Aspinall’s Underlings (Or: Not My Bishops’ Keeper)


George Pell routinely deflects questions about his priests by claiming he has no power over clergy outside his diocese, and also none over religious orders (which report directly to Rome). This has been very useful for him.

So too, the Anglican Primate, Phillip Aspinall, claims to have no control over dioceses other than his own of Brisbane. This is useful for him. When the Bishop of Grafton does something wrong, Aspinall is not responsible (see previous posting).

So he is only the equivalent of the Westminster system’s form of government where the Prime Minister is the “first among equals”. In this system, no-one would really claim the Prime Minister has no control over his or her cabinet ministers. Similarly, it is quite unbelievable to accept that Aspinall has no influence on his underlings.

As it stands at the moment, cases must be brought against individual dioceses. Consequently, it may prove useful to some to have a bit of background information about Aspinall’s underlings.

Future posts will go into more detail, but for the moment, a list is given of the current second tier officials, the Archbishops.

  • Brisbane: Aspinall is Archbishop of Brisbane as well as being Primate.
  • Sydney:  Archbishop Glenn Naunton Davies, 63, a former theological college lecturer
  • Adelaide: Archbishop Jeffery William Driver, 62, a former journalist
  • Melbourne: Archbishop Philip Leslie Freier, 58, a former Catholic
  • Perth: Archbishop Roger Adrian Herft, 65, who was born in Sri Lanka
  • There are no Archbishops from Tasmania, Northern Territory or ACT. There are also no female Archbishops.

If anyone has a problem with the Anglican Church from any of the above dioceses, then it is pointless, at present, to contact Aspinall. Also, it is pointless for the Royal Commission to call on Aspinall to answer questions for anywhere other than Brisbane. People must go directly to the diocese in question.

Another layer of difficulty arises in that the “Aspinall defence” is also given at times by his underling Archbishops, who claim to have no control over their own underling Bishops. Fortunately, Bishops are normally unable to sheet off responsibility onto their individual underling clergy, so concentrate on the bishops.

There has been a fairly rapid turnover of Anglican bishops and archbishops in recent years because of child sexual abuse scandals in their geographical locations (see previous postings), so future posts will also cover some of the new bishops who are still in their jobs, but who have clouds hanging over them.

TOMORROW: The Anglican Archbishops

That’s all I can say

Lewis Blayse (né Lewin Blazevich)


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