The Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Kanishka Raffel, has described the decision of the Church of England General Synod to offer prayers of blessing to couples in same-sex marriages and civil partnerships as a rejection of biblical teaching.
“In adopting these proposals, the UK General Synod has rejected the clear teaching of Scripture that marriage is the union of a man and a woman, and that sexual activity outside the context of marriage is sin.” the Archbishop said.
Archbishop Raffel cited the Global Anglican Fellowship (Gafcon) and the Global South Fellowship, two international groups which he said, “not only represent the vast majority of the world’s Anglicans, but also the historic, universal and apostolic teaching of the bible.”
“Last year, when the 24 diocesan bishops of the Australian General Synod failed to affirm the bible’s teaching on marriage and sexuality, I said that they had left the Australian Anglican Church in a ‘perilous’ state. Today, statements from both Gafcon and the Global South Fellowship of Anglicans have made the same assessment of the impact of the Church of England’s decision on the Anglican Communion. I agree with that assessment.”
“Nevertheless, it is reason for thanksgiving that where some Anglican provinces have departed from Scripture’s teaching in these matters, faithful brothers and sisters have stood for the trustworthiness, goodness and authority of Scripture. This was certainly true in the UK General Synod debate.”
“It is the opposite of loving care for people to deny, distort or downplay the life-giving truth of Scripture on matters of vital importance to understanding ourselves and God’s good plans for our lives, including matters of human sexuality and marriage. We must lament the decision of the Church of England General Synod.”
“God’s people are called to honour all people, and humbly, prayerfully and faithfully to hold out to all, the teaching of Jesus as words of eternal life. With God’s help, we will continue to do so.”
Archbishop of Sydney
February 10, 2023