Regular readers of the English Churchman will remember a story in the last edition (EC8085) about how that GAFCON Australia is setting up a new diocesan structure for those Anglican clergy and parishes which feel they have to leave the Anglican Church of Australia.
Now, according to press reports from Australia, the Archbishop of Melbourne and former Primate Philip Freier, has publicly objected.
In an ad Clerum to his diocese, he wrote, “I agree with the Primate’s view that there is no need for this “new church entity” – Anglican doctrine has not been changed by the recent Appellate Tribunal opinion or the effect of the Diocese of Wangaratta’s application of the national churches “Canon Concerning Services”. Undoubtedly, the proponents of this initiative think differently for the reasons they describe”.
David Ould who writes at www.davidould.net, opined:
“Perhaps more controversially, and egregiously, Freier also makes what will be read by many as a thinly-veiled accusation:
‘As a closing comment, I want to express my concern that some, especially survivors of child sexual abuse, may see this initiative as an attempt to shed redress responsibilities or to leave them entirely in the Anglican Church of Australia without carrying any of that liability and responsibility to the new entity. It would be valuable if the new entity resolved, early on, to fund redress in the diocese where any “former Anglican Church of Australia Churches” previously operated or where former Anglican Church of Australia clergy have served’.
“The imputation that Gafcon is seeking to “shed redress responsibilities” is one that may receive a strong response in the coming days. Freier presents no evidence for his “concern” but makes the claim anyway.
“Like the Primate before him, Archbishop Freier’s letter contains not a single criticism of those in his own diocese and across the Anglican Church of Australia who so persistently oppose the doctrine of the church and the teaching of Christ on matters of human sexuality and other areas”.