From THE IRISH TIMES:
Sir, – I am distressed to read that the general synod of the Church of Ireland intends to rush to vote on a motion tomorrow that “faithfulness in marriage is the only normative context for sexual intercourse”. I was appointed dean of Tuam in 1997 and contributed to a briefing paper for the debate on homosexuality at the Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops worldwide in 1998. Its judicious reporting in your paper caused such an uproar in the Church of Ireland – not elsewhere – that I felt obliged to resign. There was no support from Robin Eames, the archbishop of Armagh, who, ironically, went on to chair the committee which produced the Windsor Report, the Anglican communion’s lame response to the issue.
However, since then many who left the cathedral at the time have written to me to apologise or have welcomed me back warmly on subsequent visits. At the time I even had support in the highest offices of State and in the Roman Catholic Church.
Ireland has changed, and, for most people, being gay is no longer an issue. Yet the elderly male leadership of the Church of Ireland lags far behind its laity in showing an inclusive welcome to gay and lesbian people, many of whom try hard to remain loyal to it, and fails conspicuously to engage with contemporary scholarship. Do we have to conclude that the Irish people as a whole are more Christian in their compassion than their churches, and that the bishops lack the vision and courage of the laity? – Yours, etc,
Very Rev IAN D CORBETT