Earlier this morning an ad clerum was issued to clergy in the Diocese of Southern Queensland (Brisbane) announcing that current Assistant Bishop Jeremy Greaves has been elected the next Archbishop of the diocese (article also available here).
Greaves’ name may be familiar to readers of davidould.net. I reported at the time of his appointment in 2016 as Assistant Bishop by then-Archbishop Philip Aspinall on his extreme progressive position, “New Assistant Bishop of Brisbane is “happy to abandon the Creed”“:
He gained notoriety for himself when Dean of Darwin Cathedral as a proponent of “progressive Christianity”, most recently being lead organiser of the 2016 “Common Dreams” conference in Brisbane. He is an outspoken supporter of same-sex marriage but perhaps even more troubling he rejects key understandings of Christianity that he will be required to reaffirm at his consecration (having already promised at his ordination to teach them). One particular example will suffice.
In a 2010 ABC Radio National interview with Rachael Kohn he took part in a discussion of Progressive Christianity. The interview includes this exchange:
Rachael Kohn: Do you specifically then have difficulties with the Apostles’ Creed that you might like to rewrite it or ditch it?
Jeremy Greaves: I’d be happy to abandon the Creed.
As a bishop in the Anglican Church of Australia Greaves may struggle to represent the church with integrity. The Constitution of the Anglican Church of Australia [pdf] opens with these words:
Chapter I. – FUNDAMENTAL DECLARATIONS
- The Anglican Church of Australia, being a part of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ, holds the Christian Faith as professed by the Church of Christ from primitive times and in particular as set forth in the creeds known as the Nicene Creed and the Apostles’ Creed.
It will be his role to uphold and teach that faith which is in particular set forth in statements that he has publicly stated he would “be happy to abandon”.
I showed in that article at the time that Greaves’ objection was not to the language of the Creed, nor (as some commenters suggested) that it repeated truths already stated elsewhere in Darwin Cathedral services, but the content itself. Greaves is a well-known supporter of “Progressive Christianity“.
The ad clerum above cites from the Prayer Book:
A bishop is called to maintain the Church’s witness
to the resurrection of Christ from the dead,
to protect the purity of the gospel,
and to proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord.APBA Consecration Service
It’s difficult to see how Greaves can, in good conscience, maintain the Church’s historical witness to the bodily resurrection of Jesus, let alone protect the purity of the gospel.
In the last hour I’ve spoken with a number of senior Anglican leaders who have expressed great concern over the appointment. One told me “you couldn’t have a clearer expression of the differences we have in the Anglican Church of Australia. The things that would get you removed from ministry in one diocese get you promoted to the highest position in another”.
It does all rather seem to vindicate the decision of those Brisbane ministers and congregations who chose to leave for the Diocese of the Southern Cross.
image: Anglican Focus