Not closing ranks (letter)

Not closing ranks (letter)

Alan Gill

Nigel Zimmerman's article "Orthodox Anglicans close ranks" (July AD2000) raises valid points about the common ground between traditional (as opposed to modern) Anglo-Catholics and evangelical Anglicans of the conservative Sydney persuasion.

Journalists and others have gone further, noting a commonality (particularly on moral issues) between the two Sydney Archbishops, Peter Jensen and George Pell - men who, a couple of decades ago, would have seemed most unlikely bedfellows.

However, Mr Zimmerman overlooks certain points that need to be said. For example, the Sydney diocese's objection to women priests is based almost entirely on a theory of "headship" - that women should not be in charge of men in the congregation. If a way could be found of ordaining women so that they ministered solely as chaplains or in some similar non-parish role, the Sydney leadership would have no objection at all.

As for the celebration of Eucharistic services, believing that a suitably qualified lay person, male or female, may perform this role, before the end of this year it is more than likely that the Sydney Diocese and its Archbishop will approve a measure for "lay presidency", thus setting Sydney at odds with virtually the entire international Anglican body.

ALAN GILL
Drummoyne, NSW

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