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Australian Primate: Not a warning, just a recognition of where we stand on marriage

20 May 2022


The Archbishop of Adelaide, the Most Revd Geoffrey Smith

The Archbishop of Adelaide, the Most Revd Geoffrey Smith

THE Australian Primate, the Most Revd Geoffrey Smith, Archbishop of Adelaide, has responded to reports that he had “warned” dioceses against proceeding with same-sex blessings in the aftermath of the recent General Synod (News, 16 May).

The reports, based on an interview with The Australian, were not accurate, Archbishop Smith said this week. In the interview, he was making the point that if some dioceses did proceed, national unity would be weakened.

In a reflection on the Australian General Synod which he has written for his diocese’s publication, the Adelaide Guardian, he writes that, while “the General Synod did not explicitly express an opinion against the blessing of same-sex marriages,” there was “clear support for a motion supporting the traditional view of marriage, a statement rejecting the notion of sexual intimacy outside marriage which is described as being between a man and a woman, and the clear rejection of any affirmation of same-sex marriage under church doctrine” (News, 13 May).

This, he writes, “makes the position of the Church at this time clear. While the blessing of same-sex marriage might not be contrary to the constitution of the Church” (as established by the Appellate Tribunal in 2020), “it hasn’t been endorsed by the General Synod.”

The Archbishop Smith writes that there is “no doubt that there are strong feelings for those who want to see some change” and “certainly strong feelings for those who don’t want to see any change”. The Synod has proved that good disagreement is possible. “The important thing is that we can we continue to sit at the same table as we continue to have the discussion.”

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