Sydney Synod “Grieved” by actions of Bishops of Gippsland and Wangaratta

Wednesday night’s synod ended with the passing of a robust motion responding to the actions of Bishop Kay Goldsworthy and Bishop John Parkes in undermining the Biblical doctrine of marriage and human sexuality. The final motion, which was passed overwhelmingly, reads as follows:

Synod –

(a) praises God for the godly leadership of the Australian Bishops’ Conference, in their unanimous adoption of the following protocol in 2014 and 2015 –

As we ordain, license or appoint to ministries within our dioceses we undertake to uphold Faithfulness in Service, the code of conduct for bishops adopted by the General Synod in Resolution 59/04 and as amended by the General Synod from time to time.

noting that Faithfulness in Service states –

7.1 The sexual conduct of clergy and church workers has a significant impact on the Church and the community.

7.2 Sexuality is a gift from God and is integral to human nature. It is appropriate for clergy and church workers to value this gift, taking responsibility for their sexual conduct by maintaining chastity in singleness and faithfulness in marriage.

7.4 You are to be chaste and not engage in sex outside of marriage.

(b) regrets the recent appointment in August 2015 of a man in a long term homosexual relationship to a ministry office in the Diocese of Gippsland, as it constitutes –

(i) a departure from the teaching of Scripture,

(ii) a departure from Lambeth Resolution 1.10 of 1998 (which rejects homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture),

(iii) a departure from Faithfulness in Service §7.4, and (iv) a breach of the Australian Bishops’ Protocol agreed to by all Australian bishops in 2014, 2015,

(c) views the actions of the Bishop of Gippsland as a breach of collegiality and fellowship at a profound level and which deeply grieves us,

(d) prayerfully and respectfully requests the Australian Bishops to appoint clergy and church workers in line with the expectations for elders as set forth in Scripture and in accordance with –

(i) Lambeth Resolution 1.10 of 1998,

(ii) Faithfulness in Service §7.4, and

(iii) the Australian Bishops’ Protocol, and

(e) regrets the recent statements by the Bishop of Wangaratta, the Rt Rev John Parkes, in the media affirming that ‘same-sex marriage’ is compatible with Scripture, as it constitutes –

(i) a departure from the teaching of Scripture,

(ii) a departure from Faithfulness in Service §7.4,” and

(f) views the actions of the Bishop of Wangaratta as a breach of collegiality and fellowship at a profound level and which deeply grieves us,

(g) praises God for the recent formation of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans in Australia and, in the light of the actions of the Bishops of Gippsland and Wangaratta, encourages our Bishops and Standing Committee to look for ways to recognise, encourage and support those faithful Anglicans who are disenfranchised by such actions, and to reach those elements of society denied a faithful presentation of the gospel, and

(h) requests that a copy of this resolution be circulated to all bishops and assistant bishops in the Anglican Church of Australia.

It’s obviously a substantial motion that will impact upon the growing tensions over this debate within the Anglican Church of Australia and particularly within the Bishops’ meeting. Deliberate mention of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans reminds those reading that alternative structures, both formal and informal, are now available for those disenfranchised by these actions.

Comments

comments

7 comments on “Sydney Synod “Grieved” by actions of Bishops of Gippsland and Wangaratta

  1. Hi Michael,
    in my email notification it appeared like this:

    “Wednesday night’s synod ended with the passing of a robust motion responding to the actions of Bishop Kay Goldsworthy and Bishop John Parkes in undermining the Biblical doctrine of marriage and human sexuality. The final motion, which was passed overwhelmingly, reads as follows: Synod – (a) praises God for the godly leadership of the Australian Bishops’ […]”

    YOU: This is good to see. Sydney really needs to set a positive lead to the rest of the Church in this way.

    Michael, with the above short quote from the motion, it reads ambiguously – it reads that the robust motion responding to (not opposing) the Bishops undermining Biblical doctrine of marriage: “Praises God for the godly leadership of Australian Bishops”.
    I just giggled at the ambiguity that struck me
    Cheers
    Ron

Leave a Comment - but please pay careful attention to the commenting rules