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Reform Ireland responds to the current crises within Anglicanism

Within these past two weeks dioceses within the Anglican Communion have, in an unprecedented way, broken fellowship with numerous faithful Anglicans throughout the world:

  1. The Bishop of New Westminster has permitted the blessing of same-sex unions and the first of such blessings took place on the 28th May, 2003,
  2. Canon Gene Robinson, who is in a homosexual relationship, has been selected as Bishop of New Hampshire,
  3. Canon Jeffrey John, a known advocate for the acceptance of homosexual relationships, has been appointed Bishop of Reading.

Reform Ireland deplores the unilateral action of these dioceses in pursuing such a departure from Biblical and catholic teaching.

Reform Ireland calls on the Archbishops and Bishops of the Church of Ireland to allay the fears and due concerns of many faithful Anglicans on this island (both lay and ordained) that the Church of Ireland will, in some measure, follow suit and permit the acceptance of homosexual practice and behaviour.

Reform Ireland acknowledges the intention of the House of Bishops of the Church of Ireland to produce a paper on the issue of Human Sexuality; however, we ask that the Bishops either collectively or individually make a pastoral statement in the meantime offering guidance and leadership to those who are duly concerned, as it is their pastoral duty and consecration promise.

Reform Ireland wishes to unequivocally ally itself with the restatement of Biblical orthodoxy in relation to human sexuality found in the Lambeth Conference 1998 resolution 1.10, and the means by which this conclusion was drawn: "the Bible is the controlling authority for the Church".

Reform Ireland fully supports the actions of many Primates who have formally and publicly registered their opposition and especially that of Archbishop Akinola (Primate of Nigeria) who has broken Communion with the Diocese of New Westminster. We consider this issue to have such wide-reaching import for the Anglican Communion that to remain silent amounts to concurrence with the unacceptable actions of a few. Therefore, Reform Ireland respectfully urges the Archbishops and Bishops of the Church of Ireland as they meet this week to consider these concerns.

10th June 2003

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