The Gippsland Bishop who spoke out against the mining of Coal and Coal Seam gas died on June 6, aged 62. Below is an article in which he expresses his concerns about the mining industry. Rest in peace Bishop John McIntyre.
Tags: Diocese of Gippsland, John McIntyre, mining
The Australian Bishop at the center of that church’s controversy over gay clergy has taken up a new cause, writing in his diocesan newspaper that he would close down local coal mines until the government had determined they posed no threat to the environment.
Speaking to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation last week, Bishop John McIntyre of Gippsland said that if he had the power, he would “lock the gate and I would invite my neighbours to do the same” until Exxon Mobil and other mining companies agreed to his terms.
Writing in the August issue of the Diocese of Gippsland newspaper, Bishop McIntyre said coal seam gas extraction was unsafe and posed a threat to the environment. The Victorian state government had an obligation to study its environmental impact before permitting any further mining and drilling.
Exxon Mobil had a “questionable reputation in our communities for not being transparent in its dealings with local people” he wrote, adding that he was surprised the Victorian National Party was “standing with the landholders” in this dispute.
He told the ABC: “I did that to be a little bit provocative I guess because it strikes me that too often a lot of decisions that get made by governments are made sometimes more often for political reasons than they are for actually looking at the facts of the matter.
In his presidential address to the 36th meeting of the Synod of the Diocese of Gippsland in May, Bishop McIntyre said that as a matter of conscience he could not conform to the House of Bishops protocol on gay clergy.
“I will appoint to office in our diocese those whom I believe God is calling to minister among us,” he said adding that this as “my commitment to God and to you, and I am willing to live with any consequences that may arise from remaining true to that commitment.”
At their March meeting the bishops agreed that they accepted “the weight” of the 1998 Lambeth Resolution on Human Sexuality as well as resolutions adopted by the Australian General Synod as “expressing the mind of this church on issues of human sexuality” and agreed not to ordain, license, authorise or appoint persons known to be in a sexual relationship outside of marriage.