In considering some of the commentary in response to the ordination of Mary Glasspool I find myself disappointed by the recent blog post by Andrew McGowan warden of Trinity College, Melbourne. In a Glenn-Beck-like indirection he juxtaposes the recent consecration in Los Angeles with that of Peter Hayward as Bishop of Wollongong in the Diocese of Sydney. He names up Bp. Hayward’s former involvement with the independent “Christ the Redeemer” church in Spokane, Washington.
Bishop Hayward cannot be held responsible for what ‘Christ the Redeemer’ now promotes or does, but its present materials show no sign whatsoever of Anglican identity, ‘independent’ or otherwise. It clearly does not adhere to fundamental elements of Anglican polity and theology around Church order. In particular, it does not seem Christ the Redeemer operates under episcopal authority, which makes it an odd spot in the career of someone who just made the declarations and vows required for a bishop in the Anglican Church of Australia…
I don’t think it inconceivable that ordained or other Anglicans work in and with congregations of other traditions and polities, within limits that respect difference and integrity. When we act as though those limits don’t apply or exist, or as though we can use the structures of the Church opportunistically for an agenda that does not respect or recognize them, there is a huge problem.
McGowan’s polemic about “respecting” and “recognizing” the “structures” of the church seems aimed towards “those now constructing new confessional bodies” – meaning GAFCON and FCA I assume. And there maybe some critique that CAN be applied here on occasion.
But surely the disrespect of structures that is apparently (tenuously!) inherent in Bp. Hayward’s consecration is not in the same quantitative league or qualitative category as the rejection of relationship, collegiality, indeed, communion that is so obviously and clearly inherent in the consecration of the one McGowan calls “that other bishop.”
Or am I missing something?