Anglican Church Diocese of Sydney Public Statement
Response to actions in the Diocese of Wangaratta
We are deeply distressed that the previous Bishop of Wangaratta should take presumptive action by blessing a same-sex marriage.
In doing so, he must be aware that this is a deeply contentious issue which will be the focus of the General Synod when it meets next year.
We continue to work to preserve faithfulness and unity in the Australian Church as we navigate these issues, guided by the clear voice of Scripture. That remains our hope, but this action prior to the 2021 General Synod creates a serious breach in our national Church life.
It would be naïve to think that mutually contradictory views on same-sex marriage can co-exist within our national Church. Pronouncing God’s blessing on a same-sex marriage is contrary to the teaching of Christ. It is therefore untenable to have some members of the Church purporting to declare God’s blessing in such circumstances. To pursue this course will not bring healing but will only lead to a collapse in the fellowship that binds us together.
One need only look across the Tasman, let alone around the Anglican world, to see that the issue of same-sex blessings has created an irreparable tear in the fabric of our fellowship.
While General Synod will address these issues next year, any further breaches of fellowship will only lead to the alienation of Anglicans who wish to remain faithful to the teaching of Scripture. Furthermore, alternative pathways will need to be provided for them to retain their Anglican identity, as outlined in Gafcon Australia’s document, Commitment 2020.
The Most Rev. Dr Glenn Davies, Archbishop of Sydney
The Rt Rev. Peter Hayward, Bishop of Wollongong,
The Rt Rev. Chris Edwards, Bishop of North Sydney
The Rt Rev. Peter Lin, Bishop of Georges River Region
The Rt Rev. Dr Michael Stead, Bishop of South Sydney
The Rt Rev. Gary Koo, Bishop of Western Sydney
The Rt Rev. Malcolm Richards, Bishop for International Relations
10 December 2020.