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SYDNEY June 23 Sapa-AFP

Sydney's six Anglican bishops issued a scathing denunciation
Monday of the appointment of gay priests to senior church positions in Britain and the US and told worshippers who supported such moves they were no longer welcome in their diocese.

"It is sadly inevitable that these recent challenges have severely damaged the fellowship of the Communion," wrote the six bishops, led by Sydney Archbishop Peter Jensen.

The statement was issued in response to the appointments of
British gay activist Jeffrey John as a bishop in Oxford, and of
Gene Robinson, a clergyman who left his wife to live in a
homosexual relationship, as a bishop in the US state of New

The bishops also targetted the blessing of same-sex marriages in
a diocese of Canada.

The Sydney bishops said the developments "have created a tragic
disruption of fellowship and led to a watershed in relationships
within the Communion."
"Reversal of our Biblical and historical stance on sexual immorality is too drastic to pass without comment and action," they said.

The clergy went on to say that Anglicans who agreed with the
controversial policy on sexuality were not wanted in their churches.

"For our part, we cannot welcome into our Diocese those who have
abandoned the teaching of Scripture in such a flagrant manner,"
they said.

One of the six bishops, Robert Forsyth, said church leaders in
Britain and the United States appeared to be simply responding to
public and social pressures rather than pursuing the requirements
of their faith.

"We in Australia are ... very concerned that the church should
keep a rudder and not simply let the world around it buffet it along in certain directions," he told the Australian Associated Press.

"It is not a question of moving (with the times) or not. It is a question of being faithful to Christ," he said.

"You want to be relevant in your style, in your content, but a church that merely says, 'Me too' back to the world has failed the world, in my judgement."
Source : Sapa-AFP