Guest / Limited Access /
As the Anglican Church of Australia prepares for its general synod in July, major divisions have appeared following an archbishop's request that the church bless lifelong homosexual "friendships."

The Primate of the Church in Australia, Peter Carnley, has suggested the church should bless such unions and concentrate on the spiritual quality of the friendship without inquiring into intimate physical matters.

In a paper prepared for the synod, Carnley, a liberal theologian who is also Archbishop of Perth, capital of the state of Western Australia, said that friendship was "essential for providing an appropriate and supportive context for working out the details of a life of moral goodness. The church's calling is to foster such friendships."

He said that for the church to "specify limits of [physical] touch" would be as inappropriate for a relationship between people of the same gender it would be in heterosexual marriage. "Does the church become involved in this, or is to do so merely an expression of the modern obsession with sex, an example of the voyeurism endemic in the modern world imported into the ecclesiastical environment?" Carnley's paper asks.

Following publication of an edited excerpt of his paper in The Bulletin, a national news magazine, two senior members of the Sydney diocese, both possible candidates for the position of archbishop of Sydney, Australia's biggest city, strongly criticized the Primate's views. Robert Forsyth, Bishop of South Sydney, told The Sydney Morning Herald that "any suggestion that the Anglican Church should bless a sexual relationship that is not fully marriage of a man and a woman is not possible if we are to remain faithful to Lord Jesus Christ and the Scriptures."

"If it means the Christian ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedThe Difference between 'Platform' and Pastoral Leadership
Subscriber Access Only The Difference between 'Platform' and Pastoral Leadership
Australia pastor Mark Sayers says influence has to be about more than book sales and retweets.
TrendingPope Francis Learns What Rick Warren, Russell Moore, N. T. Wright Think about Marriage
Pope Francis Learns What Rick Warren, Russell Moore, N. T. Wright Think about Marriage
(UPDATED) Warren turns Vatican conference into 'revivalist meeting,' while Moore explains why marriage crosses theological boundaries.
Editor's PickMedical Missionaries' Ebola Pullback: No More Kent Brantlys?
Medical Missionaries' Ebola Pullback: No More Kent Brantlys?
As ministries report record interest in serving, Samaritan's Purse shifts strategy on what expat doctors do.
Comments
Christianity Today
Australia's Church Leader's Views on Sexuality Ignite Controversy
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

June 2001

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.