Archbishop of Perth Set to Push On with Controversial Ordination

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The Archbishop of Perth, Kay Goldsworthy, will proceed with the ordination to the priesthood of a man who is openly living in a relationship with another man on Thursday evening despite a large growing protest in the Diocese.

I understand that more than 700 signatories have been received on a letter of protest. These 700 signatories represent close to 15% of regular church attendance in the Diocese and do not include members from one large church, St Matthew’s Shenton Park, which is organising it’s own response and will effectively double the number protesting. This leaves easily one quarter of regular church goers in the Diocese now protesting against an ordination.

The grounds of protest are set out in the following document supplied by a number of different sources:

The ordination is due to take place at St George’s Cathedral on the evening of Thursday 30 November at 7pm local time (10pm AEDT).

This latest controversy come rapidly on the heels of protests being made to the Archbishop over recent statements made in the press by Precentor at the Cathedral, Stephen Hilton, alongside the Cathedral’s involvement in PrideFest 2023.

Conservatives in the Diocese were told, when Hilton was appointed, that “he was not a campaigner”. Now he has written an article campaigning on this issue to accompany the Cathedral being used to promote the agenda of “inclusion”. This advocacy included the flying of an “inclusion” flag and the draping of flags on the Lord’s Table. I understand a seperate complaint has been made about this.

I have been unable to find any other moment in the history of the Anglican Church in Australia where an ordination has been protested by a quarter of the Diocese, let alone where the Ordinary has pushed on with the event in the face of such clear and obvious discontent.

Last year Goldsworthy ordained a number of other candidates to the Diaconate in the face of similar objections.

The ordination service can be watched here:

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  1. Linda Nolan

    The Attorney-General of the time (2017) out-manoeuvred the ACA & other Christian representatives at meetings held before the Marriage Act 1961 (MA) was amended to change the definition of civil marriage in Australia from ‘the union of a man & a woman’ to ‘the union of 2 people’. The A-G assured the Christian representatives that provisions in the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 would protect their ministers from charges of sex discrimination if they continued the Christian practice of marrying only a man & a woman.

    The ACA representative(s) should have immediately told the A-G that our ministers would not use the amended MA because it would define the marriage union differently from Christ’s definition. They should have told him ‘Our ministers will continue using our church service of Holy Matrimony to marry opposite-sex couples only & if they wish to contract an additional civil marriage that is for them to arrange’ or words to that effect.

    Of course none of the ACA representative(s) had the nous to say anything like that, leaving the Government in no doubt that Australian Anglicans, generally, favoured same-sex marriage & the proposed change to the MA to bring that about.

    It’s a bit rich, six years on, to whinge about it now.

  2. Sarah

    The Anglican Church in Australia is loosing its way. Steve Hilton is a gay activist, not a priest. The church is not the place for activism projects. There are plenty of activism organisations more suited to his pursuits. Hopefully the new appointment is not another activism piece. We can only pray for some leadership on this issue and fresh thinking.

  3. Philip

    Was the response of the Archbishop to the objections, an oblique acknowledgement that the ordinand, now priest, is in fact sinning if he continues to engage in sexual activity outside of marriage, albeit homosexual acts?
    It was at least good to hear that the Archbishop values scriptue and the Articles of Religion so highly.

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