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World News

Australian Anglican Church splits over same-sex marriage

by Kelly Valencia

Australia's Anglican Church has split, with a group of conservative bishops and lay people forming a new diocese.  

The breakaway group, led by the former Archbishop of Sydney, Most Rev Glenn Davies, has encouraged those Anglicans who are unhappy with progressive bishops to join the new diocese. 

It follows the Australian Anglican Church's decision to leave it up to each diocese to decide whether to bless same-sex unions. So far, three dioceses have decided to allow same-sex weddings. 

Since then, conservative voices have threatened to leave the Church as they felt it had drifted away from Bible teachings on same-sex marriage.  

The group started drafting plans to create the new diocese early in 2021 and registered with the charities commission in October 2021.

Archbishop Glenn announced the newly formed Diocese of the Southern Cross during the Global Anglican Future Conference in Canberra, Australia.

It will operate under the umbrella of GAFCON, a conservative Anglican movement, and will not be "in communion" with Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Rev Justin Welby and will cover all of Australia. 

"I think you'll see the Diocese of the Southern Cross will have a significant impact," Archbishop Glenn said during the event. "It will send shivers down the spines of some bishops in the Anglican Church of Australia."

According to the charity register, seen by The Sydney Herald, Archbishop Glenn, Tasmanian minister Susan Willis, and lawyer David Baker from St Jude's Anglican Church in Melbourne are the three board members. 

"For those who cannot live under the liberal regime of a bishop, they can come and be thoroughly Anglican under a bishop," Archbishop Glenn continued.

He will be commissioned as head of the breakaway church in Canberra on Thursday. 

At least seven provinces within the Anglican Communion allow same-sex marriage.

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