Australian Anglican Church on a path to schism over blessings of same-sex unions by national body

As ever, Sydney diocese stands firm on Bible teachings.  Since they have a third of Australia's Anglican parishoners, they will always have the last laugh.

But their place in the Anglican communion is an odd one.  Most of the Anglican churches in the Western world are so wishy-washy about doctrine that their claim to being Christian is dubious.  The Sydney diocese is about the only place where the old Anglican faith lives on.  

But they are not a bit abashed by that.  Their seminary (Moore College) has hundreds of students and their churches too are pretty full.  So their collections make them very robust financially as well. 

And there is plenty of passion at their Synod, as they take doctrine seriously

You would think that other Anglicans would learn from them and return to the faith once delivered.  In reality, however, it is the Devil's gospel that you hear from most Anglican pulpits

Bible references on homosexuality: Romans 1:27; Jude 1:7; 1 Timothy 1:8-11; Mark 10:6-9; Matthew 19: 4-16; 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11; 1 Corinthians 7:2; Leviticus 18:22; Leviticus 20:13; Genesis 19:4-8

The conservative Anglican Diocese of Sydney has told its top personnel the church is "on a trajectory towards disintegration" over a decision to allow the blessing of same-sex unions.

The church's *national* appellate tribunal – a legal advisory body comprising three bishops and four lawyers – ruled last month that Anglican priests could give a blessing to same-sex couples who had already been married elsewhere.

The tribunal found it would not breach the church's fundamental declarations and principles, and it was up to each diocese whether they allowed such blessings. Many LGBTQ people of faith still want such a blessing from their bishop or priest even if they are not able to marry in their church.

Sydney Archbishop Glenn Davies, who will retire in March, recently wrote to hundreds of bishops, wardens and school chaplains promising a showdown in coming months over the tribunal's decision.

He said the Bible and therefore the Anglican Church clearly taught that "the sexual union of two persons of the same sex was sin", and "to bless such a union would amount to the blessing of sin".

Dr Davies wrote: "While the world may deride our commitment to the standard of morality that God has established for his people, we have been called to holy and righteous living."

Bishop Michael Stead – a leading candidate to succeed Dr Davies as archbishop next year – warned "the majority opinion [of the tribunal] has put the Anglican Church of Australia on a trajectory towards disintegration".

Mr Stead said it was not feasible that clergy in the Newcastle diocese could be permitted to bless same-sex marriages while clergy in the Sydney diocese would be disciplined for such an action. He compared it to the invention of rugby in 19th century England which eventually led to the establishment of association football.

"Just as there are different codes in Australia which are all called 'football', there will be different versions of the Anglican Church of Australia, which have nothing in common except the name," he wrote in a letter seen by The Sun-Herald which was attached to Dr Davies' communique.

"While some might applaud the judicial innovation of the appellate tribunal for finding a way to enable an already fractured church to remain together, they have in fact entrenched separation and division. This decision has destroyed the rationale for a national church."

Late last month following the tribunal's decision, a retired bishop in Victoria's Wangaratta diocese, John Parkes, blessed the marriage of retired clergymen John Davis and Rob Whalley using a liturgy the diocese approved in 2019.

In response to reports of the blessing, Dr Davies issued a further statement last week saying it was untenable to have some members of the church "purporting to declare God's blessing" on same-sex marriages.

"It would be naive to think that mutually contradictory views on same-sex marriage can co-exist within our national church," he said. "To pursue this course will not bring healing but will only lead to a collapse in the fellowship that binds us together."

The issue will be debated at the Anglican church's national General Synod in 2021.

1 comment:

  1. There is a lesson to be learnt for homosexuals; while they are free to be homosexuals they are not free to insert themselves wherever they would like.

    It is clear that the Bible offers guidelines to those who wish to live by them, and contrast the instructions with sins that miss the target and create consequences. One of the important guidelines is good will for others. Even though an individual walks through dark valleys, which exist in abundance on Earth, the Christian heart is void of hatred and evil is not to be feared.


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