Australian Anglicans vote to oppose gay clergy
October 26, 2006
MELBOURNE — Anglicans in Australia have formally opposed homosexual clergy practicing in the US and the blessing of same-sex relationships in the US and Canada.
Archbishop Peter Jensen
Clergy and laity continue to attend the annual synod in Sydney and voted Sunday to support conservative views of dioceses in the southern hemisphere for �upholding biblical truth." In a speech preceding the vote, Sydney Archbishop Peter Jensen told the 400-strong audience that overarching liberal views from the US would continue to affect individual Anglican parish churches around the world, the Australian reports.
He said conservative Anglican leaders throughout the world could strengthen their position by banding together, and suggested that his diocese take a strong leadership role.
The American Episcopal Church in 2003 endorsed the election of a bishop in New Hampshire who is openly gay.
�The powerful individualism of American culture and its triumphalistic belief that it leads the world in civic freedoms has captured the church,� said Jensen, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.
He said the church has reached the limits of its tolerance on homosexuality and suggested clergy in the southern hemisphere should unite to stand up for conservative values.
"It's widely agreed that we must make as clear as possible, and amongst as many people as possible, that we've reached the limits of toleration when it comes to the teaching of scripture," he said, reports the Australian.
According to the Morning Herald, Sydney's conservative Anglican views are the reason parishes from around the world are writing to Jensen and seeking support.
"Calls for help are likely to intensify in years to come," he said, reports the Morning Herald, adding that a future "split" or "break-up" of the church is less likely than "a devolution into a looser federation of churches, networking across old lines in new ways."
The Australian reports that more than one overseas conservative minister has written to the archbishop expressing a need for �withdrawal at some level from its diocese�.
�Disorder often opens the door to evils,� Jensen said. �We may even see a giant shift in loyalties and a new worldwide fellowship emerge.�
Although fewer Anglicans reside in Sydney, it has a stronger concentration of "relatively conservative Anglicans".
England has been more pastorally involved in the building of churches but not involved at the political level.
"They lack confidence and they lack organization," he said. "The same is more so in New Zealand, far more so in South Africa, in Canada and I don't speak of the US."
"I am telling you this now because I have to warn you that we may be only at the beginning of the disturbances which will lie before us and the effort which we will be called upon us to make."
Calling on people and networking them "when they are in minority and threatened positions", and offering biblical theology as the basis of theological education are the two ways to help, Jensen urged his colleagues.
"To accept various contemporary ways of reading scripture will leave us vulnerable at all points," he said, reports the Morning Herald. "We will not defend the uniqueness of Christ if we will not defend the plain teaching of scripture on human sexuality." – Issued by Gay Link Content
Australia's Anglican's 'no' to gay relationships, ordination