Here we go again
Whilst Reform Ireland respects the right of individual diocese to form 'companionship' links throughout the Anglican Communion it was once again with a sad heart that we read of the proposed continuation of the Limerick/New Hampshire link. It would appear from the Limerick Diocesan Magazine article by the Rev Bob Hanna that the immoral lifestyle of Bishop Gene Robinson is irrelevant and of no consequence to the Anglican Communion, nor to the Church of Ireland in particular.
The glowing terms in which the article describes Bishop Robinson fails to take into account that here is someone who divorced his wife in order to enter into a same-sex relationship - a clear violation of biblical teaching. The pain and division which his consecration as Bishop has caused in the worldwide family of Anglicanism is simply ignored.
Reform Ireland are once again dismayed that those called to lead the people of God according to biblical standards and principles are in fact leading people away from the Word of God and into the acceptance of immorality. At the beginning of 2006 we stated that there appeared to have been a concerted and co-ordinated effort at promoting the acceptance of same-sex relationships within the Church of Ireland and we would contend that this is another step down along that agenda. Our call in January for the members of the Church of Ireland, both lay and ordained, to take a stand on this issue is now seen to have been timely.
We raise the very real possibility that the decision by Limerick diocese to continue this companion diocese link may in fact lead some parishes (and maybe even dioceses) to consider themselves out of communion with Limerick.
Reform Ireland does not wish to be alarmist but such action by Bishop Mayes and Limerick Diocese would put them both at odds with the dioceses of Clogher, Down & Dromore, Armagh, and Kilmore, Elphin & Ardagh and also the Bishop of Derry & Raphoe whose synods all ratified their support for the biblical teaching expressed in Lambeth I.10.
We therefore call upon:
- the Bishop and Diocesan Council of Limerick to repent of this action and to remain faithful to the biblical teaching and Lambeth 1.10 on human sexuality.
- the people of God in the Diocese of Limerick to reject this link and to remain faithful to the Scriptures.
Reform Ireland realises that there are some within the Church of Ireland who are determined to take us away from our biblical faith and we must be prepared to stand firm and fight precisely where the gospel is being attacked. Today in the Church of Ireland the battle to be engaged is on the biblical teaching on human sexuality.
Reform Ireland therefore issues a call to:
- those within the House of Bishops who hold to the biblical teaching and Lambeth 1.10, to speak out against such actions.
- those called to be the shepherds of the sheep within the Church of Ireland, to lead your people according to Scriptural teaching.
- all within the Church of Ireland who believe the biblical and traditional church teaching on human sexuality to let your voice be heard and to call our Church to repentance on this issue.
The pain of Limerick's action is already being felt throughout the Church of Ireland and will only widen the already existing divisions. Reform Ireland is aware of many parishes that are calling (or should we say 'crying out') for someone to give a clear biblical lead against the revisionist agenda and its promoters. The next question: Who will give such a lead? 15th Feb 2006