The Bishops of the Anglican Church of Australia met this week in Melbourne to discuss the growing crisis in the national church precipitated by the decision of the synods of Wangaratta and Newcastle to legislate for a liturgy of blessing for those in same-sex marriage. At the conclusion of their meeting they issued the following communiqué:
The “one-and-a-half-day conference” is more than likely to be superseded by another “special session” of General Synod called by conservatives members in order to not just discuss questions of human sexuality but to pass motions.
davidould.net has been told tonight (but not yet confirmed) that the Standing Committee of the General Synod, which originally called a “special session” to deal only with legislation around child protection (thereby avoiding motions on human sexuality), has decided to rescind that decision and revert to a general session. We will confirm that decision if we can.
update 22 November 2019
We can now confirm that the General Secretary of the General Synod has written to bishops and registrars to tell them that next year’s meeting will be a full meeting, not a restricted “special session” as first planned. In her letter she states that,
Standing Committee chose to review the planned arrangements in response to developments in the Australian church in recent months.
The urgency of the matter (the Wangaratta & Newcastle synods having being conducted since their last meeting) and the strategy of conservatives to call another “special session” at the same time seem to have both combined to force u-turn.
Next June’s General Synod is shaping up to be a critical moment in the life of the national church.