Thursday, 12 August 2010

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

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 12 August 2010 at 8:52pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Anglican Communion
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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.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Friday, 13 August 2010 at 8:19am BST

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"

Posted by: Derek Pratt on Friday, 13 August 2010 at 9:20am BST

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, who still seem to want to preserve the essentials of catholic order within their several jurisdictions.

This recent Order against Diaconal or Lay Presidency at the Eucharist within the Australian Province, will no doubt help the Archbishop of Sydney to retain his position as a leading figure within the anti-gay and anti-women Provinces of the Communion which presently add their support to the dissident would-be extra-Provincial ACNA Church in North America. Whether he will like that or not will be seen in his next move within the GAFCON community. In the meantime, Australia is secured against his plan for Lay Presidency.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Friday, 13 August 2010 at 10:44am BST

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.

Posted by: Bill Dilworth on Friday, 13 August 2010 at 1:10pm BST

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 the significance of the Eucharist as needing the services of a properly-consecrated priest to 'preside' at the ceremony.

Even the Archbishop of Sydney is known to have 'celebrated' the Sacrament of The Eucharist in collar and tie (the garb in which he commonly addresses his Diocesan Synod) in preference to any of the traditional priestly garments; so that his theology of the Sacrament could be thought to be somewhat lacking in catholic understanding.

This is why, as Robert I. Williams has here suggested, the Diocese of Sydney acts as though divorced from the Anglican Church in Australia.
(Though why Robert continues to worry about, and bombard us with, his constant concern for things Anglican - while yet a R.C. convert - one truly wonders.)

As most of us would be aware, many Churches - including R.I.W's Roman Catholic Church - do allow licenced Lay-People, as well as Religious, and Permanant Deacons to 'administer' the already consecrated Elements of the Eucharist - either at the Celebration itself, or at a suitably authorised distribution of the Sacarament.

More and more, it is Women Religioius in the Roman Tradition who are given the task of conducting 'para-liturgies', where the Sacrament is not 'celebrated' in the formal sense - because of the absence of a priest - but distributed by the Officiant in a properly licensed service.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Friday, 13 August 2010 at 1:30pm BST

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.

Posted by: Rod Gillis on Friday, 13 August 2010 at 2:24pm BST

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 if there were only monthly or quarterly celebrations of the Holy Eucharist. (The American Prayer Book of 1789 also made provision for celebrations of the Holy Communion for the sick or dying, but, of course, this was not always convenient).

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

Posted by: Kurt on Friday, 13 August 2010 at 2:53pm BST

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

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Friday, 13 August 2010 at 3:23pm BST

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 England until 1964.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Friday, 13 August 2010 at 4:05pm BST

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.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Friday, 13 August 2010 at 4:56pm BST

"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.

Posted by: Bill Dilworth on Friday, 13 August 2010 at 7:26pm BST

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.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Friday, 13 August 2010 at 7:27pm BST

"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.

Posted by: Bill Dilworth on Saturday, 14 August 2010 at 12:42am BST

"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

Posted by: JCF on Saturday, 14 August 2010 at 4:03am BST

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 will make it difficult for any member of the Church who acts contrary to them, or authorises others to act contrary to them, to argue that such conduct is inadvertent.

Posted by: John Davis on Saturday, 14 August 2010 at 4:40am BST

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?

Posted by: Malcolm+ on Saturday, 14 August 2010 at 7:34am BST

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 and outside the churches and philosophies. No priests or theology control where, when, why, how, with whom God moves.

Posted by: Cheryl Va. on Saturday, 14 August 2010 at 12:09pm BST

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 priesthood, and to excise the broadly catholic character of the Anglican communion. As with much of what Calvin and Zwingli were all about, it consists in destruction of traditions for the sake of destruction. Religious nihilism, in other words.

No doubt there are some well meaning advocates of lay presidency, I know some such myself, but they are the objective allies of the ultra Calvinists.

Posted by: Hector on Saturday, 14 August 2010 at 1:47pm BST

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.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Saturday, 14 August 2010 at 2:21pm BST

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.

