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Jensen slates tradition

12 July 2013


Offended: retiring Archbishop, Dr Peter Jensen

Offended: retiring Archbishop, Dr Peter Jensen

THE Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Peter Jensen, who retires on his 70th birthday on 11 July, has told an ABC radio interviewer that an aspect of traditional Anglican worship that offends him is the form of consecration service for bishops.

In these services - although not in Sydney diocese - the new bishop is given "about six things", he said, including a "funny hat", and a Bible. But in the Book of Common Prayer, the bishop is given just the Bible. Giving the bishop the other things as well is saying that the Bible is just one among all the others, he said.

Dr Jensen defended the position of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, claiming that it was a "reconciling movement" that had maintained the highest level of communion that was possible in the Anglican Communion.

Rejecting the suggestion that it was divisive or schismatic, he said that the creation of the Anglican Church of North America, for example, had meant that 100,000 orthodox Anglicans in North America had been able to remain within the Anglican Communion. This new Church, though not recognised by the Archbishop of Canterbury, was nevertheless recognised by the majority of world Anglicans, he said.

He also defended the mission that he launched at the beginning of his time as archbishop, which sought to see ten per cent of the Sydney population attending Bible-based churches within ten years. Although it had not been as successful as he would have liked, it had fulfilled one of its aims - "waking us up" and breaking out into the community.

The Sydney synod will elect a new archbishop at a meeting commencing on 5 August ( News, 7 June). A final list of candidates will be released on 26 July.

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