Anglican Church donates $1M to 'no' campaign against same-sex marriage

The Anglican Church recently revealed that it had donated $1 million a month ago to the "no" campaign against same-sex marriage in Australia, drawing negative reactions from several bishops in Sydney.

(REUTERS / Jason Reed / illustration)The Australian Bureau of Statistics gay marriage law postal survey form is seen in this September 16, 2017 illustration image.

In an address to the 51st Synod on Oct. 9, Archbishop Glenn Davies reportedly revealed that the Anglican Diocese of Sydney dropped $1 million in donation for the "no" campaign against same-sex marriage. He explained that changing Australia's marriage law would harm their society and their freedom of religion, SBS relayed.

"I consider the consequences of removing gender from the marriage construct will have irreparable consequences for our society, for our freedom of speech, our freedom of conscience and freedom of religion," Archbishop Davies said on Monday.

The announcement sparked negative reactions from several ministers in Sydney who said they were disappointed over the Anglican Church's decision to support the "no" campaign. Melbourne Archbishop Philip Freier's spokesperson, Barney Zwartz, said their diocese did not and would not donate money to the Coalition for Marriage, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Holy Trinity in Dulwich Hill's parish priest Rev. Dave Smith, on the other hand, expressed disappointment over the donation. He also communicated his congregation's shock over the Anglican diocese's decision to support the fight against same-sex marriage.

Meanwhile, St. James' rector Father Andrew Sempell told Fairfax Media that he was surprised with Davies' announcement and remarked that there was no transparency in the decision to donate the money. He also wrote a paper which he wants to present to the 51st Synod.

In addition, Father Sempell slammed the Sydney diocese's poor management of its finances in the last few years. He questioned why the church was "throwing money around" when its assets have already fallen because of its wrong financial decisions amid the economic crisis.

The diocese stood by its decision to donate the money to the "no" campaign, as it said the move was aligned with the Synod's stance on gay marriage. Bishop Michael Stead spoke to Fairfax and described the move as "totally appropriate."