Australia's most senior Anglican has weighed in on the church's ongoing opposition to same-sex marriage, telling a meeting in Melbourne it remains an alarming issue for Christians.
Archbishop of Melbourne, Dr Philip Freier, has told the annual Melbourne synod that gay marriage and the blessing of same-sex civil marriages is the issue of the times for the Anglican Church in Australia.
"Despite many other challenges that properly concern Christians, this one issue seems to be the one that most polarises and alarms Christian denominations," Dr Freier, the Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia, said in his opening address at St Paul's Cathedral on Wednesday night.
"Equally I suspect when we are in relationships with people in our families or congregations, we manage different opinions and identities very differently from when it is a debate amongst people we don't know personally."
Dr Freier's comments come after Sydney Archbishop Glenn Davies used his presidential address to the Sydney Anglican diocese synod this week to argue the church couldn't bless same-sex marriage because it couldn't bless sin.
Dr Davies argued if people wish to change the doctrine of the church, they should start a new church or join a church more aligned to their views, rather than "ruin" the Anglican church by abandoning the plain teaching of scripture.
"Please leave us. We have far too much work to do in evangelising Australia to be distracted by the constant pressure to change our doctrine in order to satisfy the lusts and pleasures of the world," the archbishop said in his speech.
In August, the Victorian Diocese of Wangaratta passed a resolution providing for the blessing of same-sex couples who have married under the Commonwealth Marriage Act.
Archbishop Freier has referred that decision to an internal tribunal.
The resolution will be discussed during synod business later this week.
Other issues to be discussed at the meeting, which goes from Wednesday to Sunday, include the impact of artificial intelligence and robotisation, the need to raise the Newstart allowance and revise environment policy.
Australian Associated Press