Garry Weatherill elected as the new Anglican Bishop of Ballarat
Commenting on his election, and in a message to the Diocese, Bishop Weatherill said:
“I’m very excited about coming to join the clergy and people in the Diocese as we rejoice in the abundant life that is Jesus’ promise to us, and as we search for new ways to be ambassadors of hope, love, forgiveness and justice.
“I know that the Diocese has been through a dark time, but I hope and pray that together we can be authentic disciples and apostles of Jesus and continue to build on all the good of previous years. Please pray for me that I will serve you with grace, wisdom and humility.”
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal
Anglican Church of Australia
Posted June 14, 2011 at 8:00 am
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The URL for this article is http://www.kendallharmon.net/t19/index.php/t19/article/37048/
1. Dale Rye wrote:
Some background for Americans: most Australian dioceses were founded directly from England and were formed in their early years by a succession of English bishops. They therefore were—and are—highly independent of one another. The national Anglican church didn’t exist as a single organization until 1962, almost 200 years after the Church arrived on those shores. Because they evolved in isolation, the Australian dioceses (like the Australian fauna) tend to extremes. The Diocese of Sydney is as Protestant-leaning as any diocese in the world, while Ballarat (in Victoria) and The Murray (in South Australia) are exceptionally Anglo-Catholic.
It was not surprising that Ballarat elected a former Roman Catholic Franciscan friar as its last bishop. Unfortunately for their expectations, he proved to be a Catholic in the mold of the Second Vatican Council rather than the First. It seems that he also had a rather pushy leadership style. The diocese polarized, with formal disciplinary complaints being filed by some of the bishop’s opponents, while others simply left. The diocese is in a very rural area and only had about 2000 confirmed communicants at the best of times, with an average age of 67. Attendance in some parishes may have fallen by as much as two-thirds before the bishop agreed to leave.
It took the 15-member electoral commission a year to agree on a successor, who is currently Bishop of Willochra in western and northern South Australia (lots more sheep than people). By all accounts, he is a good pastor who deserves and needs our prayers.
June 14, 2:26 pm | [comment link]
2. Sarah wrote:
Thanks for the background, Dale Rye. Would you say that the new bishop of Ballarat is more in the mold of the Second or the First Vatican Council?
June 14, 9:54 pm | [comment link]
3. MichaelA wrote:
Writing as one of those extremely protestant Sydney Anglicans, I really hope this works out for them. I think whether it does or not will depend on the question Sarah asked.
I would count 4 or 5 dioceses out of the 23 in Australia as being unambiguously “orthodox” (as opposed to liberal): Sydney and North West (evangelical), and the Murray and Ballarat (anglo-catholics). A couple of others seem to be a battleground between orthodox and liberals (e.g. Armidale and Melbourne) and the remainder are unambiguously liberal. Think Brisbane where K J Schori was invited to speak on her recent visit.
Ballarat has gone through some very rough times recently. They need an orthodox bishop, and I hope they are now getting one. Sydney can dialogue much more effectively with orthodox Anglo-Catholics, than with liberals who believe everything.
June 15, 4:48 am | [comment link]
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