The Anglican Catholic Church in Australia

As a final piece of work for today, I give a portrait of the ACCA, from whose ranks a bishop was chosen by Pope Benedict XVI to be the Ordinary. I am not sure the separation process is yet complete or whether it is intended that there would remain a TAC member church after everyone who is going to the Ordinariate has crossed over.

The ACCA has a static website run by Fr Graeme Mitchell who seemed at one time to be Ordinariate-bound. There are no blogs run from Australia and comments from Australians tend to be tight-lipped. This would be understandable if the separation is still ongoing and priests are still applying to the Ordinariate or waiting for an outcome. The official list of Ordinariate communities is here.

The ACCC is under an acting Vicar General, the Very Rev’d Fr Michael K. Pope, who is located in New South Wales. Archbishop Hepworth has completely disappeared. Fr Pope’s chancellor is Mrs Sandra McColl. Fr Graeme Mitchell is in office as diocesan registrar. Bishop David Robarts is still there, not in the Ordinariate, and styled as Bishop having Episcopal Authority in the Diocese of Australia. He is off the beaten track, in Tasmania rather than on the mainland.

There is a parish in Cairns, Queensland. I always thought Fr Gordon Barnier was Ordinariate-bound. I would appreciate information. Fr Owen Buckton also seems by all accounts to be Ordinariate-bound, and is still listed at his parish of Our Lady of Walsingham in Rockhampton. I had also heard the same of Fr Andrew Kinmont at the Chapel of St Stephen Protomartyr in Coomera.

There are also parishes in Surfers’ Paradise, Delungra in New South Wales, Fr Pope’s own community. Melbourne (South Caulfield) seems to be divided between the Ordinariate and Fr Mitchell’s community. Temporally or permanently? Fr Mitchell has an assistant priest. There are also All Saint in Melton, Mildura, Launceston and Hobart in Tasmania. There is a parish in Adelaide, but the priest’s name is Fr Stephen Nicholls, who also looks after a parish in West Croydon.

Now, is Australia a “toothpaste tube” or a permanent member Church of the TAC, or still in the process of resolution and separation? Information would be appreciated. I can only attempt something on Torres Strait if someone can give me hard information. Nothing substantial is available on the Web.

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9 Responses to The Anglican Catholic Church in Australia

  1. Pingback: Fr Chadwick’s TAC Survey « Fr Stephen Smuts

  2. Conchúr says:

    Fr Barnier wrote the following on Fr Smuts’ blog in September:

    I suppose I will be Vicar General of Church of Torres Strait until my Chrismation day which should be before year’s end. My Parish of St Clare’s, Cairns, will join the OLSC Ordinariate and with the blessing and encouragement of Bp Nona and the Synod of CTS which will also ‘release’ the Parish at that time. So, relax, gasp and horror brigade. St Clare’s and myself will perhaps act as a kind of pathfinder and encouragement for the CTS in the Torres Strait islands proper. When the Torres Strait Ordinariate is formed St Clare’s might transfer to it. We will see at that time. An ordinariate for the Torrres Strait is progressing albeit slowly and with the considerable help of the local Catholic Bishop.

    • Thank you. It seems that a proportion of the ACCA is still ordinariate-bound, a waiting room or “toothpaste tube”, whichever image particularly grabs you. Perhaps they will all go over and the ACCA would be disbanded, or something would remain. Some of the Australians are opposed to aspects of RC doctrine or are canonically irregular. Fr Barnier’s comment is now about 3 months old, so we could legitimately ask ourselves whether there are any developments. There is no evidence for such on the Australian Ordinariate site.

      Does the TAC leadership in India and South Africa accept this state of affairs? Is the ACCA really still a part of the TAC?

  3. Pingback: The TAC Status Quo | Ordinariate Expats

  4. Hello Father Anthony,

    Perhaps I might make a comment in relation to your review of the ACCA.

    Having met up with Father Graeme Mitchell recently, I can confirm that he will be Ordinariate bound , but don’t ask me when. At present he is following Roman Catholic Catechism classes. I have him on Skype phone, but he is always absent. When I asked him why, he sad that his pc had run out of RAM.

    The truth is debatable I think. His website has been static for so long. The pictures of former Father Marco are still showing there. In some ways he cannot help it, he never got any input from Archbishop Hepworth. Indeed I was Archbishop Hepworth’s web-master for a short time, got a website going , but he never ever supplied any information.

