SMM2 on the state of play in Australia

A priest from the Anglican Catholic Church of Australia (ACCA), and definitely not any name those on blogs would recognize as familiar, sent me the following information, but wishes to remain anonymous, so I will call him Silent Majority Member #2.

He writes:

On 27 July, Archbishop Hepworth tended his resignation as Diocesan, and the entire management team resigned with him. The response from Bp Robarts was [to] backdate his resignation to the time of his “suspension” by the  [TAC] COB [College of Bishops]. He then followed this up by purporting to suspend his licence to act as a priest in the ACCA.

I think it is fair to say that the ACCA is now a spent force. Most of the active priests are expected to move into the Ordinariate over the next few months, with most in place by early next year.

-snip-

Since the end of July, there has been no correspondence to any of the clergy in Australia, at least, nothing has come to me.

-snip-

I expect that the “dirt” that is being referred to, is going to be an announcement that the ACCA has no money and that Archbishop Hepworth was responsible for spending it all. This would be a distortion of the truth, as the ACCA is owed close to $300,000 by the COB because the Australian Church has virtually funded all of the activities of the Primacy since Archbishop Hepworth was elected. The only other serious contributor was the Canadian Church [the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada ACCC]. There is a letter from the finance committee of the COB acknowledging the debt, but I have no doubt that it will never be repaid.

Don’t forget that there is an element that are unhappy with the publication of claims by Archbishop Hepworth of abuse as a young man. This is what is driving a lot of the action here in Australian against him, and they are simply using “financial impropriety” as the reason for his “suspension”.

There has never been a list of charges published against him, despite many requests.

 

I had also heard that Archbishop Hepworth had resigned from the ACCA from another source.  Whatever he is doing, I wish him all the best.

It is good news for those of us from a pro-Ordinariate perspective that, if SMM2 is accurate, most of the active ACCA clergy (and their parishes, I hope) are Ordinariate-bound.

If there is still an ACCA remaining, who is in charge now that Hepworth has resigned as diocesan?

Is the ACCA still part of the new Traditional Anglican Communion?  I have heard conflicting information on this.   One  is the ACCA held a Synod some time early summer(?) and decided to disaffiliate from the TAC.  Is this true?  Is that why it is not listed on the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada (ACCC) website?

However, I have not heard any information about what resolutions were passed at this Synod, who was there, or what happened.

Here is what I hope:   that there will be an amicable parting of the ways as there seems to have been here in Canada and all the squabbling and fighting will end.  I hope what remains of the TAC is able to gather up Continuing Anglicans or affiliate like-minded groups and determine a new course for itself that now seems to exclude the Rome option.  Or does it?

I am grateful for my time in the TAC and many friends I met at Synods or corresponded with remain within it.  I wish them well, too, and I hope that maybe, if we can get this Ordinariate ship shape and comfy and appealingly Anglican while safely in communion with the Bishop of Rome, they might reconsider and come join us.  In the meantime, I expect they will still be doing what they have always done:  preaching the Gospel and worshiping the Lord in a distinctly Anglican and beautiful way.

 

 

 

 

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7 Responses to SMM2 on the state of play in Australia

  1. Pingback: More Out of Australia | Fr Stephen Smuts

  2. Pingback: SMM2 on the state of play in Australia | Catholic Canada

  3. Rev22:17 says:

    Deborah,

    You asked: Is the ACCA still part of the new Traditional Anglican Communion? I have heard conflicting information on this. One is the ACCA held a Synod some time early summer(?) and decided to disaffiliate from the TAC. Is this true?

    An Ad Clerum from Archbishop Samuel Prakash issued in June says the following regarding leadership of the Anglican Catholic Church in Austraila (ACCA).

    b) Vicar General Owen Buckton: is appointed as Administrator of the
    ACCA with the full confidence of the College of Bishops of the TAC and is
    mandated to take control of all matters material to the management of the
    church in Australia as of 18 May 2012. All clergy and laity in the ACCA are
    urged to give Fr. Buckton their full and prayerful support. This is mentioned as
    a result of a message to me with the copy of an ad Clerum from Bishop
    Hepworth, sent out after his suspension, and in defiance of the respectful
    instruction that he steps aside as Bishop Ordinary of the ACCA. Fr Kinmont is
    NOT the recognised Vicar General of the ACCA.

    c) Bishop David Robarts: An attempt was made by Bishop Hepworth to
    have Bishop Robarts suspended in Australia for daring to seek clarification on
    serious matters pertaining to the management of finances in the ACCA. No
    due process for the removal of a Bishop, as set out in the TAC Concordat was
    followed, and at the College of Bishops meeting in February 2012, it was
    confirmed that Bishop David Robarts is and will remain a full and active
    member of the College of Bishops of the Traditional Anglican Communion. He
    continues to minister with our full support and blessing.

    So whatever remnant of the ACCA is part of the newly reorganized Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) apparently is under the governance of its vicar general as administrator, and Bishop David Robarts apparently remains a member of it. It is, however, entirely possible that the ACCA subsequently separated from that body.

    Norm.

  4. Fr Buxton is indeed the ‘official’ VG for the ACCA but he is also the Rockhampton, Queensland contact for.the Ordinariate.
    Bishoo Robarts may have voice and vote in the TAC COB, but he is also the Tasmania contact.for.the Ordinariate.
    As for the ‘unofficial VG’ Fr Kinmont, he is the Gold Coast,.Queensland contact for the Ordinariate.
    It would appear that a wish to be in Union with the See of Peter has overcome any falling out (mind you, large distances help).. Godspeed to them all.
    I wish the best to those not joining them.

  5. Rev22:17 says:

    Deborah,

    Reviewing the comments from your correspondent again, there seems to be a glaring inconsistency.

    Your correspondent wrote: On 27 July, Archbishop Hepworth tended his resignation as Diocesan, and the entire management team resigned with him. The response from Bp Robarts was [to] backdate his resignation to the time of his “suspension” by the [TAC] COB [College of Bishops]. He then followed this up by purporting to suspend his licence to act as a priest in the ACCA.

    By what authority does Bishop Robarts take this action, if Vicar General Owen Buckton is the administrator with all faculty of governance, as stated in Archbishop Prakesh’s ad clerum?

    I’m miffed.

    Norm.

  6. anon says:

    No Traditional Anglican (lay or clergy) can be expected to have any faith in Fr Buckton or Bp Robarts. They cannot have it both ways – purporting to be authorised for ministering to the faithful in the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia without renouncing the Ordinariate connection is unconscionable.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      anon,

      You wrote: No Traditional Anglican (lay or clergy) can be expected to have any faith in Fr Buckton or Bp Robarts. They cannot have it both ways – purporting to be authorised for ministering to the faithful in the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia without renouncing the Ordinariate connection is unconscionable.

      The issue here may well be one of maintaining continuity of pastoral services to the parishes of the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia (ACCA) until their members formally enter the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross. The most straight-forward way to effect the transition is for each parish to maintain its affiliation with the ACCA until the ordinariate is ready to receive it — and this will take some time, as the ordinariate needs to provide formation to clergy who are widely scattered. There’s probably a covert agreement that certain leaders of the ACCA will formally remain in that body until the last of its parishes completes the transition, after which they also will enter the ordinariate.

      The more likely delusion here is on the part of Archbishop Prakesh, thinking that part of the ACCA will remain part of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) or that the ACCA is in any way subject to his governance. If the above post by “CatholicLeftwinger” is accurate, such clearly is not the case.

      Norm.

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