Posted by: Malcolm+ on Sunday, 15 August 2010 at 5:29am BST

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 Talbot exercised episcopal Offices in America, though privately, for fear of the authorities. Bishop Welton resided in Philadelphia, and Bishop Talbot, at Burlington, N. J. They are both known to have worn copes and miters in their Offices. Of course, their ministrations were all considered uncanonical, inasmuch as these bishops acted, not as Suffragans to the Bishop of London, but rather in contravention of the authority of the Diocesan.

Now, RIW erroneously claims that chasubles were not worn from the Reformation to the Catholic Revival. They were worn in the Chapel Royals during the time of Elizabeth I. They were also worn in some High Church parishes up until the English Civil War, when they were confiscated by the Puritans. (Really, Robert, a little checking at Project Canterbury would demonstrate these facts!). It’s quite possible that Bishop Seabury re-introduced the chasuble into the American Church c. 1785, but considered it “a bridge too far” at the time, and abandoned the practice. By the 1850s it was beginning to come into more general use here in America.

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

Posted by: Kurt on Monday, 16 August 2010 at 2:19pm BST

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 think it was more about copes than the reintroduction of chasubles. I do think that had to wait until some ritualistic heirs of the Tractarians.

Posted by: Perry Butler on Monday, 16 August 2010 at 7:24pm BST

@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.

Posted by: Bill Dilworth on Monday, 16 August 2010 at 10:20pm BST

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 case today!

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Tuesday, 17 August 2010 at 6:39am BST

"...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.

Posted by: PeterK on Tuesday, 17 August 2010 at 12:34pm BST

"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.

Posted by: Bill Dilworth on Tuesday, 17 August 2010 at 1:19pm BST

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 17c. Of course Laud and co were not theologically speaking Anglo-catholics in the Tractarian, still less their ritualist successors ( I am Chair of the Anglo-Catholic History Society...see our publications:: plug!!! )But I think John Cosin's description of himself as "Protestant and reformed, according to the Ancient Catholic Church" captures the vision of the 17th c High Churchmen.Anglicanism mutated again with the Tractarians...no church tradition is static.
The point surely is that none of the magisterial reformers saw themselves as leaving the catholic church...they saw themselves as reforming it. The question today is by what criterion of catholicity do RCs claim that they alone are catholic.

Posted by: Perry Butler on Tuesday, 17 August 2010 at 1:42pm BST

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 many parishes in the diocese have managed to stand out against this?

Posted by: Perry Butler on Tuesday, 17 August 2010 at 3:01pm BST

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

Posted by: Kurt on Tuesday, 17 August 2010 at 3:01pm BST

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

{sarcasm/Off}

Posted by: JCF on Tuesday, 17 August 2010 at 6:21pm BST

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.

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 18 August 2010 at 8:23am BST

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 why the bullying of Sydney?

Sydney make no secret of the fact they use non alcoholic fruit juice 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.

Why can't you accept Sydney for what they are, the Protestant conscience of Anglicanism?


Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Wednesday, 18 August 2010 at 10:51am BST

“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 St James King Street (1822) and Christ Church St. Laurence (1845)--are among the Sydney Diocese’s largest and most rapidly growing parishes. Mostly, the “dissidents” try to keep their heads down, and avoid becoming conspicuous.

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

Posted by: Kurt on Wednesday, 18 August 2010 at 3:01pm BST

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

Posted by: Perry Butler on Wednesday, 18 August 2010 at 6:26pm BST

"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 practice and I could point to many churches in the Church of England which do so."

Can you document this with something other than an appeal to your own experience?

Posted by: Bill Dilworth on Wednesday, 18 August 2010 at 7:51pm BST

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 crickets]

I'll take that as a "no," then, shall I?

Posted by: Bill Dilworth on Sunday, 22 August 2010 at 12:08am BST

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 of the 1662 BCP; that is, it's not the policy of the CofE, or the Anglican Church of Australia, or an example of Anglican practice in general.

B. I wonder that the CofE doesn't try to enforce its own rules on the matter. I understand why Sydney gets away with the desecration, if it occurs there: the pitifully weak structure of the ACA.

C. You say that Sydney "makes no secret" that they throw away the consecrated Bread and Wine. How? Do they actually publicize this, and can you point me towards it?

Posted by: Bill Dilworth on Sunday, 22 August 2010 at 1:59pm BST

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.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Wednesday, 25 August 2010 at 7:33am BST

"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.

Posted by: Bill Dilworth on Wednesday, 25 August 2010 at 11:35pm BST
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