There is a rather interesting website with lots of information (and news) on the Anglican Catholic Church (TAC) in Australia here.
I’ve often given it a look, but share it now also.
There is a rather interesting website with lots of information (and news) on the Anglican Catholic Church (TAC) in Australia here.
I’ve often given it a look, but share it now also.
Well of course – it has to be – in Virtue Online:
A confidential draft report obtained by the Newcastle Herald reveals the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle could make nine of its 15 Newcastle and Newcastle West churches “redundant” as part of a future growth strategy.
Problems detailed in the report include falling congregation numbers, maintenance problems, lack of financial contributions, no on-site parking, fire risk issues and disconnect with community.
Four of the churches being considered for sale are heritage listed.
The report, put together by consultants NBRS+Partners, has created a storm among parishioners who have labelled it a “disgraceful cash grab”.
Many fear the recommendations will be pushed through before the appointment of a new bishop following the retirement of Dr Brian Farran as Bishop of Newcastle earlier this month.
Administrator of the Diocese, Bishop Peter Stuart, said yesterday he was “disappointed” that the confidential document had been leaked to the Herald.
Bishop Stuart said the review began months ago with full knowledge Dr Farran would be retiring.
“It [the report] does not represent the views of the Diocese but contains preliminary data which will be the subject of consultation in parishes beginning in January,” he said.
“A report on the review will be presented to the Diocesan Council sometime in 2013. At that time the council will consider what action to take.”
The Churches are pictured here. Now, if all the ACCA – TAC’s money wasn’t blown, (we won’t say on what and by who!), we could have actually done something worthwhile, like buy one or two of these buildings…
So I have no idea on whose behalf Archbishop John Hepworth was presuming to speak when he made those insane comments regarding Peter Slipper last week. Further, good people, do meet Fr Michael Pope, who is the official leader of the Anglican Catholic Church (TAC) Australia:
THE church which ordained former Speaker Peter Slipper as a priest has washed its hands of the problem-plagued MP.
Father Michael Pope, leader of the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia (ACCA), said the “disgraceful” politician was “absolutely not” welcome despite claims to the contrary from a former archbishop.
“He is not a priest in good standing in our church,” Fr Pope said.
“I certainly don’t want him back and I don’t know anyone who does.”
The Acting Vicar-General said Mr Slipper, now an Independent MP in the seat of Fisher, had never had a licence to practise as a parish priest.
“When it comes to the ordinance of priests, the person still remains a priest even when he has in fact been stripped of his ability to practise,” he said.
“He’s never been a parish priest, he will never be a parish priest and he certainly will never be accepted back into the ACCA.”
Mr Slipper, 62, has been accused of sexually harassing his former media adviser James Ashby. He denies the accusations.
Father Pope, based at Mount Russell in northwest NSW, said he was “aghast” at the “despicable” text messages about female genitalia, sent to Mr Ashby, which were revealed in court proceedings.
“To talk that way about women is a ghastly thing to do – it’s insufferable,” he said.
The ACCA, which is an independent church within the international Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC), has about 400 members across the country.
Former archbishop John Hepworth, who ordained Mr Slipper a priest and appointed him chancellor, resigned from the church in August.
Bishop Hepworth, Mr Slipper’s long-time friend and religious mentor, is being investigated over alleged financial irregularities within the ACCA but has denied any wrongdoing.
Fr Pope said Mr Slipper’s ordination as a priest in 2008 had made a “mockery” of the church.
“It’s nonsense. It’s a wicked use of the sacrament,” he said. “People were aghast to know he had been ordained. There was no consultation (with the people and the clergy).”
But Bishop Hepworth previously told The Courier-Mail that he “oversaw Peter in an intensive theological reading time for several years”.
Meanwhile a church member said he believed Mr Slipper’s ordination had been strategic and viewed as “a good thing” as the MP was perceived to be “on the way up”.
Mr Slipper was yesterday unreachable.
Thank you for this moment of clarity (and sanity) Fr Pope! Our prayers will certainly be with you down there…
HT: Sandra McColl
An ACCA Ad Clerum written by the Chancellor, Sandra McColl, has kindly been passed on to me. I share it as a news item:
You can read it in pdf. here.
Yesterday I wrote on the unhappy direction this blog was taking. You see, we have a certain responsibility to conduct ourselves as is becoming Christians (and not to mention Priestly conduct for those who are in Holy Orders). Blogs get a bad name because people can go around in anonymity saying what they will and bash whoever they want, without having to reveal themselves. This medium easily lends itself to slander, maliciousness and the ability to air ones dirty laundry for the whole world to see. That’s not transparency, its underhanded cowardice.
I also said yesterday that I wanted to steer the blog clear of such degenerative activities and those individuals perpetuating them. But at the same time I don’t want to sit by idly while this kind of behaviour goes by unchecked. I can but advocate Christian conduct (and yes, I suppose, even enforce it if I must) on this blog, but I obviously cannot do that on others. What I can do is but exhort and ask for Christian conduct, representative of the One we profess to follow.
That said, there is a new post over at Foolishness to the world: SMM2 on the state of play in Australia.
