THE Bishop of Wangaratta, the Rt Revd John Parkes, has said that same-sex marriage would not be a betrayal of the gospel.
“As I read the Bible in context, as I read the way that the Church has dealt with it, and now deals with it, I can find no biblical prohibition,” Bishop Parkes, whose diocese is in rural Victoria, is quoted as saying by the Wangaratta Chronicle.
He spoke of how the pace of social change in Australia and society’s appetite for reform meant that a fresh definition of marriage was inescapable. “The deep wisdom is discerning what is timeless and non-negotiable, and what is the custom of the age and ‘shiftable’.
“I look at my gay friends — one very prominent Australian who’s been in a faithful, monogamous, life-supporting relationship for nigh-on 40 years — and I look at some so-called Christian marriages that are abusive, oppressive, and life-denying and ask: What’s more Godlike?
“I don’t have a difficulty coming to a conclusion with that.”
Bishop Parkes was also quoted as saying, however, that he would want to hear the views of the General Synod and of his diocese before proceeding with any change to the Church’s traditional interpretation of marriage. The Australian Synod last discussed the issue in 2004.