ian Williams

JCF.. I love the Evangelical people…in the way that a convert from Judaism or Mormonism feel a burden from the community which sustained and formed them. Malcolm.. sidetracking again.. give the full facts.. every legal ruling prior to 1874 ( interpreting the ornaments rubric) had ruled against the chasuble. They were never used in the C of E between 1559 and 1849. There is not one example of a 1559-1849 Anglican chasuble. pre reformation chasubles were burnt or cut up as dress material. a few faithful catholic families kept them, refusing to join the new national church.

Malcolm+
Guest

Robert, I’m merely pointing out your falsehoods. The legal status of chasubles was ambiguous prior to 1874. That they were rarely used, or even never used is irrelevant. You said they were illegal and that is simply false.

Kurt
Guest
Kurt

Malcolm, RIW cares little about facts and history. A few years ago, he claimed that no Anglican bishop wore a mitre from the Reformation to the 1880s. When I pointed out to him that Bishop Seabury and Bishop Claggett both wore mitres in the 18th century in America, he simply repeated his assertions. He continued in denial even when I provided a web site where he could see one of the mitres on display. Since then, friends have told me about Bishop Robert Welton and Bishop John Talbot, both consecrated by English non-jurors in 1723. Both Bishop Welton and Bishop… Read more »

Perry Butler
Guest
Perry Butler

Are you sure Kurt? I think copes were worn in the Chapels Royal and in many cathedrals after 1559. The Ornaments Rubrick with its curious wording, probably allowed for chasubles to be worn and perhaps Elizabeth herself being a conservative protestant may have wished them to be worn ,as she would have liked roods to continue, but remember she had to choose as her bishops men who were more aggresively protestant than she was.The battle in the 1560’s was primarily over enforcing the use of the surplice.Things didnt change much until the Laudians in the 1630’s and even then I… Read more »

Bill Dilworth
Guest

@Kurt and Perry

I think that Perry is correct about it being copes, not chasubles, but as they are basically variations of the same garment it’s pretty much the same thing. Perry’s right about Bishop Seabury’s mitre, though.

Robert Ian Williams
Guest
Robert Ian Williams

Perry you are spot on. In any case the Chapel Royal prior to the civil War was a Roman Catholic place of worship set aside for Queen Henrietta Maria,consort of King Charles the first, who was French. by terms of her marriage treaty she was allowed to worship according to the Catholic Faith. It is a serious mistake to believe that the Laudians were Anglo-Catholics, they were distinctly Protestant.They only appeared Popish to extreme Puritans.Archbishop Laud acknowledged the French Reformed as being a true Church, and allowed them to worship in the crypt of his Cthedral…as is still is the… Read more »

PeterK
Guest
PeterK

“…the Chapel Royal prior to the civil War was a Roman Catholic place of worship…”

No, Robert Ian Williams, this was the Queen’s Chapel.

Bill Dilworth
Guest

“It is a serious mistake to believe that the Laudians were Anglo-Catholics”

Quite right. They were Catholics, plain and simple, like all Anglicans.

“they were distinctly Protestant”

That, too.

“and allowed them to worship in the crypt of his Cthedral…as is still is the case today!”

Shocking!

The Washington National Cathedral used to be home to a Jewish congregation back in the early 20th century. They met in a chapel in the crypt.

Perry Butler
Guest
Perry Butler

Given the fuss made over the Queens decision to continue having a crucifix in her chapel ( see Zurich letters for her bishops reaction) I think Chasubles soon faded out…within the first year of the settlement I would judge. Vernon Staley is v old fashioned and had an Anglo-Catholic axe to grind.I think it best to follow modern scholars like Eamon Duffy /Pat Collinson /Diarmaid Macculloch.The Reformed nature of the Elizabethan Church is surely not in doubt..it was a fully reformed church with some idiosyncratic features which were important since they helped it to mutate into “Anglicanism ” in the… Read more »

Perry Butler
Guest
Perry Butler

Getting back to the diocese of Sydney…..I am told by an Australian friend, that the need for diaconal celebration is because in Sydney ordination is to the diaconate and that a man ( and not simply a man but specifically a married man) is not ordained to the presbyterate until he becomes a rector. Services are now termed “meetings of the congregation” which relieves the need for liturgy, needless to say robes are dispensed with in most churches.Can anyone verify this. Clearly the “Jensen” takeover was long planned.. and the aim to take up where Bishop Hooper left off!! How… Read more »

Kurt
Guest
Kurt

That’s right, Bill, chasubles they were. I’m looking for, but can’t yet find, a list I had years ago of the chasubles and copes that were seized from specific Anglican parishes by the Puritans during the English Civil War. If I can find it, I will post it.

