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Australian bishop bans gay priests

June 24, 2003 at 4:34 PM

SYDNEY, June 24 (UPI) -- The Sydney Anglican diocese has banned two gay bishops and a third who allowed same-sex marriages.

Evangelical Archbishop Peter Jensen and his five regional bishops announced the ban this week in a statement warning three pro-gay decisions taken by dioceses in Britain, Canada and the United States had caused a "tragic disruption" of the 70-million member church.

The clerics said they "could not welcome into our diocese those who have abandoned the teaching of scripture in such a flagrant manner." The Australian reported, however, they stopped short of breaking communion -- the refusal to recognize another diocese's priests.

The newspaper said the statement refers to Canon Jeffrey John, appointed Bishop of Reading in Britain; Gene Robinson, elected Bishop of New Hampshire in the United States; and the Bishop who approved same-sex marriages, Michael Ingham of Canada's New Westminster diocese.

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