UPDATED: John Shepherd “Withdraws” from Melbourne Diocesan Conference

A number of days ago I reported on the uproar in Melbourne at the invitation to Dean John Shepherd of Perth to speak at the Diocesan Ministry Conference.

Revised programs have gone out to potential delegates of the Melbourne Diocesan Conference that looked like this:

shepherdwithdrawal

I understand this came about due to concerted complaints and representations made by conservatives in the diocese.

It still leaves a few things unresolved.

Shepherd has “chosen to withdraw” and yet the organisers still feed the need to state clearly “The Organising Committee was pleased to invite The Very Reverend Dr John Shepherd…”. Looks like a bit of a “we did nothing wrong” line. I’m seeking some responses from Melbourne to the apparent continued defence of a decision that was originally referred to by a very senior figure in the diocese as ”either naïve or deeply offensive” to evangelicals.

If the original decision was a good one then there is no need for Shepherd to withdraw now. But if it wasn’t, then who will take responsibility?

UPDATE – 10 April 2014

Some more news just to fill you in. It seems that the organisers of the conference simply didn’t deal with this, perhaps not through intransigence but simply through not realising how serious an issue it was. In the face of their inactivity I understand that a senior conservative figure in the diocese approached Dean Shepherd directly, explaining to him the division that his presence would bring. Shepherd then almost immediately withdrew.

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