Belfast Telegraph

Church conference to look at gay clerics row

By Alf McCreary

The Church of Ireland will hold a major conference next spring to debate the vexed issue of clerical same-sex relationships after bishops agreed “a way forward”.

The Church will issue a pastoral letter within the next few days through the clergy to “outline a process by which the Church may move forward”.

This is the outcome of a three-day meeting by the bishops to reflect on the current disquiet in the Church over the issue which, they acknowledge, has created tension and is causing distress to many people. In a statement they said: “Our discussions were frank and careful, and at times painful.

“We committed ourselves to listen carefully to one another and to speak openly about our differences.

“Strengthened by our honest interchange of views, we corporately agreed a way forward.

“This will involve a major conference in spring 2012 to which members of the General Synod and others will be invited.”

Belfast Telegraph

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