Sydney's Anglican Dean asks media to apologise

Anglican Dean of Sydney, Phillip Jensen, whose reported attacks on the Archbishop of Canterbury and Prince Charles sparked a storm of protest last week, claims he never made the comments attributed to him by the media.

Addressing members of the Sydney synod on late Tuesday, Jensen called for the media to apologise for what he said were grossly inaccurate reports, and to correct the "bizarre nonsense" it had spread around the world.

Jensen was reported while addressing a Reform conference of evangelical Christians in England to have denounced the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, for "theological and intellectual prostitution" and called for his resignation.

He also reportedly described Kings College Chapel as a "temple to paganism" for selling recordings of its famous choir in the ante-chapel, and attacked Prince Charles as "a public adulterer".

But he said the media had got it wrong and in doing so, had caused "great and unnecessary alarm in our diocese."

"I did not call Rowan Williams a prostitute; I did not even refer to him either by name or title," Jensen said in his address, which won him a standing ovation. "I did not say Kings College Chapel in Cambridge was a 'temple to paganism' for selling the records and compact discs of its famous choir in the ante-chapel'."

He admitted that without a full text or transcript of his addresses, which were given from notes, he could not be absolutely sure what he did say and "may well have used loose expressions" and confused his meaning with "slips of the tongue".

But he said in relation to Williams and the phrase "the prostitution of Christian ministry," he had been discussing whether the Church had become systemically corrupt.

"I pointed out that when the chief office bearers publicly subscribe to the church's official set of beliefs, but privately pursue a different agenda, a different set of beliefs -- while still in the pay of the Church -- we do in fact have corruption," he said.

However, he insisted that he had avoided naming particular bishops "because I was illustrating principles and ideas, not attacking persons."

He said he had warned The Guardian newspaper in Britain, where his address was first reported, that he had been "grossly misrepresented".