Now that your facts, Bill, have trapped RIW again, he resorts to a fantasy of the Chapels Royal becoming Roman Catholic! The man never gives up, no matter how many facts one places in front of him. A general characteristic of “Sydney Anglicans” including ex-ones, I wonder?

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

JCF
Guest
JCF

Allowing a persecuted minority to share worship space? Horrors! What could be more heretical than Christian charity?!

{sarcasm/Off}

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Last time I checked, the Chapels Royal were not in Sydney. Please let’s not get sidetracked, and keep the comments here related to the Diocese of Sydney.

Robert Ian Williams
Guest
Robert Ian Williams

Surely the position of Sydney is one of logic , fairness and integrity. They have not approved women priests ( a position of integrity and validity in the Anglican Communion), and clearly regard the women ordained priest in the rest of the Australian Anglican Church are still only in deacons orders. Women priests and bishops have no status in Sydney.Therefore women deacons and those in deacon orders in Sydney should be allowed to preside at Anglican Holy Communion. The Anglican Church in Southern Africa allows non episcopally ordained clergy to celebrate ( they did this by suspending the preface), so… Read more »

Kurt
Guest
Kurt

“Clearly the “Jensen” takeover was long planned and the aim to take up where Bishop Hooper left off!! How many parishes in the diocese have managed to stand out against this?”–Perry Butler I have it on good authority from sources in Sydney that there may be as many as two dozen “dissident” parishes in conflict with the Jensenite party line. In terms of numbers, this would amount to about ten percent of the Sydney Diocese. In terms of actual “bums on the bench” each Sunday, the actual number is probably higher in that two of these churches–the Anglo Catholic parishes… Read more »

Perry Butler
Guest
Perry Butler

Hear, hear Simon. Any response to my last post? There must be some australians on this site!!!

Bill Dilworth
Guest

“Women priests and bishops have no status in Sydney.Therefore women deacons and those in deacon orders in Sydney should be allowed to preside at Anglican Holy Communion.” Wow, talk about non-sequiturs. Woman priests ad bishops have no status in the RC Archdiocese of Sydney, either – does it therefore follow that deacons should be allowed to celebrate the Mass in its parishes? “…Sydney make no secret of the fact they use non alcoholic fruit juice…” If it’s grape, it doesn’t seem that different from mustum, now, does it? “and throw away the left over communion elements. That is standard evangelical… Read more »

Bill Dilworth
Guest

RIW: “”…Sydney make no secret of the fact they use non alcoholic fruit juice…” Me: “If it’s grape, it doesn’t seem that different from mustum, now, does it?” [crickets chirping] I’ll just put you down for, “Yes, that would seem to be the very definition of mustum, which is perfectly valid matter in the RCC.” RIW: “and throw away the left over communion elements. That is standard evangelical practice and I could point to many churches in the Church of England which do so.” Me: “Can you document this with something other than an appeal to your own experience?” [more… Read more »

Bill Dilworth
Guest

RIW, I am informed by a reliable source that some evangelical parishes in the CofE throw out leftover Eucharistic elements, so I will accept it as fact. Observations: A. What you describe is a terrible desecration, and makes some of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament’s focus on reparation for dishonor done the Sacrament a little more understandable for me. While I can imagine an American priest showing dishonor to the Sacrament through carelessness, I cannot begin to imagine one dishonoring it through contempt. B. This is clearly in violation of the rubric at the end of the Communion Service… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
Guest
Robert Ian Williams

It was the “custos” of the communion elements that convinced Newman of the invalidity of Anglican orders. He had experienced first hand, how the clergy disposed of the sacrament.

From 1559-1662, the curate was allowed to take the leftover elements home for his common everyday use.

Just visit an evangelical parish and see how they dispose of the elements.

This is not contempt on their part,as they believe the presence of Christ is in the heart of the believer not the bread and grape juice.

They don’t go around shouting this practice out, but neither do they conceal it.

Bill Dilworth
Guest
Bill Dilworth

“This is not contempt on their part,as they believe the presence of Christ is in the heart of the believer not the bread and grape juice.”

It’s certainly contempt for the BCP’s rubrics.