Reading it, one will quickly realise that the ‘information’ supplied is written a (clearly) disgruntled serving Anglican Catholic Church of Australia (ACCA) Priest who is bemoaning ‘the state of play’ down there.
Now there is nothing wrong with being pro - Archbishop Hepworth (or any other person for that matter). We all get to freely choose our associations and company. But what you don’t get to do is bypass due judicial process. Charges have been levelled against the former Primate. He has every right to a defence and the presumption of innocence until otherwise proven. The TAC’s College of Bishops has been at pains to point this out, and furthermore allow the Archbishop to make due representation. I have followed the case from my own blog and the general media for some time now, and when things publically began to come loose, I vociferously appealed for Archbishop Hepworth to be reconciled with his brother Bishops. He never did, but instead elected to blunder on militantly in the secular Australian media. He is, by all accounts (and this is my own private and inconsequential opinion), still defiant. To what end? Is it not proper to sit down and talk? Again: be reconciled… ‘be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous’ (1 Peter 3:8).
So how does one, disillusioned, anonymous rant thrown out in the blogosphere help the situation? How? How does one Priest get to be a ‘Silent Majority Member’? And how can you, as a Priest, call your own Church - one that has given you your vocation - ‘a spent force’? There is nothing constructive in what he (the anonymous Priest) writes, it’s just negativity and wild, unbased accusations. Mercifully, the blog owner has ‘snip[ed]’ of it.
Now I have had deep respect for Deborah Gyapong’s constructive, peaceable and sagacious journalistic blogging up until this point. But this (her latest post) is highly disappointing and - if I may be frank - somewhat unbecoming. I have honestly come to expect more from her and never thought that her blogging or journalism would be reduced to tablotic levels. While she manages to recover and gathers herself towards the end of the post, the entire posting amounts to nothing more than an unhelpful speculative exercise, one that sows unsubstantiated paranoia and wild conjecture which will help no one, least of all the hurting (and recovering) faithful souls Down Under.
… Mr Slipper wrote to the Registry of Members Interests, clarifying an earlier letter, saying he resigned as chancellor of the Traditional Anglican Communion as a result of “changes in the church”.
Stood-aside Speaker Peter Slipper has resigned from his role as chancellor of the Traditional Anglican Communion in the wake of allegations he sexually harassed a male adviser and misused taxpayer funds.
In a letter to parliament’s Registry of Members’ Interests, dated August 8, Mr Slipper, who is an ordained priest, writes that he has stepped down from the role.
“I advise that I have resigned as chancellor of the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia (Traditional Anglican Communion),” Mr Slipper wrote. “Would you please acknowledge receipt in due course.”
Mr Slipper’s move follows a request in April by the Australian leader of the Traditional Anglican Communion, John Hepworth, for him to stand aside while the allegations made by staffer James Ashby were investigated.
As chancellor of the breakaway TAC, Mr Slipper, who has denied all the claims made against him, is the chief legal adviser to Archbishop Hepworth.
“It is right for anyone accused of serious misconduct in public life, whether in church life or political life, to stand aside until the processes of justice reach a conclusion,” Archbishop Hepworth said on April 22.
“Ministers of the crown and cardinals of the church have followed this sound principle in recent years in Australia; otherwise, the integrity of our core institutions is eroded, and our expectations of public morality further decay.”
Last year, Mr Slipper backed the move by the TAC to join the Catholic Church.
Deputy Speaker Anna Burke yesterday presided over the first day of parliament in the spring session, with Mr Slipper still stood-aside pending the outcome of an Australian Federal Police investigation and the sexual harassment claims in the Federal Court.
The AFP last month completed its formal criminal investigation into allegations the Sunshine Coast MP and Liberal National Party defector misused Cabcharge dockets and handed it over to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions for assessment.
The CDPP is yet to make a decision on whether to proceed with the case.
Gillard government ministers have been criticised by the Coalition for prejudging Mr Ashby’s claims that Mr Slipper sexually harassed him, by publicly outlining key planks of the commonwealth’s defence before they have been heard in the Federal Court.
The commonwealth’s defence was dealt a blow last month when Federal Court judge Steven Rares ruled that its allegations of a political conspiracy prevented Mr Ashby from having to make a submission on the allegations in the civil case, on the grounds he could incriminate himself.
For info: A new Chancellor of the Diocese was already appointed as of last month, Dr Sandra McColl.
[In via e-mail.]
16th July 2012
The Vicar General & Administrator
The Very Reverend Owen Buckton FSSM
Thanks be to God, we continue to move forward toward stability for the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia and I would like to thank you for your loyalty to all we have built upon when we gathered and worked harmoniously and honourably with our First Bishop Albert Haley, continuing the patrimony of our much loved Anglican expression of the Catholic Faith through the ACCA. You will be aware that we are in damage control, and much work remains to be done to restore real confidence and regain the respect that was partially lost… I ask your prayers and your continuing support over the coming months.
The Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC)
I have personally been very grateful over the past few months for the support and encouragement of Acting Primate Archbishop Prakash and Bishop Gill, who are honourable and holy men who uphold us in their prayers. Further, we are constitutionally bound to the TAC, according to the provisions of clause 3.4(a) of our Constitution:
This Church is and shall remain in communion with all Churches admitted to the Traditional Anglican Communion under the terms of the Concordat as amended at the meeting of the College of Bishops of the Traditional Anglican Communion on August 27, 1992, so long as such communion is consistent with the Fundamental Declarations set forth in this Constitution.
Further, clause 10 of the Constitution provides that clause 3 may only be amended by a special canon of National Synod ratified by each of the State synods. Therefore, until we have virtually unanimous agreement around Australia, we are effectively stuck in the TAC—and I’m grateful to God that we are…
As we move from damage control mode to ‘open for business’ and ‘rebuilding’, it is necessary to announce appointments to positions made necessary by the Constitution for the good governance of the church. These appointments are made on an interim basis until such time as Synod has had the opportunity to discuss management in the long term.
Clause 7.5 of the Constitution provides:
There shall be a Registrar of the Diocese (who may be a clergyman or lay person) who shall be custodian of those documents of the Church which merit permanent preservation.
Since ‘shall’ has the same meaning as ‘must’, we need a Registrar, and I am delighted to announce the appointment, or, should I say, re-appointment of Fr Graeme Mitchell FSSM, who is, I expect, well known to you all. I have charged him with looking into the issue of your registration as marriage celebrants…
Fr Graeme is also something of a technological whiz, and in that capacity is reactivating the ‘OzTAC’ Yahoo Group, which you and your Synod lay representatives should all join…
Clause 7.3 of the Constitution provides:
There shall be a Chancellor of the Diocese, who shall be a solicitor or barrister admitted to practise by the Supreme Court of a State or Territory of Australia, or a graduate in law from a recognised University. The Chancellor shall be appointed and may be dismissed by the Bishop unless by canon the National Synod determines otherwise.
Accordingly, I announce the appointment as Chancellor of Dr Sandra McColl, BMus (Hons), LLB (Hons), MA, PhD (Melb), MLitt (Oxf), Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria and the High Court of Australia, who practises as a solicitor with an old firm in central Melbourne. Sandra is also a Member of the Insolvency Practitioners Association of Australia, and counts among her friends in professional circles liquidators and forensic accountants. I do hope you will get to know Sandra and her unique sense of humour in the OzTAC group or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org
I for one don’t envy her lot, spending her business hours with lawyers and liquidators and her after hours among clergy. I do therefore ask you to uphold her in your prayers.
Clause 7.4 provides:
In the event of both the Bishop and the Vicar-General being absent from the Diocese for a period exceeding one month or of both the Bishop and the Vicar-General being unable through illness or other serious disability or incapacity to act, the Chancellor shall assume the management of the Diocese pro tem, and may appoint a priest as Acting Vicar-General who shall share with him responsibility for taking whatever measures may be necessary to maintain the good order and continuity of the life of this Church…
We need to hold a National Synod in order to discuss and formalise issues including those raised in this letter, and to make provision for future, long-term management by those who do not plan to join the Ordinariate…
Further, this Ad Clerum is not confidential and I encourage you to share it with your congregation and especially your wardens and Synod representative.
I hope that the revival of the OzTAC Group will promote communication throughout the diocese…
It is also my sincere prayer that those who have left us over the past few years may seek to rejoin us in order to assist in the rebuilding process and to co-operate in doing the Lord’s work among the people of Australia. There are many souls in this country hungry for the knowledge of God without knowing it, and for those of you who are truly lovers of souls there is a large harvest to be reaped if only we can turn our focus from our recent difficulties back to our God-given purpose.
I want you to know these have been long and difficult times for both Bishop David Robarts and myself as Administrator of our diocese as well as for the Acting Primate of the TAC, Archbishop Samuel Prakash, and Secretary to the College of Bishops, Bishop Michael Gill, and indeed for the College of Bishops of the TAC.
Your prayers and those of the faithful throughout the whole TAC have sustained us.
May Our Blessed Lord keep you in His tender love.
Father Owen Buckton FSSM
Vicar General and Administrator.
Best wishes and prayers to them as they embark on the rebuilding process ‘down-under’. And a special congratulations to Sandra, a long-time commenter on this blog, and a lady who likes to keep me on my blogging toes!
In via e-mail.
The College of Bishops has the power to suspend one of its members from membership of the College.
What then follows depends on the constitutional and canonical arrangements of the national TAC member Church.
In the case of the ACCA, the Constitution provides that the ACCA is a member of the TAC and that (at 11.4) the Bishop Ordinary must be a member of the Council of Bishops or else ceases to hold that office. Further, in the absence of an Assistant Bishop (and Bishops Entwistle and Robarts had specific territorial authority but not the title of assistant or coadjutor or anything that gave them secondary authority over all of Australia), the Vicar-General takes charge.
And Fr Buckton was sitting in the hot seat when the music stopped…
Further also, the ACCA National Constitution in pdf. which may be of relevance here.