The emergence of a “para Anglican Communion” was underway, Newcastle Bishop Greg Thompson said in a letter to Anglican Primate Archbishop Philip Freier in December, in which he declined to attend the annual bishops conference in South Australia from March 6 because it would give the impression of a united church that conflicted with reality.
He accused Sydney diocese of demanding other dioceses sign up to Anglican protocols on homosexuality, or Sydney would not attend any further national bishops’ conferences.
Bishop Thompson’s letter followed a Sydney Synod resolution in October against Australia’s first female Anglican Bishop, Kay Goldsworthy, for appointing an openly gay priest in a long-term relationship with a man to a parish in her diocese of Gippsland.
Prominent evangelical Sydney Anglican priest David Ould described the Sydney resolution as “robust”, in a blog in which he said Bishops Goldsworthy and Parkes were “undermining the Biblical doctrine of marriage and human sexuality”.
The resolution included “praise to God” for the recently formed Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA) in Australia, associated with the global Confessing Anglicans movement based on strong rejection of female and gay clergy and same sex marriage.