When I saw Prime Minister Julia Gillard on television announcing there would be a Royal Commission into child abuse in churches and other institutions I was overwhelmed. I wept uncontrollably. I became breathless. I walked the floor struggling to breathe, trying to comprehend what I had heard.
It was later I realised it was about time the truth was revealed - perhaps it was time for hope and happiness, not sadness. My sister and I lived in the Church of England North Coast Children’s Home in Lismore for more than 22 years - from 1949 to 1964. I was there for 14 years, my sister eight.
Most of those years were full of hatred, bloody brutal flogging, bashing, starvation and sexual abuse. It was a home of hell and fury.
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Last weekend, an article appeared in a Sydney newspaper detailing proposed new vows in the Anglican diocese of Sydney, whereby women would pledge to “love and submit” to their husband. It caused quite a furore. The vows are defended today by Anglican Archbishop of Sydney Peter Jensen. But many see them as sexist and archaic. A visiting Anglican Minister from Britain, the Rev’d Barbara Steele-Perkins, was not impressed when she saw the story, and has penned this column exclusively for The Punch
Last weekend, three separate people in Sydney showed me the article about the proposed new marriage vows. “What do YOU think?” they all asked.
Perhaps I should first explain why they were at all interested! I’m in Australia visiting my daughter and her family; I am an English woman, a one-time clergy wife, now an ordained Anglican minister myself. I have two part-time ‘jobs’: I’m a parish priest in a typically English village and a theological educator – that is, I help prepare men and women who are called to the Anglican ministry – both ordained and lay.
No wonder I am thought to have an opinion! And yes, I do.
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Reverend Canon Gene Robinson of New Hampshire became the first gay bishop to be consecrated into the American Anglican Church today in 2003.
It was a decision that angered religious leaders around the world but Robinson was elated: “I think I can do more for gay and lesbian folk in the Church by being a good bishop than by being the gay bishop,” he told reporters. Got something to say about this event or anything else? Share it here.
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