Bishop breaks ground

He doesn’t believe gay marriage will be ‘betrayal of the Gospel’ or end of world
DISCERNING TRUTH: Bishop John Parkes outside Holy Trinity Cathedral in Wangaratta. PHOTO: Luke Plummer

WANGARATTA’S bishop has become the country’s first senior Anglican cleric publicly to recognise that the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Australia has become inevitable.

Bishop John Parkes – a former barrister – has told the Chronicle that he believes the country has “grown up” and that the federal government will be bound within a relatively short time to change the Marriage Act to enable people of the same gender to marry.

He admits that the challenge of such a move for religious faiths will be complex – but does not believe that gay marriage will become “a betrayal of the Gospel or the end of the world”.

“As I read the Bible in context, as I read the way that the church has dealt with it and now deals with it, I can find no biblical prohibition,” the bishop said.

His view has been welcomed by Muriel Porter, a Melbourne journalist and academic and a progressive member of Australia’s 250-member Anglican general synod, or church ‘parliament’.

“I hope that many more bishops speak out as Bishop Parkes has done because I know that there are a number of bishops and leading clergy in this country who wish to see faithful, loving, monogamous same-sex relationships honoured with marriage,” Dr Porter said yesterday.

“If they keep silent nothing will happen.

“Silence will just allow hard-line fundamentalists to dominate the debate.

“But if our leading clergy speak up like this, as Bishop Parkes has done, then I would see the church coming in a much more friendly way – and more quickly – to a resolution on this question.”

… to read the full story, click here to access the digital edition

  • Get your subscriptions

    Download subscription form
  • Home delivered

    Home delivered