Thinking Anglicans

GAFCON and Sydney

Here’s even more criticism of what the Diocese of Sydney has recently said.

Over at Fulcrum Graham Kings has written:

The Diocese of Sydney, in allowing deacons, and (also in principle) lay people, to preside at Holy Communion, are breaking point 7 of the Jerusalem Declaration, which specifically upholds the ‘classic Anglican Ordinal’. This particular point needs noting.

7. We recognise that God has called and gifted bishops, priests and deacons in historic succession to equip all the people of God for their ministry in the world. We uphold the classic Anglican Ordinal as an authoritative standard of clerical orders.

The secretariat of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans is based in the Diocesan Offices of the Diocese of Sydney. The Honorary Secretary of the FCA is the Archbishop of Sydney. It would be good to hear an explanation of this contradiction…

Then at the Prayer Book Society of the USA Peter Toon has written GAFCON & the Bishops & Diocese of Sydney! An excerpt:

My earnest suggestion to the leadership of GAFCON is this:

After appropriate warning, the Council of Primates of GAFCON should expel the Bishops and Diocese of Sydney immediately: by this action GAFCON will maintain its committed to the biblical, classic Anglican Way and will show that it does take discipline (a mark of the true church) seriously.

If GAFCON does nothing and allows the Diocese of Sydney, with its innovatory doctrine, and pride in that innovation, to remain as a full member, then GAFCON will become, and will be seen by thousands, as merely and only an international, Evangelical Anglican Group — with no serious claims to a serious catholic ecclesiology and historic Ministry, and no real opportunity or intention to set a godly example to the whole Anglican Communion of Churches.

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Father Ron Smith
Father Ron Smith
12 years ago

“If GAFCON does nothing and allows the Diocese of Sydney, with its innovatory doctrine, and pride in that innovation, to remain as a full member, then GAFCON will become, and will be seen by thousands, as merely and only an international, Evangelical Anglican Group – with no serious claims to a serious catholic ecclesiology and historic Ministry, and no real opportunity or intention to set a godly example to the whole Anglican Communion of Churches.” – Prayer book Society. This statement, by Peter Toon, the Chair of the Prayer Book Society of the USA, is indicative of the resistance of… Read more »

kieran crichton
kieran crichton
12 years ago

This is a complete hoot! Could anyone have foreseen that Sydney would be the straw to break the donkey’s back in this alliance of traditional antagonists? I think Toon has a point — why not expel Sydney? It’d be funny to see how FOCA and GAFCON derive their continued funding with Sydney out of the picture, even if the IRD really is wound up in it somewhere. But it’s Toon’s comments that are the most amusing: asking for the impossible, just like a good socially conservative Anglo-Catholic. Reminds me of why I always think of him as a bit of… Read more »

Robert Ian williams
Robert Ian williams
12 years ago

Please note that the quotation from the GAFCON Declaration does not deny any other form of ministry..it merely recognises the historic nature of the three fold ministry. There is no mention of Apostolic succession..a doctrine alien to historic Anglicanism. Furthermore GAFCON has the Church of England in South Africa on board and have lay presidency. Six months on and there is no list of GAFCON signatories and that is deliberate policy. How can the pipers expell the one who is paying them to pipe his tune? Anyway in all fairness to Sydney , they have turned a blind eye to… Read more »

cryptogram
cryptogram
12 years ago

Dr Toon is hardly an anglo-catholic. He comes from that wing of the CofE which might be most sympathetic to Sydney, and taught for 6 years at Oak Hill, nowadays virtually a satellite of Moore College, Sydney.

Frankly, that someone of his outlook and background should be so critical of Sydney should seriously put the wind up the Jensens and their cronies.

Father Ron Smith
Father Ron Smith
12 years ago

Robert I. Williams, How on earth could you say “There is no mention of Apostolic succession..a doctrine alien to historic Anglicanism.” This betrays, once again, your Roman Catholic misunderstanding of the historic foundations of the Church of England. Apart from the Papal claim to inerrancy (which is questionable, to say the least) you have no evidence to say that the Church of England and its Communion partners are totally disconnected from the notion of apostolic succession in its ministry. It may be that in your former association with Anglicanism – in its more protestant form – you were ignorant of… Read more »

Frozenchristian
Frozenchristian
12 years ago

Pleasec remember Peter Toon is not an Anglo-Catholic. He is a very conservative evangelical, clearly in the Reform camp. He used to teach at Oak Hill!

kieran crichton
kieran crichton
12 years ago

“Anyway in all fairness to Sydney , they have turned a blind eye to violations of the 39 articles by Bishop Iker and other Anglo-Catholic Gafconites.” …and let’s not forget the flagrant disregard Sydney has for the golden 39. The irony is that they wouldn’t want to be bound by the Articles or the 1662 BCP if they really had to live them to the letter on a day-to-day basis. Methinks the daily offices might test those wanna-be free church folk: could be a touch too liturgical for them. It could finally cure them of this bizarre insistence on the… Read more »

