The Conservatives of the Anglican General Synod have used the meeting rules effectively. They have emphasized that most of the Church (as measured by General Synod delegates) supports traditional male-female marriage.
Phil Colgan of Sydney filed a petition of 125 members of the General Synod (GS), noting “with regret” the vote of the House of Bishops to reject a statement against same-sex marriage. This number is more than half of the members of GS.
Earlier this week, the GS voted on a statement rejecting same-sex marriage – the houses of clergy and laity voted strongly in favor, while the House of Bishops rejected it by 10 to 12 votes.
Archbishop Geoffrey Smith (Adelaide), the president, accepted the form of the petition as valid. The GS agreed to the plea.
Archbishop Aspinall of Brisbane then went on to re-record the motion. At the time, there was a discussion about whether this is in order – the GS uses the House rules. Archbishop Geoffrey Smith has paused a conversation about the procedure to review House rules.
“Noting with regret that on May 11, 2022, despite clear support from the majority of the General Synod (including majorities in the Houses of Laity and Clergy), the majority of the House of Bishops opposed Motion 20.3 ‘Declarations Concerning the Faith, Ritual, Ceremonial or Discipline of this Church made under Section 4 of the Constitution,” the petitioners humbly pray that the Synod undertakes to pray that all members of the House of Bishops will affirm and be united in their support for Christ’s teaching on marriage and the principles of marriage reflected in the Book of Common Prayer.
We also request that the petition be read to Synod by one of the secretaries.”
“By the authority recognized in s. four and s.26 of the Constitution to make statements regarding the faith, ritual, ceremonial or discipline of this Church, and by the procedures outlined in Article V, the General Synod at this moment states:
1. The faith, ritual, ceremonial, and discipline of this Church reflect and sustain marriage as it was instituted from the beginning, being the exclusive union of one man and one woman arising from mutual promises of lifelong fidelity n accordance with Christ’s teaching that “from the beginning t, he Creator made them male and female,”.” Marriage “a man shall leave his father and mother, and be united with his wife. The two shall become one flesh” (Matt. 19:4 -5).
2. In 2004 (Resolutions 62/04, 63/04), the General Synod did not approve “the liturgical blessing of same-sex relations” nor “the ordination of people into consecrated same-sex relations”, recognizing that both matters have been subject to ‘continuous debate in this Church and that we all must listen to one another with respect.
3. In 2017, the Commonwealth Parliament changed the definition of ‘marriage’ in the Marriage Act (1961) to ‘the union of 2 persons to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily contracted for life, whereby the marriage of two persons has become lawful’ of the same sex and to offer this Church a profoundly changed missionary and pastoral context.
4. The solemnization of same-sex marriage is contrary to the teaching of Christ and the faith, ritual, ceremonial, and discipline of this Church.
5. Any rite or ceremony intended to bless a same-sex marriage is not by the teachings of Christ and the faith, ritual, ceremonial, and discipline of this Church. †
The election results showed that progressives dominate the House of Bishops this morning, and conservatives do well in the House of Clergy and Laity.
Several controversial motions have been withdrawn, with one action on same-sactionriage still to come. The Conservatives voted for a debate. It is moved by a progressive deputy Assoc Professor Matthew Anstey (Adelaide).