Sydney Anglicans going too far, says Archbishop Carey

 — Sept. 18, 200218 sept. 2002

The growing split between factions of the worldwide Anglican Communion has reached “crisis proportions” and the issue of homosexuality is tearing the church apart, the outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, has said.

In his swansong address as president of the Anglican Consultative Council, Dr Carey also took a swipe at the Sydney Diocese for its drive to allow lay people to give Holy Communion.

He told the church’s triennial international meeting in Hong Kong the issue of homosexuality was tearing the church apart.

“My concern is that our communion is being steadily undermined by dioceses and individual bishops taking unilateral action, usually – but not always – in matters to do with sexuality; and as a result steadily driving us towards serious fragmentation and the real possibility of two – or more likely many more – distinct Anglican bodies emerging,” he said.

He said this “erosion of communion” was “reaching crisis proportions.”

Read the rest of this article in The Sydney Morning Herald

Dr Carey’s unprecedented criticism was aimed squarely at the Canadian diocese of New Westminster and its bishop, Michael Ingham, who recently cleared the way for a same-sex union blessing in his diocese.

He also tackled rogue clergy within the opposite camp, who have formed the rebel Anglican Mission in America and illegally ordained their own bishops as a protest against the liberalisation of the US Episcopalian church.

But it was the ominous warning publicly issued towards Sydney, one of New Westminster’s most vocal critics, that took most by surprise.

After submitting a resolution that effectively called on dioceses to take no maverick action on matters of faith, Dr Carey told the international council that the resolution applied as much to the Sydney Diocese in its ambitions to go ahead with lay presidency – lay people conducting Holy Communion – as it did to dioceses determined to introduce same-sex blessings.

Dr Carey has previously warned Sydney against lay presidency, which received majority support at Sydney’s synod in 1999. But the then Sydney archbishop, Harry Goodhew, would not assent, defeating the move. But his successor, Peter Jensen, has openly signalled his approval of the practice.

Shortly after becoming archbishop he received a warning from Dr Carey, via the Sydney Anglican newspaper Southern Cross, that if Sydney pushed ahead with lay presidency, the diocese would be considered “out of communion” – a euphemistic phrase for expulsion. His successor, Rowan Williams, who takes over as the spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion in November, is thought to share Dr Carey’s view on Sydney.

In May, during an interview on women’s ordination which the conservative evangelical Sydney Diocese refuses to accept, Dr Jensen told Channel 7 he was unperturbed at the prospect of defying Dr Carey. Last night Dr Jensen told the Herald he was surprised by Dr Carey’s misconceived criticism.

“The ruling authority in our church is the Bible first and foremost, then beneath that the constitution of our church. The Archbishop of Canterbury has no say in the Anglican Church of Australia,” he said.

Posted: Sept. 18, 2002 • Permanent link:
Categories: NewsIn this article: Anglican Communion, Anglican Consultative Council, Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, human sexuality, lay presidency, same-sex blessing
Transmis : 18 sept. 2002 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : NewsDans cet article : Anglican Communion, Anglican Consultative Council, Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, human sexuality, lay presidency, same-sex blessing

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