Bishops block marriage statement

Posted on May 11, 2022 
Filed under Anglican Church of Australia, General Synod


“3 votes in the House of Bishops prevented General Synod from passing a motion expressing support for marriage according to Scripture.

The motion was in response to an opinion in 2020 by the Appellate Tribunal, a church legal body, that the blessing of same-sex marriages was not inconsistent with the Fundamental Declarations of the Constitution of the Anglican Church of Australia. But it made the point that it was up to General Synod to determine Church practice and to express its view about the blessings of same-sex marriages. …

House of Laity 63 yes 47 no
House of Clergy 70 yes 39 no
House of Bishops 10 yes 12 no.

Archbishop Raffel had earlier described that the re-statement of Christian doctrine on marriage as ‘unremarkable’ and that something would be ‘fundamentally awry’ if it were not supported.

‘Failing to make these affirmations has left us in a perilous position and no one should be mistaken about that,’ the Archbishop said after the vote.

The vote does not mean church doctrine has changed.

The last Synod, in 2017, twice supported statements affirming marriage as between a man and a woman.”

Read it all here.


The Line in the Sand.


Here is the amended text which failed to pass in the House of Bishops –

Pursuant to the authority recognised in s.4 and s.26 of the Constitution to make statements as to the faith, ritual, ceremonial, or discipline of this Church, and in accordance with the procedures set out in Rule V, the General Synod hereby states:

  1. The faith, ritual, ceremonial and discipline of this Church reflect and uphold marriage as it was ordained from the beginning, being the exclusive union of one man and one woman arising from mutual promises of lifelong faithfulness, which is in accordance with the teaching of Christ that, “from the beginning the Creator made them male and female”, and in marriage, “a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh” (Matt 19:4–5).
  2. In 2004 (Resolutions 62/04, 63/04) General Synod did “not condone the liturgical blessing of same sex relationships” nor “the ordination of people in committed same sex relationships” recognising that both matters were subject to “ongoing debate in this church and that we all have an obligation to listen to each other with respect”.
  3. In 2017 the Commonwealth Parliament amend the definition of “marriage” in the Marriage Act (1961) to mean “the union of two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life”, thereby making lawful the marriage of two persons of the same sex and presenting this church with a profoundly altered missional and pastoral context.
  4. The solemnisation of a marriage between a same-sex couple is contrary to the teaching of Christ and the faith, ritual, ceremonial and/or discipline of this Church.
  5. Any rite or ceremony that purports to bless a same-sex marriage is not in accordance with the teaching of Christ and the faith, ritual, ceremonial and/or discipline of this Church.