New Zealand Church leaders rejects Sydney proposal for overlapping Anglican jurisdiction

Nov 15, 2018 by

from ACNS:

A proposal by the Archbishop of Sydney for an overlapping Anglican diocese or province to cater for Anglicans in New Zealand opposed to the blessing of same-sex marriage has been rejected by the leaders of the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia (ANZP). In May, the ANZP General Synod passed a “compromise” resolution on the blessing of same-sex civil marriages in a move that was designed to allow both theological conservatives and those campaigning for change to stay in the same church. But a number of Anglicans have responded to the vote by saying that they were seeking to leave the Church as a result of the decision.

The motion passed by the Anglican Church in ANZP explicitly states that there should be no change to “the Church’s teaching on the nature of marriage [which] is to affirm marriage as between a man and a woman”; but it went on to say that that individual bishops should be free to use provisions already within the province’s canons for “a non-formulary service” to allow for the blessing of same-sex relationships. The resolution followed years of debate and negotiation between Anglicans on different sides of the debate.

In August, the Archbishop of Sydney, Glenn Davies, put forward proposals for an alternative Anglican diocese or province, which would overlap with ANZP’s existing structures, for those Anglicans unable to accept the Synod’s decision. In proposing what he called “distinctive co-existence”, Archbishop Glenn said in a letter to the Church of ANZP that “while members of your General Synod may have thought that dissenting voices would acquiesce to the amended canons, this has proved not to be the case. Moreover, plenty of warning was given prior to the vote being taken. It is unrealistic to think that the stakes are not high on the matter of human sexuality, which of itself is not the root problem, but the interpretation of Scripture, the nature of the gospel and the appearance of accommodation to the surrounding culture.”

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