The Standing Committee of the Diocese of Sydney has expressed ‘dismay’ at what it calls ‘a breach of fellowship and trust’ with the Bishop of Gippsland who has appointed a partnered gay man to a ministry position in his diocese.
The appointment was announced earlier this year in the Gippsland diocesan newspaper. The resulting controversy led to the adoption of an Australian bishops’ protocol on sexuality.
Now, Bishop John Mcintyre has announced his intention to continue such appointments, saying to his Synod “I will appoint to office in our diocese those whom I believe God is calling to minister among us……..I am willing to live with any consequences that may arise from remaining true to that commitment.”
The Standing Committee resolution ‘notes its dismay’ at the Bishop’s comments from which, it says, “it is reasonable to infer his intention to appoint, amongst others, practising homosexuals to ministry roles in his Diocese and support same-sex marriages.”
The resolution continued “Standing Committee considers that Bishop McIntyre’s earlier appointment of a practising homosexual to a ministry office and his May 18, 2012 statement represent –
(a) a departure from the teaching of Scripture,
(b) a departure from the Lambeth Resolution I.10 of 1998,
(c) a departure from Faithfulness in Service §7.4,
(d) a breach of the Australian Bishops’ Protocol agreed to by all Australian bishops (including the Bishop of Gippsland) in March this year,
(e) a breach of trust and fellowship at a profound level which deeply grieves us.”
The resolution was passed at Standing Committee’s monthly meeting on 28th May.
So there it is, on the record – a catalogue of the various breaches. I wonder if a number of other dioceses will follow suit and, better yet, a number of diocesans?