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Gay clergy banned in Australia: The Church of England Newspaper, April 22, 2012 p 7. April 20, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Australia, Church of England Newspaper, Human Sexuality --- The gay issue.

Bishop John McIntyre

The annual meeting of the Australian church’s House of Bishops in Melbourne has adopted a protocol reaffirming the church’s position banning the ordination and deployment of non-celibate gay clergy.

On 29 March 2012 Anglican Media Sydney posted to its website the statement adopted by the meeting. It noted that “in comparison with other Bishops meetings, especially those associated with the Episcopal Church in the United States, the Australian agreement is being seen as a conservative stance.”

The protocols “express the common mind of the bishops as determined by consensus at our National Meeting” the bishops wrote, noting that they had agreed to “abide by them and renew this commitment annually by consensus.”

The bishops said they “accept the weight of 1998 Lambeth Resolution 1.10 and the 2004 General Synod resolutions 33, 59 and 61-64 as expressing the mind of this church on issues of human sexuality.”

They “undertake to uphold the position of our Church in regard to human sexuality as we ordain, license, authorise or appoint to ministries within our dioceses.”

And they “understand that issues of sexuality are subject to ongoing conversation within our Church and we undertake to support these conversations, while seeking to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

In a statement given to Eternity magazine, a spokesman for the primate, Archbishop Phillip Aspinall said “In effect it is an undertaking not to ordain, license, authorise or appoint persons whom the bishop knows to be in a sexual relationship outside of marriage.”

Spokesman for Changing Attitude Australia did not respond to a request for comments, nor did the Bishop of Gippsland whose licencing of a partnered gay priest to a parish living last year prompted sharp criticism.  Bishop John McIntyre told the ABC radio service the appointment of a partnered gay priest did not violate the 1998 Lambeth Conference resolution on human sexuality, “because I didn’t actually ordain this man. He was ordained over 30 years ago in the diocese of Melbourne.”

The new protocol, however, clarifies the understanding of the issues for the Australian church as it forbids the call and employment of clergy whose personal lives do not conform to the church’s teaching on marriage and sexual relations.

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