Thinking Anglicans

further reports on Sydney

The Church of England Newspaper had it on the front page. See Mixed response to Sydney communion decision by Toby Cohen. (In the paper edition, this story was headlined Sydney says deacons can now preside.)

The main report inside the paper was Sydney allows deacons to administer Communion, on a point of grammar by George Conger.

Forward in Faith has issued a rather brief and muted statement, see FiF reacts to recent news from Sydney.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
23 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
WSJM
12 years ago

What have they been smoking down in Sydney? I have always assumed that in Sydney, as in the rest of Australia, most people could speak and read English. In the service for the Ordination of a Deacon in the American BCP (1979), the Bishop addresses the ordinand: “You are to assist the bishop and priests in public worship and in the administration of God’s Word and Sacraments….” The 1928 BCP, with which I was ordained to the diaconate and in which this phrase is taken verbatim from the 1549 Ordinal, says: “It appertaineth to the Office of a Deacon…to assist… Read more »

Robert Ian williams
Robert Ian williams
12 years ago

For FIF to call the Sydney development an innovation is ironic , when one considers what innovations Anglo-Catholics brought into nineteenth century Anglicanism. However, how can Archbishop Jensen repudiate this , now he is the Secretary of GAFCON, which has Anglo-Catholics on board?

Father Ron Smith
Father Ron Smith
12 years ago

“Forward in Faith regrets the recent decision of the Synod of the diocese of Sydney with regard to lay and diaconal presidency at the Eucharist, both of which are clearly contrary to the foundational documents of Anglicanism – F.i.F. – This one statement from ‘F.i.F.’ makes abundantly clear the fact that all things in the Garden of GAFCON are far from lovely. In fact, it may be construed from this statement that most Anglicans – not only F.i.F. supporters – would find the Sydney Synod determination on this issue completely at odds with what Anglicans consider to be a basic… Read more »

Viriato da Silva
Viriato da Silva
12 years ago

WSJM, I’m no supporter of either lay presidency or Sydney’s unique flavor of Calvino-Anglicanism, but as a lawyer and linguist, I daresay they have a point, and it’s the same whether in Aussie or Yank forms of English. Here are their building blocks, at least as I understand them: Baptism and Holy Communion are equal as sacraments. With respect to Baptism, the “assist” language is held by all, without argument, to permit deacons to preside over and perform the sacrament in all respects. Given the equality of the two (dominical) sacraments, if “assist” allows a deacon to preside over and… Read more »

Viriato da Silva
Viriato da Silva
12 years ago

“It seems that Sydney may need to change its stance on this issue, unless it is prepared to go ahead and depart from its ambition to join with the other members of GAFCON who disagree. Even then, it is doubtful whether the other Australian Dioceses would allow Sydney to steam-roller this matter through the Australian Provincial Synod.” Father Ron, I wholeheartedly concur with your first sentence, but regarding the second, it is my understanding that Sydney takes the view this would not need to go to the Synod, so no need then of “steam-rollering.” Their whole point is indeed that… Read more »

kieran crichton
kieran crichton
12 years ago

Robert Ian Williams — how about a discussion on the distorting innovations the papacy introduced into Catholicism in the nineteenth century? Or perhaps we might broach the topic of the Lefevrist movement of more recent times? Perhaps you might be willing to discuss the marked lack of quality in many of JPII’s late appointments to the episcopacy? I think you’re on thin ice condemning Anglo-Catholicism in the way that you do, given that you never appear to have been particularly sympathetic to it in your previous incarnation. Sydney was regarded as a fairly broad diocese up to about the time… Read more »

MrsBarlow
MrsBarlow
12 years ago

WSJM the point Sydney is making here is solely one of revenge on the Australian church for the decision of the Appellate Tribunal in 2007 that allowed women in the episcopate. Because a 1995 General Synod canon on canonical fitness stated that a bishop needed to be a person who was a priest, the Appellate Tribunal ruled that women were qualified as the word person could refer to a woman. Sydney, having lost, is now using the principle of defining words like ‘administration’ as it wishes as an up-yours to the national church. In other words, it’s basically pathetic. The… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
12 years ago

Ron you fail to understand the nature of the Australian Anglican Constitution. Sydney Anglicans ensured that the Anglican church of Australia is a very loose fedration and each diocese autonomous. In effect Sydney is a self contained denomination within a very loose Federation.yes there is a General synod, but Sydney can ignore its strictures if it wishes and refuse to implement its canons.This was the result of the brilliant posturing of TC Hammond, a former principal of Moore Colege and for thirty years a Church of Ireland Protestant missionary to Roman Catholics. There is no Dennis Canon in Australian Anglicanism.… Read more »

Brian McKinlay
12 years ago

The role of a presbyter is in his or her eldership. It does not consist in his or her authority to ‘celebrate’ the Eucharist. The scripture does not require any presidency at or celebration of the Eucharist but, rather, that it be done decently and in order, with understanding and faith.

To allow other believers (deacon or otherwise) to break the Eucharistic bread does not deny to presbyters their role as elders, teachers and shepherds of God’s people.

