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Sydney Synod focuses on same-sex marriage

23 October 2015


Crowd: several hundred protesters gather to "defend traditional marriage", in Martin Place, Sydney, in September

Crowd: several hundred protesters gather to "defend traditional marriage", in Martin Place, Sydney, in September

THE Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Glenn Davies, has called on all Christians, and especially Anglicans, to enter the public debate about same-sex marriage, to explain “the reasons why our good Creator has made marriage the way he has”.

Dr Davies devoted most of his presidential address to his diocese’s annual synod to the subject of same-sex marriage, saying that “the Australian public needs to be informed of the argument against ‘same-sex marriage’, and not be beguiled by the empty rhetoric of ‘marriage equality’”.

The rhetoric did not consider the impact of severing the link between marriage and procreation, he said, let alone severing “the bond of the nurture of children by their biological parents on the premise of selfish adult preferences”.

In his address, he mentioned “an Anglican bishop in our country” who believed that same-sex marriage was inevitable, and had “even opined that it could be compatible with the teaching of our Church” — a reference to the Bishop of Wangaratta, the Rt Revd John Parkes.

Bishop Parkes recently said that same-sex marriage “would not be a betrayal of the gospel” (News, 11 September).

Dr Davies called for “a renewed dedication to defend ‘holy matrimony’ in light of the possibility that the Federal Government may define ‘unholy matrimony’ by legislation”.

The synod later passed a resolution supporting his call to engage in the public debate, reaffirming marriage as between a man and a woman only.

The Sydney synod has also declared that it is in communion with the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA).

Bishops chastised. The Sydney synod has passed a resolution chastising two diocesan bishops in regional Victoria — Bishop Parkes and the Bishop of Gippsland, the Rt Revd Kay Goldsworthy — for their support of same-sex relationships.

The resolution accuses both Bishops of breaches “of collegiality and fellowship at a profound level”, which “deeply grieves us”.

Bishop Parkes is criticised for “affirming that ‘same-sex marriage’ is compatible with scripture”. The resolution says that his statements are a “departure from the teaching of scripture” and from the General Synod’s protocol. Bishop Goldsworthy is criticised for moving a priest in an ongoing same-sex relationship to a new parish.

The resolution says that, “in light of the actions” of the two Bishops, it encourages Sydney bishops to “look for ways to recognise, encourage, and support those faithful Anglicans who are disenfranchised by such actions”.

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