Australian priests wait for church's blessing to marry

John Davis and Rob Whalley, two Anglican priests from Australia, are hoping to receive a blessing from the church in order to get married. The two found a bishop who is willing to wed them, which means that they are almost able to tie the ecclesiastical knot. There is just one more thing in their way: the church's Appellate Tribunal, the highest ecclesiastical court.
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The two priests told the Australian ABC news that it was love at first sight when they met twenty years ago. "I looked at him and I thought, I could be with this guy for a long time, we actually see the world in much the same way," explains Whalley. The couple already entered a civil marriage with a small ceremony, which was possible due to Australia legalizing same-sex marriage back in 2017.

However, the approval of the church regarding their marriage is all but certain. Bishop John Parkes would have given them his blessing, if their ecclesiastical marriage had not been assigned to the Appellate Tribunal. "My own view is that there's nothing in the Bible that understands the sorts of relationships that we are talking about, in this day and age,” he tells ABC.

The two priests will have to wait for a while before finding out whether the church gives them its blessing or not. However, Davis says that he does not mind the wait:  "One of the joys of being a priest is baptising babies, praying for the sick and the dying, it's being with people in their marriage, it's being with people going through breakthroughs or breakdowns or whatever," he said. "The notable omission is when two men or two women realise that they're in love and they want it to be forever — that they can't go further on that. It's an obscenity." He also added it would mean a the world if the court votes in favour of their marriage. "It's a privilege, it's an honour. And it's important."


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