Secular society Christianity’s greatest challenge: bishop

Outgoing Anglican bishop Stuart Robinson has listed a secular society without an understanding of Christianity and Jesus as the greatest challenge facing people of his faith.
Nanjing Night Net

Describing recent same-sex marriage legislation as “as balanced as it can be”, the bishop of Canberra and Goulburn said he was keen to impress upon his successor the importance of addressing a secular Australia, urging Christians to “present as credible, rational, faith-filled people who have got a great story to tell”.

“[Building a relationship with secular society is] achieved through individual Christian people being clear in their faith, by offering consistent witness to their faith, speaking about their faith and getting involved in local communities and making a difference, so people say ‘Oh, those Christians really are trustworthy and true’,” Bishop Robinson said.

Bishop Robinson will leave the diocese in March for Vaucluse in Sydney.

His 10-year tenure was marked by the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sex Abuse, which revealed 28 allegations against 24 perpetrators in the diocese of Canberra and Goulburn between 1980 and 2015.

Bishop Robinson said the royal commission had highlighted “terrifying deficiencies within our organisational structure and within our pastoral care”.

He described the ongoing treatment of people who had been abused and mistreated by church leaders as ongoing and conceded the process had taken a personal toll.

“I think the depth of the depravity and the pain that it caused, not only in the lives of those directly affected but in the friendships they had, the community pain, they’re the kind of things that struck me with great force and will remain with me forever,” he said.

Bishop Robinson listed his greatest achievements over the past decade as “remaining sane, being faithful to my wife, being a good dad to my children and grandchildren while at the same time trying to be a faithful pastor and bishop”.

“For the last decade I’ve had the privilege of working across the archdiocese with hundreds or thousands of people, hearing their stories, sharing in their different ministries and being part of their church life and seeing them make a difference in their local communities,” he said.

“For me, that’s been a great highlight.”

The diocese of Canberra and Goulburn will be led by long-serving Vicar-General Assistant Bishop Trevor Edwards until a new bishop is elected by the diocesan synod in mid-2018.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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