The Sydney Anglican Archbishop has given an order to prohibit an American liberal Episcopalian priest from entering any of the churches in the diocese, as a reviewer wrote a scathing opinion of his latest book; saying it "…Defaced the only portrait of Jesus that makes any real sense."
Bishop John Shelby Spong - a retired priest who is a long-time supporter of female and gay priests - was reported by the Australian as being snubbed by the Sydney Anglicans that have accused him of 'gutting' the Christian faith in his latest book, entitled 'Jesus for the Non-Religious.'
The Bishop of South Sydney, Robert Forsyth, told the Australian it was a mistake for the Australian Anglican Primate to invite Bishop Spong here to promote his book.
"The judgment of the primate is, in our view, ill-advised," Bishop Forsyth said. "It is a mistake. It is the wrong thing to do."
Writing a review on Bishop Spong's latest book, Mark Thompson in the Sydneyanglicans.net wrote that despite all his 'grandiose' claims in the book, "(It) is really little more than the rehash of long-discarded critical theories and doubts which scholars resolved years ago."
Continuing on, Mr. Thompson gave a disparaging assessment of the book, saying it has done nothing for the future except to 'diminish' the impact of Christian witness in the West.
"Far from providing a program for the future, this book simply rehashes the unbelief of the past that has done nothing but diminish the impact of Christian witness in the West," he wrote.
This local divisive episode, which is on a small-scale, magnifies the unease and anger among conservatives Anglicans within the Anglican Communion who said their liberal U.S. counterparts are bringing the Church into disrepute.
Speaking to Reuters, Ugandan Archbishop Henry Orombi said that he and the Archbishop of Kenya were planning to consecrate three priests as bishops who broke away from the orthodox congregation in the U.S. in order to provide a 'home for ecclesiastical refugees from America.'