Anglican Archbishop of Sydney Glenn Davies has told supporters of same-sex marriage to “please leave us” rather than “ruin the church” over the issue.
Speaking at the 51st Synod of the Diocese of Sydney on Monday, Dr Davies warned the church faces “constant pressure” to change its doctrine “in order to satisfy the lusts and pleasures of the world”.
He took aim at regional churches’ recent moves to allow priests the option of blessing same-sex marriages.
“I fear for the stability of the Anglican Church of Australia. These developments have the potential to fracture our fellowship,” Dr Davies said.
“My own view is if people wish to change the doctrine of our church, they should start a new church or join a church more aligned to their views.
“But do not ruin the Anglican Church by abandoning the plain teaching of Scripture. Please leave us.
“We have far too much work to do in evangelising Australia to be distracted by the constant pressure to change our doctrine in order to satisfy the lusts and pleasures of the world.”
The Anglican Archbishop conceded “our view of marriage is not a popular one”. It is also now “not consistent” with Australian law, he said.
“Nonetheless, God’s intention for marriage has not changed. We honour him when we abide by his instruction,” Dr Davies said.
“We cannot bless same-sex marriages for the simple reason that we cannot bless sin.”
Regional Anglican dioceses vote on blessing same-sex marriages
The Anglican Church of Australia does not permit its priests to perform same-sex marriages.
But last month, the Wangaratta Anglican diocese in regional Victoria voted in favour of giving churches the option of blessing same-sex married couples.
The church’s internal appeals tribunal is now considering that decision.
Then, the synod of Newcastle diocese in regional New South Wales announced it would hold a similar vote later this month.
Archbishop Glenn Davies said the church’s General Synod will meet in 2020 for a special session on same-sex marriages and blessings.
He said Anglicans must make “a clear statement about the teaching of the Bible” so marriage “is held in honour among all and the marriage bed is not defiled.”
In 2017, Dr Davies warned same-sex marriage would have “irreparable consequences” for society. His Sydney Anglican diocese donated $1 million to the “no” campaign.
But the donation was criticised by some Anglican leaders around the country at the time.
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