Bashing the bishop seems to be an increasingly popular activity in the late, lonely nights in Canberra. It’s not like boxing the Jesuit. It involves getting up in the House and having a go at the Anglican Archbishop of Brisbane, Phillip Aspinall, on behalf of a curious Church of England sect.
Two Liberals have engaged in it recently. The Member for Barker, Pat Secker, had this go in March denouncing the “departure from Catholic order by Australian Anglican bishops through the purported ordination of women priests.” He talked about how “Orthodox Anglicans in Australia needed a bishop who had not departed from the Catholic faith to minister to them.”
“Forward in Faith Australia, representing Orthodox Anglicans, elected Father David Chislett, Rector of All Saints Church, Wickham Terrace in Brisbane, to be consecrated to the episcopate as a ‘flying bishop’ for Australia. He would also assist the Primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion, Archbishop John Hepworth of Adelaide… Brisbane Archbishop Phillip Aspinall has sought to suspend Bishop Chislett as Rector of All Saints because he submitted himself to consecration.”
Queenslander Peter Slipper jumped on the bandwagon earlier this week, also advancing the cause of the breakaway Traditional Anglican Communion. He describes himself as a former server, parish councillor, synod person and deacon of the Anglican Church – but failed to disclose he is a Deacon of the Traditional Anglican Communion.
Get Crikey FREE to your inbox every weekday morning with the Crikey Worm.
Church politics, as any Trollope fan will tell you, makes party politics look like child’s play. Aspinall is said to be in the running for the position of Anglican Primate of Australia. The election will be held in Sydney next month. How will Slipper’s and Secker’s intervention go down?