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The Diocese of Sydney ratifies submission of wives

October 17, 2012

The Diocese of Sydney approved a new Common Prayer book in synod on Oct. 16, one which contains two marriage services, one including the vow of the wife to submit to her husband. The archbishop and many of the clergy are aware of the violence that can take place in the home, but they have decided not to put much emphasis on this problem, as far as I know. However, it is possible that one or two of the clergy will continue to express concern for victims of domestic violence and look into the matter in the future.

In the meantime, women who decide to make a vow to submit may fare well, or may suffer for the rest of their lives for that one moment of foolishness. For some people, authority and submission becomes an addiction and develops into a relationship of coercive control which destroys lives. Many other women are unable to engage in work of their choice, or manage their financial lives as they see fit.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. October 19, 2012 5:57 am

    Thought you might be interested in this comment by a Sydney Anglican minister who calls himself an egalitarian complementarian (as opposed to an hierarchical complementarian.) He is also a member of CBE-Sydney.
    http://cbesydney.org.au/?p=279

  2. Suzanne McCarthy permalink*
    October 19, 2012 10:34 am

    Why did Perini speak against the amendment to withdraw the second service? Does he think its okay for some women to submit? I was puzzled.

    Also, I have been aware for 5 years now that the diocese of Sydney clergy are into CBMW in a big way. There is a core belief in the eternal subordination of the Son and women, that is very central to their doctrine. It always makes me want to check my hands for nail marks.

  3. October 19, 2012 10:34 pm

    I will ask him to clarify his statement in the fourth paragraph. It’s quite ambiguous.

    We at CBE-Sydney were all pleased, however, to see that egalitarian wedding vows were included in the new Anglican resource.

    I personally have a major problem with subordinationism and with the idea of using the Trinity as a model for marriage.

  4. October 21, 2012 7:14 pm

    Paul frequently states that he believes the ideal in marriage is mutual submission and service, not unilateral submission and service from the wife.

    The following is Paul’s reply to your other question:

    I have been asked why I did not support the amendment in the synod debate to take Order 2 of the marriage service (with the word ‘submit’ ) out of the newly devised Sydney Anglican prayer and service resource book.

    My reasons for not supporting the amendment were two fold…

    1, the original motion was specific; does the synod agree the services in the book of resources (not just the marriage services) conform to the doctrine of the Anglican church of Australia and does the synod accordingly encourage their use. In my mind the Order 2 marriage service does accord with Anglican doctrine, since the defining document of Anglican order, the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, has the word ‘obey’ within its marriage service and in the 1978 The Australian Prayer Book, which is still an authorised use in the Anglican church of Australia, there are two marriage services one one of which also has the word ‘obey’ .

    2, there is within Sydney Anglicanism a strong request for a contemporary but clearly complimentarian marriage service, especially from some younger men and women: A service which gives expression to the ‘plain’ reading of Ephesians chapter 5 for both husbands and wives. I think such requests are misplaced theologically and unhelpful socially, but I think the views behind the requests will be with us for a long time, and provided the couple being married are genuinely tempered with the commitment to mutual service, I think people have a right to have a complimentarian based marriage service.

    My vision for CBE Sydney is to make an egalitarian understanding of men and women in marriage and church, a fully acceptable and respected evangelical position within the churches of the city. I do not think it will become the only understanding, but God willing it will become the majority understanding.

  5. Suzanne McCarthy permalink*
    October 22, 2012 12:26 am

    In 1662 people used to be drawn and quartered. I think of our society as being more considerate. Allowing women to make the vow to submit guarantees that some of them will be tormented by this. I think the vow to submit should be against the law now also. So, I guess it’s a good thing I don’t belong to CBE. 🙂

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