Friday, 1 January 2010

A necessary evil

The ABC reports that besieged Bishop, Ross Davies, of South Australia's Diocese of the Murray will be "charged" under internal church proceedings. (here).
It is always easy to misinterpret what is going on here. And it is very sad for the Bishop, the Diocese and particularly the good and faithful folk of the Murray (which stretches from the southern suburbs of Adelaide to Mt Gambier in the South East and Renmark in the east Riverland).
It has gone on for some years now and is probably best characterised by the expression 'breakdown of relationships'.
The basic problem for the Anglican Church is that each Diocese is really independent and if there is need for external arbitration there is not necessarily any outside authority that can do this. Although the most obvious line is to the principle Bishop (called the Metropolitan...who in this case is the Archbishop of Adelaide), I think Bp Ross has some question about whether this line is correct. But we shall see.
Don't hold your breath waiting for titillation, it is likely that the argument will be in this area of 'relationship breakdown'. Like marriages which breakdown (mea culpa!) this will be the sad litany of disappointed expectations on both sides.
The truth is that this cannot go on forever, (without destroying the Diocese). Most people don't realise how fragile these small country Dioceses are...and as unpleasant as it may be....the Archbishop will reluctantly have to try and do what he can to sort it out. Hopefully it can be resolved. But it won't be happy, pretty ...but it is necessary.

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