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Bishops called to repent after Australian Synod defeats same-sex marriage motion

11 May 2022

Anglican Journal

THE Australian General Synod, meeting in Queensland, has failed to pass a formal statement brought by the diocese of Sydney, which sought to declare that both same-sex marriage and same-sex marriage blessings were contrary “to the teaching of Christ and the faith, ritual, ceremonial and/or discipline of this Church”.

Although the Sydney statement attracted support in both the Houses of Clergy and Laity, it failed by two votes in the House of Bishops. The clergy and laity support was not surprising, given that Sydney diocese now commands one third of the clergy/lay representatives in General Synod.

After the vote, the Archbishop of Sydney, the Most Revd Kanishka Raffel, told the General Synod that the failure to pass the statement left the Australian Church in “a perilous position, and no one should be mistaken about that”. The issue of same-sex marriage was, he said, a “tipping point”, and “we ought to stop wasting each other’s time by gathering this way and supporting these structures.”

A Sydney regional bishop, the Rt Revd Chris Edwards, has given notice of a motion calling on the bishops who voted against the statement “to repent of their sin”.

A second statement brought by Sydney diocese, declaring that the General Synod “continues to hold the historic view that unchastity means sexual activity outside a marriage relationship, defined in the Book of Common Prayer as the union of one man and one woman”, passed in all three houses.

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