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Wednesday, August 06, 2008


This picture and its source offends Christian sensibilities and sensitivities.
However, when grown up Archbishops and Bishops play at schism, it offends mine.

Life is peculiar sometimes - particularly its synchronicities. A week ago to-day, I attended a huge turn out of union officials and delegates at the Dallas Brookes Centre in East Melbourne. Its purpose was to hear about the ABCC and what it is doing - and what it is doing, in particular, to Noel Washington.

As those of you who attend these big working class events know, they are a magnet for all sorts of left organisations (except the ALP, of course). They are there with their stalls, their stickers and posters, their buttons and badges, the newspapers, journals, books and flyers, and the petitions and the sign ups. The whole thing is quite festive and colourful. One sad note though was a woman from the Australian Irish Welfare Association who was handing out leaflets telling about the young Irishman gone missing, Stephen King. A body has since been found in the Yarra River and it is believed to be Stephen. May he rest in peace.

So on this festive sunny but chilly morning in the middle of Melbourne I collect every bit of paper presented to me - including the one I had to pay for, The Green Left Weekly. I am not a subscriber to GL but always buy it at these things - and it's usually from the lovely Sue Bolton. Don't read all the articles - but love the ads. This time - surprise, surprise - an article about religion: Class war and the Anglican schism by Barry Healy. I didn't read the article. I steer clear of reading about the latest machinations of the Sydney Anglicans in any form and I figured the last thing I needed was a Marxist critique of the whole shebang.

But synchronicity will have its mysterious and penetrating way. I have been in internet contact with Steve Hayes, a Greek Orthodox deacon in South Africa, on and off for the best part of ten years. I was studying theology at Morling College when I came across him through the South African Missiological Society and their excellent journal Missionalia. Steve - in our pre-blogging days - used to run an excellent email network. We have hooked up again on his blogs and on the Yahoo Groups site he manages, Christianity and Society.

Had an email from Steve the other day. A little controversy was in full flight on Notes from Underground. Guess what about? That's right, the GL article on the Anglicans. And are the Africans upset or what! Steve thought Miss Eagle from Australia might have something to say - and she did and she has, at length. So pop over to Steve's NFU and see what all the fuss is about - but it will help to read Barry Healy's article first.

When you can do nothing else: bear witness.