ANGLICAN MEDIADIOCESE OF CANBERRA AND GOULBURN
JAMIESON HOUSE43 CONSTITUTION AVENUEREID, ACT 2601
Tuesday 25 November 2003
FREEMASONS AND THE ANGLICAN CHURCH
The recent resolution adopted by the Sydney Synod was based on the concept that Freemasonry and Christianity are incompatible.The resolution was tabled by Reverend Bill Winthrop of Lithgow and is based on his own perception of what Freemasonry represents.My only gauge of Freemasonry and of Freemasons is my observation of the quality of their lives. In my 37 years of ministry I have generally found Freemasons to be people with integrity and with a heightened sense of commitment to the community.The Anglican Church is a community in which there is scope for office holders to hold a range of opinions on a number of issues. The debates and resolutions in our synods are indicative of the tolerance and strength of the Church. Although differences in opinion may exist, our community is bound together by a commitment to the over-riding love of God in Christ, and compassion and tolerance that Christ taught us.Personally, I have been more distressed by incidents where the compassion of the church has been withheld on the simple grounds that family members were Freemasons. It is very difficult to understand how these incidents portray the true Christian spirit.The resolution is not binding on folk in the Diocese of Sydney and of little relevance to those outside. Therefore this issue is essentially a matter between a rector and members of his/her congregation.I call on all clergy and lay people within the Church to meet Freemasons with respect and a listening ear, and for Anglican Freemasons to be alert to possible issues that may be a cause of conflict for them in living out their Christian faith.
Bishop George BrowningBishop of Canberra & Goulburn
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