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Open letter of Anglican Evangelical clergy on marriage

 As faithful members of the Church of Ireland we wish to reaffirm the historical orthodox teaching of the Church concerning marriage and to refute the erroneous teaching espoused in recent days by some senior clergy within our denomination on this issue.  The teaching of Holy Scripture is plain, simple and clear on this issue and at General Synod in 2012 the synod overwhelmingly affirmed this teaching by resolving,  

 

"The Church of Ireland affirms, according to our Lord’s teaching that marriage is in its purpose a union permanent and lifelong, for better or worse, till death do them part, of one man with one woman, to the exclusion of all others on either side, for the procreation and nurture of children, for the hallowing and right direction of the natural instincts and affections, and for the mutual society, help and comfort which the one ought to have of the other, both in prosperity and adversity."

 

The resolution further states, "The Church of Ireland recognises for itself and of itself, no other understanding of marriage than that provided for in the totality of Canon 31. The Church of Ireland teaches therefore that faithfulness within marriage is the only normative context for sexual intercourse. Members of the Church of Ireland are required by the Catechism to keep their bodies in ‘temperance, soberness and chastity’. Clergy are called in the Ordinal to be ‘wholesome examples and patterns to the flock of Jesus Christ’."

 

By this resolution, the General Synod declared very clearly that heterosexual marriage was and is the God-ordained sphere for sexual relationships and is alone the ‘normative’ context for such relationships.

 

In recent days two Irish bishops have publicly declared and taught contrary to the plain teaching of Scripture and to the teaching of the Church of Ireland.  This is despite the vows and promises made at their ordination and consecration, to uphold the Church's teaching and to refute error.  We believe that they are now themselves teaching error and we call on them to repent of this and to teach what the Church has taught about marriage according to Scripture.  
 
 
Alan McCann (The Revd Dr), and
Tim Anderson (The Revd)
Brian Blacoe (The Revd Canon)
Peter Bourke (The Revd)
Stanley Bourke (The Revd Canon)
Trevor Cleland (The Revd)
Donard Collins (The Revd)
Craig Cooney (The Revd)
Edmond Coulter (The Revd)
Colin Davis (The Revd)
Alastair Donaldson (The Revd)
Paul Dundas (The Revd)
William Farr (The Revd)
Geoffrey Haugh (The Revd)
Norman Jardine (The Revd Canon)
Trevor Johnston (The Revd)
Cameron Jones (The Revd)
Bryan Kerr (The Very Revd)
David Luckman (The Revd)
Mark McConnell (The Revd)
James McMaster (The Revd)
Ken McReynolds (The Revd Canon)
Bryan Martin (The Revd)
David Martin (The Revd)
Gary Millar (The Revd)
William Nixon (The Revd)
Alan Peek (The Revd)
John Pickering (The Revd)
Christopher Pierce (The Revd)
William Press (The Revd)
Robert Robinson (The Revd)
Brian Russell (The Revd)
Roy Taylor (The Revd)
Paul Whittaker (The Revd)
 
05th May 2015
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