Australia’s Anglican Church has split, with conservatives who oppose same-sex marriage launching a breakaway movement led by former Sydney Archbishop Glenn Davies. Source: Sydney Morning Herald.
The Diocese of the Southern Cross was formally launched in Canberra on Sunday. The first service was led by a rebel minister who resigned from the liberal Brisbane Archdiocese because he “cannot go along with same-sex blessings”.
Archbishop Davies, who finished his term as Sydney archbishop last year, said many Anglicans felt the Australian Church had strayed from the teachings of the Bible, particularly on same-sex marriage. At present, they must move to another diocese if they disagree with their bishop.
But they can join the new Church from anywhere – it will cover Australasia, including Papua New Guinea and New Zealand – and Archbishop Davies expected many will do so.
The new diocese’s social and theological conservatism – especially that marriage is only between a man and a woman – aligns with the views held by Sydney Anglicans, who are often described as the most theologically and socially conservative in the English-speaking world.
But other dioceses, such as Brisbane, Gippsland and Perth, hold different views. They ordain women and are open to blessing same-sex marriages. Most defections to the Diocese of the Southern Cross are likely to come from dioceses with progressive bishops.
The issue of same-sex marriage has led to similar splits in North America, Brazil and New Zealand.
Anglican church splits: conservatives form Australian breakaway (By Jordan Baker, Sydney Morning Herald)