Pluralist
12 years ago

I don’t think it will put an end to GAFCON. GAFCON will use whatever fellow travellers it finds coming to it at the time. The Forward in Faith bunch will want to see if GAFCON can and does set up its own bishops and male only hierarchy, and they would want to jump on the bandwagon. But if they cannot, they are just as easily disposed, and Sydney will be a part of GAFCON. GAFCON is an organisation that fronts basically an extreme literalist pseudo-Anglicanism, with right wing political (demonstrated) as well as religious aims. For those behind GAFCON, bishops… Read more »

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
12 years ago

“Who would have thought it would come so quickly, much less this easily?” Well, everyone knew it was inevitable. You can’t be broad and narrow at the same time, after all, and if their argument with the parent body is about purity of doctrine, it was only a matter of time before their wide differences concerning that doctrine would come to the fore. Their union was built on fear of change. They only focussed on current changes, ignoring, or unaware of, the fact that both the Anglocatholic and Evangelical factions each consider the other to be practicing unacceptable changes to… Read more »

WSJM
12 years ago

Various folks have noted that Peter Toon is not an Anglo-Catholic, and that he taught at Oak Hill. Well, he also taught at Nashotah House, too. When I graduated from Nashotah (back in 1966), it was an Anglo-Catholic seminary — I can’t figure out what it is now. They’re smoking something, and it ain’t just incense….

WSJM
12 years ago

An addendum to Fr Ron Smith’s response to Robert I. Williams’ statement, “…Apostolic succession, a doctrine alien to historic Anglicanism.”

“It is evident unto all men, diligently reading holy scripture, and ancient authorities, that from the Apostles’ time, there hath been these orders of Ministers in Christ’s Church, Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, which Offices were evermore had in such reverent estimation, that no man by his own private authority, might presume to execute any of them,” etc. etc. (The Preface to the Ordinal, 1549.)

Umm…is there something about that which isn’t clear? (The original spelling was archaic, but hardly obscure.)

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
12 years ago

Fact: Peter Toon is President of the American Prayer Book Society , was a lecturer at Nashotah House and he has shifted in his once unequivocal evangelicalism. He certainly wouldn’t be happy with Reform. Fact: Violating Catholic order accusation by Ron Smith…thats how Sydney felt when your province voted for women priests! Non of the Anglican fathers believed in the esse of episcopacy, ( see the Church of England and Episcopacy, by Canon Mason ) and all recognised the orders of the Continental non-episcopal Churches. That is why the French Reformed Church has a church in the very crypt of… Read more »

drdanfee
drdanfee
12 years ago

Ah how the Jordan rolls. GAFCON now faces, has faced, and will surely face… First wave is the unanswered question of whether GAFCON devotions to policing and punishment have any use at all internally. Though we must all recall how useful policing and punishment are constantly claimed to be externally, especially right now aimed most often at Canada and/or TEC. With some test rumblings in CoE? If fully loaded magazines in the latest presuppositional doctrine weapons (wielded expertly in the sure hands of Realignment Marines striking hard blows against the enemy) are the surest sign of our properly Realigned God… Read more »

Reid Hamilton
Reid Hamilton
12 years ago

Or, perhaps, homophobia really IS the unifying theme.

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
12 years ago

Note on preface..this does not exclude the validity of non episcopal ministry…read it carefully. Neither do the articles of religion affirm Apostolic succesion in their definition of what constitutes a true Church. The Church of England always recognised orders of non episcopal continental and Scottish protestant clergy. When episcopacy re-introduced to Scotland in 1610…no ministers in Presbyterian orders were re-ordained and the new bishops were not previously ordained either deacons or presbyters. On the Channel islands part of the Diocese of Winchester there were no episcopally ordained clergy until the 1630s and on Guernsey , only after 1662. On the… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Father Ron Smith
12 years ago

Robert Ian Williams, Just settle down for a moment, Having borrowed from your nearest theological library a copy of the life of Richard Hooker (whose memorial we in the Anglican Church celebrate today – 4 November) and get someone to read to you what this eminent Anglican Scholar says about the Elizabethan Settlement, and other matters of polity within the Church of England of his day. – (N.B. You probably won’t find a copy of any book about Richard Hooker in your local R.C. library (except perhaps in the list of ‘banned books’)because it would be too threatenting to anyone… Read more »

BillyD
12 years ago

“In the crypyt of Canterbury Cathedral, Non-episcopal clergy have ministerd to their flock since 1584. At one time the congregation numbered 2,000!”

And? For part of the 20th century, in the crypt of the Washington National Cathedral, a congregation of Jews held regular services. Letting other religious groups use your space proves nothing.

kieran crichton
kieran crichton
12 years ago

A number of posters here have taken issue with my labelling Dr Toon as an Anglo-Catholic. In his associations with Melbourne, he has been connected up mostly with traditionalist Anglo-Catholics, which led me to conclude that he is among their number in his home manifestation. RIW — it is axiomatic to the life of institutions that when you search for precedents, you will find that there is precedent for just about any eventuality you care to imagine. Since you seem particularly informed on this point, could you tell us more about the examples you provided above? In the case of… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
12 years ago

I must repectfully disagree with Ron..Hooker in his Ecclesiastcal Polity, Book seven , chapter 14 teaches that ordination is not restricted to bishops.

