Synod notes Gippsland actions with ‘grave concern’

Synod has repeated Standing Committee’s concern about the actions of the Bishop of Gippsland in appointing a clergyman openly living with a male partner.

In a motion moved by the rector of Annandale, the Rev Dominic Steele, Synod expressed its dismay at the appointment, made in December last year.

The motion, passed on the voices, further expressed concern at Bishop John Mcintyre’s Presidential address to the Gippsland Synod in May. It said the address “appears to espouse actions that would constitute – (i) a departure from the teaching of Scripture, (ii) a departure from Lambeth Resolution 1.10 of 1998, (iii) a departure from Faithfulness in Service §7.4, and (iv) a breach of the Australian Bishops' Protocol agreed to by all Australian bishops (including the Bishop of Gippsland) in March this year.

The motion went on “prayerfully and respectfully” request the Australian Bishops to appoint clergy and church workers in line with Scripture and in accordance with Lambeth Resolution 1.10 of 1998, Faithfulness in Service §7.4, and the Australian Bishops’ Protocol.

The motion, on the second last day of Synod, also requested the Sydney Standing Committee, in light of the Bishop of Gippsland's actions, 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".

On the final day, Synod passed what was described as a 'pastoral' motion, encouraging members "to carefully read the Bible's teaching on godly sexual expression and in that light to listen to the experience of all people with same gender attraction (as called for in the 1998 Lambeth Resolution 1.10) encouraging those who are seeking to live godly and chaste lives, with a view to our churches being better able to care for and encourage all people to submit to the Lordship of Christ."

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