A PRIEST in Sydney has said that he has lost his licence to minister in the diocese because he has refused to stop speaking in favour of same-sex marriage.
The Revd Dr Keith Mascord, formerly a theological lecturer at Moore Theological College, has told a national TV current-affairs programme that he discovered he no longer had a licence to minister when he found that he was not listed in the diocesan year book.
On applying for reinstatement, he said that he had been told there were two main issues preventing him continuing to hold the Archbishop’s licence: that his understanding of the Bible was “at odds with a more literalistic view” of scripture, and his support for same-sex marriage.
Dr Mascord, now a parole officer in Sydney, recently published Faith Without Fear, a book that challenges conservative scripture-interpretation on a range of areas, including same-sex relationships. He said that he was told that if he agreed not to speak in favour of same-sex marriage, he could be given a limited licence to minister in his parish. He had refused. “I am not going to be silenced”, he said. “The Church must be accountable, must apologise [to gay people] and must change its ways.”
The Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Glenn Davies, has responded that “a licence to preach and teach, under the banner of the Anglican Church, carries with it a responsibility to teach the doctrines of the Church and not against those doctrines.” In private talks with the Archbishop, “Dr Mascord made it clear his thinking has moved away from the established doctrines of the Anglican Church”.
There is currently a debate in Australia about whether a non-binding plebiscite on same-sex marriage should be held next year, as proposed by the Federal Government.