He also states, ” that the most blessed body of Christ is not be found in the sacarment of the lords supper but in the worthy receiver. “

May I reccomend the brilliant book of Nigel Atkinson on the life of Hooker. Doctor Atkinson is the Incumbent of Knutsford and a member of Reform.

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
12 years ago

I would not describe Nigel Atkinson’s book on Hooker as brilliant.It was helpful in providing a less hagiographical “via media ” slant which had not paid enough attention to the reformed context. The best account of Hooker’s position on the theology of grace is surely now, Nigel Voak’s Richard Hooker and Reformed Theology , Oxford 2003 which sees H as more innovative.Hooker’s remarks re the eucharistic gift also need to be put in the context of his irenic intention to transcend the polemical polarities of the eucharistic disputes begun at Marburg.An accessible introduction to Anglican eucharistic theology can be found… Read more »

PeterK
PeterK
12 years ago
Bosco Peters
12 years ago

I have just posted a summary and my reflections on Sydney’s anti-catholic tendencies at:
http://www.liturgy.co.nz/blog/sydney/167

Ford elms
Ford elms
12 years ago

Bosco Peters, the final quote is particularly amusing, and bang on the money. This is not about doctrine, or catholicity, or faith or anything so high falutin’. It is not even about gays or women, for that matter, it is about fear of change wrapped up in piety. On an even deeper level, it is about being opposed to anything your opponents support, until that rabid “anti-them” attitude leads you to inadvertently support something your opponents said long enough ago that it has fallen off the radar of Evil Hell Bound Doctrines. How embarrassing for Jensen! Has any one else… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
12 years ago

lets not be beastly to the Sydneysiders…. Non of the early Anglican divines taught the absolute necessity of episcopacy…read Hooker, Laud , Juxon etc. Show me one quote where they say that it is absolutely necessary for a valid ministry. As for Bosco’s piece he claims that the chasuble was worn in the Church of England from the 1559 Elizabethan settlement. It was most certainly not, and was only revived in the mid nineteenth century, and finally legalised in 1964! He could not show one example of a seventeenth or eighteenth century Anglican chasuble. Imagine if there had been ..they… Read more »

PeterK
PeterK
12 years ago

A quotation from the article of the Revd Bosco Peters, regarding the chasuble. (Robert Ian Williams, pay attention please! You wrote the opposite.) “Sydney is well-known for anti-catholic measures. Priests there are forbidden from wearing a chasuble at the eucharist. Whilst vociferously quoting from the Book of Common Prayer (BCP) when it fits with its particular style of Calvinist Gnosticism, the Sydney diocese picks and chooses when to apply it. It does not merely breach the BCP’s requirement of a chasuble at the eucharist, but forbids its clergy from following that requirement! The Book of Common Prayer has, since 1559,… Read more »

PeterK
PeterK
12 years ago

Robert Ian Williams, you were faster than me in replying.

Bosco Peters
12 years ago

Thanks PeterK for underscoring what I actually wrote in your response to Robert Ian Williams’ patronising ad hominem rejoinder and misquotation. Incidentally, an Australian priest, Fr Stephen Clark, independently makes a similar point to mine: “There may be a point forgotten here; that ‘lay administration’ as proposed by the Jensens may not just be about freeing up deacons or empowering lay people…but may indeed be a an attack on Katholick order with a capital K. I think it is difficult for those outside Australia to appreciate just how anti-catholic the Diocese of Sydney is. Its flagship organization the Anglican Church… Read more »

Malcolm+
12 years ago

RIW, the chasuble only became illegal with the passage of the odious Public Worship Regulation Act in 1874.

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
12 years ago

Back to Chasubles..

The chasuble was not worn in any Anglican Church from 1559, until the mid nineteenth century. The chasuble and the eastward position became the hall mark of the ritualists..and this was why Oscar Wilde called the clergyman in his play, “The Importance of Being Earnest.”Canon Chasuble.”The Victorian audiences would have realised the significance.

The puritans objected not to the chasuble (as this was not required ) but the surplice…read any book of history about the period.

Please read Doctor Nigel Yates, whose work, Ritualism in Victorian Anglican Britain (OUP,2000)is the definitive work.

PeterK
PeterK
12 years ago

RIW wrote:”The chasuble was not worn in any Anglican Church from 1559, until the mid nineteenth century.”

But this does not mean that it was illegal to wear it.

Simon Sarmiento
12 years ago

I think that’s quite enough for now about chasubles in Sydney. Please, let’s focus on the original issue.

Father Ron Smith
Father Ron Smith
12 years ago

With reference to the relationship between GAFCON and the Sydney Diocese; one wonders what will now happen to this relationship now that the local Pittsburg membership of GAFCON has issued its statement about newly-installed re-Asserter Bishop Duncan’s intended severance from the leadership of Canterbury – in his intention to form his own Provincial Church within the USA and Canada? Now we know that former Bishop Bob Duncan’s interview with the ABC did not turn out to provide offical acknowledgement of his ambition to form a breakaway Province of the Anglican Communion in the USA and Canada. This seems now to… Read more »

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