    There is still a TAC Priest in Mildura , north from where I am, but he wants to go to the Ordinariate, whether his wishes will be granted remains to be seen. O Yes before I forget Fr.Mitchell is on his own , ignore the assistant bit. Most of the time he has only two or three Parishioners there. The rest have gone back to All Saints Anglican Church East Saint Kilda and to the Ordinariate in South Caulfield. Melton is closed up. has been for a long time.

    The intention was that when Bishop David Robart’s task in relation to investigating whether the ACCA would be viable to continue, he would go to the Ordinariate. At present there is a small TAC Parish in his charge in Launceston on Tasmania.

    I believe that Fathers Buckton and Kinmont are going to Rome. Clergy in Bishop Chislett’s have gone to the Ordinariate as well.

    This clarifies the situation somewhat. I would like to return to the ACCA, if it was viable as I am not entirely happy with the present affiliation. They are too far away from me. Success with your survey.

    Father Ed Bakker

    • Thank you for your input and also for what you wrote over at Fr Smuts’ blog.

      I am actually not sure that one can say that much of High Church Anglicanism is yearning for Rome to recognize them.High Church Anglicans with the label “Forward in Faith” in the end crossed the Tiber, because Canterbury would not go out of its way to give them space. We have seen this here in Australia where Forward in Faith folded up as an organization and became “Friends of the Ordinarate” Confusing remnants of FiF days remain on the official FiF website , see the Australian section. Bishop David Robarts, presently remaining a TAC Bishop, but formerly a Priest in the Anglican Church of Australia and chairman of FiF Australia is now waiting to go to the Ordinariate after he dealt with the wrapping up of the TAC in Australia and an investigation if this body could be continued as a going concern. Yours truly and others are still waiting for some sort of announcement.

      Yes indeed, Anglican Clergy are always constantly reminded that in the eyes of the Holy See their orders are NULL and invalid. Roman Catholic Bishop Elliott , a former Anglican, constantly reminds remaining Anglican Catholics in this country that they won’t last. This is done in a most uncompassionate manner.

      I think it is likely that the ACCA is slated to be closed down once enough people lose hope sufficiently and join the Ordinariate or stop going to church. I wonder if there will be even as many stragglers in the ACCA as in England once the process is over.

      Could you tell me what you think will remain once the ordinariate-bound have gone over? Does the non-ordinariate-bound ACCA have any relationship with the regrouped TAC College of Bishops? That is the important question. If all that will remain are those who go back to the Anglican Communion or lose the faith, then there will be no ACCA.

      You will have to wait until the separation is complete. I am not surprised about you and the NCC / Abbey of St Severinus. Just keep going as best as you can, and if anything remains of the ACCA after the dust settles, they will need priests.

    • Sandra McColl says:

      The directory on the website is pretty much up to date. Sorry if a website isn’t our number one priority at the moment. I’m about to go off to the 9.30 Mass this morning, which I expect to be celebrated by Fr Edwards, who is Fr Mitchell’s assistant. Fr Bakker bases his information on a single visit to an 11 a.m. Mass quite a while ago.

  5. Hello Father Anthony,

    When I re-read your earlier comments , I realized that I forgot to touch on Father Stephen Nicholls in Adelaide. At the time Liz and I went to Mass at Saint Mary the Virgin, ACCA in Melbourne, he and his wife were in the congregation that Sunday. As we know each other we did have a short talk after Mass and I can confirm that he wants to stay in the ACCA. There is also an ACCA Deacon around in Perth, who was formerly part of Bishop Harry’s Parish. He is not moving to Rome.

    Whilst I don’t have a complete insight on everything , I don’t think the situation looks too hopeful. Former Archbishop Hepworth cleaned all the coffers out as you well know.

    Yes.. I am continuing a Ministry as well as I can. We still meet as a small group for Mass and the Ministry to the sick and suffering remains. I hear nothing from the NCC/St Severin, so yes , it is not working well.

    Yours in Christ,

    Father Ed Bakker

    p.s. I am just reading Sandra McColl’s comment this morning.

    This is completely new to me , I did even know that there was a 9.30am Mass at Saint Mary’s on a Saturday morning. Perhaps Sandra McNicoll could contact me to advise me what steps I could take to return to the ACCA if possible in the future.

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