THE Anglican Communion might never reach agreement about
same-sex relationships, the Bishop of Gippsland, in Victoria, the
Rt Revd John McIntyre, has told his annual diocesan synod.
An "enormous amount of time, energy, and resources" had been
poured into attempts to find a common way forward on the matter, he
said, but this could not continue, because those bearing the pain
of the lack of resolution were same-sex-attracted people.
The "dynamics of power and control" that were underlying
currents to the debate had a sinister element, he said. Some
thought that if they could gain control of the Church, they could
ensure its purity - and their own salvation - by excluding those
whom they considered impure.
The solution might lie in "the historical genius of Anglicanism,
common prayer", he said. In the emerging Church of England, "those
who disagreed vehemently with each other on all manner of things
were required to worship together with an authorised liturgy and no
other. This became the basis for a unity grounded in Jesus Christ
worshipped together, and not based on agreement with each other on
all matters of faith and practice.
"Were we today to embrace our historical Anglican heritage
fully, I believe we would go a long way to removing the unnecessary
conflict and division in the Anglican Communion caused by the
current debate about the place of same-sex-attracted people in the
life of the Church."
In his synod address last year, Bishop McIntyre said that his
commitment to scripture had led him to support the appointment of
gay and lesbian people to church ministries, causing the Sydney
Synod Standing Committee to accuse him of a "breach of trust" (News, 15