In light of the motion on Human Sexuality within the Context of Christian Belief passed at General Synod 2012 Reform Ireland asks the following questions:
The Bishop of Cashel and Ossory stated that he would make no comments concerning his actions until the Church of Ireland had spoken. The Church of Ireland spoke clearly and decisively at Christ Church Dublin when the General Synod 2012 reaffirmed the biblical teaching on marriage. We would now ask Bishop Burrows to explain his actions in relation to the appointment of Dean Tom Gordon as we believe they are clearly contrary to the teaching of the Church of Ireland. Further, in the light of the General Synod decision, we would ask how Bishop Burrows can remain as a Bishop of the Church of Ireland?
Despite several public appeals and many letters requesting an explanation of his actions the Bishop has remained silent. We believe he can no longer remain silent and ask that he explains to the people of the Church of Ireland, who are deeply hurt and offended, why he ignored the teaching of the Church and appointed Dean Tom Gordon?
Regarding Dean Tom Gordon, we ask him to explain how his civil partnership is compatible with Christian and Church teaching? We call on the dean to reconsider his position in light of the teaching of Scripture and the motion passed at General Synod in 2012.
Reform Ireland has remained silent over the past year concerning this situation. However, contrary to assurances given, nothing has changed and the Church of Ireland House of Bishops has failed to exercise any discipline concerning Bishop Burrows and Dean Gordon. This is a moral failure on their part and shows a clear lack of biblical leadership. We are saddened that this situation has been allowed to continue and that it has de facto been accepted by those in authority. Reform Ireland places in the public domain, once again, its opposition to the acceptance of this situation and, with a heavy heart, states that it finds itself in broken communion with Bishop Burrows and Dean Gordon as a consequence.
Reform Ireland has no desire to see the Church of Ireland torn apart by this issue but as we look around the Anglican Communion, especially the situation in the USA we can only conclude that we are on an inevitable path to separation from one another. We have committed ourselves to maintain the Christian faith and the teaching of Scripture on this issue. For us this is an issue which goes to the heart of Gospel – that which the bible calls sin and must be repented of, cannot be ignored or abandoned by those who wish to call themselves Christian and remain faithful servants of Christ. We commit ourselves to uphold the plain teaching of the Scriptures on this and all areas of holiness of life. We call those in spiritual oversight and all those who would claim to be followers of Christ to commit to living lives in keeping with the teaching of Scripture and where necessary to repent, seek God’s forgiveness and to seek with the help of the Holy Spirit to live holy lives.
Reform Ireland – March 2013