The Bishop of Newcastle, Rev Dr Peter Stuart, has asked all his clergy in “executive positions” (i.e. diocesan councillors, area deans etc.) to declare any “interest” in GAFCON or participation in the recent GAFCON Australasia Conference.
The instruction was issued in a letter from the Corporation Secretary and Registrar:
During the week, at the conference of an organisation called GAFCON Australia, an announcement was made that a company limited by guarantee had been established to enable the creation of an entity called the Diocese of the Southern Cross and that the directors of the company had appointed the former Archbishop of Sydney, Bishop Glenn Davies, as the Bishop of the Diocese of the Southern Cross. Later in the conference, a ceremony was held in which Bishop Davies was commissioned for that role.
Bishop Peter Stuart, as the Diocesan Bishop and Organisation President, has been asked whether the actions of GAFCON Australia in establishing the Diocese of the Southern Cross conflict with the interests of the Diocese of Newcastle and whether a member of a governance body or in leadership role has a conflict-of-interest if they are a member of GAFCON Australia or participated in the formation of the Diocese of Southern Cross. The Bishop has been informed that a member of the Diocesan Council will raise the conflict-of-interest question at each meeting of the Diocesan Council regarding anyone who has the perceived conflict-of-interest engaging in any decision making regarding this Diocese.
The initial legal advice the Bishop has received is that reasonable grounds to examine a conflict-of-interest exist.
In order that the Bishop can consider the steps, if any, which should be taken, could you please advise by return email if
you are a member of GAFCON Australia
you attended the GAFCON Australia Conference in Canberra in August 2022
you attended the event at which the former Archbishop of Sydney was commissioned as the Bishop of the Diocese of the Southern Cross at the GAFCON Australia Conference, or
if none of these apply.
Corporation Secretary and Registrar
davidould.net has seen a number of Pastoral Letters sent by various bishops across the country. This communication appears to have a very different tone.
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Yes to all of the above. Maybe the good bishop is worried that not enough of his clergy are going to join the Diocese of the Southern Cross and wants to help a few extra make the transition.
Yes to all the above, but no conflict of interest.
I would have thought a clergyman only has a possibly conflict of interest if they are a member of a governance group of the Diocese of Newcastle and only when that governance group is considering matters directly related to GAFCON or the Anglican Diocese of the Southern Cross. Otherwise ministers in the Diocese of Newcastle should decline to comment. This is obviously the first step in ostracising conservative clergy in Newcastle diocese and working towards eliminating them from the diocese.
I doubt very much that Peter Stuart will have to “eliminate them from the diocese”. Several Bible-based clergy and many Bible-based Christians currently worshipping in churches of the diocese of Newcastle will be moving to have true Christian fellowship in the Diocese of the Southern Cross.
Peter Stuart would do better to consider how he will maintain the Gothic buildings with stained-glass windows, and that monstrous pile of bricks on the hill, when the evangelicals who have always been generous givers are no longer around to help with the funding. The wages of sin are death and the apostate organisation that Peter Stuart leads will surely die in the time ahead.
What an extraordinary act of bullying and intimidation by the Bishop of Newcastle.
Why, if someone is a member a church, company, or football team, isn’t it reasonable to ask if they are a member of an entity that is designed, encouraging or participating in activities that are contra to the goals of that entity?
Which begs the question, why is the Bishop of Newcastle interrogating his clergy in this way , if not to drive orthodox clergy and parishioners out of his Diocese.
“Are you, or have you ever been, a member of the Communist Party?”
I don’t suppose he’s ever asked any clergy if they are or ever have been a member of any LGBTIQA+ lobby group.
I thought that was pretty much a prerequisite to becoming archdeacon in that diocese.
” The initial legal advice the Bishop has received is that reasonable grounds to examine a conflict-of-interest exist. ” – and yet … ” 5 I say this to your shame. Is there really no one among you wise enough to arbitrate between his brothers? 6 Instead, one brother goes to law against another, and this in front of unbelievers! 7 The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means that you are thoroughly defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? ” … just sayin’ 😉
Speaking of conflicts of interest doesn’t the bishop find himself in one by occupying a position of diocesan leadership while holding views that contradict the 39 Articles, the Book of Common Prayer and the Bible? What of his consecration vows to “drive away all false and strange doctrine which is contrary to God’s Word”?