Thinking Anglicans

Archbishop of Perth dissents from synod motion on human sexuality

From the diocesan website:

Archbishop Roger Herft AM has today written to all Members of Synod indicating that he remains unable to assent to the motion on human sexuality re-presented to Synod this year.

A Special Meeting of the Provincial Council will be called to determine the matter as required by the Constitution Act of the Diocese of Perth.

The full text of his letter is available here as a PDF.

He also wrote for a local newspaper: Archbishop’s opinion piece from The Weekend West.

Other press reports:

ABC The Anglican Archbishop of Perth rejects formal recognition of same-sex relationships and earlier Perth Anglicans vote to recognise same-sex relationships

The Australian Archbishop rejects same-sex recognition

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Rod GillisInterested ObserverErika Bakerdr.primrosepeterpi - Peter Gross Recent comment authors
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Disgraceful
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Disgraceful

What a mealy mouthed piece of fragmented thinking from Roger Herft. Is this the same bishop that once had episcopal oversight of the diocese of Waikato in New Zealand? Indeed it is, but barely recognisable now. Always able to sacrifice logic in the cause of ambition, what on earth has he got his eyes set on now? Maybe he has forgotten who he is, which can happen.

dr.primrose
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dr.primrose

Am I reading Herft’s letter correctly? He seems to be saying that he cannot accept: “That the Church acknowledge that legal recognition of committed same-sex relationships may coexist with legal recognition of marriage between a man and a woman” because: “the recognition of diversity in identity and theologies can lead to a view that all sexual identity and theologies, however diverse they are, are acceptable. The word ‘recognition’ connotes formal acceptance. The Church cannot formally accept certain certain behaviours. Sexual identity and theological diversity that permits abuse, promiscuity and exploitation is abhorrent.” Is he really saying the Church cannot recognize… Read more »

JCF
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JCF

I have no words. Except, Kyrie Eleison!

Father Ron Smith
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Is it not strange that, while accepting the fact that there are Gay and Lesbian clergy in his diocese, and that LGTQ (he does not mention Bi-sexuals) people are welcome in his parishes; the Archbishop of Perth should veto the wishes of his Diocesan Synod – both clerical and lay – in order to impose his ban on recogizing same-sex relationships? Does he not realise that the worst problem in any sexual relationship is that of infidelity – which is as rife in heterosexual as well as homosexual people? The Church has a need to encourage people to embark on,… Read more »

Riobert ian williams
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Riobert ian williams

You have to see Roger Herft in his background. He came from Sri lanka, where his family were burghers. A small minority descended from seventeenth century Dutch sailors and native women. Although progressive on women and divorce, his cultural ethos and that of the burghers is very conservative in the realms of gender sexuality.

Geoff
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Geoff

“Although progressive on women and divorce, his cultural ethos and that of the burghers is very conservative in the realms of gender sexuality”

Translation: Although progressive in the realms of gender and sexuality insofar as it affects him and those like him, he’s prepared to fall back on reaction where minorities are concerned.

Savi Hensman
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Savi Hensman

Being LGBT is hardly unknown among Burghers! Roger Herft’s response is disappointing. If he thinks the wording is too vague, he could propose a more precise alternative.

peterpi - Peter Gross
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peterpi - Peter Gross

“the farcicality of the argument against same sex marriage expressed in the British House of Lords concerning the problems of the royal succession related sperm donation to the female partner of a future lesbian queen” Dr. Primrose, 1) I have to admire the Lord who brought this up for seeing that it at least is a possibility. While the Lord may have thought “Horrors!”, other Lords may have thought “And your point is …?” 2) Re: Succession, I suppose I’m too egalitarian, but a baby is a baby is a baby. But, I suppose it could depend on whether the… Read more »

dr.primrose
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dr.primrose

Peter, of course the problem of the royal succession related sperm donation to the female partner of a future lesbian queen is a “possibility.” Statistically, everything is a “possibility.” It’s statistically possible that the sun might blow up tomorrow. But why should equal marriage for same-sex couples in England be denied now because of the clearly small statistical possibility of the sperm donation to the female partner of a future lesbian queen? After the current monarch, there’s not even a prospect of a queen on the horizon, much less a lesbian one. Under this line of thinking, we should entirely… Read more »

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

I think it was Andrew Brown (but it may have been someone else) who said that the question of whether a baby of a lesbian queen would succeed to the throne would be either “yes” or “no”.
Problem solved.
It has nothing to do with marriage equality.

Interested Observer
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Interested Observer

At the moment, the answer to the question is apparently “no”, both to the scenario of a lesbian queen and of Dr Primrose’s scenario of infertility. The way the law is drafted (the 1701 Act of Succession) only legitimate biological children of the monarch may succeed, and adopted children cannot inherit under any circumstances. This is taken to exclude anyone who is the result of sperm and/or egg donation.

Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

Interesting set of articles on Archbishop Roger Herft withholding consent. It shines a light on the tension between bishops as a bond of unity between their local church and the wider church vis a vis their striving for unity within their diocese. One recalls how Archbishop Williams appealed to the order of Bishops in ECUSA, for example, with all the implications of that for American bishops on the domestic front. Just last week a report out of the Canadian House of bishops signals the nervousness of bishops over a resolution passed by the Canadian Synod July past–one setting in motion… Read more »