A keen-eyed reader of davidould.net has pointed out something very interesting that happened in the middle of the growing crisis arising out of the Wangaratta same-sex wedding.

The wedding of self-proclaimed “poster-boys” for same-sex marriage in the Anglican Church of Australia, Archdeacon-emeritus John Davis and Robert Whalley, was not a simple non-religious occasion. It contained a clear religious element presided over by a priest holding a license in the Diocese of Melbourne where the Primate is Archbishop.

That priest is Gary Bouma who is seen pronouncing a blessing over the rings in the wedding as part of a video shown on ABC’s 730 programme on 11 September 2019. He wears a stole, clearly representing himself as an Anglican priest. We have reproduced the blessing in a short clip:

Bouma clearly states,

Gracious and loving God, bless these rings…

In 2018 the Diocese of Melbourne was rocked when 3 priests who held a license participated in a same-sex wedding. Following this breach the Primate issued an ad clerum which included the following:

Consistent with the doctrine of the Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican clergy are only authorised to officiate at a marriage between a man and a woman.

Protocols to meet the new pastoral situation are under consideration, but in the meantime clergy are required to ask their episcopate bishop for guidance as to how to act in specific pastoral circumstances concerning same-sex weddings and celebrations.

While Bouma did not officiate over the whole wedding, his active participation in the ceremony is already seen by many as a direct challenge to the Primate’s instruction to his clergy and yet another attempt to openly challenge the Anglican Church of Australia’s position on this topic.

davidould.net understands that Melbourne clergy will be raising their deep concerns over this serious challenge directly with Archbishop Freier.

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2 comments on “Melbourne Priest defies Archbishop to take part in same-sex wedding

  1. “I require and charge you both, as ye will answer at the dreadful day of judgement when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed, that if either of you know any impediment, why ye may not be lawfully joined together in Matrimony, ye do now confess it. For be ye well assured, that so many as are coupled together otherwise than God’s Word doth allow are not joined together by God; neither is their Matrimony lawful.” 1662 Book of Common Prayer

    “A passionate tumultuous age will overthrow everything, pull everything down; but a revolutionary age, that is at the same time reflective and passionless, transforms that expression of strength into a feat of dialectics: it leaves everything standing but cunningly empties it of significance.” Søren Kierkegaard

  2. When the Primate writes to say Anglican priests shouldn’t participate in same sex marriages because it’s country to Anglican resolution and the constitution and the Bible, why is any priest getting same sex married then at all, and what is the Primate doing about disciplining them?

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