For months, there have been simmering tensions in Adelaide's Anglican Church community over the unresolved matter of gay and lesbian clergy. A newly appointed bishop says that he has no problem with homosexual priests - as long as they don't engage in homosexual activity.
This is the formally proclaimed policy of his church, but it is untenable - it makes no more sense than to say "It's all right to be left-handed, just don't write left-handed". (Left-handedness is in fact a good analogy to homosexual orientation. Both are entirely natural, regularly occurring, non-pathological conditions affecting a small but significant minority of people).
ADELAIDE'S new Anglican Bishop supports homosexual clergy as long as they follow church guidelines that forbid gay sex.
The Venerable Dr Tim Harris will be ordained tomorrow as Bishop for Mission and Evangelism at St Peter's Cathedral.
His newly created role is essentially to help recruit and retain worshippers and establish new parishes in the Diocese of Adelaide.
The appointment comes in a period of unrest for the church. Reverend Ali Wurm, an openly gay priest from St Bede's parish at Semaphore, quit her post in June after ongoing "persecution" from within the church about her sexuality. Days earlier the first female Dean of Adelaide, Sarah Macneil, resigned less than two years after taking up the post.
The resignations came amid tensions in the diocese on how to respond to a global moratorium imposed by the church on same-sex unions and the ordination of clergy in same-sex relationships."
Earlier, two priests had resigned, with claims of harassment on the grounds of orientation.
The resignation of Semaphore's St Bede's Reverend Ali Wurm comes as the Dean of Adelaide, Sarah Macneil, also announced she would step down.
Tensions within the Diocese of Adelaide about how to respond to a global moratorium imposed by the church on same-sex unions and the ordination of clergy in same-sex relationships - as well as the handling of the turmoil by Archbishop Jeffrey Driver - are believed to be factors in the women's departures.
All Souls of St Peters' Reverend Andy Wurm, Ms Wurm's brother, confirmed pressure over many years about her former same-sex relationship was a key factor.
"A major reason for her resignation was the persecution she felt as a result of her living arrangements and sexual orientation," Rev Wurm said.