Sydney Anglicans debating merits of new pope

A leading Sydney Anglican Diocese lay official has warned against taking comfort from Pope Benedict XVI's hard line against secularism, but the Bishop of South Sydney has admired the Pope's conviction that other Christian churches have "defects".

sydneyanglicans.net report that longtime diocesan spokesperson Margaret Rodgers has warned Sydney Anglicans "not to rely on the newly elected Pope as their champion, despite an overwhelming endorsement of his conservative Christian agenda".

She said that many Sydney Anglicans would welcome the news that the new Pope would stand against the Western secularist agenda, specifically "the dictatorship of relativism".

However Ms Rodgers, a member of the Anglican Church's ecumenical working group, says the sentiments of the Declaration Dominus Iesus that the then Cardinal Ratzinger authored in 2000, should concern Bible-believing Christians.

"Dominus Iesus contains clear affirmation of Jesus Christ and Scriptural quotes about his person and work. Yet, biblical Christians can't agree that salvation through Christ can be found in the Catholic Church only," she writes.

Bishop of South Sydney Robert Forsyth (pictured) told AAP that Pope Benedict XVI would "seek and defend the Christian truth".

He says he respects the Pope's belief that other Christian churches have "defects".

"What else would you expect a Roman Catholic to say?" Bishop Forsyth said. "I happen to think the same about his church."

"But I respect the simple straightforwardness of this. That's the kind of teaching of God we need and I'm delighted to hear it.

"This concept of no wavering from what God has given us (I support), even though we might disagree about some of the detail."

New Pope no champ (sydneyanglicans.net 21/4/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Anglican Diocese of Sydney | Bishop Robert Forsyth

Religions urge new Pope to keep dialogue (National Nine News/AAP 20/4/05)
Benedict emphasises communion and dialogue in first message (catholicireland.net 21/4/05)

22 Apr 2005