Cleric's tirade targets leader
By Barney Zwartz
October 14, 2004
The Anglican Dean of Sydney yesterday denounced the Archbishop of Canterbury, the world leader of his church, as a theological prostitute who was taking his salary under false pretences.
The Very Reverend Philip Jensen, addressing a group of conservative Christians in England, also attacked Prince Charles as "a public adulterer" and King's College Chapel as "a temple to paganism" for selling recordings of its famous choir in the ante-chapel.
He condemned the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, for his liberal views about homosexuality, although Dr Williams has publicly maintained a traditional stance in opposing gay marriage and ordination.
"That's no good. That's total prostitution of the Christian ministry," Philip Jensen told the evangelical group Reform at a conference held in Derbyshire.
"He should resign. That's theological and intellectual prostitution. He is taking his salary under false pretences."
Philip Jensen is the brother of Sydney Archbishop Peter Jensen, who last night distanced himself from the dean's remarks.
The archbishop's media officer, Margaret Rodgers, said Archbishop Jensen had spoken to his brother, but had only seen a report of the speech in The Guardian.
"Dean Jensen presented his own reflections on the present state of the Anglican Church. He was not speaking on behalf of the Diocese of Sydney or the archbishop," she said.
"In these troubled times for the Anglican communion, Archbishop Williams is assured of the prayers of all faithful Anglicans."
The outspoken Dean Jensen has been in the thick of a number of controversies, including attacking other religions as Satanic in his first sermon as dean.
A senior Sydney Anglican said the Jensen brothers were close, but the archbishop had been embarrassed by these remarks.
"Philip is a demagogue who in the flights of oratory sometimes appears to get carried away. He's a very intense and emotional man," said the church leader, who did not want to be named.
The Anglican Church worldwide is deeply divided over homosexuality, with many African and Asian branches severing relationships with the church in Canada for blessing homosexual unions and in the US for appointing an openly gay bishop.
The Eames Commission appointed by Dr Williams makes its report on the future of the church on Monday night, Melbourne time.
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