Cheryl Va.
12 years ago

Maybe the light bulb will go off about why Sydney Anglicans are so opposed to women in teaching and/or leadership roles, unless there is absolutely no hope of a masculine intervention. If they are committed towards lay leadership, then that leadership must be male. The comments about the high court of Australia might need to be reviewed in light of their obstruction for several decades and now resistance that court’s acceptance of women priests, bishops and/or primates. The one thing that is clear is that they are opposed to the feminine, full-stop. I’ve been to many a Sydney sermon (non-Anglican… Read more »

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
12 years ago

“The scripture does not require any presidency at or celebration of the Eucharist but, rather, that it be done decently and in order, with understanding and faith.” And? Scripture is just one part of Holy Tradition, perhaps the most important part, but it is not, nor was it intended to be, the sole source of doctrine or praxis. This concept of “Biblical Christianity” or “Bible based Christianity” is just one of the many extreme innovations of the radical redefinition of Christianity that occurred at the Reformation. For those of us who do not accept that 500 years is sufficient time… Read more »

david malloch
david malloch
12 years ago

Cheryl, could you provide the evidence for the feminine cloud & cherubim?

Martin Reynolds
Martin Reynolds
12 years ago

Sydney has a track record on this, I mean they raise for the n’th time their intention of enlarging those able to preside at the eucharist and then – to save Anglicanism – draw back from the brink and say they are not going to officially licence anyone to DO it. Suddenly they are the saviours of Anglican polity!!

The facts are Sydney has removed ALL the barriers to lay celebration – there is nothing canonically stopping this – and in fact – lay celebration is common, a little bit like SSB’s in TEC.

BillyD
12 years ago

“The role of a presbyter is in his or her eldership. It does not consist in his or her authority to ‘celebrate’ the Eucharist. The scripture does not require any presidency at or celebration of the Eucharist but, rather, that it be done decently and in order, with understanding and faith.”

What an excellent point you would have, if Anglicanism were formed on sola Scriptura. As it happens, we are not.

Cheryl Va.
12 years ago

David The cloud of the glory of the Lord is referred to in Exodus e.g 13:21-22 “By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night.” See also 24:15-17 “…the glory of the LORD settled on Mount Sinai… the LORD called to Moses from within the cloud. To the Israelites the glory of the LORD looked like a consuming fire on top of the mountain.” The cloud was to be… Read more »

BillyD
12 years ago

David, I hope Cheryl doesn’t mind my providing a couple of references. For the cherubim, see http://www.tau.ac.il/arts/projects/PUB/assaph-art/assaph4/articles_assaph4/yaniv.pdf, which mentions the views of Maimonides and his commentators on the subject. For the cloud, I think that she may be referring to the Shekhinah, the Presence of God that was especially linked with the Temple in Jerusalem in Jewish thought. It is widely considered to be almost a feminine “side” of God in the thought of some streams of Judaism. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shekhinah for a discussion of it.

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
12 years ago

“That makes Jesus ability to stand in the cloud and be transfigured without dying quite remarkable Matthew 17, Mark 9 and Luke 9.” But, Jesus being God, it is not at all remarkable that He should be able to stand in the cloud. The Tradition sees the Transfiguration as a revelation of His Divinity, and of the Trinity: the Father speaks from the cloud, the Son is transfigured, the Spirit is revealed as the cloud. So, it isn’t all that surprising that the Second Person of the Trinity should easily withstand the cloud that is a revelation of the Third… Read more »

dodgey_vicar
dodgey_vicar
12 years ago

Jensen’s logic is very similar to Descartes’.
It is hard to unpack Cartesian logic, because of its inherent plausibility and the seemingly self-evident nature of the steps taken.
Of course animals feel, rather than give a sembalnce of feeling; and an orange is not bigger than the sun, ergo deacons may not preside at the eucharist.
How many diocesan synods could articulate the reason for cartesian logic being nonsense?

Fr Mark
Fr Mark
12 years ago

Martin Reynolds: “… lay celebration is common, a little bit like SSB’s in TEC” Or, indeed, in the CofE?

JCF
JCF
12 years ago

It never ceases to amaze me, that those who hold to Sola Scriptura, reject the views of the same Early Church elders (“The Fathers”), who gave us the Bible in the first place!

Cheryl Va.
12 years ago

Thanks BillyD and Ford. Ford Your paragraph belongs in Scriptures! The apostle Paul would make references to the Cherubim of the Ark, but then state that it was not yet time for discussion of such mysteries. e.g. Hebrews 9:5-7 “Above the ark were the cherubim of the Glory, overshadowing the atonement cover. But we cannot discuss these things in detail now. When everything had been arranged like this, the priests entered regularly into the outer room to carry on their ministry. But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood,… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Father Ron Smith
12 years ago

“The role of a presbyter is in his or her eldership. It does not consist in his or her authority to ‘celebrate’ the Eucharist” Brian McKinley. Your statement here certainly sets you apart as a Jensen-type ‘Anglican’. It also marks you out as a typical presbyterian. Your ‘theology’ of ministry does not generally hold sway with any Anglicans I have ever known or had dealings with. But then, who expected that Moore College would have any higher understanding of what the traditional charism of Holy Orders might mean for the outreach of the Gospel? The pulpit reigns in your philosophy… Read more »

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
12 years ago

“It never ceases to amaze me, that those who hold to Sola Scriptura, reject the views of the same Early Church elders (“The Fathers”), who gave us the Bible in the first place!” Isn’t it just amazing, though? I got in an interesting discussion with an Evangelical here last year, and the idea that the canon of Scripture was decided well after the fact by those processes that gave us what they deride as “the traditions of men” was anathema to him. It’s almost as willful denial of history. I honestly think they don’t accept that the first generation of… Read more »

23
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x