Thinking Anglicans

Melbourne election: archbishop elected

The candidates were announced earlier.

The Right Reverend Dr Philip Freier has been elected by an overwhelming majority as the new Anglican Archbishop of Melbourne.

Diocesan press release, and ACNS copy of it.

Three newspaper reports in the Melbourne Age from Barney Zwartz:
Church pursues quest for leader
NT bishop favoured as Anglican leader
City’s Anglican bishop named

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kieran crichtonDave WilliamsRod McInnesRod McInnesCheryl Clough Recent comment authors
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kieran crichton
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kieran crichton

Barney Zwartz has included the most intruiging non-sequitur at the end of the last article: what on earth does Peter Jensen really have to do with electing an Archbishop in Melbourne? More to the point, why does his opinion in this one matter sufficiently to be quoted? On this basis, I want to know what that other Sydney-sider, John Howard, has to say on the matter. He seems quite prepared to put his two pennies in anywhere else…

Rod McInnes
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Rod McInnes

Always look carefully at what Peter Jensen says. In this case he said, “… the diocese (has) made a significant contribution to the unity of the Anglican church in Australia.” Which being interpreted means, “This bloke’s no threat. He won’t rock the boat: after all he’s a ‘team player’. Business as usual in Aus.” Those of us who keep looking and hoping for a glimmer of light in the Anglican church down under will just have to keep looking. Another opportunity to bring in some new blood with a different perspective has been lost. They let David Beetge get away.

Cheryl Clough
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There has been some excellent work done with Australian Aboriginals in recent years. Some Christians have been doing wonderful working helping the people marry their Dreamtime stories to biblical stories (finding the common messages in the different histories). It is this kind of theology that is also required between denominations and faiths if we are to bring about God’s vision of reconciliation between all the peoples of all the nations. (Which is different to an autocratic, “We’ve got the only interpretation that’s valid so the rest of you can throw out all your hard-learned wisdom and take up ours. Stuff… Read more »

Rod McInnes
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Rod McInnes

That would be great, Cheryl. Unfortunately I’ve been out of the loop for a while, so I don’t know anything about the new Archbishop. I had another thought about Peter Jensen’s comment, though. I suspect he intended to convey that this appointment means that moves for the ordination of women to the episcopate in Australia are now indefinitely on hold.

Dave Williams
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Dave Williams

It would be highly unusual if Archbishop Jensen didn’t comment on the election of an other Archbishop -his next door neighbour. Very unusual too if he hadn’t been quoted. When the new Archbishop of York was chosen it was natural for peopel to seek quotes from the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Rod McInnes
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Rod McInnes

That’s true, Dave. The new Archbishop also has another Archbishop (of Adelaide) as a next door neighbour, and two more metropolitans (of Brisbane and Perth) in other parts of the Anglican Church of Australia. The Primate at present is the Archbishop of Brisbane. None of these were asked for comment, at least none has been reported as far as I know. Peter Jensen is always good for a quote for the press, and many reporters like to give him a try to see if they can get some nicely controversial observation from him. At the week-end the local paper printed… Read more »

Dave Williams
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Dave Williams

Rod, The blessings and curses of being an Anglican Archbishop I guess. Sounds like they didn’t get what they wanted then. I am often suspicious that there are two very different debates going on. The one in the media with out of context ramped up quotable quotes and the real dialogue between people of different views. I just finished reading Jensen’s “The Revelation of God” and you wouldn’t think he was the same man as described by some. Of course he has strong opinions but there is a generosity and conversation that you would be surprised to see there.

kieran crichton
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kieran crichton

Rod – here is the article you referred to. It’s a fairly well-rounded profile, for what it’s worth. Zwartz is fairly well informed about the complexities of Melbourne Anglicanism. http://www.theage.com.au/news/in-depth/smiling-bishop-set-for-the-job/2006/08/25/1156012738188.html I’m still not convinced that the Jensen quote in the earlier article was fully justified. Given that there’s a widespread suspicion of Sydney everywhere outside it (try talking to any current Newcastle clergy), his appearance in that article seems incongruous, if not inflammatory (whether intentionally or otherwise). I still say it was a non-sequitur; if he really DID need a view from Sydney, Zwartz might just as well have sought… Read more »