BREAKING: Australian General Synod notes SEC marriage canon “contrary to the doctrine of our Church and the teaching of Christ”

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In a complex but mainly well-tempered debate the Anglican Church of Australia’s General Synod has passed a motion regarding the recent move by the Scottish Episcopal Church (SEC) to change their canons on marriage.

The motion, passed by houses, noted with regret the SEC’s actions as “contrary to the doctrine of our church and the teaching of Christ” and declared it’s support for all those disenfranchised by their move. It added a prayer that the SEC would return to the doctrine of Christ and that relationships would be restored. The full text of the motion follows:

Scottish Episcopal Church

General Synod

a) notes with regret that the Scottish Episcopal Church has amended their Canon on Marriage to change the definition that marriage is between a man and a woman by adding a new section that allows clergy to solemnise marriage between same-sex couples as well as couples of the opposite sex;

b) notes with regret that this step is contrary to the doctrine of our Church and the teaching of Christ that, in marriage, “a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh” (Matt 19:6); and

c) expresses our support for those Anglicans who have left or will need to leave the Scottish Episcopal Church because of its redefinition of marriage and those who struggle and remain; and

d) prays that the Scottish Episcopal Church will return to the doctrine of Christ in this matter and that impaired relationships will be restored.

The motion passed 60/45 in the laity, 68/42 in the clergy and 12/6.

All the members of the Appellate Tribunal who were present removed themselves from the debate and from the votes. This included the bishops of Wangaratta and Ballarat who may have been expected to vote against the motion.

The Primate, Philip Freier, is expected to attend the Primates’ Meeting in Canterbury next month. It remains to be seen how this vote will affect his actions there.

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  1. Bruce Lyon

    Brilliant news.

    It nevertheless disappoints me to hear a Newcastle Diocesan clergy representative contributed a view that suggested that the doctrine of marriage is not ‘settled’. That is, confused and therefore unteachable.

    What is the point of having Bishops and Clergy, if they are confused about what they assert, defend and teach?

    1. Bruce Lyon

      Especially on something so basic as marriage.

      Is it therefore no great wonder then that sexual misdemeanours occur, when there is poor and confused teaching, that seems to have been apparent for years, if not decades, in Newcastle Diocese, including the idea of a sexually active unmarried Dead, even this being known to the Episcopate, and somehow this is acceptable in public worship and clerical duties.

      The disgraceful approach in Newcastle to CSA therefore comes as even more plausible, with poor teaching about marriage, poor understanding of sexuality and ultimately the Gospel itself.

      Today’s vote is a severe judgement against Newcastle Anglican Diocese, and should serve as a seminal moment for essential theological reform within this Diocese.

      It is even therefore the more encouraging to see more and more evangelical clergy and parishes emerging within the Newcastle Diocese, as recent times demonstrate.

      1. Bruce Lyon

        Oops … *Dean* not ‘dead’ ….

  2. turnby

    Hey. I mostly love what you write, but just about every time I notice that you mis-use ‘it’s’. It’s is the contraction of it is (or it was/it has) and nothing else. The possessive form of it is its (So the church’s support is ‘its support’). I’m sorry to be that person, but it’s really distracting. Forgive me for my pedantic ways.

    1. David Ould

      thanks! I do make an effort, believe it or not 🙂

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