An inspiring, and very unexpected, nomination for Bishop in the Church of England is announced today.
Many will be so encouraged at the imaginative nomination of Jack Callahan, a priest in Australia. Jack has held a range of posts and is currently working in Erinsborough, Melbourne in a youth project. He has great ministerial experience, and has faced challenge, spiritual, personal and physical. Some time ago Jack suffered in a gas explosion and suffered amnesia for a time, but family, friends and the church helped him to recover fully.
Jack is a great communicator and popular with people he meets. He has a commitment to mission and evangelism, and is earthed in sacramental ministry.
Jack was ordained in the Roman Catholic Church, and so brings ecumenical experience, and with that a wide and embracing attitude to inclusion and faith. He has a proven track record of standing up for what he sees as the truth, and is willing to question authority. He recently openly challenged a bishop who was trying to hide facts from the public. Coming from a different part of the world and with a rich experience in another setting he will undoubtedly broaden, enliven, challenge and bring ‘fresh blood’ to the English bishops.
Jack has made numerous television appearances and has strong support from those who have followed his life story on television, many of his supporters are beyond the boundaries of the church.
Jack was asked about the nomination and in particular views on inclusion. He said ‘God loves all, and the Church is called to mirror that love. The church must show that love actively and generously. Same gender marriage is here to stay, I am very positive about it and I have very hope the church will grow to be too. Who wants a backwards facing church stuck in the mud of protesting attitudes?’ On the issue of women in ministry Jack is unequivocal ‘I firmly believe that Catholic order tells us we must accept as equals all who are ordained by our bishops, be they priest or bishop, woman or man, that’s essential for the church. How we can allow a situation where some in a church form a clique questioning the validity of sacraments of other priests, or set up areas in the church where women bishops do not have the same status or authority as male bishops? I certainly don’t want such a view to flourish. Let’s move into the twenty first century on this one’
In essence, Jack says, the church must show love to the community, everybody, he says, ‘needs good Neighbours, with a little understanding.’
Do support Jack’s nomination, and don’t forget some earlier nominees have yet to become bishops. They too need your support, for example, remember Peter Timms was nominated in 2015, and Alan Franks was nominated in 2016.
1st April 2017